June 25, 2017

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L-R: Ms Charis Low, Mr Edmund Chen, Mr Mervyn Hoe

by Ryan Ong

SINGAPORE is a country of opportunities; but opportunity also means tough competition. It takes more than just talent or working hard to succeed. We spoke to some of Manulife Financial Advisers’ (Manulife FA) top financial consultants, and some shared qualities emerged.

In this article, we spoke to three successful young Singaporeans, financial consultants Mervyn Hoe, Charis Low, and Edmund Chen from Manulife FA. Be it ensuring the financial stability of the clients in their care, or gaining a place in the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), these top Manulife FA financial consultants display similar traits that took them to the top.

While their roads are different and uncommon, they all lead in the direction of extraordinary success. The key factors that set them apart are:

 

Success Factor 1: Thinking beyond paper qualifications

Ms Charis Low, Manulife financial advisor. Image by Mohamad Aidil.

Ms Charis Low, who was a Singapore Airlines cabin crew stewardess, graduated with a Degree in Business Marketing. Becoming a financial consultant would seem like an unlikely career trajectory; nonetheless, in the two years since she joined Manulife FA, Ms Low has already become part of the noted Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) circle.

Ms Low believes education has to be backed with the willingness to step out from one’s comfort zone: “Qualifications do matter, in Singapore’s competitive environment; but it’s not the only way to success. There are life lessons that you don’t learn in any school, outside of lectures and books.”

Mr Edmund Chen, another leading financial consultant who became part of the prestigious Court of the Table (CoT) in his first year with Manulife FA, had a more “traditional” background. He began his career in financial planning as far back as 2007, with a degree in Banking and Finance from SIM. He also believes the right qualifications mean little without persistence, and the willingness to keep learning.

“Having a degree is beneficial, as it gets you into many job openings. However, I strongly believe that that is not the only way to get opportunities in life. Being intellectual without having the right attitude will not bring you far,” he said.

“The hard truth is that a degree doesn’t necessarily result in higher earnings.”

“The hard truth is that a degree doesn’t necessarily result in higher earnings.”

“Self-discipline and persistence are imperative qualities to success. And in today’s competitive world, regardless of your line of work, lifelong learning is paramount for building a successful career.”

Mr Mervyn Hoe, another entry into the MDRT, graduated from NUS with a background in Material Science and Engineering. He only got started as a financial consultant when he helped fill out an empty spot at an orientation camp (and even then, he only sold pet insurance at the start). Today he’s a successful financial consultant at Manulife FA, and he values the ability to connect as much as he does a degree: “Academic qualifications are important in Singapore, especially if you want to climb the corporate ladder,” Mr Hoe says, “And I’m quite happy I graduated with a Bachelor in Applied Science. But the ability to meet friends in University was just as important.”

“In NUS you can meet people from all different faculties and disciplines; and it’s important to build good networks. You need to the ability to build friendships and get along with people, as you never know when you’ll need their help later.”

 

Success Factor 2: Knowing when to keep going, and when to quit

A common quality among the successful is their seemingly perfect timing – they know when to stay invested in something, and when it’s time to try something different.

For Mr Chen and Ms Low, persistence has to be balanced with the costs they’re facing.

“It’s a mistake to give up prematurely – nothing worth doing comes easy, and the middle of the road to success is always messy. But persistence doesn’t mean being to obstinate either,” said Mr Chen.

“We should evaluate the positive trends we see in our efforts. If there are none, and the price of restarting or trying a different approach would be more cost-effective, then perhaps it’s time to cut losses and move on to a new method.”

Ms Low considers the consequence of failure, when it comes to pushing on. While she agrees persistence is important, she takes the view that: “There is no right and wrong in making such decisions; you just have to weigh up the consequences of further failure. Can you manage those consequences? If your instincts and gut feel say you cannot, you should try something different.”

Mr Hoe also suggests that you need to draw a line, when it comes to work and family: “Draw a line and don’t overwork. Don’t forget about your loved ones.”

“Draw a line and don’t overwork. Don’t forget about your loved ones.”

“If you get too into your job, your job will control you, and you won’t be happy. I don’t work on weekends, even if on weekdays I have no choice and have to sacrifice time with my children.”

Ms Low also draws a clear line on when to stop. “Don’t sacrifice your health”, she said, “Because without it, you can’t do anything. And don’t sacrifice your principles.”

 

Success Factor 3: Setting separate and targeted goals for work and life

Mr Mervyn Hoe, Manulife financial advisor. Image by Mohamad Aidil.

Mr Hoe separates his work and personal goals: “For work, I set a new goal every year after a conversation with my boss. We set the targets to reach, as well as milestones that are broken into specific days, weeks, and months; that’s the way I’ve worked for the past six years.”

“For personal goals, I have three children and aim to spend sufficient quality time with them. I set goals to spend time to teach them and play with them, and for myself I set goals to exercise daily and learn God’s word.”

Ms Low divides her goals along broadly similar lines, although family, career, and financial goals are separated. Each goal is specific and measured: “For family goals, I set a minimum of one family trip per year, and one family dinner per week. For career goals I got into the MDRT last year, and the current one is to set up my own team. Financially, I focus on saving $150,000 a year at minimum.”

For Mr Chen, effective goal setting goes beyond the self. Success comes from also ensuring you bring others with you: “My goal is to help grow the branch, improve the personal growth of newer colleagues, and assist my clients in growing their wealth. My personal goals are to achieve financial independence, and to enjoy life to its fullest.”

However, Mr Chen acknowledges that motivation is important in reaching those goals, and one source of motivation remains: “Having the desire to contribute to and draw inspiration from others.”

 

Success Factor 4: Cultivating a sense of empathy

Life inevitably brings confrontations and disappointment. What creates exceptional people is the ability to face such situations, and defuse them with empathy.

Mr Chen actively reminds himself to cultivate this behaviour, saying: “I am very adaptable and independent, and I can act in ways that sometimes seem aloof or uncaring. So I make it a point to go out of my way, to be as sensitive as possible; to have more open communications with people around me.”

“We will face awkward or difficult conversations. We have to understand where the other person is coming from, and understand their point of view. Most people are quick to talk, but it’s important to listen,” said Ms Low.

“Most people are quick to talk, but it’s important to listen.”

However, this doesn’t mean agreeing with everything: “There are times when I’ve had to say no to my bosses as well, because of things that clash with my principles.”

Mr Hoe says besides having empathy, the key is finding solutions amidst the tension: “Every now and then I need to tell someone their insurance claim is denied, or that they do not have the right coverage. But even then it’s important to focus on helping them, and keep looking for alternatives.”

 

Success Factor 5: Being disciplined in routines

Mr Edmund Chen, Manulife Financial Advisor. Image by Mohamad Aidil.

As any NS man who has been on a route march can tell you, rhythm and repetition do wonders to combat fatigue. Having productive routines can help to steady your mind, and keep you focused.

Mr Chen is a big believer in discipline, of which routine is a part.

“I have a practice of waking up four hours prior to my work schedule. I include a daily run, to train my endurance and give me the capacity to keep focused with a sharp mind,” he said.

“My other routine is giving my wife a goodbye kiss in the morning, before I leave for work; and then a kiss when I return. My family, especially my wife, is a pillar of support that makes my career successful.”

“I make it a routine to spend quality time with my children, to know about their day. Engaging them through play is important- carrying them, spinning them around. Before I end my night I catch up with my wife, have a Milo and some cookies, and allow myself a short television session after the children turn in.”

Mr Hoe has a fixed schedule.In the morning, I send my children to school, and I then go jogging and do whatever marketing I need. From noon I start work, and I begin the work day by thinking of client profiles and working out the plans they can use,” he said

“Routines help, and I follow them day by day. They also give my children a sense of comfort.”

Ms Low keeps a routine that prepares her at the start of the day, and winds down toward the end: “I wake up at 9am for breakfast with my husband. I read the newspapers, create the day’s to-do list, and then keep updated (usually on investment or Forex-related issues).”

“At the end of the day I do sports; I exercise two to three times a week. Then I spend time with my husband, maybe enjoy a movie together.”

 

Looking ahead with Manulife FA

Many of these success factors are straightforward and easy to understand. But it takes effort and discipline to cultivate them, and it’s an everyday process, as these Manulife FA financial consultants have shown.

But the sooner you begin, the sooner success itself becomes a habit.

 

This is an editorial series done in partnership with Manulife Financial Advisers.

Featured image by Mohamad Aidil.  

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By Ryan Ong

ALTHOUGH they’ll never admit it, a large part of the finance industry aim to convince you that what they do is very complicated, and impossible to understand for anyone short of a NASA scientist (that’s why you better pay them to manage your money for you). Over the past two decades, one of their secrets has been the ETF – a straightforward financial product that makes them look like geniuses, while actually proving the opposite. You should at least have a basic grasp of the concept:

THE average wealth of Singaporeans is the highest in Asia, says a new annual wealth report. The Credit Suisse Research Institute found that the wealth per adult here rose 1.4 per cent over the past year, led mainly by high savings, asset price increases, and favourable exchange rates.

The average figure, about US$270,000 ($395,000), is the highest in Asia, and seventh among the rest of the world. Taking the top spot was Switzerland (US$562,000), followed by Australia (US$376,000) and the United States (US$345,000).

Notably, financial assets made up more than half of a person’s wealth here – about 54 per cent. Average debt was about US$55,000, or 17 per cent of total assets.

If this doesn’t quite mirror your own financial situation, that’s probably because of “moderately unequal” wealth distribution – though, only 18 per cent of people here have wealth under US$10,000. That’s compared to the global figure of 73 per cent, said the report.

Singapore is still a magnet for the rich and ultra-rich. The number of people with wealth above US$100,000 is six times the world average. And about 5 per cent of adults here are in the top 1 per cent of global wealth holders – an unusually high number considering the country is home to only 0.1 per cent of the world’s adult population.

This year, there were 150,000 millionaires in Singapore, with a total wealth value of US$541 billion.

Singapore also came up tops in another study that looked at how countries fared in embracing digital disruptions. Called the Asian Digital Transformation Index, the study was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and launched for the first time yesterday (Nov 22).

Praised for its infrastructure-related indicators, the Republic came in first ahead of South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. However, it lagged behind these economies when it came to getting the elderly, disabled and needy to use the Internet.

What about globally connectivity? There’s a survey for that, too.

Singapore was ranked second worldwide after the Netherlands in the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI), which measures connectivity based on cross-border flows of trade, capital, information and people – or what the study calls “international interactions”.

The GCI also launched two new city indices yesterday: a Globalisation Giants index, which looks at the volume of a country’s international interactions; and a Globalisation Hotspots index, which measures its intensity. In both these indices, Singapore came in first.

 

Featured image from TMG file.

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Oil pump jack. Image by Flickr user: Paul Lowry

by Ryan Ong

You can find part one of this three-part series here.

WITH the stock market diving like Jim Carrey’s career, a lot of people are thinking bonds. Well, bonds, gold, and poisons which are untraceable when found in their wealth manager’s body. However, with oil prices staying low, the bonds market is bound to feel some impact as well. Here’s a newbie’s guide to how cheap oil should make you think harder about investing in bonds.

 

The current situation with oil

Energy producers had a little bit of good news recently. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) suggested they might lower oil production. The mere hint of this was enough to push oil prices up by more than 12 per cent, from a 13-year low.

It’s a much-needed step, because at one point in 2015, oil prices were under $30 a barrel. Chalk that up to Saudi Arabia deliberately creating an oil glut, in order to bankrupt shale oil extractors in the United States.

But while there’s light at the end of the tunnel, we’re a long way from it. And some of the bond products that your advisor recommended may not be as safe as you’d like them to be.

 

High yield bonds and oil producers

Most of the bonds you can buy are investment grade (BBB- or higher by Standard and Poor). These bonds are issued by countries or companies with a good history of paying back what they owe. But a handful of you may have high yield bonds, possibly bought through an accredited broker. You may also have funds that hold on to these bonds.

Now high yield bonds, also called junk bonds, are being issued by less creditworthy entities. Think Greek bonds, or just about any oil producing company today. To compensate for their higher risks, these bonds have a correspondingly higher rate of interest (hence the term “high yield”).

Now junk bonds are the bread and butter of energy company financing. Most energy companies – think oil, gas, and coal – are highly leveraged. Why?

It goes back to around 2010, when oil prices were over $100 per barrel. At the time, there was a shortage of oil. In response, energy companies borrowed from everywhere to expand their oil production capabilities. They didn’t just borrow from the banks, they also financed operations by issuing high yield bonds.

At the time, many investors had rose-tinted glasses about the future of the energy market. Investors were willing to lend money to energy companies, via the purchase of their bonds. This was often at better rates than many banks would offer the oil producers. After all, they’d surely be able to pay it back.

But in 2014, oil prices began to slide. In January 2016, oil prices were under $30 a barrel.

 

The Saudi oil strategy

New technology led to the rise of shale oil companies, which doubled oil production in the United States. Saudi Arabia, a leading voice in OPEC, saw this as a threat. They refused to lower oil production and deliberately created a supply glut, knowing it would drive oil prices rock bottom.

This would make oil production an unprofitable business, and hopefully cause shale oil companies (which are more expensive than traditional oil wells) to shut down.

At present, the price war is causing oil prices sit at around $31.50 per barrel. That’s an almost 70 per cent drop from 2010. And for the record, shale oil producers need $60 a barrel just to break even.

This is a major crisis for anyone who bought high yield bonds in oil and gas companies. No less than 29 energy companies defaulted in 2015 alone, and the Wall Street Journal has pointed out the possibility of further defaults.

Not only are oil prices too low to be profitable, but the supply glut means oil will remain cheap for a long time. Even if OPEC cuts production now, the world still has a large inventory of oil to burn through. This means the survivability of oil producers will be sorely tested in the coming years. This will not be over soon.

Investors with energy-related bonds are either coming along for the ride (cross your heart and hope you picked the company that survives this war of attrition), or will be offloading their bonds at a loss.

 

Emerging market bonds and oil prices

Emerging Market (EM) bonds are impacted by a variety of factors, so bear in mind that oil is one issue among many. That said, the impact on EM bonds depends on whether the country in question is a net exporter (sells more oil than it buys), or a net importer (buys more oil than it sells).

Malaysia, which is a net exporter, has taken a financial beating because its oil revenues have fallen. Venezuela is probably the most famous disaster story right now, and is on the verge of defaulting on its debts. This is because the country derives 96 per cent of its export revenue from oil.

Russia is also struggling with low oil prices and is braced for a bad 2016. Saudi Arabia, mostly the originator of this nonsense, is also suffering – last year they posted a $98 billion budget deficit.

On the other hand, EM countries that are net importers – such as Thailand and South Korea – should see some benefits of low oil prices, all things being even.

“All things being even” (or, for Econs 101 students, Ceteris Parabus) is, of course, a condition that exists only in theory. Low oil prices have wide-ranging and unpredictable effects. If low oil prices cause problems elsewhere, EM bonds can still falter. For instance, this could happen if exports from Thailand drop, because its buyers are suffering from energy company defaults.

While EM bonds have received the evil eye of late, a lot of it is based on speculation. Risks of default are only obvious in some EM bonds; most clearly those of net exporters, in which oil revenue accounts for half or more of export revenue.

 

Does this matter to the man on the street?

It matters if you don’t know your own portfolio. If you have some kind of financial advisor or wealth manager handling your investments for you, you might want to double check. You may be unknowingly holding on to high yield bonds, or funds that are somehow related to these bonds.

Otherwise, it just means a lot of caution. You might want to take extra steps to ensure a bond-issuer doesn’t have a whiff of oil about it. Consult with more than one financial professional before you make a decision this year.

 

Featured image Oil Pump Jack by Flickr user Paul Lowry. CC BY 2.0

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Stamp Investment
Illustration by Sean Chong

by Ryan Ong

TO MOST of us, stamps go hand-in-hand with physical letters, envelopes, dinosaur bones, and other museum exhibits. But what you may not know is that stamps are one of the best performing alternative investments, and have been for almost a decade. That sounds like a line from the world’s most ambitious and least successful con artist, but check this out:

 

Stamps are a bigger deal, financially, than you think

Do we have a classic cars museum in Singapore? No. Do we have a wine museum? No. Do we have an art museum? Sometimes, I look at the exhibits we ban and really wonder. But we definitely have a stamp museum.

That’s because philately, the study and collection of stamps, is a huge deal. As far as finance goes, it’s one of the oldest, most established forms of “passion investing”. In 2010, Bill Gross – co-founder of PIMCO, one of the world’s largest investment management firms – sold off a small portion of his stamp collection for a 400 per cent return on investment. Janet Yellen, chair of the United States Federal Reserve, is another investor in stamps.

Why the craze? Because during the global financial crisis in 2008, stamp investors were one of the few people who came out ahead.

In 2008/2009, the GB30 Rarities Index (tracks the prices of 30 “blue chip” or classic stamps) rose 38.6 per cent. The GB250 Index (tracking, gee how did you guess, 250 classic stamps) rose 32 per cent. These indices track the price of 30 or 250 of the most valuable stamps in Great Britain – and they rose when the rest of the world tumbled into the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Not only did the investors make money, it showed that stamps are a viable alternative with a low correlation to other asset classes. Even if the stock or bond markets are going down in flames, stamps may be able to retain their value. Investing in stamps is a form of diversification.

So, if stamps are so awesome, we should all run out and buy them right?

Yeah, about that…

 

There’s a difference between collectible stamps and investment stamps

The indexes mentioned above track 250 or 30 of the most valuable stamps in the UK. These are investible stamps. They make up a minuscule percentage of the millions of stamps which have been issued.

They are different from collectible stamps. Collectible stamps are the ones that philatelists hoard just for the pleasure of having them. In some cases, they are limited edition runs, like Star Wars or Avengers themed stamps. For most of us, these are what we have in our scrapbook – not $200,000 Tyrian Plum stamps.

Now, collectible stamps do have value – there are various quarterly price guides and dealers – but they are more about passion than investment. Their value is inconsistent; you don’t know if the limited edition Avengers stamps will be worth more, less, or the same in the next 20 years. All they have going for them is scarcity value (they are not produced anymore, so in theory, the price should go up.)

And this is where problems arise for most would-be stamp investors.

 

Stamps are a rich person’s investment

If you’re going to buy investment stamps, the capital involved is massive. We’re talking “buy yourself a condo” massive.

A Canadian 12 pence black auctioned for around $229,595 (CA$224,250) in 2011, and the famous Inverted Jenny (sold in a block of four) was bought for $3.78 million (US$2.7 million) in 2005.

Even if you do manage to smuggle all 5 kilos of cocaine in your pants, thus managing the initial investment, the logistics are still a nightmare. The stamps have to be insured*, must be kept under ideal storage conditions, and are hard to sell.

Because how are you going to sell a $229,595 stamp, exactly? Carousell?

You’ll need to go through an auction house, which can take as much as 20 per cent of the proceeds, if you don’t have the right connections.

Now there is an alternative way to invest in stamps that’s cheaper. You can use a stamp fund – you pool your money with other investors while an expert manages the buying and selling of stamps, and you get the proceeds. You don’t need to worry about insurance or storage.

It’s considerably less fun that having the actual stamps, but it’s a way to make money, right? Stanley Gibbons has a stamp fund like that in Singapore, and you can get started for as little as… $20,000 minimum. And their website says the average amount invested is closer to $60,000.

(If you cannot afford to lose that kind of money, please don’t stake $20,000 or $60,000 on any alternative investment. I don’t want any readers to go broke. Also, the fund is unregulated, although Stanley Gibbons is one of the most reputable companies for alternatives.)

In case it hasn’t sunk in, stamps are a capital intensive investment. They beat many other types of assets, provide diversification and – for investment stamps – have a tested resale market. That’s great if you have a few million dollars in your bank account, and want to diversify. Maybe your private banker will consider it viable for your portfolio.

For the rest of us, well, we can all dream.

(*For the record, insurance companies hate covering valuable items that are easily stolen or damaged. Like, you know, stamps. Premiums vary based on what you’ve got, but are often high.)

 

The dying versus thriving market arguments

There is a big debate about the future of stamps in the coming decades. On the one hand, many philatelists have raised the issue that the hobby is dying. These days, the only stamp a young person sees is the one the club bouncer puts on her hand. The death of snail mail due to instant messaging and email means a decline in the use of postal services, and hence diminishing interest in stamps.

That impacts the secondary market. There have been reports of stamps being sold at significantly less than catalogue prices, like this pilot who had to sell a King Edward VII (valued at $350) for $12. A local stamp and coin dealer, who declined to be named, wrote me an email that says:

“The catalogue is just a rough guide. The actual price depends on many things like condition, whether the stamp is cropped, and so on. Overall the prices of most stamps have fallen over the past 10 years. There are fewer buyers.”

So far, the impact has mostly been on collectible stamps, as the top investment stamps still seem to grow in value – much like how The Last Supper or the Mona Lisa are not likely to fall in value even if the art market isn’t doing well. But as philately “greys”, it could eventually impact the value of even the priciest stamps.

However, the alternative argument posits the exact opposite. It claims that the Internet is boosting the stamp market, as it has many forms of passion investing. It’s easier for collectors to trade and communicate online, which supports the resale market for stamps. And the thing about snail mail dying? That’s a benefit.

It’s about scarcity value, not utility value – if stamps become rarer, their price should rise instead of fall. Scarcity is why gold bars are more valuable than potatoes, even though the tubers have a lot more utility value. Stamps have always derived investment value from the fact that they are irreplaceable slices of history, not from the fact that they can send your grand-aunt’s long-winded letter abroad.

Time will tell which of the two sides are right.

 

Five of the most valuable stamps in recent history:

1. The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta

There is only one of these in the world, and it sold for around $13.6 million (US$9,480,000) in an auction in New York. There’s only one because it was unofficially made; a ship carrying stamps got delayed, so a post master in British Guiana just made his own.

2. The Penny Black

It has the best bathroom in Clarke Quay, which you’ll discover after a dozen of their beers. (If you really must know, it’s a pub!) Also, the stamp: it’s worth over $7 million, and is one of the first stamps ever printed.

3. Triskelling Yellow

The Swedish postage stamp is a print error. Only one exists, and was sold for over $3.1 million (GB£1.6million). Singaporeans who buy condos in district 10 should find this familiar (i.e. paying over $3 million for something the size of a stamp)

4. Benjamin Franklin Z-Grill

Issued in 1868, and famous because Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster in the United States. It’s estimated value at the moment is over $4.2 million (US$3 million).

5. The Inverted Jenny

As mentioned above, a block of four of these was auctioned for $3.78 million (US$2.7 million). It has a picture of an inverted bi-plane.

6. The Penny Red

Stanley Gibbons managed to auction off even a ragged, poor condition Penny Red for over $1.1 million (GB£550,000). Only one sheet of these stamps was ever made.

7. 全国山河一片红

This is a Chinese stamp, issued in 1968. It translates to “the whole country is red”. Due to a printing error, Taiwan was left white. It still sells for over $135,096 (HK$747,500) each.

 

Read the first piece in our series on alternative investments, Brick-by-brick investing apparently means Lego now.

Featured image by Sean Chong.

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Singapore Millionaire

by Clarabelle Gerard

ONE in 35 Singaporeans is a millionaire. That is, if you believe the findings of a new report released on Tuesday by WealthInsight, a research consultancy. The report took its findings from surveying a database of over 60,000 high-net-worth-individuals (HNWI), and it offers an evaluation of the local wealth management market, as well as insights into the drivers of HNWI wealth. It also analysed figures that were collated from 2010 to 2014 to forecast wealth trends in Singapore in 2019.

We wanted to look more deeply into the report but alas, found that it would cost us S$7,087.90 to gain complete access to it. Since we’re no millionaires ourselves, here are a few key highlights of the report we pulled together from the news, as well as what was published on WealthInsight’s website.

Here are five things you might be interested to know about the millionaires in Singapore.

1. He is, on average, less rich than his millionaire friends in the region.

The Singaporean millionaire has the lowest average wealth compared to other millionaires in Asia. His average wealth of US$5.2million (S$7,364,864) is less than the average millionaire from Indonesia, who has an average wealth of US$6.5million (S$9,213,002). Millionaires in Indonesia are shown to have the highest average wealth.

2. He probably keeps most of his assets in the United States.

Millionaires, including the Singaporean millionaire, are estimated to increase their amount of investment in the US as a result of growing investor confidence within the country. By 2019, the US is predicted to hold at least 58.6 per cent of foreign millionaires’ assets.

Besides, the report also shows a sharp increase in the volume of assets Singaporean millionaires have left in the US – a steep increase from 16.7 per cent in 2010 to 42 per cent in 2014.

3. Apart from the US, he likely keeps his assets in Europe and Asia.

The Singaporean millionaire probably holds some of his assets in countries outside his homeland – apart from the US, that is. The report shows that about 35 per cent of assets belonging to Singaporean millionaires are expected to be held in countries outside Singapore by 2019.

Besides the US, which was shown to hold 42 per cent of Singaporean millionaires’ assets in 2014, other countries were also seen to hold the millionaires’ assets, with Europe accountable for 32.4 per cent, Asia-Pacific for 15.5 per cent, the Middle East for 4.9 per cent, Latin America for 4.1 per cent and Africa for 1.2 per cent of their assets.

It might be worth noting that Singaporean millionaires hold much less wealth – 33.6 per cent of their wealth – outside of their home as compared to the worldwide average of 2030 per cent.

4. He’s probably not born in Singapore.

The Singaporean millionaire may, more likely than not, find that other millionaires around him have relocated to Singapore from around the world. Singapore continues to attract more millionaires as it sees a large inflow of millionaires from India and China streaming into the country.

Apart from the wealthy in China and India, millionaires from other countries are also choosing Singapore as an ideal destination to relocate to – even celebrities like Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, who moved to Singapore in 2009, and US hedge fund billionaire, Jim Rogers, who moved here in 2007.

5. He might find that being a millionaire just isn’t that exclusive anymore.

The volume of millionaires in Singapore has significantly risen and the Singaporean millionaire might find more millionaires around him in the time to come. Singapore now has 154,000 millionaires – a number which has been rising from 130,000 in 2010, when we were already the tenth-ranked city globally with the most number of millionaires.

And, the millionaire population is expected to continue rising to reach 188,000 in 2020.

With the millionaire population increasing in numbers, the wealth of Singaporean millionaires is also projected to increase by 27.6 per cent in 2019.

 

Featured image by Akiru. 

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