Consolidating our retirement investments and moving towards 2010

This year, Ben Foo took some time to share with us his knowledge on equities and online trading.  I am sure a number of us have benefitted from the knowledge share.

The year 2009 is coming to a close, and 2010 is just round the corner.  We read about the Dubai debt wores, and its impact on global markets.  Some SHCians feel the Dubai debt is not significantly lare enough to plunge the world into another recession.  For others, they may consider liquidating to avoid another exposure.

We have a number of SHCians with long experience and background in various industries.  I think it is nice to hear from them their views.  And for some of us, who are recovering from the early 2009 shock, we may have questions.  Go ahead, and again, dont be shy.  What’s your view?

Calling Ben Foo, Roger Lim, Tian Soo, Ronald Wie, Jonathan, Nina,  …..

Terence Seah

10 thoughts on “Consolidating our retirement investments and moving towards 2010

  1. Terence, at an age of repose, money should not be the main
    importance of one’s life. Money becomes a necessity only if
    we still need to see our children’s through University or putting food on the table and we do not have a comfortable nest-egg to live a ‘simple’ life.

    The yardstick of each individual is different. Life is an experience to your last breath. How you breathe is all that matters.

    What is equities, unit trust, shares? It is all vehicles of craving for making more money. How much enough is enough?

    In true perspective, everything is not enough. Human nature brings about the revolution of the world’s economic ups and downs. Dubai World is a recent case in point.

    My personal belief is, if we have prepared ourselves well in advance in our lifestyle of living, everything is enough.
    Craving is delusion. All involvements in life are risk factors. Why risk if we feel we have arrived? Indecision, bewilderment and discontentment???

    “Contentment is the art of wanting less”. Realism is a bitter pill to swallow. Thank You.


  2. Yes, Patrick

    It is very well and good that you’re in a position where money and wealth are not a problem…

    But many SHCs are in a quandary as to how to save enough for their old age, keep their little CPF and capital, pay for their rising medical bills, etc.

    And, if that is not enough, the present low interest rate environment, bad investment alternatives, scams and scandals in the financial industry make it a dangerous place to put our money (whatever we have).

    If you have “prepared well in advance” and have “enough”, spare a thought for the rest of us:

    The just over 45’s who want to know how to accumulate that “comfortable nestegg”.

    The late 50’s who have retirement just round the corner.

    The retired 60’s and above who may have just enough or less, struggling to cope with the rising costs of medical, transport, and even living needs.

    So any sharing would be good. And, for those who have “made-it”, it is even more necessary to give your views and your success stories.

  3. Well said Kenneth tan. Each success story cannot be emulated by another. Success can come from alot of sacrifice and hardship. How you chart your life course and how you prepare yourself well in advance is individual.

    Many of us Singaporeans are sandwiched by the system of policies not favorable to senior citizens in S’pore.

    When we firm ourselves with our resources on ground level and understand our needs and requirements and live within our means, we are on the road to happiness.

    As I mentioned on #1, realism is a bitter pill to swallow.
    I am not rich, I live within my means and let go off the life beyond my grasp. Many does that. Down to earth.

    The moral of our life journey is, each has his/her story to tell. But in reflection, we will arrive at our own point of contention and that is how well are we prepared. And at an age of retirement if we are not prepared, how can others’ prepared for us?

    We have to understand ourselves in harmony with our existence.

    The world is in constant change. For better for worst, we have to live our life and maintain our sanity.


  4. Hi SHCians

    Analytical opinions are probably divided regarding Dubai’s debacle. But our little Red Dot can heaved a sigh of relief that a “hub” competitor has stumbled in its challenge to surpass us. My take is Spore will be the world’s leading international hub by the middle of the next decade.

    Therefore those with spare cash can hold a longer-term view to buy stocks whenever prices correct. Yours truly is essentially a market-punter(gambler) on specifically contra-trades.


    Abel Tan

  5. Hi SHCians

    I think we have to take longterm as financial crisis is far from over

    My vision is Singapore, HK and China will remain prosperous while the once thought rich countries had fallen into credit crunch … US, Dubai

    I agree with abel tan’s view on the future of Singapore just as I had the vision 5 yrs ago to see 3 rm HDB flats hit $400k and it did

    Regards, christina pan

  6. Hi Jacqueline, Kenneth,

    Within SHC, and in Singapore, I guess many still have a place to stay, and probably live in here until we kong out. We considered future inflation, almost zero interest rates, capital guarantee and ….

    Yet, some of us have some savings, CPF, insurance, a medical plan and a roof. Is this enough? Christina Pan is confident long term on Singapore. Jacqueline wants to safeguard her biscuit tin, Ben Foo sees equitiy investments as one of a few options.

    I like Patrick Lee’s. Live within one’s means, just use one own’s savings. For many others, we should keep working, up to 55, to 62 , to 65 and 67, just keep the savings.

    We have others with houses, commercial properties, diamonds and gold rings. No worries for now.

    I guess if we have a job, that’s great and safe. If we dont have a job, try finding a job or start living on savings. If we are rich, let it stay that way.

    When we retire, a dollar out will not come back. So, do we still try to work or put our money in some investments? Is this a gamble because we dont have another 20-30 years?

    Is another 5-10% profit enough? If we make another 10-20%, isn’t it risky?

    Maybe, Abel’s idea of a trading fund or a co-operative helps. Maybe it is good to keep working. If we are wanted.

    Although I am married, maybe I should just look for a rich lady with a roof, a car, a mastercard credit card and a POSB ATM. Do we worry too much?

    Just allocate $20 or $25 to come to our nightclub.

    Terence Seah

  7. The weakness of our banking system have caused major bank failures in 2009. The financial world have now settled down and kid itself that all is well. We are still operating with this same system and the crooks are still paying themselves big bonuses. There will be another bank failure but not in 2010. The crooks are blowing hot air into the balloon and it takes as few years before it will burst again.
    There is another financial fear, that is a panic by any country holding on to large hordes of valueless USD. It looks like China is now converting their USD into gold and Arabs have used them up to build useless colossal concrete and steel structures. There is order as long as they move slowly. So 2010 may be peaceful on the monetory front.

    No one is threatening anyone with major conflicts that will cause a world war in 2010.

    So it seems the only fear is viruses and bacteria. Another flu epidamic larger than the scale of SARs can happen anytime.The more medicine we produce the quicker the germs mutate. We will not win. Just wait for it to happen. One or two million people may die from the germs but that is not the crisis. Desaster will befall countries like Singapore when each country close their borders to contain the disease, then your money becomes useless and my Papaya leaves becomes valuable.

    Just my thoughts on this rainy, gloomy Sunday afternoon. Or maybe it is the chemicals from the salmon I ate at last night’s dinner. Thanks Dan.

  8. Hi all,

    As far as the equities market is concerned, I am sure we all did quite well for 2009. Congratulations.

    How would 2010 turn out? Could this recovery sustain? Why is the Dubai debacle so tame? How about those countries about to go bankrupt (eg Greece, Spain). Which direction would interest rates go? Are there room for property prices to go up in 2010? Is election in 2010 and whats the effect? and many others.

    Each and everyone of us have our own answers. There are no perfect answers. Below are my comments to share with you.

    Going forward, there are only 2 key players left: China and the United States of America with G20 as the supporting cast. So, to know what to do in 2010, just watch these guys.

    For me, this whole financial crisis including the Dubai woes can be summarised with one word: Morality.

    The amount of greed, cheating, mutual benefits, bubbles, cover ups, etc were the cause and shall be the cause.

    While the economic recovery is strengthening, for different reasons, all the leaders instrumental in influencing world events are not able to fully confront that one simple word. Therefore brace yourself for more shocks along the way.

    However, for a more down-to-earth feel for 2010, we should gather all common interest members and pow wow.

  9. Hi Terence

    Thanks for re-highlighting my proposals of a Trading Fund and a Co-operative Society which for the latter a similar Econ Minimart-type is relevant too. But please take note, and to all SHCians too, that my proposals are not meant to be money dispensing ATMs.

    The trading fund will not derive more than 10% profits from funds employed monthly and that divisible by probably dozens of participating contributors while the co-operative is essentially in my view, a entity of attachment for participating members to gel with one another, as each takes turn in operational tasks of running the business rather than striving for profits as my take is the outfit will not yield more than 20% profits annually and shared in modest dividends among participating members.


    Abel Tan

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