Tomorrow (9 August 2017) marks the 52nd birthday of Singapore, a place we call home.
As our Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and all other National Service (NS) bodies prepare for the big NS50 celebration, let’s take a quick look at how far we’ve come in terms of economic progress since we gained independence in 1965.
Singapore’s GDP growth
According to a recent Bloomberg article, Singapore’s economy grew from a mere US$2 billion in 1970 to US$295 billion in 2016. Undoubtedly, our economy has been slowing ever since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
Nevertheless, for a country as small as ours, it’s inevitable that our economy will face growth headwinds now that we’re one of the world’s most expensive country. Speaking of expensive, that brings us to our next point.
For most foreigners who hear of Singapore for the first time, usually after reading an article reporting that Singapore is one of the most expensive country to live in, they find it hard to understand and believe.
How can a random country the size of an ant on the world map has such economic growth? What’s more, it’s only a little more than half a century old!
Well, the inflation you see in the chart above is largely contributed by property prices and trade. Both factors largely connected to the fact we’re not only a trading hub in the past, but also a business hub in the recent decades.
Singapore’s stock market returns
Naturally, when businesses love our country and prices get inflated over the years, stock market returns tend to skyrocket too. That isn’t so much the case, especially after the GFC erupted.
Even then, there are certain gems in the stock market as with certain booby traps. Regardless whether there is low growth or high growth, there will always be those that outperform and make up for the rest of the losing stocks.
As we speak, the Singapore stock market is doing not too bad but not too great either. Having an average of 4.0% to 5.0% returns per annum is very much on the lucky side for most retail investors; zero to negative returns are more of the norm.
Singapore’s future (2017 and beyond)
While we can’t exactly point a finger to one single event or factor that caused the global economic slowdown (other than the GFC), we have to accept the hard truth that low growth is here to stay.
As such, retail investors are flocking to dividend stocks and REITs have been one of the most popular choices for returns. Income investing is slowly taking the forefront as capital gain takes a hit.
Speaking of which, David Kuo from Motley Fool Singapore and Rusmin Ang from The Fifth Person, two prominent names in the independent investment research field, will be sharing about investing for income at our upcoming investment seminar on 16 September 2017 (Saturday).
Understanding market trends and the economic outlook is important too, which Kim Iskyan from Stansberry Churchouse Research, will gladly enlighten you with his experience of more than two decades in stock markets all over the world.
Last but not least, Alvin Chow from Dr Wealth will present a factor-based investment strategy that is targeted to not only diversify your investment portfolio based on the usual (asset classes, sectors, countries, etc.) but also looking at several other factors.
Click on the button below to reserve your tickets at an early bird discounted price ($38/pax), before it ends next Wednesday on 16 August 2016.
P.S. Don’t forget to enter promo code “SHARES10” for a $10 discount!