Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Seize The Day!

Sorry for the long break. My friends and I took a last minute decision to be in Melbourne. It was a much needed short break and what started out as a short trip turned out to be a 7-hour journey to Melbourne. The ticket price was irresistible, Emirates (a very good airline) was offering tickets at $403 all in! We had a ball of a time and celebrated my friend’s wife’s birthday there. The vineyards, the food, the chilling out were all very good. It helped that my friend studied there and knew all the nice places to go to.

We work so hard, we also need to take time out for ourselves. The passing of DBS’ CEO had a big impact on me. He was at the prime of his life and his fall to illness was a bit of a shocker. You never know when God is going to recall you, so it is important that you live each day like it was your last.

I just received this nice email from PK Tan and his wife Judy Chen

“We count ourselves as very fortunate to be members of your Wealth Creation Alumni. I believe all of us have benefitted greatly from your generous advice (especially through your latest updates on recently launched personal blog) on how we can gain financial freedom esp in this great recession and maybe even depression for some of us. Keep up with your great work, Andy! (Good to know that you are finding time to watch some movies.)” -PK and Judy

PK had a few questions that I believe that all of you will be asking, so for my next entry, I will share my thoughts with him. Till then, take care!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong


Monday, April 6, 2009

Property Trends – It can make you or break you.

So at last, property prices have just started to correct. Quite a few of you have started to ask me, when to buy, when to buy. My opinion is the cracks have just started to appear, and prices will continue to be on the downturn until at least middle of the year.

You need to be very, very cautious when it comes to large ticket investments like buying a property. Such an investment can break you if you are at the wrong end of the cycle. To be sure, you need to go back to basics, YIELD is the name of the game.

I have reiterated in class time and again. To be rich and I mean really rich, you do not have to be a genius and do too much work.

You need to just play your cards right and DO NOT take too much risks. For those of you who took my advice and liquidated out of your residential properties, good on you. Do not go into the market now! There is more pain to come, you know it, so stick to your belief.

Your objective is to get really rich so that any recession do not bother you too much. Lamborghini’s new launch was a sold out event! They collected 20 plus orders for a car costing over $1.5 million. What does this show? There are people with money on upturns and downturns, and it is really your choice which side you want to be in.

On the personal side, I had a very nice weekend, just chilling and caught 2 movies, which is a rarity for me. Of the 2 movies, Shinjuku Incident and Detroit Metal City, I prefer the latter. This is a laugh a minute Japanese flick. I know the title is not very eye catching but I am confident that you will like this one. Life is sad enough, so I prefer comedies to take away the fatigue in my first weekend in Singapore for the last 2 months.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong


Thursday, April 2, 2009

China Reflections!

It has been a very tiring 10 days! The 3 city tour really took a lot out of me. The biggest takeaway I have out of this trip is how amazed I am at Singaporeans not taking advantage of the brand equity we have as Singaporeans.
What do I mean?

We are proud to be Singaporeans and rightly so. Singapore has progressed very well over the last 40 plus years to become a regional economic powerhouse. We certainly punch above our weight in terms of economic prowess. However, Singaporeans have not taken advantage of this and to a lot of Chinese, we might be even be deemed as arrogant. From my observation, there are Chinese and there are Chinese. The majority of Chinese are still in poverty stricken areas. The earlier cities to develop are actually quite wealthy now. They have seen the world and they know how to go with the tide.

I met quite a few very enterprising Chinese this trip. Their business might have been affected by the financial crisis but they are not resigned to their fate. One real estate developer I met is turning this crisis into opportunities. I really salute him for his resilience and commitment to his beliefs.

Many impacted businessmen are exploring other business opportunities and have plans to counter such downturns by diversifying their risks. China is a sleeping dragon that is just about to awake. Many Singaporeans cannot imagine the wealth of rich Chinese. The question is not whether they will emerge as the biggest economy in the world, but rather when. So ride the wave. Remember, the trend is your friend, so not go against your friend.

Your Friend
Andy Ong