Thursday, May 21, 2009

Where is the economy going? Look to Golf for answers!

Hi folks! I am just back from Korea, it was still quite cold over there but it was a good trip. Things are a little gloomy there as the Korean economy was hard hit by the financial crisis. For those of you who like anything Korean, it is a good time to visit now as the Won is still very low.

I found Korea to be a nice place as living and food prices are very reasonable. A bottle of shoju retailing for $25 to $30 costs just $1 at the supermarket and $3 at restaurants. So do keep Seoul on your holiday map. I think the Korean tourism authorities should pay me for this promotion.

So what is becoming of the economy? The financial markets are signalling healthier economies and mass market properties are moving off the shelves at record pace. It is my opinion that the systemic risks of the economy has been eliminated now in that at least we know that banks will still be around. Thus we should be looking forward to not bustling markets but it is not so gloomy now.

The best indicator that I have observed in the past years is the prices of top end golf clubs. Prices of club memberships in Sentosa Golf Club and Singapore Island Country Club have been good barometers of the economy in the past. In fact, they correspond quite closely and gives a good 3 month indicator of the forward economy. The reason?

These memberships are high end items and signal the holding power of high net worth individuals. Recently, we have seen prices holding steady at the end of last year after falling by a good 40 to 50%. So perhaps, we can look forward to a more decent showing in the economy.

In line with this, I will be doing a property forum to update you guys on strategies to tap the property markets now. I’m afraid that there is a maximum number that we can take in as the biggest room we have now is about 60 persons. So if you are keen pls RSVP asap once the invite is sent out. I look forward to meeting you then.

Till then, take care,

Your Friend

Andy Ong

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fast and Furious Markets

Apologies, Ladies and Gentlemen! I had been down with the flu for the last couple of weeks but unfortunately, I could not rest as work commitments demands that I keep up with my traveling schedule. But fortunately, I am quite sure, I am not down with the Mexican Flu.

Since my last update, I was in the Philippines and I just came back from Myanmar last night, and I am absolutely exhausted. It is my first time to both countries and the opportunities there are amazing. The people are lovely but their governments can’t seem to get their act together. Sad but true. However, it is such nations that present opportunities.

As you can recall, at last October’s CEO Forum, I shared with all of you that I expected the economy to recover by 3rd quarter of this year. This is in light of the accumulated Asian personal strong balance sheets and concerted government efforts. There were many skeptics who doubt if the global financial crisis can be untangles within so short a span of time. I also shared with you that the best indicator are the financial markets, and boy has the markets recovered!

The last couple of weeks have surprised me as the markets have proved to be very buoyant. These events have even accelerated my already optimistic observations. So what can you do right now? Ironically, there are still some doubts as to whether the recovery is sustainable so you might want to look for assets on the cheap now.

Some have started to emerge but I am afraid that not many of these will emerge. There are some values for money properties being auctioned off right now. Look at al the property firms’ websites, where there are details. I am also looking for assets and will look to acquire very high yielding properties by the end of this year.

I hope to get my next entry out soon. Till then, please do take good care of yourself.

Your Friend

Andy Ong