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