Monday, December 21, 2009

Back from trip to China and observations

I just got back from a 3 city tour and will be off again to Bangkok tomorrow. It has been an very interesting trip where we viewed several potential sites for business and property collaboration. It is amazing how much China has accomplished in the last 20 years of development. The connectivity that they have achieved took many other countries 2 or even 3 times the amount of time they took.

I worry for Singapore’s ability to stay ahead of the economic development game as Singapore is still playing a middleman’s role of sorts and when the Chinese really understand how Western economies function, our role can easily be replaced. Staying relevant will be a key for our next generation. But alas, I see how many parents are pampering their kids during my recent trip to Hokkaido and Tokyo where there were more Singaporeans than Japanese.(Yes, you read right).

I worry about their ability to tough it out. I really worry when kids are boasting that their parents are putting them on business class and even comparing where their parents took them on vacations during school holidays. Maybe I am old school but I did not take my first commercial plane until I graduated from university. These ‘soft kids’ will be steam rolled by the hungry talent from developing countries.
Anyway, property prices in China are on a roll and I do not see any relief as there is massive migration resulting in greater urbanization. Prices briefly softened for a while but they are back on a roll and many Chinese citizens are complaining that they cannot afford decent housing. I am evaluating a couple of projects and will keep you updated.

I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance on behalf of all my colleagues and myself at ERC.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My first building!

Hi guys! Many apologies for not sharing with you my first building acquisition before Straits Times reported it. In fact, I don’t believe I just spent $46 million buying my first place. Many thanks for the congratulatory messages that I had been receiving. I am going to build the place into an education and recreation place that all of you will be proud of. I really need to count my blessings and thank God for the opportunities that I have been given. I have been reflecting, just 10 years ago, home was still a 3 room HDB flat. I hope to give back the many blessings that I had received in the future.

It has been very hard going for me in the last month or so. I simply have been overwhelmed, I need to thank the property course students for your many compliments. I am glad that many of your issues regards investing in property have been resolved and you are on your way to making money in the property market. Spaces in the next intake have been fully taken up so for those of you who are keen, pls do book your seats early.

I am taking my break earlier this year and will be off to Hokkaido and Tokyo with my good friends. I’m sure most of you already know this since my good friends Douglas and family, shared with the whole of Singapore via Straits Times where we are going. Once back, I will attending the ERC Group’s very first Dinner and Dance. All our staff are looking forward to it and planning what they are wearing.

Oh, before I forget, this year’s Asian Titan trends will be held at Suntec City on the 30th of Jan. Do book your free seat early (for students) as capacity is limited.

Till next time, do take care, my friends.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong