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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Market Ahead!

Hi guys, if you had read the Business Times today, the headlines would have read Chinese buyers are getting aggressive. My sources tell me that they will be buying more stuff here. Watch out for them as I had indicated in my blog entry earlier this year. Their appetite for risk is enormous and the tremendous global liquidity means they have capacity to buy.

With the Chinese government clamping down on their home ground and Hong Kong adopting rather drastic measures, well Singapore seems like rather cheap to them. The cooling measures adopted by the Singapore government seems to have limited impact as transactions are still very healthy. So what holds for the future?

Liquidity has to find a home and it seems like Asia is the place to be. The global balance of economic power seems to favour this part of the world as China seeks to firm up its global voice. Fund flows are coming into this part of the world. However, you will need to balance out the fact that if European and US assets gets too cheap, this hot money can easily exit as well.

For now, I am rather bullish for the next 6 months as there are so many parties scrambling to buy assets. The Korean attacks, Irish bailout, and other incidents seems to be rather minor blips. The assets to be looking at right now seems to be prime landed properties and commercial property. For condos, the only asset class I like is what I shared with you in class.

Till the next blog, Take care!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong
24/11/10

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spot On for Asian Property Trends!

Hi guys, surprised that I back so soon? Read the papers and you will know I have been absolutely spot on with my reading of the property trends. The triple whammy of low interest rates, competitive devaluation and political events both local and foreign will make things very interesting for the real estate markets.

I have advised you to focus on enbloc deals and such deals are slowly but surely making their way in to the markets. My course in November is absolutely sold out and over subscribed. I need to hank you for referring all your friends into this program.

The next course will be my third last course, and it will be conducted in January, so see you then!

Your Friend

Andy Ong
16/11/10

Just back from the cold!

Hi guys, I just came back from Bangkok and Seoul. I nearly froze my butts when I was there. I am planning rather big projects in both cities. Of course, you will know course otherwise, I will not be flying there. One of my long lost friends emailed me after reading this blog. She asked if I’m busy and whether I’m getting married soon.I told her I need to find a wife first haha! Work has been hectic and when you have over 1000 relying on you to make a living, well you have to soldier on.

Many thanks for your congratulatory messages after reading the Business Times. I can only thank you for giving me courage and strength to push on with our projects. I am rather excited as this will be a new first for me. Many of you actually asked me when ERC will be listing. We already fulfilled the listing criteria some time ago but we have to ponder our options. It is a little scary to carry the burden of being a listed entity.

Anyway I just thought of thanking you, our friends for all your well wishes.


Your Friend always,
Andy Ong

15/11/10

Monday, November 8, 2010

Uncle Sam just pushed property prices up!

Hi guys! We just made the front page of Business Times today with our acquisition of Prime Centre. I was pleasantly surprised as we just completed the transaction last Thursday when I was in Beijing.

For those of you who have been following this blog, I made the prediction a couple of months ago that the government’s cooling measures will have little impact on prices and I have been right. Prices have not come down and in fact, have been slowly inching up.

Why the continued optimism? Its all because of Uncle Sam. The European and US Federal Reserve has been printing tons of money. What we dubbed QE2 in reality is the Western nations trying to export its problems to Asia. All this money will be flowing into Asia like a tidal wave. Why? Who in their right mind will want to hold US dollar denominated assets when the currency is depreciated at such an alarming rate.

This is tantamount to kicking yourself in the ass. If I have free or cheap money, I will be buying Asian assets. At the very minimum, if I do not lose money, I would have made from the currency angle. Thus many fund managers will be using US denominated loans to buy Asian stocks or property.

There will be asset price inflation over the next six months because there is SO much liquidity in the market right now and so few assets for sale. I did not just snap up Prime Centre, I also bought a freehold landed property at Bt Timah over the weekend too. Prices are still reasonable, and they will not be so reasonable over the nest few months.

In fact, Uncle Sam just gave me an extra push for my property portfolio. So for all you out there, don’t say I did not give you advance warning! Go get some assets that I told you to buy in class!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

09/11/10

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Second Building!

Hi guys. Sorry for the long period of absence. I have been busy rationalising my personal life and work has been absolutely hectic. I was absolutely taken aback with the speed that commercial property has been picking up. Our North Bridge Complex investment was meant to be a 5 to 7 year investment before we can see any significant returns but it seems that we will be able to make some serious money soon.


I have recently bought our second building leveraging on the latest investment trend. Once the deal is completed, I will share with you what we want to do with the site. I am a bit nervous as this deal has exceeded S$100 million in investment quantum.


I am calling for a reunion for all my property students so I will see you next Monday.


Your Friend

Andy

14/10/10

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spot On! You have been told NOT to Buy Mass Market Homes!

Hi all! Apologies I have not been updating my blog as I have been sick (severe cough) and resolving some personal problems too. It has been a very hectic 2 months for me. I have been getting a lot of queries on what the new measures will impact the property market. So here goes.

For those of you who attended my property program, I hope you have benefited from my advice not to buy mass market homes and HDB flats over the last 6 months. I expect the new measures to hit this two segments the hardest in the next few months.

Why?

You think about it, the property market( and much of everything else) depends on demand and supply. The 2 key measures of fulfilling the Minimum Occupation and lowering in bank loans are expected to hit upgraders the hardest. Many HDB upgraders are using the new found wealth due the increase in the value of their HDB homes to finance their condo aspirations. Quite a few people are caught in a jam now, but the bigger impact is the bigger hurdle preventing people from acquiring private property.

This has the net effect of lowering demand for both mass market homes and HDB flats as buyers will find it tough as they now have to choose between their private property and HDB flat. Given that mass market properties are targeted at HDB upgraders, this segment will be most impacted.

These measures does not come as a surprise. The government has to cool down the property market especially in the prices of public housing. The HDB segment is the primary source of housing for Singaporeans and the government has to keep this segment affordable. Many younger Singaporeans are not very happy that they may not be able to own their own properties, and this trend will create issues.

I am just glad that you are been told what to buy so that keeps you away from making expensive mistakes. I have told my team to invite you to a refresher session within this fortnight. I will give you a comprehensive review of the measures and its likely impact. I can only accommodate 200 participants so book your spaces early.

See you then!

Your Friend
Andy Ong

06/09/10

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Chinese Again!

This is so interesting! The Chinese don’t even have to do anything but hint at currency adjustments and world markets popped. The buying power of the Chinese population cannot be discounted. The net impact of a stronger Yuan means that more Chinese will have the ability to buy stuff abroad and what is interesting is that foreign goods are cheap to them because they have been marked up horribly in the mainland and even worse, they do not know what they are buying is the genuine stuff or not. Ironically, the Chinese are buying Chinese herbs and preparations in Macau because they do not trust the quality of their own stuff.

This lack of security advances up to the ultra-rich as well. They are trying their best to be under the radar screen as the rich are often targeted for this or that. Quite a few of them want to shift at least part of their assets away and in the past, Hong Kong was a choice destination but now, that may not be that viable. The mainland Chinese are making waves in Singapore’s property markets, in fact, they are buying assets all over Asia. I just came back from Vietnam where properties prices and yields have come down drastically. Navigating through all the political maze is amazing and very bad for health. I was visiting buildings and when I was at the sites, I knocked against the beam and suffered cuts and bruises to my right eye. Talk about job hazards!

The World Cup, school holidays and market uncertainty are finally cooling the markets! We need a reprieve as prices going up too fast too quickly can be detrimental. Again, I reiterate, stick to the fundamentals and you cannot go wrong. I hope all of you have more luck than Italy, last year’s winners. Always remember, last year’s winners can be tomorrow’s dogs.

I will up in Bangkok this weekend. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Your Friend
Andy Ong
25/06/10

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where are the markets headed?

Hi guys! Many of you have asked me what is happening in the investment markets now. So Ihave decided to split my blog in two sections. One about starting businesses and related stuff. The other will just be pure investments focused.

The stock and property markets seems to in a limbo at the moment. Good news on the domestic front with GDP growth forecasts of 9 to 11 percent is giving cheer. But the European economies, especially Greece and the other PIIG countries, are making people worried.

However, it is not the PIIG economies that should be keeping you awake. To put things in perspective, they are insignificant compared to the European giants. Thus the impact they have will not be that severe. The governments have also gotten much smarter in containing economic issues and taking measures to pre-empt major impact.
It is the China factor that is worrying me. The Chinese are coming here in droves and they are a significant source of demand for our private housing. They are also propping up commodity prices and the China markets will be a key story going forward in the next decade. The China government measures are starting to take effect but the developers are resisting any drop in prices as their landbank has been very expensively acquired.

What does this mean for you? I don’t expect prices to rise like they have in the last year. Many investors have already invested and I suspect the market will have to go through a period of consoalidation. What will support the markets will be the significant wealth effect created by the HDB increase in prices. Regional economies are also doing well and their nationals are still looking to invest in Singapore. These two factors will form a support base.

Whether you like it or not foreign demand is contributing to Singapore’s real estate demand. Many Indonesians, Malaysians, Thais especially the Chinese want a just in case option. This is my longest entry in a long time. I will be traveling to Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow to look at several properties there. Prices have fallen more than 50% since the last high.

Till the next time, take care my friends.

Andy Ong
10/06/10

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I want to party!!

I feel relieved! My decision to teach just one more year has really rejuvenated me! There is light at the end of the tunnel! Just one more year of teaching to go!

Actually I quite like the teaching but it’s the previews that I hate. Lots of skeptics as there are heck a lot of other less credible players around. I don’t blame them but you only have to look at what we have built to judge us. Any other yardstick is pointless. This who can actually go and do it!

I am very happy when I received the emails from Roger and Andrew. They really made my day. Their emails reflected my objective, to share with those who want to make difference to their lives. I am proud to be your friend. I would like to have a pre-retirement party! Haha. I find any excuse to drink. I also would like to thank all my previous students who number over 5000.

If you would like to share my joy, I would like to invite you as well. The venue will be the restaurant in our premises at La Villa, my teat! The day will be announced later after consultation with my staff, I have not even told them about my decision yet! For those of you who are keen, pls let us know as the place can only accommodate 120 people. Priority will be given to my DED students whom I spent countless hours with.

I am preparing for business trip to Bangkok and after that, Ho Chi Minh City. I know, I know, yet another trip. My greatest fear is now going to airports.

Till the next blog, God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong
03/06/10

A Life Changing Decision!

I have decided that I need to move on. This is quite a momentous occasion for me. In the last few years, I am so happy to make quite a few friends and along the way, I have encountered unpleasant people but that is life. It can never be a bed of roses. But that is what makes life interesting as well. In the last 10 odd years, I have grown our real estate, education and other businesses into forces to be reckoned with. We have acquired land, buildings and our business plays are quite admired by our peers.

After contemplating for the last few days, I have decided to lessen my personal sharing with the general public and devote more time to the businesses I have acquired over the years. I will continue to teach at the current pace for one more year and after that, I will just share with our long term academic students. This will mean I have more time to do a lot more stuff, like actually settling down and getting married. LONG OVERDUE!

This is a difficult decision as I really enjoy meeting new people. However, I am too overwhelmed right now to be effective. On hindsight, This decision is long overdue. I will have a few more property courses and maybe, a couple more entrepreneurship programs. After that, I guess I will have less opportunity to make friends. A lot of my former students have turned into business partners. I hope to be able to use the remaining time to consolidate our friendships and do more with you this period of time. After all, this is what ERC has been set up for. I apologise if we can’t help everyone but we really tried!

Your Friend,

Andy Ong
03/06/10

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Passion is everything but maintaining it is tough!

I am on a plane writing this blog message after a tiring business trip. Sometimes, I really wonder what the heck am I doing working so hard when I can take life a little easier. This trip was a 3 city tour of duty again. I really wish ERC’s next generation of leaders can take a certain level of load off me.

It has been 6, 7 years since I decided to impart the knowledge bestowed on me by people far smarter than me. I have absorbed what they taught me and I am grateful as the knowledge has been life changing. Using that knowledge has enabled me to enrich and change my life. From starting businesses successfully to investing for maximum capital appreciation, I have benefitted tremendously.

Through the last few years, I have tried my darnest best to share and guide batches of people who want to make their lives a little better. My greatest pride is to see quite a few of you succeed. I have mentored quite a few millionaires and still counting. However, I feel tired and am starting to lose my voice. I have lost that edge and long term sharing has really taken its toll on me.

My priorities have changed now that our group of companies is no longer small. Revenue of companies of which I am Founder of is close to S$50 million in revenue and we now employ over 1100 employees. I feel I owe a duty of care to spend more time with them. Back to the days when I was a spring chicken, I can take the load but now, I am no longer happy as I am compromising with my quality of life .

I know that most of the blog entries that I write are quite upbeat but I do have my downtimes too. This is one of the few occasions, I just want to share with all my friends.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong
29/05/10

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don’t sweat the small things to make it in life.

I am in high spirits today! This is despite a cab driver scratching my Maserati, which was of course painful. I am think in life, we often lose focus of what is important. Sure I was very upset that my car was scratched, but what came after that made my day even more.

The first incident. I was thinking of Robin, one of my students from 3 maybe 4 years back. He emailed me to get together a couple of weeks ago but I was flying so much that I could not commit. I have a little time next week so I wanted to catch up with him. Immediately after I sent off the email, my PA gave me a package. It contained the latest issue of Prestige magazine where Robin was featured. It chronicles him as a young successful gentleman who has made his mark in the bath accessories industry at the tender age of 29.He was very kind to mention me as a source of inspiration.

The second incident. Immediately, after I received the package. Fu Chin emailed me back after a couple of email exchanges this morning. He finally sealed the deal for his first property. This was after a long search with a lot of guidance. I can understand that he must be feeling extremely delighted! His first property! He thanked me but really it is his hard work. The harder you work, the luckier you will get.

I am extremely pleased that I had played a small part in their lives. In fact, after this afternoon, I am a little more motivated to continue on my journey to enrich people’s lives. I cannot make everyone happy and shit occasionally happens, but guess what. You will appreciate the happy times if you have not been down and out before. So take heart and enjoy whatever life may throw at you. Don’t sweat the small things as they are the stuff that makes your success even sweeter.
Till next time, God bless!

Your Friend,

Andy Ong
12/05/10

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

To do or not to do!

It has been a series of firsts for me in the last few months. I recently became the Founder of a listed firm In Bangkok and bought my first building. All these events are unfolding hard and fast.

I have always wanted to share with everyone how a turnaround of a company is executed. I have turned around quite a few firms but I have never attempted a public company. It will be interesting to see how everything develops. Shun Thai is a rubber products maker with manufacturing capabilities in Rayong. With the further development of our commodities real estate arm, getting them back on track is a logical solution. However, if I were to totally turn it around, it will mean taking time off from the existing ERC Group which has been growing by leaps and bounds.

I have always loved challenges but now, this will be real interesting. I really want your opinion, should I or should I not? I need your advice now my friends. All of you have my email address. What I do will be very public because as a listed entity, my success or failure will not escape public eye. Quite scary, come to think of it.
So email me now and advise me my friends, till the next time, take care.

Your Friend

Andy Ong
03/05/10

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Chinese are coming! Buy!

When I write, I write! I’m back folks. Just back from my China trip and I’m so happy to have my bak chor mee again. I guess I am just a old fashioned Singapore boy.
It was such an arduous trip with many interesting events. Our friends in China had to prohibit my female colleagues from participating in a couple of events and all I can say is I am happy to get out intact.

The Chinese are so hungry and innovative, so much so that w better be on our guard. I had always to visit Wenzhou where some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs reside. Even the famed Shanghai businessmen have to take their hats off to them. They are fearless and their camaraderie spirit is amazing.

They had to fend for themselves as they found that the land they were living on infertile and they had to go forth and started their own businesses. Wenzhou streets are piled with Mercs, BMWs and Porsches while the rest of the Chinese cities, you will find more domestically made cars.

Why am I sharing all this with you? The Wenzhou real estate investors are the REAL trend setters in China. They pioneered real estate booms in quite of the Chinese cities, and some of these places are far bigger than Singapore. And guess what, with the recent Chinese government crack down, they are less bullish on the mainland real estate potential. Little wonder, given that Wenzhou real estate is almost the same price and if not more expensive than Singapore.

Guess what, my sources just told me that these folks are coming to Singapore for a site visit as they find Singapore real estate ridiculously cheap for an international level city. So the Singapore government may meet its match if they want to cool things now, if these guys really move in.

Just a tip for you. Till the next time, take care, my friends.

Your Friend

Andy Ong
30/04/10

Apologies for long delay!

Hi all, many apologies for not writing for so long as I have been buried with all the developments at hand. What have I been up to? I have finally completed the acquisition of the North Bridge Complex, started a new asset management company to manage the real estate assets under the group and I just became the Founder of a listed company, Shun Thai in Bangkok.

All these new developments in the last 4 plus months! In the meantime, the education side is preparing for the paradigm in the education sector in Singapore. I am doing all these under the ERC lines of business. So I really, really beg for your forgiveness that I have not up to date with my postings.

I am so glad that many of you would have profited from the property boom thus far. My calls that the market will be ok and for you to focus on landed property were all spot on. I certainly hope that we can ride such trends together.

I am now in China, after visiting Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Wenzhou, Xian and I am so glad to be back Singapore soon. Before leaving, I was a bit skeptical and worried that the Chinese government’s measures to cool mainland real estate will impact Singapore as Chinese buyers are a force to be reckoned with as they are quite aggressive buyers of properties in Singapore. Plus the whole Greek episode really got me thinking.

In my next posting, I will share what I discovered during this trip. Until then, take care and God Bless, my friends.

Best Regards

Andy Ong
29/04/10