Monday, October 15, 2012

Bugis Cube totally SOLD OUT!

Hi Guys, I’m quite happy that the last unit of Bugis Cube was sold last week. We conceptualized Bugis Cube to be an interesting project, given the very excellent location. The project was extremely well received but as usual, clearing off the last unit of any project is always tough. Many thanks to all our partners who made this project such a tremendous success!

Your friend,
Andy Ong

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cooling measures as predicted, what ahead?

The government acted a few days ago to further dampen the property market. By making it difficult for people to take up longer loan tenures, they hope to dampen demand. With the US making additional US$40 billion available every month, and definitely some of that money will flow in to Asia, asset inflation is almost certain. I am of the opinion that the latest measures will have very limited impact given the environment we are. We will need more targeted measures focused at the heart of the problem. I know of buyers who are actually panicking right now, and are frantically looking at any available opportunity. However, they are always worried about timing.

For those of you like Meng Gee who are able to nab assets before financing becomes more difficult, congrats to you. He was very nice to send me a message on my Facebook thanking me. It has been a very fulfilling journey sharing with so many people a very different perspective to property investment. The feeling of seeing so many of you making money from your property acquisitions is actually quite indescribable.

The future is rather interesting. The market is looking very firm. With so much cash flowing this way, everybody has problems parking their money. The property market will prove to be resilient, and the low interest rate environment may boost it further. International money is still coming in and they are in deposits waiting for a longer term home. Quite a few of our neighbours’ money have been flowing in as well. For example, Indonesian money have been flowing this way and they are trying to enhance yields beyond the miserable point something percent offered by Singapore Dollar deposits. The Indonesians are very skeptical of political changes and the next election will be interesting to note. I will be going there tomorrow to take a look and to say hi to our business partners over there. I will update you further when I am back.

The enbloc fever is starting to stir again as developers are replenishing their land bank and paying up to do that. For those of you who have been snapping up enbloc properties as suggested, good news for you. However, look at quality sites that make sense. You might want to look at the Arcade, as there are rumors that they are going enbloc and just a few signatures away from the 80% mark. You know what to do.

I am busy working on potential long term acquisitions. I am looking at not only local but overseas opportunities interestingly; quite a few of you have been tracking my movement. I will be making my next briefing and share my views with you on the 19th of November. My guys have worked very hard to secure a venue. The maximum capacity is 500 and I convey my apologies to those who cannot get seats in advance.

Please respond to my guys once you get the invite.

See you and till then, God Bless!

Your friend,
Andy Ong

Monday, October 8, 2012

Don’t look towards the past! Innovate!

My hair stylist and in fact many of my students have asked me what their kids should study in order to thrive in our hyper-competitive country. I am sincerely worried as I look at what we are force-feeding our kids. Even bright kids who are doing well are being sent to very expensive tuition centre. These new styled centre are making a killing in this environment. I am sad as our best and brightest are taking the path well-traveled and going for cushy jobs instead of taking on the world. They are not living their dreams but selling their time to some MNCs.

Many new graduates are trying their luck in the financial services sector as they pay the best. I really think they are being very short-sighted though I do not blame them. My issue is they all want to make managing wealth that are created by someone else. With no new supply of wealth creators the question is then who creating the wealth for them to manage? If our best and brightest is being channeled into a sector that don’t create value, then I am very very worried.

My answer to all these parents is very simple, look at the future far far ahead and send your kids into careers that nobody wants to go into. If the supply of new talent is limited, the financial packages of the few talents will be naturally bided up. The starting pay of a mining US university graduate is now higher than their counterparts from Harvard! Non-replenishable commodities seem to be the play now but on reflection, all of us should have seen it coming given the growth of the BRIC economies and other emerging markets. Even then, what is relevant now will be obsolete in the future. Look towards creating careers out of future industries.

It is time to wake up and I totally agree with Mr Ngiam Tong Dow’s perspective. We should encourage taking on interests and developing them into all round individuals and stopping churning out students according to the flavor of the economic cycle. Instead of encouraging them to take on cushy careers, give them leeway to take the road less traveled.

God bless and take good care till my next entry.

Your friend,
Andy Ong

Friday, October 5, 2012

Look towards the future!

We are in an interesting situation. All the headline economic numbers indicate the economy is taking a dive but property prices are not just holding up and instead heading towards record prices. The ample liquidity and low interest rate environment are big support factors. The fact is that the demand is quite genuine and this so called the investment can hardly be regarded as speculative.

The government’s cooling measures would have removed any froth as buyers can secure limited financing for investment properties. This compared to the go fays on the mid 1990s when banks went crazy and offered up to 110% financing (factoring in renovation packages). The latest population numbers shows that our population has gone up again to 5.3 million. Money is flowing in from the Western countries as well as our neighbours even with our low interest rates. All these factors are underpinning prices.

I am as wary as you when it comes to prices falling. I am not your typical raging bull. The fact is that people have nowhere to park their money. I have already received so many emails from cash rich students on where to park their money. They simply cannot find anything of value. The recent launch of Kovan Regency has surprised even the developers themselves. Over a thousand buyers for the 300 plus units triggered a balloting process. If I am the government, I will be looking at doing something now, more cooling measures may be forthcoming. With so many mass market homes ready in a couple of year’s time, too many are joining in and they may well be disappointed then.

I was looking to acquiring a piece of land in that region but I have backed off after crunching the numbers. They simply do not make sense to me. The recent QE3 has many more individuals joining the market as I predicted but I hope they do research on what they are buying. Eventually sense will prevail, and I sincerely hope they will be happy with their acquisitions.

Till my next blog, all the best and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Prime New York apartments are now cheaper than Singapore’s new mass markets homes…

Hi Guys! I just left New York City and went to look at a few sites and guess what, prime NYC apartments overlooking Central Park is now going for less than our mass market condominiums. The economic slowdown has badly impacted the US and we are just starting to see signs of recovery even though growth is now very unevenly spread out. Prices of food and other essentials were surprisingly cost effective; I suspect the strong Singapore helped my buying power. Well, Singaporeans should enjoy it while the going is good.

Remember what goes up must come down and vice versa.

I had a great dinner with Jackson, my university canoeing mate who also attended my property program. We were trying to schedule a time to organize his portfolio and we were both so busy that we had to do it in New York. He made me realize that a lot of Singaporeans are investing in property with no proper strategy. It is very scary given the high price of real estate in Singapore. Many Singaporeans have no issues making money off their careers but when it comes to putting a well thought out portfolio together, they have no idea. It will be disastrous for anyone to depend on lady luck alone.

I have always taken it for granted the training that I have received in the past. My financial trainings and also being coached by very smart people, is certainly a blessing. I really feel that I have made a difference through the various forms of sharing with all the participants of my programs. Anyway, we had a good Italian dinner before we both departed the next day. Ah… Stories of our lives.

Quite a few of you asked me which asset classes will benefit from the money printing measures initiated by Ben Bernanke. You just have to put yourself into the shoes if you are a foreigner with tons of money. I will certainly invest in properties with minimal stamp duties or asset classes which offer value. I will try to elaborate at our next gathering. It is very difficult to organize as Suntec City closed for renovations and all the big venues have been taken up. Please do not ask me to write what I discuss with you in the forum as I do not want to write extremely long essays! The venue will be confirmed soon and I will see you there.

I am at the lounge waiting for my flight writing this entry; as usual life is quite hectic. This has been a very good trip as the meetings I had went well in general. At the very least, the pain I am about to suffer for the next few days to overcome jet lag will be quite worth it.

All the best and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Perfect Storm and More Cooling Measures…

I just finished teaching my latest property class and even though it is very satisfying, I am quite tired. I shared with my class my latest perspectives. It has been a long time since my visibility has been so clear. I have emphasized many times over that the property prices in Singapore is liquidity driven. With Ben Bernanke pledging to keep interest rates low till 2015 and introducing QE 3. The advanced countries are all trying to print money to get out of their current economic glut. Hey you cannot blame the guy; Romney said he will get Bernanke out if he becomes president. As late as the measures might be, it is better than never.

I will be very surprised if property prices dip in the light of this development. I am now anticipating a 10 increase by end of year and another 15 to 20% increase for certain asset classes. My previous predictions have had rock solid returns for you guys so you might want to act and not miss out. The early bird catches the worm!

Why the optimism? I was initially hesitant as our economic numbers have not been rosy. However beyond the money tsunami, China, Indonesia and Malaysia are all experiencing political changes within their own countries. China will be witnessing a changing of the guard. Indonesia and Malaysia will have messy elections. Over 100 political parties are vying for seats in Indonesia! And UMNO will be witnessing its toughest challenge since its foundation. Quite a few of their citizens will be making alternative plans just in case. These countries’ citizens are amongst the largest groups of investors in Singapore. Their enhanced presence will certainly make an impact on prices very soon.

Witness the $1million HDB flats. Not one but several of these transactions have made deadlines. It seems that many smart people have made moves. It seems that the latest QE has already caught Asian government’s attention. Hong Kong has announced more cooling measures and you can look forward to Singapore introducing more as well. Don’t say I did not warn you in advance!

Today is a special day as I am officially taking over the House of Tan Yeok Nee. The property was featured in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago and quite a few of my friends were surprised how lovely the property is from the inside. I am looking forward as it was a childhood dream to own this site as I cut my hair at nearby Park Mall when I was a kid. Dreams can come true after all. I am just blessed that I have the opportunity to realize mine.

I will be leaving for the US soon… sighs. I hate the jet lag but I have no choice and work calls for it. I am not looking forward to the 20 hours flight. But what has to be done has to be done. I am looking forward to meeting Jackson, my old uni mate to discuss his portfolio. It is not everyday that you get to meet friends in foreign land as far away as the US.

Till the next entry, all the best and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New found optimism… iPhone 5 anyone?

I just came back from Bangkok where I was reviewing and structuring a few deals. Singaporeans do not appreciate the business friendly operating environment we are in. It is true that the GLCs have taken a large chunk of the viable businesses out there but Singapore is actually quite a suitable base to tap regional opportunities. Now that ASEAN is in the limelight, I would say that its now or never. The opening of Myanmar do present potential but I have seen asset prices ballooning there in the matter of weeks and the euphoria has gotten ahead of itself.

The world is short of investment opportunities. Now that Draghi has arm-twisted Germany into paying for the rest of Europe’s sins. Things suddenly look a lot better. Bernanke may be forced to do a QE soon. Guess what, I think he will do a super QE this time around as this is literally make or break. He will have to time this very well as it is his last bullet. Remember all the action heroes in the movies? The main actor will always have a last shot to kill the big bad villain. This is the movies in real life action. However, I cannot imagine the consequences. I will explain myself in my next entry.

I bumped into a few of my old students at a bar last night. They were amongst my first few students that I taught entrepreneurship. They were very proud that all of them started out on their own and have never looked back. I’m proud of them and hope to be meeting them soon.

I love my job and it’s not just the tangibles and the money but the impact we have made on people’s lives. We believe helping people maximizing their potential in life and make dollars along the way. We also believe that one needs to invest very wisely in order to build on their career success. I am very glad that to have made a little contribution along the way to guide my students towards career success.

I have switched nearly all my devices to Samsung in the last couple of years. I am actually looking forward to the new iPhone’s launch today. I hope they do not disappoint.

Till the next update, take care and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back from heat and cold again…to face a bad Apple

Hi guys… I’m just back from Europe and just experienced the most extreme of weather changes. The cold in UK was chilling after the Olympics and then the 40 degree Celsius heat wave in France was a testing experience. That is why I have been so quiet of late.

When I was in London, I chanced upon Creative Technologies products in Curry’s shelves. It got me thinking. It was then when it was announced that Apple won the lawsuit against Samsung. It won over US$1 billion which can be increased by the judge later.

Whilst I am not for Samsung, I am not happy with the conduct of Apple too. Apple ripped off Creative technologies when it went into the iPod business. Mr Sim Wong Hoo tried hitting back and obtained some compensation but Creative never found its footing since. You want to talk about respecting creativity and designs, Apple certainly does not have that great a track record. My heart goes out to Mr Sim who tried so hard to build one of the awesome Singapore companies which tried to make an impact.

I am in the midst of finalizing our hotel development and I am so happy that everything looks quite pretty now as we have transformed the whole building into an amazing piece of work. We are still quite a few months away from actual operations and I am looking forward to it. The people from one of the leading property firms swung by to take a look and they were quite intrigued by the concept. I hope to introduce a whole new hospitality concept to Singapore and pray that we are mature enough to accept new stuff.

Till the next update, take care and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

All eyes on the world’s Central Banks…

The euphoria is back after the scare. Europe’s woes seem to have obliterated from memories, as the world’s stock markets have bounced from high to high. The Singapore STI have crossed the 3000 mark and seem to been holding there. All this overwhelming optimism is coming in the midst of economic numbers that are less than encouraging.


This Thursday sees the meeting of nearly all the world’s monetary authorities. The financial markets expects economic boosters and any inaction will see selloffs. I worry if they decide to inject more money into the international money markets. As it is, the cheap money has flowed into selected markets like Singapore’s real estate sector. This has caused asset prices to go up.

If they do decide, expect another round of price increases. We already can see more money coming into Singapore as the local dollar has creeped up from the 1.28 mark to the current 1.24 level in the space of less than a month. More money is already flowing into our shores looking for homes. So far, a lot of it has been parked in deposits but if they decide to make a move well, another round if asset inflation can be expected. On the local front, many investors are trying to deploy their funds as well in search of better yields.

All these factors are brewing up the perfect storm. Some will be winners and some will be losers. I hope all of you make the right decisions. I have already committed to my next class thus I cannot cancel as quite a few people might be disappointed. It is scheduled from the 14 to the 16 of September, hope to see you there. I chose not to cancel this class I had emails like the below to encourage me. People like Clarence is the reason why I’m still sharing and I know I can make a difference.

“I am Clarence Long and I had attended your recent Property Investment Course last week (29th June). Thank you for the informative and intensive property investment course that you had prepared.

To be honest, I was having second thoughts of joining your course as it costed me most of my savings (I had just graduated from Poly). However after attending it, I knew that I will never regret spending on it.

Since young, I always have the goal in mind to be an entrepreneurial in two major sectors (F&B and Hotel) and a property investor- also hoping to be a developer. From the course, apart from gaining a wealth of knowledge on property investment, I understood more about your hardship and entrepreneurial career path. You are truly an inspiration to me, from chopping vegetables at the restaurant to pay your fees to becoming a successfu l person at a young age. The hard work put into achieving your current portfolio truly amazed me and I look forward to the day that I can be just like you.”

Till the next update, take care and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Change of Heart…

Hi folks, I hope all has been great with you. Well, I’m not feeling too well. I had earlier decided to teach a few more classes, but I’m having second thoughts. I have been teaching more as a hobby rather than to make a living. I have been very blessed to have a great career and my portfolio of property investments have done well. I love running my companies and the classes well, I do enjoy them but they are very extremely taxing.

Our education system has been training managers but not innovators. I have been trying my best to share with my students the many lessons very successful people have imparted to me. In essence, I’m trying to impart the real secret ingredients to financial success. I do pity our young especially those from the less privileged strata of society. Just think, a fresh graduate who aspires to own a car needs to work for 2 to 3 years just to pay off the COE costs let alone pay for the car itself. Well the good life is getting even more elusive in Singapore.

I have been sharing a little of myself but I’m tired. Recently, a friend told me about Mr Dennis Ng who has devoted himself to teaching financial freedom passed away after a seminar. I was very shocked as he was a nice guy from what I hear from the market. I just thought about him a couple of weeks ago.

Life is short and I need to be doing a few more things so I have to pass this burden to someone else, However, there are so many less than credible people who might be sharing nonsense that I’m worried. I cannot be responsible for everyone so I have to put my foot down. I have been honoured to share my experiences with many of you but I’m taking it easy from now onwards.

Till the next update, take care and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Winds of Change…

What a month!

Just a month ago, we were worried about the European Crisis. Well, memories are short and guess what, we are in the middle of a bull run again. The Straits Times Index has crossed the 3000 mark and there is an air of cautious optimism. The ASEAN region is in play and international funds are looking at this region with new perspectives. For those of you who bought over the last couple of months, what I advised you to buy has gone up. Kudos to you, the people with the courage to make a move. I bumped to Daren this afternoon and he thanked me for highlighting value buys in this climate. I am certainly encouraged by his sincere thanks.

Developers seem to be launching new projects at a fast and furious pace. The number of residential launches is rather amazing, all you have to do is look at Saturday’s newspapers and you will be overwhelmed. The number of mass market units launched has reached a stampede level. All these developments have me worried. With record low interest rates, a new class of buyers has emerged. They are the group who can afford the lower monthly payments due the low interest rates. However, should interest rate move north, they will certainly be in trouble. I am worried even though I do not foresee a downturn in prices as I don’t see a bubble forming. However, I will not be rushing to buy a mass market condominium any time soon.

I had received many congratulatory messages from people in the real estate industry. They like our real estate investment strategies and I am sincerely flattered. These industry veterans have validated us and I am encouraged to share more. For this reason, I have consented to teach a few more classes to share with you how we invest in real estate. Tiring as it may be, I hope I am able to share such knowledge. More details will be revealed soon.

Till the next update, take care and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bugis Cube created wealth!

Simply amazing! 

The Bugis Cube concept we introduced is quite interesting. Since we launched the first units over 3 weeks ago, the first buyers actually fliiped quite a few of the units and I found out today that some sub sales have transacted for up to $130 to 140 thousand premium!

Kudos to buyers who managed to get units as they laughing all the way to the bank. Commercial property prices have moved since then as quite a number of developers are upping their prices therefore creating an overall upward trend in prices of commercial property.

Developers are factoring commercial property prices at $4000 to $4500psf when determining how much to bid for land in new government land sales auctions. The bulk of our units have been sold and we have passed the 90 percent mark in sales. Some of the units are actually very good units and I am considering increasing the prices these units along with the market.

I highly recommended investors to go into the commercial property a couple of years ago and those who listened have profited. Even those who invested into my second pick of industrial property have seen very good returns as well. I have shared with my students the importance of trend analysis. Picking out the right trends can determine whether your success. There is a queue of participants for my property course and my guys are pushing me to teach a few more courses....

I am taking my time to decide; the only factor that I’m considering is that many property investors are still investing recklessly.

I hope to be able to share our style of prudent investing with all of you. If any of you can suggest how I can achieve that without me personally teaching, I will be very grateful.

The recent easing of the tension of the European economy has put many people’s minds at ease. The stock markets have already recovered to pre-crisis level. There is increasing confidence with international investors. The Chinese government has also cut rates and seems to be softening on their stance on property developers. All these factors have created comfort amongst investors. What can I say? People tend to have short memories.

I was in conversation with one of the property consultancy firm’s top guys today. He is seeing money that was bypassing Singapore and going to Australia to find deals actually coming back to Singapore. This is because the withholding tax situation down under is discouraging this money. We might see another round of price hikes in property prices over the next few months.

Till the next update, take care and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bugis Cube creates the BC effect…

Hi guys and gals, I’m writing on the plane coming back from Bangkok and before that, I was in Seoul. It has been a very hectic weekend as I left Singapore on Saturday night after the first day of the launch of Bugis Cube. The concept is a hit with 85% of the project taken up just over the weekend.

The person in charge of marketing the project from Knight Frank was also an old friend, Mary, who sold me my first individual shop house. That was my beginning and I gave the project to them as a thank you. They did a great job and Mary anticipates a “Bugis Cube” effect on the rest of the commercial sector in Singapore.

There is no equivalent of such space in Singapore. 999 year tenure, strata- titled commercial space, that is retail oriented, and right smack in the heart of town. BC has all the essential ingredients for success. If you look at the prices paid for 99- year space outside town, well I like the location and concept much better, enough said. I can’t wait for the building to be completed as I want to build a school that will be the envy of town.

It was a busy start to the week as I had to settle our Seoul project and resolve all the transition issues which arose because our Thai GM passed away(May the Lord have mercy on his soul). Sad times but life still goes on.

We need to celebrate life and the only way is to look forward and charge with all gusto. However,we also need to smell the roses, which is why I will want to take a long break after my last property class this weekend. It is very tiring to be executing the various projects we have but I do thank God for the opportunity to do work I can only dream about when I was a kid. Irony isn’t it, but I have learnt that everything comes at a price.

I bumped into my university mate on the flight back. We were competitors in canoeing, dragon boat and canoe polo games both at the faculty and hall level. Meeting him sure brings back memories. Those were extremely great memories, to be precise. He just spurred me to back to school again. All of us need new phases of life and the essence is to make peace and create happiness on your own terms.

Till the next update, take care and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The New Bugis Cube is Born…

The New Bugis Cube is the result of months of strategizing to enhance the value of our real estate. We consider this to be gem as the building is in an amazing location, 999 year leasehold, near 5 MRT stations within a 10 minute walking radius. We are building an Education mall focused on the young. We are expecting F&B and electronics to be the main tenants and we hope to create a very lively concept.
Knight Frank is the appointed agent and the response has been absolutely amazing. We feel so blessed to be able to have the opportunity to execute such an interesting project.

Till the next update, take care and God Bless

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

My latest Acquisition and my Proudest too….

Hi Guys, it has been a while. :)

I have been keeping quiet until I exercised my option to my latest acquisition. This is my dream property and I started work on this 15 months ago. The House of Tan Yeok Nee is a national monument and it is the only Teochew style courtyard mansion in South East Asia.

Mr Tan Yeok Nee is a business legend who came to Nanyang to escape poverty in Chaozhou, China. He amassed a great fortune from business in Singapore and Johore. He is what we call the ultimate entrepreneur of his time. The House was painstakingly built by him and is the only surviving member of the “Four Great Mansions” from that period.

Here is how Wikipedia describes it:
“The House of Tan Yeok Nee occupies approximately 2,000 square metres of elevated land along Clemenceau Avenue. The mansion has been carefully restored with great sensitivity to ensure that the original architecture and character of the house is kept intact. The walls, tiles, roof, pillars, carvings and pottery were restored to their original state of a century ago through painstaking research. 
However, contemporary facilities and equipment have also been incorporated to adapt the building for modern day usage. With the wide array of beautifully restored traditional Chinese decorative elements and the convenience of present day state-of-the-art technology around the house, this combination of 'old' and 'new' provides a unique environment rich in history and culture. 
The front and back portions of the house face east and west. Pillars on the front door are made of marble with colourful carvings of stories reflecting the lives of Tan Yeok Nee’s ancestors in Chaozhou. The back of the house has a distinctive style exhibited by beams with special Teochew tiles, a main pillar decorated with gold-plated carvings, and a marble floor. Exquisite, colourful tiles reflect Chinese people characters and animals. 
The House of Tan Yeok Nee is typical of Teochew-style residential buildings. The structure exhibits the harmony of Yin and Yang, shown at the top of the ceiling in gold, wood, water, fire, and earth – the five elements. Armed with traditional philosophical ideas, the designer coordinated the entire building’s design to reflect the balance and harmony represented by the five elements. This unique design not only enriches the artistic value of the walls, but also represents the unity of prosperity, intelligence, longevity, health and happiness.”

I am half-Teochew, from my mother’s side. I identified and fell in love the moment I stepped into the mansion. Given that it was gazetted as a national monument and there are very few of such buildings in private hands, I consider myself to be so blessed to be given such an opportunity. The Business Times reported the acquisitions before I can notify you, the reporter was very good!

I have been looking for a suitable building to house our entrepreneurship education and I believe there is no better place in Singapore. And the best part is, it is a price that I can afford. I consider this to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and if money was the issue, then it will be a regret of a lifetime. I attach some photos for your viewing pleasure.

Front Entrance

Like the courtyard

Lecture Theatre 

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Friday, June 1, 2012

Market turmoil! Seize the Day!

The Greeks are finally realizing that there is no such thing as a free lunch. After indulging in years of tax evasion as a national sport, they finally realize that their economy is based on a stack of cards. They tried living in denial by electing to believe in the Syriza party, which promises to revive the good old days. Having their cake and eating it too is unpalatable to the rest of Europe.

If Greece can get away with it, that is remain in Europe and get access to bailout money whilst reneging on its austerity measures. Imagine the impact when Spain, Italy and Portugal demand the same treatment. Angela Merkel will only allow that over her dead body. The European slowdown has impacted the world no doubt. Even mighty China is reeling from lower industrial growth. They of course have their own set of problems too.

However, I am of the opinion that this crisis like all others will resolve itself eventually. The Greeks are no fools and the Europeans will find ways to manage the contagion effects. The window may be shorter than you think. I evaluated the European real estate market last December. Some of you were so shrewd to have figured that out. I decided it was not time yet. However, some of the European funds may be forced to sell some of performing assets so watch out for bargains.

I certainly am. :)

Your Investment Friend,
Andy Ong

Life Is Short…Maximise It!

It has been truly an emotional week. A week filled with such intense mixed emotions that it is truly undescribeable. I nearly broke into tears when I found out that my Thailand GM passed away. He was my junior, in fact, he was my brother’s school mate. I first met him when he attended my entrepreneurship class. He was full of hope for his business venture in Thailand but his partner turned out to be a con woman.

I bailed him out through a series of investments. He in turn assisted when I ventured into Thailand. His departure was all the more emotionally straining as he was full of life before his sudden passing. He had just married his sweet heart in March after a long courtship. May the Lord have mercy on his soul.

What happened really made me look at life a little more carefully. Life is not just about making money. We really need to treasure the people who loves you. I need to thank all my friends and family who have loved me through the years. I have been blessed by God even though I am unworthy.

I will be reflecting upon life and really live life to the fullest everyday as if its my last day. I do apologise if I have offended anyone in the past. I have been brash, I suppose that comes with youth. What’s done cannot be undone, at least we are alive to look towards the future.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Europeans are at it….. AGAIN!

Just when all of us thought we can have a period of peace, the latest Greek elections have thrown the gates to chaos wide open. The austerity measures advocated by the Germans have caused Sarkozy his job and for the ordinary Greeks quite a bit of pain. I see only economic pain in the Euro zone for sometime to come. Some of you asked me why I have not made my move in Europe, well this is why. The downturn in continental Europe will be there for some time to come.

What impact does the European mess has our real estate? Well I definitely see more money coming our way. The 75% percent taxes proposed by Hollande is scaring entrepreneurs and the old money towards London and Asia. I see Singapore as a key beneficiary. There is an emerging anti-rich sentiment in Europe and the wealthy are scared. They have good reason to be but what is Europe’s loss will be our gain. On the other hand, weak global growth is also a concern as Singapore is such an open economy, vulnerable to global trends.

Look towards our exchange rates for guidance. If the Singapore Dollar strengthen drastically, be ready for another wave of property price increases especially in the commercial sector.

In the meantime, God Bless and all the best.

Your Friend,

Andy Ong

So much has happened over last few weeks!

Hi Guys! My sincerest apologies for the lack of updates over the last few weeks ever since Asian Titan Trends. I have been absolutely hammered! My schedule has been so totally packed from dawn to dusk. I’m so glad to have my generals assisting me on a day to day basis.

I’m trying to revamp our education offering amidst our jealous competitors questioning our value proposition. I’m trying to get our new hotel brand online and that is an absolute challenge! I am in the midst of arranging our Thai IPO. I’m looking at several property deals and I’m trying to keep my personal life in order with all the mess that’s happening as well. Arghh!!!! Absolutely challenging but interesting as well.

The Sunday Times did a feature on me and the reporter is absolutely first class. He coaxed me into telling things that are extremely personal. After the article was out, I had a lot of you giving me encouragement which was very nice. Not everything can be measured in dollars and cents and having good friends is far more important than making that extra buck. The regards I received from all friends were absolutely priceless. The article also made me reflect on life and how temporal everything is. We need to count our blessings in the form of relationships and not worldly belongings!

I will chat a little more with you regards the real estate market in the next couple of days.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Trends have been right…Don’t lose out!

It been a couple of weeks since I last saw you and it was very, very good to see all of you again. To see the ballroom at Suntec City all filled up feels great and I feel so blessed to have all of you as friends. It seems that you have woken up and I feel glad to share my investment perspectives with you.

Here are some photos of the event that day before I go on with my post!

Quite a few of you could not make the event and have asked me to summarise what I said in an email. The reason why I invited you to the event is because I did not want to write long investment reports. I really hope that you can make the event next time as we spend a lot of money time and resources to do what we do.

Anyway, I shared with everyone what I thought will impact the property market and quite a few of you were quite amazed with my analysis. I believe what I observe and will put my money where my mouth is. There is so much liquidity in the market that its amazing. The Greek situation is inconsequential as they are irrelevant to the international scene. This is a rather cruel observation but think of when was the last time you actually used a Greek product? Exactly my point. So what is the fuss about?

They endanger the whole European banking system. The monetary czars have ring fenced the problem by giving the banks LTRO(cheap loans) to the tune of 1 trillion Euros. This is effectively giving liquidity. The Americans are still on QE mode. The Chinese political situation means that they will have to support the economy as the current leadership serves out their last year in power. Add the fact that this is an US election year and what do you have? The international economies simply cannot tank as too much is at stake.

With the international element removed, our real estate pricing rests solely on the shoulders of the Singapore government. They will not want to let prices sink as it certainly will not win them votes. All they have to do is to remove the cooling measures in stages. However, don’t bet on them letting prices go haywire, they do not want bubbles which makes good sense.

The problem we have is all this money and cheap financing but no where to place our money. A real interesting situation. I will keep you posted on where I think will make money. I leave you with photos we took at the event.

God Bless and all the best!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ah Choo…! Caught a cold! So did the Europeans…

Hi guys, I just got back from Seoul and I’m suffering right now. My throat is sore, my head is aching and I feel like shit. I suppose its part of my job’s many potential hazards. Catching colds, dry skin from the constant different weathers and all makes life all that more interesting. I have been going to Seoul often that my body is starting to complain about the abuse.

The world caught a cold from Greece’s excesses last year. The years of Greeks making a national sport of tax avoidance meant years of deficits and eventually the country has to pay. With the European banks effectively getting bailouts from their governments, the stock markets rallied and guess what! 

We are in the middle of a bull run in case you have not noticed. Asia seems hardly affected by the rest of the world events.

Singapore’s real estate sector seems highly resilient after that the most draconian cooling property measures in the world were imposed on this little island state. I am not that surprised as years of under-building, population boom and low interest rates have all conspired to support prices. This has stumped many junior analysts who have missed the point.

However, what goes up will come down once the dust settles. It is rather interesting times and for those of you who are praying for a crash, I hope you can forgive me if I am dashing your hopes as I simply don’t see it coming. I will reveal more at Asian Titan Trends. See you there. Out of the 500 seats, 400+ are already gone. So make hay while the sun shines!

God Bless and all the best! See you soon.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Buyers vs Sellers Standoff!

Hi Guys! Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!

I have done so many countries in the last month that I lost count. I just got back from Seoul, its negative 11 degree Celsius over there but work comes first. The year is evolving and is becoming more interesting on the property front. Even as the European situation and the latest round of government cooling measures have dampened the mood a bit, property buyers are keeping up the tempo. The Waterfront in Seng Kang shows that demand is still there.

In my previous entries, I have shared with you that I do not share the same level of pessimism as the analysts out there when the government introduced the most drastic measures to curb property prices and I have been spot on. The analyst who predicted a 30% fall must be feeling a little sore right now. Its true that market activity has fallen but prices have scarcely faltered. On the contrary, commercial property has rode from one crest to another. This is simply music to my ears as the bulk of my money is there now.

What of the future? The key to watch is the interest rate environment, we are in a prolonged period of negative real interest rates. Inflation is stubbornly high and Uncle Sam has committed to lower interest rates till 2014. Ben Bernanke is a smart cookie by laying the foundation of a stable predictable financial environment to encourage businesses to invest and promote economic growth. As long as rates remain low, real estate holders have no incentive to divest.

However, don’t expect to reap big returns as prices will be limited by possibility of more cooling measures. It’s a true test of wills here. However, with limited investment options by the general population, liquidity and funds must invest somewhere. In the absence of other options, its still going into real estate.

I will be sharing more with you at my Asian Titan Trends event. This year, the event will be held at Suntec City on the 3rd of March. I will be sharing with you my perspectives of the current investment climate and which sector offers opportunities. The biggest venue we can secure is a 500-seater hall so only the first 500 who register can enter. Entrance is complimentary for students but please do not waste seats. We are contemplating banning people who register but do not turn up. So register quickly.

It’s the year of the Water Dragon and let’s not let this mythical creature temper our enthusiasm.
Let’s HUAT AH!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong