The other day I saw a beggar sitting on a five-foot-way in South Bridge Road. He had a tin and a card in front of him.
The card said:
"Greed is Bad".
Bad times are good times to invest imo.
These are the times when you see the mega rich enter the market for cheap sale blue chips. And at the worst of times, they will grab some nice property at dirt cheap price.
On the other hand, average joe will tighten his belt and hug his cash to sleep every night thinking he is extremely smart because 'cash is king'...
When outlook becomes good, Joe will use his hard earn money to buy at a rip off price from the mega rich thinking he should be able to make more money by selling it to another Joe
Banks take your deposit and use up all but a fraction of it.
And your money are used to make loans, to businesses, to other banks to cover for liquidity shortfalls, and to make their own investments themselves.
When business is bad, loans repayments get delayed/defaulted. Banks default too and investments fail.
So the money in the banks have today is certainly less than total deposits collected, just as your investments today is probably less than what you paid for it.
And although our fundamentals are purportedly sound, most of SG business is global. How much of bank loans and investments derive their value solely from the internal market? Relatively small I would think.
No one has said your deposits are 100% guarantee? Only the Irish have done so, I think.
But that is not the fundamental problem.
You may withdraw all your money and hide them under your bed. And everyone may do so, and then we have the classic run on banks phenomenon which was an iconic sight in the 1929 Great Depression.
But today most of us have our money tied up somewhere, particularly in lost making investments, and it is likely you wake always poorer than you last went to sleep.
(So local banks may survive a run; and some money printing, as long as its secret, may help.)
And also whatever you have, may buy you less and less, ie inflation. The electricity hike is only the start of an inflation spiral. All businesses use electricity and so their costs will go up and thus prices will go up too.
(And I still cannot understand why the hike when oil is dropping. And so I think there is more than meets the eye, or ear.)
And jobs may be lost as businesses slow down or collapse.
We have here the accelerator effect in reverse.
When will this end?
Is there something you can do about it?
Is there a position you can take now which will profit you in the future?
If the President of the sole superpower in the world can't save his own economy, who else can do anything? If he has to make robbing his citizens' money legal - but at least he is open about it - to prop the financial institutions, and still the beast of the market is not satisfied, what else can he do?
I don't have any answers to my own questions.
Some of you may not like even to think about such questions, as they are so negative and depressing. But to me they are real and you ought not to run away from reality.
But if a positive is what you want, then what I can ask is: what can we learn from this moment?
And I disagree the lesson is greed. Greed is what Adam Smith is all about. And in any case a real lesson is something you can work with, and do something about, and not something that is hindsight, of the past, and irrelevant to what you do next.
1. Recession has not shown its ugly face. At least, not officially in economic figures.
2. But it's looking really really bad.
3. If you are still employed, then the main thing is to save $$ and also to remember that there's a great chance to buy stocks on the cheap. Prices are not driven by fundamentals now, but by fear, so you'll find many blue chips at bargain basement prices.
Of course, you take the risk that some of them could collapse, but if the companies survive, there's a good chance you'll double or triple your investments.
4. If you're not employed, then survival is the key. Finding jobs will not be easy in this climate.
In Singapore, the SDIC provides insurance for deposits with member banks and finance companies. All of your eligibal accounts with each member bank/company is aggregrated and you are insured upto a max. S$20,000 for each member. So to get the full 200K covered, you would need to have 20K deposited in 10 different banks/companies and not just 10 different accounts.