Asia-Pacific Millionaires

Aunty Scroogey saw a news article today and thought that it will be worth sharing with you readers out there. Indeed, it’s an exciting time to be in Asia right now, and even more exciting to be in Singapore in the next 5 years or so.
This article is from Business Times dated 24 June 2010.
Asia-Pac millionaires’ millions surpass Europe’s
The heaviest concentration of wealth, however, is still in the US
By GENEVIEVE CUA
(SINGAPORE) Wealth among millionaires in the Asia-Pacific region has surpassed Europe for the first time, even as the number of millionaires hits parity with Europe.
The latest World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini found that the size of the Asia Pacific’s wealth pie expanded by 30 per cent to US$9.7 trillion. Europe’s wealth at US$9.5 trillion saw an expansion of 14.2 per cent.
The number of high net worth individuals hit three million in the Asia Pacific, equal to Europe’s number.
The largest concentration of wealth is still in the US with US$10.7 trillion in assets. The number of HNWI (high net worth individuals) in the US at 3.1 million is within touching distance of the Asia Pacific.
In a statement, Bertrand Lavayssiere, Capgemini’s global financial services managing director, said: ‘The last few years have been significant for wealthy investors. While in 2008 global HNWI wealth showed an unprecedented decline, a year later, we are already seeing distinct signs of recovery, and in some areas a complete return to pre-crisis levels of wealth and growth.’
The report said the Asia Pacific is set to be the ‘powerhouse of HWNI growth in coming years’, driven by India and China. Last year eight out of 10 countries with the highest growth in HNWI population were from the region, led by Hong Kong with a stunning growth of 104 per cent.
Singapore, also among the top 10, showed an expansion of 32.7 per cent in the ranks of HNWI to over 80,900.
The Boston Consulting Group’s recent wealth report named Singapore as the market with the highest growth in millionaire households. Based on BCG data, there were about 122,700 households with at least US$1 million in net investible assets, growing about 35 per cent last year.
Merrill Lynch and Capgemini noted that market capitalisation was a powerful driver of wealth in Hong Kong. Market cap surged 73.5 per cent in 2009, after plunging 50 per cent in 2008.
The territory’s market cap to GDP ratio is about 11 times, compared to the global average of 0.8 times. ‘That ratio makes Hong Kong particularly vulnerable to losses in wealth when the market declines as it did in 2008, but also produces outsized gains in wealth when stock prices rise.’
Singapore’s market cap to GDP ratio last year was about 1.75 times.
India, whose high net worth population grew 50 per cent in 2009, has a market cap to GDP ratio of two times.
In terms of asset allocation, the wealthy showed a preference for stability, reducing holdings in cash in favour of fixed income. Equities’ allocation rose from 25 per cent in 2008 to 29 per cent but still falls shy of the 2007 weighting of 33 per cent.
The wealthy in Asia Pacific ex-Japan showed a marked preference for real estate, as investments jumped 56 per cent in the second half of 2009 to US$25 billion.
By the year-end, the allocation to real estate stood at 28 per cent compared to 23 per cent previously.
The region’s wealthy also had the highest exposure to residential real estate at 60 per cent.
Meanwhile the study found that the wealthy’s investor psyche has shifted towards caution and conservatism. Clients are also more engaged in financial affairs, opting to educate themselves on products, disclosures and investment risks before conferring with advisers.
Capgemini director of financial services solutions Foong Lai Kiun said clients appeared to have regained trust in their advisers and wealth management firms to some degree, but they have yet to regain trust in regulatory bodies that were supposed to monitor markets.
A small number of firms are understood to be seeking to incorporate behavioural finance into their advisory process. But the challenge is to develop a model that is scalable and profitable.

Aunty Scroogey saw a news article today and thought that it will be worth sharing with you readers out there. Indeed, it’s an exciting time to be in Asia right now, and even more exciting to be in Singapore in the next 5 years or so.

This article is from Business Times dated 24 June 2010.

Asia-Pac millionaires’ millions surpass Europe’s

The heaviest concentration of wealth, however, is still in the US

By GENEVIEVE CUA

BT_IMAGES_MILLION24B

(SINGAPORE) Wealth among millionaires in the Asia-Pacific region has surpassed Europe for the first time, even as the number of millionaires hits parity with Europe.

The latest World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini found that the size of the Asia Pacific’s wealth pie expanded by 30 per cent to US$9.7 trillion. Europe’s wealth at US$9.5 trillion saw an expansion of 14.2 per cent.

The number of high net worth individuals hit three million in the Asia Pacific, equal to Europe’s number.

The largest concentration of wealth is still in the US with US$10.7 trillion in assets. The number of HNWI (high net worth individuals) in the US at 3.1 million is within touching distance of the Asia Pacific.

In a statement, Bertrand Lavayssiere, Capgemini’s global financial services managing director, said: ‘The last few years have been significant for wealthy investors. While in 2008 global HNWI wealth showed an unprecedented decline, a year later, we are already seeing distinct signs of recovery, and in some areas a complete return to pre-crisis levels of wealth and growth.’

The report said the Asia Pacific is set to be the ‘powerhouse of HWNI growth in coming years’, driven by India and China. Last year eight out of 10 countries with the highest growth in HNWI population were from the region, led by Hong Kong with a stunning growth of 104 per cent.

Singapore, also among the top 10, showed an expansion of 32.7 per cent in the ranks of HNWI to over 80,900.

The Boston Consulting Group’s recent wealth report named Singapore as the market with the highest growth in millionaire households. Based on BCG data, there were about 122,700 households with at least US$1 million in net investible assets, growing about 35 per cent last year.

Merrill Lynch and Capgemini noted that market capitalisation was a powerful driver of wealth in Hong Kong. Market cap surged 73.5 per cent in 2009, after plunging 50 per cent in 2008.

The territory’s market cap to GDP ratio is about 11 times, compared to the global average of 0.8 times. ‘That ratio makes Hong Kong particularly vulnerable to losses in wealth when the market declines as it did in 2008, but also produces outsized gains in wealth when stock prices rise.’

Singapore’s market cap to GDP ratio last year was about 1.75 times.

India, whose high net worth population grew 50 per cent in 2009, has a market cap to GDP ratio of two times.

In terms of asset allocation, the wealthy showed a preference for stability, reducing holdings in cash in favour of fixed income. Equities’ allocation rose from 25 per cent in 2008 to 29 per cent but still falls shy of the 2007 weighting of 33 per cent.

The wealthy in Asia Pacific ex-Japan showed a marked preference for real estate, as investments jumped 56 per cent in the second half of 2009 to US$25 billion.

By the year-end, the allocation to real estate stood at 28 per cent compared to 23 per cent previously.

The region’s wealthy also had the highest exposure to residential real estate at 60 per cent.

Meanwhile the study found that the wealthy’s investor psyche has shifted towards caution and conservatism. Clients are also more engaged in financial affairs, opting to educate themselves on products, disclosures and investment risks before conferring with advisers.

Capgemini director of financial services solutions Foong Lai Kiun said clients appeared to have regained trust in their advisers and wealth management firms to some degree, but they have yet to regain trust in regulatory bodies that were supposed to monitor markets.

A small number of firms are understood to be seeking to incorporate behavioural finance into their advisory process. But the challenge is to develop a model that is scalable and profitable.

Preparedness

养兵千日, 用兵一时

Apologies once again for not writing as frequent as I would like to. Aunty Scroogey has been busy doing deals over the past few weeks. You see, Aunty Scroogey just loooooves volatile markets and the uncertainties in the last few weeks has been the kind that she adores. A good financial education should prepare the investor to spot opportunities in the market that typical “investors” shun (as you progress more and more into your financial education, you will find that most of these so called investors are really more like punters/speculators). Talking about preparedness, the old Chinese saying at the start of this post roughly means “train an army for a thousand days, to use it for a moment”. In short, one must prepare extensively for THE moment.

Aunty Scroogey herself has taken advantage of good investment opportunities in the recent few years and has reaped pretty decent returns. If you think that The Aunty has been very lucky all these years for those profits she earned, how wrong could you be!!! All these do not fall from the sky and land accidentally onto my lap. The Aunty’s training begun circa two decades ago when she was about 16 years old – that’s when she first started reading accounting books on her own. The ability to read financial statements is a very useful skill that any investor worth his/her salt can’t do without. Of course, there are some out there who would rather not invest the tremendous amount of time required and rely on brokers’ recommendations; but Aunty Scroogey’s advice is that where possible, you really should be trusting your own judgement instead of others.

If you want your wealth to grow, and to last, you should put your hard earned money in the right places. If you commence your financial education today, I can guarantee that 5 years down the road, you will be more aware of your investment options and your risk preference and hence have a better idea of what to invest in. If you still have not started, then what are you waiting for?

In closing, here is a fantastic video presentation by one of the most respected persons in the financial world, Dr Marc Faber. I am about to watch this for the 3rd time now. Enjoy!

White Picket Fence


Photo courtesy of A Spoonful of Sugar

I finally understood why many women want the house with the white picket fence. It’s beyond cute, and the perfect symbol of a happy, contented family living in a suburban house filled with children’s running footsteps down the halls, dotting it with laughter.

This “house”, which is a neat little cafe tucked on Saiyuan near Rawai beach on Phuket had such a picket fence. Not that you can see any of its closed up photos here because the dork who is writing this was so mesmerized she forgot to take any photos of the actual white picket fence.

If you don’t ever want to read any of my post ever again, I would totally understand.

But I did take photos of what I actually really NEED in my future white-picket-fenced house. I want a patio like this, with a huge tree next to it, installed with a hammock next to the squirrel highway (you can’t see it here but those bottle brush tails were so utterly adorable I wanted to bring some home).

And old, white-washed wooden furniture like these, where many evenings would be spent over a pot of tea watching the sunset.

Where, most importantly, such creatures would be invited to stay as long as they fancy.

New Chapter

Hello, I’m back. Remember me? We used to see each other more often when you would read about my mundane stuff, and used it as an insomnia remedy, remember?

I didn’t AWOL for no apparent reasons. D-man and I moved into my folk’s 3 weeks ago and am a official parasite to them now. Yup, the progress we make in life is always surprising isn’t it. We then offload everything and went to Thailand for a 2 week rendezvous, where we sweated all of life’s toxins out at a Muay Thai camp and at the beach.

We went to Sinbi Muay Thai this year, and saying we loved it is quite understated. Sure, there were plenty of instructors there ready to whip our lazy arses but they were of the best breeds. There are many people who love their art, but these are the minority who live it. While it may sound very masochistic to say we looked forward to the grueling, painful and almost torturing trainings everyday, the trainers actually made it so. They were generous and patient in imparting their skills, yet able to drive us to the very extreme end of our physical and mental capabilities.

In other words we totally loved it.

Except the blue black eyes, bruised shin, broken ankles, battered thighs and intense body aches.


This is X, one of our trainers. He is hilarious.

And invincible.
This is D-man. He can be hilarious too.

And un-invincible.
These are the dudes from our our gym in Singapore.

They may be un-invincible or not un-invincible.
Are you confused? Good.

That’s a trademark fighter’s pose. But let me tell you a top secret of trade secrets of the toppest kind of secrets.
You can pose like that even if you’re not a fighter.

Just don’t tell others I told you so.

To be continued…