I was in Singapore not too long ago and wanted a place to just have a cup of latte and spending time replying some emails. As soon as I sat down, to my right, there was an European with two Chinese ladies and one Chinese man. My instinct told me that the Chinese guy is well off (I saw his wrist watch) and the European looking guy is trying to sell him something. True enough, I started to understand that one of the lady is a translator for both the men. I was not listening but they were sitting just way too close to me. The business deal proposed was not going anywhere. The Chinese man wanted a partnership and the European guy just wanted him to invest a certain sum to buy some real estate related assets and then gets returns on a yearly basis. The Chinese guy told the translator, ‘Everyone knows buying real estates would earn money, I do not need him. If he wants, he should make me a partner and then we can discuss further’.
Everyone wanted returns from real estate and some may not have sufficient understanding and may just want to rely on some funds which can help him / her to manage his funds. One question, are all these funds really that amazingly good as they say? I would not answer that but I just wanted to say that unless you are rich like the Chinese guy who wanted the European guy to accept him as partner instead of just a customer, you are better off buying your own real estate related investments. Get to know what you buy and understand the risks you are undertaking. For example, buying in London should be very safe since the property market is so international? Yet, there are more risks when the whole market has more international buyers than locals. Reason being, these internationals are not likely to persist if they see something wrong. Locals may not have that option but foreigners would leave faster than when they come.
I am not sure when I would have sufficient funds to buy into foreign markets. However, I do know that as an investment, real estate is something that everyone should pay attention to. Too worried, then buy unit trusts investing in emerging property markets. Of course read a bit about those emerging markets, both the bad and the good. If you lose money, that’s your fault. 🙂 Very adventurous? Then, when you see any foreign property consultants during property fairs, spend an hour with them to understand more. I told my wife, in every country in this world, there are the majority and the minority. The majority thinks like the majority and that’s why statistically financially, they will always be the majority.
There has never been a country in this world where the majority are all rich people and only the minority are poor. Majority would always be the middle ground, depending on how big this middle ground is. Whether we are the minority on the ‘excellent’ side or not depends very much on the decisions we make today, tomorrow and years to come. I do not believe in speculation because no one can be lucky forever. However, I do not believe in the majority views either. I do not wish to be the majority when it deals with money. Happy learning and risk-taking.
written on 10th Sept 2014
Next suggested article: The changing condo versus the loved landed. My views.