Imagine this: waking up early on weekday mornings, braving the rush hour crowd amid the possibility of random train breakdowns, clocking into the office at 9 am, and slogging off at the desk till 7 pm before calling it a day. Sounds familiar? Such is the classic Singaporean narrative, undertaken by many who have completed more than a decade of formal education.

Like a hamster in the cage, the routine doesn’t stop.

After all, we are all trying to pay off our swelling debts—think education loans, wedding loans, housing loans, and, for some, business loans.

It’s an endless cycle, one suffused with constant hustling, gruelling working hours, sporadic pangs of lethargy, and volumes of kopi-o gao. Like the mundane Singaporean that we are, we often take a breather in the occasional tipple, TV dramas, and long weekends befitting random short getaways. Yet, such respite is short-lived, and the classic Singaporean narrative will inevitably come creeping its way back.

In many obscured ways, the classic Singaporean narrative will rob you of the time and energy to invest. Often, we are contented with making ends meet, paying loans, immersing in some splurges, and saving up for rainy days. But there is just one problem—saving up with the bank doesn’t entirely safeguard your future, in fact, it reduces the value of your money.

The culprit? Inflation. Here’s a digestible breakdown.

Hotdog_vs_inflation

Assuming the $10 you have today can get you 10 IKEA hot dog buns ($1 each). After 5 years, you might only be able to afford 6 IKEA hotdog buns ($1.50 each) with the same $10. Likewise, if you have $100 placed in the bank as compared to $100 invested over a period of 5 years, the value of money placed in the bank will decrease due to inflation. On the contrary, investment allows room for the $100 to grow with time and the longer you invest, the more you get.

Appealing as it is, many are still deterred from investing because they think they lack the knowledge, time, experience, and spare capital to so. In many instances, you might also think keeping your hard-earned money in the bank is the ‘safest’ scenario.

investing_saving

What you’ve failed to notice is that investment requires risk but doesn’t always require a huge sum of money. And while it is unlikely for local banks to collapse, there is still the possibility of a black swan event—one that is unpredictable and unknowable—happening. Cases in point, acts of terrorism during 9/11, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008, and even natural disasters such as the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in 2011.

Ultimately, investment requires confidence. Although you can look up on websites for tutorials on how to invest, the process can be extremely tedious. Here enters Smartly, a robo-advisory platform that offers you a fuss-free mode of investing at lower fees, greater flexibility and transparency.

At the end of the day, it is still important for you to research and find the one method that meets your needs. After all, Singapore is a little red dot, a small ripple in the market can cause a huge wave, and it is always better to be safer than sorry.


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Posted by:Joel Seetoh

One thought on “The Singaporean Way of Life

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