Mar 23, 2009

Economic Dark Clouds and Their Silver Linings

A reader emailed and asked me why I seem to be posting less frequently than usual.

In the past week, I haven't posted because I've been busy. With work, kids and .... house-hunting.

Yes, I've been searching and waiting patiently for more than half a year now. But in the past few weeks, I've been hunting especially hard, and I think I might (I say might, not will) finally put in the cheque and sign on the dotted line pretty soon.

So let it not be said that all is doom and gloom for everyone, during an economic crisis. Think positive. There's a silver lining in every cloud. For me, the silver lining is that the property market is now sinking to deliciously low levels.

(Oh, and if/when I make that purchase, I'll be back here again to tell you more about it).

Here's another example of a silver lining. For the past few years, a friend of mine had been trying to find a part-time job for the past few years. She wants to spend more time with her young children. However, she did not succeed in finding any such part-time job.

Now, however, her employer (Mediacorp) has asked its employees to go on a 4-day week. That's exactly what she wanted all along. Sure, there is a corresponding pay cut. But she's more than happy to accept the pay cut, in exchange for the extra time she wants to have with her children.

And there must be more people benefiting in different ways from the economic crisis. Maybe after years of being chronically overworked, your workload is finally easing to more acceptable levels. Maybe for years you've wanted to take time off to take a course, but the opportunity cost of quitting your job was too high ... until now. And so on.

Keep your chins up, folks. The rule about dark clouds is that they all have a silver lining. If you haven't found yours yet, keep looking.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah, a cheerful post for once. :P

The said...

/// Yes, I've been searching and waiting patiently for more than half a year now. But in the past few weeks, I've been hunting especially hard, and I think I might (I say might, not will) finally put in the cheque and sign on the dotted line pretty soon. ///

Mr Wang, good to see you put your money where your mouth is. But my friendly advice is to take your time. I took more than 2 years, compiling the data and doing house visits on weekends, before I signed that cheque.

You could put in the cheque, but I don't think you should.

Why don't you just decide on which is your first-choice property, asked the developer or owner for the price, and mentally "buy" it. Re-visit that property six months or 1 year later, and I think you will be grateful that you have waited longer.

Patience, my friend, patience.

Anonymous said...

Sakae Sushi opened its first branch in 1997. We know what happened in 1997.

Impossible is nothing. Cheers :)

Anonymous said...

MY FRIEND , TAKE MY ADVSIE FROM A SEASONED PROPERTY VETERAN.

DONT BUY ANY PROPRTY FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT SIX MONTHS. THERE ARE PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES COMING UP AT MUCH LOWER PRICES.

DONT RUSH.

amy said...

Hi,
Just wanted to drop in a line and let you know of the “Baking Event –Calling all Foodies” hosted by me at the foodie site www.ifood.tv. You are invited to be part of this event that aims to unite bloggers to some great baking this month. The details are all here http://www.ifood.tv/blog/baking_event_calling_all_foodies

Anonymous said...

dear mr wang, off-topic, but could you perhaps shed some light on the matter that Singapore's public debt takes a 113.7% of our GDP (2008 est) according to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/sn.html

KAM said...

If the price is "right" , right meaning you can afford it and it is reasonable, buy it.

The camera will always be cheaper 6 months down the road.

The people who advises you not to buy now....they are the ones doing in the economy...Shame shame.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang

Anonymous said...

By all means buy property, but please don't write about it. There's nothing more annoying at a dinner party than hearing someone talk about their property purchases or house prices.

iseemorethangahmenbit said...

MR WANG!!! Missing your posts leh!

Anyway hor, some things hor running around the mind so ask you lah.

You know hor they keep say the recession, so the Union good good help lah. But hor, is this not exactly a problem ah?

You see hor, the Union lah, represent is almost little or no have the executive and manager and professional one.

Like that hor, the gahmen is say this group the people can negotiate on their own. But hor, in recession, Union talk for their own people, Bosses talk for themself. Like that hor, when they cut the pie, then the executive and professional people are royally up the backside!

And the bigger problem hor, Mr Wang, is the Singapore most people is become executive and professional! Even the FT we hire also many compete for this area of position!

If like this unfair and give the executive and professional go and die, I think the gahmen got problem next election. And the FT policy will only attract those who not want stay! Because stay, you work more, responsible more, but those O level, Diploma only, get paid more, get bonus more, get protected more by Union, and you get up the backside!

Agree not?

Suddenly, Union is the problem!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that almost all the good primary schools are concentrated only at either Bishan or Bt Timah?

This will cause a lopsided property price instead of spreading the housing needs throughout the island.

Plus it makes it seem like the planners favour certain populations of the country.

The said...

/// dear mr wang, off-topic, but could you perhaps shed some light on the matter that Singapore's public debt takes a 113.7% of our GDP (2008 est) according to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/sn.html
March 23, 2009 9:35 PM ///

Nothing to be concerned about. I will worry if our external debt is high. Public debt include both internal and external debts. Singapore deliberately borrow money from the capital market in order to broaden and deepen the debt markets here. Bonds, T-bills, etc.

The breakdown can be seen here:

http://www.singstat.gov.sg/stats/latestdata.html#8

From Wiki:
/// Government debt (also known as public debt or national debt) is money (or credit) owed by any level of government; either central government, federal government, municipal government or local government.

As the government draws its income from society as a whole, government debt can be seen as an indirect debt of the taxpayers. Government debt can be categorized as internal debt, owed to lenders within the country, and external debt, owed to foreign lenders. Governments usually borrow by issuing securities, government bonds and bills. Less credit worthy countries sometimes borrow directly from supranational institutions. Some consider all government liabilities, including future pension payments and payments for goods and services the government has contracted but not yet paid, as government debt. ///

From EIU:

/// "Singapores bond market is the best-developed in ASEAN and one of the most highly developed in Asia. The government has been issuing government bonds in recent years (despite posting budget surpluses) in an effort to build a yield curve in long-term debt. The aim is to increase further the depth and liquidity of the market, and to encourage listing by both domestic and foreign companies operating within Asia as a whole. The prospects for growth in this market are bright, given Singapores reputation as a transparent and politically stable financial market."
-Economist Intelligence Unit ///

Anonymous said...

nothing annoying, not that he is bragging about it.

On the other hand, I think Mr Wang is just sharing and maybe seeking some views here

Anonymous said...

Silver lining for you. On the seller's side things are probably just getting worse.

Anonymous said...

Buy property? Still too early imo.

The said...

/// KAM said...

If the price is "right" , right meaning you can afford it and it is reasonable, buy it.

The camera will always be cheaper 6 months down the road.

The people who advises you not to buy now....they are the ones doing in the economy...Shame shame.///

KAM, I would love to have you as a customer for any products, if your definition of "right price" is affordability and reasonable.

Yes, if I can afford properties like I can afford cameras or PCs, sure, I will buy one every six months. Even then, it makes sense to wait and get a cheaper and better camera/PC if there is no urgency. Not every one can afford a $2 million property and buy on the basis of buying a $2,000 PC or a $200 camera.

Or dear, so we are the ones responsible for the economy. I though it was those damned Yankees with their toxic waste and sub-prime problems. Maybe if you pay me a few million bucks a year, I can fix the problem for you.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Well, I've bought the house. I bought it several hours after posting the post.

I share the view that generally, the property market IS going to go down, for many months, and maybe even for the next few years.

Still I decided to buy the place. Will write more about this, later.

Anonymous said...

buy already dont regret & dont think too much liao.. it's a happy thing, so enjoy it! congrats!

Jiang Wei said...

Congratulations to Mr. Wang, Homeowner!

We all expect invitations to the housewarming! :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Wang,

Does this mean that you are no longer a heartlander? :)

Given the benefit of time, would you care write a sociological reflection of this move?

Anonymous said...

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搬家公司怎麼選擇比較好
清境農場很適合休閒去處
真煩

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang,

Let me guess, you bought a cluster terrace at "The Greenwood " right? This is within 1 km of RGPS and Nanyang Girl's.