Sunday, May 11, 2008

Millions by the dozens

Bloomberg reported way back in 2005 that "the number of millionaires in Singapore rose at the fastest pace in the world in 2004, according to a report by Cap Gemini & Merrill Lynch & Co." Now, it is claimed that "A total of 40.7 per cent of all households (in Singapore), or 436,000, are forecast to boast new wealth in excess of 1 million US dollars by 2017". That is, 2 out of every 5 households in Singapore are expected to be millionaires by then.

This isn't hard to figure out, actually. A few years ago, when the matter of Wills was brought out in public discussion, I did a rough calculation of what I, or rather, my son, would have upon my, and my wife's, demise. A rough count suggested that he will be inheriting more than a million dollars in cash and assets at today's US exchange rate. How is that? Well, there is the matter of the apartment, which though mortgaged, is insurance protected. The apartment will be fully paid for by the insurance company in the event of death of both parties - my wife and myself. The apartment is worth at least S$800,000, not including removable household assets. Then there is the matter of insurance policies, which would pay in access of S$200,000, not counting other assets such as CPF monies, etc. And I am not unique in this. This is common among many property-owning Singaporeans, especially those owning private properties. That said, 2007 has already minted not a few millionaires by virtue of successful en-bloc sales of their apartments.

The only worry is that the child will fritter away the money. Easy come, easy go, as they say. But he will be a millionaire some time in his life, without lifting a finger, so to speak. I suppose that is why many Singaporeans prefer not to rock the boat, politics-wise. A totally understandable position.

Image source: Author: penywise

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