Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are you doing ok?

I was reading Yahoo news recently and keep seeing articles on the increasing wealth of Singapore, the surge in High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), arrival of the super rich etc. Looks like Singapore is doing pretty well I would say.

But how much of the pie are you actually having? Some statistics from this article from Yahoo I read today, Arrival of the super-rich in Singapore; Currently, 11.8% of Singaporean households have at least US$1 million in investible assets each (excluding property).

This means that more than 1 in 10 people you meet on the street comes from a millionaire household. Just start counting people as you walk down the street, and for every 10th person you counted, you have a millionaire or ASK. If you just keep counting as you walk, you will find out that you end up with alot of rich people in SG.

The question again is where do you stand? Personally I know I am not part of the 11.8%; I am not a millionaire, nor my family has a combined net worth of more than a $1,000,000 investible assets (remember this does not includes the house you residing in). It seems that I am not getting a big portion of the pie that Singapore is having, not benefitting much from the global capital influx into Asia and Singapore.

The article got me interested to find out more. So as usual I just went to google; there is nothing you cannot find these days with the internet.

I came across this interesting site (I bookmarked it already so should all of you): Salary.sg, Your Salary in Singapore. In this site you will find many more related article about wealth. It also has many tools that can help your calculations and for statistics.

Ok we know from above that in Singapore 1 in 10 people are millionaire or ASK, but how much is the mean, or average? Well the answer can be found in one of the article from Salary.sg, Is Your Net Worth Above US$255,488?, taken from a report by Credit Suisse.

The average net worth of an individual in Singapore is US$255,488 = SGD$335,000. Now say no need to be the top 11.8%, but are you even doing as well as the average? Do you have a net worth of $335,000 to be the average in Singapore? I know I don't and this is very sad to find out.

Ok we keep talking about net worth, but what exactly is net worth. For those who don't know or has not calculated your net worth before and does not know how to do it, there is this article from the site: Calculate Net Worth and Benchmark It that teaches you how to and aids you with a calculation tool.

Taken from this article too is this: According to the book "The Millionaire Next Door" if your net worth equals (or exceeds) your age times your annual income divided by 10, then you are a “wealth accumulator”. I suppose that means it’s good. This is your target net worth.

So for my age plus my annual income I should be having a net worth of ~$150,000 by now, which I am quite sad to declare that I am still far off the mark. This means I am not a good "wealth accumulator", I spend too much. So do your own sums and see how well you are doing and if you are not doing too well, start doing something about it. Wow, a 3rd indicator that tells me that I better be kicking my own butt and work harder. I am not 1 in 10, my net worth is below average and now I am not accumulating my wealth properly enough. As I continue my research, it is getting more and more pessimistic for me. =(

How about let's stop talking about net worth and go 1 level lower, how much is your monthly and annual income? Taken from Ministry of Manpower, Earnings and Wages (pls go check out this information in the form of a table), the average monthly earnings of a Singaporean is $3,872 in 2009, $4,310 for 1st Quarter of 2010 and very likely to be above $4,000 for whole of 2010.

For some, income by the month might not be so good for comparision as they may have variable monthly income (such as those in sales earning by commisions) or have variable bonus. At www.salary.sg again, you can find this very cool tool in one of their article, Compare Your Annual Income 2010, where you just have to key in your annual income and you can compare it as a percentage to all taxpayers in Singapore. Damn cool. Are you doing better than average?

So how well am I doing now, comparing monthly and annual income? All I can say is that I am now too despondent to say.

I am not in the 11.8%, not an ASK, my net worth is way below the average, I do not accumulate as much as I should have done, my monthly and yearly is not doing well either. Everything seems dull for me now, but I am not trying to be sad or anything like that. On the other hand, I will take these statistics as a motivation, to work towards a better future.

Well to lighten things up a little (in case like me, you are feeling like shit after reading the above stuff), Singapore is still a great place to be in. Other statistics also show that in terms of wealth we have 1 million people in the top 10% of the whole world. This means that about 1 in 5 of us is richer than 5.5 billion people! Haha.

I know that this is a "cheerleading blog", and nothing I just posted is related to cheerleading you may think. But I chose to publish all these here because I want everyone to be more aware of their financial situation, especially cheerleaders that I cared most about. If I can help even just 1 passionate cheerleader to start being more aware, and this cheerleader turns out to become a multi millionaire, I am sure cheerleading will have lots to benefit from too.

I stress again that all these financial education is not in anyway less important for cheerleading than being able to do a double full layout. For those still studying, and don't think that it applies to you, think again. In fact it is the best to start earlier and when you are young. For those already working, the statistics serves as a benchmark for yourself. To put in figuratively, for cheerleading to grow in Singapore, we need as much cheerleader millionaires as we need cheerleaders who can do a toss to hands.

P.S: A teacher should not only teach the students how to study and pass exams, likwise a cheerleading coach should not only focus on teaching students cheerleading skills or how to do a toss cupie. It is equally important to take care of the students development in other areas, such as financial education in this case.

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