Where to go if you quit Singapore ?

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One of the exercises in the recent workshop I ran was a simulation exercise to close off Day 1.

Workshop participants are invited to form groups to imagine leaving Singapore for greener pastures. As part of the exercise, each group of students will elect a target country. Students will then try to dig out economic data on the target country, make broad estimates on how much it would cost to live in that country and estimate how large a Singapore portfolio should be to generate passive income required to retire there. They will subjectively assess which part of the market cycle the country is in and then they will do some research on what kind of instruments in SGX will allow some proxy bets on that economy. Finally, they will also have to defend an asset allocation in the target economy should they wish to invest in that local market.

After populating the spreadsheet with figures they collected. I asked the class to vote for which country they would like to emigrate to the most after this discussion.

For this batch of students, Thailand won by a huge margin.

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MelbourneThailandMalaysiaBeijing
Median Income$6,666/month$378/month$720/month$1106/month
Median Expense$2,800/month$306/month$679/month$858/month
Portfolio size to retire$850,000$92,000$203,700$257,400
GDP Growth3.40%4.60%4.20%6.70%
Inflation2.10%1.62%3.17%2.30%
Unemployment5.20%1%3.42%3.83%
Business CyclePeak/ContractionExpansion/PeakPeakContraction
20 year Bond Earnings Yield3.00%3.32%4.70%N/A
Market Earnings Yield2.87%5.76%6.23%N/A
P/E Approach1717.3611111116.0613
Asset Allocation Plan (E/B/Cash/ Com)60/20/10/1060/20/10/1030/60/0/1080/20
Proxy Stocks in SGXSingtel,Thai Beverage, King Wan, Keppel LandDairy Farm, Silverlake, Top GloveCMT, Mapletree North Asia.
Proxy ETFPhilip AP Div ETFThai Index UCITSMalaysia ETFCSI 300
Votes61291

I guess I will never really understand why the class still went ahead with choosing Thailand.

I warned them that national figures may not truly reflect how much a Singaporean Expat would need to live in a place like Bangkok and there are issues like law and order that need to be factored into when choosing to live in a new country.

Nevertheless this was the choice of the students after a lively discussion on whether the numbers made any sense. China, surprising, was found to be unattractive by my students.

Perhaps they found a Communist regime stifling.

If you were given these four choices, which country would you go to ?

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