Saturday, July 16, 2011

Volume 3 Issue 29: Intelligent Investing

Singapore Has Highest Concentration of Millionaires

I want to say I am surprised to find this out, but given the asset prices and the growth of Singapore's economy, I wouldn't say it is too surprising. What I found surprising was that about 15% of Singapore's households are millionaires. This means that if you walk past 10 families down Orchard Road, at least one of them should be a millionaire. OK, maybe the rich people don't hang out at Orchard Road, but you know what I mean.

What is even more suprising is that the 2nd ranked country, Switzerland, is a huge distance away from Singapore, with "only" 9.9% of its households being millionaires.

The funny thing is, the people in Singapore don't think of this as a big deal. In fact, some of them see this as a huge problem:

However, Singapore’s median household income remains at a modest $5,700 per month, according to the Department of Statistics. This starkly illustrates a growing income gap, one of the biggest problems facing the country today. Singapore already has the second-highest Gini co-efficient in the developed world, behind only Hong Kong. The Gini co-efficient is a measure of income disparity, and it is indeed alarming that income is distributed more unequally in our country than even India or China.

Another problem that comes with having a “wealthy population” is a high cost of living. In a 2010 survey of 214 cities by consulting firm Mercer, Singapore ranked as the 11th most expensive city in the world for expatriates, on a par with Oslo and more expensive than New York.
Read the full article here.

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