The global economy is currently in a 'Goldilocks' state. This is probably the optimal environment for REITs in my opinion. Markets are facing enough headwinds for the Fed to turn dovish and pause rate hikes in 2019. But these headwinds are still not severe enough to send the global economy into a deep recession yet. Both factors are beneficial to REITs. 1) No rate hikes means the REITs' interest payment burden is stable. 2) No deep recession means the tenants won't default on their leases. Several well-run, high-quality REITs could even achieveDPU & NAV growth year-on-year despite a rising rate environment throughout 2018! While people were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done Dividend Warrior
Many Singaporeans earned their first 'pot of gold' from property investments, specifically HDB flats and private condominiums. An entire generation of Singaporean 'Baby Boomers' was lifted into middle-class status during the 1980s to 1990s as they entered the workforce and used their CPF savings to purchase government-subsidised flats. Suffice to say, the public housing eco-system has been a bedrock of Singapore's economy in recent decades.
Climbing the property ladder has been a well-trodden path to building wealth in Singapore. A tried-and-tested method. That's how our grandparents and parents did it and it has worked out pretty well so far. The appetite for properties has been ingrained into our psyche for generations. We like the physicality of real estate - owning something tangible. In the Singapore market, real estate is a reliable store of wealth and has the potential for long-term capital appreciation. Being a Singaporean myself, it seems unorthodox that I have 'neglected' this part of wealth-creation for so long. Since I have already built my first pot of gold in the form of a dividend portfolio, the time is ripe to switch my focus to owning a tangible stake on this tiny red dot.
Long-time followers of my blog would know that I rarely (if ever) write about CPF-related topics. To be honest, I did not bother much with CPF in the past. That's because when I first started working in my first full-time job years ago, buying a property was far from my mind and there was no point keeping track of the measly amount in my CPF account. I gave 100% focus on building my dividend portfolio over the last 9 years. I thought I would just treat whatever savings I have in my CPF as a nice retirement 'bonus' when I hit 65 years old. Let it run on auto-pilot. Well, not anymore. Now, it is time to make good use of my CPF OA. Last year, 2 financial bloggers (Heartland Boy and Turtle-investor) opened my eyes to maximising benefits from the CPF system. I was convinced to do voluntary cash top-ups to my SA & MA. I have been keeping track of my CPF account ever since I made the decision to start my property investing journey this year. So, imagine the surprise when I saw more than $100k in my CPF OA! This would help me pay off a significant chunk of the down-payment.
Over years of navigating through online forums and the financial blogosphere, the eternal debate on 'Investing in REITs vs Owning properties' would re-surface periodically. Both camps present some compelling arguments, but I say, why not strive to achieve both! Don't wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait Dividend Warrior