Welcome back, friends! This week’s Retire Rich Weekly dives into three hot topics: turning dreams into reality, understanding the recent DBS bonus issue, and the changing landscape of foreign property buyers in Singapore.

#1. Dreams Don’t Happen on Their Own: A Lesson from “One Piece”

Who here has watched “One Piece” on Netflix? Captain Luffy’s unwavering pursuit of his dreams is seriously inspiring. It reminds me why I’m here: to help you achieve financial freedom and that sweet, sweet early retirement.

There’s a quote in the show from Zeff, the owner of Baratie, that hit me. He was encouraging Sanji to pursue his dream of finding the rumoured chef’s paradise, All Blue. He said,

“It’s one thing to have a dream, it’s another to go after it.”

But here’s the thing – many people dream of quitting the daily grind and becoming financially independent, but taking concrete steps towards it? That’s a whole different story. Remember, passive income doesn’t magically appear, and early retirement is all about proactive planning.

Let this be your friendly nudge to dust off those financial goals and take action!

#2. DBS Bonus Issue: It’s Not a Giveaway

DBS recently announced a 1-for-10 bonus issue for its shareholders. Basically, if you owned 10 shares of DBS before the ex-date (April 19th), you received 1 additional share as a bonus on April 22nd for free!

Sounds great, right?

Here’s the catch: these bonus shares don’t actually make the company more valuable and it doesn’t get you richer because the number of shares has increased so the price per share usually goes down a bit – which is what happened last week.

Some folks get confused by this math. There’s a cool article in the Business Times article titled “While bonus shares are largely a gimmick, DBS’ proposed issue is a boon” that explains it well.

The good news? The market generally liked the bonus shares. It shows DBS is confident in its future growth and wants to reward shareholders. So we can see that the DBS share price seems to remain bullish, for now.

#3. Foreign Property Buyers: New Faces in the Crowd

Singapore’s property market saw a significant drop in foreign condo buyers. The government raised the Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) for foreigners last year (from 30% extra tax to a whopping 60%!) as part of the property cooling measures.

According to a Straits Times article, the number of condo purchases by foreigners dropped a staggering 71%, and it is probably part of the reason that Sentosa Cove’s property is selling at a 40% discount now.

No surprise there, right?

But here’s a twist: Americans are now the top foreign buyers in the most expensive part of town (Core Central Region).

Source: Straits Times

Bonus Fun Fact: Did you know folks from 5 countries get a free pass on that extra ABSD for their first property purchase in Singapore? The five countries are the US, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Additional Readings: Higher Singapore ABSD Rates: Impact on Singapore Property Market

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We all know the financial market is complex and the financial products can be “insidious” sometimes.

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That’s it for this week, folks! We’ll be back next week with more insights and actionable advice to help you on your financial journey.

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About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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