Where and How to invest in Singapore | Property, Gold, Angel Investment, Banking and Insurance
It’s one of the most impressive skylines in the entire world. Singapore is the epitome of the growth of Asia, the power of the banking system representative of what a country can become with an emphasis on education, entrepreneurship and of the free flow of capital.
Looking out at the CBD skyline, I stand on the edge of a cruise ship. Across the “port” there is an infinity pool that stretches the length of the curved ‘boat’. This is no ordinary vessel, as this particular cruise ship sits 70 stories in the air stacked on top of 3 skyscrapers.
Of course, this isn’t a real cruise ship, it’s a modern architectural marvel – the Marina Bay Sands Resort and Casino and I’m standing in the VIP lounge, drinking in the skyline of Singapore from one of the city’s many nightclubs – Ku De Ta.
“You should have been here 5 years ago”
Remarked the real estate agent taking us on a tour of the city and discussing areas for investment. He is right, but it’s still not too late to join the party because in 5 years they’ll still be saying the exact same thing. I saw a number of different investments which are quite attractive, detailed later in this article.
This month I’ve spent a good amount of time in Singapore working on a new project, which I should have updates on soon. One thing is for certain – Singapore is the best place on earth to start a business. It’s also a great place to live.
Christmas in the Tropics
Incredibly impressive Christmas lights adorn the streets of Orchard Road, the main drag in Singapore.
Although not many here are celebrating the birth of Christ. Like many places, it’s a fantastic opportunity to whip the masses into a frenetic consumerist frenzy. No expense is spared for the holiday season, as it costs more than 7 million in electric bills to light that one street alone for the month of December!
The big holiday is still to come as these lights will be replaced by an even more impressive array for Chinese new year in January.
However, don’t think Singapore is all fun and lights. There is a lot going on in Singapore. I haven’t spent my entire time hanging out in the VIP. Far from it. Like most entrepreneurs, I’ve put in my share of 18 hour days in front of a computer, staring at the screen until my eyes start to bleed.
But I also realize that although execution and effort matter – your network is your most valuable asset – the most critical element in your success.
And in order to network effectively in Asia (and most places), you have to go out and share a drink (or several) with your business partners.
Ask anyone who has done business in Asia. Dinner and drinks are necessary to close deals.
I don’t care if you are pursuing a vendor, taking on investment, or trying to close a deal – doing business in Asia requires that you share at least one drink with your new commercial associate. Even more so if you are trying to attract investment.
There is money to be attracted. For years, an enormous influx of outside capital has propelled Singapore to become the richest place on earth.
There are a number of reasons, but right out of the gate, Singapore is a
- Fantastic place to bank.
- Amazing location to buy and store gold.
- An incredible place to invest in a variety of asset classes
- The best place in the world to start a business.
- Great place to relocate your family and start a new life.
This may be part of the reason why:
There are more millionaires in Singapore than anywhere else on earth (on a per capita basis).
There are more billionaires in Singapore than anywhere else on earth.
Welcome to Singapore. Where wealth is safe.
Invest in Singapore Real Estate
Ku De Ta isn’t the only modern day architectural wonder of Singapore; the unique building is one of many.
The city is a garden, everything is in a constant state of improvement, renovation and change – and the real estate market is one of the hottest in the world.
Hong Kong can compete on price, but not on quality. For instance, only a block from Orchard Road, the busiest commercial street in the country, there are wooded neighborhoods and jungle areas. A modest house down one of these streets could easily go for $100 million US dollars, and that is no typo. US$100 million for a landed house in a prime area, and it might be hard to find an owner to sell, as the speculative value could be even greater.
This is a place where an incredible amount of wealth has gone to be safe in recent years, propelling real estate markets to epic heights. Just about the only ‘deal’ to be had might be on the edges of the island, where a 4 bedroom house could be had for US$800,000, but foreigners can only invest in Singaporean non-landed properties.
This outside investment means that real estate has risen over 60% in recent years, so much so that the intelligent and prudent government of Singapore has introduced ‘cooling measures’ to the market in an attempt to prevent a bubble.
The government here does a fantastic job of regulating and encouraging the real estate market to succeed without a crash. This is done through a number of different methods, including mortgage limits and specific laws regarding ownership designed to keep citizens from overextending.
It’s a smart move because the housing market doesn’t appear to have much more room to go up. Rents are very expensive, particularly for anything in the central business district, or CBD, area.
Foreigners Owning Real Estate in Singapore
There are few restrictions for foreigners to own real estate in Singapore…
No restrictions for commercial or industrial.
Foreigners CANNOT own “Restricted residential property,” unless they obtain the prior approval of the Minister for Law. “Restricted residential properties” include: vacant residential land AND landed property, i.e a detached house, semi-detached house, terrace house (including linked house or townhouse).
Foreigners can own condos and “non-landed property” pretty much without restriction.
There is a stamp duty if the real estate is sold within 5 years; except not all foreigners apply to this restriction. Americans, for instance, aren’t bound by this clause due to a trade agreement.
For what it’s worth, I think other areas in Singapore present a tremendous investment opportunity. You have the opportunity in this city to gain exposure to any market in Asia or the world – in an environment with 0% capital gains tax.
Where to invest in Singapore?
Invest in Gold
As I’ve written at length before, I think gold is one of the best ways to store wealth. It is not necessarily a great speculative investment (although gold stocks fit this bill), but gold bullion is one of the best ways to STORE WEALTH.
Singapore is one of the best places in the world to store gold. Recently, all tax regarding the buying and selling of gold has been eliminated. There are special places specifically designed to store gold, and it tends to be very easy to find a dealer who can give you a good deal.
Unlike other places in Asia where you can easily be ripped off, you can be reasonably assured that you won’t be buying fake gold coins or bars that are actually filled with lead. Anytime you are buying gold, it’s a good idea to look where the locals are buying.
A common complaint I hear about gold is that it is not “liquid”. However, this problem is easily solved if you have a gold backed debit card.
Besides gold, there are several other asset classes that, with a certain amount of investment, can allow you to achieve citizenship by investment under certain circumstances through specific avenues.
Insurance and Private Banking in Singapore
Insurance is a very popular investment vehicle. Finding the right company to work with can open up a variety of different doors. If you are interested in buying insurance or Private Banking in Singapore, I can connect you to the right people. You can check and apply for several banking options in Singapore at bankaccounts.io.
Angel Investments in Singapore
There are a number of tax advantages for PRs or citizens to invest in a Singapore’s Pte. Ltd. company directly. There are also fewer restrictions on investors when compared to other parts of the world.
The government allows for start-up businesses to receive a tax holiday on the first 100,000 of income for the first 3 years, almost across the board. This is a de-facto tax holiday, and oftentimes the tax incentives (particularly for MNCs) can be even more robust.
Property in Singapore
I mentioned property earlier, and despite the high costs, I think that in most markets property is one of the better investments you can make. It is a physical asset and store of value, and even if there is a dramatic collapse in the price you’ll still have a place to live.
If you’re looking for a place for money to rest safe, you used to look to Switzerland.
No longer, that ship has set sail. It is now stacked in tall buildings in Singapore.
If you are looking for a place to store and grow wealth in a low tax environment with a plethora of investment opportunities in Asia, it’s almost impossible to find a better place. If you want to know more about Singapore, you may consider joining our Flag Theory Community, where we share information, tips, and opportunities to invest in Singapore and many other jurisdictions.
Singapore, where wealth is safe.