My office is at an industrial park. During lunch, I observed the customers at the canteen. They mostly work in the factories and earn a modest income to feed a family. They have children and financial commitments. They work hard and have useful skills.
They probably do not have much time to plan or worry about the future. Their biggest risk is the loss of the job. If their employer's business does not succeed, they will be retrenched and have to look for another job. For many people, it would be difficult to find another job that would replace their modest earnings. There is probably nothing that they can do, but to hope for the best.
The next risk is setting aside sufficient savings for their retirement needs. It is already difficult for them to have adequate savings set aside from their modest earnings, given the high cost of living. But, many of them do save for the future. The danger is that the may be cheated from getting a decent return. The financial institutions have developed many "innovative" products that have high charges, usually non-transparent, and give a poor return for the customers.
Some of these products are risky or are downright scams. But the ordinary workers are not in a position to recognize these unfair products. We should not expect these ordinary workers to be financial experts. It is the job of the regulators and the political leaders who have the responsibility to look after the welfare of the people who elected them.
The top priorities for the next decade is to give the security of a job that pay a modest but fair income to ordinary workers and the means for them to set aside savings that can give them a fair return for the future.
Tan Kin Lian
- ► 2013 (345)
- ► 2012 (1270)
- ► 2011 (1873)
- ► 2010 (2369)
12/27 - 01/03
- Risk and how to manage them
- A more caring community
- Singaporeans are able to see beyond racial lines
- Apply foreign worker levy to other jobs
- Treat immigrants fairly and well
- Community based loans
- Impact of December holidays
- Blind trust - there must be a reason?
- Pushing the buck around
- Morgan Stanley sued over failed $1.2 billion CDO
- Top priorities for the next decade
- Investment return, adjusted for inflation
- Financial institutions bet against their clients
- H1N1 - is it a scam?
- Y2K scam
- Approaching a new decade
- Affordable HDB flats
- Over production
- Expressing my views
- Loan shark menace
- Need for a minimum wage
- Hassle given to travellers
- Alternative to Travel Insurance
- A more responsive Government
- Bad experience with land banking plot
- The Talent Myth
- Talent and fat bonuses
- A good settlement mediated by FIDREC
- Financial sector is too big and unproductive
- ▼ 12/27 - 01/03 (30)
- ► 2008 (2105)
- ► 2007 (1803)
- ► 2006 (696)
- ► 2005 (159)