1 and 2) Having lived in various parts of Asia and maintained a house in Atherton for a long time, I must say that California is overhyped in the U.S. Not sure about SoCal, but the weather was still seasonal around the Bay Area - there's no season along the equator, so the countries along it are by far superior. Food, medical, educational, public transportation etc. quality in Singapore far supersedes that in California, and of course the state taxes are ridiculous in CA. You could argue that the traffic is just as bad in both places. I'd much rather retire in Asia.
Yeah, the time zone isn't exactly conducive for U.S. markets although evening shift for European markets in Asia is probably more attractive than graveyard shift for European markets in the U.S. That said, SF/LA has probably the worst time zone for finance out of all the major cities.
I think all tax havens have some disadvantage or the other. With Dubai its the weather.
However I've met enthusiastic Californians settled in Dubai. (They do have a indoor ski slope, indoor beach with surfboarding and indoor this and indoor that....)
I describe them as enthusiastic because they would go out for a jog during lunchtime like they used to in California, and I would see them trotting around on the baked pavement in the 100+ degrees weather... but they used to return back contented and happy... something I've never figured out yet!
Yeah, the atmosphere in Singapore is much more individualistic and antagonistic than all of the first/second world countries I've been to. It's really a pity. If you're there for a short-term stay in the St Regis/Ritz/Mandarin Oriental/Four Seasons or in the nicer parts, you probably won't realize.
Hahahaha that made my day.
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Well, the U.S. is probably one of the best tax havens out there at the end of the day. The only problem is that the tax code is 3-4 feet thick, so most people are under the wrong impression that you need to live in some island country in the Caribbean to enjoy negligible tax rates, but clearly the large number of billionaires living in America don't share that view.
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Anyone trading the SGX TF (MSCI Taiwan Index Futures)? I’m looking at trading them from the US due to the time difference – that would allow me to trade after work. I can’t seem to find much information from people who trade this contract – especially implications of trading it from outside Asia.
Quite surprised that no one "actually" from Singapore replied, LOLzzzz..
Well, I'm from Singapore and personally, I have stopped trading any of the SGX products for over years now. Once I went full time, I knew the CME and US stock exchange was the market to trade.
One thing about the SGX products, is that it is about decades behind the US stock exchange in terms of technology. For one thing, only up to recently, you were forced to buy stocks in 1000 share lots. Only as of this year, you are allowed to purchase shares in 100s. Compared to the US stock exchanges where you are allowed to buy in singles.
In terms of futures volume, it's really light compared to CME futures. The DOM is not easily accessible to anyone other than the institutional firms, and this is pure speculation on my part, but I suspect they way they trade it is pretty much the same way as how Jessie Livermore used to do it back in the 1900s. There is very little transparency.
One reason for moving to Singapore is that our income tax is capped at 28%, which is low compared to most of the social welfare countries like AUS, US and UK. Hence the reason why people like Jim Rogers has taken up residency here. I don't think people move here specifically to trade SGX products so much as to just pay less tax. Singapore also has top 10 ten fastest internet speeds in the world, so I suspect that these people who move here are still trading whatever products they were trading back in their country.
Well, regarding the several posts made that said Singapore a very uptight country, with stiff laws and regulations to keep everyone in their place, this is generally true. We also lack freedom of press and somewhat limited freedom of speech. The cost of living here is very high, because everything is in part controlled by our Government. E.g. Our Government limits the number of cars that can be purchased every year, as well as also have control of about 80- 90% of the housing market. For this reason, costs of owning a car are about $60,000 - $80,000 US on average, and about $300,000 US for a simple 3 room flat. Since we go not really produce our own goods as well, a lot of our food is imported from AUS, UK and US. Hence, food prices are actually in general higher here than compare to US as well (unless you only limit yourself to the few locally produced food items such as eggs, noodles and local vegetables).
One good thing about Singapore though, is that I can say, it is a very safe country and you almost will not get shot or killed.
Last edited by KelvinKing; February 5th, 2015 at 08:15 PM.
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Singapore is nice. I lived there for 10 years. But it has gotten very expensive. Rents are similar to hong kong and London and new York if not more expensive for really nice places, something in Orchard Road area will cost you $10k a month. I left there in 2013 and was living in a nice 2 bedroom condo paying $3300 a month and that was 30 minutes from the city area, which in Singapore is considered very far already. You can drive from one side of Singapore to the other in 45 minutes, so if you are used to wide open spaces forget it.
Food is good and if you eat like a local its cheap, but eating out all the time will add a few extra thousand a month to your expenses. the weather is great all year round, the only bad times is when the haze comes in from Indonesia, then if you have asthma you will have problems breathing. shopping is expensive, everything is imported. the tax rate is low and trading income is not taxed.
People are friendly and most everyone speaks English. Internet infrastructure is among the best in the world. If you are an American you will have to forget about following American Football and NCAA sports. Its all football there, not football Americano, but soccer. The English Premier League is huge there, big Arsenal, Liverpool and Man U base there.
Owning a car is expensive, you have to buy the right to own a car, called the COE, certificate of entitlement, before you can buy a car and that alone is about $60,000, in addition to the $150,000 you will spend for something like a Honda civic.
But recently for Americans moving there, with the new FACTA rules, it has gotten harder to bank there. It used to be easier. Singaporeans do everything by the book and if they don't understand something, more often than not, they turn you away. You really need an employment pass or become a permanent resident to open a bank account there, at least that was my experience when I first moved there in 2004.
There are some good futures brokerages there, but they tend to be old school, in that they haven't kept up with technology and offer basic trading systems like PATS J-Trader to access the markets.
A lot of SGX floor traders were not able to make the switch to electronic trading. Some went bankrupt, some drive taxis now, some teach, some still trade.
I am from Chicago and there are places in Chicago I don't feel safe during the day. In Singapore you can be anywhere anytime and you are safe.
You won't get caned for jaywalking, you will get fined.
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