When I was in my early 20s, I saw the NYSE trading pits for the first time on TV. I was immediately hooked. I couldn’t wait to start my financial career and someday visit these pits in person.
By the time I made it to Manhattan it was after 9/11. So I wasn’t allowed to tour the trading pits – even though I already worked in the financial markets.
But I did get to stroll by the NYSE, AMEX and even the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square.
It was amazing to see. But by the time I saw them in person, I could tell that Wall Street’s best days were already past.
The trading pits were shrinking. The open-outcry pits were starting to fade into the past and computerized trading was taking over.
But not only were technological changes happening, there was also a gradual shift away from New York being the dominant financial power in the world.
As of today, in 2011, I would say we already have a new Wall Street to replace New York City as the financial powerhouse of the world. (And no, it’s not London.)
Welcome to the New Wall Street…of Asia
I’m talking about Singapore. It’s already one of the fastest-growing financial centers in the world.
Money goes where it is treated best. The best financial markets in the world allow capitalism to reign, without meddling politicians who don’t have a decent grasp on the financial markets.
It’s no wonder that Singapore is leading the world in the growing number of millionaires. The number of Singapore millionaires rose by 33% in 2010 and by 40% in 2009.
So with wealth flowing to Singapore, is it any wonder that more and more financial jobs are being created in this budding financial center?
The Financial Jobs Are Going To Where the Money Is
Today, over 2,880 financial institutions call Singapore their home.
Citigroup has over 9,400 employees there. That’s compared to the 100 people Citigroup had there in 1970.
In total, there’s over $1 trillion dollars in assets in Singapore right now. Again, that’s because Singapore has figured out that money goes where it’s treated best.
Singapore has set up trust accounts for foreigners, reduced bureaucracy and taxes. The locals have streamlined visas for foreign talent to come into Singapore.
Licenses can be obtained quickly and efficiently. Some firms are offered tax breaks. In some instances, relocation expenses are even reimbursed.
Singapore has been there with solutions whenever there’s an important shift in the world. For instance, when the U.S. came off of the gold standard, Singapore became a foreign exchange center.
Preparing for the Next Yuan Revaluation
In more modern times, Singapore is positioning itself to be a huge financial player. The bankers at the Singapore Monetary Authority know the Chinese are positioning their yuan to trade more freely in the years to come.
So they are looking down the road, and preparing to capitalize off this higher-valued yuan, by strengthening their own currency. What more can you want out of a financial center? They are true innovators.
In fact, since 2005, Singapore’s retail foreign exchange products have jumped 29-fold. Singapore’s interest rate related products have jumped 43 times.
Today, more than half of Asia’s over-the-counter derivative volume in commodities passes through Singapore.
Their technology is second to none too. I’ve seen reports that Singapore’s Internet speeds are 100 times faster than China and 8 times faster than Hong Kong.
So Singapore has all the makings of the next “world’s largest financial center.”
They already have the fastest growing economy in the world right now, growing at 22.50% (over twice the growth rate of China) with an unemployment rate of 1.90% (which is under half the unemployment rate of China).
And it’s just going to get better from here.
Why You Should Buy a Piece of Singapore Right NOW
In short, New York and London are gradually losing their influence, while Singapore is already the world’s next dominant financial player.
The best way to play this rise of Singapore is to own a piece of this powerhouse for yourself. To do that, you can simply buy and hold the Singapore dollar for the long run. You can hold the Singapore dollar through a CD or other account.
In five years, you’ll be thrilled you own a piece of the world’s next Wall Street.