People always dream of getting rich. Striking a lottery is one quick & easy way. Many also prefer it, since you do not have to do any actual work (like research) or spend any time on it, and simply rely on luck.
However there are also other ways of getting rich without buying a lottery ticket or working crazy hours in Singapore. This can be attained by setting aside some money for investments and putting it in the right places.
With the help of our crystal ball (also known as hindsight), we look at 4 investments in the past that would have made you or your parents rich today if they had held on through the ups and downs of the market cycles, if only we had known then what we know now.
1. Berkshire Hathaway (Stock)
For those who are not from the field of finance, Berkshire Hathaway is the investment company founded and currently run by the famous American investor Warren Buffet.
Berkshire has a long history, having its roots originally as a struggling textile company. It grew tremendously over the years, as it invested in more and more companies in various industries.
A share in Berkshire Hathaway in 1990 would have cost an investor about $7,000 then. As of today, Berkshire Hathaway shares are worth about $200,000 a piece, or a 28-fold increase.
To add to that, this isn’t a scenario whereby Berkshire was some unknown entity in 1990. In fact, the company already had a solid track record of giving shareholders great value for money having increased 16 folds from $425 to $7000 between 1980 to 1990.
Just imagine if all the money your family spent buying Coca-Cola drinks were channeled instead to buy Berkshire shares, the company that owns Coca-Cola. You would have been a whole lot richer and, we dare say, probably a lot healthier as well.
Steve Job returned as CEO of Apple in 1997, which was also the same year the Company announced that they agreed a five-year commitment with Microsoft for Microsoft Office to be released on Macintosh (or Mac for short).
An Apple computer then cost about $2000, about the same price as it will cost you today. Had you purchase that computer and kept it till today, you would have a really old and bulky piece of art that would probably be incompatible with almost any software today. Even the Karung Guni man probably wouldn’t know what to do with it.
If you had spent the $2,000 in 1997 buying the Apple shares, instead of the computer it was selling, and have kept all those shares till today, it would be worth about $240,000 dollars today.
Hope that didn’t make you question your family’s purchases in 1997.
Your grandmother strange ideology about hoarding Gold was not wrong after all. In fact, it is probably paying off really well today.
A Gold investment of $10,000 in 1999 just before the supposed collapse of the computer world due to Y2K bug would be worth about $45,000 today.
This may not seem like much as compared to investing in both Apple and Berkshire. However bear in mind the fact that as opposed to those other two investments, your grandmother bought those gold not to make money but for the purpose of safe keeping her wealth.
As such, the fact that she managed to make almost a five-fold return speaks volume about her foresight in the future.
4. Buying a HDB Flat in the 1960s or 1970s
If your parents bought HDB flats in the 1960s or 1970s, then they would have fallen under the “golden generation” of HDB owners.
The “golden generation” of HDB owners purchased flats that would have cost them around $20,000 to $40,000. These flats today would easily be worth about $400,000 to $500,000, especially since a large part of them are located in good areas such as Ang Mo Kio & Tiong Bahru. This represent a 10 – 15 fold return on investment.
If these “golden generation” were fortunate enough to own at least one other property in addition to their HDB flat today, this would probably be a great investment, as they can easily “milk” their HDB flat for their retirement account.
Kudos to them for sticking to their HDB flat investment!
Know of a better investment that on hindsight would have been a great way to put your money into? Let us know. Or if you have that 1997 Apple computer, let us know too!
Article was first published on mothership.sg
DollarsAndSense.sg aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.
Learn together with like-minded Singaporeans at the Personal Finance Discussion SG Facebook Group by discussing a range of personal finance topics.
If you have not done so, subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available anywhere else.