Monday, 12 October 2015

Hoping for a recession? Be sensitive. Don't say it out loud.

Singapore is facing a technical recession and some people are starting to say things like 'I hope for a recession so that I can buy more stocks/properties/cars on the cheap'. That is being insensitive. There are workers who depend on their jobs to put food on the table. They are living from hand to mouth. They will be in dire straits if they are retrenched. Saying out loud that you are wishing for a recession so that you can benefit from it is just plain insensitive.

Don't get me wrong. Economically speaking, corrections are healthy and recessions are actually necessary in a capitalistic world. They do happen within intervals of a few years. In fact, they are inevitable. However, we do not need to go around trumpeting that we want a recession. I admit that I also wish to buy stocks at fire-sale prices but I do not talk about recession in front of my friends, relatives and colleagues as I know they need to feed their families. Retrenchment will be horrific for them.

Humans tend to be greedy and selfish. This is something that I observed a few years back before the Singapore government started to implement a slew of property cooling measures to stop the property values from skyrocketing. When I spoke to some friends and relatives, they have very different views. Those who already owned a property did not like the cooling measures because the value of their houses are not increasing fast enough. Those who are looking to buy their first property were supportive of the new measures because they want to buy affordable flats. From their own perspectives, both camps were right.

So, it is alright to have your own agenda and plans to benefit yourself. But please try to be sensitive to the people around you. Have more empathy and spare a thought for others.



  1. DK,

    Karma's a bitch.

    Just when we get the low prices we wished for, we may get retrenched or discover we have a medical condition...

    Everyone has a plan until we get punched in the face!

    1. Hi SMOL,

      Yes, indeed. I believe in karma too.

      It never rains, it pours. Even the most well-thought out plan can be thrown out of the window when something unexpected happens.

  2. Hi DK,

    It boils down to where the majority are. If the majority wants a recession, and the minority are talking out loudly that they want more good years ahead, then these people will be deemed as insensitive. However, we know that this is unlikely to happen.

    A good example is probably interest rates where the camp is split pretty evenly. Which is the camp with less empathy - the one who wants interest rates to go up because they worry about the longer term impact or the one who wants interest rates to remain low so that everything still runs as per normal?

    I also don't like to talk about negative things in front of my friends and peers but I will occasionally remind them to make their own plans and preparations as the good years do not last forever.

    1. Hi Derek,

      Wow! I like your point on 'majority-minority'. It is a refreshing perspective.

      And yes, people will have different family commitments so they should make their own plans to suit their needs. So, an occasional reminder is good.

    2. Hi DK,

      Haha, Same sentiments when I first hear about it but it is not new e.g. the jury system.

      Btw, can I seek your consent to syndicate your site in Your site may be new but I believe you have lots to share and more people will benefit from your experience. There is a horde of people including myself who would like to relax and collect dividends too. :)

    3. Hi Derek,

      Sure. You can place my blog on

      I am always happy to share. :)

    4. Hi DK,

      Thanks for your consent. I have started by publishing this article. Can I also request to my site into your Blog List?

      I hope that my humble site will bring in more readers to your blog, and all the best in your financial journey.

    5. Hi Derek,

      Sure. Your site is added to my blog list.

      Cheers! :)

  3. Hi DK,

    Good post. To be prepared doesn't mean you wish something bad will happen. Personally, I hope I'm as well prepared for a severe downturn as I thought. I don't wish it to happen, but I want to be ready to come out stronger if and when it happens.

    I think the best way to help others is to make sure you're strong yourself. Save yourself to save others.

    1. Hi LP,

      Thanks for the compliment. I have been an avid reader of ur blog. :)

      I agree with what u said. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.