No no no, I don’t mean myself or you. I’m referring to the citizens – John Smiths and Jane Does of Singapore.
After Singapore Savings Bonds was launched amid much fanfare (in the finance-savvy community), I was curious about how effective the broadcast truly was. I don’t read much local news and I’m guessing it was more or less restricted to the mainstream media with news article on Straits Times, Business Times or Channel News Asia covering the Whats, Whys and Hows.
But hey, nothing beats randomly asking a few clueless people, huh?
I asked my wife. My family. Friends. Colleagues. Ex-colleagues. Not a single person knew about Singapore Savings Bonds. And here we are, wondering about the dismal take-up rate of the first issue of the Singapore Savings Bonds. Yeah, granted that mine is a really small sample size but it sort of gives a pretty good idea of the situation.
During our first and only bloggers meet-up with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the concern I raised was that the very folks who would benefit most from the Singapore Savings Bonds are the least likely to know or understand what it is all about. I even suggested we should probably give each household a pamphlet or a brochure, much like what the government did for MediShield Life.
I mean, c’mon! It is risk-free with almost perfect liquidity. Much better interest rate than 0% in the biscuit tin too. The general consensus is that a portion of our spare or emergency funds could potentially be parked in Singapore Savings Bonds.
These excellent blogs below have taken a much more detailed look at the first issue of Singapore Savings Bonds. No conspiracy theory for me. I shall stick to the simplest reason – many people simply didn’t know about Singapore Savings Bonds.
Meanwhile, the second tranche of Singapore Savings Bonds will pay 2.78% average interest.