Task 1A: Exploratory Research
- What are some of the current issues confronting our world today? Amongst them, what is of interest and a cause for concern to you?
As Singapore grows into a global financial hub, there is a greater need for Singaporeans to put their money where money can grow. More often than not, foreigners that come to Singapore for work are also looking for solutions that can enhance their wealth. Wealth management firms are competing to provide the best end-to-end service for high net worth individuals to fund their next big purchase or retirement needs. These aforementioned services come in the form of asset management, tax planning, investment vehicles and insurance protection.
As the wealth of the Asian continent shows no signs of abating, steps should be taken to prevent rapacious hunting of wildlife for the sake of exotic collectibles or delicacies. With illegal animal parts being sold on the black market for high prices, it is no wonder that a lot of animals are facing extinction. With recent arrests of high profile kingpins in wildlife trafficking syndicates, this demonstrates governmental effort in tackling conservation at its core; demand and supply of illegal animals.
Admired by countries around the world for her stellar healthcare system, Singapore is no stranger to healthcare. The tier system of hospital wards allow the population to be segmented according to affordability, and Medisave / Medishield provide sufficient healthcare for the average Singaporean. However, according to a recent study done by the Straits Times, Singaporeans are still generally under-insured.
The biggest issue facing Singapore would be an ageing population. Just like the other 4 Asian Tigers, Singapore has become an Ageing Tiger. With that comes cause for concern, as with population growth comes lower productivity. Although the minimum retirement age has been raised again to 67, there is a limit on the lifetime productivity and output per head.
Out of the 4 current issues, I would combine the themes of wealth management and an ageing population to research on legacy planning.
- Why is the issue important? Who does it affect and how?
Legacy planning is a financial strategy that prepares a person to bequeath his or her assets to a loved one or next of kin after death.
After a person passes away, his or her wealth and possessions are passed on to next of kin or to people or charities specified in a will. If you don’t have a plan in place for your estate, its management might go against your wishes once it is passed on. Legacy planning is especially important for those with small businesses or other assets that require maintenance.
Reducing equity exposure:
Even as the stock markets are rallying, retirement money can be wiped out in the dicey game of equity investments. However, that doesn’t mean you have to sell something to buy something else. Rather than unloading a winner (and having to pay tax on those gains), use cash that’s sitting on the sidelines from dividends or earned interest to buy bonds or laddered CDs — or just plain leave it alone. Strategies like readjusting your asset allocation from a 70/30 stocks/bonds mix to enter retirement with a 50/50 split will help reduce risk exposure to your portfolio.
In the U.S. alone, $30 000 000 000 000 USD is about to be passed on from the baby boomers to their heirs. If not handled well, things like estate taxes and probate court fees can take up a lot of money and time. Across developed countries, tax planning and setting up trust funds are some of the ways money can be kept within the family for generations.
- Who do you need to communicate to, and why?
The target audience will be based on 2 criteria: family nucleus and occupational income. For legacy planning to be effective, per capita income in the household should be more than $50 000. The ideal age range should be around 30-50, where couples would have started a family and have high earning capacity. They are likely to be either expats (Employment Pass holders) or Singaporeans in the STEM professions. Business owners and entrepreneurs are also included in this segment.
The needs of this demographic would be to look for legacy planning solutions for wealth preservation and transfer. As most of them would not have the knowledge or expertise to carry out tax planning, estate planning and setting a trust on their own, independent brokerage services can be offered to them to facilitate an end-to-end solution for their financial needs.
- How has visual communication contributed to address the cause?
The infographic designed by Search3W is clear, instructive and formatted in a logical way. They chose to use an infographic because there is a lot of technical detail required in constructing a savings and investment retirement portfolio.
I like how the design firm used the concept of percentages to explain asset allocation. They also included appropriate graphics so that it would be easier to remember the detail. Included are also certain principles one should follow in order to get the optimal savings needed for certain goals: i.e. car, children’s education fund. I like the font as it is friendly and engaging, the colours also appeal as they are bright and flashy. In terms of clarity I can see where they put emphasis in e.g. Money needed at retirement: 75-80% of pre-retirement income.
The other infographic by Visual Capitalist lists down the key terminology used in stock trading. They succeeded in making the terms look less daunting and more accessible to the everyday man. I like the composition of the infographic, where they package each term and give it a little “story” and illustration to accompany the story. The colour and font is also bright, easily legible and friendly. There is also a colour pattern in terms of the trading card arrangement.
I couldn’t find the source for this poster by Kararfarin Advertising, but the concept is poignant and delivers a punch with simplicity. The analogy of saving / preparing for a rainy day is never better demonstrated than here.