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Embrace risk: Playing safe with fixed deposits can hurt in the long run

Lower-risk instruments offer capital protection but also raise the risks that you outlive your savings and lose purchasing power in the long run.

Leslie Yee
Published Tue, Sep 13, 2022 · 01:47 PM

RISING interest rates hurt borrowers but benefit depositors. One can now get over 2 per cent per annum for Singapore dollar fixed deposits with tenures of 12 months or more. The latest issue of the Singapore Savings Bond (SSB) – which is open for application – offers an average annual return of 2.75 per cent if held for 10 years, versus 1.78 per cent for the SSB issued in January.

Instruments such as SSBs and Singapore dollar fixed deposits have appealing features. They are Singapore-dollar denominated, so there is no currency risk. Historically, the local currency has strengthened against many currencies, and it may appreciate more given Singapore’s stability and strong fiscal position.

Capital is protected, which is valuable in volatile times. Investing in the wrong stock, cryptocurrencies or private equity funds may lead to capital losses, while timing the market wrongly can be painful. For persons who are retired, recouping capital losses via working is not possible. …

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