Interview with Gerald Tay, CREi Academy Group

SG Wealth Builder is honored to conduct an interview with Gerald Tay of Conspiracy of Real Estate Investments (CREi) Academy Group. CREi provides property investment education tailored specifically to the ordinary investor & folk; and share time-tested, proven investment strategies which every keen ordinary investor can learn and apply with consistent success.

Growing up, how is your childhood like? 
How does it shape your investment philosophies?
Unlike many, I was very fortunate to be born into a very rich family in the 1970s Singapore and learnt important wealth philosophies from my multi-millionaire grandfather. Our family were in businesses and property development, and some of these businesses were listed on the SGX Mainboard. 
This particular early part of my life has laid down the foundation of real wealth and investment philosophies, which many ordinary people do not have the fortune to have access to. Their only information on growing their wealth is to rely on the media, so-called wealth ‘experts’ and other misleading sources who have only vested interests in making money out of the ignorant.
Due to unforeseen financial circumstances during my early teens, I have also experienced financial hardships and started work at the tender age of 15 years old.  So, candidly, you can say I have the fortune to experience the different perspectives from both the rich as well as the poor. 
You may read more about my personal biography,
What is your company, CREI all about?
How does it add values to investors?
CREi Academy Group (Conspiracies of Real Estate Investments) was founded on principles to educate the main-stream about the many truths as well as myths on wealth and investments, specifically in the area of property. 
There’re simply too many half-truths and untruths about investments out there that are preventing many ordinary people from achieving their financial wealth and freedom. These so-called beliefs are concocted by the very people with self-vested interest in the markets to lure unwitting buyers to own that ‘dream’, a dream that mostly turns out to be a nightmare with dire financial consequences for most ordinary people.
CREi Values: What I DO for You… and What I DO NOT DO:
do not share sexy, yet impractical and speculative investment theories for ordinary investors. You’ll realise through my many articles and sharing know-hows, the investment strategies I’ve successfully applied over the last 10 years & beyond, are powerful yet conservative and practical enough for the ordinary investor to apply. 
I am not an investment seminar ‘guru’, and do not recruit a team of predatory salespeople to force-sell you expensive seminars, CDs, books and properties that promise so-called ‘millionaire dreams’ and charge ridiculous thousands of dollars to unwitting participants. I’m an investor and I make money investingnot by conducting expensive seminars and workshops. You’ll therefore find besides many informative articles, a pure educational 1- Day workshop seminar, “Choose to Invest Safely & Profitably in the Property Market” that delivers massive investment value and is priced the lowest among the many.
do not use ridiculous fancy marketing words in my context and content, i.e. How to Become a Property Millionaire, Get-Rich-Quick-Easily, Make Millions in xxx months, Buy Properties with No Money Down, Secrets of…, etc. Why? Because these are no more than cheap marketing gimmicks, and not probable to most ordinary investors in their lifetimes.
do not boast and advertise myself as a property ‘guru’, a property ‘expert’ or even a ‘millionaire’ investor. Why don’t I call myself an ‘expert’ or ‘millionaire’? Because anyone and just anyone… can claim to be one. I’m just another successful ‘Average Joe’ wealthy property investor who believes wealth is defined by time and happiness, and not net-worth or dollars. I believe in who I am and believe strongly in what I do and live by 4 simple life philosophies. – Fit, Healthy, Wealthy, Happy.
do not share secrets of making money. Yes, you heard right! If there are really secrets in making millions and becoming super-rich in a short time, I would not be sharing any of it with you. Who will anyway? There’re NO secrets in making money… period! The wealthy and successful rich like my late Multi-Millionaire grandfather make their riches over decades through plain hard work, good foresight and simple practical strategies which I’ll share with you in this blog.
Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words. Go explore my blog, Click Here To Read My Articles and get a feel of how I think and what I do in my investments.
Obviously you are in favour of property as a form of investment to become rich in Singapore.
How about other forms of investment like precious metals, equities and forex?
I’m notin favour of any specific investments to become rich in Singapore, especially if that investor is completely ignorant of any forms of investments. Many ordinary investors would like to believe that they can be successful investors, but many don’t know what they don’t know. They choose to believe they can outwit the market, and love to equate high return investments which can be dubious in nature to be quality investments. Many fail to distinguish the difference due to complacency, stupidity, greediness and ignorance. 
And, I’m not in particular favour of using words like ‘Become Rich’ for ordinary people. These words are no more than cheap marketing gimmicks and they often lead an ordinary investor into the hellish pits of greediness, stupidity, complacency and ignorance.  When people are consumed by envy, they make bad investors. I see it every day. The obsessive need to make more than others can lead to excessive risk-taking, over-leveraging and poor judgement. 
The desire to make more quickly can induce people to trade frenetically and gamble fruitlessly, forsaking the only reliable method of making money on their capital: investing it patiently for long-term growth. Most people should align their assets to make a decent risk-adjusted real return above and beyond the inflation rate, not swing for the fences and strike out in a feverish effort to get ahead. If an investment adviser or broker ever tells you they will make you rich, walk the other way. The most reliable and responsible wealth advice is to grow your money slowly over time.
I prefer using the term ‘Become Wealthy’ instead. It’s more down-to-earth and a lot more realistic and doable for many ordinary people. ‘Rich’ is a very superficial and relative term. Most people think and try to be the next millionaire, but fail to understand it’s not money that makes wealth. I think money is an essential characteristic of wealth, but doesn’t solely represent wealth. 
I had to argue that money can represent wealth, but it can also represent poverty and a whole host of other meanings. Money as a symbol is…quite diverse in meaning.
Sustaining your riches makes you WEALTHY, and sustaining it into the next generation and many generations beyond, makes you wealthier.
 My definition of wealth is simple. I love to live by my own rules. Life on my terms is wealth. This isn’t to say I’m in control of everything, but rather that I am doing what I love to do, at my leisure, and maintaining and improving it, while also being able to enjoy everything that brings pleasure to me, and allows me to continue to work on the projects I value most. That’s my definition of wealth.
When you can define your wealth, you will find the ‘enlightening’ path which will lead you to that investment most suited to your personal ‘modus operandi’ and overall wealth objectives.
Singapore government has implemented a slew of cooling measures on property investments in 
recent years; don’t you think these measures are going to make it even harder for Singaporean 
investors to make money from property?
No. The cooling measures are implemented for a good reason: To subdue current over-inflated property prices. And if the government needs to resort to implementing many cooling measures by stepping into the market, it does not take a lot of common sense for the ordinary investors to know that prices are indeed over-valued and they need to tread extremely carefully or avoid buying altogether.
No governments want an asset bubble like the property market to burst. The political and financial consequences can be deadly. That’s the reason why they have to step in to prevent further price speculation and rises. On the other hand, cooling measures are only temporary measures. They are only implemented when the market gets too feverish, and will most often be removed when prices are subdued due to a financial slowdown or crisis. Take for example, the capital gains tax in the 1990s and the 10% cash upfront in 2003, which have been removed to help the market rise again.
For beginner investors and most people alike in their daily lives, they tend to focus on the problem itself, rather than thinking hard on the solution. 
I met many people who have sustained investment losses and so were interested in becoming educated about property investment. I think they were doing thing backwards. You first have to be educated, because an informed investor is a smart investor. You don’t put your money on the line and hope for the best.
Knowledge is your best chance of protection, your best friend and your solution finder. There are 2 parts of education, namely financial and technical. Financial knowledge is about knowing enough how the macro economics of the global economy function and what makes asset prices goes up or down, while technical knowledge is specifically to that investment where the investor has to put in hundreds or even thousands of hard hours comprehending the nuts and bolts of how that investment works.
With the cooling measures and over-inflated prices, acquiring enough knowledge is your best form of investment today. Opportunity is when knowledge meets preparation. Patience will weed out the real investors from the amateurs.
In the next five years, which direction do you think the local property will head?
I hate to invest on predictions, and have never invested my money for capital gains based on predictions. As an investor, I avoid trying to be a future trend predictor, a ‘fortune-telling’ guru or think I possess super-power psychic. Trying to be either will simply make me lose sleep every night, worrying or thinking about what’s going to happen tomorrow with so many changes abound, and might even put unnecessary pressure on my limited brain capacity.
But if you really like to hear some ‘predictions’, here are 5 of my ‘fortune-telling’ gripes for the next 5 years based on my understanding of the world economy.
1)      The world economy might be headed for a major financial crisis, making the 2008 financial crisis look like a chicken in a coup. Major economies (China, USA, Europe, Japan) are supported by a large quantity of ‘phony’ money printed endlessly by their governments.  Instead of turning the economy around, massive debts are sending these nations towards default, and there’s no escape from a market crash in the future when you have such enormous debts.
2)      Even if there’s no such catastrophic event mentioned above to happen anytime in the next 5 years, there might be some ‘black swan’ event that might just tip the balance and burst the asset bubble, especially in Asia. The ramifications could be severe enough for our Singapore property market, especially when prices are already at ‘bubble-pricked’ levels.
3)      There’s a high possibility of interest rates going up, once markets realised that the bonds which they hold might never be redeemed by broke governments. Although higher interest rates have never been the sole catalyst for property prices to fall, they do have some impact nevertheless.
4)      For the next couple of years, as long as governments and central banks can continue to convince markets of their ability to restore economic growth and certainty through their ‘asset enhancement’ program (money printing), investors (large institutions) will continue to push more money into the system, especially into Asia and asset prices like property may continue to rise or stabilise with more cooling measures ahead.
5)      By 2016 in Singapore, there will be a huge supply of at least 200,000 new residential units coming into the market, both from HDB and private. You have to ask if there will be enough money supply in the market by then to absorb especially for those who hope to sell for capital appreciation. In the commercial sector, rental is one of the most expensive cost components and should there be a financial crisis (high possibility), which businesses can afford to pay high rentals then? 
Whatever direction the property market goes, personally, I don’t care. My property valuations may go down, but they are highly sustainable in terms of the cash flow generated from rental income.
If you are buying on good immediate cash flow today, you are in pretty safe hands to withstand any possible economic shocks. If you are buying on hopes of capital appreciation or future cash flow in the next 5 years, again, candidly best of luck to your investments.

2 thoughts on “Interview with Gerald Tay, CREi Academy Group

  • April 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Just my 5 cents worth, even rental income is not guaranteed, especially in time of economy downturn. In times like this, will need your own cash to tide over.

  • April 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    There are always risk in whatever investments you made. No such thing as guarantee risk free investments. The key is managing the down side and ensuring cash flow.

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