Friday, 16 December 2016

Why I read Transitioning.org

The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for the first time this year and there's talk of 3 more increases to come next year. Stock markets and oil prices reacted. TPG Telecom wins right to be Singapore's next telco in an already saturated market to compete against Singtel, Starhub and M1 and their stock prices tanked. This is right after a number of days of bullish run for global stock markets.

Look at how volatile the equity markets can be. This is why I know I can't trade and have to remind myself to ignore short-term price movements. There's so many factors that impact each industry and they can develop & evolve differently over time. Hence, my preference for ETFs to risk diversify the impact of various factors on a range of industries across multiple countries.

Positive affirmation of my ETF investing strategy aside. I read about redundancies in Singapore hitting a 7 year high in the first 9 months of this year, which is the highest since the global financial crisis in 2009. That was actually more concerning for me.

It confirms my fear that the negative economic conditions is flowing through to the job market a lot more. Plus PMETs with tertiary qualifications formed the majority of Singapore resident layoffs. Feels like we got a target on our backs now.
Do you follow the website Transitioning.org? It's a support site for the unemployed and underemployed. When I was jobless as a graduate in 2010, I was actually reading this website for advice and encouragement even though it's more relevant to Singaporeans and I was in Melbourne at that time.

It made me feel less alone at a time when I was desperately looking for work overseas to give myself a reason to stay on in Australia. Even after I found a job and was employed for years after that, I continued to read posts on Transitioning.org. It was a reminder of how tough life can be for the jobless & the problems they face. And a reminder to have empathy.

Even though my wife and I have not had to go through that for some time now, it doesn't mean we should forget that retrenchment and hard times continue to strike people's lives. We could be one or two job losses away ourselves from being part of the statistics.

What makes it worse is when I read about how Singapore residents are forced out of their jobs under unreasonable employment conditions with no recourse. I only realised how little we can do about it when writing my post about making a claim against an employer. It sucks.

As economic conditions deteriorate, firms will always cut costs in the easiest manner - by reducing headcount. Sometimes unfairly so. Must we wait for things to worsen before we start addressing this issue properly?

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with you especially when we are in banking and finance. UBS just announced job cuts in Asia. As to your question in the last sentence, we should always upgrade ourselves with relevant skills and move into functions that won't get easily replaced. Also building an investment portfolio and active saving helps

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