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Asset allocation: Conviction confliction

As we drift towards the end of the year, conferences seem to be full of panels on asset allocation for the 12 months ahead: sometimes a bold investor will go so far as to say what they invest in themselves; sometimes that’s a surprise.

Hou Wey Fook, DBS

At a recent DBS/Bloomberg event in Singapore, DBS’s chief investment officer for wealth management, Hou Wey Fook, made various sensible-sounding calls about where people should put their money and spoke of the virtues of Singapore real estate investment trusts. 

How much of his own money, he was asked, does he put in this niche segment? “75%,” he said.

Some 75% of all of his wealth is in Singapore Reits? He confirmed it. 

“Tax free,” he said, by way of explanation (dividends are not taxed in Singapore, and Reits are all about the dividends). 

Considering in the same presentation he advised investors to put 50% of their money into equities, and only 25% of their global equities into Asia, and some of that into tech/Chinese financials/Chinese construction, it’s fair to say he is pretty overweight Singapore Reits relative to his own advice. 

Still, it’s good to see a CIO with conviction.