Happy Birthday Singapore!

Congratulations Singapore on 50 years of independence.

It is truly remarkable just how much our tiny island situated at the tip of the peninsular of Malaya has grown over the last half decade.

The last 50 years has been a textbook lesson in how to run a country.

So successful has Singapore been in developing its economy that China in the East and Britain in the West have emulated its achievements in areas that include town planning and pension provisions.

One can only marvel at the almost seamless progress from a backwater of Malaysia to a first-world economy.

It is the envy of considerably larger economies in the region, which have an abundance of resources. Singapore has none – only its people

But Singapore’s progress has been far from easy.

We were warned at the outset in 1965 that it would be long hard slog. I remember well the mantra at the time – “only the fittest will survive”.

We are being warned again that the next 50 years could be tough too.

That said, Singapore has weathered the oil crisis of 1975. It navigated the 1985 recession. It overcame the 1998 Asia Financial. It survived the 2001 global economic downturn. And it has circumnavigated the 2008 financial crisis.

It will grow over the next 50 years too.

As investors we can participate in the growth, provided we are able to look beyond the present global difficulties and focus on the next decade and beyond.

Whilst past performance is hardly a reliable guide to the future, some things just cannot be ignored.

Over the last 50 years, the rate of inflation in Singapore has average 2.75%. Inflation might not seem like a huge problem right now but it will, if central bankers get their way.

An inflation rate of 2.75% might not seem like much. But even at 2.75% it would erode the purchasing power of S$1,000 now to just S$250 in today’s money in 50 years’ time.

So as we look forward to Singapore’s prosperity over the next 50 years, let’s make sure that we are able to enjoy it, by ensuring that our long-term savings at least keep pace with, if not beat, inflation. That means putting our money to work in inflation-beating assets such as the stock market.

If you'd like to talk more about investing, you can come meet me and the rest of my Fool Singapore team on August 15! 

Please join us at Invest FAIR Singapore on 15 August. (Suntec Centre, Booth B-16). Come chat with us at our booth, and see me give my official SGX investor presentation.

You won't want to miss this! Add Invest FAIR Singapore to your calendar today.

The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.