All returns are quoted in per annum time basis
1. Cash - savings accounts - 0.1% to 0.25% (DBS)
2. Cash - fixed D - 0.1% to 0.7%
3. Money market fund - 1-2%
4. SGD treasury bonds - 15 yr bonds - 3%
5. Stocks dividend - roughly 5% (don't kill me over this figure pls, I know there are higher yield than this)
Considering a rough inflation rate of 3-4%, I think most of the places to park your money will give you negative real returns. Except of stocks that is. But this is not a blog post to ape W.E.B's op-ed cry out to buy buy buy. I'm just showing you how much you stand to lose by holding on to the false security of holding cash.
Some of the older folks are holding dear cash since forever, afraid that the stock market will eat up their money. Oh, that's undeniably true - stock market gives good returns and do note that it is also the ONLY one listed above that your capital can be eaten up too. The rest are more or less risk free and pretty much capital guarantee. It reminds me of the boiled frog parable - if you put a frog in boiling water, it'll jump out to safety. If you put a frog in water and warm the water up to boiling point, the small differences will not be perceived so readily by the frog and it will scorch to death.
This analogy extends to holding cash. It's rather easier to get 'eaten' by inflation at the rate of 3% per year passively than a one shot (possible) 5% loss punting the stock market actively.
Still, don't go out and just BUY BUY BUY. Ask yourself this: what to buy, when to buy and how to buy. The market is not your mother - it will snatch the milk bottle off your mouth, steal your toys, tempt you with poisoned sweets and maybe, there's a chance that it will reward you for taking that risk.