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Rina Hoshi

United States

Member since December 05, 2013

  • Bn-bf126_hkxmas_g_20140123052454_177_

    Nearly one year ago, year-over-year growth in jewelry sales was as high as 19%, said Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president for MasterCard Advisors, a division of the U.S.-based credit-card company. But according to a MasterCard report analyzing Hong Kong spending, that growth rate dipped below 6.4%, the average overall retail growth rate in the city last month.

    For years, Hong Kong has seen waves of mainland Chinese tourists rushing across the border to buy gilt and gold watches, jewelry and more—a phenomenon that’s helped one local jewelry chain sprout some 80 stores in the city of 7 million, a number that outstrips even the city’s inventory of KFC branches. At this point, fully 23 cents out of every dollar in retail sales in Hong Kong is spent on jewelry, MasterCard says. (By contrast, that figure in the U.S. is less than 1 cent.)

    Among growth in retail sectors from groceries to clothing, that of jewelry sales ranked dead last in December, Ms. Quinlan said. Growth “basically fell off a cliff” starting in July and has continued to taper since, she said, following a crackdown on corruption on the mainland.

    “Since [jewelry] represents such a significant percentage of total retail sales here, that’s quite concerning for the overall Hong Kong economy,” she said. MasterCard’s report was based on data that included transactions made via the company’s payments network in Hong Kong, as well as estimates of other payment forms including cash and check.

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  • Talking about risk, trading in stock is an area not many people would want to enter as they would want enough assurance that their investment will not only be protected but that they would make a profit out of it in the short-term or the long-term. The website provides some parameters for measuring and controlling risks involved in stock trading.

    For the beginner or student, risk may not be such a real factor until he or she actually invests real money in the market. We all know that our money will still be at risk whether it remains in our pocket, in the bank or in the stock market. The potential for making big profit, however, is the come-on that the industry hopes to utilize to encourage more and more people to invest into it.

    But risk is just one of the many hurdles one must face in stock trading. Even when one makes an earning from one’s investments, there are some factors to consider, such as capital gains tax, income tax and even stamp tax. How do these taxes affect one’s earnings? And by how much? Are they minimal in amount or substantial that after all has been computed, do you still enjoy a big percentage of earning? Are all these costs, including broker’s fees and one’s pre-buying/educational expenses, really worth the effort of joining this treasure hunt?

    The ultimate question then is this: Is there a minimum amount of money one must have in order to be a sensible, no-nonsense player in the stock market? How much? And would a person casually spending lo...