Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Prospering in a recession

Well, not my finances but some people seem to be doing well out of the recession:

1. Disneyland: They recently announced a significant increase in the cost of admission to Hong Kong Disneyland for tourists (the fees for locals will be reviewed in a few months). It wasn't cheap to begin with;

2. Physiotherapists: With more people having time to exercise (not necessarily by choice), more people are injuring themselves. Given that I recently had to wait three days before getting an appointment, I can personally testify to this one;

3. Civil servants: The greatest drain on the Hong Kong tax payer awarded themselves above market pay increases in 2008. Needless to say, it would be too much to expect any cuts in either civil service remuneration or numbers;

4. Banks: Banks have widened their spreads between interest paid on deposits and interest charged on loans. Several have also increased fees and charges. So why aren't they doing well? Something to do with management apparently;

5. Tenants: rental levels have fallen significantly for both office and residential leases.

Sadly, all of these are benefiting at my expense - lower income for #5 and higher expenses for the remainder.

A number of potential investments have become a lot cheaper (stocks, real estate), but I am still waiting for any of my living costs to come down.

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