From The Straits Times    |

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Katie Kwok

“Living in one of the world’s financial capitals has taught me how to be a savvy investor. It’s very common for colleagues and friends to talk about how and when to invest, and what to invest in. In the news, you also often read about analysts comparing different stocks and investment options. But compared to many people in Hong Kong, I’m quite conservative – instead of risking everything on the stock market, I distribute my money among a fixed deposit account, stocks, bonds and mutual funds.” – Katie Kwok, 31, wedding consultant

“Australians tend to buy property as soon as we start earning money. Property is seen as the ultimate investment, something you can rent out or sell when the value goes up. The government also makes it easier for buyers through its First Home Owner Grant – you get a subsidy on your first property, and the amount varies based on factors like the state you live in, the cost of your home and so on. It’s open to all citizens and permanent residents aged 18 and above.” – Jean Paixao, 27, early childhood educator 

“We have access to a wide range of commercial products and brands. That’s why we always use those handy price comparison and shopping review sites before we buy anything. The English know that if you want a great deal, you have to shop around.” – Claire Kidd, 32, editor 

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Sabine Seilliere

“Growing up, I was constantly reminded of the rule, ‘Make to save and work to save’. Also, Swiss banks offer incentives that make it attractive for people to start saving from a young age. In the 1980s, when I was a kid, the interest rates on savings accounts were around 10 per cent! My father opened an account for me when I was born, and, once I started receiving pocket money, I always saved half of it. All my childhood friends contributed to their savings accounts too. ” – Sabine Seilliere, 35, business director

“The inflation rate here is outrageous – around 6.5 per cent – which translates into high interest rates. Owning a credit card or taking out loans doesn’t make sense. Since I was young, I’ve been taught to avoid using plastic or borrowing money. I always try to pay for things in cash.” – Lais Costa, 35, director of sales and marketing

This story was first published in Her World Magazine September 2014.

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