Investors on the money

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:05pm


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People in Hong Kong are considered savvy investors with considerable investment knowledge. Just look at the number of investors hanging around brokerages checking stock prices on an hourly basis.

Research by MasterCard shows that Hongkongers have been ranked third in terms of overall level of financial literacy in Asia-Pacific.

The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between April and June this year, with 6,904 respondents aged 18 to 64 in 14 Asia-Pacific countries.

MasterCard says the survey polled consumers on three aspects of financial literacy, including basic money management skills, investment knowledge and financial planning to determine the level of skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage.

In terms of overall financial literacy, Hong Kong scored 71 index points - alongside Australia and Singapore - following closely behind Taiwan and New Zealand who tied for first place with 73 index points each.

The survey showed that Hong Kong (68 per cent) continues to top the investment knowledge component of the research, followed by Taiwan (67 per cent) and China (65 per cent). The survey shows that respondents in Hong Kong have a particularly strong understanding of bank statements, and scored above the regional average for monitoring investments (82 per cent versus the regional average of 67 per cent), and working out the suitability of financial products (80 per cent versus the regional average of 78 per cent).

Jeroen van Son, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide, says that the research has given fresh insights into Hongkongers' aptitude for, and knowledge of, managing their finances.

'It is clear from the findings that people in Hong Kong possess strong investment skills and knowledge, reinforcing Hong Kong as an international finance hub. Notably, we are also seeing women in Hong Kong demonstrating strong money management skills and this is a very encouraging sign as there is a compelling need for women to be more capable of managing their finances in today's society,' van Son says.

According to the survey, Hong Kong moved up from fourth to third (72 per cent) when asked about basic money management skills, such as day-to-day budgeting, bill payment, credit commitments and saving money for big purchases, just behind New Zealand (77 per cent) and Australia (75 per cent).