Our resident poorly informed financial advice columnist, Mr. Wu, answers questions from concerned property investors. Hello friends! What a rocky road it’s been over the past few years. We’ve had peaks, crashes and periods of financial uncertainty. But one thing that’s never wavered is the reliability of Hong Kong’s property market to help investors such as myself make a quick buck. Bricks and mortar, my father used to say, is the key to financial security. That said, pops lost a bundle on an IPO for a mainland cement company back in ‘96. Time for a few questions from readers: Dear Mr. Wu, I currently live in a 500 square foot apartment with my wife and two young children in Ap Lei Chau. Friends have been telling me to take advantage of the high selling price to upgrade to a bigger flat in a better location. But I don’t want to strain myself trying to pay for a flat I can’t really afford. What would you suggest? – Cramped but Cautious Dear Cramped, Forget that dated motto, “buy low, sell high”—these days it’s all about “Buy! Buy! Buy!” There’s a prestigious new development named Le Fancy in Wan Chai that sounds perfect for a growing family. In addition to gold-plated tap fixtures (that are probably not lead-based!), the roaring traffic outside is perfect to lull the little ones to sleep, while the exhaust fumes toughen up little lungs for future daily commutes into the Central Business District. Plus, as a new development, you can get up to a 95 percent mortgage on it—which should just about be covered by the sale of your old flat (and perhaps a spare kidney). You just can’t lose! Dear Mr. Wu, I’m concerned about the cooling measures introduced by the government. Will they affect the return on my properties? I’m highly leveraged right now and can’t afford for the market to tank. – Prospector’s Prospects Dear Prospector, Didn’t you get the memo? The government’s cooling measures aren’t about cooling the property market—they’re all about making the property market even cooler—if you catch my drift. I mean come one, why wouldn’t the government want us to become even more prosperous? What they’re really doing is encouraging young people to buy flats with a guerilla sticker campaign, plus free hats. Buy, baby, buy! Dear Mr. Wu, Financial analysts are claiming that properties in Hong Kong are being sold more than 50 percent higher their actual value. How on earth can you encourage people to buy flats at such inflated prices? Do you have any morals whatsoever? – Frustrated Flat Hunter Whoops, seems like I’ve run out of space! Hope that doesn’t frustrate you even more, Frustrated. But here’s my parting shot: There’s never a bad time to get on the property ladder. You wanna rent like some kinda mug forever, be my guest. But property investors? They just can’t lose!* *Disclaimer: Property investors can lose.