Hong Kong Property Prices Keep Rising

December 29th, 2016 Posted in Global Real Estate | No Comments »

Hong Kong Upward Bound Real Estate

Hong Kong’s Upward Bound Real Estate

This was originally published on Feb 10, 2013 on Realestateexpedition.com

Hong Kong is the third most expensive place to buy an apartment, according to a recent report published by Global Property Guide shows. Monaco and London are the most expensive cities on earth for apartments, just before Hong Kong.

An average 600 square feet apartment is expected to cost somewhere between $500,000 to $600,000 USD. However, this high price is not a surprise as Hong Kong has been doubling its property prices in the past four years. In 2012, property prices have increased 20 percent. Hong Kong has one of the most open economies in the world and its property market is investors’ favourite due to easy and straightforward real estate transaction procedures.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

Investors from around the globe, mainly from the U.S. and European countries, are flocking to Hong Kong to chase growth. Hong Kong recently implemented measures to curb its overheated property market. Some of the measures taken were to implement a 15 percent tax for foreign and corporate buyers and the extension of a special duty tax on frequent transactions, along with increasing the supply of apartments. However, these measures were proved to be insufficient to curb property prices. Sales volumes have declined, but no significant price correction has come into effect. Hong Kong’s low rate mortgage supports high property prices in the city. Hong Kong’s lending rate is tied to U. S. low interest rates to maintain currency peg to the U.S. dollar.

As long as the U.S. and developed countries keep their interest rates at a record low and go through quantitative easing, investors will be pouring their capitals in Asia to pursue growth. With capitals flocking in from foreign countries and from local buyers due to low local lending rates, the Hong Kong real estate boom may not bust that soon – as least until 2015, as the US Fed is expected to raise rates gradually starting then.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

December 25th, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized|Off Topic | No Comments »

Happy Holidays

A Dawn Journal YouTube Channel

If you are familiar with A Dawn Journal or just stumbled upon it for the first time, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.

A Dawn Journal has tons of articles to make people’s lives better by covering various aspects of life. Recently, I have stepped up publishing more videos from various walks of life on my YouTube channel. You will find the same quality content which is unbiased, non-sponsored, and authored by myself, just like this website.

Without your support, it would not be possible for this site to survive and thrive as a high-traffic website. I appreciate that and look forward to your visits for years to come.

Scammers Are Working Hard This Holiday Season

December 16th, 2016 Posted in Life|Money Smart Tips | No Comments »

Protect Yourself From Scammers

Protect Yourself From Scammers

Hard working Canadians are busy this time of the year trying to make their families happy by presenting a memorable holiday season. Likewise, relentless scammers and con artists are busy on innocent Canadians to make their holiday season a miserable one. Scammers are always coming up with innovative ways to scam and it’s just not possible to warn everyone about each specific type. However, here are some common scams that are popular among scammers and con artists this time of the year.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

Text Message Scam – Scammers send a text asking you to be a mystery shopper, wrap your car with advertisements, a job offer, a moneymaking opportunity, etc. You will receive a cheque from scammers and in return you have to refund the extra money they paid you or give them your banking info. The cheque they sent is fake, so they will have your extra money and can empty out your bank account if they have banking details.

Shaved Cat Scam – Scammers shave or pluck cats’ hair and sell them as pricey hairless sphynx cats or kittens.

Fake Online Retailers – Scammers set up fake online stores and send out mega-sale flyers or online deals via email or text directing consumers to their fake websites.

Door-to-Door Scam – Scammers are on foot going door-to-door and asking for donations for various charities. Obviously there are no charities and the collected money is going to their own pockets.

There are many other scams that con artists come up with. Your best defence is your common sense and vigilance. If you believe you or someone else have been a victim of a scam, contact your local police and central anti-fraud authority such as The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC).

Tiny Cam Records 4K Video and Goes Underwater

December 10th, 2016 Posted in Internet |Technology, Reviews|Interviews | No Comments »

Akaso EK7000 Action Camera Review

Akaso EK7000 Action Camera Review

If you are familiar with the A Dawn Journal Youtube channel, you may have noticed me posting videos of the places I travel and the hotels I stay in. One of my friends recently suggested that an action camera would be perfect for me (along with my other camera or smartphone camera), as they are small and unobtrusive. But when I started searching for it, I found out that brand name action cameras like Nikon or Go Pro can cost $400/$500 and that’s a lot to spend on something I have no idea about for the first time.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

So I decided to go for a cheaper brand on Amazon and after reading all the reviews and ratings, I decided to give the Akaso action camera a try. If it happens to be a waste, I would not feel bad losing around $100 (instead of $400/$500).

When I received my package and opened it, I was amazed by the miniature size of this high-tech 4K camera and all the features that many expensive cameras will not be able to offer. For example, it can go underwater, you can mount it to your chest, wrist, or head with the accessories provided, and you can see the cam screen on your smartphone.

I did a full box opening and review video of this cam. I will provide a link to the YouTube video on top of this post and don’t forget to check it out.

A funny thing I must mention is that in Toronto if people see crews are filming movie or TV scenes, they will not pay much attention. However, when people saw me recording holding my tiny camera, I got lots of curious stares, as this tiny camera looks very cute and eye-catching. Someone even asked me if this is the world’s smallest camera.

Are ETFs For You?

December 6th, 2016 Posted in ETFs|Mutual Funds | No Comments »

One Distinctive Difference Between ETFs and Mutual Funds

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Distinctive Difference Between ETFs and Mutual Funds

There are currently 7 providers in Canada offering ETFs and more on the way. Since its journey began on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1990 for the first time, ETFs have become a global phenomenon and are trading all major global exchanges around the world. On one side ETF markets are exploding around the globe, but on the other side mutual fund markets are shrinking.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

Savvy investors are switching from mutual funds to ETFs due to their much lower cost and the flexibility of trading on a stock exchange just like a stock. If there is a major distinctive difference you want to point out between mutual funds and ETfs – it would be that mutual funds are sold, not bought, while ETFs are bought, not sold.

Most investors hold mutual funds because they were sold to them by their advisors. Mutual funds pay upfront and ongoing commissions to advisors when they sell these to their clients. However, as ETFs trade on exchanges just like stocks, advisors don’t get any compensation for recommending them to their clients. So there is no point selling something that does not make money, although the costs to hold ETFs are ridiculously lower than mutual funds.

The main reason investors refrain from buying ETFs over mutual funds is because a trading or brokerage account is required to buy ETFs, but advisors can sell mutual funds by opening a simple investment account at the financial institution they are associated with – and no brokerage or trading account is required.

Opening a trading account and buying ETFs may require more work and research, but the costs you will be saving over a lifetime is worth the hassle. All the information you need is available online for free to learn more on ETFs and to become a better investor. Visit the A Dawn Journal ETF Section to learn more about ETFs and I discussed how to open a trading account in my own book Invest Now in simple words.

Credit Card Bonus Rewards Points Shrinking

December 5th, 2016 Posted in Credit Cards|Rewards Cards|Debts | No Comments »

BMO World Elite MasterCard Bonus Rewards Points Shrinking

Several Credit Cards Change Bonus Rewards Points

In the past few weeks, I found out that several credit cards are changing their rewards points options. In my last article, I talked about Scotia Amex Gold Rewards. Today I will talk about two other credit cards that have instituted negative changes, unlike Scotia.

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus MasterCard

This is a free rewards credit card that used to give 1000 bonus points every year on the anniversary date. However, MBNA recently sent a notification mentioning it will no longer provide any anniversary points starting January 1, 2017.

This does not come as a surprise to me, as I was expecting various cutbacks on points and features since TD Bank Group purchased MBNA. MBNA used to offer several cash back and rewards points credit cards with generous rewards and features. However, TD is terrible with its own rewards credits cards and it’s no wonder they will make all MBNA credit cards like their own (with reduced rewards and features). MBNA is no longer the choice for low-annual fee and no-fee credit cards since TD starting axing its benefits. There are other credit card companies that offer better deals for low annual fee and no-fee credit cards.

MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard

This card is no longer providing first year free. Before the $89 annual fee was waived for the first year.

BMO World Elite MasterCard

BMO was one of the few banks in Canada that allowed you to receive introductory bonus points on credit cards when you switch one account to another. For example, the BMO World Elite MasterCard gives 30,000 points (see below) if you apply and get approved. However, if you are already an existing different cardholder at BMO and switched to this card, you would still get 30,000 intro points. A couple of days ago I switched my BMO Air Miles World Elite MasterCard and as such I will receive 30,000 points. However, a BMO rep mentioned that starting January 1, 2017 these intro bonus points on switching one card to another will be discontinued. So if you are an existing cardholder and plan to get the BMO World Elite MasterCard, this is the time to do it.

BMO World Elite MasterCard is also reducing its 30,000 intro bonus points to 20,000 and increased minimum income requirement from $70,000 to $80,000.

When one door closes, another door opens. Always keep an eye open for new opportunities for credit card rewards and A Dawn Journal is here to provide you unbiased information because unlike most other sites, I do not promote any credit cards and I do not receive commissions from credit card companies.

Real Estate In Palm Island Dubai

December 2nd, 2016 Posted in Global Real Estate | No Comments »

Properties In Dubai Palm Islands

 

 

 

 

 

 

Properties In Dubai Palm Islands

The Palm Islands in Dubai are artificial, man-made islands in the Persian Gulf and one of the most ambitious and talked about modern-day real estate projects. It is considered as the 8th wonder of the world and visible from space like the Great Wall of China. The Palm Island project is made of three Palm islands (Palm Jumeriah, Palm Jabel Ali, and Palm Deira) and there are varieties of apartments, villas, and houses available for real estate investors to explore.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

The Palm Islands were the idea of Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the king of Dubai. State-owned property developer Nakheel Properties is behind the development of this artificial archipelago with the help of Belgian and Dutch construction companies. It is estimated that nearly 53 million pounds of sand and 12 million pounds of rock were used to construct these islands from the ocean floor.

The Palm Islands have 60 hotels, 4000 beachside villas, 1000 water homes, 5000 shoreline apartments with other facilities such as shopping malls, marinas, water parks, sport facilities, a ski resort, and so on. Residents can access these islands via bridges, boats, or monorail system.

Apartments in the Palm Islands can range from 1 bedroom to 4 or more bedrooms. Each apartment can have a view of the landscaped gardens or the Persian Gulf sea view. Price range can be from lower $300 thousands to over $2 million dollars US. A villa can cost from less than 1 million US$ to 10 and above million US$ depending on location and what type of view it offers. The amenities available in one of the apartments or villas make you feel like are living in an upscale ocean resort – not in a residential unit.

Although residential property prices have slumped in Dubai right after the financial crisis in 2009, there have been steady upward trends in prices since then. Villa and apartment prices have gone up 20 and 7 percent annually since then. Many new projects have been announced in 2012. Multibillion dollar project Mohammed Bin Rashid City is one of the new projects to raise investors’ curiosity across the globe. It is expected to feature the largest mall in the world – with a park which is 30 percent bigger than Hyde Park in London.

Looking forward in 2013, Dubai’s property is expected to be one of the strongest performers due to its increased demand. Professionals relocating from Asian and western countries are expected to rise and push up the demand for luxury homes. Barring any drastic slowdown in global economy, we should see more high-end projects to keep up with its demand in the future years.

Is Travel Credit Card Scotiabank Gold American Express Now A Cash Back Credit Card As Well?

November 26th, 2016 Posted in Credit Cards|Rewards Cards|Debts | No Comments »

Scotiabank Gold Amex Credit Card Offers New Feature

Scotiabank Gold Amex Credit Card Offers New Feature

Scotiabank Gold American Express travel credit card is known for its mega proprietary points offer on selected categories, beating any other cards. For example, 4 points for every $1 spent at eligible gas, grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases in Canada. You can read my full review here: The ScotiaBank Gold American Express Card Review. However, a recent change made on Scotia Rewards Program, starting November 6, 2016, makes Scotiabank Gold Amex Credit Card as a Cash Back credit card as well.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

In the past, Scotiabank Gold Amex card members were only allowed to redeem points for travel purchases, as it’s a travel rewards credit card. But to make the use of this credit card more flexible and attractive, Scotiabank is now allowing you to redeem points for statement credit on any purchases. This change of feature makes this card basically a travel credit card that works as a Cash Back credit card as well.

However, this change puts Scotiabank Gold Amex card in direct competition with Scotia’s own cash back credit card, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card, which offers 4 percent on gas + grocery and 2 percent on pharmacy + recurring bills. Read my review on this card here Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card review if you need to decide which one to choose.

There is another travel credit card, the MBNA World Elite Rewards MasterCard, which offers a flat 2 points per dollar on all spending and allows you to redeem points for cash back.

I consider this cash back option offered by Scotiabank Gold Amex travel credit card as a positive change, as it provides greater flexibility for customers.

5 ATM Tips to Save You From Scammers

November 20th, 2016 Posted in Life|Money Smart Tips | No Comments »

5 ATM Tips to Save You From Scammers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beware of No-Name ATMs

Technology is improving security features on your ATM cards and bank machines. And con artists or scammers are upgrading their skills to keep up with the technology. Using some simple tips and common sense can go a long way to save your money from the con artists. Here are a few tips today:

– Be extremely careful using no-name ATM machines. No-name machines are owned by private businesses or individuals, not any financial institutions. Always use precautions when using these stand-alone machines. Not only you are paying additional ATM fees, but also you are taking additional risks of getting scammed using these machines.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

– Scammers use high tech devices such as hidden cameras, scanning devices, and card readers to copy your debit or credit card information and then they make clone cards to empty out your bank or credit card accounts. If you notice or feel something unusual such as slot is too tight for your card, visible attachment to the machine, signs sticking on the wall asking you to use one particular machine, someone standing nearby the machine and pretending to read a newspaper, or anything that does not make sense, leave that spot right away and go to different location.

– Cover your keypad so any person behind you or any video camera cannot see your password input on keypad.

– Your card should enter through the slot smoothly. If you struggle to enter your card or notice anything unusual on the slot, do not use that ATM. If the ATM eats your card, call your bank immediately.

– Always be vigilant, take precautions, and use your common sense. For example, if you see an ATM that is not well-lit, or an ATM in a bad neighbourhood, or anything suspicious, do not use that ATM.

Donald Trump Global Economy Effects In Brief

November 17th, 2016 Posted in Canada|Global Economy | No Comments »

Donald Trump and Global Economy

Donald Trump and Global Economy

The global economy was already on a rough ride due to low consumer confidence and business, weak investments and depressed commodity markets, rising debt and low interest rates, and much more. And now, to add more to the rough ride, the surprise victory of Donald Trump is another integer in the equation. Here are some of the concerns that can derail the global economy further in the Trump era.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

China

Imposing a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imported goods. This will make everything more expensive for consumers (goods made in USA also use Chinese materials) and China might retaliate with similar tariff on US imports. In the end, everyone in the globe will be a loser.

Mexico

Mexico has the most to lose if Trump does what he said he would do. Dismantling NAFTA, slapping a 35 percent tariff, rounding up illegal immigrants, and possibly more will have economic impacts on Mexico and in the US as well.

Canada

Canada actually can both gain and lose from Trump’s presidency. Cancelling or renegotiating the TTIP and NAFTA agreements are both negatives. However, approving the Keystone XL Pipeline would allow shipment of bitumen from Alberta to the U.S. and would be definitely a plus.

Trump has argued that by neglecting national debt by cutting taxes for the wealthy, cutting regulations, and reducing imports he can make the GDP grow 4 percent (from 2 percent currently). However, analysts disagree. Many believe that adopting Trump’s proposals on trades, taxes, immigration and government spending would destroy millions of jobs and the U.S. economy will be isolated and diminished.

Also, US dollars are still the main reserve currency in the world and only the US Federal Reserve is responsible for the supply. If Trump tries to influence the Fed’s policies and interest rates, it will create havoc both in the U.S. and global economy.

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