My Guide to Growing your Wealth in Hong Kong

Note: this page is very much a work in progress. My aim is to create the ultimate guide to managing your wealth in Hong Kong, either as an expat or local.

Whether you’ve just arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport or have been living in Hong Kong for several years, it’s important to think of how to invest your money. This guide is intended to show you the most cost efficient and effortless ways to make your money work for you.

Arming yourself with knowledge

I am not going to tell you all the background information about investing. There are already many people who have written about this. I will assume you have the basic knowledge and then help you to apply this to your home in Hong Kong.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend the following books as pre-reading

  • More Scientific: A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton Gordon Malkiel
  • More practical: Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas by Andrew Hallam

Both are very readable but it’s fair to say that the Hallam book was built on the shoulders of the Malkiel book. If you have limited time, the Hallam book is your best bet but if you would like to know more about the theory read Malkiel as well.

Common Mistakes

As soon as you update your LinkedIn profile to say that you are in Hong Kong people from various insurance and asset management firms will start messaging you. They may even find out your work phone number or email address and start contacting you through those channels. They are incessant. And this is why you should not consider buying their products – they are glorified salespeople paid a commission and performance bonus. That commission is coming out of your returns.

They will often start the sales pitch with the promise of tax optimisation. In most cases what they are selling you is a “Qualifying Deferred Annuity Policy”. The salespeople are not lying when they tell you that you can save tax, but you are doing so at the expense of abysmal returns and investing in illiquid and deliberately hard to understand products. It is seriously not worth investing in these products and I will write more about it another time.

Revision History

In the interest of transparency, I aim to keep a history of major revisions made to this page especially any errors that were corrected

  • 18 June 2023 – Initial draft published