3 July 2018 FT — Articles to Read

3 July 2018

Question: According to MoneyTalksNews, what are 20 purchases that buyers nearly always regret?

Japan labour shortages to drive big automation outlays – Pg. 3

–          Japanese companies are signaling a sharp rise in capital spending this year as industry eyes robots, IT and factory automation to offset worker shortages and the tightest labour market in four decades

Ecommerce and overcapacity stall mall projects in China – Pg.

–          Chinese retail real estate construction – for years the world’s largest – has peaked and is expected to decline during the next few years as developers struggle with overcapacity and the rise of ecommerce

–          Retail supply in 17 large cities …grew last year with the completion of almost 10m sq m of new space – equivalent to 14,000 football pitches.  That will fall 16% to 7.9m sq m this year

–          Mall developers…have faced vacancy rates above 20% in some cities, may welcome the news as they are able to push up rents

–          Rental costs at malls have been stagnant for years but will increase modestly this year as tenancy rises, ….

–          Chinese retail sales growth is among the world’s fastest, at about 10% year-on-year, but an increasing proportion of that spending is going to ecommerce.  Online shopping accounted for 20% of total retail spending last year, up from 4% in 2010

–          The number of malls with gross floor area of more than 10,000 sq m in the 30 largest cities is expected to increase from about 1,000 to more than 1,400 by 2019, …

Answer: (1) Boat (Prof Note: I have looked into purchasing seadoos so many times and the numbers and hassle never work for me.  I cannot even imagine a boat!); (2) Timeshare (Prof Note: I did more research at the Four Seasons Nevis and there villas, many of them, have fractional ownership.  No one could explain how it worked.  Roughly, as best I could figure, for $500,000 one purchased 1/10 ownership of a Villa which entitled them to four weeks.  However, it was unclear if it was the same 4 weeks AND you could not leave your stuff so it was really like prepaying for a 4 week holiday); (3) Extended Warranties (Prof Note: One cannot put a price on piece of mind…); (4) Desktop Computers (Prof Note: Most of my computers are desktop..love them!); (5) DVDs (Prof Note: $5.00 bin at Walmart!); (6) Giant tent or other expensive camping equipment (Prof Note: I thought Millennials were into “Glamping”?!  I’ll be at the Marriott…thank you very much!); (7) Camcorder (Prof Note: Can you say, “iPhone”?); (8) Home printer (Prof Note: I just purchased one for Nevis with NO regrets!); (9) Pedometer (Prof Note: What the heck is this anyway?); (10) Home exercise equipment (Prof Note: A lawfirm was moving and I purchased their entire gym for under $500.  Yes, I am buff!); (11) One-use kitchen gadgets; (12) Pools and hot tubs (Prof Note: Guilty!!!  I built one and purchased the other.  Guilty pleasure!); (13) Piano (Prof Note: If I could play, I would proudly display a piano.  Until that point, a keyboard it is!); (14) Fine China (Prof Note: I hope when I am invited I am not expected to eat from paper plates! J); (15) Extravagant wedding (Prof Note: One of my favourite wedding stories was when I was talking with a very successful developer whose son was getting married.  He was paying for part of the wedding.  So, nosy me, asks how that occurred.  He said, “The bride’s father asked if I could contribute.”  I said, “Please, please tell me how this occurred.  Where did he ask this of you?”  The groom’s father said, “well, we were at his weekend house…”  I said, “What???  Did you say, ‘his weekend house’?”  He looked at me and said, “Roger, my son means the world to me.  The location was not lost on me.  However, I want the best for my son.”  Great man!); (16) Pricey engagement rings (Prof Note: Read my published article, Engagement Ring, on pricing an engagement ring.  You gotta pay what she’s worth!); (17) Collectibles; (18) Baby gadgets (Prof Note: With the notable exception of a LugBug!  I never leave home without my LugBug!  I use it on all my suitcases.  www.lugbug.com); (19) Giant desserts (Prof Note: If you want to look like me, don’t pass up the giant dessert); (20) Putting standard items on credit (Prof Note: This is ridiculous!  Put EVERYTHING on the credit card for the free points!)