Monday, December 31, 2007

2006 & 2007 Greatest Accomplishment

Let’s see what I did well in the past and screwed up in the past as well:

What I Did Well

  • I successfully ran out of my comfort zone and joined a new company. I learned a lot of things out of it. My learning curve shoots up exponentially. Most importantly, what I learned build up my competent area in my expertise.
  • I successfully maintained my yearly income raise at 7% rate or higher in order for me to achieve financial freedom at 40. So far, this holds true in these 7 years of my working experience.
  • I managed to move my parents out of their comfort zone too. They are staying in East Malaysia and I’m in the West Malaysia. I meet them once a year (sometimes more than that) and this is not a solution in long term. They have sold their house eventually and officially will move to West Malaysia in May 2008. They are going to stay at this house.
  • I managed to start 2 blogs(i.e. software blog and financial blog) to generate income out of it. I set a very minimum goal to get a Google’s check by end of this year and I finally able to do it by 2007. This is also one of my second incomes. Although the earning is not as many as I wish, it is a good start and able to cover the cost I registered a domain which I don't use. :D Most importantly, I use blogging to help me to manage my thoughts and goals. I can also share what I learn to all of you.

What I Screwed Up
  • I failed to survive in a new company. Perhaps I stay in the comfort zone for too long. Although I learned a lot of things in this new company and I realized that I cannot perform as good as in my ex-company for several reasons. When I know I can’t perform as what I expected, it translates to my next focal review which will not meet my 7% target. I rejoined my ex-company in different department with the second time of salary raise to maintain the 7% rate.
  • I failed to start a business. I was once together with my wife and few colleagues planned to start a “comic bookstore” business. We did a lot of researches and we financially did not go for it. Starting a business is not as easy as I thought. It is not only time consuming but it requires a huge amount of capital. Maintaining a good relationship with your business partners is also another problem and needs to be managed well. For this experience, I realized that I don’t born naturally with business (not sure about internet business yet) and I don’t do well in sales too.
  • I discontinued my second income on giving 1-on-1 tuition service. I stopped doing this because I wanted to put more focus on the new job which I failed eventually also. However, what I did is conflict with my personal financial goal which is to build my second income. Then, why I want to stop? I shouldn’t have discontinued my second income.
  • I failed to exercise at least once in a week. I think in average I exercise once to twice a month. My target is once in a week only. Although I understand the importance of health, but I ignore it like the rest of you. This is my bad. Perhaps I should remind myself often that we need health to build wealth.
  • I failed to track my financial status monthly. 2 years ago my wife took an initiative to track our finance daily. So, I told her tracking it daily is very hard. Sooner or later you’re going to stop doing it. Guess what, I’m right. Few months later she gave up and I took over her job. I have a brilliant idea to track it monthly instead by monitoring our bank account expenses. I have been doing this successfully until the last September 2007 I stopped updating it monthly until today. Reason is "Lazy" and "Busy" - a very popular reasons. Perhaps I should just change it to yearly instead of monthly or I can set a check point at every six months.
This is what I did well and screwed up in past 2 years. I hope I’m not a loser because I have 5 items in my screwed-up list as compared to 4 items in my success list. The screwed-up list will be used to help me to define my 2008 and 2009 goals.

Time flies! Whatever, I'm here to wish you HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008!

Friday, December 28, 2007

10 Years Retirement Plan Is Possible

Most of my friends feel ridiculous when I told them I want to retire in 10 years. They even laugh at me and they think it is impossible. Is it really true? Let’s me prove it.

My monthly income is $5,000 and yearly will be $5,000 X 12 = $60,000. My monthly expense is $3,000 and $36,000 in a year.

Let’s do a simple math here how much I will spend in 10 years with the 4.5 % inflation rate.

Current Expenses = Last Year Expense + (Last Year Expense X 4.5%)

  1. $36,000 + $36,000 X 4.5% = $37,620
  2. $37,620 + $37,620 X 4.5%= $39,313
  3. $39,313 + $39,313 X 4.5% = $41,082
  4. $41,082 + $41,082 X 4.5% = $42,931
  5. $42,931 + $42,931 X 4.5% = $44,862
  6. $44,862 + $44,862 X 4.5%= $46,881
  7. $46,881 + $46,881 X 4.5%= $48,991
  8. $48,991 + $48,991 X 4.5% = $51,195
  9. $51,195 + $51,195 X 4.5%= $53,499
  10. $53,499 + $53,499 X 4.5%= $55,906
In 10 years, my monthly expenses now become $55,906 which is $4,659 monthly. It is 155% increase from $3000, Wow! No wonder the compound interest is so powerful.

To be financially independent (assuming the investment return is 8%), I need to have total of $55,906 / 8% = $698,836 investment. Wow! So much! That means in 10 years time if I want to be financial freedom, I must have at least $698,836 in cash for investment. Is that possible? Let’s do another simple math again. Now, I want to calculate how much cash I have in 10 years.

Total Current Cash =
Last Year Cash Balance + Current Year Income
– Current Year Expenses + Current Year Investment Return

Total Current Cash =
Last Year Cash Balance + (Last Year Income + Last Year Income X 7%)
– Current Year Expenses + (Last Year Cash Balance X 8%)

I have $120,000 cash now. This is how much I have in 10 years time:
1. $120,000 + ($60,000 + $60,000 X 7% = $64,200)
– $37,620 + $120,000 X 8% = $156,180
2. $156,180 + ($64,200 + $64,200 X 7 % = $68,694)
– $39,313 + $156,180 X 8% = $198,056

[I lazy to write here, actually you can use the MS Excel to calculate all these. I skip to the last year]

10. $719,278 + ($110,308 + $110,308 X 7 % = $118,030)
– $55,907 + $719,278 X 8% = $838,942
Wow! I will have $838,942 in 10 years. Assuming still 8% return, I will have $67,115 income without working anymore. Minus out my expenses $55,906, I still have extra $11,209 which means $934 monthly. This is what we all call FINANCIAL FREEDOM!

To achieve financial freedom in 10 years, please note the following conditions must hold true:
  1. Inflation rate is less or equal to 4.5%
  2. My Income continue to grow with at least 7%
  3. My Investments return have at least 8%
  4. No major unplanned expenses (E.g. Medical fees for parents)
To make it simple, I don’t include the car and housing loan into this calculation. My spouse will cover the car and housing loan within these 5 years anyway. The income excludes my spouse income as well. Also, I almost forgot the education fees for my children. Let’s omit that first for simplicity and assuming my spouse will settle that as well. Yes, she can settle that in fact.

One more last very important thing is the medical fees for parents. This is the most worry thing that I may fail to retire in 10 years time. I haven’t really got a chance to attack this yet. Anyway, 10 years retirement plan is my stretch goal. 15 years retirement plan is my measure of success. I still have 5 years tolerance for anything that out my plan. Having said that, even though after I become financially independent, I’m sure I will still continue working and generate extra income but of course in a more relax way.

So, 10 years retirement plan is possible for me. Please don’t laugh at me, this is no kidding. You can't do it doesn't mean I can't too. What about you? Have you ever thought about it? Do you know you can actually retire in 10 years as well?

p/s: Btw, this is just my rough estimation only. Detail exact and supporting data it is all in my excel spreadsheet.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hate Your Job but Quitting Is Not an Option

Do you hate your job? If you hate your job, but can't quit for financial or career-related reasons, here are some ways what you can do:

Identify What You Like and Don’t Like About Your Job
First thing what you can do is to list out all of the things that you like and don't like about your job. Write it down in a paper and most importantly is to be specific. If your boss is making you unhappy, you need to figure out exactly what it is that borders you about him or her.

“I hate my boss because he doesn’t coach me and expect me to finish the job by my own”

If a particular task in your job makes you happy, write it down on the paper.

“I love my job especially giving training to others and coaching others, I love coaching!”

Change What You Can To Fix It

After identifying what don’t’ like about your job, the second thing to look into is to identify what you can change to fix it.

For example if you're expecting your boss to coach you, try to see things from his or her perspective why he doesn’t want to coach you. Set 1-on-1 with him to figure out a solution for this. If he is busy, can he assign someone more senior people to coach you? There could be a lot of solutions to this, what important you need to focus is:

“change what you can change to fix it.” Focus the circle of influence in 7 habits.

Become Expert In The Task That You Like

If there are certain activities you really enjoy doing, try to become the resident expert so that you can specialize and do more of them. This is no kidding. If quit is not really an option for you, you have to find a task that really can motivate you which is the task that you enjoy most. The more energy you’re putting into this area, the more motivated you are. If the tasks that you like are probably 10% out of your total tasks, you need to figure out how to expand the 10% to 50%. Even to 50% is considered to be very good since you hate your job now. The ultimate goal that you want to achieve is:

“I’m paid to do what I love” Sounds great, huh?

You Need Strategy to Change to Your Dream Job

If you hate your job now, it is probably the job what you have now is not your dream job unless you no longer hate your job after you expand the 10% to 80%.Talk with people who are in the jobs to which you aspire. Find out what skills, training and experience you will need to make your next move. Then, use your time to fill in the gaps. You may also need to take classes and build network in your desired profession. Decorate your resume and when the opportunity arises, you’re ready for it.

“Opportunity is always given to the people who have done enough preparation.”

Hope this is something useful for those can't quit their current job for various of reasons.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Strategy to Retire Rich

2 solutions to become rich which are to earn more and to spend less. There are few options what you can do to earn more and to spend less. Check out the 2 solutions to retire rich post.

However, not all the options apply to me but some of them. Since I want to retire early (my ultimate goal), retire later is not an option for me. Also, I want to have a better life, I want laptop! Therefore reducing my expenses for only my needs are not my option. As long as I just don't over spend for pursuing my better life, it should be fine. So, I only left few options, which are build second income, start saving today and move to a cheaper place. In order to do all these especially to move to a cheaper place. I need a strategy.

So my strategy is, I will continue to save my earnings, increase my second income earnings and finally move to a cheaper place. In order for me to move to a cheaper place, I need a different skill set. I want to expand my expertise or skill. So, my next move is to build my second expertise and use that skill to generate my second income. My ultimate goal is to increase my second income as much as my primary income now using this new expertise. It is a very stretch goal in fact. With this new set of skills, I can also move to the cheaper place or any other place which requires my new expertise. Sounds great?

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Why No Motivation at Work?

This is the most common problem for those who have been working for more than 5 years in a corporate world. Unlike when you have just graduated, you have very high motivation to work. You work from days to nights just to hope that you will be promoted next year. However after a while (~5 years), you have no longer have high motivation as used to be. Indeed, you’re having hard time dragging yourself into work every morning.

There are few reasons why this could be happening based on my own experience:

1. Your Effort Do Not Direct Proportional to Your Return

This simply means you give 150% and it doesn’t mean you will get 150% in return. You probably only get the 50% return if you’re lucky. In the corporate world, some incapable employees just get promoted not because they’re capable but based on the several of reasons (E.g. their job function, their networking, political reasons and etc.) Sometimes you don’t do anything, you will still get the 50% in return. More ridiculously if you very lucky, you get promoted somehow. So you wonder, should I put in extra efforts or less efforts? It seems like the return of putting extra efforts as compared to less efforts is not much difference. Why should I waste my time putting more effort if the returns are still the same?

2. You Have Your Own Mission and Vision

A company has a mission and vision. As an employee, we must follow the mission and vision. However, what if you have different mission and vision from your company? The direction where your company wants to go is totally opposite from the direction where you want to go. To be a responsible employee, you must follow the company’s mission and vision. However, the longer you stay with the company, the more distance you’re apart from your mission and vision because your company is moving towards a different direction. You may wonder, should I still stay here?

3. Your Boss De-motivates You

Your boss de-motivates you rather than the other way round. Some bosses are very good motivators but some bosses just suck. Yet they suck but their salary is much higher than yours. You start asking, why he/she gets so much money than I am since all the contributions are from mine, not from him/she?

4. You have Relationship Issues

There are many types of relationship issues. It could be your relationship issues with anyone (e.g. your boss, your colleagues and your sub-ordinates). These relationship issues make you out of focus in your work and basically you feel uncomfortable everyday when you go to work because of this screw up relationship. Some of the most common relationship issues are you do not have friends and feel lonely, you have enemies in the workspace and they always go against you, conflict with your boss or colleagues, and you fall in love with your boss or colleagues which makes you out of control sometimes.

5. Your Company is Not Performing

You get promoted but without salary raise. You are no longer receive the bonus that you used to have. You friends or bosses have been laid off due to company's cost saving or downsizing. No need to say much, I think is common that employees are de-motivated when their company is not performing as expected.

Which are the reasons cause you de-motivated at work? Are there listed here?

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

No One Wants to Rent Your Property

Let's look at the most common problem in property rental and see if we can learn from it to avoid the same mistake the most investors do. Probably we can also learn how to survive with the bad decision that we have made.

The root cause of empty rental property would probably due to the "poor location". You're probably attracted by the cheaper price property. But you need to pay price too because the cheaper houses are usually located far away from the crowded area. Unless you're expecting the area to grow, then you probably still can put a bet on it.

If you want to able to rent out your properties 365 days a year, you have to buy properties in areas where there are a lot of jobs, a large variety of jobs. These are usually in a big towns and cities. For example, Klang Valley, Damansara, Subang Jaya, USJ and Penang in Malaysia. This applies to all countries in the world in fact. Too expensive you may ask? Then buy apartment instead of landed property.

The second factor of causing empty rental property is high rentals. It is a common sense when a demand is low and you can't get a business, what will you do? Of course lower your rentals, study your competitors rental fees and set your rental fees probably 5%-10% lower then them. I bet some tenants will start calling you soon. It is still better to let it empty right?

But if I were you, I would find a chance to sell that property and buy another one where located in more crowded area. Having said that, the first step is to lower your rental fees when you soon realize you''re not able to rent out your property. This is to minimize the lost.

p/s: I don't rent out my property yet due to the disagreement from family. Life is challenging (be positive) especially when a decision is no longer can be decided by your own. :)

Worldwide Top 50 Semiconductor by Growth Rate in 2006

If you're working for semiconductor company, hope your company is listed here. The table shows the worldwide top 50 semiconductor sales leaders ranked by growth rate in 2006:

2006 Rank Company Headquarters 2005 Tot Semi 2006 Tot Semi 06/05 % Change
1 ProMOS Taiwan 916 1,845 101%
2 Elpida Japan 1,954 3,474 78%
3 Powerchip Taiwan 1,603 2,829 76%
4 Qimonda Europe 3,423 5,413 58%
5 Nanya Taiwan 1,546 2,307 49%
6 AMD U.S. 3,936 5,649 44%
7 Hynix South Korea 5,599 8,009 43%
8 SanDisk** U.S. 2,067 2,927 42%
9 Sony Japan 4,223 5,804 37%
10 Broadcom** U.S. 2,671 3,668 37%
11 Chartered* Singapore 1,132 1,528 35%
12 Marvell** U.S. 1,631 2,198 35%
13 Spansion U.S. 2,003 2,579 29%
14 Qualcomm** U.S. 3,457 4,422 28%
15 Nvidia** U.S. 2,353 2,980 27%
16 SMIC* China 1,183 1,455 23%
17 ON Semi U.S. 1,261 1,532 21%
18 Maxim U.S. 1,670 1,990 19%
19 TSMC* Taiwan 8,217 9,748 19%
20 TI U.S. 11,300 13,200 17%
21 Fairchild U.S. 1,426 1,651 16%
22 Altera** U.S. 1,124 1,286 14%
23 Vishay (incl. Siliconix) U.S. 1,142 1,305 14%
24 Xilinx** U.S. 1,645 1,872 14%
25 Mitsubishi Japan 1,345 1,530 14%
26 IBM U.S. 3,495 3,955 13%
27 UMC* Taiwan 3,259 3,670 13%
28 MediaTek** Taiwan 1,444 1,626 13%
29 Micron U.S. 4,954 5,520 11%
30 ST Europe 8,870 9,854 11%
31 Samsung South Korea 17,838 19,670 10%
32 Fujitsu Japan 3,500 3,858 10%
33 Analog Devices U.S. 2,370 2,587 9%
34 Toshiba Japan 9,045 9,782 8%
35 Freescale U.S. 5,598 6,049 8%
36 Infineon Europe 4,874 5,120 5%
37 National U.S. 1,939 2,027 5%
38 Atmel U.S. 1,676 1,751 4%
39 NXP (former Philips) Europe 5,646 5,874 4%
40 NEC Japan 5,593 5,685 2%
41 Rohm Japan 2,813 2,850 1%
42 Sharp Japan 3,430 3,471 1%
43 Sanyo Japan 1,715 1,640 -4%
44 Renesas Japan 8,266 7,900 -4%
45 Matsushita Japan 4,097 3,835 -6%
46 Intel U.S. 35,395 32,268 -9%
47 Oki Japan 1,770 1,590 -10%
48 Agere**(Merging w/LSI) U.S. 1,735 1,525 -12%
49 Avago** U.S. 1,825 1,588 -13%
50 ATI** (Purch. By AMD) Canada 1,810 1,350 -25%
*Foundry **Fabless
Source: IC Insights
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Making Sperm from Women

Do you know women can make sperm? I just aware of this. In case you're like me, I think this is something worth to be shared. In fact, women can't make sperm at least still hold true at this moment. However surprisingly according to this research (link removed due to no longer available), women may not need to have sex with guys to have baby. They may able to generate the sperm within their own body. In other words women may able to give births by themselves with men.

In my opinion this kind of research, it seems possible but I bet it could take years to be reality. Perhaps when that day comes, I may no longer in this world. What is your bet? Think of it again, this is great discovery but what is the point? Does it makes the world a better life? If this really becomes true one day, probably we will help the world to have more lesbians. Will making more lesbian makes our world a better life? Maybe to those are lesbians would agree with that. What about the negative impacts? I can't really imagine...

Why don't all those brilliant scientists spend all their resources on making the cures for those diseases such as cancer, AIDs and etc? Don't you think this will make the worlds more meaningful and a better life? What for we work so hard to generate sperm from Women since we can get it from men?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Law of Attraction is Useless without Action

After some thought of detail analysis this universal law, I conclude the following equation to get whatever we want in life. Perhaps I should call it universal equation to be successful.


In my opinion, the Law of Attraction (LOA) is only applicable to non-tangible goal (e.g. your emotion). For tangible goal (e.g. money, property), LOA is completely a *CRAP*. For those of you who are trying to apply LOA on tangible goal, you’ll be most likely trapped in your dream world and never able to achieve your goal. Applying LOA on non-tangible goal will only make you a loser and not a winner.

Let’s take a simple example as “I want to earn 1 million in a year”. Can you simply just apply the LOA by asking the universe? According to LOA, yes you can as long you ask the universal and you receive it. But, this is without any action? Try it and if it is possible, it probably takes forever or you probably end up in the mental institution. For tangible goals, LOA is completely useless without ACTION.

If you want to feel happy and enjoyable in your life, yes you can probably apply the LOA only without any action but not to the goal such as “to earn 1 million”. The intention of LOA is to make you a better person. However we need to be realistic too. Whatever you want to achieve in your life especially those tangible goals, you need to put in effort and action before you ask the universe. Simply just asking the universal without action is not enough.

Shoot me, if you disagree with me. It is just my thought only.

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Waive Your Credit Cards Fees

Recently talked to a relative and surprisingly, she doesn’t aware of the credit cards fees can be waived. In case if you’re not aware too, I think this is something good to share. But, I don’t know other countries but it works in Malaysia.

The bank usually gives you to waive your annual fees for the first years or second years or even more after your application. After that, you will have to continue to pay the annual fees as usual. For my case, I entitled to waive the fee for my first 5 years.

So after the 5 years expiration, I called the bank to waive my credit card annual fees. They usually ask you to spend certain amount of money in the following months. If you’re able to do it, the annual fees will be waived automatically. If they insist to charge me the fees, I will of course insist to cancel the cards and go for other banks. This will usually work to waive the fees. This is for HSBC credit cards but I believe it should apply to all.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Law of Attraction (The Secret Movie)

I’m not sure if you have heard about the secret movie. I watched it and here I’m here to share with you or to summarize the movie for you. Hope you will find it useful.

The secret movie reveals the secret that gives you everything you want in life including health, wealth, relationship, happiness and etc. as long as you know how to apply the secret. The secret is “The Law of Attraction” and it is the universal law.

The Law of Attraction simply says that whatever happens to you in your life are attracted by you in your mind or your thought. As long as you’re activating your thought toward the things that you want or you don’t want, the universal will rearrange itself to respond to your thought.

So to get what you want in life, you just need to “ask” the universal. The universal will rearrange itself to answer what’re asking for. The last step is to “receive”. You must receive the answer from universal. If you have positive emotions (i.e. happy, joy, love), you’re in alignment with your thought. You’re receiving the answer from the universal. However, if you have negative emotions (i.e. anger, frustration, jealousy), you’re not in align with your though or what you’re asking for. This means you do not accept or receive the answers from universal. This is called the creative process which consists of 3 steps. We have the ability or power to create whatever we want in life as long as we able to complete the creative process!

The Creative Process
Step 1 - Ask
Step 2 - Answer
Step 3 - Receive

Applying it in your life starting today, you will experience the life transforming. There are a lot of debates on the law of attraction. Think of it carefully, the law simply says the universal will rearrange itself to answer what you’re asking for as long as you’re receiving it (positive emotions). That means “You don’t need to do anything to get 1 million” if 1 million is you’re asking for. You sit there and do nothing and applying “The Law of Attraction” and you will get 1 million in your hand? Is this something possible? Or The Law of Attraction is another crap? Isn’t it same with praying? Or is it something that fools yourself with your own mind? Or is this something similar to perceptive reality? Think of it…

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Reasons To Sell Unit Trust

At some point in time, we may become disenchanted with our fund. It could be due to poor performance or low returns. It may also be due to the change nature of our needs.

The following are 3 reasons why we should sell our fund:

(1) Our unit trust is under preforming in the market
There can be many reasons for this, but this trend tends to show that the fund is not as well manged as it should be. Do not fall in love with a unit trust. Since there are so many unit trusts, we can choose one that satisfies our investment objectives and return requirements and preforms in line with the market. We would better switch to a better managed fund.

(2) The fund manager is leaving the fund
If the fund is performing poorly, the fund manager leaving is a good sign. However, if the fund is performing well, the fund manager may not be replaceable. There are other funds with just as capable managers out there. We just need to do our homework and research.

(3) We follow market cycle
Our unit trust does well in a bull market (A financial market of a certain group of securities in which prices are rising or are expected to rise) but poorly in a bear market (A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling or are expected to fall). Lets say the current market is a bear market as what we think or predict. We will want to find a fund that performs well in down markets and switch to them. This strategy can be risky if we do not predict the market cycles accurately.

What else? That's all I can think of. Usually I will only sell or switch funds due to the first reason (under preforming unit trust). Reason 2 and 3 are unlikely to happen.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Types of Properties in Malaysia

There are many types of properties that you can be found in Malaysia:

  1. Squatter houses
  2. Low cost houses and apartments
  3. Landed houses (My choice for capital gain and for staying)
  4. Apartments and condominiums (My choice for rental - apartment)
  5. Townhouse or Duplexes
  6. Commercial - Shop Lots
  7. Service apartments
  8. Luxury homes
Let's discuss this one by one. Just like buying insurance or unit trust, different type of properties serves different purpose. Understand what is the best intention for which types of property helps you make a better decision.

Squatter house
First of all, squatter house is illegal and yet it is the cheapest house that you can buy or invest. The houses are build with no proper planning but still have the basic necessities such as electricity, water and telephone. These house are usually very dirty and unhygienic. There are are built without any proper permits or certificate. Therefore sooner or later, the government will eventually destroy and crack down those houses. Because these houses are very cheap, you can earn a lot by renting it out. Anyway illegal business always earn a lot but with high risk. I won't go for it because I'm scare.

Low cost houses and apartments
If you don't want to do illegal thing, the low cost houses and apartments are the cheapest property you can buy. These houses are build to the lower income group of people. The rental income of this kind of houses usually can cover the loan interest that you pay. The drawback is the people who rent this kind of houses or apartment, they usually turn your house or apartment upside down. Not only that, they will not pay the rental fees for months and abandon the houses eventually. So, it is high risk to buy a low cost house or apartment. I won't go for it.

Landed Houses
Landed houses are the most popular type of properties. The capital gain is usually the highest as compared to other types of properties. But if they are used for rental, then it is a different story. The prices for landed houses in Malaysia are usually higher (at least 2 time higher) than apartments. However the rental between the apartments and landed houses are almost the same. So if you're buying a landed property for the purpose of rental, you may want to think again. You can even buy another apartment to double up your rental income. However, if you're buying it for your own use and capital gain, landed property is the right choice. I will go for it for capital gain and for staying (I need a lot of spaces). Living in apartment just like in jail to me!

Apartments and Condominiums
The good thing about apartments is the reasonable rental income as compared to the price. So if you buy apartments for the purpose of rental income, you're in the right track especially in Penang and KL. Of course, it doesn't mean you can't buy it for staying. If you don't like big house and spaces, landed houses may not suitable to you. However, I personally think that you should consider condominium.

Rental in condominium is expensive and not everyone can pay that. If they're able to pay that, won't they just own their own property? Usually they are there because of their employers are paying for the rent (e.g. employee relocation package). You may not able to rent it out at all if you're buying condominium at the wrong place. I will go for apartment for rental but not condominium (too risky for me). For staying, I will go for landed property.

Townhouse or Duplexes
Townhouses or duplexes are 2 houses build on the same piece of land. The lower unit occupies the ground and part of the first floor. The top unit takes the remainder of the first floor and the whole second floor. Somehow these type of properties are not very popular in Asia. Let's don't waste time discussing them. I won't go for it either. I'm scare that no resell value and not even able to rent it out. Asia doesn't like this kind of properties.

Commercial - Shop Lots
Commercial properties are shop lots. Usually ground floor is for business and the upper floor is used for residential. Commercial properties are more expensive than residential properties. But, there are some places that the commercial properties are cheaper than residential properties. If this is the case, you may want to consider properly the shop lots and do more researches and background check before you buy. Why they sell cheaper than residential property?

Rental in commercial properties are also affected by economy. During good times, renting it out can be easy but not anymore during bad times. I won't go for commercial property because it is too expensive for me now (maybe not in the future when I become very rich).

Service apartments
Service apartments are residential properties that lie in a commercial district. As they cannot build residential properties in a commercial district, the developers so smart that call these building service apartments. All these service appartment sare neither commercial nor residential. They are not even covered in the Housing Act which means you can't sue the developers if anything goes wrong. Of course, I won't go for this. Will you? I'm scare again.

Luxury Homes
What you have in mind? Yes, bungalow. I think the only reason to buy bungalow is for staying. Has anyone actually rent out bungalow? Of course, I won't go for this until one day I have 5 kids and 10 grand children, and perhaps 5 BMWs.

In summary, this is my strategy. Buying apartment for rental and buying landed house for staying and at the same time enjoying the capital gain.

Friday, October 12, 2007

No Pain No Gain

Something meaningful to share, pictures worth a thousand words...

What do you learn from this?

No Decision is Right or Wrong

Not really a new thing but since it is mentioned in leadership training, it refreshes me that in real life no matter how much effort you do to decide the best decision, there is always no right or no wrong decision.

This reminds me a same statement that told by brother in many years back. In reality, there is no right or wrong decision. The world is not just black and white. There is an area called gray. You can only make a decision based on your best judgment at that particular time. It could be a right or wrong decision. Most importantly, the right decision now could be a wrong decision tomorrow and vice-versa. The results of your decision changes over time. Cool, isn't it?

Then, I ask myself why do I need to take so much effort to come out the best decision? In real life, we sometimes put too much focus on decision making but neglect that the importance of "after the decision making". I realized I made the same mistake too. What really important is NOT how you make a decision or whether your decision is the right choice or not. But, the most important thing is how you live with the decisions that you have chosen. How do you cope with the wrong decision that you made? How do you turn over your wrong decision to become the right one? How do you learn from the mistake and make a better decision next time?

Often people try their best to come out the best decision but after they find out the decision is wrong, they're depress and disappointed. Then later they lost energy to make a second or third decision. This is because they're focusing at the wrong thing, to come out the best right decision. What I learn in decision making process, whether the decision is right or wrong is not important. It is how we deal with decision that we have made is the place where we all should focus on. So I will just do it (make decision) and don't wait anymore, learn from it and think how we can make it a better choice tomorrow. No right or wrong decision anyway. Focus on how I can survive with the worst decision that I made makes me a better leader tomorrow.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Do not Under Insure or Over Insure

The most common mistake people make on buying insurance is whether they're under insured or they're over insured. Most importantly this is not something constant. You're fully insured now doesn't mean future you will too. You will need to do your financial assessments to figure that it out.

Just reviewed my insurance policy recently and realized that my my policies are under insure. This due the fact that my annual expenses have been increased for all these 5 years. Anything happen to me, my current insurance policies are not able to fully cover me. Therefore to summarize, I'm under insured. Saving money by not having insurance is begging for trouble. Remember, we are preparing for the unexpected. Plan for the unexpected and we will do well.

Since the insurance agents recently are so convincing, be aware that you're over insured too. Don't simply buy insurance if you don't know what the purpose is. What is the right insurance policy for me? Should we buy term or whole life insurance? Know the whole purpose before you buy everything. Many policies might overlap with other policies you have. Overlap is okay but make sure you don't over insure.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Value Investing & Growth Investing

When it comes to investment strategy, there 2 types of investment strategies: value investing and growth investing.

It is always difficult for the fundamental investor to decide whether to be a value or growth investor. Value investing is concerned with the current price level and fair price of a stock, while growth investing is more focused on potential earnings growth of company. In order words, value investing is to buy low, sell high and growth investing is to buy high, sell even higher.

Value investors are always earlier buyers of stocks. They buy based on the belief that the market has misread the real value of the company (see A in the chart). At that moment, the future prospects of the company may still uncertain. There may or may not be an increase in earnings.

In contrast, growth investors will come in the early recovery stages of a company's fundamental. At that point in time, the stock's price would have already moved higher from its recent low (see B in the chart). Value investors will usually start to feel uncomfortable with the price level and sell the stock even though the company's fundamentals have recovered, while growth investors will buy the stock in the belief that they are buying high to sell even higher (see C in the chart). Growth investors believe that it would be safer to buy stocks when the fundamentals have shown definite signs of recovery, and will sell higher when the prices increase as a result of further improvement in the companies' fundamentals.

So which strategy is better? Are you a value investors or growth investor? Can I say normal investors practice value investing strategy and professional investors practice growth investing strategy?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Are you presenting yourself as a stereotype?

Do you model yourself on a television personality or pick a read-made image off the shelf of someone admire or even envy? This can be just as damaging for you. How can you be like another person? You are you, you are unique. Value our uniqueness. Revisit your list of strengths and tell yourself what you have to make you a unique person.

Attended a leadership training last Thursday and one of lessons about a leader that I learned is "Just to be Yourself". I have seen a lot of leader failed simply is because they're not being to themselves. They want to be someone especially their mentor. Also, f you want me to summarize one word that we learn from the book Thick Face Black Heart, I would say "Be Yourself". That is the key message to summarize the whole book.

It comes to question why someone has low confident than others. Why am I low confident, you may ask. It is all due to the fact that your environment (e.g spouse, family, friends) wants you to become somebody. I repeat, it is somebody not yourself. This is a very sad thing as I'm also being grown up in this way. Worst come to worst even until today, I'm also having this problem. All my loves one including friends, spouse and family, they want me to become somebody too. What a crap?

To my kids in future, I definitely educate them to be themselves not somebody. To my followers in future(if any, who knows I become great leader one day?), I will do the same. You don't lead people to become someone, you lead people to become who they are and be themselves. Be yourself is just a basic fundamental of happiness. Just that simple. Don't you think so?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Riding on ASEAN’s Growth Potential

South East Asian Stock Markets Offer Promising Returns Given The Region’s Excellent Growth Potential and Attractive Valuations.

The South East Asian region has forged ahead to grow at a robust pace in recent years. With a combined population base of 573 million people, the region’s economies have vast growth prospects given their strong manufacturing base, growing savings rates, favourable demographics and large consumer market. In addition, the South East Asian region is strategically located between the emerging giants of China and India.

Grouped together under the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprising Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei and Cambodia, ASEAN is among the fastest growing regions in the world with nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth averaging 9% annually since 2000. In per capita GDP terms, ASEAN residents have enjoyed a nominal growth of 6.8% per annum over the past six years, exceeding the average global per capita GDP growth of 5.4% per annum over the same period.

Source: Bloomberg

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rich People's Problem - How to teach the rich kids?

When I see those very rich people especially those who own a prosperous business, they have a common problem - their kids. The most common problem is their children fight among themselves over the business and properties. This all happens because this bunch of rich kids has been wrongly educated by their rich parents. They have a mentality that everything that their parents own, it belongs to them. They take it for granted. They shouldn’t be thought this way.

In order to properly educate the rich kids so that they won’t become a problem when they grow up later, the parents should teach their children, “Nothing is for you. Whatever I earn is mine. Your job is to study whatever you want to study. Whatever you earn is yours”. When the children are taught with this kind of mentality, they won’t take things for granted.

This is how I want to teach my kids one day. :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

You Are What You Think

The Conscious Mind is that the part of you that thinks and reasons. Your free will resides here. The conscious mind can accept or reject any idea. No person or circumstance can cause you to think about thoughts or ideas you do not choose. The thoughts you choose eventually determine the results in your life. All pain, pleasure and limitation, originates in the conscious mind, or is accepted uncritically from an outside source.

As you accept a thought, it is impressed upon the second part of your personality - your subconscious mind.

"Thus you become what you think about."

The Subconscious Mind is the most magnificent part of your mind for as it is the power center. It functions within every cell of your body. Every thought your conscious mind chooses to accept, this part must accept. It has no ability to reject.

This part of you (subconscious mind) operates in an orderly manner. "By law", it expenses itself through you, in feelings and action. Any thought you consciously choose to impress upon subconscious over and over, becomes fixed in this part of your personality. Fixed idea(habits) will then continue to express themselves without any conscious assistance, until they are replaced.

"The subconscious mind knows no limits."

Although the Body is the most obvious part of you, it is also the smallest part. The body is the physical representation of you - the material medium. It is merely the instrument of the mind, or the house you live in. The thoughts or images that are consciously chosen and impressed upon the subconscious(which is in every cell of your body), must move your body into action. The action you are involved in determines your results.

"To change results, change thoughts, feelings and actions"

Most importantly you may ask how to change thoughts, feelings and actions? Especially feelings, how can we change that? Change the way you speak to yourself, shape your thoughts, feelings and actions. Read more at The Power of Spoken Words.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Millionaire Quiz - USD29 Riddle

This is a quiz. If you can answer this quiz, you're have potential power to become financially independent one day. If you can't answer this test, you can forget about it. I'm sorry. Hahaha... I'm just kidding. This is the riddle I got it from my colleague few weeks ago. I think this is something good to share:

Here is the riddle:

Three people check into a hotel. They all collect $10 each and pay $30 to the manager and go to their room. The manager finds out that the room rate is $25 and gives $5 to the bellboy to be returned. On the way to the room the bellboy reasons that $5 would be difficult to share among those three people so he pockets $2 and gives $1 to each person.

Now each person paid $10 and got back $1. So they paid $9 each, totaling $27. The bellboy has $2, totalling $29.

Where is the remaining dollar?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Meeting Your Boss's Emotional Needs

When you're a boss, you need to understand how your employee's emotion. Same thing happen, when you're employee, you need to know what is your boss's emotion. Managing and meeting your boss's emotional needs in one way ahead to success in your career.

Some bosses need to know they're liked by employees. Others don't seem to care what anyone thinks. Maybe your boss is generous and fair but needs to see himself as a family patriarch rather then as a departmental manager. What kind of boss you have?

Let's first identify some common emotional needs bosses have. See which ones fit your situation.

Positive Feedback

Everyone needs to hear when they're doing a good job even is bosses. Give your boss a pat on the back now and then, particularly when he is distinguished himself by meeting difficult deadlines, wining awards or promotions. Your positive feedback can mean a lot to your boss when he is going through a difficult time. Single out one of this better qualities, his leadership, his fairness, his sincerity and let him know he is appreciated. Tell him you enjoying playing on his team.

You can show your loyalty to your boss b y demonstrating good work habits (e.g. being punctual and focused and by carrying out orders without undue complaining or questioning). Reserve criticism for one-on-one meetings. Bosses need loyal, trustworthy employees. In turn, he should reward you by going to bat for you with upeer-level management.

No matter how laid-back or fun-loving a boss you have, he still needs your respect. Your boss is never more vulnerable than in front of his boss or upper-level management. If you see that your boss has switched gears into a more structured, formal approach, do him a favor and follow suit. Don't persist in addressing him informally or casually dropping by his office.

To be liked
Few if any humans prefer isolation. Your boss is no exception. Identify his most admirable characteristics and commend him him for it.

People cast in leadership positions do not want to feel dependent. They want to exert strong influence and control. Help them by giving them information they need before they need it.

By figuring out what your boss needs emotionally, you will be fulfilling a subtle requirement that is never mentioned in a job description. When you meet your boss's emotional needs, he will reply on you, trust you, confident in you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Warren Buffett Wealth by Robert P Miles Review

If you don't know who Warren Buffett is, Robert Miles is just the person to introduce him to you. The author has written 2 books on Buffett and his investment methodology, and presented countless Buffett Wealth workshops world wide.

Cleanly and concisely, Miles starts off by explaining the old-fashioned strategies that the Omaha wizard has made famous. Suitably impressed and excited about increasing wealth, the reader can then check out what kind of investor he is in Chapter3. Chapter 4 explains the importance of having an investment philosophy and Chapter 5 asks if you know what you own.

Chapter 6 hones in on Buffett's idea of investing on Main Street rather than Wall Street. Chapter 7 explains why Buffett only concentrates on a handful of stocks.

Miles wraps up with a look at Buffett's mistakes, investment, wealth and Buffeftt myths and lessons about life.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Common Mistakes in Personal Financial Planning

Learn from the common personal financial mistakes, avoid them and be successful in life.

1. Not setting measurable financial goals

Remember, we need a clear financial goal. No goals --> we're lost.

2. Not re-evaluating the financial plan periodically.

Another common mistake by a lot of people that they do not aware "plan" is not a fix thing. "Plan" is not dead it is alive! Just like your financial goals, you need to evaluate them often to make sure the plan is realistic but aggressive enough.

3. Waiting for financial crisis to hit before starting a personal financial planning

Sadly, this is how human behaves. When the financial crisis come, we only realize the importance of financial planning. By the time, it is already too late.

4. Expecting unrealistic returns on investments

Quick rich scheme? High Yield Investment Program (HYIP)? Is there a fastest way to get rich? Greedy is one of greatest human weakeness. Who is not greedy in this world?

If we can avoid all these common mistakes, we're one step ahead towards financial freedom. To become a completely freedom and financially independent!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Miracle Food that Cure My Illness

One of the problems I have is headaches until I start eating fish. I eat plenty of fish. Fish oil helps prevent headaches. At last, my headache stops bugging me. This is for long term cure. If you need fast cure immediately and you don’t want to eat medicine, try ginger which reduces inflammation and pain.

Other than headache, another common problem that I have is Memory Problems. As I don’t trust all the supplement which declare they can help improve memory, I eat oysters which help to improve your mental functioning by supplying much needed zinc. In fact, oysters are one of my favorite food. I love it so much.

The third illness that I have which I believe I might have in future and this illness is also a shy thing to talk about it here. Anyway I think it doesn’t matter. Here you go… My breast is quite big even though I’m guy but I kind of scare or anticipate I’m going to have breast cancer when I’m old later. So the miracle foods to cure my future shy illness are wheat, bran and cabbage which help maintain estrogen at healthy levels. I haven’t start eating them now but I have to keep reminding myself I have to start eating them now just in case what I anticipate becomes a truth. Just to be safe.

Monday, August 06, 2007

You’re millionaire but you don’t feel rich

A very interesting article from mentions that “In Silicon Valley, Millionaires Who Don’t Feel Rich”. This is quite a true statement in my opinion. The rich will never have enough money. They do not feel they are rich. The reason is not because they are not rich but simply is because all of us as a human being, we’re born to compare with others. Those millionaires compare to the millionaires who are richer than them, therefore they do not feel they are rich.

Let’s do a test to prove my statement whether you’re born to compare.

Job A:
Your salary is $5K per month and all your colleagues’ salary is $4K per month.

Job B:
Your salary is $6K per month and all your colleagues’ salary is $7K per month.

Think carefully, which job will you choose to have a happy life? Job A or Job B? If you choose Job A, this proves my statement is correct. Human is born to compare with others. If you choose Job B, then you prove me wrong. Keep in mind that in Job B, you’re doing the same job or same tasks but your colleagues’ salary is higher. Do you think you will still feel happy?

Sometimes I realize we try so hard forcing ourselves not to compare with others, but how many of us can actually achieve that? Can we really go against it, our human nature? So a lot of real smart people (of course not those millionaire in Silicon Valley) realize this fact and they choose Job A, live in the small town and become a king, appreciate and enjoy the rest of life. Sometimes we have to understand that we do not even need to fight to win a game.

Friday, August 03, 2007

When I can call myself a millionaire?

By definition, you can call yourself a millionaire when your net worth (assets – liabilities) has at least 1 million dollars. So when you’re millionaire, do you still worry about money? I bet you still. Then, why should one be a millionaire? I really don’t know. Millionaire doesn’t mean you’re financially independent or financial freedom. Millionaire doesn’t mean you’re being free from financial worries. I will be shame if I call myself a millionaire just because I have 1 million net worth. So I don’t want to be millionaire that you guys define. Millionaire to me is when I can do what I want, when I want, where I want, and with whomever I want. By the time I can achieve all these, I can call myself a millionaire.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Get What I Got – The Journey of Human’s Life

I want marriage and it turns out that I married the one who I don’t like. I want family and it turns out that I have a trouble kids. I want career and it turns out to have a stubborn boss. I want affair, it turns out no one wants to date me. I want friendship, it turns out they took all my money. Finally, marriage, family, career, affair, and friendship, none of them I have. But, what I get is what I’ve already got - the journey of human’s life.

How to make money in stock?

Novice investors would welcome this book. The author, William J O'Neil shares his expertise on what characterises a growth stock, when to cut losses and how to spot a market top. He is all for the rational appraoch. An apparent traditionalist, he does not rely on market hype but on a company's growth pattern. It is definitely back to basics with O'Neil.

Why your relationship with your boss deserves managing?

If you’re parent, you’ve spend time reflecting on the unique nature of your children and what style of parenting will best meet their needs. If you’re spouse, you have probably figured out the ground rules of your relationship, and know how it should be nourished.

Why, then shouldn’t you devote the same attention to your relationship with your boss? He or she certainly has a lot to do with your future and everything to do with the happiness factor at work. Surely this is a relationship worth working on. Don’t close your eyes to it or hope it will go away. Manage it!

Shopping at Fairs

Under any circumstances, when visiting a fair it is important to first take a good look around and check out all the packages and prices before making any purchase. Likewise, don’t settle on the first bargain that you see.

Shoppers should get to know the fair, compare prices between traders and other shops anywhere else first before making a decision. It would certainly help if you know the current market price of what you’re looking for.

Anyway these are the questions that you may want to ask yourself before you make a purchase at the fair:

  1. Do I fully understand exactly what I’m purchasing?
  2. What do I actually want from this particular product?
  3. Do I really need this particular product, or would a cheaper alternative be more suitable?
  4. Is the price the best on offer?
  5. Have I looked everywhere?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mortgage Payment Insurance

Mortgage payment insurance covers the situation in which you are unable to make your mortgage payment for any reason and will make your mortgage payments until you are able to resume. Mortgage payment insurance is very beneficial if you suddenly become unemployed or suffer some disability which presents payment of the mortgage.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How can I get most updated inflation rate?

This is FAQ and if you ask this question most of the answer you will get is refer to national inflation rate. This information can be found in your local newspapers or you can just refer to here. But, this is crap! Reason is this value doesn’t represent the real inflation that you are having. National inflation rate just a rough estimated value. What you really need is the personal inflation rate but not the national inflation rate.

The national inflation rate is measured by the consumer price index (CPI) and the producer price index (PPI). The CPI measures the retail price movement, while the PPI measures the cost of inputs to the producer or manufacturer. These figures are the closest indicators of prices levels but do not reflect the actual personal inflation rate.

Unfortunately, there are many basic items, which are controlled items whose prices are kept down by the regulating authorities, in the basket of goods that make up the CPI. So, your personal inflation rate may actually be higher if you are consuming items that are not covered by the CPI.

So, the most updated inflation rate you want to find is your own personal inflation rate. Your actual personal inflation rate depends on what and how much you are consuming. To get your own personal inflation rate, you can just simply calculate % of increase of your expenses yearly. You will surprise with the % of your personal inflation rate. How far is it from the national inflation rate? You will understand why I said national inflation rate is crap and not accurate.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance covers property damage to your home for any reason. It will not only cover your home, but any valuables listed on the policy, including furniture, art, jewellery, and other collectibles. It will also cover injuries to guests or others that occur on the premises.

Generally the policies are issued under two categories: Named Peril Insurance and All-risk Insurance

Named peril insurance protects only against specific occurrences described in your policy. If the policy does not list the peril, for example, earthquake, and your home is destroyed because of that peril, you will have no resource under your insurance policy. All-risk policies are comprehensive, but it is more expensive.

With either type of homeowner’s policy, you can buy Cash Value policies or Current Replacement policies. With cash value policies, the value of categories of property are set and if loss occurs, you will receive the set cash value. With a current replacement cost policy, you will receive the current replacement cost for any loss of property.

Furthermore, you can have up to 100% cash value for current replacement policies. In other words, the insurance company will pay up to a set percentage of the value of the property, depending on the terms of your insurance. Lower than 80% is not recommended.

Finally, you should have riders attached to your insurance policy to cover specific valuables such as artwork or jewellery. A rider is an addition to the insurance policy which describes a specify piece of property and states that the insurance policy specifically covers that item.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Health and Wealth

Do you realize health can build wealth but not the other way round? But the question is why majority of the people focusing on building wealth first rather than health? Some may said without wealth, they do not have a time to build health. Is this really true? So what exactly we should focus on? If we have wealth but do not have health, that is confirmed useless. So it remains only one answer. We should focus on health and put it as the first priority before we can actually build wealth. To build wealth, first you need to have a healthy body. Even I have told you or you have already known the fact, you will still not going to focus on health. That is how our world works now. We all know the facts but we do not take any action. When we try to take action, it won't last long and we usually give up in a short period. Everything will then later back to the square one and the health once again has been forgotten.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Health Insurance

Health insurance covers the situation in which you need medical care or medication for any reason. Your employer will generally provide this coverage as an employment benefit. However, there will be a deductible (an amount you must pay before the insurance covers any costs).

Some health insurance policies provide for a split of costs between you and the insurance company after the deductible has been satisfied (generally an 80/20 split up to $10K with the insurance covering the 80% and you covering the 20%; after $10K the insurance company covers all costs 100%.).

For any health policy, you should know the policy limit. If the policy is too low – for example, $50K – you may want to purchase supplemental health insurance to cover costs greater than $50K, possibly up to $1000K.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Automobile Insurance

By law you must have auto insurance. An auto insurance policy covers bodily injury (injury and death) caused by an accident and pays medical and funeral expenses as well as lost wages, property, collision if your car is damaged, and uninsured motorists (if the other party who is at fault has no insurance or is uninsured).

The older the car, the lower the collision amount you need. Insurance rates for your children will be much higher than for you. Most parents reduce thee costs of the children’s insurance by naming them the third driver on a car.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Going to San Jose, CA

I’m going to San Jose this Saturday for a week to attend a Design Symposium organized by my headquarter company. This is my second time visit US. Since I have been here before, what I really want to focus on this trip is the FOOD. I want to try all kind of food in including, Japanese, Korean, Vietnam and etc. Hopefully this trip won’t over spend. My next US trip would probably visit Arizona or New York City. Wish me luck!

Talking about travel, there are 2 kind of argument. The first argument says that travelling is waste of time and money. We should avoid travel as little as possible. The second argument says that travelling is to recharge your battery so that you can perform better after the vacation and hence make more money in long run. Some argue will you still really enjoy your trip if you have money limitation during the travel. What is your opinion? Should we not to waste our money for travelling or should we treat it as an investment?

After some thoughts for a while, I think I found the answer. The answer is THIS IS ALL UP TO YOU!!! Don’t you agree with me?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance covers the unexpected event of something happening to you that prevents you from working again. This insurance may be provided by an employer-based policy, government sponsored policies (such as workman’s compensation for injuries on the job), and other policies. You can also purchase a disability insurance policy at your own.

The definition of disability is wide-ranging, but generally it means the inability to perform any work, including your customary job. You should talk with an insurance professional to determine the coverage and your rights and benefits.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What is the Best Life Insurance?

When talk about life insurance, they’re 2 types of life insurance. The first or the usually what the insurance agents try to convince you to buy is the whole life insurance. The second or the usually what the insurance agents will not introduce to you at all is the term life insurance. Which one is better? If you ask me, my answer to you is the term life insurance. Of course, that is for me and not for you. Let’s look at the reasons why you want to buy whole life or term life insurance. After you know about them, you can analyze and decide at your own.

Why I want to buy whole life insurance?

  1. I want to get insured.
  2. I want to make investment and I think the insurance company can do a better job than those professional investors who work for mutual fund’s company.
  3. I want to force myself to save. I can’t control my spending if I have some money in my bank. I need insurance to help me to keep my money.
  4. I afford to pay the $5K premium to get insured of $150K.

Why I want to buy term life insurance?
  1. I want to get insured.
  2. I cannot afford to pay $5K to get insured of $150K. I can only afford to pay few hundred bucks.
Do you see the purpose clear? Term life serves one purpose which is what the insurance company suppose to do. Whole life serves multiple purposes.

In short, if you’re lazy to manage or you don’t know how to manage your money well, whole life insurance is for you. If you want to and able to manage your own money well, term life insurance is for you. You invest the difference in other stuff such as mutual funds, stocks and etc. Also, if you think those insurance company can do a better job that mutual fund company (which I disagree), whole life insurance is for you.

So, what type of life insurance you want to buy? Still whole life insurance? or term life insurance?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Are you a proactive employee?

As one of my journey to become financially independent is to earn a lot money. As I'm an employee and the only solution I have is to outperform in my job. I realize that to be outperforming in the corporate world, one must be a proactive employee. Unfortunately, I have seen some employees who are not proactive but outperform in his job. So it comes to a conclusion that we can’t 100% say the outperform employee doesn’t 100% they’re proactive. Probably some bosses doesn’t like people proactive? That is strange isn’t it? Guess every statement could be wrong and right in different environment. That's the unique and interesting about our world. Having said so, I do agree that majority of the outperformed employees are proactive in nature.

These are the lists of what proactive employees do:

  • A proactive employee doesn’t wait for the boss to make every move.
  • A proactive employee seeks information and the help needed to do the job.
  • A proactive employee gives the boss feedback and asks questions.
  • A proactive employee initiates action without having to be supervised.
Are you a proactive employee?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Life Insurance

Let’s talk about life insurance. Preparing for the unexpected is another important factor in portfolio planning. If you have a family and you or your spouse passes away, will the family be adequately protected against the loss? Who will pay the mortgage? How will the funeral be paid for?

Simple question, do I need to buy life insurance if I do not have the dependents? That means you do not have spouse, children and parents. The answer is “NO”. You do not need a life insurance if no one is financially dependent on you. Even if you have family and they do not financially dependent on you. You do “NOT” need to buy life insurance. Sometimes, I just really upset for those who buy life insurance just for the sake of supporting their friends to meet their insurance sales quota.

In summary, life insurance is simple. Buy it for the purpose of in case you die and your family or your friends (up to you) can survive without your financial support. Also, please remember don’t buy it for the sake of investment. Insurance is not meant for that. Insurance is for protection. Buy it for the right purpose.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Thanks to Insurance Agents in Malaysia

When talk about life insurance, it is a very damn sad thing. Reason is because many people do not know the purpose is. Even if they do, they understand insurance as an investment tool. Thanks to all insurance agents in Malaysia to educate all of us to use insurance as an investment tool. This is usually what they say, you pay X amount of money and you get back more than X amount of money after some year + protection throughout the years. Wow, who doesn’t want? Some even say is a guarantee investment. Please ask them to get lost. They are not trying to help you.

I met many insurance agents. They come to you just to serve one single purpose which is to sell the most expensive insurance to you and get the most commission out of it. Why I know this is true? Reason is I never seen a single insurance agents who sell term insurance to me. Term insurance is the most basic kind of protection and also the cheapest. Since it is the cheapest, why I want to promote it since I get less commission out of it? Therefore, 99% of the insurance agents will never ever mention term insurance to you at all. Indeed, term insurance is the only solution and able to give you the full protection with the minimum payment and this exactly what most of the youngster need. Try to ask around, who buy term insurance? Not even single one. Maybe if you find one, then that person is me.

My heart is even broken, when I try to ask them for term insurance and they tell me it is not worth to buy because they do not get any return out of it unlike in whole life. What the heck is going on in this industry? What kind of answer is that? I simply cannot continue writing anymore. I’m hurt now. If I’m feeling better next time, I probably share with you on why term insurance is a better choice especially if you do not have enough money to get the full protection. Remember to ask those insurance agents to get lost who try to promote you insurance as an investment tool. One funny thing, they some more claim insurance investment return is even higher than mutual funds and also fixed deposit in bank. Some said the investment return is guaranteed. Oh, my god. That is what happening in Malaysia

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Richest Man in Babylon

This is one of the books by George S. Closon you must read for every successful person. The principles in Richest Man in Babylon are timeless. A very good personal financial book and have very good customer review. I think it gets perfect score – 5 stars out of 333 customer reviews. This is awesome unbelievable.

One of the best ways to save money in my previous is to Pay Yourself First was the idea from this book and it works best for me until today! Thanks George!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Choosing the Right Insurance Policies For Protection

Once you recognize the potential unexpected occurrences which could threaten your family’s financial security, you can plan for financial protection through the appropriate insurance policy. The following table shows the potential losses and the type of insurance available protect against each occurrence.

Potential Loss

Type of Insurance

My death

Life Insurance

Unable to work through disability

Disability Insurance

Driving my car, I collide with another car

Automobile Insurance

I am going to have a mojor operation

Health Insurance

My house burns down

Homeowner’s Insurance

I am unemployed and I need to make mortgage payments

Mortgage Payment Insurance.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Safest Strategy to Invest in Real Estate

I play a very conservative game in real estate investment so the chances that I lost are very low. This is what I do. I will only buy a house if I have enough cash to buy the house. Assuming the house $300K, I will have $100K down payment and take the $100K loan from bank and finally invest the difference (which is $100K) in other investment (e.g. stock, mutual funds and etc.) to make sure the investment that I invest are higher than the bank's interest. Therefore, the chances that I lost in real estate investment is very slim and plus the property appreciation, how can I lost the game?

Speak to Your Inner Self in a Wrong Way

Speak to your inner self is a very powerful technique but very funny I realize some people use it wrongly. They use it in a wrong way to affect other person’s action with their own thoughts and they end up become very unhappy. For example, you talk to your inner self to insist that “John must be in love with you”. This is a form of manipulation and it is trying to have control over another person’s life which is impossible to most of us unless you’re really powerful as God. You don’t know what another person spiritual lesson is and you don’t have the right to interfere in another’s life process. You certainly wouldn’t want someone else doing it into you.

So, what is the right way? Instead, what you can say is, “My own true love will come to me…” and list the qualities you want in a relationship. That may allow the power within you to bring to you the perfect person to fit that bills who may or may not be “John”.

So, remember that you cannot affect a person’s actions with your thoughts – unless you’re extremely powerful which is unlikely the case. Talk to yourself to be the person that you want to be but not to force the other person to be the person that you expected who they are which is totally out of your control.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cut Your Taxes In Half

Sorry if you are looking for something serious, you can ignore this post. This is simply a joke.

I used to complain about my taxes. That is before my accountant,
Ralph Norwood, gave me a surefire way to cut them in half.

Perhaps you can use the same method if you choose.

As usual, at tax time I grumbled about the high amount of money
that I paid each year in taxes.

I wasn't concerned about what my tax dollars paid for. I was
only concerned that state, federal, social security and other
deductions took a huge chunk of my money.

So like the vast majority of us, I complained.

I sat in the chair as the accountant crunched through the
numbers. Grumbling and complaining, I sat.

"I've got a way to instantly cut your taxes in half,"
Mr. Norwood said.

My ears perked up. I was at full attention.

In half! Did he realize how much money that would save me?

Had I missed a deduction?
Did he have a surefire tax shelter?
Was there a legal loophole that I was eligible for?

"How?" I excitedly asked.

"Simple, just cut your salary in half," Norwood answered.

That was over ten years ago, but it taught me a lesson that
I will never forget.

We complain when we are running short and we complain when we
are blessed with much. The key is, there is always something to
complain about and there is always something to be thankful for.

You choose.

Thank goodness I have a high tax bill.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

2 Solutions to Retire Rich

To retire rich, there are only 2 solutions. The first solution is to earn more. The second solution is to spend less.

To earn more, this is what you do:

  1. Build a Second Income
  2. Retire Later
To spend less, this is what you do:
  1. Start Saving Today
  2. Reduce Your Expenses Drastically
  3. Move to a Cheaper Place

The steps look simple or sound simple but it is damn hard to achieve. Let’s look on the following to see why based on my personal experience.

Build Second Income

I have been trying very hard to build a second income but so far I don’t see any good progress. The second income that I got is not even 5% of my current income. Maybe my current income is too high? I will be a dead man, if I’m forced to leave my current employer now.

Retire Later

As for retire later, I’m not sure if this is really possible. Retire later means I extent my default retirement age. Instead of retire at 55, I can retire at 60 or 65. By extending my retirement age, I actually earn more and I save the extra money that I earn.

There are 2 things that I worry here. First, will I still be working until 55? Am I still as useful as when I was 30? Will I be laid off by my employer before 55? Second, what makes the company approve my retirement age extension? Opss, I almost forgot my ultimate goal is to retire by 40. I want to retire early instead. So why do I still consider this option? I want to avoid this option!

Start Saving Today

Finally I think at least I’m doing this very well on this. I have been start saving from the day I start working and use the saving to invest in stocks, mutual funds and properties. If you find saving is really difficult for you, I would recommend you to use the “Pay Yourself First” method. It is a very efficient method.

Reduce Your Expenses Drastically

The truth is that many of the things we accept as needs today are actually just wants. For example, 30 years ago, few of us had television sets in their homes. But today everyone has a TV in their homes. Not only just TV, people know moving towards to LCD TV including myself.

We all want a better life. So, should we have better life? Do not watch TV at all? I buy laptop instead of desktop because I want a better life. I now can update this blog by laying down in my bed. Should I buy Dekstop instead? Also, when I looked my expenses past few months, I bought a car, I bought some furniture, and etc. It looks like spending is really fun. Don’t you think so?

Move to a Cheaper Place

Move to a cheaper place might not be a solution to some of you but this is the one step that will make the most difference. If moving to somewhere else with lower living expenses and you are able to increase your net worth, why not we go to that place? The biggest problem I have right now is my current expertise or skill does not have any market value in the cheaper place that I want to move to. Move there but lower my income? What is the point then?

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