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.

Relates Posts:

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.

Related Post:

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?

Related Post:

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?

Related Posts:

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
Related Posts:

Didn't find what you want? Use Google Search Engine below: