Monday, October 29, 2012

Public Gold Does Not Belong to Public Bank

A very funny statement made by a friend and he told me that Public Gold Marketing Sdn. Bhd. ( belongs to Public Bank and it basically keeps all the physical gold that owned by public bank. Huh? Well, I don't know where he got those information.

Perhaps he made his own facts by guessing that everything starts with "Public", it belongs to Public Bank! Yeah... Maybe they do it in purpose? :D

Well, I just want to make awareness here to everyone that Public Gold has nothing to do with Public Bank nor the "Gold Investment Account" offered by Public bank as well. I can see how the confusion comes because if you visit the Public Bank website you will see this "PB Gold" in their Gold Investment Account website. This makes people or investors think Public Gold is part of Public Bank or somehow related. Again, there are 2 independent companies, please don't mix them up!

Is it safe to invest in Public Gold?

Now a million dollar question, is it safe to invest in Public Gold? Unfortunately, I do not know the answer. As you may know, the Gold scam is pretty hot these days. Public Gold is selling physical gold so I'm thinking as long as you physical gold is the real, then you're pretty safe? I don't know how the transaction works too. But I do know one thing, Gold Investment Account offered by banks such as Maybank or Public Bank is always safer comparatively. Thus, I personally do not invest other than reliable institutions or banks.

If you have concerns (you should if you're not sure), I suggest you call or email "Bank Negara Malaysia" (1-300-88-5465 or to verify whether it is authorized or have license to operate as Gold investment company. Even though they're legal, there is a risk of bankruptcy too in my opinion. Are they backed by "Bank Negara Malaysia"? I think no.

Good luck to you if you really still want to invest! But just curious, why do you want the physical Gold? Can share?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Unemployment Rate by Country - Migration Consideration?

I read a news lately about unemployment in Australia has been increased from 5.1% to 5.4% so I am just wondering how it is compared to other countries. Let's check it out the following where I get from the wikipedia but not all data are updated:

Australia - 5.4% (Sept 2012)
Brazil - 4.7% (Dec 2011)
Brunei - 3.7% (2008)
Canada - 7.3% (March 2012)
China - 4.1% (Sept 2010)
Denmark - 6.2% (April 2012)
France - 10.2%(April 2012)
Germany - 5.4% (April 2012)
Hong Kong - 3.5% (July 2011)
Iceland - 6.6% (April 2012)
India - 3.8% (2011)
Indonesia - 6.56% (August 2011)
Ireland - 14.9% (June 2012)
Israel - 7.1% (May 2012)
Italy - 10.2 (April 2012)
Japan - 4.5% (Feb 2012)
Malaysia - 3.0% (Oct 2011)
New Zealand - 6.8% (June 2012)
Norway - 3.0% (March 2012)
Pakistan - 5.7% (2010)
Philippine - 6.9% (April 2012) 
Singapore - 1.9% (March 2011)
South Africa - 23.9% (Q3 2011)
South Korea - 3.7% (April 2010)
Switzerland - 3.1% (April 2012)
Sweden - 7.3% (April 2012)
Taiwan - 5.14% (May 2010)
Turkey - 8.0% (Sept 2012)
United Kingdom - 8.1% (May 2012)
United State - 8.1% (August 2012)
Vietnam - 2.9% (April 2009)

Note: For complete and most updated list, refer to: wikipedia

You should proud to be Malaysian as it is one of the top having lowest unemployment rate in the world, but not to be compared with Singapore which is at only 1.9%. :D Hopefully these data is accurate enough. Perhaps this also explains why the're so many foreign workers these day in Malaysia?

If you're thinking to work oversea or migrate to certain country, one of the things you should consider is the to unemployment rate of that country. The lowest the unemployment rate, the chances for you go get a job there is higher.

For example In Malaysia, most people plan to migrate to Australia, United State or Singapore and minority is to China. I don't know how true this is but this is what happen in my circle of friends. Given these data, it tells you it is the hardest to get a job in United State, followed by Australia, China and Singapore. In fact, this is true based on what I heard. This also means that if you plan to migrate to United State, it is better you secure a job there first before you move. Most of the successful case that I aware of is by networking because most companies prefer locals. However in Australia, China and Singapore, the chances of getting a job is higher, you can consider to make the move first then only start looking for a job. Hopefully it is still true for Australia as the unemployment rate is at increasing trend.

P/S: Perhaps looking at the trend will have more meaningful data, I will try to get those information for my next post.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Is Malaysia Income Tax Rate Reasonable?

Malaysia has lower income tax rate if you compared to most Europe countries (e.g. look at the Irish tax scheme that I posted quite sometime ago), United State and Australia and you should feel grateful for it.

However, when you come to compensation we're at the losing side. We pay taxes but we do not get back any compensation from the government especially for the middle income group people like me. So technically speaking, our low tax rate has been offset with the compensation that western countries offer.

That is also why personal finance is more important here in Malaysia as compared to those countries! :) For instance, we can't rely on government to plan for our retirement, you can't totally rely on EPF which is not enough in most of the cases.

Having said so, if we compare to Hong Kong and Singapore where compensation is similar to Malaysia, our income tax rate can not be considered low anymore. In fact, it is pretty high comparatively. Let's see the table below where I get it from Personal Money magazine:

Hong Kong Tax Rate (2011/2012)

Income Bracket (HK$)  Tax Rate
1 - 40K 2%
40K - 80K 7%
80K - 120K 12%
> 120K 17%

Singapore Tax Rate (2012)

Income Bracket (S$) - 2012 Tax Rate
1 - 20K 0%
20K – 30K 2%
30K - 40K 3.5%
40K - 80K 7%
80K - 120K 11.5%
120K - 160K 15%
160K - 200K 17%
200K - 320K 18%
> 320K 20%

Malaysia Tax Rate (2011)

Income Bracket (RM) - 2011 Tax Rate
< 2.5K 0%
2.5K - 5K 1%
5K - 20K 3%
20K - 35K 7%
35K - 50K 12%
50K - 70K 19%
70K - 100K 24%
> 100K 26%

Well as you can see from the table above, Malaysia tax rate is higher than Hong Kong and Singapore based on the income bracket. Let's take an $100K income as example for comparison:

Income Tax Rates Comparision with $100K Income

Hong Kong Singapore Malaysia
Income HK$100K S$100K RM100K
Marginal tax rate 12.0% 11.5% 24.0%
Total tax payable HK$5.2K S$5.1K RM14.325K
Effective tax rate 5.2% 5.1% 14.3%

As I commented in my previous post on 3 thankful things of Malaysia 2013 budget, most tax scheme is progressive tax scheme:
Which means, if you earn RM50K, it doesn't mean you will get taxed at 12% for all RM50K but only RM20K. For the rest of the RM30K it gets taxed at lower tax rate than 12% based on the tax income bracket scheme.

That's why if you look at the table above, there is marginal tax rate and effective tax rate. The effective tax rate is the actual tax rate. So for $100K, the effective Malaysian tax rate is 14.3/5.2 = 2.75 time higher as compared to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Also, few interesting facts that you MUST KNOW where I read an article recently from
  • Less than 10% of workforce in Malaysia pays tax
  • Number of taxpayers represent 5.6% of the population
  • 19.9% of Hong Kong population pays tax
  • 20.7% of Singapore population pays tax

These facts conclude that number of individual tax payers in Malaysia is extremely low and most importantly is:
"The burden of personal income tax is disproportionately borne by a small group"

A comment from facebook reader on the recent Malaysia 2013 budget saying the the individual tax rate is too high because the maximum tax rate(i.e.26%) is even higher than the corporate tax rate (i.e.25%).  Well, I think he has a very good point. Either we tax too low for corporate or we tax too high for individual.

So now, do you still think Malaysia income tax rate reasonable given that only 5.6% of population pays tax? Something is very wrong, in my opinion. What do you say?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to Use Support and Resistance in Stock Investing?

When I first come in to this term support and resistance in technical analysis, the first questions that come into my mind is "Who define the support and resistance in a particular stock"?

Unfortunately, there is no really a fixed definition because is a defined by you with your common-sense which mainly depends on how you want to draw the support and resistance lines.

What is Support and Resistance lines?

Support is drawn by connecting 2 or more troughs(bottoms) of a stock chart and resistance is drawn by connecting 2 or more peaks(tops) of the stock chart. Let's take INTC as an example below where I draw the support and resistance line by myself.

The purple is the resistance line and the green line is the support line. Resistance line acts like a temporary ceiling which prevents the stock price goes beyond this line. If the stock price goes beyond this line, it basically means it violated the resistance zone. The stock prices will continue to shoot up.

Same to support line, it acts like a temporary floor which prevents the stock price goes below this line. If the stock price goes below this line as shown in the graph (after timeline A), it violated the support zone. After timeline A, the support line becomes a resistance line.

So, what does it mean?

The support line tells you investors may buy at this point and resistance line tells you investor may sell at that point. So what you need to do is before the stock price reaches the resistance line, you sell and before it reaches the support line, you buy. Sound simple, huh?

However if it violates the resistance zone, you buy immediately. Same to if it violates the support zone, you quickly sell it because it will fall deeply and the support line will become resistance line as you see in the timeline A in stock chart above.

The support line also tells you whether the stock price is in uptrend and resistance line tells you whether it is at downtrend. From the chart above, it is at downtrend (look at the resistance line).

When the support and resistance line form a triangle shape (also you can see at the chart above), there is possible a trend reversal depends on whether it violates the support or resistance zone.


When the support zone is violated, you need to come out a new support zone. After that you can start to predict again. Similarly when the resistance zone is violated. Anyhow the most important thing that I think we must understand is the support and resistance lines are drawn by ourselves which also means that if you draw different than mine, then we may have different analysis outcome! I

I know there are many stock indicators but I think for starting, I'm going use only 2 methods (i.e. support & resistance and moving average) to predict my stocks and do some researches. Let's see how it goes.

P/S: Feel free to share with me if you have successful experience using support and resistance in your stock trading. I want to learn from you.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

3 Thankful Things of Malaysia Budget 2013

There are only 3 things that I really feel thankful about the recent budget 2013 announcement for Malaysian that I would like to share with you. I will only share with the things that is matter to me especially for personal finance perspective. For more comprehensive of Malaysian Budget 2013, you can refer to the official 1 Malaysia website for detail.

Firstly, thanks for making me proud to be middle income group. Every year I contribute to the people who really need the benefits than I do and it is in increasing trend. I'm glad that I can help others.

Secondly, thanks for giving me 1% tax reduction for the first RM50K income that I made. At least you do this for everyone and not limit to income that less than RM50K only. Thank you so much!

Lastly, you help to cool down the hot property market by increasing the Real Property Gain Tax (RGPT) to 15% from 10% for the first 2 years and to 10% from 5% between 2 to 5 years and finally after 5 years, there will be no tax which is same as previous years.

I hope you will find thankful too as I am and there must be other stuff (other then the 3 thankful things that I mentioned above) that you feel thankful about. Let's share that with me...
P/S: Malaysia Budget for previous years:

Friday, October 05, 2012

My Experiences of Making Money In Blog

I came into blogging in 2006 when a friend of mine introduced this to me as the fastest way to get rich. What I have been told at that time is you can earn around US$ 3K per month for a normal not very famous blog. So, US$ 3K is equivalent to RM 9K, then isn't that  I can stop my current full time job? So I gave it a try...

Unfortunately, this is not what I made for the past few years. In monthly average, my blog income is around US$ 120. So convert it to Malaysia currency is RM 360. So it is not a very successful case.  It is even lower than my investment return and way below my main source of income. Okay, the only excuse that I can give to myself is, I'm just doing it part time. But to be honest, even I can do it full time, I don't think I can achieve US$ 3K in a month. Perhaps I also failed to achieve the 3 steps that I mentioned in my previous post - secret to get rich quick and fast. That's why is ashamed when @lieucf said wanted to interview me. :) Perhaps also this is due to I don't really focus on making money at the first place, see my main priority in blogging below.

Here are some tips or my experiences that you may find it useful for blogging:

Tips and Experiences To Share in Blogging

  • My main priority is NOT making money in blog. My main priority is for my own reflection. I write is because I want to reflect. Secondly, I hope I can share my reflections to the rest and get feedback from all of you. So this probably keeps me blogging until today which is a good thing because I've seen many blogs cannot sustain more than 2 years.
  • Choose a simple domain name. One mistake that I made is the URL of this blog started with "FinancialIndependent". The name just too long. So if you want to start a blog, I suggest you think of a short name (as short as possible), try to have name that doesn't not have more than 3 sounds. For example, "ChampDog" is a pretty good name and easy to be remember, I think. :) 
  • Using blogspot is cool and I have no regret. But I know people said if you want to be professional, you need to have your own domain. For me, I think it depends on what you want to do. If it is mainly for blogging, I think that's fine for blogspot because what people is really interested is your ideas. In fact blogspot makes my life easier, and I just need to focus on what I need to blog. However, for setting up a company or selling certain products, I will think it is better to have your own domain.
  • Adsense is the main source of my blog income which contributes to 80%. Given the fact that I'm not a very successful case of making money in blogging, I can't give much comment here. Perhaps, you can share with me and give me some tips how you can earn like crazy in blogging? 
  • Blog frequently and consistently. For example, if you have decided to publish a post a very week, try to publish your post every week rather sometime few days and some other time more than a week. Just try to be consistent because it allows the Google search engine roughly to know when your website will be updated and it crawls accordingly. Lately, I have been using scheduled post which I find it very useful to force myself to blog consistently. Hopefully this can sustain.
  • I have never done paid post or paid review unless they allow me to write independently which means I can write bad reviews too if I think it is bad. But I don't think they allow me to do that. In short, I think paid post is not honest and defeat of my blogging purpose. Perhaps this makes me cannot earn in blogging?
  • Started guess post and having the guest post guideline too but don't think this is going good anywhere. Most authors who write guest post seem like only interested in one thing which is "link building" but what I"m looking for is "interaction" with them. Perhaps, I should just consider to stop having this guest post open in this blog anymore.

In short, can blogging really make a lot of money? At least it is NO to me. Money that I get from my blog can't able to feed me at all. Do you have anything to share or any advice for me?

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