Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Really NEW Year For Me

This coming 2014 new year is really a NEW year for me. Everything to me is going to be completely NEW. I"m going to leave this country by 30th Dec to start a new life in Australia. It is going to be new job, new culture, new home, new food, new friends (hopefully), new enemies perhaps and many others. I hope this NEW stuff can keep me motivated since I am stuck here for quite sometime already!

2013 Accomplishments and Review

Looking back in 2013, this is probably the BEST YEAR that I have because I have met most of the 2013 resolutions that I wrote down here at the beginning of this year. I used to fail many of my goals in the past! :)

Improve Health (Met)

Measure of success: Do checkup every 6 months and no elevated cholesterol and liver enzymes.

Guess what? All back to normal. Well, hopefully I can sustain this forever! Recently, just too many farewell lunches and dinners that makes me worry a bit. I need to control myself! :)

Migration to Australia (Exceed)

Measure of success: Get an Australia PR by end of this year. 

I rate myself exceed expectation due to fact that I am not only getting a PR but have accelerated my plan to move over there by end of this year. I somehow VERY lucky to get a job offer without permanently migrate there. Pure luck, I guess!

I feel sad leaving my country, family and friends but on the other hand I'm very excited to start a new life there. Wish me luck!

Become Android Developer (Exceed)

Measure of success: Publish one application on Google Play store.

Exceed expectation too, I have published 2 Android applications on Google Play! Yes, I know both applications are not very fancy :) To me, it is a very good start already. I hope in future I can write more complex applications. Too bad, my new job is not totally related to this but I do hope one day I can step into this area in my job.

Study on Australia Economy (Partially Met)

Measure of success: Know above mentioned stuff and research and blog about it for each item.

Don't think I blog on this topic, so I have to give myself a partially met.  In short, living expenses in Australia (especially in Sydney) is extremely high. I need to very careful on my spending. Property market (especially in Sydney) is heading to bubble, I will have to watch carefully on this before taking any action.

Blogging - Stretch goal (Fail)

Measure of success: Publish at least 1 post per month in my active blogs. 

Luckily this is stretch goal. I don't think I met this goal. This blog is still okay because I only missed May surprisingly. The other blogs that I have are clearly slack behind. Well, not bad already! LoL.

What is next?

Well, I am still figuring out my 2014 resolutions and I"m not sure if I should start writing now or I should wait until I've started my new life in Australia. Perhaps I should skip 2014 and give myself a break? Will see...

Here I wish all of you Merry Christmas and Happy New!!! I'm going to miss Malaysia and everyone of you very much! Take care!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Real Property Gain Tax (RPGT) Tips

Since I just sold my house lately, I just want to share with you some tips for this real property gain tax (i.e. RPGT) that I learned.

First tip is you can apply for waiver for this RPGT once in a life time. This means once you use it, that's it. So think carefully before you apply for this. :D

There are forms (from Income tax office) that you need to fill up for this application. For convenient, you can just ask your lawyer to do that for you. Most lawyers offer this service. You still need to pay for the RGPT and once your application is approved, they will refund your money.

You need to show this document (either one) for this RPGT waiver applications:

  • Your electricity or water bill OR
  • Occupation Certificate (i.e. OC) of your house

A lot people do not know about this OC thingy, even for my lawyer. I figured that out myself from my income tax office website. This is very useful especially if you have new house and not vacant yet, and you want to sell your house. No electricity or water bill is required.

Second tip is don't put 2 names under this property if you trust the other party. The reason is if this property belongs to 2 of you (e.g. couples), you both need to apply for this RPGT waiver. Once both of you applied, that's it. You both have already used this once in a life time ticket! lol :) If you trust your partner and just use one name, you can save one more time of RPGT waiver in future. :)

Okay, that's all! Hope this helps! :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Home Loan Application Mistake - Ignore Lock-in Period

I just want to share with you guys on 1 mistake that made in my home loan application. The mistake is "I did NOT really negotiate the lock-in period" condition when I accepted the loan offer.

Note: Lock-in period is the period where you cannot settle your loan. If you do, then you will need to pay the penalty fee. 

The reason I didn't do that is because I didn't plan to sell the house in short term and I bought it for own staying. So I put "No Effort" at all to negotiate this lock-in period. Whatever the bank offered me, I just accepted it.

But in personal finance, you always plan on the worst case and in this case, I failed to do that. :) Thing changes especially it is > 2 years, okay I learn that now.

There are few things that you can negotiate and different bank may offer you different condition for this lock-in period. Let's see what you can negotiate here:

(1) Lock-in Period 

In Malaysia, the lock-in period is usually between 3 to 5 years. Try to negotiate for 3 years. My recent loan is just 3 years. So I was lucky, I didn't bother but got the minimum lock-in period. :)

(2) First Draw Down vs Full Draw Down

If your lock-in period start date is based on the full draw down, you should always negotiate it for first draw down instead. For example if your lock-in period is 3 years:

First draw down - 2013
Full draw down - 2015

If based on first draw down, your lock-in period ends in 2016 but if it is based on your full draw down, it ends in 2018. You basically waste your 2 years!!! Fortunately, my case is based on first draw down. I believe most banks do?

(3) Penalty on Outstanding vs Original Loan

Penalty % is usually standard, I think is 3%. The most critical thing is whether the penalty is based on outstanding or original loan. This is the part I was unlucky. :( Too bad, my loan is based on original total loan! :(

It is important that you better negotiate for penalty based on the outstanding loan especially you are cash rich. In example below, you can save $12K!

Loan Amount - $800K
Outstanding Loan - $400K

Penalty on original loan - $800K X 3% = $24K
Penalty on outstanding loan - $400K X 3% = $12K

[Update]: My lock-in period's penalty fee is 2% not 3%. Not sure why I remember wrongly. At least this is something lucky for me! :) 


So, which one has the highest priority? I don't know, I think all 3 are equally important. You can just negotiate all these 3 together to get the minimum penalty as possible! Good luck and don't repeat my mistake! :)

P/S: Do you know car loan is always 1.9X of housing loan? Check this out here!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Malaysia Day 2013!

Wow, 50 years already! It was just being officially recognized in 2010 by Najib Rasak. So previously it was not recognized and no public holiday before 2010. Not bad, now we can enjoy 2 independent days holiday! Another one is on August 31. :) Thank you thank you!

But wait! I realize one interesting thing, Government Debt to GDP climbs significantly in 2010 from 42.8% to 55.4% and after that has never gone down. So this Debt-to-GDP ratio increase was caused by this Malaysia Day declaration?

Ops, can you take it back so the Debt-to-GDP can stay low? lol?

Happy Malaysia Day and enjoy the break!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Setia Greens Cassia Type for Sale in Sungai Ara, Penang

I bought this house 2 years+ ago from SP Setia and initially I did plan to stay for my own but who knows plan changed that I need to sell this house now. :(

For the product detail, you can visit the official page here. Below is the master plan for Setia Greens. The arrow shows where my house is.

It is basically divided 2 phases. The first phase consists of terrace and semi-detached houses. The second phase consists of semi-detached, bungalow and condominium. Landed properties here are all 3 stories.

My house is in the middle of this row! :) This picture was taken while still in construction but almost complete. Now, few houses has moved in already.

If you're interested or maybe your friends interested, please contact me through email: "".

[Update: 27 Feb 2016]: Sorry, this property was sold long time ago and I don't have time to update this post. May bad, and you don't need to contact me anymore.

Why I bought this property?

Perhaps it is good for me to share my thought process why I decided to buy this property and you can take them as reference in your buying considerations.

Price Per Sq Feet is Cheaper
  • It is cheaper in terms of price per Sq. feet as compared to condominium in Penang. In other words, landed property is selling cheaper than non-landed property. Isn't that worth to buy landed then?
Land Title is Individual and Not Strata
  • Strata title is an apartment title which means the land is not totally owned by you as compared to individual title. This means you can't simply extend your house and do renovation. I just feel weird that having landed property with apartment title where you don't have complete control on your land.
  • There are pros and cons of it and it is totally up to the individual preference. This trend is starting from KL and brought it over to Penang. A good example of this kind of property is "Southbay" from Mah Sing group, near the second Penang bridge.
  • Another benefit of Individual title is the maintenance fee is cheaper. Maintenance fee for Strata title's properties is usually way expensive. This is a concern for long term especially when you retire or don't have a job one day. Ultimately in my opinion, you don't want the maintenance fee to be one of your biggest expenses. 
Gated and Guarded (by Fence)
  • One of the main benefits of landed property with Strata title is they usually offer gated and guarded services. However, the Setia Greens offer this service too with individual title. Isn't the best to have similar services without the need for Strata title? 
Setting Sun is Blocked by the Hill
  • Apart of north-south orientation of the house (my house is facing south by the way) where your house is not facing directly to rising and setting sun, the setting sun is also blocked by the hill in second phase at west. This is very good, you won't feel very hot during evening time. For those who have stayed in landed property before will know what I"m talking. :)
Not too Close to the Hill & Fence
  • I choose the house in the middle of the row for the reason of it is not too close to the hill and the fence. I don't randomly pick. It is also located in the middle of the whole area there. I don't like to be too close too the border, it doesn't feel right for me unless I don't have a choice.
Environment is for Residential
  • I like this place because the environment is really for residential. People usually choose landed property in Sungai Ara area is because of this factor. Unlike some other landed properties which are very near to the commercial units, I feel those property are not really for residential. But again,  you can argue the other way round and I guess this is up to personal preference again.
Multiple Routes to Setia Greens
  • If you follow my blog, one of my key criteria before I invest in a property is look at how many routes to that area (see my previous blog post here). Specifically to Setia Greens, there are 2 routes. If you look at the bigger area (i.e. Sg Ara), there are at least 3 routes. This has already met my minimum requirement (i.e. 2 routes), therefore is good to invest for me.
It is Freehold 
  • Needless to say more, it is freehold. I'm not dare to buy leasehold property although it is cheaper.
Service is Reliable
  • SP Setia is a very reliable developer and their service is not perfect but when you complain, they will take it seriously and ultimately fix the problems for you. I heard many developers services out there are pretty bad especially the after sale service. 

Well, you may think I'm biased but that was really my thought process of buying this property. If not, why I buy? lol.

The only CONCERN I had when was deciding whether to buy this property is the traffic condition. So I tried to experience it myself during morning hours and after working hours to see how bad is the condition.

To be frank, it is still acceptable to me. You just don't use the route from Relau which I find it always jam badly during peak hours (due to no traffic light and narrow road). Having said that, there is plan to widen the roads and once it is done, I believe it will be a lot better. The traffic light is already there now and it reduces the long queue problem already.

P/S: Hope that helps. If you have any questions about my property, feel free to drop me an email:

You can also put your comments here in this blog if you have any additional comments to add - it is fine if you disagree with me.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cheated by Residential Property With Commercial Title?

I just remember a conversation that I had with a property sale person in few months back in a property fair and he basically tried to convince me to buy a condominium with a justification "Cheap" at prime location. 

He basically asked me to compare the prices with other developer projects with the same type of quality and location, and see if I can get any offers that cheaper than it? So I tried to answer him and the conversations goes below...

Me: Yeah, I can't find any. But why? I'm curious to know.

Him: That's why is offer. Just left few units, better hurry!

Me: (Since he didn't really answer my questions, so I tried to probe him more). Is this leasehold?

Him: No, freehold! 

Me: Strata title? (Stupid that I asked this because I get used to asking this for landed property)

Him: Yes, of course. It always a Strata title for condo/apartment. 

Me: Hmm... commercial unit??? (Now I hit it!)

(He somehow silent and pretended never hear my questions, so I asked him again with slightly more detail. lol) 

Me: Is this condo with commercial title or residential title?

Him: Commercial title but no difference. Basically both are the same!

Me: Oh okay. I will consider it (My turn to pretend! lol)

Honestly, how can it be the same? If same, why we need to differentiate them at the first place? It is a residential property that built on a commercial land. This type of property is usually called "Service Apartment / Condo". 

Do check out my very old post on different type of properties that you can find in Malaysia here.

Why I say No to Commercial Title?

  • It is not covered by housing Act. You can't sue the developer if anything goes wrong. 
  • Utilities bills are more expensive. Expensive by how much? I don't really no. Maybe if you know, you can share with me.
  • What if your neighbor makes their home become a business? I will be no privacy and I can't report them because it is legal!!!
  • Don't you feel weird, residential property on commercial land? What is this? Common sense tells me this is not right unless I really aim this for renting it out to expat. But what if it doesn't turn out to be service apartment for expat? Oh crap, I will lost my investment!

I guess this is the outcome from developers who buy that piece of land for commercial initially (e.g. building shops) but somehow they change plan later for some reasons to build residential units instead.

After that, they try to convince you and me that commercial title is same with residential title if we aware it is commercial title? lol!


I'm sharing this because I "feel" many may think that all residential properties by default is with residential title which is not case. I"m not sure if there are any real victims of buying this type of property or perhaps I think too much. Everyone knows what they're buying. :)

Hope that helps! :) Let me know especially if you think otherwise (e.g. commercial title is better) for staying or even for investment.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Should I Buy Mid-range or High-end Smartphone?

If you're a gadget guy like me, you're always interested in the high-end smartphone rather than the mid-range one. However, the problem is this high-end smartphone will usually become a mid-range smartphone after less than a year and this makes it pointless for your to aim for a high-end smartphone anymore.

Here I list down the reasons (other than the above one) why I think mid-range smartphone is good enough.

Reasons Mid-Range is Good Enough

  • It is a lot more cheaper as compared to high-end smartphone. You can get 2x cheaper for mid-range but do you get 2x features and speed? Obviously no.
  • The usability and features are 99% the same. What can be done in high-end smartphone can be done in mid-range smartphone too. It is about the OS version that it runs. :)
  • Yes it runs slower than the high-end smartphone due to processor speed BUT after you install whole bunch of applications, they're both slow! So what is the difference? lol
  • No one knows you're carrying a mid-range smartphone because it looks almost the same with the high-end one. Look at Samsung Galaxy products, they all look the same!
  • Screen resolution is usually lower for mid-range smartphone but do you know it runs faster with lower resolution? The font is big which makes it easier to read also.
  • Some mid-range smartphones have dual SIM card support which is extremely useful for those who travel oversea often or those who carry 2 phones. Most high-end smartphones do not have dual SIM support now.

By the way, Camera and video recording is important, at least to me. Aim for those mid-range smartphone that offers equal or slightly lower camera and video's spec than those high-end smartphone.

That's the reason I bought Samsung Galaxy Grand lately!!! lol :) It serves all the above reasons and also with high camera and video's spec. :)

Honestly, if you're planning to buy smartphone, let's aim for the mid-range smartphone will do. No point go for a high-end one from personal finance perspective. Save your money and at the same time you still can achieve the purpose that you want to do with the phone. :) Just my 2 cents...

P/S: Perhaps that is also the reason iPhone is slowly died off because they don't have any mid-range phone? :)

Monday, June 03, 2013

I Need Money, Help!!!

Have you ever helped a friend or a relative by lending your money to them to solve their financial problems especially related debt? If yes, you may want to continue to read on because I don't think you're helping them. You're probably making their financial condition even worst and eventually ruin their life!

Why Lending Money Does Not Work?

The obvious answer is it doesn't solve the root cause of the problem which is due to "lack of  financial planning knowledge".  If this is not solved, no matter how you help that person, they always come back to you with a same problem again and again. What you really want is "teach him/her how to solve their own problem!" so that they're independent enough to solve their financial problems next time. This solution is forever and will last. :)

So, don't straight away lend your money first...

Explore Alternatives Instead

Although it seems like lending your money is the only solution and it is often not the case. The first thing that what you need to do is guide them ask themselves this question - "if no one is going to help you, what else can you do"? Explore the alternatives together with them.  Here are some I can think of:

  • List down all expenses and see which one can be cut down. Insurance is the tricky one because often being understood as necessity which is not true especially when one fails to pay their own debts. Let it go although it is a lost (due to insurance is not mature yet) and start thinking to switch them to term-life insurance if really need to be insured. Know more about term-life insurance, visit here. I talked about it at very high level. :)
  • Start looking at their assets and see which one are not necessary. If the debt interest is 15%, can the assets generate 15% of return? If no, then it is probably time to let go of these assets. Sell them and use the money to pay the debts to reduce the principal. Some time you need to force them to sell. :) Assets are those include houses, properties, real estates, cars and investments (e.g. unit trust and stocks).
  • Get a spreadsheet to work out a monthly cash flow. Make sure it is not deficit, your expenses cannot be more than your income. If yes, you need to redo the above 2 steps. Find a way to make it surplus (i.e. income more than expenses). Put 10% of your income for saving and the rest is the remaing amount (after deduct all your expenses) that  you can use to pay your monthly debt installment, let's say RM 1K. 
  • Finally, look for AKPK (specific to Malaysia only) to reduce debt interest. The good thing about AKPK is it stops them from accumulating more debts immediately. I documented down the whole AKPK application process here for your reference. Use this RM 1K as your negotiation with the counselor on amount of money that they can pay in order get an optimum reduced interest rate.

You Still Can Lend Them Money

Ultimately, you shouldn't lend your money if possible but sometime no choice. :)

You still can lend them money only after a proper financial planning has been done on how and when the debt can be settled. In other words, a sustainable plan needs to be came out first. Your money should be a minimum amount money that able to help them have surplus cash flow starting from now for example. Don't lend them more than that.

For the money that you lend to them, I would suggest you charge them interest rather than giving them zero interest and ask them to come out a proposal on how they can pay you back. Your money should be included as one of their debts in their financial planning.  From this exercise, you can assess how much they know about financial planning.

If it is negative, the problem is not solved yet. You need to pay more effort. It is not easy to get everyone understand financial planning. Good luck!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

AKPK's DMP Application Walk-through Experience

This post is for people who plan to apply for AKPK's DMP application. I just shared my experienced that I have gone through.

Last month, I went to Bank Negara in Penang to help my father in law for the DMP - Debt Management Program application under AKPK. I think it maybe a good idea for me to capture the entire process here. You may find it useful you plan to apply it.

Firstly, go to the AKPK website under the "Contact Us", decide which location that you want to go. After that, go to the DMP application process section and search for the toll free (i.e. 1800-85-2575). Call them and ask them when is the public briefing section. In Penang, the public briefing section is on Tuesday and Friday, start at 10 am if I remember correctly.

Summary of this Briefing

I try to remember as many as I can...

You must go to this briefing section. I personally think this briefing is extremely good. It tells you basic of personal finance!

  • It explains in general why people fail to manage their money. What trick the banks try to convince you to buy their product? What is cash advance? What is their interest and the impact in your personal finance if you're in debt? Yes, it includes compound interest and the rest of the basic personal finance stuff.
  • Next, it explains the impact or the standard procedure the bank will take if you fail to pay the minimum amount (i.e. 5%) of your credit card. At the beginning, they will give you warning (both verbal and written) for 2 to 3 months and if you still fail to pay, they will start kicking of the official legal process.

The legal process consists of following:
  • Writ of Seizure and Sale (WSS)/Penghukuman Writ Penyitaan & Penjualan - The bank will get approval from the judge to allow them to sell all your assets to cover all the debts that you have. If it is still fail to pay off the debts, the next process kicks in.
  • Judgment Debtor Summons (JDS)/Saman Penghutang - This will allow them to walk-in to your house and inspect whatever valuable assets that you have and to take it when necessary. According to the instructor on that the day, the purpose is not really to seize your assets but more on make you embarrassed to your neighbor.
  • Bankruptcy Action/Tindakan kebankrapan - This is the last step if above 2 steps fail. You may want to contact AKPK as soon as possible to avoid this step but bankruptcy could be one of the options as well if you really can't pay the debt. AKPK will give you advice on whether bankruptcy is a right choice.
  • At last, it explains the steps what you need to do for the AKPK's DMP application. The details as follows in summary...

After the briefing, you will need to schedule an appointment with a counselor. According to the instructor, it is not easy to schedule an appointment due to limited counselors. He encouraged us to call the toll free number non-stop until you get the appointment. Before the appointment, you need to make sure all the documentation is ready. There will be a form and a checklist of documentations that you need to prepare:
  • CCRIS Report from Bank Negara Malaysia - it can be printed in any branches of Bank Negara I think. It is a machine and you just need to put in your I/C to print this report. Very powerful machine, because it can really print out all your debts including your car and housing loans as well.
  • Latest credit card statements - bring all of them.
  • Latest pay slip or anything that can prove your monthly earning if you're not employee.
  • Photocopy of your I/C at both side

Since I didn't want to wait for another day, I cut queue by negotiating with the counselor directly.Luckily, I managed to slot in. But you can only do this when you have all the documentations ready. So, I settled this within a same day! :)

During the counseling, the counselor basically does not really give you counselling. They seem like just follow the standard process or protocol. What the counselor will do is make assessment on the proposal that they plan to negotiate with bank. I think usually is 9% of interest for 10 years. Then, he will just calculate whether it is feasible based on your current income. I think if you really need lower interest rate (e.g. < 9%), you will need to plan out your negotiation.

After that, he will give you and DMP reference ID for you to apply online. There is a PC there where you can login to the DMP website (he will give you the instructions). Basically, you just need to fill up all the information as stated in your hard copy application form. The only extra thing is the last page where you need to explain why you fail to manage your debt. You can put in bullet form so it is clearer.

The last step is bank in your first payment through Maybank within several days. Don't worry, the counselor will give you the instruction as well. You can pay through ATM machine or online banking. Finally, you just need to wait for the approval letter from AKPK in 2 weeks. Once it is approved, you make the monthly payment to AKPK.

Few notes:
  • AKPK is a negotiator and they don't refinance your debt but more on helping you to negotiate with bank to get lower interest rate. If you want, you can negotiate yourself with bank too for lower interest without going through AKPK theoretically.
  • If you fail to make payment to AKPK, they will blacklist you and not to help you anymore. So it is important if you unable to make the payment, you must inform them and negotiate with them again.
Good luck in your APKP's DMP application!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

What is AKPK? Is It Really Needed?

AKPK stands for "Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit" in Malay and in English, it is known as Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency. I only know about this organization lately when I was trying to solve a debt problem for a relative. So I just share to you guys and this is only applicable in Malaysia.

This organisation is wholly owned subsidiary of Bank Negara Malaysia (National Bank of Malaysia) that basically provides help to anyone who has problem managing their own financial. The financial problems that I have seen so far are usually due to credit card debt. What you need to do is contact them and explaining your debt situation and they will help you to restructure your debts by negotiating on behalf of you with banks. For example, instead of paying for 18% interest, you may just need to pay for 9% after debt restructuring. Cool, isn't it? This service is called AKPK’s Debt Management Program (DMP).

There are 2 key exceptions where you can't enroll in DMP:

  • You must have a job or income. If no, you should get a job first before approaching AKPK.
  • Your debt must be legal and approved by Bank Negara Malaysia.

I think these requirements make sense because there is no way to manage your debt if you don't have income at all. Also, your debt can't be from "Ah Long" (Loan Shark). I cannot imagine how they can negotiate on behalf of you. :) But I guess if you really can't meet these requirements, you still can seek help from them on what to do next.

The only drawback of enrolling this DMP is you can't apply any kind of loan anymore unless you settle all the debts. I think this is good thing but some debtors may disagree because it constraints them from borrowing more. Hello, please wake up!

For the details, please visit: Look for Debt Management under the services category.

Wait! I Still Don't Get It

It may appear that AKPK is solution to many people who have credit card debt issue BUT let's think of it deeper again, why can't this be prevented before even going to AKPK stage? Can this be done?

Most credit card debtors (who fail to manage their debt) that I have seen so far  hold 5 to 6 credit cards. Why this is allowed?  Even 2 credit cards are consider a lot already in my opinion. I personally just hold 1 credit card. The question is why banks allow them to hold more than 5 credit cards at the first place? Another way to look at this is the maximum debt limit a person can borrow. For example, this person debt limit is $20K and it should always gap at $20k no matter how many credit cards he/she can hold. Can we set such rules?

If this problem be prevented, why this is not happening? Why must Bank Negara (National Bank) creates a solution while the problem can be prevented? Are they creating solutions that look for problems and ultimately create the problems by themselves if they don't exist? Are they doing this in purpose?

Oh okay I know, because banks want to earn too. They are in business and yet help to grow economy at the same time by encouraging people to spend over their limit if possible! This is how economy works? Win-win situation between Bank Negara (National Bank) and the rest of the banks. But wait, is the debtor win too?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Understand Perspective is the Key To Success

I just came across this video few months back and I think it is very meaningful to show what exactly "perspective" is. I watch it again today and it is still very amazing. The video doesn't name it as "perspective" but "assumption". To me, it is the same thing.

A very successful person must have the skill or ability to understand different perceptive or else they will not be considered succeed. They call this narrow-minded people. I see many people struggle in their work is mainly due to his/her incapability to understand perspective. These people usually stuck and cannot perform. In 7 habits, they call this "paradigm shift".

So what exactly by understand different perspective? Check it out the video clip below and you will know what I am saying here!

Hope you enjoy this video. Credit to Quirkology, he has many other interesting videos too. You can check them out too.

P/S: For those who celebrate Chinese New Year, vacation is over. Wish you happy Chinese New Year and drive safety too if you travel long hours! Are you ready for work? :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Most Free Economies in 2013

I just come across this "Index of Economy Freedom" which was published recently by U.S. heritage foundation and I think it is worth to share with you guys if you haven't heard about it.

So what is this "Index of Economy" about? It basically tells how free are you to work, produce, consume and invest in any way you want to be? In short, the higher points a country gets, the freedom you're in terms of investment perspective.  If you want to know the detail, refer to the link at the end of this article.

Top Ten World Ranking

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. Switzerland
  6. Canada
  7. Chile
  8. Mauritius
  9. Denmark
  10. United States

This graphical representative is cool as you can see overall ranking in all around the world. 

Where is Malaysia stand by the way? Malaysia is ranked 56th, and categorized under moderately free (i.e. yellow / between 60 to 70) which is ranked 9th in the regional ranking. It is still better than a lot of our neighbors but not comparing to those developed one. :)

I don't know what conclusion can be made here but it seems to me the more developed a country is, the more economy freedom there are.

For detail on the research, ranking and data, and you can also plot the trend, please refer here:

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

My 2013 Resolutions and Yours?

Overall, I'm partially met my 2012 resolutions as stated in my previous post and as usual, I'm going to set top 5 resolutions for 2013. I think 5 resolutions are good enough, not too many, not too less. :)

By the way, if you realized, I put "measure of success" in each resolution that I have. You may want to do that too as I know many of us (happened to me in the past too), we don't really know what is the measure of success although we have resolution. So how to we know we succeed or fail?

Improve Health

This is a must for every year I think. What my worry is the consistency because every time when my health gets better, I tend to eat a lot and forget about it. So, I still need to consistently monitor my health's status to make sure my cholesterol and liver are in good shape.

Measure of success: Do checkup every 6 months and no elevated cholesterol and liver enzymes.

Migration to Australia

Well, why I want to make this move? There are few reasons. One reason is I'm stuck in my career here and no longer has motivation to work. I just know that I need to move but move where? I have considered US but it turns out that Australia is the lucky one.

Measure of success: Get an Australia PR by end of this year. 

Become Android Developer

Software programming is always my interest. I"m not sure if it is my passion because sometimes I will get bored of it especially when it becomes a routine and most importantly I didn't touch programming for quite some time already.  I've never been good in GUI programming and this is going to be challenge for me. I started to know some basic android development, but I think that is not sufficient.

Measure of success: Publish one application on Google Play store.

Study on Australia Economy

I know little bit about Australia and since I wanted to move there, I think it is a good idea to study on it. Perhaps I should start to read more news related to Australia. I'm more interested in personal finance related stuff such as living expenses, housing/rental price, car price, tax scheme, insurance coverage, government subsidy, job market, retirement plan, cultural difference and so on. Thus, measure of success is pretty broad. :)  Each item needs certain level of research.

Measure of success: Know above mentioned stuff and research and blog about it for each item. 

Blogging (Stretch Goal)

I like blogging but I plan to put lower priority in blogging this year because of  focusing on mainly above stuff.   Thus, it is stretch goal for me this year. However I do want to set myself a goal for this so that my blog won't totally dead in 2013. :) When my mood comes, I will blog!

Measure of success: Publish at least 1 post per month in my active blogs. 

There are other stuff such as investment and financial related but I guess every year is the same so I decided not putting them as my top 5 resolutions in 2013. If you wonder how to set your investment goals, you can check out my previous post: 4 Steps to Set Your Investment Goals

Happy new year!

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