Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Are You Financially Prepared for 2015?

Reading a recent post 'Are You Financially Prepared for 2015?' on The Star Online, I couldn't agree more on the general guidelines listed down by Mr Yap Ming Hui. Read it up and allow yourself some time to digest the 9 guidelines listed.

Even though it's now almost the end of the first month of 2015, I always believe it's never too late to pick up some meaningful and useful lessons. Many expect a tough year ahead for fellow Malaysians - with GST implementation, increased prices of goods and services, unstable fuel market, slow economic growth. So, let us be prepared and hope for a smooth 2015 ahead.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

'I Want It Now' Attitude @ Instant Gratification vs Delayed Gratification?


From my observation, one of the main difference between the older generation (Gen X) and the younger generation (Gen Y or Millennial - birth years 1980s) is Gen Y have very strong 'I Want It Now' attitude, while Gen X prefer to plan and take time to have the things they wish for. For example, purchasing a new car. For Gen Y, they prefer to buy the expensive new car which is most of the time, out of their budget, but Gen Y will try to get financial assistance from their parents. For Gen X, they prefer to get a cheaper or smaller or not that fancy car / secondhand car for their daily commute purpose, until they managed to save for their dream car. And usually, Gen X do not prefer to have financial support from parents or family members.

Another example would be the way Gen X and Gen Y manage their finances. Gen X are usually more reserved and careful with their finances, with many considerations and planing especially for big purchases such as a car or a house. For Gen Y, I would say they are very 'happy go lucky' type. Many of them will think 'life is too short', so, why have to worry about so many uncertain things? Why not enjoy life to the fullest while we are still alive? Usually, they will spend whatever they have and sometimes even spend their future money (credit cards, personal loans).

Somehow, Gen Y's attitudes will move the market and keep the market going which is a good thing. But, the problem happened when they overspend and not able to pay back whatever they have spent. 

Gen X's attitude might not be so good for the economy but at least it's more realistic and careful. 

I would say the best would be a combination of Gen X and Gen Y attitudes. I would prefer 70% Gen X attitude and 30% of Gen Y attitudes. I would like to have a protection for myself and my family, a portion of income saved for emergency, a portion of income invested and a portion of income under 'free spending - eating out, vacations, entertainment.  With this, I can enjoy life!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Food Price Hike


Reading the news 'Hawkers raise prices' on The Star Online, I am not sure what is your reaction. If me, definitely I will reduce my visits to these hawkers or eateries who had overcharged their food.

Locally in Kuching, I noticed some famous eateries had increased their food price by RM0.50 to RM1.00. The beef noodle which was previously sold at RM6.50 is now RM7.50 per bowl. And I noticed the portion is also reduced. Some of the 'kolo mee' stall had also increase their price by RM0.30 to RM0.50 per bowl. In one of the hawkers center, the 'tea-c' drink is sold at RM2.20, and there's only one size. These are just a few of the examples I myself encounter.

I am not sure how these hawkers and food operators can simply increase the price of their food. They can just put the blame on the increase price of fresh ingredients. If situation continues, I strongly believe, there will be less customers going to these hawkers centre and coffeeshops. I also think that, nowadays, consumers starting to be more concern on the price they are paying for their food. Consumer are getting smarter now. They are smart enough to choose where and which eateries to go.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Problem with Full Time Employment


Sometimes, I think the main reason with full time employment is, it leaves no time for the person to think and plan ahead for his future. The busy day to day schedule, the never ending deadlines always make a person feeling tired towards the weekend, resulting to be too exhausted to think or plan for his future path. 

Perhaps this situation is not that bad in developed countries where employees have specific of number of work hour per week, and the wages is by hours of work done. In developing countries like Malaysia, employees are expected to work extra hours and some times they have to bring back their workload to their home. In my earlier days, I used to work till very late in the evening and usually I was the first to arrive in the office. Sometimes, also turned up on Saturday, trying to settle those unfinished paperworks. Along the way, I learned to prioritize my tasks better. At the same time, I also promised myself that I will follow my working hours as in my letter-of-offer and I will leave my workplace on time and most importantly, I will not bring home my work. After working hours, all these are my personal time and for my personal matters. With this, situation gets better. I feel less exhausted and have some time to think ahead and some time to free my mind from being occupied by work related matter. At least, some time for me to enjoy other things other that work.

But, I believe many are still trapped in the busy schedule of full time employment, leaving little space for us to really think and plan ahead for our own direction. Of course, one can say, it always up to the person. If he really want to plan for his future, he will find time for his planning. He will not blame on other factors such as busy working life leaving him no time for planning.

No matter what, I strongly believe, one should take time and think about his own future. Take some time to reflect on the past, learn from it and plan for a better future.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Gender Pay Gap In Malaysia


First of all, I would like to greet all my readers a Happy New Year 2015! May you will have many awesome news in 2015 and may you will be blessed with good health and great wealth. 

Among the news I read this morning is this news from The Star Online. It's an article about the wages for Male verses Female workers in Malaysia. Sad to say that in most sector, there is still a huge gape between wages for male and female in Malaysia, with male being paid about 25% more than their female counterparts except in certain industries such as the construction industry.

I am wondering, for the same position / vacancy in corporate sector, will a male and female candidate to be offered the same basic pay or package?

I am not against Men to be paid more than Women. But, an average of 25% wage difference across most industries and most level of jobs (entry level, service and sales, skilled workers, managers, professionals) and in different states - this is a huge difference. It would be more balance if in same industries or entry level, women earn more than men.

Friday, December 19, 2014

5 Reasons Why Women Need To Be Financially Independent


I would say, among the people I respect and admire most are those working mums with young family members. These amazing working mums are working hard to manage their full-time job, caring for the young family members and at the same time taking care of the long list of household chores. I salute these women and I support what they are practicing. Though maybe some women prefer to take some years off their busy schedule to concentrate on their young family members and return to the workforce later.

As a woman myself, I know all these are not easy, but we women should really continue working and most importantly be financially independent. I have the reasons below on why women need to be financially independent:

1) Women more prone to health issue
Compare to men, women are more prone to health issue. This is because our body organ is far more complex and complicated, for example our reproductive system. More organ involved and higher possibilities of serious health issue. We should invest in a good health protection insurance product. We should also have emergency savings in case we need to take long leave from work, or to support us when we are not able to work.

2) Women have longer life span
Based on Malaysia statistics, the average life span for Malaysian man is 72.6 and for Malaysian woman is 77.2. This shows that on average, Malaysian woman life is 4.6 years longer than Malaysian man. So, woman need to be more prepared for a longer life span.

3) To ensure continuous financial support for our children
I believe all mother want the best for her children. And most mothers also understand her children's needs better. Especially during younger years, most mother would like to give the best for her children - the best childcare center, the newest and coolest toy, the best school, and many more. All these need money. If the father can provide basic needs, then with the salary earned, the mother can provide additional special support for this children.

4) To avoid financial havoc if there is major marital problem
We know, it is always something out of our expectation. It has been too often, we hear who and who in the divorce process. Many are couples with children, but they still find the best solution for their marital problem is divorce. Many were once very loving couples but still, they had to choose to divorce. If a woman is financially stable and independent, at least, she can still support herself and her children. Pity those woman who fully depend on her husband for full financial support. It would be tough for her to go on her life smoothly, at least for certain period of time.

5) To provide financial support for our parents, family members or loved ones
I am sure we all face the situation where our parents or family member in emergency and needed some financial support. Though our family didn't request for our financial help, but I believe automatically, we would will extend our helping hands because they are our family members. If we have our own income, it would not be a problem for us to help our family members when they are in needs. If we have to ask our partners for the financial support, maybe he would be happy to help or maybe he would be a bit reluctant to help.

I am a woman myself and I wish every woman to be financially independent because we are special species.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Investing in Indonesian Fund



Recently I switched a small amount of my investment to Indonesian Fund. 

The reasons I switched a portion of my investment to Indonesian fund as below:

1) I wish to diversify my portfolio. In investment, among the famous golden rules would be 'do not put all your eggs in one basket'. Thus, I am putting some of my eggs in a new basket;
2) A hope for better Indonesia and more stable economy under new leadership and new management, President Jokowi;
3) High population. Indonesia is among the world top countries with highest populations. With populations keep growing and most of the populations are young generations, I foresee huge economic growth will be created by these youngsters. 
4) Low entry offered by the fund unit

I look forward to brighter Indonesia market outlook in next year and in years to come.

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