Monday, December 29, 2008

Financial Planning - Financial Goals for 2009

Have you got your 2009 calendar ready on your table? If not yet, you still have about 3 more days to go to get your new calendar. My bf gave me a beautiful 2009 table calendar. I noticed that this year, me and my family didn't received as many free calendars as compare to few years back. Even, the company I work with also only provide calendars for selected corporate customers. Since the global economy is still sinking and not stable, I guess everyone is trying to practise the cost saving methods in every way of life.

As 2009 is approaching, it's time for us to sit down and plan for the new year, 2009. I know some of us might not favour this new year resolutions stuff, but think of it positively. The plan itself will create a pathway for your and will make your journey much easier and meaningful. Experts said it'll be more effective if you write down your goals, rather than keeping it to yourself in your head. Basically, writing it down make us hold accountable for the promises we made to ourselves and thus encourage us to work towards our goals. I am glad to know that posting in a blog is also considered as writing it down.

So, here are my financial goals for 2009:

1) Increase my annual income by at least 10%. (to be completed by Dec 2009)
2) Moving the $$$ from my emergency account to fixed deposit accounts. I don't want my emergency account to just sit in the saving account. Moving the $$$to the fixed deposit accounts not only benefit me but also to the banks and the society as they need the $$$. (to be completed by Jan 2009)
3) Invest in a new unit trust fund. This time, I want to invest in equity fund. (to be completed by June 2009)
4) Continue to top up my existing unit trust funds. (all year long)
5) Keeping a separate file for each of my unit trust funds. Currently all my unit trust funds details are in the same file. It's time to separate them. Separating them will make my fund monitoring easier. (to be done by Jan 2009)
6) Monitoring my Public Bank Gold Investment Account and top up at least once. (to be completed by 31 Dec 2009)
7) Monitoring my investment-link Pru-link assurance and see if there's a need to review the coverage and purchase a second insurance. (to be done by Sept 2008)
8) Terminating my unused credit cards, and concentrate on 1 credit card with another two as backup. I must ensure that the active and backup credit cards are without annual fee. (to be done by June 2009)
9) File and submit my income tax early. (to be done by 15 April 2008)
10) Continue with my 'fun saving' account. My fun saving accounts keep all my fun expenses. This includes fun expenses for my family and for myself. It'sgreat to be able to provide some fun $$$ throughout the financial planning journey. Life can't be serious all the time, right :p (all year long)

I hope to be able to complete the above financial goals in 2009. Perhaps from time to time, I will have new goals which I wish to add in. And I am thankful to GOD for me to be able to meet most of my 2008 financial goals. The financial goal which was not in my 2008 financial goals was starting a blog on financial planning. I am really glad for this additional goals which I started in Oct 2008. It's making my life richer :)

If you wish to set up your financial goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound).

Have a happy and fruitful 2009!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Maybank eFixed Deposit - Fixed Deposit Placement Made Easy - Part 2

It has been 30 days since my first Maybank eFixed Deposit placement. Today, I uplifted the eFixed Deposit and everything run smooth. It's really easy and convenient. Just make sure you register or update your mobile number for the PAC before you continue with your online transactions. It's important, I repeat, it's important. You can't continue your online transaction without the PAC. It's for security issue and never, never ever reveal your PAC to anyone. Delete it from your mobile right after you completed your online transaction.

Also, noticed that Maybank2u has updated its banking portal. I remember I read from online news about a week ago that Maybank is halfway launching its new banking portal. Well, the new portal is more organized and has a more 'cool' look. Just that for today's visit, I faced 2 problems:

1) I can't differentiate between "Classic M2U : Click here to login" and the normal login. I tested both, I can login. I don't see the differences.
2) I can't find the eFixed Deposit rate when I was at the eFixed Deposit placement and uplifting page. Anyway, I managed to find it after I logged out. It's located at "Home > Accounts & Banking > Fixed Deposits > eFixed Deposit ". You need to click the 'find out more' to see the rates. 

Perhaps I need more time to get familiar with the new portal.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

I watched from RT news that for this year Christmas, generally people spent less $$$ compared to the years before. Whether we like it or not, the global economy crisis has strong impact on everyone life. Let's pray that we all will overcome this global economy crisis sooner than what's has been planned. May there will be more peace on Earth.

For you and your loved ones - May you have a blessed, meaningful and warm Christmas. And Happy Holiday too :)

(Picture Source From:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Online Banking @ E-Banking - Security Alert On Microsoft Internet Explorer

Which Internet browser are you using? If you are currently using Internet Explorer by Microsoft, you might want to consider to read further. Recently a friend from London sent me an email with news regarding security alert on Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). Two days after he sent me the security alert email, our MIS Department circulated the same news to all of our staffs. You can read the news here.

If you are currently using Internet Explorer (especially version 7), and you access to online banking, you might have to consider to use other Internet browsers until Microsoft fix the problem. You never know what the computer hackers might do to your computer and your bank accounts. Act NOW!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

7 Factors You Should Consider Before Investing In Unit Trust

For novice investors who wish to invest in unit trust @ mutual fund, there are a few factors which you should consider or at least aware of before you purchase your first unit trust fund. Based on my experience, I listed down below, 7 important factors you should consider before purchasing your first unit trust fund:

1) Investment objectives
The question is why you want to invest? For most of us, we invest because we want to make more money. The answer is not specific enough. To be successful in unit trust investing, you need to identify the objectives of your investment. Some refer this as investment goals. Your objectives or goals can be to prepare your downpayment for your dream home, to prepare education funds for your kids, to fund for your retirement or simply want to increase your net worth. Once you've set up your investment goals, it's much easier to walk down the investment road. This will also help you to identify the right funds for your. Your investment objectives and the fund's investment objectives should match.

2) Risk profile
Are you a high risk taker? Or you prefer to play safe? Different investor has different risk level. Make sure you know your personal risk level and are comfortable with the risk level of the desired funds. You must also aware that high risk funds provide higher return compared to low risk funds and vice-versa.

3) Time horizon for your investment
This is your age. It is one of the most important factors in successful unit trust investing. The longer your time horizon, the more benefits unit trust can bring for you. Because the younger you are, the more time for compounded interest to do their magic work. Younger investors also willing to take higher risk compared to matured investors. In other words, time is money.

4) Your affordability
How much you can afford for your unit trust investment? I would advise you to try with a minimum amount of investment first. As the time goes by, monitor your investment and learn more on unit trust investing. When you are more comfortable, then you can top-up the investment or invest in different funds or even different unit trust companies.

5) Fees and charges involved
Unit trusts funds are managed by a group of professional fund managers. They help unit trust investors to find ways to make more money by monitoring different stock markets. That's why there are fees and charges involved in unit trust investment. For example, for my Public Mutual- Public Divided Select Fund, the service charges range between 5%-7% of Net Asset Value (NAV) per unit and the management fee is 1.5% per annum of the NAV. Depending on the type of funds, there might be additional fees and charges involved. Read the factsheet clearly before starting your investment.

6) Investment amount are extra cash
You must also remember that the $$$ you invested in unit trust are extra cash which you will not need in near future (1-5 years). This is because in most cases, you will only see the return of investment after certain period of time. If you think you will need the $$$ in near future, unit trust is not the right place for you $$$. You must ensure that you have got your emergency savings ready, before starting your investment. This is to prevent the situation where you invested RM10K in Jan'08, then in July'08 you realised you need the RM10K for the downpayment of your new home. Depending on market price, the investment value at July'08 might be lower than RM10K.

7) Get a reliable unit trust consultant
If you walk-in to any unit trust companies, normally they will assign you with a unit trust consultant. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, you are free to request for a different unit trust consultants. Make sure your unit trust consultants will be able to provide investment advice based on your needs and not their needs. Try to prevent to deal with unit trust consultants who merely look for the sales commission from your investment.

I hope my sharing above will benefits those who wish to start their unit trust investment. I am still learning and there are more things to be learned from unit trust investment which I will cover in my coming posts. Always remember - Investment involves RISK. Happy Investing & Happy Winter Festival!

Friday, December 19, 2008

How To Maximize Your Personal Income Tax Savings?

Few days ago, I received an email from a good friend, Jamie on Tax Reliefs for individual. She's in financial industry and occasionally she'll email me some financial articles, which I find very interesting. I am glad that she gave me the green light to share the content of the email in my Money Magnet.

Here are the 8 simple and practical last minutes action to maximize your 2008 tax savings:

1. RM1,000 for purchasing books, magazine, journal (except newspaper). If you don't read books then buy them as gift for others.
$$$Now I have a good reason to subscript to Personal Money magazine and buy more books on financial literacy. Oh! Also, can consider buying books for loved ones - refer to my previous post on Affordable, Meaningful and Healthy Christmas Gift Ideas.$$$

2. RM3,000 for computer purchase for every 3 years only.
$$$Great, PC with Internet is a MUST. Hope that Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will soon extend to provide relief for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) subscription fees.$$$

3. RM300 for purchase of sports and exercise equipment such as all types of racquets and balls, treadmill, exercise bike and airwalker.
$$$Not applicable to me at the moment coz my exercise is jogging and swimming. Perhaps can consider treadmill or airwalker in the future.$$$

4. RM6,000 for both EPF & life insurance.
$$$I just calculated mine. It's already over than RM6K. No, not because of my EPF, but because of my insurance ;p For those of you who has not purchase any life insurance plan yet, it's a right financial move especially if you're the breadwinner for your family.$$$

5. RM3,000 for education & medical insurance.
$$$Hmm... my medical insurance is linked with my life insurance. I will find out if I can transfer the medical insurance from item 4. Then, I can have more relief.$$$

6. RM5,000 for medical checkup (RM500 max) & medical expenses to treat serious illness/disease for you, your spouse or kids. Both combined, limits to RM5,000.
$$$Have you go for your medical checkup? If not yet, you better call up the wellness centre at your nearby medical practitioner. My advice is get a professional one. I've done mine, only in last month.$$$

7. RM5,000 for parents medical expenses includes (treatment, nursing & dental - subject to terms & condition).
$$$Next time, I must remember to get the receipt from my parents' medical practitioner.$$$

8. RM5,000 for personal education (there is a limitation on type of education tho). Go upgrade yourself. Take advantage by paying the fees by 2008.
$$$Maybe I save this one for 2009. It has been quite a long time since my last assignment.$$$

Jamie, thank you for sharing the tax saving ideas with us. It's now less than 2 weeks before 2009. Let's us maximize our tax saving for 2008. Anyway, if time is a constraint, we can always plan ahead for our tax savings in 2009.
P/S: $$$These are my personal comments.$$$

Monday, December 15, 2008

Money and Integrity

Today I am not happy because I found out that someone had copied one of my earlier posts without my permission and act as if it's his post. I never thought someone would copy my posts, at least not at such an early stage of my blogging experience. Anyway, I already take appropriate action.

So, it leads me to think of the topic of Money & Integrity. For some people, their greedy mind will never be able to differentiate what's right and what's wrong. It's quite disappointing as this group of people are violating not only other's pure and original contents or properties but also violating the most wonderful creation of God, our minds, the living human minds...

I am against those who're not professional in his field, especially those who are getting profits from others efforts. I always believe that integrity plays an important role in our life journey. I listed the reasons below why I believe integrity is a big part of your wealth accumulation:

1) Easy come, easy go
Those $$$ which you accumulate easily will also go away easily. It's the nature rules - easy come, easy go. In explanation, it's normal that we don't really appreciate stuff which we can get easily.

2) Honestly leads to long term success
Perhaps those who're really lucky can get some quick $$$ by selling away their honestly and integrity. But how long would it last? How long they can expect to receive their return? In long run, honestly will always win. Even in movies, the rights will always overcome the wrongs.

3) Lose you integrity, Lose your faith - Lose your life
It's easy to be tempted by the dark world. But in real life, once you're 'black' @ 'dirty' it's difficult to be 'pure&white' @ 'clean' again. It's hard to maintain or accumulate more wealth with a 'black' @ 'dirty' background.

In conclusion, think twice before you sell off your integrity for quick $$$. It's definitely not worth it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Unit Trust Investment - 5 Reasons Why I Invest in Unit Trust

I you read my earlier post on 'My First Unit Trust Investment - Public Dividend Select Fund', I did mentioned that before I decided to place my first unit trust investment, I done some online research on unit trust and mutual fund investment. I would be happy to share some of the findings, which later become the reasons why I invested in unit trust.

Here are the 5 reasons why I invested in unit trust:
1) Moderate Risk
I am not a high risk taker. I consider unit trust investment provides me with the right risk level, which is moderate risk. This is in compare to fixed deposit which is very low risk and share trading which is very high risk.

2) Diversification of my investment portfolio
If you read investment books or articles, I realised one of the thing which always mentioned by the authors or financial planning advisor is 'never put all your eggs in one basket'. So, unit trust is another basket for my eggs.

3) Higher return of investment
Over the long run (between 3-10 years, depending on fund performance), unit trust provides much higher return compare to fixed deposit.

4) Affordable initial investment
For most unit trust funds in Malaysia, the initial investment is RM1K, which is affordable for wage earner like me. Most additional investment is minimum RM100 per transaction. I would consider this as an easy and affordable learning step for those who wish to try on unit trust investment.

5) Convenient investment method
For initial investment, you just need to fill in the form and prepare the amount (cash or cheque) you wish to invest. You may pass it to your unit trust consultant or go to the respective unit trust offices to proceed with the investment. Within about 2 weeks time, they'll send you the details of your unit trust investment details. For additional investment, you may repeat the procedure above or arrange for a Standing Instruction (SI) with your banks to transfer a certain amount from your banks account to your unit trust account on monthly basis.

The above 5 reasons is convincing enough for me to explore further on unit trust investment. Since my first unit trust investment, I had also invested in other unit trust funds.
Feel free to share you unit trust investment reason with me.
*Always remember: investment involves RISK*

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Spending List - Christmas 2008 Part II - Affordable, Meaningful and Healthy Gift Ideas

Among my early childhood memories of Christmas is Santa Claus with his huge red big bag filled with all wonderful Christmas gift. Another memory is beautiful Christmas stockings filled with Christmas gift and candy sticks hung over the fireplace. Yes, Christmas is the time filled with joy and gift exchange between friends and family members. Without Christmas gift, it doesn't really feel like Christmas. But sometimes, it can be a headache to get the right gift for the the right recipient. And most of the time, the gift can burn a hole in your purse @ wallet.

Thus, I come up with 25 affordable, meaningful and healthy gift ideas . To make your reading easier, I classify the list into 2 groups; personal gift ideas and general gift ideas:

Personal Gift Ideas
(for loved ones-parents/spouse/ boyfriend/ girlfriend/family members)
1) Hand made Christmas card (beautify with your creativity - add beads/colourful papers)
2) Hand made cookies/cakes (you can show off your bakery skills!)
3) A silver necklace with a silver cross pendant (any girl will love this simple yet meaningful gift)
4) A pair of sport shoes (this is a healthy gift idea)
5) A bottle of perfume (this is a bit personal, make sure it's for someone very close and it's their favourites fragrance)
6) A hand watch (add personal touch with embroidery of recipient's name on the watchstrap)
7) An electronic shaver for men (for men who need to shave every morning, they'll love this gift)8) A make-up set for women (any women will love this gift)
9) A set of good quality colour pencils (any kids below 10 years old will love this)
10) Soft toys/teddy bears for young kids and teenagers
11) A set of barbie doll (a perfect gift for your daughter/young sister/niece or cousin)
12) A set of tool box for men (i think most men will love this. correct me if i am wrong ;p)
13) A bible (this is a perfect gift if you wish to share about Christianity with the recipient)
14) A big piggy bank for young kids (Yes, teach them to save young)
15) An MP3 player (suitable for music lovers)
16) Health tonic (more suitable for female recipient. Suggested Yomeishu/Benedict Dom)
17) Chicken/Duck/Fish essence for parents/grandparents
18) A lovely handbag for a lady friend
19) $$$ nicely fold in a cute gift box :) (I know everyone secretly wish for this :p)

General Gift Ideas (for everyone - friends/family/colleagues)
20) A box of chocolate , the evergreen gift ideas
21) Cash voucher from local shopping complex (this is for everyone. Suggested Parkson cash voucher. Receiver can purchase their desired gift)
22) An Inspirational books or Cash voucher from bookstore (suggested Popular Bookstore cash voucher)
23) A pen drive or a flash drive (this is a good idea for students and working adult too)
24) A purse/wallet (add surprise by slipping in a few pieces of $$$ in the new purse/wallet)
25) A good quality red wine or champagne (best shared during family/friends gathering)

I hope the gift ideas above will help or at least can give you some ideas in getting the right and affordable gift for your loved ones. May you find the right Christmas gift for the right recipient and may the gifts your received are in your Christmas wish list :P

P/S: Feel free to add in more... Just remember - must be affordable, meaningful and healthy!

*Thank you to my 8 years old niece, fung who contributed the gift ideas for kids *

Monday, December 8, 2008

My First Unit Trust Investment: Public Mutual - Public Dividend Select Fund

It was end of April 2005. A close friend of my brother called me up and said that she has 'something' to offer to me. I knew she's someone I can trust. So, we meet up during the following weekend to see what offer she has for me. It's a unit trust @ mutual fund initial offer by Public Mutual, Public Dividend Select Fund (PDSF). She told me the return from unit trust investment is much better compared to Fixed Deposit. I knew the existence of unit trust and had read somewhere about it, but it's still a very blur topic for me. I asked her some questions, in which she did answer me but I was still not clear about unit trust. I told her I need to do some research before I decided whether I want to invest or not. During the weekend, I spent some time doing research on Public Mutual and unit trust or mutual fund. For most of the questions, I found the answers through my online research at Public Mutual website, Securities Commission of Malaysia website and some blogs & forums where they discussed on unit trust investment.
The following Monday, I called the friend and purchased my first unit trust from her, Public Dividend Select Fund (PDSF). I am the 'play safe' and not the high risk type, so I only invested the minimum initial investment which is RM1K. It was PDSF initial offer period, so there's free 1% additional units. The unit price is RM0.25. That means, I have a total of 4040 units. The calculations as below:

Initial investment = RM1000
Price per unit = RM0.25
Total Unit (RM1000/RM0.25) = 4000 units
1% free unit during initial offer period (1% x 4000 units) = 40 units
So, the total unit for my first investment is 4040 units.

Throughout the past 3.5 years, I did monitor the performance of PDSF from Public Mutual website. The peak performance was somewhere in Dec 2007, where the price shoot to about RM0.32/unit. So far, I had received 4 times dividends (May'06, May'07, Dec'07 & May'08). As at 31 May 2008, my total unit for PDSF is 5333.05. That is an increment of 1293.05 units compare to my initial investment (4040 units). Due to global economy crisis, the current price had dropped to RM0.2094/unit (price as at 5 Dec 2008). If I wish to sell off my PDSF now, I will be receiving RM1,116.74 (calculations: 5333.05 units x RM0.2094). After 3.5 years, the return is RM116.74 for investment of RM1K. NO, I am not going to sell if of yet. The price will go up again, just give PDSF more time.

The performance chart below summarize part of the story above.

From PDSF, I had also do more research and readings on unit trust and invested in other unit trust investments. I am still learning. And it will be great if you can share your unit trust investment experience as well. Feel free to comment.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Holiday Spending List - Christmas 2008

Christmas is in the air. I smell Christmas everywhere... Christmas songs at the shopping malls, Christmas wreath on my neighbour's office door, Christmas promotion sales on local newspaper, even Christmas post by blogger Ching Ya :)

I am not sure with you, but for me, I have a strong urge to spend a lot during holiday seasons, especially Christmas and Chinese New Year. Perhaps the happy feeling is somehow connected to the spending feeling. But, somehow since the past 3 years, I learned to and managed to control these strong urge. It's not easy, but definitely can be done by anyone... yes, anyone including you.

To fight these strong urge to spend unnecessary during holiday season, you must have a holiday spending list a.k.a budgeting. I don't really like to use the word budgeting because it brings a negative feeling of controlling and squeezing your $$$. Negative feeling will deter our mind from continuing what we plan to do, which is planning for our spending.

Based on my own experience, I hope the spending tips below will help you to manage your holiday spending well and enjoyable:

1) Start your holiday spending list early
You should start planning your holiday spending list a few weeks before the holiday arrived. From my own experience, the nearer to the holiday, the stronger the urge you want to spend.

2) Affordable and meaningful@useful items/gifts
Your spending list must be affordable and enjoyable to you. Make sure the spending list comprises of the items or gifts which are necessary and important to you or your loved one (Christmas gifts). Do not waste your $$$ to purchase item which later just sit in the cupboard.

3) Review your spending list
This is related to tips no 1. The earlier you start your spending plan, the more time you have to review your spending list. Try to review you spending list at least once before you do the actual shopping. This is the time you ask yourself whether you really need that new set of cookwares, or you really need 4 different pairs of new shoes... ;p

4) Stick to your spending list
The most important part is stick to your spending list. Else, you spending list is just another piece of plain white paper. If your spending list budgeted RM100 gift for a family member, do not give yourself excuses to spend RM200. Stick to your own spending list also mean you respect your own self.

Have you started your Christmas spending list? If not, it's time to get a pen and paper... and wishing you a joyous Christmas shopping :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

EPF @ KWSP Contributions Reduced to 8% - Part 4 - Download Your Form KWSP 17A(AHL)-KHAS Here

I have been trying to access the EPF website and try to download the KWSP Form 17A(AHL)-KHAS. It seems like almost 95% of my attempt were failed since 1 Dec 2008. Even late at night, the EPF website still very busy. And I understand how frustrating is it when you are not able to download the form from EPF website. So, I found Scribd (Thanks to Peter Chen), a wonderful file sharing options for me to share the KWSP 17A(AHL)-KHAS with you.

FORM KWSP 17A(AHL) KHAS - For Individual Employee

KWSP 17AA(AHL)KHAS - For A Group Of Employees

If you are an individual employee, mostly you will need to fill up the first form, Form KWSP 17A(AHL)-Khas. If your company decided to submit the details of a group of employee under the same form, then your Human Resources @ Admin Department will arrange for Form KWSP 17AA(AHL)-Khas. For KWSP 17A(AHL)-Khas (individual), employee just need to fill in Part B & C only. The rest, it's your Human Resources @ Admin Deparment or your employer's responsibility.

Hope this help!

EPF @ KWSP - Advantages and Disadvantages of 3% Cut

Are you in your EPF @ KWSP dilemma? Whether or not to opt to fill up the Form KWSP 17A(AHL) KHAS? Or just follow the new EPF @ KWSP regulation to reduce the employee contributions from 11% to 8% for the period of 2 years (Jan2009-Dec2010)? To see the options clearer, I listed out the advantages and disadvantages of the new reduced contributions to 8%.

The advantages of the 3% cut:

1) More disposable income
For those who can manage their finance well, more disposable income also mean they have more free money to plan for their own investment, be it unit trust investment or stock investment or protection/insurance plan. They can even transfer the extra $$$ to reduce their housing loan. Perhaps the money smart type can even get more return (compare to the average 6.98%) Instead of letting the $$$ to be managed by Mr EPF.

2) Help to boost private consumption and improve the global economy as a whole
If half of Malaysian wage-earners agree with the 3% cut, there will be about RM2.4bil annually circulating in the nation economy. This definitely will improve the overall health of our economy, and globally as a whole.

The disadvantages of the 3% cut:

1) More disposable income (again?)
For those who is ill disciplined on saving and budgeting, have more disposable income also mean you have more money in your pocket to buy those 'unnecessary but tempting' stuffs

2) More taxable income
The current tax-free limit on EPF contributions and insurance premiums is RM8K. Paying less EPF contributions will increase your taxable income. Meant, you will pay more to the Mr InlandRevenue

3) Less dividend paid
Well, this is simple mathematics. If you have less $$$ in the EPF account, your annual dividend will also be less.

4) Less retirement fund
This is the main reason why I would opt to maintain my EPF contributions at 11%. After all, this is the whole purpose of EPF right? - "Savings For Old Age". Even though 3% is not a significant amount, but in long run, taking into consideration of compounded interest (3% x 12 months x 2 years x (the number of retirement years)) the final amount could be enough to support your old age for a few months or years!

Bear in mind the main objective of EPF is to fund for your retirement. The choice is yours. If you are confident that you can manage your 3% better than Mr EPF, you may opt for the 8% employee contributions. If you are unsure, it's advisable to opt to maintain the 11% employee contributions.

Let's keep building our nest egg!

Monday, December 1, 2008

EPF @ KWSP - Annual Dividend Rate from 1983-2007

It's a hot topic since 6 Nov 2008. Everyone has his/her own views on the new regulations by EPF @ KWSP to reduce employee contributions from the current 11% to 8% for year 2009 till year 2010. Today, I am a bit curious on this coming EPF dividend rate for year 2008. I digged out my EPF statements and done some research on EPF website. I got the list of annual EPF dividend rate from year 1983-2007 as below:

The EPF dividend rate has been dropping since year 1988. The highest was when it's first introduced, in year 1983 with dividend rate of 8.50% (This is impressive. Almost similar to some good performing funds). The lowest dividend rate was in year 2002 with dividend rate 4.25% only (This is not good for a huge fund like EPF. But, at least still better compare to normal Fixed Deposit). From the list, I calculated the average dividend rate for the past 25 years is 6.98%. The average return is not bad. But, looking at the dividend for the past few years (especially after year 2000), the rate is not so encouraging. Hmm... I am wondering what's the dividend rate for this coming year - 2008. Let's hope it'll not be lower than 4.25%.

Friday, November 28, 2008

EPF @ KWSP Contributions Reduced to 8% - Part 3 - Form KWSP 17A(AHL) - KHAS Is NOW AVAILABLE!

For those who wish to maintain the EPF @ KWSP contributions at 11%, the new form - Form KWSP 17A(AHL) KHAS is now available, earlier than what has been mentioned ealier (1 Dec onwards). You can get it from your nearest EPF office or you can download the form from KWSP website. Only those who wish to maintain the contributions at 11% are required to fill up the form.

Actually, the main content for form KWSP 17A(AHL) is "Saya dengan ini membuat pilihan untuk mencarum melebihi kadar berkanun bagi syer pekerja sebanyak 3%" or "I agree to contribute additional 3% for employee contribution". The options is needed only for the period of 2 years - from Jan 2009 till Dec 2010 wages. The effective date of your request depends on the month/year you filled in Part C of the form or ONE MONTH after EPF received your KSWP 17A(AHL) form.
Hurry! Fill up and Submit the Form before Jan 2009!
P/S: Please seek for advices from your Human Resources Department on submission of forms, because there is another form, Form KSWP 17AA(AHL) - KHAS. This form is for employer who wish to submit the request for a group of employees.

Updated on 3 Dec 2008: Download your Form KWSP17A(AHL)-Khas and KWSP17AA(AHL)-Khas here, Part 4 of this post.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

EPF @ KWSP Contributions Reduced to 8% - Part 2

Yesterday, I just received the information from our Human Resources Department that we have to wait for the new Form KWSP 17A (AHL) which will only be available from 01 Dec 2008. You can get the form for EPF offices nationwide or it's website, Do not use the current Form KWSP 17A (AHL), it's not valid. If you have submitted the current form, make sure you resubmit the new form from 01 Dec 2008 onwards.
It's has been 3 weeks since the announcement been made. So far no news to hold the 3% reduction for employee EPF contributions. I definitely will prefer to mantain my contribution at 11%. These are the reasons why:
  1. Less taxable income (Higher reduction, means less taxable income -> Pay less income tax)
  2. Bigger @ Fatter retirement fund (3% x 12 months x 2 years = quite a lot of $$$)
  3. More yearly dividend (average 5% dividend x (3% x 12 months x 2 years) = more $$$)

Feel free to share your views :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Maybank eFixed Deposit - Fixed Deposit Placement Made Easy - Part 1

Have you heard of e-Fixed Deposit? I first came across eFixed Deposit when I was performing an online transaction at Maybank (MBB) online banking, It's an online fixed deposit (FD) placement with NO certificate issued. This is something convenient for me as I do not need to personally go to the bank for FD related matter. At first, I was a bit skeptical about this certless FD, but after did some research and called to the bank to enquire, I feel quite confident with this eFD. So, I gave it a try.
Before you can do your eFD placement, you must have the followings ready:
  1. A saving account with MBB (with enough cash to start a FD placement, min RM1K)
  2. Registered with MBB online banking (else, you can't log in)
  3. Update your mobile number for TAC (Transaction Authorisation Code) through local ATM (TAC prevents unauthorized transaction. For online transaction, users will need to click on 'Request TAC' button before can continue with transaction. Within a few minutes, a 6 digits pin will be delivered to your mobile through SMS. This 6 digits pin only valid for 2 hours upon request.)
Once the above is ready, log in to, you'll notice there's eFixed Deposit on the left navigation bar. Click on eFD Placement, then just follow step by step instructions. Once completed, you will see a computer generated receipt (refer to the screen shot below).

It is advisable to print out this receipt for future references. To avoid any difficulty or issue with your eFD placement, remember NOT to close your saving account. Make sure it is valid and active. Because the eFD placement and uplifting is link to your saving account. Hopefully there wont be any problem with my first eFD placement. Will update with another post on the uplifting.

Online Banking @ E-Banking - What's Your View?

Yesterday, I asked a dealer whether she received the payment which we had banked-in to her bank account earlier this month. She said should be ok. She adds, it's troublesome for her to call the bank officer to check the transaction for her. Then, I asked her whether she has online banking facilities. Her answer was "I never trust internet banking..". I was a bit shocked as she's the IT-savvy type. She also told me "I don't even have an ATM card because I don't trust the ATM facilities". Wah! This time I was really shocked! Jokingly, I said "You must be very cash rich!". I think you're just like me wondering how she got her $$$ from the bank. She said she assigned her assistant to withdraw the $$$ for her during bank office hours.

Anyway, I shared my e-banking experiences with her and the benefits from e-banking. Of course, I also shared with her the safety measures when performing e-banking transactions. At last, she asked me whether she can register one for her company. Let's hope she'll find the e-banking helpful and beneficial for her.
What's your view? Are you against the idea of e-banking?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maximise Your Return From Investment

If you are serious about your financial planning, I am sure one of the the questions which you wish to know the answer is how to maximise the return from your investment. Before you are able to find the answer, you will need to refer to the table below.

From the table above, you can see that:

  • If you place your initial investment of RM10K in a fixed deposit of one-month tenure (3.0%), you will double your investment after 25 years of investment. For fixed deposit with tenure of 12-months (3.7%), you will have your RM20K after 20 years. There's a reduction of 5 years.
  • If you place the same RM10K in your EPF @ KWSP or ASB/ASN (average 5-8%), you will double your investment after 15 years
  • For the same RM10K, if you invest in the right unit trust or mutual funds (average 10-20%) , or stock market, it is possible to double the investment within 10 years time.

To simplify, if Mr A invested RM10K in a 12-month tenure fixed deposit, he will have RM20K after 25 years of investment. While for Mr B who invested the same RM10K in a high-yield mutual fund*, it is possible that he will earn RM800K after 25 years. There is a difference of RM780K, and it's a lot of money.

If you wish to maximise your return from investment for long term financial planning, where you place your investment is one of the most important factor. Make sure your make the right decision.

*P/S: Please also take note that high-yield investment involves high risk.

Financial Lessons

As a child, I accidentally learned a lot of financial lessons from my parents. They taught me to value money and not to simply spend them away on unnecessary stuff. They taught me to manage and control money and not to let money to control me. They also taught me to prepare an emergency fund in case I suddenly need the cash. Though these are not formal lessons, but these lessons do greatly affect my views and perception of money as I grew up. I am really thankful to my parents for all these accidental financial lessons.
My parents also taught me - money is not everything but, we can't live on without money in these modern world. Can you go on a day without spending a single cent? How about a week? Or a month? Unless you are living in an isolated island or some remote places, you can't go on a week without the need to spend some money. It's true, we can't live on without money.
But, have you ever wonder why we never have formal financial lessons during our schooldays (at least in Malaysia)? These financial lessons can provide a brief idea on the importance of proper financial management in their life. Perhaps these lessons can create awareness in the students to prepare their education fund for their college years. These lessons can also teach them to manage their finance properly when they started their working years. Perhaps less people will need to borrow from loan-shark or fall into heavy debts. One will also be able to plan and prepare for their own retirement earlier. I foresee a lot of benefits from financial lessons.
I really hope our future children will be able to have formal financial lessons in their classroom.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

PB Gold Investment Account - Part 3

I have friends who asked me how to invest in PB Gold Investment Account. It's just like opening a saving or current account. You bring your cash to any Public Bank branches, tell the customer service you wish to apply for a Gold Investment Account. Then, she'll pass an application form/agreement form to you. You will need to fill in the application form/agreement, read the terms & conditions and sign on the application form/agreement form. Then, you will need to pass your cash to the bank officer at the counter to deposit your cash in your PB Gold Investment Account book. I show a sample of my PB Gold Investment Account book below.

In the transaction details, you will see the amount (in gram) for each purchase and their selling price. You will also see the total purchase or gold balance at the end of each transaction details. I show a sample of the details as below.

Before you open a PB Gold Investment Account, do consider the details below:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Minimum initial purchase is 20g (If the bank selling price for the gold for that particular day is RM90.00/g, then your minimum initial purchase is RM90.00 x 20g, which is RM1800.00.
  • Minimum subsequent purchase must be at least 5g and must be in multiple of 1g (Meant cannot purchase 5.5g or 10.2g)
  • Minimum balance in the account is 2g. There will be a service charge of RM10 if your account balance is less than 10g at 31 Dec.
  • For payment, you can use cash or debiting from your PB current/saving account or house cheque.
  • When you buy the gold, please refer to 'Selling Price' and when you sell, please refer to 'Buying Price'.

Another friends asked if Public Bank accept physical gold for the PB Gold Investment Account, the answer is NO. For more details please refer to PB Gold Investment Account website.

Happy Gold Investing!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Money and Relationship

Do you find that you have financial compatibility issue with your partner? Do you find that you're trying hard to save every cents while she's spending that every cents away? Financial isssue is one of the most sensitive issues in a relationship. It's also not an easy task to sort it out especially if both of you have different views on $$$.

I find that it is important for you to understand your partner's financial style in the early relationship. I hope the followings will ease the financial tension in your relationship:

  1. Observe & Ask. Try to observe and ask questions related to her finances. Encourage her to ask you back. Both of you must try to be as open as possible.

  2. Show your true self. If you're planning to walk you life with a particular person, there's no point to hide your true financial personality. Show the real you and in respond she must show her true self as well.

  3. Compromise. You cannot expect her to fully adapt to your style and she can't expect you to do the same as well. Both of you were brought up with different financial environment which make both of you perceive $$$ differently. Compromise financial issues.

  4. Cooperate. Plan a goal together and both of you work together in a team to reach the goal. Each of you must know your own responsibilities. Do share your updates from time to time.

Dont let $$$ matters ruin your relationship. After all, money supposed to make your relationship richer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Education Fund in Malaysia - Where to apply for Scholarship?

If you are a Form Five or Form Six student in Malaysia; and you are not from a well-off family, most probably you and your parents is worried about your next step - where to get money to fund for your college or university years...

For relatives and friends who shared their concern to me about not able to further study due to no education fund or not enough education fund, my first advise to them would be, make sure you score a good result in your exam. Because it's always easier for you to apply for a scholarship if you have an outstanding result. Another point to increase the possibility for you to be selected is to excel in the subjects related to your interest/area. For example, if your dream is to be a doctor, you must do well in Biology and Chemistry. If you dream to be an engineer, your Math and Physics must be among your best scored subjects.

I understand how hard it is to find ways to fund your tertiary education. So, I had done some research on scholarship applications in Malaysia. For more details, you can visit the websites below:
  1. MARA Scholarship (for Malaysian Bumiputera only)

  2. Yayasan Sarawak Scholarship (For Sarawakian only)

  3. Yayasan Sime Darby Scholarship

  4. Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd (ASTRO) Scholarship (For Astro subscriber only)
  5. Sunway Group
  6. Monash University, Sunway Campus

From time to time, there will be more education sponsorships from government parties, corporates and other organizations. Do take your time to do more research on available scholarships. Keep your eyes open on local media (radio/tv/newspaper) announcement. Wishing you all the best in your study.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Are YOU Your Own Banking Transaction Centre?

Do you find that your bank saving account is just like your banking transaction centre? Every end the month, you see your salary slowly crawls into your bank account. Once it reaches your account, with just a few clicks (either through ATMs or e-banking or cash deposit centres), you see a big part of the $$$ flies into other accounts; your housing loan account, car loan account, credit card account, study loan account, personal loan account... etc. So, what's left? You will be lucky if you still have 25% left in your saving account. Because you still need to have the balance of 25% for your survival for the next 30 days, before you can see the next bunch of $$$ crawls into your account.
Is the above situation sound familiar to you? If yes, it's time for you to sit down and think serious on your financial strategy. After all the hardwork for the one full month, you deserved to have at least a 10% of your monthly salary to be transfered to an account under your own name. Make it a priority to pay yourself first before you pay the banks. Try to practice for a minimum of 6months and you'll see the rewards. Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Emergency Account - How To Start?

In my previous post, i wrote about how much do you need for your emergency account. For this post, I will be sharing with you on how to achieve your desired emergency account. Firstly, calculate the actual amount you wish to have in your emergency account. From there, have a proper plan on how and when to achieve your desired emergency fund. Let's say your monthly expenses is RM2k and you have a family of 4 (your stay-at-home wife, a young son and a baby girl). Referring to my previous post, it's wise to have at least 4 months expenses in your emergency account. So, 4 months x RM2k = RM8k. If you start from zero, give yourself about 1 or 2 years to achieve the amount. It's not wise to spend more than 2 years for your emergency fund as you need to get your emergency fund to be ready as soon as possible. Let's say you give yourself 2 years to gather the RM8k. Then, calculate how much you must put aside every month. In your case, it will be RM8k/24 months, which is about RM334month. It's easier to achieve right? Make sure you are persistent and follow the plan accordingly. Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Emergency Account - How Much Do You Need?

Do you have an emergency account? A saving account for rainy days - when your car broke down, when you or your loved ones suddenly need medical supports, job loss/retrenchment and other unforeseen life circumstances? If you have one, how long can your survive with your emergency account? Everyone needs an emergency account. But, how much do you need in your emergency account?. If you read financial articles, you will notice that financial experts recommend between 3 months to 6 months expenses in your emergency fund. Some even recommend for a minimum of 12 months expenses to be ready in your emergency fund.

Personally, I believe how much you need in your emergency account depends on several factors. I listed the factors below:

1) Stability of the source of your income - If you are in a stable career, 1-2 months expenses is good enough for your. Else, it will be wise for you to have at least 3-4 months expenses in your emergency fund.

2) Your ability to replace the source of income - If you are in a profession where it's easy for your to find a new job, then 1-2 months expenses is good enough for you to survive. If you find that from your previous experiences, you had difficulties to find a new job, then to be on safe side, it is advisable to have at least 4-6 months expenses in your emergency account.

2) The number of dependents - For single adults, you will be able to adapt yourself when you find that you need to spend less so that the emergency account can last longer. If you have a family and you are the sole breadwinner, make sure your saving will cover at least 4-6 months of your family's needs. Some family members (newborns, young baby, aging parents) will not be able to tolerate their needs according to the $$$ in the emergency fund.

How much you need in your emergency account is a personal decision. If you don't have one, it's never too late for your to work out your plan and start saving for your emergency fund now. If you already have one, make sure you have enough funds based on your own needs. With these, you will be able to sleep better at night :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Most Powerful Force in the Universe

Do you know what's the most powerful force in the Universe? Volcano eruption? Tsunami waves? Nuclear energy? According to Albert Einstein, the most powerful force in the Universe is compound intest. Compound interest is the situation where interest is added into the principal so that interest can be earned from the interest (and principal) from that moment onwards. For example, on 1 Jan 2008, you invested RM10K with a Bank XYZ at the interest rates of RM3.7%/year. By 1 Jan 2008, you will have RM10370 ((3.7% x RM10K) + RM10k) in your account. By using the compound interest method, you reinvest the RM10370 so that the interest of RM370 will also earn interest by the next year. Using the same example, by 1 Jan 2010, you will have RM10753.69 ((3.7% x RM10370) + RM10370) in your account. Here's a sample of the calculation of compound interest with RM10k invested at interest rate of 3.7%/year, for 20 years.Based on the calculations above, after 19 years, you will doubled your initial investment.
Lesson learned: Do not cash out or spend the interest generated from your Fixed Deposit account. It'll help you to reach your financial goal faster.

Friday, November 7, 2008

EPF @ KWSP contributions reduced to 8% - Part 1

"EPF contributions reduced to 8%". This is among the stories on cover page of yesterday's local news. For those of you who has no idea what is EPF, it stands for Employee Provident Fund, a forced saving fund by Malaysian government for old age. All employer must contribute 12% and employee contribute 11%.
At first, I thought employee who wish to have more money to spend, can submit a request to adjust their contribution from the current 11% to 8%. When I checked the news on EPF website today, it's the other way round. With effective from 1 Jan 2008, all EPF member contribution will be reduced to 8% for a period of 2 years. For those who wish to maintain their contribution at the current 11%, they can fill in the Form KWSP 17A (AHL).

I dont agree with this. I still prefer the rate to maintain at 11% for all employees. It's crucially important for working adults to save for their retirement. It's really sad to be old and not able to support oneself financially.
I hope the government will reconsider before the enforcement on Jan next year.
P/S: You may wish to read part 2 and part 3 of this post.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Banking @ E-Banking

When I first learned about Online Banking or E-Banking in year 2000, I totally cannot accept the idea of putting my bank details over the internet. I doubt the security level and so worried that when I log-in to the E-banking website, my bank account become '0.00'. In year 2004, I started to familiarize myself with the E-banking facilities. I am surprise that E-banking make my life so much smoother and stress-free. Here are the benefits from E-Banking:

1. Save your time and money
If you are the one who pay your household and utilities bill (phone bill, electric bill, water bill, Astro Bill, etc), you will know how much time you wasted in performing each of the task. You waste your valuable time and petrol for going to those bank location and waiting for your number to be called to settle your bills. With E-Banking, you can pay most of the bills at your own comfort at home. There is no need to rush to different places just to settle your bills.

2. Convenient
You can perform your banking transaction almost anytime (for Public bank, except from 12am-6am), even on weekend and public holiday. You can check your account transactions (whether your cheque is cleared/payment received from customer/your salary has been banked-in, etc) whenever your wish without the need to go to the ATM/bank.

3. Manage your finances
E-banking also provide the facilities where you can link all your financial products (fixed deposit, current/saving accounts, credit cards) under the same account name. It's easier to monitor your financial transactions online. You can check your credit card balance with just a few clicks. With this, you can better control your spending.

On the other side, the disadvantages of E-banking are 'phishing' scam and fraudulent or hoax emails by identity theft. These internet crime mislead users to a similar E-banking website where sensitive information (username/passwords/credit card numbers) are captured and later to be used by them to log-in to E-banking and perform unauthorised transactions. There is also possibility that hackers gaining access to your accounts.

To avoid these, E-banking site always take precaution by advising customer to clear the internet cache after each internet transaction. Users must also connect to the E-banking through a secured connection. And must always remember, bank do not send emails and requesting for personal information through the internet. Never reveals your sensitive information to anyone.

Be a smart E-banking users. Always be cautious and take precautions. Enjoy your E-banking sessions!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

When and How to be a Millionaire

Do you dream to be a Millionaire? Most great achievement start with a dream. But, do you just dream (day dreaming) or you work towards your dream? If you want to know when and how to be a Millionaire, you will need to do some basic calculations based on your current situation (how much you have/can save, how long you can save, how frequent is your saving plan, what is your rate of return (ROI) of your investment). You also need to include other factors in your calculations, such as the inflation rate and your bank taxes (if any).
You will have to use your mathematical skills, spend quite a few hours and some headache to know the final answers. Thanks to the current technology and MSN Money. They have a Millionaire calculator to help us to plan for our Millionaire dream with just a few clicks. Do try out the Millionaire calculator and plan your Millionaire journey ahead. Perhaps you can read up this MSN articles too. The author, Liz Pulliam Weston is a Millionaire herself.
See you at the Millionaires Club!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

CHANGES is in the Air

Today, probably the most mentioned word @ name in the air is 'Obama'. From United States (US) to Kenya to Indonesia... From local radio stations to local tv to the internet... His name is everywhere. Barack Obama or his full name Barack Hussein Obama II, is the newly elected forty-fourth President of US. He is also the first African-American US President. He brings new hope not only to US nations but to the whole nations.
Personally, I hope Obama brings peace to the world. May he brings more love to the heart and make the Earth a place for everyone. May he calms the global crisis which we are facing now. May he brings those serving soldiers to their beloved family.
Yes, 'We Need CHANGE'.

Monday, November 3, 2008

What is Your Number?

This morning I heard an advertisement through a local radio channel that Prudential has a website on one of most important reason for us to save, retirement planning. The website is called What is Your Number? When I clicked on the poll 'Have you ever thought about how much you need for your retirement?' - Only 39% responded YES (poll data as at 11:36pm, 3 Nov 2008). That's very sad to know. Are you in the 39% or the 61%? I really hope you're in the 39%. If you're not, don't worry, you can find the retirement number by clicking 'What's your number' calculator in the middle of right hand side. You will need to answer a few simple questions. Bear in mind, the answers are important as it will affect your number. Make sure you provide the closest answer possible if you want to get a real number. For me, my number is RM1,611,103. Previously, I thought RM1m will be enough for my retirement at 55 years old. :( It's time for me to review my retirement planning.
Other than the calculators, you can also find a lot of useful and 'scary' facts (real facts which is hard to accept because it's really sad most people did not plan for retirement. even if they planned, it didn't turn out to be what they wished) on the website. Another special things about this site is most of the data are based on Malaysian populations. It's quite accurate for me compare to other facts and figure which were published based on western populations.
Share your number with me ya!

Start your Saving Plan NOW

If you're like most of the people in the financial articles which I read through, you will think that you can't start your saving plan now. You would think you don't even have enough to last till the end of the month, where to get the extra cash for saving? Mostly you will hear the responds from your own mind "Wait till next year, when I have my increment" or "Wait till i settled my car/house loan".... and so many more excuses... From my readings, I have also learnt that the group of people who managed to save are not the group who are in the highest earning. Most of them are in the lower and middle income group. But they have strong desire with persistent action to save. They have a clear define financial goal, and work towards the goal.
I believe the thinking of 'I will be able to save when I have my salary increased' is a myth. The truth is when your income is small, you have a simple life. But, when your income is getting bigger, your car, your house, and even your stomach will be getting bigger as well. This is human nature to lift their standard of life as their income is growing. So, when will you have enough to save?
The best time to start your saving plan is NOW. No other time is better than now. The amount that you earned is not related to the amount you can save. Stop giving excuses. Start your saving plan today.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Manage Your Saving Accounts Wisely

Based on my previous post on interest rates for saving accounts, it's really not worth to place your money in a normal saving accounts. My bf advise me to transfer the money from my saving accounts to a fixed deposit (FD). Assuming I have 5K in my saving accounts, I will be getting an interest of RM10.00/year. If I place the same 5K in a 12-month FD, at current interest rates of 3.7%, I will be getting RM185.00/year. Wow, there is a significant difference of RM175.00. He is absolutely right! He also share with me, if I am not sure whether I will need to use the money or not (in near future - less than 6 months), it's better to place under 1-month FD, and split your FD into 5K/placement or according to your bank minimum placement. But, bear in mind, if your placement is for 12-month, and you withdraw the money by 5th month, you will not earn any interest from it. You will be paid half of your interest if you withdraw your money between the 6th-12 month. Make sure you plan ahead...wisely...
So, if you have some extra money in your saving accounts, why not transfer the money to FD and let the extra money to make more extra money for you? Let's get richer each day!!!

Interest Rates for Your Saving Accounts

Do you know what is the interest rate for your saving account? The answer: It depends on what type of saving accounts that you have. I have a Plus Saving Accounts with Public Bank. The interest rates as below:I have to mantain at least RM3001 for a full year in my account for me to enjoy the 0.20% (Interest of RM6.002/year). Very small amount, right?

My young niece of 8 years old also has a saving account with Public Bank. Hers is Wise Saving Accounts. The interest rates that she enjoys as below:

See the differences? Assuming she has RM3001 in her accounts, she's getting an interest of RM84.6282/year. Wow, there is a difference of RM78.6262! I can purchase about 1g of gold with that difference :) and also, her interest is paid on monthly basis. For my Plus saving accounts, i got paid twice yearly (30th June and 31 Dec). Perhaps I can consider to park some of my $$$ under her accounts :p BTW, she can enjoy the Wise Saving Accounts till 18 years old. After that, automatically, PB will transfer her account to Plus Saving Accounts.

Anyway, I see the reason behind. PB has a good intention to encourage the youngs to save for their education. It's encouraging. I surely will open a Wise Saving Account for my future children :)

Credit Card - Your Friend or Your Enemy?

Credit card has changed for the past few years. I remember, in my younger years (about 10 years back), credit card is something exclusive for those 'rich&famous'. To apply for a credit card, you must have a minimum annual income of RM18K, which meant that a salary of at least RM1.5K/month. Not everyone can afford to have credit cards. Nowadays, almost all working adults have credit card. They not only own one, but a string of credit cards.
If you use wisely, credit card can be a great financial friend. Below are some benefits of credit cards:
1) Can represent your cash when you dont have cash in hand
Especially for those who's on vacation and those who need large sum of payment purchasing of electronic devices/settlement or medical bill/
2) For online purchasing
It's getting famous locally to do online shopping (air tickes/cosmetics products/ CD)
3) Autodebit services
You can perform autodebit from through your credit cards and save your worries on your unsettled bills
But, credit cards can also become your financial enemy if you misused them. A lot of people fall into credit cards debts and had to declare bankcruptcy. It's so easy to use them, but so hard to pay later.
So, my advice. Be smart, do not allow yourself to have unsettled credit card balance. Only use the credit cards when you have the cash to settle before the due date. Allow the cards to be your friend instead of your enemy!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Credit Card - How many cards you have?

Yesterday, a group of credit card executive from a local bank visited our office and you know lah... what is the main intention. I told them, I just got an approved credit card last Friday and not planning to get any additional. Our office building is one of the top target for credit card sales (I think), because almost every month, there will be a group of credit card sale personals visit us and 'force' us to sign-up with them. Even a few groups were from West M'sia. I told them I am not interested to get any more additional cards, even though it's 'Free for Life' or with 'Petrol rebate'. The sale exe really persistent, and I admire him for that. Luckily, one of my colleague signed-up. Todate, I have 5 credit cards, but I only use 2. I plan to terminate 3 of them, use only 1 and another one as backup. For all 5 cards, I love my PB cards the most because it's convenient for me to make payment. And so far, the cards didn't give me any troubles. I have been using the PB cards since year 2004. Actually, I had more than 5 cards, but I terminated 2 of them last 2 years coz they started to charge me for the annual fee. So, how many cards you have? How many of them are active?

PB Gold Investment Account - Part 2

Today, i repurchased another 10g of gold at Public Bank with RM87.42/gram. The price has increased a bit compare to last Friday. I should have purchase it last Friday or Monday. Anyway, it's an investment. So, no one know the price tomorrow. If the price dropped below RM85/gram within 2 weeks, I will consider to repurchase another 5g. Do keep yourself updated with the current gold price at PB Gold Investment website. Or, you can request the PB investment consultant to inform you when the gold price dropped to certain desired price. My PB consultant said that the gold price changes 3 times a day. Today, I noticed 2 different prices. One at RM87.42/gram at about 12:45pm, another at RM87.53 at about 5pm. So, don't delay your investment when you think the time is right for you. Happy Investing!

Monday, October 27, 2008

PB Gold Investment Account - Part 1

Have you ever think of purchasing gold for the purpose of investment? From my readings, gold is one of the most precious minerals on Earth. I remember about 5 years back, gold price was RM40+ per gram. Early this year, when my bf bought a pair of gold earings and a gold pendant for me, the price has increased to RM90+ per gram. That's more than 120% increment! Since purchasing physical gold is very risky, and i don't want to worry about my gold at home or open a bank safe deposit box, so I started my gold investment plan through Public Bank Gold Investment Account in August 2008. My initial investment was 20g at about RM98 per gram. My PB bank advisor called me last Friday, just to tell me that gold price has dropped to RM80-RM82 per gram. I am planning to top up my gold investment by this week. Again, it's an investment, there's risk involved. So, the price might go further down as it's global economy crisis now. Wish me luck!!

Money not enough

I had always hear people around me complaint they dont have enough money, especially from the third week to the last few days of the month. Do you face the same problem as well? If yes, it's time for you to plan your spending (budgeting). Take one step after another. Start with a week planning, followed by 2 weeks, then a month. I know most will say, it's easier say than to do it. If you didn't try today, do you want to complaint the same phrase for a year, 2 years, 5 years or your whole life? I dont think you or the people around like enjoy that phrase. Take the challenge, stop complaining that you dont have enough money. Because the 2nd simple money magnet is 'never complaint you don't have enough money or your don't have money'.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Money magnet

Do you believe that there's energy in everything in this world? Energy to make things happened? Energy to attract success and wealth? I believe there is :) I learnt from my mum, to attract more money or to become a money magnet, first, we must respect money. Do not simply place your money (cash/coins) anywhere or anyhow. Instead, must place them properly. For cash, fold them nicely and arrange in order and place firmly in your wallet/purse. For coins, the best place is a piggy bank. Try to practise the above for a full month. See if you can attract more money :) Good Luck :)