Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Physical Gold Price In Kuching

Since the past few months, I had been following my family members to do some physical gold shopping in Kuching, as gifts and accessories for my wedding. We had been to a few locations. For most gold shops, the published gold price is about RM125 per gram for 916 yellow gold (between June 2009 to Sept 2009). But, the shop owners always willing to give a certain discount if you asked for it. The lowest I got is RM116 per gram.

When purchasing for physical gold, make sure you not only look at the price per gram but also the quality of the gold and the labour charge. Try to look for shops referred by others to ensure that the gold is with original quality. For labour charge, some shops published their gold price quite low, but will charge the labour charge quite expensive. So, it's wise to do some survey before deciding on your final purchase.

Note: One of the famous place for gold shopping in Kuching is the street near the Main Post Office and the few gold shops in front of Waterfront. There are also other gold shops in Satok, India Street and some shopping complex.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Do You 'Invest' In 4D?

Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday evening, there will be crowds of people at 4D outlets. And I noticed, on Monday, Thursday and Sunday morning, the first page most readers landed on is the 4D result page. Always heard they say 'kena makan' (been eaten) but still they will try again and again.

I myself bought a few times 4D, but so far only strike once, consolation price. Not enough to cover my small investment.

I think many invest in 4D even though they know it is very slim chance to get a strike because:

1) small investment but huge return - Just slightly more than RM1 for a bet and one could win thousands of ringgit;
2) consider as long term investment - They believe that, one day they will win back their investment
3) wish to become a millionaire overnight - Although the chances are very slim, but there are real cases every week where one turned into a millionaire overnight because of 4D

Also, when one started to buy 4D, he/she always cannot stop from investing because he/she worried that their numbers might strike the first price the next morning. I have heard people said they they'll get heart attack if they stop investing in 4D and their number appear as first price.

Do you invest in 4D? Or what is your opinion in 4D investing?

Friday, September 18, 2009

How Much Do You Usually Maintain In Your Saving Account?

My father opened my first saving account when I was 13 years old. That was because I was studying at boarding school and we needed the account so he can place my pocket money in the account. When I need some pocket money, I just withdraw it from the bank. Back then, I don't have an ATM card. I need to queue up to get my withdrawal. It's really not convenient for a young student to travel to the town just to get RM50. If I am not mistaken, the most I ever have in that account was about RM200. That was my first saving account.

After I started work, I opened a different saving account. This account is where my monthly salary will be credited at the end of the month and also the account where I transfer the payment to my creditors. So, towards middle of the month, there will be little left in the account. But, after sometime the amount can be more than few months salary. I used to keep the extra cash in my saving account, but recently I started to transfer the extra cash to other accounts, to be specific the accounts which can help me to earn additional cash. It can be either gold saving account, fixed deposit or investment account.

And I only maintain about one month salary saving in my saving account. There are reasons why I minimise my saving in my saving account to about one month salary. Firstly it is to cover for my super emergency use. So, one month salary should be enough. Secondly, the interest is too low. Thirdly, In case I lost my ATM card and someone manage to withdraw the cash from my saving account, the most he can get is the one month salary.

So, how much do you have in your saving accounts?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Do You Have In Your Wallet Or Purse?

Currently, I have the followings in my red purse:

1) My IC
2) My driving licence
3) 1 ATM card
4) 2 credit cards
5) 4 pieces of RM10 note
6) 1 piece of RM5 note
7) 3 pieces of RM1 note
8) A few coins
9) My ING Insurance medical card
10) My Popular Bookstore member card
11) 2 pieces of my name card
12) 2 small reminder notes

I used to have a lot more things in my purse, but later I decided to keep most of them at home because I don't see the point bringing so many things especially membership cards around. It's only making my purse fatter and heavier.

I know there are several other things that people keep in their wallet or purse:

1) Receipts and some are very old receipts
2) A photo of oneself
3) A photo of loved ones
4) Lucky charms
5) A string of membership cards
6) A small phone book
7) A small note consist of bible verse
8) Name cards of somone important
9) 4D tickets

Anything else that you have in your wallet? Or anything else that you know other people keep in their wallet or purse? Do share with me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

5 Reasons Why I Signed Up Prudential Prulink Assurance Plan

I had bad impression about insurance and very bad impression about insurance agents. That was because in my younger years, my father told me that 'do not trust insurance or insurance agents. they promised thousand of things but when there really is something happened, you can't find them.' My father said that because he had some bad experience with insurance industry.

When I started to work in early 2000s, I done some reading and own research on insurance. I also discussed and talked to colleagues and friends about insurance. My elder brother has a few friends working in insurance industry and they also helped me a lot to understand more about insurance.

About 1 year later, I bought my first insurance policy, Prudential Prulink Assurance Plan, a plan which provide both protection and investment to its policy holders.

Why I signed up? These are the reasons:

1) For my own protection
When I started working for the first few years, I was thinking, if I suddenly had serious illness or involved in accident and not able to work and earn income, what will happened to me? Will I have enough saving for the treatment and those health related matter? Will I trouble my parents and family for that? Sometimes, these thought made me not able to sleep at night. If I have an insurance policy, at least I am covered for the illness and there are financial support for the expensive treatment.

2) For my saving
During that time I didn't have much commitment, but I just don't know where does my money goes too. So, with insurance, I forced myself to save a few hundred every month to pay insurance premium. At least, when I received my yearly account statement, I know where my money goes too.

3) For my investment
For my Prudential Prulink investment account, partial of my premium will be invested in selected funds. My insurance consultant advised me to first invest in equity fund because he said I was still very young and I have plenty of time. Few years later, his assistant advised me to switch some of the equity fund to bond fund due to slower market. I didnt' regret listened to his advise. So far the return from both prulink bond and prulink equity funds are very impressive.

4) For my retirement
With the hope that everything goes well and I didn't make any claims or withdrawal from Prudential, when I reach 60 years old, I will have additional cash from the investment for my retirement fund.

5) For my future
When I learned that the premium increase with the age, I know that I must have an insurance coverage as early as possible. I don't want to wait till I have a family or other commitment because by then, the premium would be very high and insurance company had the right to reject applications with health problem.

Among all the above, the main reason is still the first reason, for protection. In case of any accidents or serious illness happened, there will be financial support for myself and my family members. Will the increasing price in health care industry, it is wise to have an appropriate insurance coverage for oneself, as early as possible.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Power Of CTOS

On last Friday, a customer (Mr Bad Debt) who owed us about RM2K since 2005 suddenly called in an said that he would like to settle the outstanding. I was quite surprised as I never encounter before, where a customer who owed us for quite some time suddenly would call in and wish to settle all outstanding. For most bad debt cases, our Credit Control Department had to engage external collector and demand those payment from the bad paymasters. It's really not easy to get back those long outstanding amount.

3 days after that, a guy from a local financial institution called and said that he wished to know whether Mr Bad Debt had settled his long outstanding or not. After a short conversation, I learned that Mr Bad Debt wish to engage with financial services provided by the financial institution, but later his application was pending due to his company name and his name is in CTOS system. In case you have no idea what is CTOS, it is short form for Credit Tip Off Service Sdn Bhd. It is a lead information system in Malaysia where clients can gather information about their customers or potential customers. Usually financial institution would very much in need of this services before they decide whether they should or should not provide credit facilities to their customers. In most cases, if the applicant or customer name appears in CTOS and still has unsettled debt, they will not get the credit facilities. Who would take the risk, right?

Personally I think CTOS is a useful system where clients can check the financial status and other financial information of a potential customer before they decide whether they should provide credit facilities to the potential customer. It is hard to prevent bad debts from happening in an organization. So, if the potential customer had a sign of bad debts, it is better to check in details before let him sign on the dotted lines.

No wonder Mr Bad Debt so keen to settle his long outstanding.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kids Pocket Money - 1980s vs 2009

During my childhood in 1980s, my parents no need to give me and other siblings pocket money. Because our small remote school don't have a canteen. Usually, we will bring food and drinks prepared by mum to school. And there is no shop nearby our school. The only way to spend money is to buy some sweets and other goodies from other schoolmates who brought these goodies and sell them at school. Occasionally my parents gave and other siblings pocket money when we followed them to the nearby town. And usually, when there are coins left in my father's pocket, he will empty it and give us all his coins. That time, my siblings and me didn't 'love' money that much. Probably because we don't see the important of money as everything we need, we have it. We didn't have a rich life but a very simple one.

Nowadays, things had changed quite a lot. I see my brother give my young niece (in Primary 3) RM1 as daily allowance. On top of that, my sister-in-law sends the food to her during her short break time. And I can tell, my niece is very smart. She saves most of her allowances and requested me to help her bank-in to her Public Bank Wise Account once every 2 months. When she wants some toys, candies or 'special' stationaires, she would nag for her mum to buy for her. Or sometimes, she will hint me to buy for her. Occasionally, my parents (her grandparents) and me give her some additional allowance when she scored good marks in her studies.

Things are almost the same with other nieces and newphews. All of them received daily allowance from their parents. And from what I heard, my nieces and nephews will also remind their parents for their daily allowances. My nieces and newphews also said that, some of their schoolmates receive between RM1-RM5 daily allowances, depend on their age and family background. Most of the allowances were spent stationaries, toys, cards and junk foods.

I see kids nowadays are very lucky compared to ten or twenty years ago. Modern kids with rich family background will always be at the advantage because their allowances will be always more than enough when compare to kids from the moderate family background. No matter what, we need to make sure that our kids value the money and know how to handle and manage money from young age. As how the way they manage their pocket money will shape their financial perception when they grow up.