The Ultimate Investment: Invest in YOU!

One of the most important things in investment is that we must always remember to invest in ourselves first before we invest in other things. What I mean by this is you must be willing to ‘invest’ (spend) your money on things like:

1. Books & Magazines: There is an abundance of knowledge out there that we need to learn. Therefore, buy some books or magazines related to the field that you will want to master in. For example, if you want to invest in property later on, it will be a good idea to get some property investment books so that you have a basic idea of what property investment is all about.

2. Training: A lot of tacit knowledge and experience lies within those who have succeeded in that particular field. Do not be stingy to spend money to attend training conducted by experts in the field that you want to venture. For example, if you want to invest in stock markets, find trainings that specialize in stock markets and are conducted by experts of the stock trading world.

3. Subscription to blogs: There are a lot of financial blogs out there that offer a lot of services to its subscribers. You might need to pay a little to subscribe, but if you really utilize what they put up on their blog, it will be worth the investment. If you want to learn on US market stock trading, you can learn from Tim Sykes who is an expert penny stock trader:

http://www.timothysykes.com/

4. Join Strategic Networks: If you want to learn more about MLM, you might want to join a MLM group so that you get insider info and strategies to prosper in the MLM world. For different interests, there are often networks that have been established to gather people in that field, and usually you need to pay a fee to become a member. As for me, I joined the MAPS (Malaysian Association of Professional Speakers) so that I can learn more on how to speak professionally from all the experts in the field. Therefore, the small annual fee that I need to pay is nothing compared to all the learning that I gained from all the activities.

From all the points above, we can conclude that the ultimate investment is investing in YOUR KNOWLEDGE! With knowledge, comes power. With knowledge about the field before entering it, we can avoid making mistakes that cause big losses to our capital and hence crushing our lives. Therefore, do not be too stingy when it comes to investing in knowledge, evaluate the cost versus the long term benefit wisely, and make the investment. I did, and will still be investing in knowledge whenever I have the chance.

An RM Spent Is An RM Earned

In today’s world, in order to attract many customers, business owners are offering a lot of free gifts, points, automatic entry into competitions and others. Therefore, as consumers, we should be aware of all the money back offers that are out there. Here are some examples that I personally use every day:

1. Credit Card: If you use your credit card, you will gain points. In condition that you settle the outstanding amount in your account every month, you will actually be gaining more than you spend. With these points, you can redeem so many cool stuff.

2. Petrol Card: I use Mesra card when filling petrol. So, everytime I fill in petrol with PETRONAS, I will gain points, and these points will be convertible to a lot of cool stuff and even petrol. There are also other petrol cards available that suit your favourite brand.

Check out Mesra card at:

http://www.mymesra.com.my/index.php?ch=loyalty

3. Airlines Card: Personally, I use Enrich card. Whenever I fly with Malaysia Airlines, I will gain Enrich points. They also award points for staying at associate hotels and spending at associated outlets. These points can later be used to redeem free flights and a lot of cool gifts.

Check out Enrich card at:

https://www.enrich.malaysiaairlines.com/EnrichWebsite/

4. Shopping Card: Some cards offer good discounts for the stuff you like to buy. For example I have an MPH Reader’s Circle Card for 10% off shopping books at MPH. I also have Jusco card for shopping at Jusco shopping outlets.

Check out MPH Reader’s Circle at:

http://www.mphonline.com/mrc/mrctc.aspx

5. Shopping Vouchers: There are a lot of ways to get shopping vouchers. For example, by having credit cards of certain banks, they will send you a voucher book every year to promote their business partners. Vouchers can also be found online by searching for discount vouchers. You will need to print out the vouchers and display them upon purchase later on.

6. Automobile Card: Since I’m using a Proton, I have a Daring card which gives me a 10% discount for all car servicing done with Proton Edar Sdn Bhd. With huge amount of money used for car services, this card really helps me to earn while I’m spending for my car.

Check out Daring Card at:

http://www.proton-edar.com.my/pdf/dc_daringterms.pdf

There are a lot of other stuff out there that help you earn as you spend. Setting up these privileges maybe will be a hassle at start, but it will be worthwhile in future because you will be earning a lot more for the money that you spend. Maybe you can drop a comment to suggest some other good ones out there for all our readers. Cheers :)

Credit Cards: Friend or foe?

Good day everyone, I just got back from watching a movie, “The Expendables”, which was really an enjoyable and action packed show! Glad i got the movie tickets using my credit card, or else I would have had trouble getting good seats.

Which brings us to the topic today, Credit Cards: Friend or Foe? To some, credit cards are really awesome because they are really convenient and makes money for you (if you use it right). To others, credit cards are the worst nightmare ever because they are trapped with outstanding sums of debt that incur high interest charges after they have bought that dream phone that they always wanted. I personally feel that credit cards make my life easier, safer and more convenient.

I have a real life friend who got caught in credit card debt for about a year until he managed to take control of his spending. Initially when he applied for the credit card, he thought that he wanted to use it only for work purposes (travelling, petrol etc). After a while having the card though, the CC devil started to influence him to buy things that he wanted but not really needed. Thus, he used his card to shop extensively and ended up with 90% usage of his credit card limit. When the end of the month came, he thought to himself ‘Nah, I need cash for other things, I think I’ll just pay the minimum’, so he paid the minimum for a few months. After some time, he found out that he had trouble clearing out his credit card debt because it was too much. He started to struggle with his monthly expenses to settle off this debt. He even used his company bonus to pay off the debt, but there was still some left. After consistently cutting expenses to pay off the debt, he managed to be debt free in about 1 year time. My feedback to him is that in future, he should control his desire to buy expensive things and settle off the whole amount of credit card debt whenever he can because the interest is pretty high. He learned his lesson and took control of his credit card spending since then.

Some advantages of using credit card:

  1. Lighter wallet. This means instead of carrying RM1000 around to shop, you just need to carry your credit card and use it to pay for the RM1000 LCD TV you wanted to buy.
  2. Feel more secure. With less cash in your wallet, you don’t need to worry about thieves pick pocketing your wallet because there’s not a lot of cash in there. If your credit cards get stolen, you can always call the bank and have it cut.
  3. Time saving. Credit cards are accepted online these days. This saves us a lot of queuing time! For example I just needed to buy tickets online to watch a movie instead of queuing up at the counter. Also, I just pay my bills online and avoid the need to go to the various utility centers for this purpose.
  4. Added value; such as bonus points and cash back for your spending. This means, if you spend using your credit card and clear the debt before the interest incurs every month, you are actually making money because you get extra for what you have been spending so far!
  5. 0% interest loan if the bill is cleared before interest incurs. Isn’t it nice to have someone lending you a sum of money for no interest at all? Provided you clear your outstanding amount every month.

Some disadvantages of using credit card (if not controlled properly):

  1. High interest rates. Normally, banks charge 18% per annum on the outstanding balance of your credit card. Compared to your housing or car loan, this amount is really high. Therefore, control your expenses and clear the bill every month to avoid having to pay a lot of interest.
  2. Greater need to control your lust! Without credit cards, you wouldn’t have dreamed to get that LCD TV because you know that your salary does not allow you to. Having a credit card with you, you really need to be able to control your shopping lust and only go for things you can afford.
  3. Bad credit rating. If you always pay minimum amount every month, not only will you be snowballed with a lot of debts later on, but your credit rating will be really bad. This will mean financial institutions are going to be more strict on you when you apply for other credit cards, loans, etc.
  4. Lots of stress! Having that credit card debt parking in your account really will haunt you in the long run. You will start to feel stressed since you need to cut your expenses or earn more money.

That’s all for now folks. It sure was a long post! But I hope you have benefited from it. Control the credit card, do not let it be in control. For further advice or enquiries on credit cards feel free to contact me.

Portal To The World of Riches: Your Own Website

(Click on the poster above to enlarge and read it)

In today’s rapid evolving technology and computing world, owning a website is really a must for those who are in business or entrepreneurship. Companies who have their own websites do far better on average compared to those who do not own one. The portal to the world of riches is only accessible for those own their own unique and powerful websites. Some advantages of owning your own company website are:

  1. Safe data storage where only authorized personnel can access
  2. Improves working efficiency and data management
  3. Safer and faster payment or booking transactions
  4. Credibility as a company who is adapting to latest technology
  5. Global reach
  6. Promising returns in future!

Kuasa Hijau Sdn Bhd (KHSB) is a company involved in ICT, engineering, green technology, logistics and marketing. The poster above is a PROMOTIONAL MERDEKA OFFER that they are doing in line with the Independence Day that is going to be celebrated on the 31st August 2010.  KHSB provides high end IT services to those who really want to grow and expand their businesses.

For those who are interested to purchase or enquire on this, please contact me at +60173260656 or En Hafiz at +60176900769. I ensure you that this investment will be the best you have made for your business!

Check out Kuasa Hijau Sdn Bhd at:

http://kuasahijau.com.my

Enhancing Financial Knowledge: The Basics

I remember reading one of Robert Kiyosaki’s books containing the 5 different aspects of Financial Knowledge which I would want to comment on here.

Check out Robert Kiyosaki’s blog at: http://www.richdad.com

1. Making money: Most of us are really good at this. Whether it be through direct selling, working, stock market, you name it. The difference is only in the amount of money that we make. There are a lot of factors that contribute to how much money you can make. To name a few are knowledge, skills, network, time spent, risk. Personally, I would say that I am not really a good money maker (yet!) since I make money only from my daily job and a little bit of freelancing. Though I try to balance it by enhancing knowledge on Protecting and Leveraging money :)

2. Budgeting money: Just ask yourself as you’re reading this blog, do you have a regular budget that you work with when spending your money? (Of course you don’t :p). Most of us will say that we have a budget but we never really did draft our budget for the month and keep track of it. It’s just too much hassle. For me, budgeting is a must for those who overspend and buy at the spur of the moment of attraction towards a product or service. For those of you who are more of a saver type, you shouldn’t need to worry about budgeting since you won’t spend a lot of money anyway. Of course the best practice is to have a budget list and keep track of it on a monthly basis if you can’t afford to do it on a daily basis.

3. Saving money: Amazingly, some people with salary up to Rm10k+ or even Rm20k+ cannot afford to set aside some money for savings at the end of the month. To be able to save money, there are a lot of methods available out there. It’s either you spend first and save, or you save first and spend, it depends. For me, I believe on saving first then spend. Therefore, if you’re the type of person that cannot stand to spend money if it’s in the bank, you should automate your finances so that there will be monthly funds credited into your savings account. Savings are important in the case of emergency where you need instant cash. So, try to at least maintain a 10% (out of your total net worth) savings value.

4. Protecting money: Taxes, taxes, taxes! Earning money from business or work, there will be some amount taxable by the tax bodies (in Malaysia it’s LHDN). What I do with my income is I try to do a Zakat deduction instead of tax deduction (for the Muslims). Because the Zakat money that you paid in total will be reimbursed 100% by the LHDN. So that means if the amount taxable to you is RM1,000 and the tax you pay is also RM1,000, you will get refunded by the LHDN the RM1,000 that you paid in taxes. For non-Muslims (& Muslims too!), make sure you keep your receipts when you buy or pay for any of the items that LHDN approve as tax relief items (refer to link below). Therefore, when you do you taxes at the early of the year, some percentage of the amount taxable will be deducted from you total taxable income.

http://www.hasil.gov.my/lhdnv3/individuIndex.jsp?process=21000&menu=34&expandable=1&pg_title=Potongan%20Cukai

Protecting money is also about buying an insurance to protect your assets. For example when buying a car it is a must for you to buy an insurance plan with it. As for personal and accident insurance coverage, you will need to buy your own insurance plan from selected insurance providers. For me, I opted to go for Maybank Investment-Linked Insurance Plan since I already have a Maybank account and the insurance plan also incorporates investment schemes.

5. Leveraging money: Financially speaking, leveraging means to use a small credit or fund that you have to acquire bigger funds for a particular financial purpose. This can be either for business or investment. A lot of people are very illiterate in money leveraging. Usually it is because of their nature as a conservative type of person, who go for low risk savings or investments. On of the things that I learned from most billionaires in this world is that they are willing to leverage on other’s money (for example bank money). If you’re willing to risk big sums of money, then only can you gain big sums of money, it’s as simple as that. High risk, high return. As for me, I have a few investments setup from the funds that I have. I would not say I have a lot of knowledge in leveraging, but at least I can say that I have the needed networks and links for me to invest with confidence and security (of course with a not-bad return :p).

There you go folks! If you wana claim yourself as a financial literate person, you must have knowledge in all the fields mentioned above! Wana learn more, do contact me personally or join my network :)

Certified “Sales”/Speaking Professional

Hi everyone, I just got back from a 2 day trip. Feels good to be back home and work on my blog :)

In May 2010, I attended a 2 days MAPS (Malaysian Association of Professional Speakers) National Convention 2010. The main speakers of the convention consisted of professionally recognized and skilled speakers. These are the speakers who are very highly paid in the speaking industry. The quality of speaking that was demonstrated by each speaker made me feel like a tiny ant walking among elephants! So i decided that I needed to join MAPS and gain as much knowledge and experience to one day become a certified and recognized professional speaker.

Check out MAPS website at the following:

http://www.maps.org.my/

Yesterday, Wednesday night, MAPS organized a MAPS@Work activity at Melia Hotel, KL. I arrived a bit late due to the jam and decided to take valet parking (which costs quite ok, RM20). One of the speakers for the night was Andrew Bryant, a Certified Speaking Professional of the Global Speakers Federation. When introducing him to the audience, the person talking accidentally addressed him as Certified “Sales” Professional instead of Certified “Speaking” Professional (don’t know whether it was intentional for laughs or he did mistakenly say it :p). Andrew is a very cool person and of course he made a joke out of it. But, in a way actually, to be a professional salesperson you also need to know how to speak well!

Speaking goes hand in hand with sales. The better you are at speaking, the more you can sell! But of course, other skills are needed too. We need to remember that what matters most to the target customers are how well you can speak and relate to their needs and wants. So far, I’ve managed to sell myself in corporate and investment fields. I am still new in speaking to sell products, but I’m willing to give it a try and learn what skills are needed in order to succeed in the sales business. That’s enough for now! Need  to get back to learning about speaking for sales :)

The “Ting!” Moment to Investing

Everyone has that special “Ting!” moment where they suddenly experience a mindset breakthrough to do something in their life, whether it is something significant or simple.

For me, that significant moment happened last year in the middle of December. It was just a normal day during the holidays, I was sitting on the couch when I suddenly realized that all this while I haven’t really leveraged on the amount of savings that I have. From all my effort in New Zealand during my studies, I had collected around Rm35k (working, doing surveys etc) and all of it went to my ASB savings.

That was the “Ting!” moment for me to start learning about investment. Since then, I did a few things to learn:

1. I bought and read books on investment (some of them are Robert Kiyosaki and William Cai, there are other fantastic books for you to learn too)

2. I went to my beloved Auntie Faizah’s house in Ipoh, Perak to learn on stock market trading

3. I read a lot of online blogs on investments

January 2010 came and I was eagerly awaiting the dividend payout for ASB shareholders. The dividend was roughly around 7%++ so I ended up with a return of around RM2600++ (which is not much considering how much I can generate with RM35k if I had made better investments). I still wasn’t confident to start investing in January since I was still in the midst of learning about investments.

In February, I withdrew all my ASB savings (left about Rm1000 for savings purposes) and put them in my investments. I had 2 types of investments back then, which were:

1. Stock trading investment

2. Business investment

More on the details of my investment later. But my point here is that whenever the “Ting!” moment comes, you have to take action and be willing to learn new things. As for me, I’m glad I made that move in December 2009, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now.

Anyways, am going outstation on Wednesday and Thursday, so will be back hopefully by Friday :)

Join Ads4Bucks today!

I just joined Ads4Bucks a few days ago through my friend’s recommendation, Rahim.

http://rahimkai10.ads4blog.net/

He is one of the 69z key leaders. He works hand in hand with the young Online Millionaire Ahmad Zulfaisal to train new people in this business.

http://www.ads4bucks.com

Ads4Bucks is a website similar to Facebook except this website is used more for entrepreneurship and business networking. By becoming a member of Ads4Bucks, you gain a lot of benefits for a very affordable price.

Some of the benefits that you gain are your own blog (which I am writing in now), access to Ads4Bucks E-Library which contains a whole lot of E-Books and templates for business proposals and documents, a Bio-Energy Card, use of SMS Blaster and many more. For those of you who are interested to make more money just from home, I would recommend you join Ads4Bucks and start doing stuff that can make you money from home.

Registration fee for 1 Business Centre (BC) is RM210, 4 BCs is RM840 (but there are rebates for registering more than one BC :p). Each person can only register up to 15 BC in Ads4Bucks.

Anyways, for those of you who are interested to know more about Ads4Bucks membership and benefits, do contact me at +60173260656 or email me at mz_vortex86@hotmail.com. Better have something to do than just sitting at home idling aye!

If you are interested, pickup your phone or write me an email now! Do not procrastinate, because procrastinating will not do anyone any good :)

(image source: http://visualambassador.com/2009/12/03/procrastination/)