Do I Need A Personal Loan?

Being in the mid 20′s age bracket, I have a lot of friends who are just starting their career and have very low cash in hand. There are some who started saving in university, so they have ample cash in hand for personal spending but not enough to do other big things such as getting married. To those who are born with a silver spoon, they do not have any problem doing things that they want. People are born in different kinds of families, it is important that we accept where we come from and strive for a better tomorrow.

Therefore, somewhere sometime in our lives we will ask ourselves this question, “Do I need a personal loan so that I can do the things I couldn’t do without it?”.  I hear a lot of opinions from others saying that getting a personal loan is bad for your finances, so today I just want to share my humble opinion on whether or not you should apply for a personal loan to finance your activities.

1. A personal loan is OK for you if after all monthly commitments are taken into account (including those which are not taken into account when you apply for personal loan such as phone, internet, satellite tv, magazine bills etc), you have about 40% of your paycheck left. This is important especially if you’re taking the personal loan for spending, not investing. The number is relative depending on the amount of commitment that you have, but 40% is a general number that applies to most classes. You don’t want to get yourself into a tough spot where you do not have enough cash for your daily spending. If this happens, you will need to make more money to keep up with your lifestyle or apply cost saving initiatives.

2. A personal loan is OK for you if you have side income besides your monthly paycheck (or monthly income for business owners) to pay for the extra monthly commitment that will incur after your loan is approved. For example you might have side income from doing freelance work such as taking pictures for events, giving talks or maybe income from investments. This extra income ensures that your monthly loan payment is taken care of, thus reducing stress of thinking about lower monthly income.

3. A personal loan is OK for you if you have a steady job with a steady annual pay raise (steady annual incremental returns for business owners). This ensures that you can take other loans such as house or vehicle loans whenever your annual income has increased. If you don’t have an annual steady income raise, it is better for you to take the minimum amount of personal loan that you need to finance your activities rather than go for the maximum amount that you can take.

4. Finally, a personal loan is definitely OK if you are going to use it to enter a high potential investment. An investment with high returns will offset the amount of money that you need to pay monthly for your personal loan. Personally, if a friend or colleague introduced you to a high potential investment, I would advise that you go for it after you have investigated all the parameters involved and found out that it is a genuine investment. Make that loan and see your money grow after you have invested in it :) Of course make sure you also have all the 3 points above to ensure you have a positive monthly cashflow.

There you go people! If you need further advice on personal loan, do not hesitate to contact me and I will try my best to provide some advice on how to go about it. Cheers :)

Give More and You Shall Receive More!

Good day everyone! To all Muslims, it has been a fine fasting month and the festivities are going to come soon (tomorrow in fact!). Therefore, I would like to wish you all:


(picture taken from

Those of you who are in the KL area, do stop by my place to enjoy the available food and then we can catchup with each other as well.

Anyways, I want to write about the saying “Give and You Shall Receive”. I believe this expression holds true in most cases. The things that we give can be in any form, some of them being:

1. Money: To actually be a wealthy person, you must also have the spirit of giving back to the people in you. I learned this by observing a lot of wealthy people throughout the world, even in my own country, Malaysia. In the USA, we can see how the IT billionaire Bill Gates and his wife setup a foundation in order to give back to the community by doing research and innovation in the health, development and learning. (Refer to In Malaysia for example, there is Tan Sry Jeffrey Cheah of the Sunway Group who is doing quite a lot in the education field to give back to the community. Therefore, no matter what our financial status may be, we can always give to the unfortunate to make their lives better. Ultimately, by doing this a lot, you will end up realizing that these small efforts that you put in into making other people’s lives better do make a difference to your life too.

2. Time: Some people just want you to spend time with them. When I did community service for a primary school with deaf students back in July 2009, what I realized at that time was that these unfortunate kids do not really want your money, instead they really desired the time and attention that you can spend with them. Therefore, whenever you have time to participate in any charitable events, do join in and try to enjoy and learn about how others’ live can be made happier by simply spending some time with them.

3. Knowledge: People say “Knowledge is Power”. Before this, I have always had the mindset that I cannot share my secrets or tips to others because it would jeopardize my own chance to succeed. Thanks to a few people who I have had discussion with, that mindset has now been more towards “I need to share more knowledge to gain more knowledge”. With sharing of knowledge to others, we actually are empowering them to do something that they otherwise couldn’t have done without the knowledge. When the knowledge is applied and positive results are obtained, people will actually appreciate where the knowledge came from, which is you. Indirectly, they will consider you as a person they trust to share their ideas and knowledge for your benefit. Of course there are people out there who are selfish and never appreciate others even after obviously using the knowledge that they have learned from you. Still though, some level of confidentiality needs to be practised when sharing knowledge and ideas. Maybe the top-of-the-pyramid strategy that you have needs to be kept to yourself until it has been proven successful, by then only can you share this knowledge.

4. Love: I don’t mean giving love to others (especially those who you don’t know) in an affectionate way! Rather, what I mean is you should show more love when you are treating others. This can as simple as saying thank you when the waitress sends you the food, or as complex as listening to your friend’s problems and identifying the solution for them. I really like the expression “Love Makes the World Go Round” because I believe it is strongly true. Try to smile more, say “thank you” and “please” more, to the married couples – say “sorry” more etc and you will notice that other people will also treat you better than before.

With the Raya holidays coming up, maybe we can practise giving to others in order to enhance our philanthropic traits. By writing this article, I am actually giving my idea towards this issue so that others can benefit from it. Once again, have a fantastic holiday guys and do drop any comments or add-ons if you feel like em :)

No Pain No Gain!

We always hear the expression “No Pain No Gain”, whether it be from friends, colleagues, family members etc. Actually, this statement is very true and it can be applied in any field. Let met take the investment field for example and share what I understand by this phrase.

The term “No Pain No Gain” can be associated with the term “High Risk, High Reward” in investment. Because in investment, the higher the risk that we bear, the higher the return that we can reap, but also do not forget higher loss that we will incur if the investment goes bad. How do we actually know that an investment is low risk or high risk? Let me share with you characteristics of a high risk investment, and from there you can take the opposite of it to be low risk investment characteristics.

Determining amount of risk riding on an investment can be done by investigating the following characteristics:

1. Amount of $$$ riding on it: Simply said, the higher proportion of your money invested in something, the higher the risk you are taking. It goes back to the saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. For example, if you had RM100k and invested it all in property, it something goes bad then you will lose all your money. But if the property appreciates really well, your return will be maximized since you invested all your money in it. If you had invested RM50k in property and RM50k in shares,  then should something happen to the property investment, you will still have the RM50k you invested in shares. Therefore, do diversify, but do not overdiversify so that you can manage all your investments.

2. Volatility: Volatility refers to how fast the value of investment can fluctuate. High volatility means the value of investment can fluctuate on very short notice and low volatility implies that the value of investment is stable and will not fluctuate on short timeframe. One example of a volatile investment is the stock market. In just a few minutes, the price of a stock can go from RM0.20 to RM0.30 or from RM0.50 to RM0.25. So, if you’re holding mass quantities of these stocks, you will have either made a great gain or suffered a great loss. For more stable investments, go for property, bonds, unit trusts and some others which your investment value will not fluctuate on very short notice.

3. Type of Industry: Different industries have different risks riding on them. Generally, we can identify which industries are low risk and which are high risk. But to be specific, an industry can be both low and high risk, depending on other affecting parameters. In general, low risk industries are industries like banking, agriculture and food because these industries always have significant demand. High risk industries include construction, transportation and IT because in these industries, competition is getting tougher and tougher and companies need to have cutting edge talent and resources to be able to make good profit.

4. Personal Touch: We are all humans, and to a certain extent we trust those that have personal touch with us more compared to total strangers. To me, having looked at all the other 3 characteristics above, I will also need to look at whether the person that I am in contact with for that particular investment has a personal touch with me or not. If there is person A who is a total stranger, and person B who I personally know, which both of them can offer the same risk and return on investment after looking at all 3 items above, I will prefer person B. This is because choosing a person I personally know means there is lower chance of being cheated and taken advantage of. Plus, when we personally know their background, family, financial status and resources, we will have more confident and trust in the person, therefore we will feel less worried about an investment although it is high risk.

This has been quite an elaborate post. Hopefully you will benefit from it.  There are other small parameters that are used to determine risk of an investment, but what I shared above is just the significant ones. For further clarification, do not hesitate to post a comment or you can even contact me for a drink.

Happy fasting to all Muslims and happy Merdeka Day to all Malaysians! :)

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

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:

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.

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 :)

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 :)

Entering The World of Blogging!

Posted on July 31st, 2010 in Entrepreneurship,Investment,Personal Finance by muizal86

Hello everyone!

My name is Muiz..some people call me Al..I didn’t think I would start blogging one day..but here I am, about to start writing a blog..and I want to dedicate this blog to sharing knowledge on investing, financing and entrepreneurship

Gona write some real content later..for now I just got back home and need a rest :)