Sunday, January 15, 2017

How to Find a Solution?

I read a story sharing about looking for a solution from a super rich old man's blog few weeks ago. I quite like the idea of this story and would like to share with you here.
"A rich father left 17 gold coins to his 3 sons and the rest of his asset to charity because he knew he could not take any money with him when he passed away.
When the man passed away, his 3 sons opened up the will.
The will stated that the eldest son should be given half of the 17 coins.
The middle son should be given one third of the 17 coins.
The youngest son should be given one ninth of the 17 coins.
As it is not possible to divide 17 by 2, or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, they started to fight with each other.

So, in believing there was a solution, they decided to find it. They went to see a wise man, who lived in a nearby cave. He listened patiently and thought for a while. He gave one of his gold coins to help them solve the problem. With the addition of 1 coin the total number of coins was 17 + 1 = 18.
He gave each of them their share as according to the will.
The eldest son was give half of 18 = 9 coins
The idle son was given 1/3 of 18 = 6 coins
The youngest son was given 1/9 of 18 = 2 coins.
Totaling 9 + 6 + 2 = 17 coins.
The wise man took back his coin and everyone went away happily."
Moral of the story? The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th coin i.e. the common ground. Once we are able to find the common ground, the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Property vs Stock Investment – Part 2

Property investment indeed brought up a lot of millionaires or even tens of millionaires from 2009 to 2015. The property price in Malaysia and Singapore has skyrocketed, at least doubled if you bought before 2009. Thanks to Asia economy booming.

I bought my first house in my hometown back in year 2009. And I couldn’t stop seeing house price going up every day. I want to buy my second house between 2011 and 2013, but I unable to make decision due to the skyrocket price. Similar to many people mindset, IF I KNOW and IF I DARE to refinance to buy 2 or 3 more houses / shophouses during this booming period, perhaps I can have a more comfortable life right now.

In the end of 2014, I relook into property investment again, and I bought my second unit in my hometown, not far away from my 1st unit. In fact, I’m not sure whether I bought the right house for second unit until today. It is still under construction and time will tell.

Needless to say, the first house I bought has doubled the price in 2014. I still keep it until today. I have the intention to sell it mid of last year due to business difficulties. I couldn’t help again as I see the price gradually dropping due to oversupply. The price falls about 10% from the peak. Even though it is the worst now and I did see a little sign of market recovering, I’m still observing it whether I need to cash out anytime soon. Who know, I may want to cash out my 2nd unit 1st upon completion by mid of this year.

In summary, property investment is more complex than what I think. Why I said so? Because I’m not station in my hometown. I feel distance management is an issue, especially you would like to understand more about the situation, tenancy management, renovation, etc.

With this market condition, do you still hear people making money from property investment nowadays? Perhaps there are, but definitely not the people I know. Or perhaps we need extraordinary or new skills to do so. But I'm not here to offend property investors. Just that I'm looking into investment that I feel more comfortable.

I'm desperately looking for good investment return to beat inflation and for early retirement. I relook into local stock investment again end of last year.

To be continued…

Saturday, December 24, 2016

2016 Year End Review

 It’s end of the year, again. Yes, 2016 finally comes to an end. How is this year doing to you? To me, it is a fantastic year with full of challenges.

Let’s review what had happened to me this year and what I’ve done:

January – My mum went under a minor eye operation. Thank God the operation went well. At the same time, my house got a new member, my sister-in-law gave birth to his 2nd child. I have a 2nd nephew at New Year day itself!

February – I got a girlfriend, the best ever girlfriend.

March - I started a small business amidst the oil and economy crisis. And the same time, I told my girlfriend it will be very tough for both of us.

April to October – A lot of problems, small and big happened in my new business, such as cash flow, staffing, projects, vendors, exchange rates, collection, and many others. I was trying to solve one by one. Some of them managed to solve, and some of them are not being resolved till today. Thank God that amidst the problems, the business is consider going upwards.

September – My girlfriend decided to leave me. I think I have no choice, but I can only wish her all the best. I was upset for 3 months, and now I feel good again.

October – My brother was headhunted by loan sharks. His boss managed to settle all debts for him, but he has to pay back monthly. Where did he spend the money? Nobody knows but only him. In less than a month, he was fired by the boss due to the loss of his trustworthy.

November - Some of customer friends who are expatriates being retrenched. The economy seems not getting any better till now. Perhaps I made a right decision to employ and fight for myself, at least either fail or succeed, and I do not have to worry about retrenchment from the company. On a side note, Donald Trump won the presidency of USA. That's really motivates me a lot. It's further strengthen my believe that nothing is impossible.

December – Business is slowing down tremendously for this month and I’ve a lot of free time to think about what to do for next year. It’s scaring as the local economy situation is getting worse, and most of my customers are planning to cut cost further for next year. And I also heard that a lot of my peers are cutting people and cost, just to keep surviving. I strongly believe it’s time for a change, a drastic change to survive, instead of stay there to wait for the situation to turn better. But I do not have a solution yet, all I can do is just try and error with cost.

For stock investment, it is a good year for me after made loss consecutively for 2 years. It seems I found a better way of doing stock investment.

For 2017, it will be another extremely challenging year to me, especially in my business prospect. In fact, human life itself is always full of challenges. Since I’ve started this, I’ll take the challenges and try to break them through. That’s what I plan for 2017. Succeed or fail, it will be determined by my action and luck.

I’m taking a break starting from tomorrow till New Year. I will make use of this break to restart my engine in order to walk further.

Merry Christmas, folks!
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