Saturday, August 29, 2009

Top 10 Habits of Millionaire

On few weeks back, when I was back to my hometown, I saw a very thin book with theme "The Top 10 Habits of Millionaires" came with 112 pages for sale in one of the bookstores in the town. This is an interesting topic, but it is selling for RM37.90. For me it's a bit too much, and it is not justify for me to buy it. Most probably I will read it once and throw it away. To maximize the effort to save and be stingy, I decided to finish the book on the spot without the need to buy it.

By reading it, I found out that the contents are very common, and it's a bit similar to "The Millionaire Next Door". Well, it doesn't matter, I've no complaint since I read it for free. As usual, I would like to share with you some of the vital points from this little thin book. If you think you are interested about it, then you can buy and read it at your own. :)

Have you watch "Who wants to be millionaire" before?

1. Millionaires think in long-term:
a) Thinking day to day, the way poor people do, is where you will find day laborers and street beggars.
b) Thinking week to week, the way poor people do, is living paycheck to paycheck and barely make ends meet.
c) Thinking month to month, the way middle class people do, is being concerned with monthly liabilities such as mortgage loan, car loan, credit card payment and household expenses.
d) Thinking year to year, the way rich people do, is where people learn about fiscal responsibility, financial literacy and investment.
e) Thinking decade to decade, the way very rich people do, is where you will find business plans that reach far into the future.

2. Patience is a millionaire’s asset; impatience is a liability of the middle class:
a) Rich people has the discipline of delayed gratification because they want more freedom in life.
b) Middle-class people want instant gratification because they want more comfort in life.

3. Millionaires talk about ideas:
a) Rich people talk about great ideas and realizing them. They own car companies, sports teams and vacation spots. They produce movies, television shows and music and earn from them. They choose fortune over fame.
b) Middle-class people talk about things from rich people’s ideas and daydream on them. They talk about things like sports cars, soccer teams and holidays. They indulge in movies, television shows and music and spend on them. They are easily impressed by fame.

4. The rich loves to compliment others and gain their help and support; the poor loves to tear down others only to be alienated.

5. People who complain are literally cursing themselves. Always ask yourself what is life trying to teach you when you feel like complaining upon a challenge or hardship.

When we talk about Millionaire, people will think of Slumdog Millionaire.

6. For the comfortable middle-class people, change is feared; for the confident rich people, change is opportunity. Fear blinds you to opportunities; confidence let you discover opportunities.

7. Fear is inevitable. The rich overcomes it with knowledge; the poor submits to it with negligence.

8. If you can live with the worst thing happening from your decision and the most likely thing to happen will lead you to the best thing happening, go for it!

9. We can’t please everyone and rejection is imminent; if you failed, you may be rejected but if you succeeded, you may still be rejected.

10. The rich plays to win; the poor plays to not lose only to lose in eventuality.

11. People often wish they would take more risks in life if they could live all over again, meaning that people have more regrets over things they didn’t do than the things they did.

Entrepreneur should be the most solid way of becoming millionaire.

12. Knowledge is priceless; negligence is costly:
a) Investment on a $20 book read may well worth a $20 000 idea and a $1 000 seminar attended may well worth a $1 million business plan.
b) Being penny-wise and pound-foolish by saving a $50 banknote for shopping instead of buying a good book may cost a loss of an undiscovered $50 000 idea. Worst off, craving for free advices may cost even greater loss when one listens to the opinion of another who thinks he knows something even when he has no real life experience.

13. The rich work for profits instead of wages; the poor trades their time for wages.

14. Happy millionaires are generous because they believe they will receive more in return.

15. Millionaires develop multiple income source by passive income from business that requires little personal management. They build teams of great people that complement one another, not compete with one another, to run their business, believing that those people will do even better than them.

16. Learn to increase your net worth the way rich people do, not learning to increase your paycheck only to be taxed more.

Financial educated people realized investment can fasten their ways to become millionaire.

17. Rich people increase their investment and assets when their income increases; poor people increase their spending and liabilities as their income increases.

18. The rich makes money, spends money, then pay taxes; the poor makes money, pay their tax and left with little to spend.

So, are you already a millionaire or multi-millionaire? If yes, you might reading some of the characteristics from yourself. For those who are not, may be you can try to buy jackpot, if you are thinking of become an instant millionaire.

All the best.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Are You Good in Making a Decision?

Recently, there is an unique quiz advertised on British newsapaper, the question is:
" There is 3 scientists in a hot-air balloon, which is having insufficient air. One of them is an expert can save the world by protecting the world environment from pollution. Another expert has the ability to prevent the nuclear war and save the world. And the final one has the ability to invent & plant food, to save the millions of poor from hunger. However, they must throw one of them out, in order to save the other two experts, to prevent the hot-air balloon is going to crash. So who should they throw?"

After people seen the question, the respond was very good. Most of the answers are discussed about who to throw, some argue with each other. In the end, the answer released and the one answered correctly was a boy.

Does decision making involving strategy, governance & leadership?

The boy's answer is pretty simple, "just throw the the fattest one!". Have you got it correct?

Decision making is always playing a very significant role in our life, including personal and business. We rely on our decision making, should we succeed or fail. How good are you in making a decision? Well, when making a decision, apart from experience and knowledge, there are other factors we should take into consideration.

We need a technique & skill to make a quality decision. If you interested to understand more about it, you may read "The Effective Decision" from Peter Drucker.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How to Save in Reading

Do you like to read books? If yes, are you wasting quite some money to purchase books every month?

In Malaysia, purchase a book is consider very expensive. For example, I bought Rule #1 for RM50. If you are working in UK, most of the time you'll only get a book for less than 10 pounds, how good it is. Well, we definitely compare in this way, due to currency differences. Unfortunately, due to the money we earn is RM, we are not afford to buy more books as we want to, compare to the high currency country like Australia, Euro and US. Is that one of the reasons we fall behind them?

How frequent you visit bookstore?

But with my disappointment, I surprise some of the local published books also selling with a relatively expensive price. Many local authors and publishers quality are not as good as the foreigners', yet they are selling the same or even higher price as other good books. What a thrill! To be honest, I refused to support them. Is about the quality, and yet they want to sell at such an unreasonable price. They shouldn't focus too much on margin, they should be emphasize more on affordability and quality. Anyway, that's my opinion only.

Due to these reasons and I want to save up my hard-earned money, I forced to discover a few ways to counter the purchase of expensive books issue in our country recently. I started to exchange books with my friends and relatives, or even just borrow recommended books from them, for those who do reading regularly. If I really think that book is worth to keep, then I'll only purchase it. With such trade, I didn't buy any book for this month. Great. The only cons is that you cannot have exactly what you want to read. Hey it's free, I can't expect more.

Do you know Google has e-library for free books preview?

Some people also make use of library. They borrow books from library, which is a very good choice as well. Unfortunately, I don't get what I want from my state library at this moment.

There is a dirt-cheap method, visit the bookstore and just try to finish the book on the spot. Well, a few of my friends are doing that. In fact, nothing wrong with that since you want to save your money. Be the bookstore offers you seats or not, as long as the book is not wrap up or no sign of "Do Not Read", you may enjoy from day till the bookstore close, your choice. I did it a few times, unfortunately I don't like the distraction of people moving around, so the 1st method is more suitable for me.

How many books have you own so far? Do you have space problem?

Another method is not for free, but you can get the book with dirt-cheap price. I believe the membership discount is quite bullshit, as they only give 10% discount, which is beyond the book price. What we can do is, we can try to wait for the bookstore promotion. Sometimes, they offering 3 for 2 pricing, or 30-70% discount off the older book. I got 'Winning' for 3 for 2 promotion price previously, which is a good budget. Sometimes, you also can look for online bookstore promotion.

The last method, which is the method I frequently used, search and look around from the Internet. Sometimes, you will come across bloggers and e-book organization sharing about the particular e-book, or you can try peer-to-peer sharing. Well, whether it is ethical to do this, I leave it for you to judge.

I hope they will helps you save money in reading. Have a nice weekend ahead, folks!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Free Cloud Anti-Virus

Are you sick with Free AVG or Avast anti-virus software? Or you are sick with paid personal anti-virus software like PC-Cilin or McAfee? Wait a minute, this is not an advertisement post, it's my experience as an anti-virus user.

I used to use the free anti-virus like Free AVG, Avast or Avira, but I’ve found that at some points as below:
1. In every version of AVG I’ve used – it stops updating automatically.
2. Most of the free anti-virus software don't have sufficient protection, especially on web surfing and thumb drive.

AVG Anti-Virus Free edition is the most famous AV software.

So a couple of months ago I decided to try another free Anti-Virus - Panda’s free Cloud Antivirus, and I'm happy with it for now. Updates happen in the background, files and problems are quietly taken care of, and it only ever bugs me if it needs my attention to decide what to do about a detected virus. Anyway, it only supporting Windows XP and Vista 32-bits.

Can Panda Cloud Anti-Virus take over AVG Free AV?

It works well with Comodo Firewall, it's 100% free as well. If you manage to install and use both protection software for your PC/notebook, it will be getting perfect. Trust me.

So what you waiting for? Try it today. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Am I Living Frugally or Stingy?

After I went through some bad experiences and the begin of doing simple monthly personal budget, I hope I'm doing better on my personal financial management compare to the previous years. Even though I'm still single for now, I believe a person should have learn the basic of personal financial management when he/she has the ability to obtain income, to prepare the path to our goal, such as budget to retire early, get marry and children education etc.

From my opinion, we should have a goal and then allocate a sum of budget from our monthly income in order to achieve this. I hope I'm not doing this too late for now.
Today, I'm going to share with you on my total spending over the past 7 months, as well as how I categorized them. I'm not earning much per month, I don't even have side income or great return from investment for the time being. However, I believe it's just too important to track where my money spent, and how can I control it from there. And from the outcome, you can determine whether I'm living frugally or stingy for now.

Have you educate yourself enough on personal finance?

Basically I categorized my savings and spending into the groups below:

Group 1 - Savings
Income, savings & secure return investment with maximum liquidity

Group 2 - Home Expenses
House maintenance, bills, furniture, assessments, others related to the house

Group 3 - Transportation
Fuel, vehicle road tax, insurance, repair, parking fees, others related to the vehicle

Group 4 - Daily Living
Groceries, clothing, meals, any expenses related to daily living.

Group 5 - Entertainment
Movies, books & magazines, exercises, outdoor recreation, traveling, etc.

Group 6 - Investments
Stocks, unit trusts, Forex, foreign funds, REITs.

Group 7 - Obligations
Family needs and contribution.

Group 8 - Protections
Peronsal life insurance, vitamins, health inspection, etc.

Group 9 - Miscellaneous
Others which are not categorized under groups above.

By putting in my monthly income & return into the groups above, the pie chart below is what I see for over the past 7 months:

Average monthly personal budget - Jan to Jul 2009

The biggest spending goes to Home Expenses group, 30%. I always want to contribute a better lifestyle to my parents. The cost of maintaining a house and family is not cheap too! With luck, 25% of my income retain as savings. After I make sure I've enough savings to ensure my family and I can survive for 6 months time, I'll try to transfer 10-15% of the net savings to other investments with greater potential return, and also to increase my sum insured of my existing insurance, which is too small for now.

Are you using a software to manage your monthly budget?

The 3rd largest portion goes to investment, which is 19%. Thank God that I managed to cover up all my previous investments loss during the recent bull trend. I'm looking into real estate investment (for my family living) once I know better about it. So far I know I unable to keep my promise of getting back the loss under my previous Forex investment.

Do you understand the importance of keeping track your spending?

For entertainment and daily living, they took aboubt 8% and 7% respectively. I spent 20% for entertainment such as clubbing and social previously, which was a waste for me. Nowadays, my entertainments are pretty simple, spend time to have casual drinks and movies with friends, purchase some magazines and books monthly. I seldom go for traveling, which it will be changed once my goal is reached.

For personal daily living, I couldn't press anymore from it, as I consider it's already the minimum. I rarely go for expensive restaurants which I think it's not worth, and I only buy clothes once or twice a year.
I personally think it's not a totally bad news anyway, I can have it when I get rich, if.

Why most Malaysians are queuing day & night just to buy limited government funds?

On the other hand, I also contribute 6% of my income to my parents and their insurances. It's not much actually. I always hope I can do it better, and I'll try. Besides, I also spent 3% on my life insurance, which is too small for now and the sum insured need to be increase soon. For transportation, I'm using company car at this moment, so it's consider lucky for me.

Now, let's have a look on what's in my previous 1st half year spending by estimation:

25% goes to obligations, 24% goes to entertainment, 22% goes to home expenses. There is totally no savings & investment, and the spending should be more than income. See, it makes a difference now.

That's all about the sharing of my personal budget for the 1st 7 months of 2009. Even though I'm not a guru in personal finance or personal budget, I hope my sharing can help you out. If you want to be a millionaire or multi-millionaire, this should be the starting point. Good luck!
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