Sunday, October 18, 2015

Happy Life or City Life?

I read an article about a Thai who born in a poor family in a village. His name is Jon Jin Dai.

When he grows up, he noticed most of the young people started to move to city area, to get more income and what they so called, to be a successful person. He followed the crowd and decided to try his luck in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

Initially he studied in a college as a student. Due to limited funding, he has to work a lot of part times to keep him survive. However, he fails no matter how hardworking he studies. He also living with over 10 people in a small house and eat 1 meal a day. He did a lot of part time jobs, except lady boy.

After 7 years of suffering, he has enough of such a pity life in the city. He decided to go back to the village and start another new life. He did not expect this decision has changed his life.

After settled down in the village, he started agriculture by planting rices and fruits with 1.5 acres land. He also dig 2 ponds to seed fishes. With these foods, he has excess food supply for his family and the surplus are for sale. He felt very happy about this life compared to the previous city life.

After a while, he heard his friend bought a house in Bangkok, but comes with 30 years of long term debts. He is laughing that he can never have chance to do so with his qualification. After some thoughts, he decided to learn and build his own house with his limited funds. Within 3 months, he managed to build his first house. With his talent, he managed to build more than 10 houses over the years. And how he is headache no which house to stay every night!

Apart from building hose, he also setup farming, Pun Pun Organic Farm, organic food restaurants and organize classes to teach others how to do organic planting and foods. His students also including foreigners from Europe and US.

The good thing is, he managed to marry his wife from US.

After that, he received the invitation from TED to give a presentation. And his subject is 'Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?'. You can find the TED video here.

The morale of the story, Jon has messed up in his city life, but he became a leader and winner in his village. What about you?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Currency Depreciation & Inflation Fear

Is your country facing serious currency depreciation?

For South East Asia, the worst one are Indonesia and Malaysia. Malaysia Ringgit has been depreciated more than 30% against USD and 24% against SGD in less than past 6 months, due to economy uncertainty, poor economy forecast by analysts, and internal politics issues. Imagine your wealth has suddenly shrink more than 30% within 6 months, how do you feel? For those imported businesses transacted in USD or RMB, eventually the price will be paid by the consumers.

Another recent pain point is the inflation within my country. The Government has implemented 6% service tax starting from April 2015. It has caused all items price increased.

I remembered when our family having breakfast in one of the favorite Chinese restaurants back in 1988, a plate of kolomee costs RM2.20. It has shot up to RM2.70 after 6 years, about 10 cents hike per year. Today, it has shot up to RM7.50 per plate. This has indicated RM1 you saved today, does mean it is still has RM1 value next year, due to inflation, or perhaps currency depreciation.

I read a newspaper article just now regarding the new trade minister of Indonesia, Tom Lembong. He suggested ASEAN countries to consolidate and use RMB as trading notes to minimize the impact on notes depreciation issue. I think this makes a lot of sense. It will benefits for ASEAN due to China has a very solid and strong fundamental economy and their currency has appreciated a lot over the past few years. It is the best choice after USD.

As for inflation, we have no choice but to do something about it. What I mean is to avoid unnecessary spending and use the savings to invest. The investment return should be higher than the inflation rate. The best investment vehicles for now will be still real estate and stock market.

I personally prefer stock market due to it is easy to liquidate, instant, flexible and able to start from small amount. Of course, the risk is much higher than real estate. I have made loss of more than RM25,000 over the past 2 years. Well, perhaps I did not really 'invest' but just speculate. I believe I will do well in the near future after paid my valuable lesson fees

Instead of waiting, let's begin now if we want to fight through the inflation and want to have a comfortable retirement life. At least start something first then you will learn along the way. That's how we can become the best.

All the best, people.

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