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!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Property vs Stock Investment – Part 1

Are you doing any property or stock investment?

I believe so, as this is a very common question when you come to investment. There are many other investments such as business, franschise, forex, pyramid, FD, bond, mutual fund, etc, why must be property and stock investment?

I recalled about this when I read one of the Milan Doshi books. He mentioned that the best investment vehicle in the world are property and stock investment, and both of them are good enough until now. I believe what he meant is level of risk and return.

Among these 2 investment vehicles, which one do you prefer?

I did ask many ex-colleagues and friends when I was young due to curiosity. Most answers I got was NONE and was given all sort of excuses. For those who do not have property, they complained that properties are too expensive, not able to get loan, too high commitment, hard to find a suitable one, only have one for self-occupied, etc.  Whereby for stock investment, they complained that it is too risky, return too low or too slow, index is too high, economy no good, etc.

Surprisingly, most of them shared that they have other kind of investments, such as doing part times jobs, part time agents like insurance or direct sales, own small businesses, get rich fast scheme, etc. In fact, there’s nothing wrong, because it’s about investment and the highest return wins.

Well, I used to stay away from stock and property investment. Only after I came out to society for 8 years, I realized if continue to work for others and without investment, it is a dead end. We all feeling the pressure of the rising of inflation rate and cost living, while salary increment is not able to catch up. Hence, I started both of my 1st property and stock investment back in year 2009.

To be continued…

Sunday, December 11, 2016

What's the Authority of a Country Leader?

I was listening to radio while driving this morning, the hosts talked about the authority and power of the king in the country currently enjoying. From what they discussed, with the full authority has been assigned to prime minister, there’s nothing much left for the king. However, the king still has some basic authority such as election approval.

When I was at primary 3, my dad told me that the king used to have full authority and power. They do no need to go to jail even they kill people. That triggered my curiosity, because I listened wrongly as I thought the current king does not has to go to jail if he kills people. I did ask my teacher and she told me anyone commit crime, they will have to go to jail including king. At that time, I really thought so.

When I grow up, I realized that’s not the case. Whoever has the full authority and power, most of them are able to escape from going to jail even they committed crimes. Let’s take a look at the cases happened in our country, the murder case of Altantuya with C4 boom by 2 high position polices. Who has the authority to instruct them to do so? Who is actually the person behind? Why there’s no one put to jail until today?

Another greatest case is the recent 1MDB scandal. Why Singapore and USA have already proven it is a scandal and a lot of money pumped out have been slipped out to relevant people, why our leader still insisted 1MDB is making money and ignored about these news? Why can’t whole picture be matched?

I strongly believe it is not only in our country, but involving in our countries around the world. Look at how Thaksin and Yingluck, the ex-PMs of Thailand, how they got expelled, etc. Who the leader is behind is able to overruled PM? Isn’t it interesting?

What does the moral of this story? 

Full authority to a leader is a double edge sword. If the leader uses it properly, the country will excel. Look at where is Singapore now and 50 years ago. I strongly believe USA and Philippine will shine in the next 3 to 5 years. If the leader abuses it, then the citizens and the next generation will suffered like hell, just like…

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Listen to Positive or Negative Feedback?

Last week, a good friend and I were having coffee and chi chat over a coffee shop. We talked about the near term prospects of our own companies and how to overcome this low crude oil and bad economy crisis. 

His plan is to expand to neighbor countries due to similar culture and business strategy, but he has the concern on limited cash flow, confidence level and know how. Basically he is doing cabling infrastructure distribution and services business. From what I noticed, he is doing very well on services over the past few years because of his public relations, reasonable price and being very flexible in doing business. Most of the customers like to deal with them. 

For their distribution business, it compliments with their projects and services, I guess may be about 15-25% of the total annual sales. A good thing about their distribution business is, all the products are self-developed and they have a lot better margins compared to the local rivals. Right now, his plan is to focus only on distribution business in neighbor country. 

I commented that I don't really look good on neighbor country even it's a much bigger cake, as the cabling infrastructure there are more mature and competitive than local market. Yes, they have their own brand and they are able to control the cost and selling price. But these cable items are very mature in the market, what makes me want to change brand or vendor? Are both solving the same problems? Unless you tell me I can make more margin by using your product? 

Well, this is traditional trading game and the price can only go lower and lower with lesser margin. With his concern in mind, it might be a waste of time and money, unless he has a out-of-the-box business strategy. I did advice him to try participate in international fair in the neighbor country and check out the response before rush in just like that. 

Unfortunately, free advice is always useless, people just don't appreciate it. He got pissed off. He scolded me for depreciating his products and he feedback that if everyone think like me, then no one is going to expand overseas. Well, it is true but that's only for those losers who stopped by the negative feedback. What I mean is he can actually leverage on those negative feedback to move forward! 

Well, I get his point why he is angry. From the way I noticed, most of the bosses or entrepreneurs do not like people provide negative feedback about their company, especially on their ideas, plans and solutions. Perhaps they were having hard time to make it over, and they think they need to be recognize badly. 

In my opinion, if one only want to listen positive feedback and fake comment, then I don't see this topic needs to be brought up and discussed anymore in the near future. When I reached home, I did apologize and text him we would not discuss about his company again and he is fine with it. 

I hope he'll ponder over my comments before he takes action. I wish him all the best for his overseas expansion.
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