Sunday, February 26, 2017

Truth of Life?

Found an interesting picture from Facebook last week would like to share with you here. Look at the picture below, do you have any feeling about it?

I believe different age will have different feeling. For those in the mid age of 30 to 40, they might realize it is true. Imagine economy has been in a bad shape for 2 years, high inflation and currency depreciation, we are not sure when it will going to be recovered. We have to work extraordinary hard to exchange for more money. These money may be just barely keep us survive, take care of our self and family. If it is excess, we will make use of it for health protection, savings and investment for our retirement or children educations.

And in the end, we are just like the old man in the picture, chasing all the way till we are old enough. We then got the wealth, but we forgotten to enjoy and do more important things around us when we are capable to do so.

It reminds me the top billionaires in ASEAN countries, where they are also fighting extraordinary hard to keep or expand their business empires. When they are old, they cannot bring the wealth away, but to pass to their children, if no then successor.

Even the picture is just a joke, but it does indicate a lesson to us. No doubt, money is vital but it just part of our life. More importantly, we should do what we like. Time is gold, we should enjoy ourselves while making money. How I wish I can return to 15 years ago and choose the profession I like! 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Property vs Stock Investment – Part 3

I started to 'invest' in KLSE stock market in the mid of year 2009, where the market started to recover from bottom. At that time it was a very good timing, majority of the counters shooting up like rockets due to general market recovery. 

I found that it is very interesting as stock market can makes money without doing anything physically. So I started to read a lot of stock investment related books and online articles. I made some money from it from year 2009 to 2012, with return ranging from 12% to 34%. Unfortunately, I'm not investing, but more like speculation. That is why my return is not consistent, even though I increase my investment capital. 

When the market turns bad in 2013, I started to lose money till 2015, ranging from +3% (worse than FD) to -2%. I'm very fade up with stock market and turn back to property investment. But I believe it is worse with the long term financial commitment I committed. So I decided to focus my remaining very small investment capital on local stock market again by end of last year. So far I feel that it is one of the only ways to get good return, if I got the right one by using my past experience and lessons.

Back to stock market investment itself, is it risky? Yes, used to be higher than property investment, because the counter you bought sometimes unable to generate income for you, if the share price goes down or they are not distributing dividend. Property investment used to have very low risk as it brings positive cash flow to investors. But most of them not anymore, due to the huge appreciation on the property price and rental rate cannot pick up in tandem. 

Imagine you have to pay property loan of $3,000 monthly and yet your rental is only $2,200. People may say it is a bad investment because you are losing monthly cash flow of $800. It is very risky by hoping for capital appreciation especially in this bad situation. What if both your tenant and you have cash flow issue and having issue to pay the monthly property loan? That's the risk. 

What about stock investment risk? In fact, the risk is not high as well considering the investment choice you have now, only if you know how to play the game. 

To be continued...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2016 Top 10 Richest Men in Malaysia

I noticed the newspaper is featuring the latest top 10 richest men in Malaysia these few days. I would like to share with you the summary and my thinking here.

As expected, no. 1 is still belongs to Robert Kuok, with accumulated RM36.7 billion, with listed companies over Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong (China). He has been in the top 1 position for many years, where his businesses covering palm oil, hotel and logistics.

Robert Kuok is a very low profile and humble person, perhaps the most low profile among all top 10 wealthiest businessmen.When he was young, he has already felt in love with those outstanding people who is very low profile.

I still kept his interview session video clip with me, which recorded about 4 years ago. He advice whoever do business must be daring. He gave suggestions that the one must be (1) focus, (2) patient, and (3) dare to fail. At the same time, he urged not to forget about charity and social responsibility.

Robert is 94 this year, who is the oldest among the top 10 billionaires.

The second chair goes to Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, accumulated RM22.3 billion. The most well known businesses are entertainment and gaming business namely Genting and resort worlds operating in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, US, UK. They also operates cruise for gaming purpose worldwide.

Lim is 66 years old this year, the 2nd youngest in the top 10 (thought we considered he is old man). I seldom hear about Lim's sharing in public, but more to his company's business expansion news. But we can see he is very aggressively expanding the gaming business. And that is why his accumulated wealth is also growing aggressively, rising from 3rd to 2nd richest man this year.

The 3rd richest man is Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow, with accumulation of RM20.3 billion, rising from 4th place last year. His businesses are pretty straight forward and simple, Public Bank and LPI insurance company. Public Bank is still the best ROI and money making bank in Malaysia today. It's share price always growing steadily and healthy, in tandem with it's revenue and profit.

I do think that Public Bank is always play safe and take minimal risk, but some how it's result still very convincing. I would say it's efficiency and cost control are at a very good level.

Teh is 87 years old but up to today he has not appoint successor yet to take over his empire.

Top 4 - Ananda Krishnan with RM19.9 billion - telco, O&G and satellite business
Top 5 - Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng with RM19 billion - palm oil and property development
Top 6 - Tan Sri Lau Cho Kun with RM16.4 billion - property dev, car agent, palm oil, finance, etc.
Top 7 - Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan with RM13.5 billion - banks, steel, cement, property dev, etc.
Top 8 - Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay with RM10.3 billion - utilities, property dev, cement, IT, etc.
Top 9 - Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam with RM6.7 billion - port operators
Top 10 - Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-bukhary with RM4.9 billion - Flour, rice, mining, O&G, port operators, logistics, car manufacturer, utilities, construction,etc. (mostly govt link companies)

Overall, the top 10 richest men encompass 7 Chinese including the top three, 2 Indians and 1 Malay. The youngest is 65 years old, Syed Mokthar in 10th place, and oldest is Robert, 94. With Malaysia's politics and current situation, I do not see the young generation can come up so soon. But there's always a chance, we will see.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Chinese New Year Catch-up

I’m having vacation in my hometown for Chinese New Year for the past 10 days. I have plenty of time to catch up with relatives, ex-classmates and friends. Time flies, it comes to an end for my long break and will need to go back to work by tomorrow.

I have attended more than 10 catch-up sessions, and mostly talked about the following topics, repeatedly:
1.       How’s other ex-classmates doing
2.       Where is pretty / handsome ex-classmate now and who are they married to?
3.       Who is the most successful person among the ex-classmates?
4.       How to make more money? What to invest in this difficult situation?
5.       Are you married? How many kids to you have?
6.       Have you bought a house? Where?
7.       Who divorced? Involved into accident, in newspapers?
8.       What’s the near future plan?

In fact, most of us did not change much, except the body shape and the faces are getting more matured.

There’s one thing I found interesting. Most of the ex-classmates who were good in studies, they are working for others and under multi-national companies. Some of the notorious ex-classmates, they started their own businesses, and it seems they are now makes more money than those had outstanding exam results. It’s worth to think about why.

Another interesting thing I found out. Those having good looking / pretty, most of them got married. But those not so competitive (not from financial perspective), some of them still available right now.

And finally, about 20-30% of ex-classmates have settled down in other cities, majority staying in Australia, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Perhaps they can make a lot more money there, and found their spouses there as well.

It is interesting to catch up with ex-classmates and old friends at least once a year, to get to know what, how and where are we doing. Life is short, human are born to be communicated, if you are able to speak and listen.

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