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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Property investment strategies in the next 6 months

Lessons from my property role model, Renesial Leong, that we may already know, but it's good to remind ourselves now and again so that we can reach our financial goals.
1. Get your personal credit in good shape so that you are able to capitalize on opportunities should they arise.
2. Spend less, invest more - you need to build up seed money. So hold back before you buy that LV bag!
3. Avoid speculating on property with money you can't afford to lose - if you are buying to sell, don't risk it if you cannot hold.
4. Now is a good time for 1st time home buyers - mortgage rates are still low, high margin of financing and up to RM10,000 deduction on home loan interest rates for 3 consecutive years (for home purchased between 10 Mar 2009 - 31 Dec 2010)
5. Be extra careful with cashflow - factor in vacancies for 1-2 months, because it is a tenants' market right now - meaning that they have a lot of choices to rent from.
6. Be aware of upcoming mega projects. I for one, was amazed by the number of mega projects that is happening in KL city that will transform the KL skyline forever. KL International Financial District, Sime Darby Vision Valley, Sg Besi RMAF transformation, just to name a few. And I thought there was no more room for development in KL!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wealth Summit

Saturday morning, when other people are spending time at home with family, Sara and I went to attend Mastery Asia's Wealth Summit.
It was a charity event where one paid RM100 to attend (because Swiss Garden has sponsored the venue) and RM80 goes to National Kidney Foundation. I think it is great because 4 gurus in their own fields took their time about 1-2 hours each to share what they know about their fields. Of course they will also share with you their intensive upcoming workshops.
I wanted to attend because I wanted to listen to Renesial Leong's property investment strategies for the next 6 months, and I dragged Sara along because she was just starting out as a real estate negotiator and I wanted to encourage her by making her see the value in property investments. At the same time we both learnt something new and we are glad that the session actually raised RM15k for the NKF. Sara was so impressed with Renesial, she bought her book "Your Tenants, Your Jewels".
The other speakers of other fields were very impressive as well, and I learnt other strategies of making money work for you.
The founder of Mastery, KC See, mentioned at the end of the session that he will conduct another Wealth Summit at the end of the year, but on different topics. That's because he wants to raise enough money to get to RM50k which is the price of a dialysis machine.
I am thankful for people like him, doing their bit for charity and also teaching us. All of us aspiring investors should strive to be like them, doing their bit for the society when they already have enough for themselves, to make the world a better place.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stamping the Tenancy Agreement

As today is a Selangor public holiday, I finally dragged my feet to do the tenancy agreement stamping for my rental apartment in Cyberjaya.
I went to the LHDN office at Jalan Duta at 9am. I learnt that there were 2 blue forms and 1 white form to fill for each room tenancy. So altogether I was filling in 9 pieces of paper which took quite a while. Then I took the number to wait for my turn. The officer checked the documents and calculated the stamp duty rate.
And I learnt a lesson, stamping must be done within 30 days from the date of the agreement, otherwise one is liable to pay a fine. And needless to say, I got fined. As there are 3 room agreements, I was fined 3 times because I was late by maybe 10 days. And not only that, due to the fine I had to send the original agreements for endorsement. I was told to come back for collection on Monday 2pm. I only took back the copies.
But I was still thankful that the whole affair was simple and easy, and I learnt something new which I will be mindful of the next time I rent out another property.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

White Rhino

Yesterday night I asked Yuan to watch her sister while I took a bath. Baby Xin was happily playing in her cot, but just in case she cried, I asked Yuan to entertain her for a while until I get out.
When I came out, Baby Xin was still happily playing, while Yuan was happily making a bracelet from a burst long balloon. And then she showed me the magna doodle that I've hung on baby's cot.
She has written a label for the cot.
It says "White rhinoceros. Please feed her." The picture of the animal she had drawn looked more like a cat than a white rhino. My baby had suddenly become a white rhino in a zoo pen.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

Sometimes I get too much pressure from work especially when I do so much, but the results are not satisfying. It is very funny, my boss knows I am trying my best and that I do everything possible, but still when it comes to the numbers game, numbers are the factor that makes the world go round.

These few weeks I have been toying with the idea of quitting my job by next year. I begin to imagine the things I can do if I am not working next year.

Actually not everything is bad, but somehow when things are not in the best shape, one will begin to focus on the negative things.

So I am thankful that yesterday I come across this blog entry about keeping a gratitude journal. In fact, this blog is my gratitude journal, when I started it I just want to record the positive, happy things, my blessings. It is a record of my kesyukuran (gratitude) for all the good things I have and good people that I meet.

I have not been as frequent as before in updating this blog as I have been bogged down with work. But I am glad now to be reminded, I must make an effort to focus and record all the things that I am thankful for. When I focus on the positive, I feel so much better, all the small things become insignificant, and I can look at the bigger picture.

Photo above is an art project, drawn by Wei when he was 5 years old, 2006.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Work From Home Option

I am grateful that my company introduced a work from home option to office-based employees once a week. Today is the first day that I have made that happen successfully.

To be fair to the company, whenever an employee works from home, he/she must adhere to 2 criteria:

1. Be fully contactable via phone, email and sametime at the stipulated normal working hours of the day.

2. Be able to come back to office or meet customers when needed.

It's almost like working from office, only that on this day, home is the office.

The only difference is I get to see my baby daughter awake in the morning for a bit longer before she goes to her babysitter. And I get to have lunch normally with my family members. And I don't need to get stuck in the traffic jam commuting to and from work.

It's also nice to be sitting in my "home office" in a t-shirt and not having to dress up for work ;-)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Unifi - Internet installation completed at The Domain

Wednesday morning, the TM contractors came as promised. The installation took less than 2 hours, the only problem being they had to buy a longer telephone line to connect the modem to the telephone port. The design of the apartment is weird, the telephone port is not located close to the power socket, so you'll either have to extend the telephone line, or use an extension cable for the power supply.
The whole package came with a free cordless phone (Panasonic), a free TV decoder (for internet TV with 21 channels) and a free modem. I checked the tv programs, it has some Australian channels, some Chinese channels, BBC Travel and BBC Life etc. A good free alternative if you do not want to subscribe to cable tv.
Besides that, I also got my free streamyx zone password, now I could use the wireless internet at any streamyx hotspotz.
I tried out the wireless internet on my computer after the installation, it was really fast. The contractors told me that this system is more stable than streamyx. Unifi is a great idea if you don't mind paying more than streamyx.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Baby Xin and her Punjabi suit

This Punjabi suit is a gift from Baby Xin's nanny, who came back from a holiday trip in India. She is a darling woman who not only bought the suit, but also got a tailor to fit the trousers and modify it so that it is somewhat more fitting. The trousers are still long and needs to be bunched up now, but that's ok, I would want her to be able to wear when she is a few months older.
My baby looks like an Indian princess here.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hurray for Unifi!

After calling TM again to chase for my streamyx application on the Friday of last week, I was told that I had to wait 3 working days before they can give me an answer as they are searching for solutions. So I waited until Wednesday, but still no news from them. So I called them again on Thursday. The response was the same, there are no more ports and I am on waiting list.
My tenants are desperate for internet access, especially the student who has to do assignments. So I asked the TM 100 teleoperator what other alternatives she could suggest, since TM had no idea how long I have to wait. She said there are no suggestions, I can cancel the application if I want.
So I decided to apply from some other service provider. From the email that Anie forwarded to me from the streamyx reseller, I saw that the reseller suggested that there is a new product called Unifi. I did not know what it was or who it was from, so I visited the website.
To my surprise, it is also from TM! This one is using fibre optic cables (unlike streamyx which is using copper optic cables). There are 3 packages, VIP5, 10 or 20. VIP 5 is the cheapest at 5MB, RM149 per month.
This was even better than what my tenants wanted. Initially they wanted me to apply for the 4MB streamyx service, with each of them prepared to fork out RM50 each. And the best part is, the Unifi teleoperator checked that the service is available now at The Domain, and I don't have to wait for ports. Immediately I made an application over the phone, and everything was settled there and then. When she called me back 30 mins later, I've got my telephone number and an appointment for the TM contractors to install next Wednesday morning.
What I don't understand is, doesn't TM streamyx and TM Unifi talk to each other? How dumb can the TM 100 service be, with no alternatives offered at all? Even at TM Point this was never mentioned.
To those of you with internet port problem like me, check out this website: http://www.unifi.my/