28 November 2011

5 Things to Consider before Marriage

Do you noticed that many people are getting married lately? How many wedding invitations have you received this year? Or, are you planning to form your own family now? Yes. I had 4 wedding dinners to attend to next month. Good month indeed?

During good times, many couples decided to tied their knot as they feel that their situation became better, especially financially. Not only Government may consider to hold general election, love birds are joining the bandwagon due to the feel good factor. When consumer confidence is rising, people tends to spend and hold events or celebrations. All of this involves money. Marriage, depending on how grand you want it to be, can be very costly. What an interesting topic to discuss here!!!

First, I must congratulates those love birds. But, we must be realistic that there is some issues that must be dealt with differently before and after marriage. What are they?

What kind of Lifestyle?

25 November 2011

Why GOLD is a different asset class?

Today, gold is becoming an ever important asset class in the world. Banks nationwide is offering investors the opportunity to invest in gold, whether it is for capital preservation or capital gain. How well you diversify without investing in gold? This is the question being asked by those already investing in gold, and most of them already making profit out of it. But, is it really so different? Is it really a must have asset class?

History of Gold
Gold has been used for numerous monetary functions long long time ago, especially in China. Ancient people used gold as a form of currency and storage of wealth. By using gold as a medium to which paper currency was pegged, most modern international monetary systems were created since then.

What drives up Gold price?

23 November 2011

New IPO: Pavilion REIT

Are you bored of the current small market capitalization of REITs in Malaysia? I think Sunway REIT (the largest REIT right now) is by far sitting there very lonely without anyone closer to it. Come 7th December 2011, we will witnessed a new contender - Pavilion REIT, to challenge the title. Although it may started-off in 2nd place, the new REIT may grows to clinch the first place from SunREIT. Below is some info taken from RHB Research report on the IPO;

Pavilion REIT (PavREIT) has an asset size of RM3.5bn, just after the largest MREIT - Sunway REIT’s RM4.5bn. PavREIT has two assets – Pavilion KL Mall which is worth RM3.4bn and Pavilion Tower (office) RM128m.

The Prime Asset

20 November 2011

Property prices to Come Down after BNM's latest guidelines? (Nov 2011)

Like it or not, Bank Negara Malaysia announced that effective 1 Jan 2012, financial institutions must make appropriate enquiries into a prospective borrower's income after statutory eductions for tax and EPF, and consider all debt obligations, in assessing affordability.

Aimed at promoting prudent, responsible and transparent retail financing practices, the new guidelines require financial institutions to make assessments of a borrower's ability to afford financing facilities based on a prudent debt service ratio as inputs to their credit decisions.

On top of that, a new guideline was stipulated that the maximum tenure for vehicle financing should not exceed 9 years, with immediate effect (18 November 2011). Right now, there are only 2 banks which offers vehicle financing up to 11 years, and less than 2% of car buyers now opted for tenures beyond 9 years. The changes was neglect-able.

Are you an Informed Borrower?

19 November 2011

Key Highlights of BNM 3Q11 Report

Titled as "ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL DEVELOPMENTS IN MALAYSIA IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2011", Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) review some interesting facts on the status of our economy and the market outlook going forward. The announcement was chaired by Central Bank's governor to address the media after the closing of Bursa Malaysia.

Growth improved in the third quarter

17 November 2011

5 Reasons Why Malaysians Overspend to stay TrenDy?

This is a timely posts to answer the "hot-debate" on TheStar article saying that "Malaysians spend to stay trendy". How much does a young adults earning? Being trendy is very costly because all the luxury brands are expensive. How about techno-trendy? How are you going to chase after the fast changing technology gadgets? Please take note that you are still a young adults, new to workforce, and have a long way to go in the future. Without saving, how are you going to live?

No wonder 60% of Malaysians young adults were in debts, and they overspend by average 15% of their salary. Example, Eric earn RM2,500 and he spend RM2,875. After cracking our head, Finance Malaysia comes with the following 5 Reasons to explain the main contributing factors:

1. Lacks of Self Discipline.

16 November 2011

New Fund: PB Growth Sequel Fund

Public Bank is launching a new fund, PB Growth Sequel Fund (PBGSQF) on 15 November 2011. PBGSQF is an equity fund that invests in a diversified portfolio of primarily Malaysian equities to achieve capital growth over the medium- to long-term period. PBGSQF is managed by Public Bank’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Mutual.

Fund Specific Benefits
PBGSQF provides investors the opportunity to participate in the medium- to long term growth potential of the equity market through investments in a diversified portfolio of  index-linked companies, blue chip stocks and companies with healthy growth prospects that are listed on Bursa Securities.

PBGSQF will invest in companies with reasonable earnings growth prospect over the medium- to long-term to maximize the growth potential of the fund. Some of the sectors that the fund would focus on include financial, communications, industrial and consumer sectors.

What is the Asset Allocation?

11 November 2011

Budget 2012: Another interesting debate --- RPGT

Property prices had been skyrocketing since 2009, creating more millionaires in Malaysia. The key factors behind the increasing properties prices were low interest-rate environment, attractive housing loan packages and ample of liquidity in financial system. These had prompt investors ,and general public too, to invest into properties searching for better return among all the investment instruments. Oppss... Favorable Real Property Gain Tax (RPGT) is one of the factor too.

While creating millionaires, many middle and low income groups are facing difficulties to come out the higher capital required to purchase their homes. Genuine buyers, who are first-time house buyers, were being forced to delay their buying and ended up renting. This will resulted in widening wealth gaps between Malaysians. As such, government had proposed to increase the quantum of RPGT to counter the potential socioeconomic backlash. (see attachment)

Curbing speculations?

06 November 2011

Failed PPSMI: What is the impact to our Economy?

Yes. Another U-turn from our government. This is called my beloved Malaysia. But, this time it involve our students (innocent future voters) who had to bear the uncertainties between studying Science and Maths in English and Bahasa Malaysia (BM). The new education policy was mooted by then Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir in 2003 in order to raise our competitiveness especially in Science matters.

However, everything can be changed and the government said that it had abolished the teaching of Science and Maths in English (PPSMI) citing poor command of English language deter students from excelling in these two subjects. And, the education ministries said that they already consulted all the schools nationwide, and concluded that majority of them doesn't want to continue with PPSMI for the benefits of students.

Why PPSMI failed in Malaysia?