Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Retire 55 or 60 ?

Now even the star has written article to support the idea to postpone retirement age from 55 to 60.  It brought up a few points that seem inevitable but . . .

every sensible personal finance guy would feel something has gone wrong somewhere.
The fact remains that retiring at 55 in today's world seems a waste. The mortality age for Malaysians has risen
Since when the definition of wastage of my retirement is up to anyone else to say ?  I may live longer and what is that got to do with you holding my money longer than you have promised before ?

In the advancement of personal finance world, we are talking about retiring at 40's.  Since when retiring later become a good thing ?
The retirement age in Indonesia and Thailand is 60 
No one stop you to migrate there.  But right now the hot thing going is 1 Malaysia where all we talked about is how much we love our own land bla bla bla.
A longer life based on a finite and short working career certainly would put a strain on the finances of many a retiree.
and therefore we don't give them money at the time when they are suppose to be ?  Since when delaying giving money can help a financially strain guy ?
 73% of contributors have less than RM50,000 saved
So most of us are poor, and you want to solve it by NOT giving us our own money ?
the more workers a country retains as the population ages the more the benefit to the economy
Yes, wisdom and experience are invaluable.  What has that got to do with delaying paying us our money ?  All the wise old men never stop doing something anyway through out their whole life.
Based on life cycle hypotheses, people tend to spend more during the early age of their careers and save more as retirement approaches.
I am sure he just cook that sucker hypotheses up when he was drunk written that article.  People who have gone through most parts of their any life cycles knows that singles tends to save more (30-50%) than later years of loans, family and kids etc.  The middle income trap ( rat race ) clearly says that the more we earn, the less we have.
Now that they know retirement is postponed for five more years at least, those people who might be thinking of building a nest egg have the opportunity to spend.  Spending more now will certainly be a boost to domestic consumption which is a main driver of growth.

Can you believe what he has just said ?  Take away my money and I can spend more !  OMG .... WTH is this sh!T ?
it will be illogical to have separate retirement ages for the public and private sectors.
Since when it is logical to make them the same ?  What is the difference between them then ?
other benefits the Government can save on such as healthcare bills
Huh ?  People who continue working has no healthcare or people who retire has no healthcare ?  Are you suggesting another bigger problem here ?
Young people who might be worried about not moving up the ladder or getting a job should not.
What has that got to do with not paying the old people the money they were promised ?  Old people don't get paid and young people should be happy !?!?
remove all unproductive workers, you can bet others will emerge at later years. It's best that talent management is exercised to ensure such workers are minimised at all times.
Why hasn't EPF office exercise talent managment then ?

====

Change the guideline all you want since we voted you to have the power to do so.  But all the folks who were promised for the past 54 years to be paid out at age 55 before should continue be honour so.  Changing this payout age to 60 should only affect NEW work force.  All existing to-be-retire however can have the option to follow your new guideline.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fundsupermart October Seminars 2011 - Value Investing

Market is down, many people are sad but how about you ? Have some extra money at hand ? Looking for opportunity to invest ? Even you don't have cash but do you know you can invest into mutual fund with your EPF ?  Fundsupermart says its time to go in because the price is below the value now - buy low now !


 ... read here for their October FREE seminars, 1 Oct in KL and 8 Oct in Penang.  Prepare your EPF statements ( print for FREE from EPF office or login online ) ... They are going to whack your EPF hard that day :)

You can also use your EPF $ to invest into stocks market but you may want to check out this article first.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Warren Buffet 6 billions strategy ?

Follow up on a concern if Warren Buffet's era may come to an end soon posted in August 2011, the figures are now out and considered as 'correct' as calculated by Forbes ...

Steven who works in Forbes has calculated that Warren Buffet is officially the BIGGEST MONEY LOSER, at an amount of USD 6 billions.  But this is not the first time Warren Buffet going through this kind of challenge.  He has always come back up stronger for the past 8 times but can he makes it again this round ?

There are 2 key distinct differences in his challenges today.

  1. His age : Warren has come to a stage that he would give everything he has, back to the country or people he loves truly.  Business ( Berkshire Hathaway ) is surely something he hold on to very strongly but NOT necessary to all the investors themselves.  If one day he realizes 'most' of the investors in his business is no longer 'his investors' like last time, he may just pull the plug.  After all, as far as his business is concerned, a successor plan is already in place.
  2. When USA gets into trouble by its own doing in the past, everyone forgive him because he is the  ONLY entity who can fix the situation.  There were NO ONE ELSE we could keep our hopes on except USA itself.  Hence, we always go back and work with USA politely.  Today, although still without an apparent replacement for such a giant over the centuries ... but there are clear candidates for many to put their hopes onto.  Hence, almost no one is expecting USA to fix anything today, not even their own citizen.  This ... is also something that hasn't happen in the past, at least not to this scale.

Having said all that, my bet is that Warren will come back up stronger than ever because
  1. Today's indicators shows that whoever already in the market and want to continue to stay in the market would need a staying power of about 1.5 years.  BH has no problem with this requirement because of their low operation cost.
  2. Warren doesn't really love anyone else more than BH.  But as indicated above, Warren doesn't love his investors as much as he used to, simply because his today's investors are rather different now.
  3. Warren needed a good bye event . . . well, to say good bye.  And this is NOT it !

Google Apps highlights – 9/23/2011

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

It’s back-to-school season, and we’ve made Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar and Sites easier to use and more powerful for students and non-students alike—including some important accessibility improvements to help blind users be productive in our apps.

Multiple sign-in and other new preferences in Gmail for mobile
On Wednesday, we added some helpful new features for people who use Gmail on a mobile browser. You can now sign in to more than one Gmail account at a time, and toggle between them easily from the account switcher menu at the bottom of the mobile inbox. This can be a good time saver if you have multiple accounts or share a mobile device with family members. Gmail for mobile also now enables you to set up mobile-specific email signatures and create vacation responders right from your phone to let people know when you won't be available by email.




Calling credit auto-recharge
Now you can automatically add international calling credits for phone calls in Gmail when your balance gets low. Just visit the "Billing" area of the Google Voice settings page and click "Add credit" to put your account on cruise control.




Allow people to comment but not edit in documents
Sometimes, you might find yourself in situations when you’d like to share a document for feedback, but don’t want to make the document's content fully editable. The comment-only level of access launched last week is a nice option for these scenarios. You can let others discuss and add their thoughts to your document—without allowing them to change your work. You can allow document comments from specific individuals or groups, from anyone belonging your organization or from the general public.




Format painter, Fusion Tables, drag & drop images and vertical cell merge
Comment-only access isn't all that we've added to Google Docs over the last few weeks. Other notable improvements include a text format painter in documents, which is a fast way to copy and paste font, size, color and other text styling. Spreadsheets now support vertically merged cells (in addition to horizontal merges). In drawings, you can drag images from your desktop to the drawing canvas, then continue editing your graphic. We also added Fusion Tables as a new document type in the documents list. Fusion Tables are a powerful way to gather, visualize and collaborate on large data sets that might be unwieldy in a typical spreadsheet.




Fusion Table data visualized on an interactive map


Accessibility improvements in Google Calendar, Docs and Sites
We think technology can do a better job getting out of people’s way and helping you be more productive with less complexity and fewer frustrations. In this spirit, we’ve recently made a series of improvements to make our applications more accessible to blind users. We have more work to do, but Google Calendar, Docs and Sites now offer better support for screen readers and improved keyboard shortcuts. We hope these changes make our applications more useful to all users.

Who’s gone Google?
Organizations are moving to Google Apps for a diverse set of reasons—including cost savings, streamlined teamwork and better mobile access. We’ve even started hearing from schools and businesses who have made the switch to reduce their impact on the environment. No two organizations choose Google Apps for the exact same reasons, but in total, the momentum of Google Apps keeps growing.

We recently shared the news that 61 of the top 100 universities ranked by U.S. News and World Report have gone Google. On the business side, there are now more than 4 million companies using Google Apps, and businesses are joining at a rate of over 5,000 per day. In all, there are more than 40 million users that regularly use Google Apps in their organizations.

I hope these product updates and customer stories help you and your organization get even more from Google Apps. For more details and the latest news, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Answers to the 8 toughest retirement decisions

Investopedia has brought up the 8 toughest retirement decisions and here MalPF shares her answers

Q: When to retire ?
A: You can retire ANY TIME by adjusting your lifestyle vs your saving.  Retirement is NOT defined by your country or your financial advisor.  It is an 'action' you can take any time to stop working.

Q: When to withdraw retirement money ?
A: If you Social Security/EPF is generating lower return than your saving/investment, then withdraw them.

Q: Where to live ?
A: Live where you are now, you can move any time you want later.

Q: To continue working or not ?
A: Work on whatever you like.  It should have been that way anyway even before you retire.

Q: Sell the house or not ?
A: If the offer is good or cannot afford repayment anymore, sell it !

Q: How to deal with IRA ?
A: Just follow the rules, minimize the penalty if any.

Q: How to manage investment portfolio ?
A: As is.  You don't just happen to retire suddenly.  How you manage your portfolio before is how you may most probably continue to manage it that way, with some continuous improvement along the way.

Q: How to budget ?
A: If you haven't managed your budget by then, you probably will never be.

Friday, September 16, 2011

reply to PM asking for more money

the news: Malaysia is destined to double its income in the next 9 years.  In order to achieve that, the "domestic" folks must fork out MYR 94 billions a year until year 2020.  But in 2011, we are behind schedule with only MYR 27 billions domestic direct investment so far. . . .  so the prime minister asked us to invest more locally.

Dear boss,

I would love to invest into my own land and I also want to double my income.  In order to achieve that, each of my investment . . . well, must turn into a 200% income generator.  Which of our projects is generating this kind of return ?

Bakun Dam ?
Putrajaya ? Cyberjaya ?
Greater KL MRT ?  *
SMART tunnel ?
Penang / Singapore Bridges ?
Iskandar Malaysia ?
Karambunai Sabah ? *
100 storey tower ?

Do let me know as I wasn't aware of such a great domestic investment opportunity before.

However, if you just need donation, then just say so lah.  I will still give one ...

Love,
MalPF.com 



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Can you see the REAL reason behind today's economy crisis ?

Sub Prime crisis is not new now, most people would know why it happens, this is just another video about it.  But I am just curious how many of us can answer this question ...

First watch this video if you don't know why sub prime crisis happen ( the reason that triggers today world economy collapse ! )



In short, it says ...

  • home owner buy a $100k house but has no money
  • home owner borrow money from lender by mortgaging the house to the lender
  • home owner has to pay $200k to the lender in 30 years
  • investment banker get loan and buy the mortgage from the lender for $220k
  • investment banker turns the mortgages into another finance tool
  • investment banker sell this finance tool to investors
  • investors get good returns
  • investment banker receive money from investors and home owner, pay his loan and still earn
  • if home owner default in payment, investment banker take the house, resell to another home owner
  • cycle continues, almost everyone earns except the defaulters, which is really their own faults.
Now, the video says the turning point is when we start to sell the house to the sub-prime home owners, which are the people who are less rich and most likely unable to repay their debts.  But what do you think ? What has really gone wrong in this cycle ?

Understand this truly may open our eyes to recognize the fact that not only properties, but almost everywhere in today's finance ecology, similar 'time bombs' are being created and rebuilt every single day.

What do you think has really gone wrong in above point by point list of narration ?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

GST : What can we do ?

Some said GST is good, some not.  The myth how we pay less tax and yet government can earn more money has already been answered.  But GST is coming regardless, so what can we do ?  If you haven't related the answer from "the prefect world" article yet, then may be this article may help ...




Everyone who wants to adapt to GST need to produce REAL values to the people by large around his society.

In business we will need to sell something that people really need instead of just manipulating and deceiving the market.  When you provide what people really need, GST actually helps you reduce cost, hence your profit goes up without even raising your selling price.  If you are too creative in what you are selling, you will have to increase your price to keep what you are earning now when GST comes.  You will have to harvest more money from the public without giving them any extra values.  You just provide value with the few parties you make deal with, just like the primary school friend of the fisherman story.

In addition to that, you should create your own merchandise or at least shorten the distribution channel as much as possible ie. import the goods yourself.  Before GST, importing the goods yourself may mean extra profits but with GST in place, importing directly is essential for survival.  The best is to 'produce' your own goods.  For example, I buy seeds and soil to grow my own papaya which is extra juicy naturally.  The seeds and soil may be the same as all my competitors but 'the way' I grow my papaya is unique.  If general public like that, I have created value directly.  GST will be in favour of me in this case.  This is significantly different than the typical trading business ie. I bought a papaya from central market and sell it in my village.

If you are just having a job, then there is less you can do to combat with GST.  In short, GST will still drive inflation up and your 'saving' will have a higher return target (saving return should be higher than inflation).  If you don't think your next few years job earning can increase 4-6% annually, then this is the time you seriously think what real values you can produce for the people around you;  be it still within the job market or starting your own business.

If all of us are creating values for each other, implementation of GST will be in favour of us.  We should all seriously think about that and start making something of our own be it making cloth, growing food, making shelters or transport.

Creating a self sustain eco system within yourself will seal yourself from any negative effect of GST.  This can be done in a small way, ie, within your families, friends or just neighbours and villages.


Consuming wise, if you see price hike due to GST without any additional values, you should now very well aware that it is because that business is NOT well managed or there are some cronyism within that business.

So what value are you going to add to your community to seal yourself from GST ?  Or will you just sit through complaining about this one as well ?

This article was suppose to be read in this sequence.




Friday, September 9, 2011

Interview : Self


Questions
  1. Tell us a bit about your childhood and how it affects your today's practice on personal finance ?
    There was once I was slapped real hard until my whole body fly toward the wall, so till now one of my ears is half deaf.  I learned that not everything can be undone.  We have to be careful not to let our emotion/feeling drive us over the edge.  Which turns out to be a very valuable blue print in my stock investment.
    Since teenage I was influenced to save in mutual fund.  That has helped me survive through my varies business cycles 20+ years later.  DCA does work especially when we just get started.
    During the first year of my high school, a classmate helped save a fire.  Then a broken electric cable fell upon his body and he died.  I learned that sometimes life is bigger than ourselves.  So I knew since young personal finance is never about the money, its about what we want in life.
    His father was an illegal immigrant but we never felt any indifference.  I also learn that all being in universe always share some similarities while each one of us is unique.  Same goes to PF, you can think and do whatever you want but at the end, we are most probably going through a similar path.
  2. Answer this question without checking or asking for references : If you can remember, what is your Zodiac and Astrology signs ?
    Rat Aquarius.
  3. What are the things you like to do during your free time, ie. your hobbies ? And what do you most dislike about ?
    I like to find those impossible to solve challenges and then think, strategies and plan around them during my silent time.  I used to jog, basketball and badminton a lot.  But now I just walk wherever less than 5km and cycle wherever within 25km.
    I don't like myself when I think I am prefect - there is nothing else to live for !?
  4. What is your favorite colors and numbers ? Any most dislikes ?
    red, black, white.  I like 7.  I like dull color less, like my 10 years old over worn shirts.
  5. What is your favorite food ? What do you hate most ?
    tomyam, laksa, curry, salmon shashimi, beef noodle, lamb shank ... OMG !  Why did you get me started ?
    I don't like monkey brain may be !?  Never try before . . .
  6. If you can meet a person dead or alive, who would that be ? What would you ask him ?
    Mahathir : Deep down inside, do you really think current corruption status has absolutely nothing to do with what you have done or not done in the past ?
  7. What is the best and worst feeling you have ever had ?
    I feel excellent when the person I love most trust me fully without any doubt, appreciate my existence and companion.
    I am in hell when she felt the other way.
  8. What is the last thing you do before go to sleep ?
    I structure an unsolved question of the day to my mind and let my dream solve it.
  9. What is the first thing you do when you wake up ?
    What do I have to do today ?
  10. If you were to build a personal finance portfolio for a young man who has similar life path as yours, what will it be ?
    Build a portfolio according to malpf.com and then assign the right person to manage it.
  11. You met someone in a social party, describe what you do in 2 to 3 sentences.
    I turn your money from 1 to 2 in a way that you can accept it, personally or business wise.
  12. If you are not doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing ?
    A philosopher, a monk, robin hood, a cruel or loving king . . . all seems possible.
  13. How much time do you spend on your personal finance blog ?
    Averagely a couple hours a week I suppose except recently less active.
  14. What is the main objective of your blog, is it initially profit oriented and who are your targeted blog readers ?
    My objective is to share a side of personal finance story that I haven't found else where within the same blogsphere.  It is still NOT profit oriented.  I target to those who has the time to read through the whole article which is tough because most internet browsers just spend minutes on one article.  I don't know any other more suitable venue or medium yet.
  15. What is the biggest achievement your blog so far ?
    I left it for 2 years and it is still running ?  That is a big wow to me despite the low readership.  I guess at the end, content decides how far to drive a site !?
  16. Tell us one URL other than your own that your readers should read about ?
  17. How many more years do you think your blog will exist for and how do you plan to finance your blog forever if planned to at all ?
    malpf.com may die when I forget to renew the domain.
    malaysiaPersonalFinance.blogspot.com should live as long as Google lives which should be at least another 10 years ?  :)
    A trust deed (self growing fund) has been setup to keep it running but the mechanism of how to keep it running forever has not be exactly determined yet.  Eventually I also need to change the trustee to someone who really care about the topics I wrote about.
  18. The world is big, many people have different point of views and emotions. If you met someone who called you geek, liar, cheaters because you yourself didn't do what you preach, how would you handle them ?
    Sit down and listen to what his view point is.  Understand the true cause and motive behind it.  Then acknowledge him and assure him there are other people who think and feel like him too despite most of my readers are on the other side of the fence.  At last ask him how he would improve the situation if he were me.
    There is always something we can learn from, even the worst enemy ever or an ass hole.
  19. What do you think about these interview questions and how this interview session can be improved ?
    Nothing can replace a face to face interview.
  20. Would you be interested to meet other finance bloggers in person ? If yes
  • Do you smoke ?  No
  • Do you drink liquor socially ? Yes
  • Are you a coffee lover ? Yes
  • Where do you stay and work ? ( Country, State, Region etc.)  Malaysia KL

Thursday, September 8, 2011

5 Tips For Keyword Reseach

It’s no secret that keyword research is probably the most important aspect of getting organic search engine traffic. Without the proper keyword research, you could be targeting keywords that don’t get very much traffic or ones that won’t get ranked well in the search engines.

We all know that getting on to the first page of Google, preferably within the top 3 spots, is the best way to grab the bulk of the traffic. But, there is a key part of keyword research that must be done in order to determine if you can, indeed, rank in the top 3 – and most people fail to do it!

I’m talking about evaluating your competition – a step that is critical to your success and one, if ignored, could cause you to waste a lot of time going for the wrong keywords. Here are the 5 things to look at when evaluating the top 10 sites in Google:

1. Page Rank
While Page Rank per se is not an indicator of a top ranking it does show you how “important” google thinks those competing pages are. Do all the pages you are competing with have a high PR? Can you match that? If not then you might want to reconsider your keyword.

If the top 10 is filled with PR6 pages, you might want to move on, but if there are several PR3 or below than you can probably wedge your way in. Sometimes those top PR pages aren’t optimized for the keyword and you can beat them out by getting better backlinks and doing better onpage SEO.

2. Intention
Are the other sites targeting your keyword phrase? Do they have it in the title, the url, an image and sprinkled throughout the content? A lot of times Google can’t find good matches for keywords and find the best thing it can. If this is the case with your phrase then you can out SEO for those sites and sail to the top.

For the pages that are optimizing for your keyword phrase, you can assume they have done the proper keyword research and maybe formidable opponents. You must take a good look at them and figure out if you can beat them by optimizing better or getting better backlinks.

3. Domain Age
Domain age can be a factor in determining which site should come out on top for each keyword phrase. After all, domain age cannot be faked or gamed so an older domain can have some clout.

That being said, it depends on the overall niche the domain is in. I’ve seen some really old domains rank for terms that really weren’t what they were focusing on only because there was simply no one better. So, while you should take the age of the domains on page1 into account, you have to weight this with the other factors for each page and doing SEO on page.

4. Number Of Back Links
For any new keyword you want to target, you should have a back link campaign in mind so looking at the number of back links that your competitors have is critical. If they all have way more back links than you could ever hope to get, then you might want to reconsider. Then again, the amount of back links isn’t nearly as important as the quality of those links.

Also, you want to look at the back links to the actual page that you will be competing with, not the domain. I don’t mean to ignore how many links the domain has entirely because this can be a factor in the ranking as a lot of good quality links could signify that Google perceives it as an authority. But mostly, you should just look at the back links to the actual page you will be competing with.

5. Quality Of Back Links
This is another critical piece of the whole keyword research puzzle that a lot of people ignore. It’s not enough to just count the number of back links a page has – you have to evaluate the quality of those links. You see, a page could have 5000 links to it, but if they are all form PR0 pages on PR0 domains and many are reciprocal or nofollow then they will have little influence over rankings.

The types of back links that you want to be on the lookout for are those that have the keyword phrase as the anchor text, ones that are dofollow and ones that are from pages that have PR or pages on domains that have a high PR. These types of links will have a direct influence over how high Google ranks the page for your keyword phrase so you need to be able to get more of the same types of links to beat your competitor.

Doing keyword research properly can be a time consuming and daunting task. However, it is well worth the time spent because evaluating your competition properly can show you the keywords that you should focus on to really get that organic traffic as well as highlight the ones that would only be a waste of time.

Ask us your Google Places for business questions

A little more than a year ago, we collected your questions and feedback on Google Places for business via a Google Moderator page. You sent us some great feedback, and we had a blast responding! Check out our video responses here on YouTube, covering things like features of a listing, Report a problem and ranking.

It's important to us to continue hearing your great feedback — and we suspect you've had a lot of questions and ideas throughout the past year — so let's fire up another Moderator page. Starting today and for the next two weeks, you can submit your questions and ideas, as well as vote up other submissions from users. We'll answer some of the more popular questions directly on the page and post a new video or two to the Google Places YouTube channel.

Start sharing your ideas right now, and stay tuned to us here on the Small Business Blog to see a roundup of responses.

Posted by Vanessa Schneider, Google Maps and Places community manager

Interview : Kris - knowthymoney.com


1.    Tell us a bit about your childhood and how it affects your today's practice on personal finance ?
I lead a moderate lifestyle during my childhood. My family is quite frugal and we don’t splurge on branded goods.(nowadays a lot of young people fell into this consumerism trap) Come to think of it, I guess I am fortunate that I did not suffer from any peer pressure during my school days as most of my classmates are quite moderate also even though some of them come from very wealthy families. Until now I don’t really get all the hype of wearing or using highly expensive branded goods just to feel “confident”. Confidence comes from within.
On personal finance perspective, I managed to save quite a high percentage of my salary over my working years. But one thing that my parents never thought me about is the importance of investing to make your money work for you. They are quite conservative investors. Nevertheless, they stressed the importance of education and hard-work to ensure an easy life in the future when I was growing up. One thing to note is that like most old traditional Chinese thinking, they discourages debt taking ,borrowing money to take advantage of the leverage when doing investments or even buying property. Of course too much leverage is hazardous but a good ratio of leverage really does wonders to your total net worth.
2.    Answer this question without checking or asking for references : If you can remember, what is your Zodiac and Astrology signs ?
Aries the so-called fiery ram. LOL..Although I don’t believe in astrological signs.
3.    What are the things you like to do during your free time, ie. your hobbies ? And what do you most dislike about ?
I like to read a lot during my spare time and listening to music while doing so. I dislike cutting my hair as I need to wait there doing nothing.
4.    What is your favorite colors and numbers ? Any most dislikes ?
Favorite color is blue.
5.    What is your favorite food ? What do you hate most ?
I like to eat noodles more than rice dishes.
6.    If you can meet a person dead or alive, who would that be ? What would you ask him ?
I would like to meet my paternal grandfather which I never had the chance to do so. My grandfather who came from China on a boat, without any family members, a few dollars in the pocket and no education manage to become one of the richest businessmen in a small town.(The first family to own a black & white television which is really a luxury item at that time in a small town) He started as an ordinary hawker selling goods on a floating boat to owning a grocery store business, a few shop-lots and plantations. But alas, the wealth preservation did not happen as he sold all the properties and business (no one wanted to continue the family business) when he reached old age and moved to a bigger town; leaving no wealth preservation plan & investments for the next generation. And with no investment, time erodes the family wealth. But luckily, all his children manage to receive good education because our family was one of the few that can afford it.
So if I were able to “go back to the future”, I want to hear his rags to riches story from his own mouth.
7.    What is the best and worst feeling you have ever had ?
Best feeling is to get good academic results in public examination after years of study. Worst feeling is getting diarrhea and food poisoning.
8.    What is the last thing you do before go to sleep ?
Read one of my books.
9.    What is the first thing you do when you wake up ?
Brush my teeth, refresh and get ready for work.
10. If you were to build a personal finance portfolio for a young man who has similar life path as yours, what will it be ?
Generate more passive income while you are still young and have mixed income portfolio consisting of property investments, dividend stocks and mutual funds. And have sufficient insurance and medical coverage to ensure your wealth will be preserved if anything happens. While young, a person must be brave enough to take a lot of calculated risks. (high risk high return kind of game, because you can afford to make mistakes. It is still okay to stumbled on small mistakes, just make sure you learn from it to avoid the big and grave personal finance mistakes) While in old age, one must be concerned on wealth preservation and guaranteed returns.  
At lastly the most important one is to invest oneself in terms of knowledge. Knowledge is power!!!
11. You met someone in a social party, describe what you do in 2 to 3 sentences.
Just say hi and see where we go from there.
12. If you are not doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing ?
I will probably become an academician. A professor perhaps?
13. How much time do you spend on your personal finance blog ?
I read a lot of financial articles online and will blog on related topics that comes into my mind.
14. What is the main objective of your blog, is it initially profit oriented and who are your targeted blog readers ?
The objective of my blog is to encourage more people to share their experiences and knowledge in the personal finance field. There is a lot of more “niche” information that is only available to a small selected group of people. I wish to exposed and share these “niches” to empower the average people through knowledge sharing. There is a lot of hidden pro & cons on certain investment instruments that non-finance related industry people might not know off. (I am from an engineering background myself) . Hence the name of my blog, KnowThyMoney. Know = Knowledge is Power , Thy = Empower yourself through knowledge, Money = Earning more moolah to achieve financial freedom :P
Hence, I always encourage readers to comment on my blog to spur more discussions. Not really sure how to spur this , as I noticed that in general Malaysian readers are only interested to comment on stock pick related posts. (Whether it is a good time to buy stock xyz or not, what is the target price, etc)
Although my blog has Google ads, I don’t make much from it unlike some Malaysian bloggers. I consider it as pocket money if I earn any.
15. What is the biggest achievement your blog so far ?
When I started blogging around 2006, I never expected that I have so much stuff & ideas to blog about on personal finance. (Somehow, I managed to reach around 580 posts as of today.)  
16. Tell us one URL other than your own that your readers should read about ?
http://whereiszemoola.blogspot.com/à Sometimes, I really wonder where he finds the time to do some much research and follow-ups to expose the shenanigans in the stock market. I am curious on his background.
17. How many more years do you think your blog will exist for and how do you plan to finance your blog forever if planned to at all ?
I planned to continue as long as I can. Maybe the number of posts will reduced in the future if I no longer have much time to do so.
18. The world is big, many people have different point of views and emotions. If you met someone who called you geek, liar, cheaters because you yourself didn't do what you preach, how would you handle them ?
I just shrug them off. In this world, there are always people that try to find fault with you regardless of circumstances. So why bother to care their negative opinions.
19. What do you think about these interview questions and how this interview session can be improved ?
I think it is good enough for a starter.

Interview request

Hi,

My name is Michael Tsen. I am a fanatic on personal finance topics. I have been learning and reading personal finance stories since young. In recent years I feel very excited that quite a handful of Personal Finance blog writers are promoting rather interesting and unique point of view that I feel more people should know about. So I thought of an idea to interview the person behind the site. As I like your site a lot, I hope you are kind enough to accept my request to conduct an interview with you.

The interview questions will be slightly uncommon than those 'hello how are you' type of questions. At some instance, some questions may make some people feel uneasy but all questions are strictly professional to bring out the objective - ' to know the person behind the blog '. No personal identification will be sourced other than the blog URL we are interviewing you about. You may choose to 'skip' any question that you do not want to answer and your decision to skip will not be made known.

We will share the joint ownership of this interview script so both parties can publish the content in our respective venues. If you do accept this invitation, please let us know WHEN to send you the list of questionnaires ( 20 questions, free form writing ). We also track the time of the scripts to come back to us as to simulate the actual interview session although it usually take days or weeks.

Thanks and look forward to your favor reply,

Regards,
Michael Tsen
MalPF.com

Interview : Alan Tan


Tell us a bit about your childhood and how it affects your today's practice on personal finance ?
I would say the my personal finance practice is mostly influence by after reading these 2 book i,e  Rich Dad Poor Dad  by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter and Millionaires are from a different Planet by Azizi Ali. It’s a must read book for those who want to take control of their financial life. Ever since, I continue my education via attend investment seminars
Answer this question without checking or asking for references : If you can remember, what is your Zodiac and Astrology signs ?
Pisces & Ox
What are the things you like to do during your free time, ie. your hobbies ? And what do you most dislike about ?
Reading & hiking
What is your favorite colors and numbers ? Any most dislikes ?
I don’t any much preference on this
What is your favorite food ? What do you hate most ?
I do love Spicy foods 
If you can meet a person dead or alive, who would that be ? What would you ask him ?
Abraham Lincoln. What’s your secret of not giving up and to be a great person?

What is the best and worst feeling you have ever had ?
Best feeling-Seeing my CPA Book at MPH Book stores and library. All these while I’ve been buying so many books until have a mini library at home, now others can read and learn what I shared. 
What is the last thing you do before go to sleep ?
Nothing in specify
What is the first thing you do when you wake up ?
Drink a glass of Apple cider juice

If you were to build a personal finance portfolio for a young man who has similar life path as yours, what will it be ?
First invest in yourself by reading books, attending seminar & networking. Seek out for a mentor or role model. Ask help if need to. Always remember that what works for others may not suit you. Even there’s a saying “One man's meat is another man's poison.”. Therefore  you must be able to adapt it in order to apply what you have learned. 
You met someone in a social party, describe what you do in 2 to 3 sentences.
I’m Helping business to close more deals
If you are not doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing ?
Working for others
How much time do you spend on your personal finance blog ?
Average 6 hours a week
What is the main objective of your blog, is it initially profit oriented and who are your targeted blog readers ?
I like to learn about Investing, Making money and personal finance. In another words it’s my passion as well. Every time when I visit a book stores, the first section to be visited is on Finance/Investment. 
The main objective of my blog is to share about what I have learned, share and educate other about importance of personal finance. All this thing is sadly not taught at school even it’s very important in life.
My targeted blog readers are those who share similar interest like me and who is new in personal finance
What is the biggest achievement your blog so far ?
I’m the first Malaysian best selling author that wrote a Wordpress blogging book that teaches people how to blog and make money online in Malaysia. This book expected to hit the bookstores early 2012 . 
Instead of just making friends on Facebook or watching videos on YouTube, wouldn't it be better to spend that time generating online income for yourself, your love ones and your family?
Tell us one URL other than your own that your readers should read about ?
http://kclau.com/ It has a lot of useful information about  personal finance and investment. It also has an interest guest post
How many more years do you think your blog will exist for and how do you plan to finance your blog forever if planned to at all ?
As long as my passion don’t die off. 
Even I don’t have to update my blog so often, it still get constant SEO traffic(from search engine esp Google) daily. Average about 1,000 unique blog visitors daily
The world is big, many people have different point of views and emotions. If you met someone who called you geek, liar, cheaters because you yourself didn't do what you preach, how would you handle them ? 
We can’t control what other want to say. I don’t think can do much. 
What do you think about these interview questions and how this interview session can be improved ? 
fine
Would you be interested to meet other finance bloggers in person ? 
yes
If yes
Do you smoke ? - no
Do you drink liquor socially ? -yes
Are you a coffee lover ? - no
Where do you stay and work ? ( Country, State, Region etc.)- Kuala Lumpur

Interview : Gabe maysfinancial.com


  1. Tell us a bit about your childhood and how it affects your today's practice on personal finance?
My family wasn’t quite poor, but money was tight growing up.  Through those struggles I’ve learned to save and manage money well.  I’ve learned that while money may not necessarily bring happiness, it is important to be able to afford the basics and opportunities for children to help enrich their lives.
  1. Answer this question without checking or asking for references : If you can remember, what is your Zodiac and Astrology signs ?
I’m not really into that stuff, but I think I’m a Libra.
  1. What are the things you like to do during your free time, ie. your hobbies ? And what do you most dislike about?
I enjoy programming, writing, weight lifting, running and hanging out with my wife.
  1. What is your favorite food ? What do you hate most ?
My favorite food is pizza…definitely pizza.
  1. What is the last thing you do before go to sleep ?
Kiss my wife.
  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up ?
Brush my teeth.
  1. If you were to build a personal finance portfolio for a young man who has similar life path as yours, what will it be ?
For a young guy I’d recommend index funds in a Roth IRA.  Easy to manage, but still has control over fund choice and allocation.
  1. You met someone in a social party, describe what you do in 2 to 3 sentences.
I’d talk to them, ask them what they do, tell a few jokes…the usual.
  1. If you are not doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing ?
I’m doing exactly what I want to do, I love my career.
  1. How much time do you spend on your personal finance blog ?
It really depends, anywhere from 5-30hrs per week depending on my schedule and what I’m working on for the site.
  1. What is the main objective of your blog, is it initially profit oriented and who are your targeted blog readers ?
It is not profit oriented, I have no ads on the site and I do not sell anything.  The purpose is to provide useful, unbiased information to readers and help them improve their financial decision making.  Eventually I’d like to at least offset the operational costs of running the site, but I haven’t looked into it much yet and would not want to compromise the value the site provides to readers.
  1. What is the biggest achievement your blog so far ?
I think it’s well designed, intuitive and very easy to use.  Usability is huge.
  1. Tell us one URL other than your own that your readers should read about ?
Ted.com is a great site.  It’s not personal finance related, but it’s about people doing big things to make our world a better place.
  1. How many more years do you think your blog will exist for and how do you plan to finance your blog forever if planned to at all?
I plan on keeping the site going indefinitely.  I currently fund the site myself since I do not sell anything or have any ads up.  I assume I’d keep doing that, though I wouldn’t mind turning it into a career after I retire from my current line of work.
  1. The world is big, many people have different point of views and emotions. If you met someone who called you geek, liar, cheaters because you yourself didn't do what you preach, how would you handle them ?
Things like that don’t bother me much, I’d keep doing whatever I was doing.  You can never make everyone happy.
  1. Would you be interested to meet other finance bloggers in person ?
Possibly, it depends on my schedule, though I don’t consider my personal finance site much of a blog in the typical sense.
  • Do you smoke ? I don’t smoke.
  • Do you drink liquor socially ? I don’t drink alcohol..
  • Are you a coffee lover ? I don’t drink coffee.
  • Where do you stay and work ? ( Country, State, Region etc.) United States, California, San Diego

Interview : Chong - askchong.com


  1.  Tell us a bit about your childhood and how it affects your today's practice on personal finance ?
Nothing special and I don't remember most of my childhood time, like lost of memory.
  1. Answer this question without checking or asking for references : If you can remember, what is your Zodiac and Astrology signs ?
No need to check with anything or anyone. Born in year of Dragon and my star is Sagittarius.
  1. What are the things you like to do during your free time, ie. your hobbies ? And what do you most dislike about ?
Computer related, now extended to smart phones and iPad or surf the web for information regarding latest technology and investment in share.

I don't have anything specifically "dislike" but if any... would be "in a pub full of second hand smoke" and disturbing noise. I also don't like to waste money.
  1. What is your favorite colors and numbers ? Any most dislikes ?
 Blue. I have no favorite "Numbers"... Emm... dislike? No.
  1. What is your favorite food ? What do you hate most ?
Nothing in particular. I can eat bread from morning to night. Nothing specifically favorite but if I don't know what to eat in a restaurant, perhaps I will just order "Nasi Lemak" if they do serve. As income improve over last few years, the quality matters instead of what type of food.

I hate nothing but I will say North India food is considered an acquired-taste.
  1. If you can meet a person dead or alive, who would that be ? What would you ask him ?
Never come across my mind, yet.
  1. What is the best and worst feeling you have ever had ?
 Best feeling is not about spending money but watching it grows. Beside money, best feeling is watching my children grow, enjoy their laugh and naughtiness.

Worst feeling... ha ha... quarrel with wife. On monetary side, losing money on share investment.
  1. What is the last thing you do before go to sleep ?
Normally.... not watching movie, not music but work. I have few side income jobs so most of the time I will do my work. That is the good thing about freelance. I can work at home at the best time available for me, including before go to sleep.
  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up ?
 Now, probably read email and some news, not local news but business news.
  1. If you were to build a personal finance portfolio for a young man who has similar life path as yours, what will it be ?
Building a portfolio means how to spend the money earned or acquired. First thing is to buy insurance and next is to invest and reinvest.

What to invest is entirely depends on the knowledge and risk appetite.
  1. You met someone in a social party, describe what you do in 2 to 3 sentences.
The problem I am facing now is the multi-hats I am wearing now. For certain people, I will say "Hi, my name is Chong Kong Hui, I am Chartered Accountant by profession now working in a listed company".

For my own career, "Hi, my name is Chong Kong Hui, I am Accoutant by profession and now providing financial service and solution for individual and SME"
  1. If you are not doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing ?
Wow, I just can't imagine that.
  1. How much time do you spend on your personal finance blog ?
Not much time. Probably few hours within a month only.
  1. What is the main objective of your blog, is it initially profit oriented and who are your targeted blog readers ?
Even I put in some advertisement but the initial purpose of this blog is to share the information and to support my own career in financial service as well as to improve my knowledge.

Nothing great about income from the blog and not worth to mention.

I don't have specific marketing or target group of readers but I believe anyone who have an interest in personal finance may "find" my blog from the search engine.
  1. What is the biggest achievement your blog so far ?
Huh hah... i do not regard having any sort of achievement so far but gladful the monthly hit stay above 1,000 for past few months.
  1. Tell us one URL other than your own that your readers should read about ?
There are more than one I would recommend but it depends on the reader's specific interest at that time of reading. The few I like already linked within my blog.
  1. How many more years do you think your blog will exist for and how do you plan to finance your blog forever if planned to at all ?
I noticed some blog almost ceased to be active after a while..... as my blog is intertwine with my career and my personal interest.... i believe it will exist for a long time and the best thing for me is if anyone would like to be the co-author or to do some guest-post.

My blog cost me almost nothing beside the USD10 for the domain name and my free time. Therefore, I do not foresee any requirement to get paid for dong it. Advertisement revenue, if anything better than RM10 a month will be a BIG BIG bonus.
  1. The world is big, many people have different point of views and emotions. If you met someone who called you geek, liar, cheaters because you yourself didn't do what you preach, how would you handle them ?
If it ever happens... things get changed along the time. I do believe it last year doesn't mean I will continue to believe it now. Life goes on....
  1. What do you think about these interview questions and how this interview session can be improved ?
I am not an expert in designing questions other than those lead to a close (closing sale). Question is, what is your objective or data to be collected? May be the book "the Millionaire next door"  can give you hints.
  1. Would you be interested to meet other finance bloggers in person ? If yes
  • Do you smoke ? NO
  • Do you drink liquor socially ? NO, beer is ok.
  • Are you a coffee lover ? YES
  • Where do you stay and work ? ( Country, State, Region etc.) Sg Buloh... I am ok with KL/PJ