Friday, March 27, 2009

Krisis Kewangan Global ~ Apa Yang Rakyat Perlu Tahu

Pada krisis ekonomi 1997 kita melihat perbalahan antara Dr Mahathir dan Anwar Ibrahim, jatuhnya Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli dengan Syarikat MAS, Tan Sri Halim Saad dengan Syarikat Renung, Datuk Teng Pek Kim dengan projek Bakun, Mirzan Mahathir dengan Syarikat perkapalan MISC dan lain-lain. Kemudian timbul pula selepas itu Tony Fernandez dengan Air Asia, Nazir Tun Razak dengan CIMB, Syed Mokthar dengan pelbagai rangkaian perniagaan dll.

Untuk rekod krisis ekonomi pada tahun 1987 dikaitkan dgn kemerosotan nilai hartanah, krisis ekonomi 1997 disebabkan spekulasi yg berlebihan dalam perdagangan nilai matawang dan krisis ekonomi 2008 dikaitkan dgn krisis kewangan global.

Apakah yg dimaksudkan dgn krisis kewangan global?

Ianya dikaitkan dgn keruntuhan bank-bank dan syarikat-syarikat pelaburan yg terkemuka dunia terutama yg telah hampir 100 tahun bertapak kukuh di Eropah dan USA. Mulanya ia berkaitan dengan sub-prime. Secara mudah sub prime dapat diterangkan seperti berikut:

Sebuah bank memberi pinjaman perumahan kepada pelanggan. Kadar riba adalah 12% (contoh), Kemudian bank tersebut akan mencagar pula rumah tersebut kepada syarikat pelaburan A dgn kadar riba 10%. Syarikat pelaburan A akan mencagar pula rumah tersebut kepada syarikat pelaburan B dgn kadar 12%, begitulah seterusnya.Dalam contoh ini sebuah rumah yang nilainya hanya RM 500,000 mungkin telah meningkat kepada RM 1,500,000 dan ianya akan terus meningkat jika banyak syarikat pelaburan meningkat. Oleh kerana USA merupakan pusat kewangan antarabangsa maka banyak syarikat pelaburan dari seluruh dunia datang melabur.

Krisis bermula apabila nilai harta perumahan jatuh menjunam. Ramai peminjam gagal membayar hutang. Bank menghadapi masaalah kutipan hutang, maka ianya mula menjangkiti sektor-sektor kewangan lain seperti syarikat kereta dan syarikat eksport import, bila ini berlaku ramai hilang pekerjaan, perbelanjaan harian merosot, kedai-kedai tidak dapat menjual barangan, industri kecil-kecilan akan mula terasa kesannya. Yang masih ada pekerjaan akan mula mengurangkan berbelanjaan, ekonomi negara akan mula menguncup, akhirnya semua rakyat akan merasa kesannya.

Sebagai Rakyat Apa yg perlu kita tahu sekarang ini

1-Banyak eksport barangan keluaran kita adalah ke pasaran USA. Krisis yg melanda USA sekarang ini menyebabkan banyak barangan kilang kita tidak ada pembeli. Kilang terpaksa ditutup. Hampir 200,000 pekerja akan hilang pekerjaan. Kesannya kuasa beli pasaran akan jatuh, banyak rumah dan kereta akan dilelong, bank akan mengetatkan syarat pinjaman, atas desakan akan banyak jenayah rompakan , kecurian dan penipuan.

2-Bila banyak perusahaan kilang dan industri ditutup di dunia ini, permintaan terhadap minyak akan jatuh. Secara automatik pendapatan negara akan merosot. Bila ini berlaku kerajaan akan kekurangan wang untuk berbelanja kemudahan awam. Jalan raya akan lambat diperbaiki dan industri kontraktor akan terjejas. Maka banyak perniagaan yg berkaitan dengannya akan runtuh.

3-Bila ramai kehilangan pekerjaan dan kilang-kilang terpaksa ditutup , kutipan cukai dan zakat akan merosot. Bantuan kepada yg susah terpaksa dikurangkan manakala golongan yang susah akan bertambah.

4-Rakyat yg mempunyai wang lebih suka menyimpan. Akibatnya tidak ada aktiviti-aktiviti ekonomi baru untuk membolehkan orang ramai mendapat pekerjaan.Contohnnya jika A ada RM 20000.00 beliau membuka restoran mungkin 4 orang pekerja telah ada pendapatan. Tapi A memilih untuk menyimpan wangnya maka aktiviti ekonomi akan jadi kosong.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Definition : An investment is an activity of increasing returns and wealth to the investor based on the initial amount that was invested.

However, good investment policy should contain some of the following characteristics :

  • It should be for the long term (5-20 years)
  • It must have an objective (e.g. child education, housing, pension...)
  • It must have a time plan (withdraw by the year 2020...)
  • The interest/dividend must accumulate over a time period
  • It must outperform inflation rate and cost of living
  • It must be moderately safe (minimum risk)
  • It must grow
  • It should not be withdrawn due to current short-term turbulence
  • The investor should be disciplined, focused and patient

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rich Person : Poor Person

What is the difference between A Rich Person and a Poor Person?

Well – Nothing. Both have 24 Hours A Day.

So really, to find out what Successful people do – we need to look at What They Do during those 24 hours.

One of them is so simple it is ridiculous. It is called the Notepad.
I mean either the one that you find on every computer – or – the paper one.

They write out their tasks and plan the next day the night before.

But they do more than that. They do the horrible tasks first.

The tasks they really don’t want to do. And they don’t think about it too long either.
They shut their eyes and get stuck in & they make sure they complete it.

Why? Because they know that the rest of the day is fine after.

If you can create or improve this habit then it will boost how much you achieve everyday massively.
This leads to discipline, probably the most important factor of Success.

And then there is the Television, or their competitor nowadays, Social Networking sites.
Don’t spend all of your Valuable Time worrying about other people and their lives.

You’ve got your own life to lead. Seriously – sell your TV.. How much does it cost you?
A few thousand maybe. How much does it really cost?

Ten, twenty or thirty times that in your lost hours which you could spend making something, creating something, on a business idea, in fact on anything that will improve your life. In fact, focus on this everyday, on what you could really be doing with that time, and it will improve your life immeasurably.

At the end of the day you need to decide whether you are in control of your day or your day is in control of you.

You need to identify the big issues and tackle them, not worry over the little details that will get you going round and round in circles.

You need to focus on the right things, and don’t think you are busy just because you are busy, make sure you are busy doing the right stuff.

Once the day is Gone it is Gone.

When you realize that Time is more expensive than Money, you are half-way there.

Have a fantastic day!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Living The 7 Habits - The Courage To Change

Last 2nd of March was my birthday and I've received a book as a birthday present from my wife. The book's title is "Living the 7 Habits" by Stephen R. Covey. This is a very interesting book to read to motivate me.
Steven R Covey’s bestselling The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People may well have changed the lives of the millions of people who bought the book. Here, in Living The Seven Habits, Covey draws together a collection of those successes and lets them tell their stories. The range of stories, taking in a selection of individuals, family situations, difficulties at school, college or in the workplace and high-level, corporate problems, help to explain how "The Seven Habits" have in some way shaped the experiences of the people involved, allowing them to cope with their personal, ever- changing landscapes in order that, however trivial or traumatic their problems may seem to the others, they have not only survived and improved, but have also learned something of lasting value.
Covey’s comments and insights after each story help to explain which of "The Seven Habits" came into play and under what circumstances, and add a depth and understanding of the individual situation that enhances and compliments the strategies he uses to overcome problems. Many of the stories are deeply moving, others are inspirational, but what they all have in common is an understanding of the principles that Covey instils in his readers.
An excellent companion volume to Covey’s previous works, Living the Seven Habits is an artful testimony to the man who has wooed millions of readers across the globe with his common sense approach to life skills. And for anyone who has not yet encountered "The Seven Habits", this book gives a clever and tempting taster of how things could be. --Susan Harrison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Investing in Bonds

Malaysian retail investors have never participated actively in bond investing. Some of you may have bought bond funds offered by the unit trusts, however, most of you may not know what a bond investment is really about and the effect of it has on your investment portfolio.

So then….What is a bond?
A bond represents the debt owed by either government units or corporations. By investing in bonds, you basically become the lender to the issuers and you will be paid a specified percentage of interest. This percentage of interest is called coupon payment, and it is given to you by the issuer because of the use of your money. At the end of the maturity date, you will get back your principal. An example to quote is the Bond Simpanan Merdeka 2008 issued by Bank Negara for the senior citizens, which has 3-year tenure and pays 5% interest per year.

In Malaysia, the main issuers of public debt are the Government of Malaysia, the central bank (Bank Negara Malaysia), and quasi government institutions (Khazanah, Danamodal and Danaharta). Private debt securities and asset-backed securities are issued by the National Mortgage Corporation (Cagamas Berhad), financial institutions and non-financial corporations. The major investors in Malaysian Bond market are the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), pension funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

The price of a bond is determined by many factors, with the main drivers being interest rates, inflation, maturity and credit quality.

* Interest rates
Bonds are highly sensitive to interest rate fluctuation. When the prevailing interest rate goes up higher than the coupon rate, the prices of the outstanding bonds will fall below the principal value. If you are buying a bond fund, higher interest rates will cause lower fund prices.

* Inflation
During periods of rapid economic growth, we will see increasing inflation. This will eventually lead to higher interest rate and cause a drop in the value of bonds.

* Maturity
Due to the sensitivities to inflation and interest rate fluctuation, longer term bonds will face more uncertainties compared to shorter term bonds. As such, longer term bonds should offer better interest payment as the additional risk premium for the investors. Nevertheless, it will suffer higher price fluctuation as a result of the longer period it takes to mature.

* Credit quality
When we lend out our money, we would want to make sure that we will be able to get it back. Therefore, the credibility or credit quality of the bond issuers plays an important role in the bond price. A corporate bond will have higher yield than a government guaranteed bond, due to the additional risk that the investor has to bear for facing the possibility of the corporate bond getting defaulted. The recent global financial crisis was partly attributed to the decline in credit quality for certain corporate bonds.

Why invest in bonds?
Investing in bonds offers an alternative to investors to diversify their investment portfolios due to its nature of having relatively lower risk compared to stock investing. As bonds provide periodic interest payment and repayment of principal at the end of the maturity, it will be suitable for you if your investment objective is to preserve capital and receive a predictable stream of income. Depending on your investment time horizon, you can choose to invest in short, medium or long term bonds. However, you must understand the factors that drive the price of the bond that you invest in.

As retailers, most of the time we will be investing in bond funds offered by some unit trusts or commercial banks. Bond funds are combinations of various bonds; therefore, the risk of investing in bond funds is relatively lower compared to individual bonds. However, you must take note of the factors listed above while selecting an appropriate bond fund. In addition, you will also need to know about the fund management companies and make sure that the approaches they take are suitable for your risk profile and investment objectives. The timing of investing in bond funds is also very important.

What to watch out for when investing in bonds:
• Watch out for the interest rates especially if it is too low or unstable.
• Avoid speculative bonds. Even when you are investing in bond funds, make sure that the bonds in the portfolio are investment grade, which carries a credit rating of BBB and above. Bonds with rating of BB and below are considered ‘high yield’ and below investment grade.
• Don’t invest a large portion of your portfolio in bonds. It will limit your portfolio growth, as over time, inflation will erode the fixed income stream and principal. Bonds are suitable to complement stock investing.
This article was written by SIDC and Mr. Ooi Kok Hwa, a holder of a Capital Markets Services Representative’s License to carry on the business of investment advice under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007. The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for legal or other professional advice.