20 November 2007

Secrets of Millionaire Investors by Adam Khoo & Conrad Alvin Lim

Adam & Conrad share their investment experiences in this book, offer reasons on why we should invest and different strategies (tools) for different categories of investors and traders.

Fundamentals are still hours of effort and hard work to acquire financial education in order to be a successful investor. There is no free lunch on earth.

Two important lessons about wealth were shared:

1st : Choose to consistently save and let your money work hard for you (by investing)

2nd : Learn how to create multiple streams of income

Readers can broadly expect the following topics to be covered in this book:

1. Rules of 72 : When your initial investment compound and doubled

2. Psychology & Habits of Successful Investors : Key issues to take note of

3. Investing Strategies & Tools : For Risk-Adverse Investors, Value Investors, Momentum Investors and Options Traders

4. Making money in a Down Market : Techniques to use, Indicators to watch out for

5. Applying your Knowledge Gained : Summary of approach

Some useful websites references are given in the book too:

Download an eBook today

Adam Khoo’s websites:

http://finance.yahoo.com/ http://www.annualreportservice.com/ (for US companies) http://www.sgx.com/ http://www.moneycentral.com/ http://www.morningstar.com/

http://www.briefing.com/ http://www.wsj.com/ http://www.investors.com/ www.federalreserve.gov/FOMC


Online Brokers:
http://www.e-trade.com/ http://www.interactivebrokers.com/ http://www.thinkorswim.com/ http://www.cityindexasia.com/

A must read for to-be investors.



"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

17 November 2007

The Top 10 Distinctions between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith

The Top 10 Distinctions between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith is a easy to read and digest book on basic financial concepts. The author differentiates Millionaires (M) and the Middle Class (MC) using the 10 distinctions stated in his book. By understanding the differences between the M and the MC, we can stage and position ourselves for greater wealth building and creation. Most important of all, my belief sync with the author's: Success is a journey.

What i find more interesting is the author's reasons of publishing this book. He mentioned 3 reasons for writing this book: Responsibility, Purpose, Legacy, which differentiates him from other authors of similar books - This guy is damned straight forward. The language he'd used is simple, direct, to the point. Most importantly, easy to understand by layman.

After 2 years of acquiring assets in financial education since Dec 2005, I'd realised that I am already a practitioner of some of the distinctions stated in the book. I am sure that I am able to acquire the remaining distinctions using a few more years. I am glad that I am able to move from the MC to the M very soon.

I attempted to sum up what to expect from this book as follows:

Distinction 1: Millionaires ask themselves empowering questions. Middle class ask themselves disempowering questions.

"Ask and you will receive." & "As a man thinks, so is he." - So better ask empowering questions. Learn to ask ourselves questions that stretch beyond your current levels of experience. The questions you ask yourself determine the results you get in your life. Think about questions that expand your mind. Empowering questions ask us what we can do, make us feel good, become a powerful and peaceful person. Questions controls mind, condition it to create success. 9 questions based on "Be, Do, Have" concept offers clarity; Know What you want, Why you want, and the How will naturally follow. Most important question to ask, "What would make my life meaningful?"

Distinction 2: Millionaires focus on increasing their networth. The middle class focuses on increasing its paychecks.

Own assets (have value and earn passive income for us) using our paychecks. It requires new knowledge so study hard to learn how to acquire income-producing assets. Patience, knowledge and wisdom are required to increase our net worth. Wisdom is applied knowledge. Achieve Freedom - the freedom to work because we want to instead of because we have to. Learn to keep our cost of living the same even as we build our wealth. Uncommon wisdom of M: Do not increase spending when income increases, instead increase investing.

Distinction 3: Millionaires have multiple sources of income. The middle class has only one or two.

The more sources of income we can develop, the more likely we will become a M. The trick to developing mulitple sources of income is to focus on making them passive (with minimum management). Build a TEAM and learn to be humble. Employ Intentional Congruence concept - methodical planning, getting each source of passive income to support the other income. Focus on PASSIVE sources of income, build a TEAM, and practice INTENTIONAL CONGRUENCE.

Distinction 4: Millionaires believe they must be generous. The middle class believes it can't afford to give.

Learn to be generous, it feels great when we give from the heart. Being generous is a sure way to be happy. (that's why Keith write books, teach seminars on success - give people the knowledge they can use to make a long-term improvement) Understand the Law of Sowing and Reaping (Law of Causes and Effects in Buddism)

Distinction 5: Millionaires work for profits. The middle class works for wages.

Wages are the pay we receive for the work we do. Profits are the result of buying something for one price and selling it for a higher price. Learn to earn profits, then sky is the limit.

Distinction 6: Millionaires continually learn and grow. The middle class thinks learning ended with school.

Success is a process, a journey. The more money you spend on financial knowledge, the more money you will make. By reading more (even if it is just a concept in each book), we compressed time and learn financial secrets that took others years to discover. M invest in their knowledge with people who have achieved success that they want for themselves. Wisdom is Applied Knowledge. Focus on personal growth, love life. True success involves peace and contentment.

Distinction 7: Millionaires take claculated risks. The middle class is afraid to take risks.

The only way out of the rat race for the MC is to take calculated risks. Calculated Risks means to gain knowledge first, consider the consequences of failing before taking action. 3 fears of the MC: Fear of Failure, Rejection, Loss. Fear can be overcomed with knowledege. Failure is part of the path to success - Embrace it and become wiser. We must want to succeed more than we want the acceptance of other people. Losing is part of winning. Live like you were dying - take more risks, take more time to reflect, do more things that would live on after we are gone. Take action! Click on the banner below to download the book now!

Download an eBook today

Practice risk management with 3 questions:

1. What's the best thing that could happen?

2. What's the worst thing that could happen?

3. What's the most likely thing to happen?

Distinction 8: Millionaires embrace change. The middle class is threatened by change.

"For the timid in our society, change is frightening. For the comfortable, change is threatening. For the truly confident among us, change is opportunity." - Nido Qubein, Mentor of Keith.

Confidence is acquired thru preparation, hard work, result of working on ourselves, believing we can do whatever we choose to. We can choose or wish to be rich but remember that Choice is backed by a belief that we can do it, Wish is backed by a doubt that we can. Fear blinds us to opportunities - so develop confidence, learn to accept change and fear will become False Evidence Appearing Real. People are born to learn and grow. Change is good!

Distinction 9: Millionaires talk about ideas. The middle class talks about things and other people.

"Big people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about other people." What do you spend your time talking about? Ideas, things or people? M do talk about people and things. M compliments people for what they did right. M shares notes and books with each other. The power of our words create the experiences of our life; so change our vocabulary, stop complaining and start learning. Learn to develop gratitude. The lessons of life come to teach us to look at life from new perspectives. This leads to new ideas.

Distinction 10: Millionaires think long-term. The middle class thinks short-term.

Give up scarcity mentality (money is in abundance!). Make long-term thinking a habit to release its power. Thinking long-term requires patience and patience is an asset. Thinking long-term builds relationship. Thinking long-term builds health. Thinking long-term develops perserverance. The secret of M: Do what you love to do to make money.

Keith concludes with the concept of repetition to train our mind to think differently. Remember, Success is a Journey.

To read more about Keith's free sharing, goto http://keithcameronsmith.com/.

You can also download his book at eBooks.com - Download a book today. Get 20% off at eBooks.com!

Another realisation I'd after reading this book is, "Diversification spreads risks. Knowledge reduces risks". If I want to increase my wealth, I must choose to, commit to, plan to and act to achieve wisdom, not just diverse.

Happy Learning,


"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

Download an eBook today

07 October 2007

SMART Investment & International Property Expo 2007

Just came back from the SMART Investment & International Property Expo 2007, held at Suntec Convention Hall.

One phrase used by the speaker (who mentioned it 12 times in his 20 minutes presentation) in the seminar on "How not to fall victim to wealth management" just disturbs me alot. The phrase is,

"Low Risk, Low Return. High Risk, Potential High Return"

I see now, why it is so easy to be a financial planner nowdays. Just sell ideas that your clients want to hear, not what they need.

The speaker to the seminar topic, How not to fall victim to wealth management", is Christopher Tan, CEO of Providend Ltd. There is nothing wrong with his presentation. In fact, it goes in-line with our "social norm and understanding" about investment. And there is a flaw in this norm.

I have blogged about Risk previously.

From an investor's point of view, we don't invest with the initial thought of how much money we can afford to lose. It just don't make sense to me. Why will I want to lose any money if i can potentially lose money from investing?! Yet, this is the defination of risk understood by the masses (or the defination successfully sold to the masses by financial products practitioners). That's is why the phrase above make sense to the masses, but not to me.

For example, if I do not understand the financial product and i buy it, my risk is the highest, but is my return potentially higher? Neh... Return, in my financial sense, equates to my education of that financial product / instrument and how can the product meet my needs (or goals). To get high return, educate myself on that instrument or product and how can it help me achieve what i want to achieve in my financial plan.

Well, i do learn something from Christopher though. Chris did explain the generic concept of what is a Capital Protected / Guranteed fund. Sounds familar? POSB Durain? DBS Shenton fund?

Well, now I do see why capital protected funds, most likely, do not return high returns and mostly are in the negative on annualised basis. Ha ha... lucky you may think that my capital is at least protected for the past 5 years when i parked my money in such a fund. WRONG! Your money is losing value every year even if it is protected. NO investment is riskless or risk free (although government bonds are considered risk free as a concept). Even if your capital is protected from the market volitality, it is losing value due to inflation (inflation is a form of risk!!!). If for that 5 years, inflation is 5% ytd, your capital is worth only 95% of its initial value today!!! Gosh! <>

I also see that it is quite easy to manage a capital protected fund. About 70-80% of our capital is placed in a zero coupon bond to secure the protected return XX no. of years later. This xx no. of years are usually near or equal to expiry date of the fund. This secure our "protected capital" term (thus no risk to the fund manager). The remaining 20-30% are placed in "high risk" (easier to understand by the masses) assets to deliver higher return. Based on this understanding, we just manage our own capital and placed it in Government bonds or T-Bills - Risk free ya. Why let the fund manager gain on our expense of absorbing all the risks? <>

It also strucked me on funds that invest in the lastest or hottest theme in town may also not deliver potential high return. The understanding is based on:

1. It takes time to develop the financial product to tap the latest craze theme.

2. By the time the product is sold to us, it is usually 6 - 9 months lag.

In layman terms, we are late.

Another key area that i find extremely beneficial is the talk by Swee Yong Ku, Director, Marketing & Business Development, Savillis Singapore. Members in my yahoo group, Federation of Financial Freedoom, will know that i'd recommended them to attend his talks. Yong Ku spoke about "How to profit from Singapore's Integrated Luxury Resort Developments" in the real estate context.

Yong Ku gave an update on how an IR may affect the economy of the city that it is built in, by citing examples in Macau, Australia, UK etc. He further analyse on the potential impact the 2 IRs in Singapore is getting from 2009 onwards. Plus also postulate on how job growth and birth rates may affect our local real estate scene. I just gain more confidence that 2010 may not be that bad after all when all the picture overlays are placed on each other. His analysis is pure logic and we determine for ourselves the prospect of real estate development in Singapore. :-)

As logical as it seems, my belief or long-term view on real estate is based on 2 principles:

1. Land is limited.

2. Population is ever increasing.

Using real estate to hold our wealth for the long-term is very hard to be wrong. Well, unless the 2 principles above dont stand ground, the chances of me getting it right is pretty high.

To sum up, Education is the best hedge against potential loses in our investments. If you keep telling yourself that you dont have the time to invest in your education, ya most prob you are right not having the time.

But remember, the longer the procastinate, you more you lose. So why wait? Start now! :-)

Have a great weekend,

Leroy Ang
"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

17 September 2007

Law of Attraction - Michael Losier

I bought a copy of this book, Law of Attraction - The Secret behind The Secret, written by Michael Losier, after my trusted friend and financial planner, Sherman Kelvin Dass, recommended it to me.

Michael Losier employs NLP to coach readers on how to apply the Law of Attraction (LoA), since 1996. He has been an activist on this subject since. There is more to just NLP. Physics is involved. So the subject has become a science!

This is an easy-to-follow How-To book. Simple to read, exercises are easy to follow.

I'd attempted to map a concept out of the book's content. To understand the details, you will still have to read the book yourself.

In short, I agree with the author that this book has mass appeal.


"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

Fund Literacy, Care for the Environment

11 August 2007


I have discovered a 'Secret'. Eternal love only exist at that very moment when a couple is in love. And Love, itself, needs to be contantly nurture to lengthen its eternity.

Jay Chou's lastest self-directed film, "Secret", is refreshing. The story revolves around a young couple, divided by a 20 years space of time, and their puppy love. I am not so sure about the directorship of Jay but the movie sure is able to help rekindle the old memories I'd have. You can catch the movie trailer @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LcU69W7fLk. Jay has also released a single track album to comensurate this movie. You can also catch his single MV @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP1xgkt_u-g on YouTube. Or if you prefer just to listen to plain old Jane music only, hear it from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG0oPTsyfws&NR=1. Jay looked very handsome in the movie. His Lead Actress does not look very pretty, but has a extraordinary charming and sweet smile. It's a perfect match. Must watch the movie! :-)

There lies a realisation - Eternal love ONLY exist at that very moment when a couple is in love and Love, itself, needs to be kept warm. Zen Buddhism has a saying on experiencing that "moment". I thought I knew. Now I understand. There is no permanent people or things on this world of ours. There is no constant in this world. The only constant is Change. Thus if a couple do not communicate sufficiently of the changes in their individual life constantly, support each other changes, the other partner will slowly be lost in the journey. This is what layman called, "Drifting Apart Slowly".

Love needs effort to be kept warm. There is no way to fall in love and just leave it there, hoping for it to last. Hope is not a method. Before you know, it will become archived memories eventually instead of love remaining. Thus, there is no such things as eternal love when a couple is no longer in love. Capturing that very moment in time is important.

Our Government has recently released a survey report stating that our country's divorce rate has increased. Why so? It is not difficult to notice that Singaporeans are a hard working lot. They worked so hard to pursue certain goals, mostly financially related, or higher living standard related. Some pursue certain dreams. Some don't even know why are they so hard working. Often neglect those who love them. This situation does not just apply to couples, but also to family members who love them. Suppose if they failed in their undertakings, will they ask themselves who will still be there to support them? Their Love Ones. So where should the center of gravity (CG) be? You tell me.

If there is any opportunity, ask those top achievers, who does not have any love ones to share their achievement, for their feelings about achievements. Their achievement will be 'empty'.

We Work to Live and Not Live to Work. If you are a workaholic, Stop! Breathe! See what you have been missing now before it is too late. What human fails to see Now, loses it, will eventually have to taste the medicine named, "Regrets". What is done, may not be able to undo in the near future. It may even take all that you have so dearly achieved, plus interest, to undo the damages. Some failed to.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank someone, whom has help me to realise, understand on a concept called Living Again. Below is my reflection on what I have learnt:


Life is about living again

There was once a lady, I met
Charming, attractive and cheerful, she was

Unwittingly I opened her heart and entered it
I left mine inside and foolishly closed hers

She'd lighten up my life and taught me what is love again
Memories we'd shared, they are ours to keep forever

I thanked her for leading me and the way
Showed me that life is about living again


Love is about living too. Fellow Friends, start living if you think or feel that you have not yet live a life. Don't taste the bitter medicine of "Regrets".

With lots of Love,


"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

07 July 2007

The Power of Action

When I first know and understand the Power of Knowledge, I have decided that this is the path I MUST pursue and thus set a personal goal to read at least a book per month. I took responsibility for my own knowledge and I start to read. With the help of my mentors, I have learnt how to read books. (You may think that I am going crazy. Do we need mentors to teach us HOW to read books? Just read lor!)

Yes, HOW to read, with some simple techinques. Unknowing, I achieved my goal of reading 1 book per month, after a while of course. In fact, at the end of last year (2006), I was reading at a speed of 3 books per month! I reflected upon my current state and said to myself, "WOW!". I have evolved from a person who hates to read, to a person who can read 3 books per month? "WOW!"

By reading more books, I have gained more concepts, both in breadth and in depth. The more I read, the more I enjoy the process. Just last month, at the peak of my work portfolio, I have achieved a reading speed of 5 books per month! Double, WOW WOW!! I am reading at such a speed that I... Someone stop me!!! :-O

Sometimes I am just curious that my brain may be exploding with so much information. I guess this is a happy problem. Now I just need a framework to digest these information at a much higher and faster speed, or at least a speed that match my reading. :-)

I know what is necessary to be done, to reach the end state I have in mind. I drafted a simple plan, hold on to a set simple beliefs, and I took action. (Ah Beng call this "Chiong ah!".) One strange phenomena I have noticed is that.... When I take Actions, the effects multiplies by itself. The more actions I take, the more the effects multiples, until so massive. This phenomena does not just apply to reading.

When I make known to my circle of friends that I am looking out for mentors who are willing to share and to guide me, my network in this aspect expanded! And I am so glad that every mentor I have met is also willing to lead me to the next mentor whom I need. Ever heard of network marketing concept? I guess I market myself well enough for my mentors to recommend me to their friends. I become a product already?! :-)

Massive changes require massive actions. By understanding that actions, no matter how small it may seem initially, taken consistently over a period of time, will have its effects multiple by itself, I "think big, start small". It is this simple.

Of course, everything seems to be balanced in our world. With massive actions, the opposite is procrastination. Warning: "Procrastination" is the number 1 killer of success. It is the single most common state that keeps people from taking action.

So what are you waiting for? Continue to whine and continue to play "victim"? Or choose to take small action steps, NOW!! Your choice. ;-)

Your Learning Partner,

"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living"

"Everybody has the ability to do absolutely anything I do and much more beyond. Some of you will and some of you won't. For the ones who won't, it will be because you get in your own way, not because the world doesn't allow you." - Warren Buffett

17 June 2007

The Power of Knowledge - In-Depth Knowledge

Back in Apr 07, I had shared on my experience on "The Power of Knowledge - General Knowledge". As the title implied, it is acquiring knowledge in general. While this category of knowledge do expand our situational awareness and instil better lateral thinking, there are times where we need in-depth knowledge on specific topics. Specific knowledge, other than financials-related, that I find pretty useful if we are starting a business entity to run a business or to do investment, are legal and accounting knowledge. You can find more info on these topics, in Singapore context, from the following websites.

Legal Resources

LawNet Singapore (http://www.lawnet.com.sg)

The Singapore Academy of Law (http://www.sal.org.sg)

The Law Society (http://www.lawsoc.org.sg)

The Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore (http://law.nus.edu.sg)

The Singapore Government E-Gazette (http://www.egazette.com.sg)

Ministry of Law (http://www.minlaw.gov.sg)

Singapore Statutes Online (http://statutes.agc.gov.sg)

Accounting and Business Resources

(1) Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (

(2) Singapore Enterprise One (

Some additional info for property investors:

Property Resources

(1) Urban Redevelopment Authority (

Happy Researching!

"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living"

31 May 2007

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Wow! It has been a few eventful weeks since my last post. My primary job has been taking a toil on my energy. With encouragement from my mentor, I'd decided to continue my blog. So after more than 12 hours of rest, feeling recharged, I'd re-read a book that crossed my path in 2006, "The richest man in Babylon". This is a book written in the 1920s. It has been a year since I'd read it and a lot has changed to my financial situation. What remain constantly true and effective are the principles introduced by the book. I'd attempted to map it as follows:

The author assumed that that the reader is motivated by desire and by choice, choose to change his financial situtaion with the 7 Cures and 5 Laws of Gold. After understanding the cures and the laws, draft a plan and act on it.

The 7 Cures (to a lean purse)

1. Start thy purse to fattening. "A part of all you earn is yours to keep. For each ten coins i put in, to spend by nie." (PYF)

2. Control thy expenditure. "Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings." (Budget expenses)

3. Make thy gold multiply. "To put each coin to labouring that it may reproduce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse." (Invest)

4. Guard thy treasures from loss. "Investing only where thy principal is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desireable, and where thou will not fail to collect a fair rental. Consult with wise man. Secure the advice of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments." (Secure)

5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment. "Own thy own home." (Own, avoid installments for purchases)

6. Insure a future income. "Provide in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family." (Insure, Emergency fund)

7. Increase thy ability to earn. "Cultivate thy powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skillful, to act as to respect thyself." (Knowledge)


The author moved on to discuss the causes for being lucky. A few quotes seem to sum up the ideas.

"Good luck waits to come to that man who accepts opportunity."

"To attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities."

"Good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunity."

Men of Action are favoured by the Goddess of Good Luck. (Act, Luck)

The 5 Laws of Gold

1. Gold cometh glady and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family. (PYF)

2. Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the the field. (Invest)

3. Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling (Secure)

4. Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. (Circle of Competence)

5. Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment. (Knowledge)


The author moved on to discuss the idea of giving out loans to your family members, relatives or friends. The following is a wisdom to share,

"If you desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend's burdens upon thyself. Better a little caution than a great regret."

Quotable quotes:

"Preceding accomplishment must be desire. Thy desires must be strong and definite."

"We cannot afford to be without adequate protection."

"Where the desire is, the way can be found."

Good Night!

"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living"

03 May 2007

Rules of Wealth by Richard Templar

I'd been digesting my read on the book by Richard Templar, "Rules of Wealth", since Jan 2007. He is also the author of "Rules of Work" and "Rules of Life". A pragmatic author offering pragmatic advice. There are 100 rules stated in his book, Rules of Wealth". If I may sum it up into just 5 points for sharing. The 5 points are:

1. Money is a Concept
2. Take Action with a Plan
3. Build a Team
4. Protect It
5. Share It

Human species started off with barter trading; exchanging of goods for goods (applicable to services too). Then it evolved into some form of sea shells... nice looking and precious one I think. Then came precious metals like gold. Now its currency - Paper Money. And many of us are crazy over it - that pieces of paper!

Why is money so precious and how can we make more of it?

Richard started off his book with the phrase, "Money is a concept". And that caught my eyes straight away. I'd then realised that there are abundance of money in this world! Yes, Abundance! You see, if money is just a concept, and concept is an idea, and ideas are in abundance, which means money is also in abundance! So if you have alot of ideas and is able to put 1 or 2 into action, money will flow naturally to you. And the best part is, the more you practise it, the better you become with it. Sound nice. ;-)

Richard quoted an example about a Red Paper Clip, which eventually was traded for a house in just 9 months. Yes, 9 months ONLY! The owner of this idea is pretty wealthy now I guess. All he had used was a red paper clip. You can read more about it @ http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com/. So you see, we don't need a lot of money to make more money. So remove this mental rug if you have them in your mind. It takes financial education to make more money and of course a great idea. ;-)

Since then, I have stopped focusing on more money. I focus on the process of making it instead. If my process is correct and appropriate, money will automatically flow into my pocket. Sound even nicer, ya. :-)

Of course, ideas are just ideas unless you put it into action. Yes, be comitted and act on it and see it evolve into being. By PYF, I entered the positive cash flow category. Now I can even buy shares of companies that I like. I love actions. All these falls into my financial plan. A plan keep me focus.

Of course, no man is an island. We need advise along the way. That's why we need a team to achieve more.

Of course, once your assets grows into a huge pile, you need to know how to protect your assets from any ill intent predators. Well, some may not be ill-intent but still must protect it, guard it like a hawk.

Of course, being rich alone is boring. If we can share it (refers to knowledge) and help more of our friends get richer, you can earn something that money cannot even buy for you. Monetary donation is also a form of sharing but watch out for which charity organisation you are donating too. Some are just empty shells and some donno how they spend your donated money away.

Well, the book is as simple as the 5 points i'd summarised but more depth can be found in the book of course. That is if you want to read that 100 rules one by one... ;-)

Some quotes in the book caught my attention. I am sure it will be useful to you too. Just to share a few:

"You have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else to take as much as you want. Anyone can be wealthy."

"The wealthy people knows exactly, to them, what wealth means."

"Most people are too lazy to be wealthy. They may say they want to be, but they don't."

"Money can't buy a kind smile. Money doesn't buy happiness."

"If you can't afford what you want, buy less, but buy quality. Live within your means."

"If people think that you need the money it gives them power over you and that makes you insecure."

"Once you have formulated your plan, your objective, your strategy, your goals and targets and ambitions and destinations, then be committed."

"Changing direction is often hard; Developing new character traits can be painful."

"Good Luck."

So good luck in your journey to financial freedom too!


"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

08 April 2007

The Power of Knowledge - General Knowledge

General Knowledge is one of the many forms of our human intelligence.

General knowledge is a very good indicator of mental skills acquired through education and experience. People with a good knowledge base exhibit greater retention of facts and figures and are regarded more intelligent. They are more conscious of the connectivity between different information which they learn and this helps them retrieve information stored in their long term memory more easily.

This is the Power of General Knowledge.

There are many ways to to unleash this power within us. One of the easiest way, as mentioned above, is to widen our knowledge base, through reading. And there is a tool to even facilitate this.

Many websites support RSS Feeds now. And there are also many free feeds readers available on the web. These readers search the websites, with web addresses pre-entered into the reader, for latest updates such as news. The reader is also very easy to install onto our computer.

One such reader which i am currently using is the free FeedReader, available for download from www.feedreader.com.

Below are a few of the feeds that i am currently reading everyday. You may want to use the following links to test out your feeds reader after it is installed. The links should lead you to more feeds on the various news websites.

ABCNews International

AP Top Business News At 6 a.m.

BBC News News Front Page UK Edition

Business Times Online - Companies News

BusinessWeek Online -- Investing

Channel NewsAsia Singapore Business News

CNNMoney.com Recently Published/Updated

Economist.com Global Agenda

Forbes.com Business News

Guardian Unlimited

HDB Press Releases

Investment Ideas - Larry MacDonald's blog about investing and markets

Investopedia.com Headlines

ListedCompany.com News

NYT > Home Page

Reuters: Investing

SGX-MAS Research Incentive Scheme

The Economist



Yahoo! Finance: Why the Rich Get Richer by Robert Kiyosaki

Yahoo! News: Business

Even this blog of mine supports RSS feeds. :-O

Unleash the power within you NOW!

Life is Great! Live Hard! Read Even Harder!

Leroy Ang
"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living"

06 April 2007

The Power of Protection

Since my last post regarding MediShield, I'd received great comments and sharing from my buddies. Thanks! :-)

One such sharing I'd received is about AIA's Pink of Health, a rider that you can add on to your policy. I am not sure if this product is stil being offered as of now (as i can't find it on the AIA Singapore website).

Another sharing that caught my attention is there are alot of Singaporeans who cannot even afford the basic MediShield Plan. I really cannot visualise what will happen to this group of our fellow citizens should misfortune really falls onto them. Most likely this group of citizens may not even have the basic financial knowledge to start with. While our Govt may be thinking of how to help those in the lower income group, I wonder what can we do for them. Maybe you will like to share your views regarding this point in the comments to this blog entry. (See Power of Sharing, www.leroyang.blogspot.com/2007/02/power-of-sharing.html)

This leads me to the realisation of the Power of Protection.

Some financial planners calls it Assets Protection, while some calls it Wealth Protection. Whatever it is, what are the means of protection you can have to protect yourself in the events some unfortunate events happen on you?

While health, life or term insurances covers the unforeseen circumstances, in events that you may just suddenly leave this world, or suffer from critical illness, or total permanent disability, income lost or whatever, insurance do cover the basic to tide you or your family through for a while. This can help buy time for them to source for alternative income streams if you are the main bread winner. Some of our fellow Singaporeans cannot even afford to pay for the basic coverage!

On the other hand, I wonder how many know about Estate Duty. No, not the kind of guard duty you do for your real estate. It's actually a "death tax" that our Govt will tax on our family when we die (actually the tax is on your remaining assets that you left behind, but i used "our family" here b'coz if we die, we will not be around to pay the tax, ya). To know more about Estate Duty Act, see Chapter 96 from Singapore Statutes Board (www.statutes.agc.gov.sg)

Yes, you see me correctly. Tax on our death. Sound strange? The intent for this tax is actually wealth distribution to the rest of our fellow citizens through our Govt. What we may not even realise is our family may not even be able to afford to pay this tax should we suddenly leave this world. Then our hard earned assets ganna witheld by Govt. Our death may leave a pile of "Suete" (pronounce it in Mandrain) for our family to clear. What to do? Times are hard. Your insurance claim by your family members may also be withheld if the coverage crosses certain amount, which may be deemed as assets. So you think you have left behind a huge pile of gold for your family should you die, think again.

Luckily Govt has in place some "offset" to help those poor family "escape" from paying this tax. Those who do not have much assets left behind need not pay estate duty, but up to a certain amount only. Those very rich but did not plan for his death may have their family going through a rough ride in order to get his left behind assets release to them.

Of course, every problem has its solution. There are several ways to overcome this unnecessary difficulties. One of the tool the Rich uses is setting up a Trust. There are many other tools which the middle class or the poor may find useful too.

The point here is, Plan Early to achieve maximum protection. Speak to a financial planner near you as soon as possible. (Maybe I can study, take the test and become a qualified financial planner, ya. Any supporter?! ;-O)

Of course this aspect is just a small part of assets protection. There are still a lot of protection we will need to put in place in order to have a good night sleep. As to what protection we need or can afford to have very much depend on the level of Financial Education we are at. If we can learn early, plan early and start early, Why Wait until the cow come home?

Take Ownership, Take Action NOW!

Sweet dreams,

"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living"

01 April 2007

MediShield: How covered are you?

Wow! Just met Sherman Dass (my financial planner) and Kelly (my insurance agent from Prudential) recently to review my financial status and insurance coverage. Sherman has been a Financial Planner (he covers alot of areas, more than just insurance. He can help you prepare a Will if you need too) for more than 2 years and Kelly has been my insurance partner for more than 2 years. In fact i started with her husband my first ILP policy as early as 8 years ago.

After our meetings, one point that set me thinking was, "There are loop holes in my MediShield plan!".

If you do not know what is MediShield, i quote a para from CPF website (http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/Members/Gen-Info/FAQ/HealthCare/MSH.htm):

"MediShield is a catastrophic medical insurance scheme that will help you and your dependants meet the costs of treatment for serious illnesses or prolonged hospitalisation. From 1 July 2005, MediShield will pay more of the large hospital bills at the Class B2/C level with the higher claim benefits."

So you see, MediShield seems like a term insurance that our Govt has in good intention for our citizens. The basic MediShield plan can be paid using our CPF MediSave (so not so painfully on our wallets).

Who ever provides the coverage is not really an issue as long as they continue to provide the coverage @ cheaper price. During my recent read up and review, i'd realise that my MediShield do not cover 100% of my possible hospital and surgical (H&S) bills!

Surprise! ;-)

You thought your plans covers 100% of all the possible H&S bills? Check your policy's small print again. "As charged" plans is still not 100% mind you.

There are 2 components of MediShield that you should pay some attention to:

1. Deductable. The amount stated under this item is something like our car insurance "excess". Which means, no matter how much is the bill, you have to pay this amount upfront to the hospital (and this is not claimable under your policy lor!). For e.g. if your hospital bill is $5,000 and your MediShield deductable is $3,000, you have to pay $3K to the hospital, and your MediShield covers your remaining $2K. When i write covers here, it is still not full coverage. Read my Point 2 below.

2. Co-Payment. This is the amount that you have to pay on the amount cover by your plan. Most plans quote 10% or 20% under this item. Using the earlier e.g. in Point 1 above, and assuming your co-pay % is 10%. If your MediShield covers $2K of the bill, in actually fact, your insurance company will pay only 90% or $1,800 of the bill. You will have to fork out another $200 to cover the rest of the bill!

Wah Lao! <Faint>

Why did we buy insurance in the first place? To ease our mind in case the worst really happen during our lifetime. What can be more worst than realising that your plan do not really cover what you assume will be covered when the worst really happens!?!? Die-lor.

If your deductable is $3,000 and hospital bill is $2,400, you cannot claim. If your next treatment or hospital stay is $2,900, you also cannot claim. Then you will start asking yourself why did i pay for the MediShield in the first place???

So check your policy statements again, especially on the Deductable Amt and Co-Payment % to achieve a peace of your mind. I just achieved mine. ;-)

As of now, the market that offers 100% coverage for H&S comes with a price. A price that you cannot use your CPF MediSave to pay. But it is worth considering paying that little bit more using cash to achieve real "100%" coverage. A good choice comes from NTUC Income at this point in time. I took up this one. (I don't get commission from NTUC Income mind you).

At the moment, my NTUC IncomeShield (Basic MediShield offered by NTUC Income) cost me $55, paid using my CPF medisave. I opted for the "as charged" plan called, Enhanced IncomeShield (Advantage), to enhance all other possible claim amount on alot of small small items in govt hospital. This cost me $136, paid using my CPF MediSave. Then i add on a rider @ $92 in cash to remove the deductable and co-payment component.

Sigh... peace of mind do come with a price.

If you are interested to find out more about this plan from NTUC Income, you may want to contact Sherman (kelvindass@ippfa.com) directly for a free consultation. Just quote my name in order not to confuse him on how you get his contact. (I want to highlight again that i do not get any commission from this intro or any subsequent deal that you may have with Sherman, k!)

H&S cannot be claim from 2 separate insurance companies at this point in time, not like the lump sum payment from our life policy. So check your H&S policy again, and again, for a peace of mind.

Have a good sleep, Cheers!

"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living"

31 March 2007

Get prepared... With Education

After sharing an article regarding the US housing market situation, a friend replied with a one-liner thank you email. I shared near to a page of reply after that. Not sure if people are going to get sick of my reply if i do keep sharing of such long reply to a 1-liner thanks in future. lolz

Below is what i'd shared.


There are a few good key issues to watch out for at this point in time:

1. US Housing Market. If the bubble really burst, get really for a mild recession to follow thereafter.

2. Middle East. The last Iraq war caused a longer than expected correction in May/Jun 06. As the war fueled the rise of the oil price ($77 at a high point), which affects corporate earnings, market corrected itself by devaluing in share prices. What if this is combined with S/N 1 above?

3. Yen Carry Trade. There are a lot, and I mean A LOT, of traders borrowed cheap money from Japan (then their interest rate is only 0.25%), and invest into other higher yield products or markets for the past few years. This fueled growth in quite a few markets, especially in Asia. Imagine if Japan increase their interest rate subsequently (which they intend to do so and has started doing it), these traders will has to unwind their earlier investments done using these cheap money. Wow! I cannot imagine how deep is the ocean if these are combined with S/N 1 & 2 above. How not to expect a Great Stock Market Sale!?!?

What this means to traders and investors are, in my opinion, as follows:

1. SHORT (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/shortselling.asp) the market if you can catch the crash coming.

2. If you missed the crash or do not know how to short, then wait for 6 months to a year for the southwards momemtum to subside. Then go shopping during this Great Stock Market Sale!

So what we can do now is:

1. Increase your financial education. As fast as you can, steepen your learning curve now. Albert Einstean once said, “Keep doing an the same action and expect a different result is insanity”. True enough, so far I have not come across an investor that makes it big” by being lazy. No, not meet one yet. Majority I know or have read had put in their hard work educating themselves before they see L.U.C.K. in their undertakings. So continue to be lazy by not putting effort to increase your financial literacy, and yet at the same time wish to be rich is what Albert called an Insane. Abrahim Lincoln once said, "If i have 6 hours to chop a tree, i will spend 4 hours sharpening the axe". So sharpen you axe now.

2. Save. Save as much as you can, as hard as you can, as crazy as you can. When the market crash, Cash is King. There is this saying, “Save when the Bull is running, Buy when the Bear is out”. Of course, this “Truth” is kind of going against our emotions of greed and fear. How can you possibly stand aside when the bull is running and every traders (or they call themselves investors, whatever) around you are making tonnes of money from the market? When the market crashed and the Bear is out, every traders (or they call themselves investors, whatever) avoid the market and keep their cash. Then you go on a buying spree and subject yourself to uneasy views from these traders, reading their mind that says, “This guy is siao one”. After 1 year of trading and investing, I am still trying to get a good handle over greed and fear. This takes practice. But the easiest thing we can do during this period of the bull is to Save and build our first pot of capital. It will come in handy when the Stock Market Sales comes. See alternative saving strategy (http://ongcherhowe.blogspot.com/2006/11/singapore-treasury-bills-as.html)

3. Patience. One of Warren Buffet’s key strength is patience. Not because of his old age and lack of energy. But I feel that he mind is just like a lion, lying low, observing his prey, and pounces only when the time is right. There must be a good reason (or reasons) for his success till today. I do like to think and believe that this virtue, Patience, is one of them.

While the biggest crash of this century may not come in 2007, 2008, wait untill the baby boomers start to retire and will be forced, by law in the US, to liquidate their investments. This group has invested for the past 40 over years and imagine the compounding effect of their investment by now. Their no.s goes by the million and increses every year thereafter. Get ready your ark. This coming wave is going to give us a very rough ride. (Tinker… The Great Depression is great. Define great as stock market losing 90% of their value over a year.) A good read on the coming depression can be found at my buddy's blog (http://ongcherhowe.blogspot.com/2006/11/part-i-great-depression-no-2-coming.html)

Happy Learning,

“When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living”

25 March 2007

The Power of Free Time

One of the key difference between Rich, the Poor and the Middle Class is how they utilise their spare and free time. How are you spending yours?

I'd realised the power of free time at a time when TIME becomes a premium. There are so much to do (or rather to read) and yet there is so little time. All of us have 24 hours a day. Some monsters will tell you they have 25 hrs a day. I cannot comprehend this part of the calculation so I don't bother. TIME is indeed a premium resource that cannot afford to be wasted away just like that. It is the most valuable asset that each of us have.

How I use my free time basically will determine my future. This is the power.

During my secondary school days, my hobby is to play computer games. Then my father bought a XT computer (the fastest processor speed it can offer was 4 Mhz) to do his work. When he is not using it, I will.... be playing computer games. And I will be playing with all the spare time I can spare lor. I can play until into the middle of the night and will only stop when it is time to prepare to go to school.

Strange... no one really taught me how to use the various DOS commands (then Windows is still not popular yet so everything is by command line) but I know the need to know the employment of the commands, so that I can load my computer game and play it. I even took the initiative to borrow books from library just to learn more about computing. My learning curve was so steep that my computer club teacher realise it and made me the Chairman of the school computer club. Haha... actually nothing to do as the Chairman, just share with my fellow school mates how to programme simple games using basic programming language. During my poly days, my hobby evolved into programming utilities using C++. C++ was a computing language that I needed to learn then as a subject. I had so much fun programming away and spent my free time learning techniques and tricks beyond the textbook. To pass in modules that involves computer or programming was a breeze to me. And I never fail to get good grades for these subjects. Why?

Why?! Pretty obvious right? For 7 years, I'd spent my spare time programming, or do programming related activities. Every books I'd read are on programming. All these because I love programming then. Nothing can stop me. It naturally becomes a natural instinct to me. Programming, programming, programming.

Of course, other then programming, I do continue my hobby of playing computer games. This is where I started it anyway. And I was so good at all the games I'd played then. No horse run siah!

When I started work in my current company, all my spare time was used for work. Other than work, socialising. I have tonnes of friends who can socialise with me too. I was a spender, a generous one somemore. And this attracted alot of friends who socialised to socialise with me. Work performance improves, friends network expanded. I have no time for myself though. I began to burn out. So i thought why not tone down on some activities and I can breathe better. I did... tone down on socialising. All my spare time goes into work. Suete right!

My recent neck injury has triggered me to think slightly ahead about my future. What do I really want in this lifetime. Life became more purposeful with a defined purpose. I try to strike a work-life balance. I plan up to 15 years ahead. Most importantly, I found my first pot of gold and I started investing for my future. I love this new journey.

My first pot of gold is my financial knowledge and I am constantly investing my free time to expand and deepen this knowledge. In less than a year, I'd cleared two consumer loans and changed my financial situation of living from paycheque-to-paycheque to having free cash flow for asset investment. All this can happen because I'd spent my free time to improve my financial knowldege and that's why I understand personal cash flow is very important. Most of the time I will carry a book with me. Whenever there is waiting time in between appointments or meetings, I will utilise that waiting time to red. It works wonder.

So what happened after one year of the new found way of spending my free time? I feel richer now in cognitive and monetary sense. All these just by spending my free time to expand my financial knowledge.

Have you ever observe on how do you utilise you free time? Playing computer games? Talk on the phone? Shopping? Drink coffee with friends? Disco? KTV? What you invest with your free time will determine what you will become in the future. So use it wisely.

Till then, it is time for me to sleep liao. Good night!

Leroy Ang
"When I Stop Learning, I stop Livng"