Peace of mind from financial headache, what is the price to pay?

No, I am not talking about insurance.

Even though some insurance company market the “peace of mind” slogan to entice you add insurance coverage.

What I mean is peace of mind from financial headache.

Be careful when you read the statement.

Peace of mind, not worry free or financially free.

Example.

Your housing debt is $500,000, your asset is $1,000,000. Should you be worry?

Yeah, your debt ratio is 0.50.

You are killing yourself with 50% long term liability (relative to assets) for some 20 to 30 years.

Does it give you headache. I bet it does.

Some people does not care, because they just don’t.

There is no awareness.

But behold, the bank does care, the bank is aware all the time.

Should there is change in your life that impact your finance, the bank does care, not to you, but to their loan performance.

Bank will send you reminders, not send you helping hand.

Should you be out of work, or starting off with new ventures, the bank still care.

If you cannot service your debt, no problem, the bank will auction your house, take the proceed, any balance outstanding, bank still ask you to pay.

Yes, the bank does care, their own business, not your business.

Some guru say as long as your cash flow is positive, that’s all that matters.

What if the cash flow turn to negative suddenly?

You lost job, business turn negative, investment flipped upside down, properties damaged, what is the answer to your cashflow?

The whoever guru you find in the internet, does not have the answer.

I do not have the answer.

The answer can only come from you.

You know your own situation.

Imagine this.

If you can reduce your debt now to just $300,000, i.e. just 0.30 ratio, does it look better to you?

Or does it look more comforting to your mental psychology?

The sudden bad impact will not be that overwhelming.

It is true.

When you set yourself with not so much of long term financial obligation, you are not in the danger zone so much when life hit you with challenge.

You can service your debt obligation.

And you can look at resources you have – savings, emergency fund, insurance cash value, investment cash value, to survive the temporary setback.

This example of “what-if” situation, to me, is bad for mental health, if not taken care of early.

It disturb my peace of mind.

What I did was exactly like what I wrote above.

Reduce tremendously my long term debt.

And this strategy proven to save me long term headache due to covid pandemic tragedy.

I did that years before covid.

You see, this state of mind, can only be achieve if you know where you are, especially financially.

If you are stress with the financial situation, do something!

Or if you are not aware of your financial situation, still, do something!

Your finance maybe at the stress level, but you do not know because you do not check. Do something, check it out!

If you cannot do it yourself, spend some money to get help from licensed financial planner.

Not some youtube guru, or instagram guru or internet mastermind or celebrities.

Those guru only interested in subscription, or social media monetisation.

Get your own financial doctor, legally bound to help you, to your best interest.

That’s the small price to pay, to kick start your proper journey of having peace of mind, at least lighten your financial standing, and you can proceed with your life adventure.

And I tell you, that’s the best time spend on yourself.

#financialplanning #peaceofmind #awareness

Code of ethics as Financial Planner

Principle 1 – Client First
Place the client’s interests first. Act honestly and not place personal gain or advantage before the client’s interests.

Principle 2 – Integrity

Provide professional services with integrity. Conduct all dealings with honesty and strong moral principles, by adhering to Code of Ethics. Integrity cannot co-exist with deceit or subordination of one’s principles.

Principle 3 – Objectivity

Provide professional services objectively. Objectivity requires intellectual honesty and impartiality. To ensure the integrity of work, manage conflicts and exercise sound professional judgment.

Principle 4 – Fairness

Be fair and reasonable in all professional relationships. Disclose and manage conflicts of interest. Providing clients what they are due, owed or should expect from a professional relationship, and includes honesty and disclosure of material conflicts of interest. It involves managing one’s own feelings, prejudices and desires to achieve a proper balance of interests. Fairness is treating others in the same manner that you would want to be treated.

Principle 5 – Professionalism

Act in a manner that demonstrates exemplary professional conduct, behaving with dignity and showing respect and courtesy to clients,
fellow professionals, and others in business-related activities, and complying with appropriate rules, regulations and professional requirements. To enhance and maintain the profession’s public image
and its ability to serve the public interest.

Principle 6 – Competence

Maintain the abilities, skills and knowledge necessary to provide professional services competently. Competence requires attaining and maintaining an adequate level of abilities, skills and knowledge in the provision of professional services. Competence also includes the wisdom to recognize one’s own limitations and when consultation with other professionals is appropriate or referral to other professionals necessary. Competence requires continuing commitment to learning and professional improvement.

Principle 7 – Confidentiality

Protect the confidentiality of all client information. Confidentiality requires client information to be protected and maintained in such a manner that allows access only to those who are authorized. Client’s information will not be disclosed inappropriately.

Principle 8 – Diligence

Provide professional services diligently, by fulfilling professional commitments in a timely and thorough manner, and taking due care in planning, supervising and delivering professional services.

At the first place, do you even know your own expected return?

If the investment provides potential 20% return, the probability is 80%, so you are expecting 16% of return.

Right?

Did you set your own benchmark?

No?

So what is the basis if your investment?

Expected return is the measure, by your standard, of what return that makes you happy.

Let’s say you expect return of 10%, by end of the year return is 15%, you will be more than happy.

But if your benchmark is “as high as possible”, you will always be unhappy.

Why? Because you will compare to the best performing investment, not your own yardstick.

How will you be happy if there is always other investments that is the-best-return investment?

Set yout reasonable expectation.

And be content with the result you get.

Set your own benchmark.

Set your own expected return. #financialplanning #investing

Hibah Amanah Tabung Haji

Berita baik! Tabung Haji (TH) sudah memberi nilai tambah perkhidmatan hibah amanah kepada pemegang akaun TH.

Kemudahan ini amatlah saya anjurkan terutama kepada pasangan yang masih mempunyai anak di bawah umur 18 tahun.

Bergantung kepada keadaan financial standing anda, hibah amanah ini akan memudahkan aturan pemindahan milik baki akaun kepada anak anda, dan melantik penjaga atau disebut penama kepada harta anak tersebut.

Jika ditakdirkan berlaku kematian, dan sementara menunggu urusan harta pusaka selesai, hibah amanah ini akan memastikan peruntukan kewangan kepada anak boleh terus disalurkan, tanpa melalui urusan harta pusaka.

Hibah amanah bukanlah shortcut atau jalan pintas kepada urusan pusaka, akan tetapi ia adalah usaha kita, untuk mewujudkan provision untuk anak tersebut, tanpa sekatan atau gangguan pihak lain.

Provision adalah objektif dalam perancangan harta pusaka, dan salah satu instrumen yang digunakan untuk membuat provision adalah melalui hibah amanah ini.

Jadi, fikirkanlah dan peruntukan masa dan sedikit wang ringgit untuk menguruskan hibah amanah dengan pejabat Tabung Haji yang berdekatan.

Semoga bermanfaat.

Nota: Nukilan ini adalah perkongsian semata mata. Saya tidak mewakili Tabung Haji, saya bukan kakitangan Tabung Haji, saya cuma pendeposit Tabung Haji.

Ignorance vs knowledge

I am an advocate to fight common ignorance to the right approach of personal finance.  

This page is designed to do just that – fight ignorance, and replace it with proper knowledge and understanding of financial planning, which is widely recognised and practised by international financial planning communities.

To be honest, we are, including me, at the mercy of our own weakness when come to managing our finance. We are not being thought about personal finance since we are kids. As a result, this knowledge deficit follow us until today.

Our ignorance, leave us in the dark, and we keep doing the same financial mistakes, and expecting different result. 

Take investment for example, we seek for shortcuts whenever possible to reap unrealistic profit, we fall prey to the word “guaranteed” return whenever being advertised, we believe beyond doubt the advice of “master trainers” and internet gurus which come and go, and of course we fall victim to “herd mentality” or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and invest our money where the herd invest in, and not forgetting our big fat ego, we deny our own mistakes, and we repeat the same thing.

Have you ever heard of investment companies going bankrupt everyday? No?

And have you ever heard of individuals fall bankrupt almost everyday? Yes?

Those investment companies are aware of certain systematic process and strategies to win in their investment pursuit.

Now, do you have an investment strategy? I mean the real one, as detailed in your own Investment Policy Statement. No?

When we are ignorant, we lose.

When we are aware, we win.

This is only one example in the area of investment planning. 

There are many other shortfalls in our understanding of cash flow, emergency fund, household networth, risk management planning, estate planning, retirement planning and tax planning.

This page is mostly promoting education and awareness to address those areas, and this page is free from product pushing.

However, I am not promising anything, and I do not give direct advise in this page. 

You should read my disclaimer and instead seek specific advise from your own advisor.

Speaking about advisor, I am a CFP Practitioner, with CMSRL and FAR licensed by Securities Commissions and Bank Negara Malaysia, respectively. My CMSL company is Phillip Wealth Planners Sdn Bhd. 

Should you have burning desire to change the way you manage your finance, you need help specific to you, and you are 100% willing to follow your own decision, I can be your partner-in-finance (not partner-in-crime) and together we go through the exciting financial planning process, which will help you raise your level of awareness and ease your financial decision making, leading to achieve your life goals. 

You see, opinion is the cheapest commodity, everyone has it. 

However, professional advice specific to your situation with no attachment and no commitment to sell you any financial products, only pure advisory, is I believe a worthwhile service for the consideration that you pay.

Let’s fight ignorance.

Let’s lift our financial intelligence.

Let’s prosper and reach our life goals. 

Thank you.

Benefit of being mortal

Today I received a disheartening news of passing away of a family member.

A sad news indeed to lose a living body that always smiles and encouraging. Full of encouragement and to me personally, symbolise what hardwork and what focus is all about.

We are all mortal.

The fact that we will pass on one day is real and evitable.

However, like the saying goes “everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody want to die”.

That fact that we are mortal, the fact that we will pass on one day is the greatest motivation for the living soul.

It is known fact, but we are not prepared to let go, drifting in the sea of worldly possession, still holding on like tomorrow never ends, till the time is up.

We are going to be flushed out, and replaced with the new.

There is no material thing to bring in our grave. Maybe our family member clad us with the best suit and the most expensive coffin, but that’s it.

Being immortal, and to face eventual death, which is anytime soon, require us to change our mindset about living life now and prepare to pass on legacy to others.

To me, the death of someone, remind me that we are all mortal – is the most beneficial moment.

Being certified financial planner, I normally urge my client to prepare estate planning now, yes now!

Why?

Depending on your family structure, your demise may be the very thing that shock the entire family, and extended family.

Family is sadden by your loss, but your family may be more sadden, thinking for themselves, how to live for the next 10 years. Also, how to handle life emotionally and economically, without you around.

Remembering death, automatically trigger our brain to this – our immediate family needs.

We always tend to think the best, to be the best, to do the best.

But being the best, is also preparing for the eventual death.

Knowing that we already prepare a valid document, outline wealth distribution, writing our final love letter, appoint trustworthy trustee – gives us peace of mind, to do the adventure that we want to do today.

Emotionally, we will be remembered by how we take care of our family, our legacy that we leave behind.

At the same time, all the monetary tools that we prepare to beneficiaries, will work for them the best way possible.

Remember, only you know your material world business, no body else is.

That is on material thing. More meaningful is your love letter to your family, and the set of instructions to your trustee to execute.

So that you are still “alive” and take care of your love ones, long after you are gone, and your legacy carries on.

One more thing.

In our Will and Trust, we write down our plan and our wish.

What does this do?

While living everyday, we are guided by our goals of our last wish, to carry on our legacy, the best we can.

We got nothing to lose.

We do our very best, because at last, we bring nothing to the grave.

Material things are to be passed on, to benefit others the best way.

Isn’t that a good cause for living?

Being mortal, remembering death, aspire us to live to the fullest, prepare for the inevitable.