Category Archives: Investment

Time flies

Has it been really 2-3 years since I have last blogged? Wow.

So many things have happened since, but the single most life changing event is being married to my on-off boyfriend of 10 years and moving to Adelaide to be with him.

Adelaide as a city is much better than what I had initially expected (or feared). The people are nice, food is good, close to the beach and the hills, less traffic. The only thing I miss are my family and friends back home. And of course, Malaysian food.

Work has been hectic, so it is a good complement to the lifestyle here. I appreciate weekends more now!

I guess the next most life changing event is that we bought a place!

Initially we were deciding between buying an investment property vs buying a home, and then finally decided on the latter! It is so different in Australia where you have to actually plan your finances to minimise the tax you pay (I feel like they don’t encourage you to find ways to invest because in the end you get taxed on the profits!) but oh well, we are where we are.

What inspired this post was actually me reading up whether to go with a builder directly or engage with an architect/designer first.

The more I read, the more I think to myself, “What was I thinking?” There is so much work to do! Actually I asked this question when we signed the contract, during the cooling off period and even now! So whilst I did not get cold feet for the wedding, I feel nervous about this! That said, things happen for a reason. And I truly believe this whole building process is going to be a good experience for us.

Long story short, I wanted to document our experience, not only for me to read back in the future and laugh at how naive I was, but also to help those who plan to go down the same route as us. It has been helpful to read about others who documented their building journey, but I wish there were more to refer to, esoecially for newbies like us.

Some background info: we purchased a block of land at Broadview with a very old house sitting on it. While it feels like a waste to tear down a brick house, my husband simply cannot appreciate traditional homes because he “had enough of living in old buildings” when he was renting.

So we are going to knock down and rebuild. /takes deep breath, omg what have we gotten into?!

I have been busy visiting builders over the weekends. A few that I have seen and spoken to (they are a mix of mass builders to custom home builders) includes:

  1. Fairmont Homes
  2. Metricon
  3. Rendition Homes
  4. Medallion Homes
  5. Scott Salisbury Homes
  6. Eastern Building Group

– Fairmont Homes: We were recommended this builder by 2 happy customers in the Lightsview Sales Gallery. I thought the salespersons (actually met the father and son duo) were very helpful and friendly. What I like about FH is that they are happy to allow you to design your house, but the area of the house has to be within their set parameters. They were also upfront about costings for eg a door or an extra window. Very efficient to give a rough quote based on the plan that I drew thr next day. To consider.

– Metricon: My impression of the saleslady was not great and she wasnt as friendly. The design booklet for Metricon is definitely much nicer than FH, but they seem rather strict to sticking to the design plan and not allowing major changes. Also priced more expensive than FH. A friend had commented that Metricon has many outstanding lawsuits with clients in Melbourne, though I cant verify that. OUT.

– Rendition Homes: This was recommended by another friend. Out of all the custom builders Ive seen, their price is the most reasonable at $900+ psm. For a 270 sqm house it would cost approx $250k for the basic stuff excl air con, paving, landscape etc. Saleslady was helpful and we had a Valentine date to discuss about what I like to have in the house. Love their walk in wardrobe in the showhouse! To consider.

– Medallion Homes: From $400-450k for custom home designs. Too expensive. OUT.

– Scott Salisbury Homes: starting from $1100 psm but their showhouses were really nice! Maybe for our next house. $300k for 250 sqm basic. Too expensive. OUT.

– Eastern Building Group: this was recommended by our agent whom I feel can be trusted. Another custom builder but they dont do in-house design. It is this builder who introduced me the option of engaging an architect/designer to get the layout of the house first and then show that to builders for bidding.

In a nutshell, this is where we are. To go to a mass builder who is flexible on design, design/builder or get an architect then find a builder??

First world problems!!! Of course, if you are reading this and if you have some input, I’d love to hear them!

Anyway will update soon!

 

 

 

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Thank you, 2013!

A friend of mine, very recently, asked me to create an entry for 2013.. “Why not?” he said. “If this year is any good at all, you should write it all down.” (forgot the exact words, this was my impression of our conversation). He is also the same person whom encouraged me to update my blog, hence the one-off post in November 2012. I have, in truth, forgotten about this blog. Well, I guess it deserves at least an entry this year.

2013 has been a great year for me! It has not been smooth sailing, as you will read later, but it’s as good as it gets. Nothing I would change at all.

January 2013

I always tell people that I don’t regret coming back to Msia, and I still don’t. The most impressionable memory this month is work related. My colleagues and I did well enough in our pseudo portfolios and were given the opportunity to manage our own funds! Yay! I remember feeling unsure (was I up for this?) yet excited (hell yeah I can do it!). The journey started off rocky, and while I’m sure it wasn’t that bad all the time, all I will remember is feeling the pressure. The funds were not doing well; some counters did not move, some large positions we had fell a hell lot in the new year: it was pretty intense, getting pressure from the top and whatnots. Maybe most of it was also self inflicted, for I had expected to do at least okay at first.

My boss was extremely reassuring, and that helped a lot. “If you as an inexperienced young ciku can do so well, then other more experienced fund managers would have lost their jobs already.” So, slowly and patiently, I started learning about more companies, reading more charts and then reshuffle my portfolio accordingly. By March, our funds were in a better shape, thank goodness!

May 2013

I joined my first fitness club, Celebrity Fitness! My girlfriend’s bf found a better job in Spore so I inherited his all-club pass at an awesomely low corporate rate. I am now a gym junkie who enjoys the BodyPump and BodyCombat combo. Exercising is part of my lifestyle now, and I love the mental and physical effects it brings!

June 2013

I was pretty lifeless studying for my CFA Level 2 in first half of the year. What made studying bearable (and a success) was my study partner! The more I discussed things with him, the more I dont know. I would say that it was the perfect partnership though: me for instilling discipline (or so he says) and him for being a smartass. Hours and hours spent learning and studying the CFA materials were no fun. We studied after work, studied during the weekends, studied during public holidays.. But I believe it will all be worth it in the end.

July 2013

My sister is finally graduating! My lil sis is all grown up 🙂 We had organised a family trip to London and Iceland. Going back to London brought back some memories, but I am surprised that I don’t miss it one bit! Had a good time meeting friends and ex-colleagues though. Iceland was beautiful! Had a major heated argument (once-in-5-years type) with my mom post the trip, but we sorted things out quickly. I love you mummy!

August 2013

Mid year was a time of turmoil for me. Relationship issues are the culprit this time. I was so caught up with the whole thing that I didn’t even realised how much it bothered me until I look back and reflect. I have never felt so torn and confused before.

Would I want to go back and replay? No, because of the people I hurt. But I truly believe that things do happen for a reason.

September 2013

I turn 25 this year! Celebrated my birthday with family, then with friends at Heli Lounge Pad.. and went for an amazing birthday trip to a beach at Kuantan. I don’t think I could have asked for anything more, really!

After being in a complicated status for a while, WY and I became an official couple. This was a milestone, considering we have been on and off for a while. I always say, “It’s either we are truly in love, or we are plain stupid because we never learn.”

December 2013

The major, major thing for the past month is having my bf back in Malaysia. From college (2007) till now (2013), we have never been in the same country. The fact that he decided to come back for these 2 months means a lot to me. I realised how much he loves me, in his own way and from all the things he does. I also realised he is a gem to me, as much as I am a gem to him. We are as similar as we are different. Ironically, we also just had a minor disagreement today which is why I can’t sleep which is also the sudden inspiration for this blog post.

******

Well, this pretty much sums up my year in 2013. Exciting? I wish. I have only gone clubbing once or twice this year.

Another inspiration for me writing this post is you!! If you are bothered enough to read this, you are probably involved enough in my life. Thank you so much for being part of my life this year, and I certainly hope we will continue to chat/text/update/meet each other in the future.

A few people deserve special mention, some will remain anonymous but you know who you are 🙂 This is something that is always in my heart yet are words that hardly leaves my mouth:

  • Thank you, Daddy and Mummy for bringing me up, for loving me and for teaching me wrong from right. If you take a while to think about it, it might be shocking to realise that your daughter is already 25! Thank you for your attention, care and advice when I needed them most. I love you both so much.
  • Thank you Elaine for being the only sister I wish to have. I am so proud of what you have achieved this far, keep it up! I truly miss having you around, it’s never really the same being in different countries ya? Keep us updated with your life and post more pictures. Love you!
  • Thank you Bro for your continuous support and wisdom. You have been through the ups and down with me, being my friend as well as my guide. You have been a blessing, I will go as far to say that!
  • Thank you to my girlfriends (Msia and London) for the happy times we shared. There is never an awkward time to take pictures, nor do we need a real reason to dress up! Thank you for listening to my problems and offering solutions. It’s difficult to find someone whom you really trust nowadays, and I’m glad I found a friend in you!
  • Thank you to my Communicator buddy. You made work way more interesting than it already is, and before you start taking any credit, I’m sure the feeling is mutual lol. It’s funny how friendship can be reconnected. Thank you for always being there when I needed to talk. The only way I can compensate by finding you a chick!
  • Thank you to the one who showed me how thoughtful and sensitive a person can be. I believe that your partner will be super lucky to have you!

And last but not least,

  • Thank you to my dear boyfriend who stuck it through thick and thin with me. You are my pillar of strength and confidence. I believe we complement each other well, as you do. After years of knowing and being with each other, it’s like we’re meant to be.

Enough with all the sappy stuff. Interesting fact: According to the WordPress stats, my site has about 11k views! Wooh! Top searches were “Giant rabbit”/”German rabbit” in relation to a post I wrote in 2012. LoooooL!

Have a good New Years everyone! 🙂

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Baby Steps

Investing, that sounds scary. For someone who has just  joined the workforce, sacrificing 500 pounds to invest can be quite intimidating. But I know I’m feeling that way because I do not have the sufficient knowledge in this area yet.

20,000 pounds goal by Sept 2014. Am I kidding myself? But when there’s a will, there’s a way.

There are various financial products in the markets, for eg: equities, bonds, mutual funds, indices, ETFs. For those who wants a higher leverage, you can have a go at CFD (contract for differences) and forex trading. Of course, higher returns come with higher risk for the latter.

I have chosen to focus on equities (aka stock of a company) for now. In simple terms, if you are invested in 1 stock of company A (which has a total outstanding stock of 100), you own 1% of the company. If you bought that stock for $1, and it has risen to $1.50, you have made 50% profit on your investment; if the price drops to $0.50, you make a loss of 50%.

There are 2 types of stocks: large cap and small cap. The higher the market capitalization rate, the more steady the firm is, hence less risk involved which leads to less returns. I have decided to invest in small cap firms which usually outperforms the large cap ones due to higher risk, and in order to minimize that risk I will have to perform some analysis. Small cap firms also have less coverage from research analysts, hence the higher chance of an arbitrage.

There are 2 types of analysis: fundamental and technical. Fundamental believers analyze a company based on financial figures such as P/E ratio and EPS, while technical analysts look at charts to determine the market trend. I believe in 70% fundamental analysis and 30% technical, so my next goal is to look at a company’s financial statements.

Anticlimax: That will have to be done another day as it’s getting late.

Do you only have $20-1000 but want to invest anyways? Here is a (somewhat) useful page for you then:

http://www.fool.com/investing/brokerage/how-to-invest-20-100-and-1000-and-more.aspx

Ok sleeping time! 🙂

Disclaimer: I am but a beginner in this treacherous world of finance, constructive feedback are highly welcomed if you see any mistakes/ misconceptions in my posts.

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