Gold and Precious Metals – Price Outlook Symposium

The first annual Gold and Precious Metals – Price Outlook Symposium (GOC2014) organized by Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Berhad is a one-day event that leads discussions on important factors driving and influencing the future prices of gold and precious metals.

Organised by: Bursa Malaysia & CME Group
Date: 28 June 2014
Time: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Venue: Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur

GOC2014 provides an excellent platform for you to gain valuable latest insights into the gold and precious metals market that are crucial for making any trading or investment decisions.

Speaker lineup for this year’s symposium include:

  • Mr Albert Cheng, Managing Director, Far East, World Gold Council
  • Mr Cameron Alexander, Manager, Precious Metals Demand Asia, GFMS Thomson Reuters
  • Mr Ermin Siow, President, FGJAM & Executive Director, Poh Kong Holdings Berhad
  • Mr Sunil Kashyap, Head of ScotiaMocatta & FX Asia, Scotiabank
  • YBhg Dato’ Sia Hok Kiang, Chairman, Malaco Mining Sdn Bhd
  • Mr Jeffrey Tan, SEVP, Product Development, Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Berhad
  • Mr Gordon Cheung, Executive Director, Precious Metals/Global Commodities, China Merchants Securities (HK) Co Ltd
  • Mr Benny Lee, Managing Director, i2Matrix Sdn Bhd
  • Mr Gregor Gregersen, Chief Executive Officer, Silver Bullion Pte Ltd

You can book your ticket with 5% discount using discount code DFGOC2014 from: BuySilverMalaysia.com

Silver Malaysia eBookPractical Guide For Investing Silver In Malaysia is an eBook specifically written with a Malaysian’s context for silver investment. You will learn different strategies, practical tips and tricks for investing in silver. Click here to find out more.

Credit Card Malaysia

3 Steps to Understanding Your Credit Card Interest Rates

Have you ever tried to fall asleep in a room with a lone mosquito trying to have its way with you? There you are, the epitome of evolution, unable to sleep due to a single petty insect. That’s sort of like how your credit card interest rates work.

They might seem small and insignificant – come on, what’s 8%, 10%, even 15% interest, right? – but in reality, their impact is huge. This contradiction is what causes confusion among credit cardholders. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to understand your pesky interest rates:

visa-credit-card

First: Figure Out How Much Interest You Get

Credit card interest rates in Malaysia range from 8% to 15%, depending on two main factors:

  • The bank or provider
  • Your credit score

The card provider will of course have the final say on your interest rates, but they will base it on your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better your interest rates will be. Keep in mind that each bank or provider might interpret your credit score differently, so, again, different providers might offer different rates, though they’re all referencing the same credit score. Yours.

So before you go and apply for a credit card, make sure to explore all options and find the best deal for your situation. One of the most highly recommended credit cards in Malaysia is the Maybankard 2 Cards Platinum American Express, which can be paired with a Visa and MasterCard. There are no annual fees for life on this credit card, and it offers excellent cashbacks, at no conditions. You can use the card on any shoes, fashion, and IT outlets that accept American Express cards.

Maybankard-2-Cards

Second: Understand (and Avoid) the Interest Domino Effect

The first part isn’t so bad; you just need to compare credit cards and see which provider likes your credit score the most and go with them. When you finally have your credit card, however, things get a bit more complicated.

Two major aspects lead to credit card overspending:

  • The ease and convenience of having a piece of plastic to swipe and voila! Bills paid!
  • The fact that you don’t see the money changing hands.

This means that not only do you have easy access to funds, but you also never physically see those funds and it would be harder to keep track of your spending. Then, there’s the interest.

Your interest may seem forgivably small, but it can easily snowball into a nightmare of debt and constant repayment. Take a look at this vicious cycle:

You pay for say, a new Apple gadget you’re charged interest you pay for part of your bill the debt left is carried over and MORE INTEREST is piled on top of it rinse and repeat.

See what’s happening here? Since you overspend, you can’t pay your entire bill. Since you can’t pay your entire bill, you get more interest to pay off the next time you pay part of your bill. In the end, you did not just pay for the total amount of the Apple gadget plus the 8% to 15% interest, you pay the 8% to 15% interest multiple times on different amounts.

You may not know it but most banks in Malaysia usually require only a minimum monthly payment of 5%. If you do however, pay only the minimum amount, you incur interest known as financial charges based on an interest rate structure that may look like this:

Tier 1 13.5% per year
If you pay credit cards on time for 12 consecutive months

Tier 2 – 16% per year
If you pay credit card bills on time for at least 10 out of 12 months

Tier 3 – 17.5% per yer
If you pay credit card bills on time for at least 9 out of 12 months

The above figures are as recommended by Bank Negara Malaysia and tiered interest rates could vary with every bank. In essence though, every time you fail to pay the full monthly amount due you incur higher credit card debt at the end of the year!

credit-card-debt

Third: Keep Abreast of Special Cases Concerning Credit Interest Rate

Much like spending time in jail where you can be released early if you behave well, your credit card provider in Malaysia may also consider your credit card use history and lower you interest rate after a specified and agreed upon period of time. The key is to know the specifics. Also, you might want to check out promotions where providers don’t charge interest for a period of time after a purchase as well as similar agreements.

A sound piece of advice: don’t ignore that mosquito. Compare credit cards in Malaysia, understand the facets of your interest rates, and most of all: spend wisely.

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Credit Card Malaysia – Written by CompareHero (http://www.comparehero.my), one of the leading financial comparison portal in Malaysia. We aim to guide people on their financial matters, and help them to save money and time. Please do check our website to learn more.

Malaysia EPF

Manulife Asset Management published a report on Malaysia population “aging” issue.

  • In 2010, only 5% of Malaysian population are above 65 years old.
  • By 2050, there will be 15% of Malaysian population above age 65.

Malaysia population is getting older. As each year passes us, there will be more elderly seniors compared to the previous years:

  • In 2010, every 100 working person are supporting 7 retired elderly seniors.
  • By 2050, every 100 working person will be supporting 23 retired elderly seniors.

When comes to retirement age and financial support upon retirement, the 1st thought Malaysians think about is EPF. Taking a deeper look, there are LESS THAN 40% of working age Malaysians have an EPF account.

EPF

There are a couple of issue with our EPF:

  1. It is a one-for-everyone solution in retirement planning. Undeniably, EPF is safe and stable by consistently giving 4.x% to 6.x% dividend (in the past 15 years). Last year (2012), the dividend payout from EPF was 6.15%, which can be considered reasonably. Unfortunately, this return is merely slightly above FD (fixed deposit) rate. This might be an okay plan for someone above age 50 and have a family with wife and kids. He cannot afford to take high risk due to his age and dependencies. However we have other groups of working class such as someone who is below 30 and have no dependencies (no wife, no kids and parents are still healthy). They can take much higher risk in order to make higher return. Their money in EPF earning merely 4.x% to 6.x% dividend is doing a relatively poor job for their money. This group of working class need to consider an alternate option to grow their wealth quickly.
  2. Most people finished spending their EPF savings within 3-5 years. Firstly, as of end 2011, 86.5% of the active EPF contributors have LESS THAN RM100,000. If an elder spends RM1667/month (for food, medical attentions and other daily necessities), his fund will run out in LESS THAN 5 years. Secondly, most retired folks are not prepared to handle such large amount of money. They have been receiving salary all their life and only managing their salary of few thousands Ringgit (perhaps RM3000, RM5000, RM8000, etc), but they are not prepared to handle RM100,000 or sometimes even more. They are not intellectually prepared due to insufficient financial education and they are not emotionally prepared with that large amount of money. Their financial blueprint will immediately bring them back to the level where they do NOT have so much money. This is the same reason why most lottery winners that became millionaires overnight became broke again (or in worse financial situation) within 3-5 years.

Apart from better money management skill, we should consider taking a little risk and grow our personal retirement fund (not purely relying on EPF). In my opinion, the most potential  investment in this decade is silver investment. Silver is known as the largest wealth transfer in human history in this decade. Just like Energy, wealth is never destroyed, it is merely transferred from one pocket to another. The challenge with our modern generation is, the money / wealth have gone invisible. If you are not trained or educated in this subject, you won’t even realize “the transfer” has happened.

Silver investment is really simple. All you need to do is buy low, sell high. Unfortunately, most people are doing the exact opposite. When the price is going higher, they came in and  bought during the high price then soon found the price started crashing down. When silver price did come down, that’s the time they should buy but now they are conquered by their fear that silver price might drop further and paralyzed them from taking any action.

Remember this, if you want to sell high, you need to buy low. Price fluctuation (ups and downs) for silver will always be there. Price moving in straight line NEVER exists. At the point of writing this, silver price is $29. I would not call this as the rock bottom price, but this is definitely a good price to buy some cheap silver. It is always better to buy at a good price, than waiting for the best price that might never come.

For more of my work, please take a look at the eBook: Practical Guide For Investing Silver In Malaysia (3rd Edition).