Assalamualaikum w.b.t.,

Hidup di dunia yang sementara ini banyak mengabui mata kita tentang matlamat kehidupan yang sebenarnya. Kita semakin terdesak dengan himpitan kehidupan dan berlumba-lumba untuk mencari kehidupan yang lazimnya lebih menampakkan keduniaa semata-mata.
Apakah ada di antara pelaburan yang semakin hari semakin kurang diberikan tumpuan? Namun, apakah kita menidakkan keperluan yang perlu kita sediakan di dunia bagi persediaan akhirat? Bagaimanakah pula pelaburan di dunia yang wajar dilakukan untuk persediaan akhirat kita? Wajar rasanya kita sama-sama bincangkan dan jadikan maklumat bersama ini sebagai panduan kita merentasi dunia untuk menempah tempat yang selesa di akhirat kelak, insyaallah.

Pandangan serta komen rakan-taulan, pak-pak ustaz, profesionalis, akauntan, hartawan, dermawan, pak/mak wan dan sebagainya boleh dikongsi untuk dijadikan panduan disamping memperkuatkan ukhwah sesama kita. Sila diemailkan pandangan anda ke mryteratak@gmail.com.


Wassalam.
5/11/2009
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Pemberitahuan: Semua maklumat di blog ini adalah pandangan peribadi melainkan dinyatakan sebaliknya. Sila rujuk kepada institusi atau badan yang berkaitan untuk maklumat lebih lanjut. Sebarang rujukan dari blog ini adalah risiko sendiri.Pengarang tidak bertanggungjawab di atas sebarang masalah yang timbul disebabkan oleh bahan diblog ini.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Muara Sg. Duyong Ikan Bakar, Melaka

Assalamualakum w.b.t.,

My journey to Lumut and Melaka will come to end tomorrow for this time. My intention this time is to share my views on the foods that we pay for. Anywhere we go, when starving for sure we will look for foods. How tasty and how much it will cost you. Some places we go, the price is so expensive but the taste not really good. So from sharing views we can get the value buy for the food and as customer we have right to get what we pay for.

My comparison is being made based on my eating experience in previous days. One day we go eat to one places it tastes is marvelous but after a period of time when we go back its turn oppositely. It is very hard to maintain the food taste and preparation quality I think.

For Muslims, when eating we should start with doa and end also with doa. Below is also for my remembrance.



Now lets see what, I have today for lunch and dinner. After brought my children to "Taman Rama-rama dan Reptile",  I taught to try portugese food but traffics jammed moving toward Melaka City. Change plan then eat nasi kandar Pinang Besar near to the hotel.  Taste is not the same as in Kuala Lumpur. Staff majority wearing trainee tag. No wonder, why no people come to take order.

For dinner we went to Muara Sg. Duyong Ikan Bakar as most people proposed this place in blog and personal contact. As never been to this place before, so we select this place. It is located before Umbai but a bit tricky to find the place. Furthermore, my GPS  license expired on the way to the place. Luckily google maps can be used to position through 3G. Alhamdulillah.

My goodness! When we arrived aroung 5.45pm there already huge crowd in one of the restaurant named Muara. Oppositely to the other restaurant empty... Only two restaurant available. As being proposed by our friends sowe stick to Muara. Below is what we ordered and my family always prefer the below any where we go for seafood.



 Squid Fritter and Butter Prawn


"Kerang Rebus"  my wife  and Otak-otak my children favourite



"Ikan Bakar"

Yes, this much-much better than Lumut. Here seafoods are served with "nasi lemak" and soy sauce (for everything). If you want plain rice must request. I request thai squid chili sauce to eat with squid fritter but not available, instead replace with chili sauce. Butter prawn was cooked with butter plus garlic then fried I think (different from what I always eat). Squid fritter taste great but if with thai chili sauce should be marvelous. For "ikan bakar" its a bit over cooked. Outer part burnt and carbonised. I believe due to the crowd, then the quality was unmanagable.

Overall, nasi lemak, kerang rebus, squid fritter are good. Ikan bakar failed. Price consider a bit higher than kuantan. For me, I won't come back to dine ikan bakar / seafood bakar here. Next time will try other places.

Umbai and Serkam, long time not going there, hopefully the taste still the same even what I heard price more expensive than muara sg. duyong now.

The best ikan bakar/seafood that I always take opportunity to eat when get chance are Philipines Market Sabah, Kuantan (Ana Ikan Bakar and Pak Mat), Penyabong Mersing, Kelantan (Fritters, Plain Seafood and etc), Kuching Sarawak (on top of buidling, don't remember the name), Ikan bakar belakang Istana Kuala Lumpur and Seberang Perai (Place don't remember, will check later update).

For those who take leave on this school holiday, enjoy your trip and foods; and please don't forget, spend what you plan and don't borrow to spend. New year is coming, remember for back to school mania.

Wallah hu 'alam.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kota Melaka.... Asam Pedas Today...

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.,

I'm in Melaka now and hopefully until monday.  My last visit to Melaka was 6 year ago and having a good "ikan bakar dinner" at Umbai and Serkam. I'm sick yesterday due to throat infection. Just getting better after took medicine from Elis Clinic, Melaka. Having a lunch at Nasi Ayam Singapore not far away from Hang Jebat Stadium. Taste fine (average). Here everything about nasi ayam including nasi goreng ayam.

Melaka is  paradise for Asam Pedas. Browse through recommendation in internet for asam pedas which were most recommended for Hajjah Mona and  Abg Piee. So for today dinner we went to Hajjah Mona Asam Pedas since its location is available in GPS. Asam pedas usually cook in many ways, but the taste should consist of "pedas" and "asam". Lady finger (bendi) also usually added as a mixture of asam pedas.

Asam pedas Hajjah Mona is served together with white rice, bean sprout and salty egg. We ordered asam pedas pari, asam pedas tenggiri, asam pedas meat and fried chicken.


A bit suprise, the asam pedas is not hot or  "pedas" and no lady finger inside. Different peope have different views. For Hajjah Mona Asam Pedas, the taste is just average. Price reasonable. If people ask me about this restaurant, I'm not recommend at all and should try other asam pedas restaurant in Melaka.

What can you see from the picture below? Four "Kul" on the wall together with others... My wife said, usually people put this "ayat" to protect their business against "sihir" or to get barakah from it or to show the restaurant is halal..



I still don't understand how Islam way of life can co-exist with secular practice culture. How can we get the "barakah" if rock song and many workers including the casher (owner family) not covered their "aurat". I believe Hajjah Mona can do something, hopefully other people especially non-muslim won't mis-understood the prettiness of Islam as a way of life. Hajjah means fullfilness the fifth of Islamic Principle.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Contd'.. Lumut Legacy

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.,

Today final dinner in Lumut brought me to Ikan Bakar Lumut that was suggested by one of Orient Star Hotel staff. He said this restaurant much better than D'Muara and Villa Ikan Bakar. Ordered "ikan bakar", squid fritter and butter prawn. Same like Teluk Muroh Ikan Bakar, I only can give mark below than  an average. Squid fritter is hard and butter prawn turn to egg prawn. Fish also not fresh and the sauce come with ikan bakar need an improvement.

What ever, it is my "rezeki" and should thank Allah s.w.t. for the foods, Alhamdulillah...

At first I taught in Lumut, it is easy to eat fresh fine cook seafood   at reasonable price from breakfast to dinner, but since monday I had been here, it is not as what I taught.

Wallah hu 'alam.

Lumut-Pangkor Fresh Fine Product...???

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.,

Have you been to Pangkor / Lumut a famous Island / Jetty in Perak? After long time I think 13 years, now I at Lumut again. Many changes happened around here and it was fast developed compare to last visit. Many people said, Lumut is paradise for seafood (ikan bakar) and dried seafood such "satay ikan, keropok pangkor, sotong madu, etc).

Like other people that came to Lumut, dried seafood for souvenir is the best selection for friends and neighbour. Yesterday, I bought  for a sample of "satay ikan, keropok, sotong kering madu"  three for RM10.00 at one shop infront of Jetty to Pangkor. Many souvenir, food stall and dried seafood shop there.

My goodness! I pretty lucky, Alhamdulillah not purchase in bulk yet. After opened for a taste, do you know what I discovered? Picture means thousand words. Satay ikan consider just okey but a bit hard. Keropok strong stuffy smell and squid "masyaallah" taste good but "fungi" are every where... Terbantut selera!!! Wueeekkkk! Already eat half... Today I feel my throat pain, I think it is infected....


Keropok: Stuffy smell 

Squid: Fungi can be seen every where... 


Do you want to know which shop??? Errr...!!! Better don't "lah"... I think all shop should be the same since its came from the same producer, better you check before purchase and be careful... Should I return the product to the stall??? Or should send to news papers???

Just to advise if you are the seller... please check your product before sell... or should double check first... How bad if foreigner purchased, they get sick and write to international newspapers... We in this country already being to bad already with the corupted ruler... 

After few days here, I already been to one of  "Ikan Bakar" Restoren at Teluk Muroh / Teluk Batik. Seafood "Bakar" here might be cooked in different style but I think still far below average in terms of taste and further more the squid and fish is not  fresh enough. I believe, we went to wrong restaurant and should try other restaurant next. See below picture... Squid fritters a bit hard, barbeque squid roast in plain without proper sauce given and "kerang rebus". The good thing with kerang, the shell is clean-brush and even the sweet taste of "kerang" also gone.

So far the seafood that I ate  here, the taste is too far-far away if compare to seafood in kuantan, kota bharu, melaka and even kampung baru...  In terms of price... it is considered superior than kuantan. A standard plate of squid fritter here cost RM10.00.



Today should be my last day in Lumut and hope I can get good taste of seafood at reasonable price.

Wassalam.
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From Lumut.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two article below showing a good progression of  new model of higher income economy. Many people stuck in debt due to they feel their payment is higher in new income model, but some of them did not understand that, if the cost of living become higher than what is the meaning of higher income model. The model is for you to window shop only.

Higher income do mean to me, higher income but not afford to buy since the raising of goods price is higher in multiple mangnitude compare to the salary increament.



image from: loanlenders.blog.com

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Thestar: Tuesday November 22, 2011


Property sector to feel impact from tighter lending, slower sales

PETALING JAYA: The winds buffeting the property industry may become stronger with the introduction of guidelines by Bank Negara to rein in household debt which becomes effective from Jan 1.

RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd analyst Loong Kok Wen said in a report that these regulations would have an impact on the industry with the high-end segment of the market being more sensitive to regulatory tightening as financing availability gets narrower.

She said the stricter lending rules were likely to result in a 14%-37% decrease in affordability with the impact to be felt from the first half of next year.

The central bank issued guidelines last week in a move to clarify lending practices among financial service providers which included the requirement by banks to make appropriate assessment into prospective borrowers' income after statutory deductions and consider all outstanding debt obligations.

Loong said that although banks were already assessing potential borrowers' net salary in their evaluation process, lending would likely be tighten on home mortgages going forward on worries of rising household debt to gross domestic product (GDP) levels.

She said fundamentals in the market remained weak with the prolonged sovereign debt crisis in the European Union overshadowing the global economic outlook.

“From our recent conversation with developers, potential buyers are indeed taking longer time in their property buying decisions than previously, especially on premium properties. Mass housing will continue to fare better due to pent-up demand,” Loong said.

She added that property sales were likely to taper off (after a 21% growth in 2010) with a growth of 0% to 5% in 2012, given that sales were largely driven by GDP growth.

Loong said the house was maintaining an “underweight” and was still cautious on property stocks although they have recovered in tandem with the temporary rebound in the equity market.

“Our stock pick is selective,” she said, adding that UEM Land was recently upgraded to a “trading buy” and Mah Sing Group Bhd to “market perform”.

Loong expects UEM Land Holdings Bhd to benefit from more oil and gas-related news flow in Iskandar, while IJM Land Bhd's share price could be supported by a potential merger and acquisition angle following the recent offer made by Permodalan Nasional Bhd to SP Setia Bhd.
___________________________________________________________________
 
Thestar: Saturday November 19, 2011


Groups laud move to reduce household debt


KUALA LUMPUR: Banks and related industries backed the move by Bank Negara in pushing for responsible financing to enhance consumer protection and reduce household debt.
“Banks will continue to engage closely with their customers by providing advice to ensure debt commitments are within their repayment capacities,” said Association of Banks Malaysia executive director Chuah Mei Lin.

She added that the new guidelines reflected the existing approach taken by its member banks.

The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations said the policy was a step in the right direction towards reducing household debt, but consumers needed to be more responsible in managing their finances.

“Too many young people are getting themselves deep in debt,” said its chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj.

He added that they usually accumulated the debts between the ages of 20 and 30.
National House Buyers Association secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said banks must evaluate an applicant's true income more stringently before granting loans.

“Banks also should not be allowed to charge excessive fees for early termination,” said Chang.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Yam said he believed there would not be any untoward incidents with the new guidelines.

He said this was because people, especially those who took loans to buy property, knew how to self-regulate.

“This is based on the low percentage of non-performing loans,” said Yam.

He added that those possibly in danger of falling into debt were young people without family support.

Malaysian Automotive Association president Datuk Aishah Ahmad welcomed the guidelines but was concerned that if too stringent, the move would affect car sales.
“Checking on affordability is the right thing to do as there is still a lot vehicle repossession taking place because consumers purchase beyond their means,” she said.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nice Experience Sharing - You Really Mean It, When It Is Realy No Short-Cut to Sucess...

Thank you for sharing  your experience and really NO SHORT-CUT TO SUCCESS!!!

But i see around us there are many "MEE SEGERA PROJECT" that  for certain people absolutely can really make money easily such when doing cattle farming project (Ehhhmmm!).

Now many people are dreaming of doing own business. Some with own paid up capital and some with bank loan. But I sure not many will get soft loan from government. How easy is doing business? Do become as MLM dealer is good business? Dealer for Insurance and Personal Financial Planning is prospectful business?? How many of us just end up in MLM as a user only after one MLM to another MLM and losing capital without constructive gain? And the worst, some stuck in bank loan just to become as a MLM trader..

I'm still wondering what business is the best and suit me best...???  Is there any business that no pain at all?

Working from home is really the way to reduce operational cos? Or at last end up by hiking up of house hold operational cost?

Dreaming to get hasle free and profitable business with low capital investment.... will I get one, stay at home, business come to me??? Dreaming! Dreaming! Dreaming do I???


---
Thestar: Saturday November 19, 2011


No short-cut to success

On Your Own

By TAN THIAM HOCK
ENTREPRENEUR.

I believe many entrepreneurs out there, like me, find it difficult to spell this word, let alone understand what it means. But I have to admit that it is definitely more stylish to tell your friends that you are an entrepreneur dealing in lifestyle products when you are actually selling cheap imported tee- shirts in a pasar pagi or more elegantly put... Sunday bazaar.

Back in the good old days, life was much simpler. You either aspire to be a teacher, doctor or a businessman. Businessman? Teachers frown upon such childish notions as that would mean you will drop out at Form 5 to take over your father's fish stall in the wet market. You either aim for the civil service or be a professional something. Or God forbid, you will end up being a small time businessman.

So back in the 80s, many of my university mates joined prestigious banks and major corporations. When we met, I did not know how to tell them I was a small-time businessman so I described to them. I sold razor blades, food products, lozenges, confectionary and now I just tell them I am a lipstick salesman. The entrepreneur word was not in vogue then and till today, I still do not understand why this word is so highly regarded by businessman wannabes.

Fast forward to November 2011. The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is in full swing and moving into its second year of the 10-year road map. Its noble intention is to create a high income nation with per capita of RM48,000 per annum for a population of 32 million in 2020. So, an average size family of four should be earning about RM200,000 pa which should be about middle-class standard in the year 2020.

Last week I attended the ETP seminar organised by Ernst and Young as a panelist. I accepted the invitation because I wanted to listen to the speech by the much-admired Datuk Seri Idris Jala. And also because I was asked to look into what and how SMEs can benefit by participating in the ETP from an entrepreneur's viewpoint.

So I googled ETP and from the excellent and well-presented website, I was inundated with volumes of data and information and, best of all, a zillion acronyms. Conceptually, 12 New Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) were identified to drive the ETP. These are existing economic sectors so I have no idea what is so “new” about it.

Anyway, I concentrated on Wholesale and Retail, an (N)KEA that has identified 13 Entry Point Projects (EPP). The EPP is basically 13 different projects identified to help drive the Retail KEA forward to create more jobs and increase GNI or gross national income. Still with me?

From the 13 EPPs, some were existing projects with new packaging, some with fancy names and acronyms except the words SURE TO FAIL. Definitely written by inexperienced Con sultants having to justify the high fees charged to Pemandu.

But there were some good EPP ideas with good intent. I particularly like TUKAR which sets out to modernise the traditional kedai runcit into modern retail shops like KR1M. Five thousand shops in 10 years means an opportunity for 5,000 entrepreneurs assuming that it is based on a franchise concept. Champions like Mydin have been identified to lead the transformation. But will this concept work?

Like all franchise business models, the franchisor develops the concept and the SOPs and makes money from the upfront franchise fees plus enjoys continuous royalty income from a percentage of sales and trading margins from the supply of goods.

Since this project is driven by the ETP, entrepreneurs will be able to obtain bank loans to pay the franchise fees and renovation costs. A typical retail shop should be able to garner a monthly sales turnover of RM100,000 to RM150,000.

To enjoy middle-income status, he would need to have a clean profit of RM15,000 a month after paying rental and staff expenses which is approximately 10% of sales. This is where the math does not add up.

KR1M shops have to compete with the low prices of hypermarkets and hypermarkets worldwide make a net profit of 2% to 3% on a huge sales turnover. Low turnover requires high margins, so the current expectations of the politicians and public of KR1M competing with hypermarkets on low prices is unrealistic and foolish. The entrepreneur will suffer a slow and painful death.

But in Malaysia, KR1M entrepreneurs can still survive if they do not have to repay bank loans, get better margins from backend bulk purchasing and by not paying royalties to the franchisor.
The champion franchisor will have to forego the bulk of the profits and perform a national service role of developing 5,000 successful entrepreneurs.
Foreign companies now control 65% of our hypermarket business. The ETP retail road map is our only hope for local entrepreneurs to regain lost market share in the retail industry. Local champions like Mydin must step forward and genuinely help Malaysian entrepreneurs to realise our national ambitions. There is still hope.
I strongly advise entrepreneurs to study the 12 NKEAs carefully and look for suitable opportunities that will be created by the ETP. Amid the 131 EPPs, you might just find one good opportunity for yourself. And that will be good enough even if you do not understand the rest of the mumbo jumbo.

As for me, I have to order 24 roses from the flower saleswoman to celebrate my wedding anniversary next week. But I have to cancel my 24-carat EDD initiative with Poh Kong.
Amid the uncertain euro debt debacle, my Expensive Diamond, Darling project would seem unrealistic and foolish. Hope my wife understands or this businessman will suffer a slow and painful death.
The writer is an entrepreneur who hopes to shares his experience and insights with readers who want to take that giant leap into business but are not sure if they should. Email him at thtan@alliancecosmetics.com

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy With RM100 Wang Ehsan???

Some says syukur with RM100.00, at least get something rather than nothing. Yup, hope everybody happy with RM100.00.

I still waiting for LHDN/Tax refund. Until now didn't get refund yet. They ask to send all copies of receipt I did. Call LHDN, they said need to wait can't check since, LHDN data center move to cyberjaya can't check... funny dummy... If late pay tax or declare you will be fined... But when late refund many excuses...

Let say your tax refund RM5000.00 what can you do with that money??? Invest in ASB how much can you get return, if 8% then should profit you  RM250.00... or invest in Gold let say you gain 10% than should profit you RM500.00... If you smart enough in BSKL you can gain let say at least 30% then profit you RM1500.00... or the worst let say in fixed deposit/islamic banking  of  4% then your gain is RM125.00

Meaning that LHDN should "busuk-busuk" pay me at least for their inefficiency  of RM250.00 for every RM5000.00 refund

I remember one song by Allahyarham P. Ramlee... view below video with peace of mind... In next post I will post my view on EPF/KWSP based on my understanding, reading and scenario with current issues around them.

Kamilah penyamun dalam negeri...
........
Ayam dan itek semua kami bedal...



Siapa melawan, ku tunjal tunjal...


Kami penyamun... Penyamun...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

RM100 Give Away for those who got children at Sekolah Rendah and Menengah

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.,

For those who got children at Sekolah Rendah and Menengah, there will RM100 give away under budget 2012 to ease parent "for back to school" preparation. Some schools already start deliver this subsidy. But please alert, from the letter that I received it is only for few days only. Other school I don't know and don't forget to check.

Please don't hesitate to claim even though for some people this is only very small amount comparing to the back to school preparation cost. This is your money, come from tax you pay. If you don't want to use for your self, you can send the money to charity, "sadakah ke masjid", "sadakah ke rumah anak yatim" and etc.

There are many orphans need your attention for back to school preparation. May Allah bless you for your kindness.

Wassalam.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Do unit trust better than EPF???

I still believe if the right time entering and exiting unit trust (shariah compliant) more profit can be attained and much better compare to EPF (investment integrity and "riba" issue) with lesser dividend.

Thestar: Saturday November 12, 2011

High fees dampener for unit trust

By DALJIT DHESI
daljit@thestar.com.my


Unit trusts are gaining popularity among investors as an important source of investment and retirement savings. But are investors getting a fair deal from the high charges being imposed by the industry and will lower charges really mean better returns for investors?
THERE is nothing that really fazes a seasoned investor. They are used to losing and making money on the stock market. They understand the game.
But if there's one thing that irks veteran investor Jason Yap, who has been a unit trust investor for a decade, is that he already starts losing money before he has a chance to make a profit.
What irritates Yap, who is a retiree, is the high upfront fee he has to endure, and that has a profound impact on the return on his investment.
“The upfront fee of between 5% and 7% is rather high and should be lowered for us to enjoy better returns. The upfront charge one has to pay when buying into a fund will impact the returns received from the fund. It is pointless to invest in something that at the end of the day will bite into' the returns or monies received from the particular investment.
“Many of us have taken out monies from our savings to invest in unit trusts. For unit trust to be effective in boosting retirement savings, the charges should be lowered or even abolished,” he adds.
That argument is as old as the industry itself. Since establishing its roots in 1959, the unit trust industry in Malaysia has grown steadily over the years and has really blossomed since the various periods of market turbulence, especially the Asian financial crisis in 1997/98.
Foo says a dichotomy exists in Malaysia where different rates are being charged to different entities.
One of the major qualms among investors for some time now is its high sales charges.
The main grouse has been the upfront charges, which is money people have to pay when they buy into a fund. Then there is the exit charges, which are money paid when they cash out of a fund, and the annual management fee, which is a charge imposed by the fund to manage people's money.
The current upfront fee ranges from 5% to 6.5% on the invested amount, except for money from Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to invest in funds (under the EPF Members Investment Scheme) which is capped to 3% since Jan 1, 2008.
The exit fee may be 1% or higher but much depends on the structure of the fund. The annual management fee ranges from 1% to 1.5% and the trustee fees is from 0.5% to 1%.

A call to review sales charges
Is there a need for the industry to review its charges to make the unit trust industry more appealing to investors? Some industry observers think so.
Malaysian Financial Planners and Advisors Association (MFPAA) deputy president Robert Foo thinks front-end fees should be reduced or completely removed so that investors can enjoy higher returns.
The other purpose of such a radical but common practice in matured markets is that the whole industry can then move from a sales push culture to that of a professional advisory culture where investors can work with licensed and professional financial advisors if they so wish.
“It should be noted that in developed countries like Britain and Australia, there is a regulatory push for such financial products to be delivered on a fee for service basis rather than on a high push environment with upfront sales commissions. In Britain, the government has legislated that by Jan 1, 2013, all financial products are not allowed to have commissions attached.
“Agents or financial advisors are required to charge investors directly for services provided, therefore ensuring that their interest aligns with that of the investors,” he adds.
Foo, who is also the managing director of licensed financial planning company MyFP Services Sdn Bhd, says a dichotomy exists in Malaysia where different rates are being charged to different entities.
For money withdrawn from the EPF, people pay 3% to buy into a unit trust, but for walk-in customers, they are charged 6%.
“Does it mean that your EPF money is more valuable than your hard cash?” he asks.
“I think the upfront fee is too high and eats into the returns of investors. The average compounded rate of return of equity unit trusts in Malaysia over the last 10 years is only about 7.5% per annum, and losing 6% upfront is too high a cost for investors,” Foo says.
An industry observer says the Securities Commission should consider compelling unit trust companies to waive the upfront charges, similar to funds under Fidelity Investment, which is one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world with over US$1.46 trillion in assets under management.
Foo says it is cheaper to buy funds through the Internet, for example through www.fundsupermart.com.my or eunittrust.com.my, which imposes an upfront charge of 1% to 2%.
Much higher than regional peers
Licensed financial planner Jeremy Tan of Standard Financial Planner Sdn Bhd says the upfront fee is considered high compared with countries like Singapore and Hong Kong.
Tan says that depending on the sophistication of the product, the unfront fee in Singapore ranges from 3% to 5%, but adds that there is an alternative platform for investing in unit trusts, with upfront fees ranging from 0.75% to 2%, depending on the amount invested. In this latest alternative, there is a wrap fee of up to 1% per annum.
He says the alternative is also available in Malaysia, where the upfront fee is lower than what is currently charged by investing directly through the fund house.
He expects the industry to eventually lower the charges in line with other Asian countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong.
Foo says that due to the open nature of the Hong Kong and Singapore markets, where local funds have to compete with global fund houses at the retail and wholesale market sector, the fund companies can reduce the upfront charges to even zero. Also, there is no tied agency structure in these countries unlike Malaysia.
Lower charges, better returns?
Those arguing for lower charges will undoubtedly look at the average return of 7.5% per annum over the past decade by unit trust firms and say a lower fee will bump up returns.
Tan, however, believes lowering the sales charges will not necessary provide better returns to investor. It depends on the performance of the fund manager or the fund house in relation to the funds invested among others.
Pacific Mutual Fund Bhd executive director and CEO Gary Gan concurs. He says the performance of a fund and its relevance to investors is key rather than merely looking at charges.
At the end of the day, the basic rule of investing is making an informed decision. This means investors need to have sufficient information and knowledge of the product they are investing in, he notes.
MAAKL Mutual Bhd CEO Wong Boon Choy says any attempt to restructure the front-end and back-end charges will require very careful study and strong will on the part of the authorities to make tough changes to the rules and regulations on existing distribution channels which is dominated by a tied-agency system.
“Agent commissions have already been compressed when the EPF capped the maximum service charge to 3%. This translates to more than 50% reduction in the normal service charge. The front-end service charge is the primary means of compensating the agents for the service they provide to investors,” he explains.
Wong, who is also the president of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM), estimates the tied agency force to be over 60,000 at the end of last year.
Meanwhile, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Danny Wong feels the market should determine the fee structure as ultimately good performance and achievingthe investor's objective are more important.
Tan says the upfront fees are considered high compared with Singapore and Hong Kong.
He says there are funds with upfront fees distributed by banks or unit trust companies as well as those with almost no front-end fees being solddirectly by niche fund managers or via online portals. He points out that there is no evidence of superiority of either practice as the choice of investment is left to the investors.
Lowering or abolishing sales charges, says Steve Lim, chief product officer of HwangDBS Investment Management Bhd, will provide investors a quicker path to garnering returns on their investment, but at the same time, might encourage many to make regular withdrawals.
From the perspective of unit trust management companies, the lowering of sales charge to 3% has helped change investors' mindset and allowed them to realise that unit trust is a viable investment and pension planning instrument, Lim adds.
CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd CEO Campbell Tupling says the industry fee structure in Malaysia is primarily on the front-end as the back-end fees are not significant.
Alternatives
“Investors know what they are paying for. Fees are transparent and clearly stated. Investors are free to choose how they wish to be serviced. There are other means of investing at a lower cost, for example exchange traded funds (ETFs). However, investors have yet to embrace ETFs in a meaningful way,” he adds.
With high sales charges of unit trust funds, which generally are open ended funds, will it make more sense for investors to switch their investments into close-end funds or other instruments like ETFs?
iCapital.biz Bhd managing director Tan Teng Boo does not think so. Unless the fund manager has an excellent track record, he says it is hard to promote and list a close-end fund like icapital.biz Bhd on Bursa Malaysia.
Tan says any such fund has to go through an initial public offering process and is not so profitable for fund management companies to promote and list close-end funds as there are no entry fees or front-end loadings or commissions, he adds. At the same time, he says investors in Malaysia are not familiar with closed-end funds.
icapital.biz Bhd is the only listed closed-end fund in the country.
From the company's records, icapital.biz Bhd's cumulative returns for the five-year period (between Oct 19, 2005 and Dec 30, 2010) stood at 109%. (Note: the fund was not traded on Dec 31, 2010).
The top half of the Equity Malaysia Funds (equity unit trust funds) returns range from 84% to 196% during the five-year period (Dec 31, 2005 to Dec 31, 2010).
Wong says that in general, unit trust funds are more popular than closed-end funds. With the so-called guaranteed buy-back feature, investors can be assured that the unit trust management company will buy back their units in the event the investors need to make a redemption or liquidation.
“Unlike unit trust funds, the trading price of the closed-end fund is dictated by market force and investor sentiment. In the event the investors of the closed-end funds want to liquidate their holdings, they can only liquidate or sell through the brokers on the stock exchange where the units are subject to the market forces of supply and demand.
“Therefore, the prices can be volatile in the secondary market where investors may sell their units at a discount or premium. In this case, liquidity is one of the major concerns for investors of closed-end funds,” he says.
Foo feels investing in closed-end funds or open-end funds has its pros and cons, but much depends on the skill and capability of the investment manager to deliver the returns by taking advantage of the inherent features of the two structures.
Tan of Standard Financial Planner says more research and analysis on close-end funds is required before investing, compared with unit trust investment where the fund's objectives of distribution policies, inherent risks, minimum investment period are clearly spelt out in its prospectus.
Every investor wants to preserve capital invested and a return corresponding with the risk taken, he explains.
Currently, there are over 580 unit trust funds in the market compared with only five listed ETFs on Bursa, namely CIMB FTSE Asean40, CIMB FTSE China 25, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI ETF, MyETF Dow Jones Islamic Market Malaysia Titans 25 and ABF Malaysia Bond Index Fund.
For example, returns to date (Jan 1 to Oct 31) of FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI ETF stands at -0.16%. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was down 2.71% during the same period.
Lim says ETFs can be a good choice for investors who have knowledge of the stock market and have the expertise to make investment decisions on their own. For the normal saver, however, unit trusts tend to be more appropriate as the investments are managed by professionals who have the skill sets to make complex investment decisions.
Gan, however, feels investors should consider other factors rather than solely relying on returns data. Factors like volatility of the instrument and fund size are equally important when investing in a particular fund.
Growth momentum and key challenges
With the current uncertainties in the global economy coupled by the eurozone debt crisis, is the unit trust industry able to ride out the global economic slowdown to continue its growth path?
Industry players generally think the industry will continue to grow albeit at a slower phase. CIMB-Principal's Tupling projects a low single-digit growth for the rest of the year and anticipates the industry's asset under management to grow about 5% to RM104bil this year.
In terms of net asset value (NAV), the investments in unit trust funds held by 14 million account holders stood at RM240bil last year compared with RM44bil in 2000, an increase of about 45% per annum.
Wong feels the market should determine the fee structure as good performance and achieving objectives are vital.
He says that new investment in equity funds has slowed but it is not a significant drop, adding that redemptions are also lower than expected.
The growing risk aversion, he says, will result in higher demand for more defensive and conservative asset classes like dividend-yielding equities and fixed income securities.
Lim of HwangDBS expects single-digit growth this year due to poor market sentiment and high risk aversion in view of the uncertainties in the global economy.
He says the main challenges faced by the industry is the need to address the question on how growth momentum can be maintained as well as to promote unit trust fund as a staple in building long-term wealth. He says there is also a need to change the short-term investor mindset.
Gan says while the current gloomy outlook may have impacted equity funds, not all can be lumped in the same boat. Funds like Islamic and money market are thriving and the factors that will ultimately attribute to industry growth is how well funds perform and deliver products that meet investor needs.
Areca Capital's Wong expects the industry to continue growing at a double-digit rate. With investment markets getting more volatile, he says investors may find it harder to grow their investments resulting in migration of more funds into the fund management industry.
Competition from international players is the other main challenge for local players, he notes. To face the challenges, Wong adds innovativeness and excellent service standard is needed.
It is therefore important to allow different types of business models and strategies to combat that threat, especially when facing the establishedgiant international players, so that each player will continue its role and find its niche within the industry, he says.

Monday, November 7, 2011

TENAGA Bell Ringing???

Ring! Ring! Ring! Ring!

Nuclear plant? Tariff hike? S.O.S EPF?

Ring for ruler change, more suitable I think....


Thestar: Monday November 7, 2011


Tenaga faces cash shortage

By YAP LENG KUEN

lengkuen@thestar.com.my


High cost of alternative fuels draining utility’s money
PETALING JAYA: The situation confronting the power sector is becoming more convoluted by the day.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is crying foul over its cash running out as it struggles to pay for the high cost of alternative fuels.
This follows another gas supply shortage occurring this time on a larger scale.
There were suggestions of cost-sharing, based on the previous experience in 2002, on a ratio of 40:30:30, to be borne by the gas supplier Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), TNB itself and the independent power producers (IPPs). But that seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
While TNB says it is no longer able to pay, the IPPs are saying there is obligation to pay. Meanwhile, Petronas says that up to August this year, it has already paid RM143.4bil in price differential, out of which RM103.2bil was for gas supplied to the power sector.
Back in 2002, the country also experienced a gas supply shortage albeit on a smaller scale. The IPPs were forced to pay back based on the ratio of payment.
“In those days, the perception was that IPPs made a lot of money at the expense of TNB,'' an analyst said, adding that the current situation was looking worse than before. “Now, the first generation IPPs are about to expire in 2015, so there is no need to squeeze them further.''
TNB is said to be paying RM400mil per month on the price differential between using distillates and gas as fuel.
Research houses like Maybank Investment Bank (IB) Research are projecting that TNB's cash will run out in three to four quarters.
“The IPPs are just offtakers of gas from TNB,'' said an analyst with a bank-backed brokerage. “The negotiations on gas prices are between TNB, Petronas and the Energy Commission. The shortage is so acute, with supply of less than 1,000 million std cu ft per day (mmscfd), this time. Due to the usage of distillates and oil, there is faster wear and tear. So the IPPs are also unhappy.''
The analyst suggested that TNB and Petronas each foot half of the bill as it was within its (TNB) right to ask Petronas to bear the cost.
“The Economic Planning Unit had given the undertaking that TNB gets a certain amount of gas (1,250 mmscfd) from 2009 to 2011, and the power structure was based on that understanding.
“By right, the Government has to pay the difference and TNB should be able to claim from Petronas,'' said the analyst.
A source told StarBiz that the matter related to payment by the IPPs did not arise anymore, especially since TNB and the IPPs came together to issue a joint letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last week.

Moreover, TNB did not seem to be pursuing the matter with the IPPs anymore, the source said.
“The Government can raise tariffs, provide a subsidy to TNB and ask Petronas to pay for the gas shortfall. However, for TNB to make a cash call or do a rights issue to service working capital is a sure sign that things are not looking good.
“As a monopoly company, they should not be making a cash call for working capital. The Government should take over the extra cost,'' said the analyst from Maybank IB Research.



Friday, November 4, 2011

Salam Aidil Adha! Selamat Mengerjakan Ibadah Korban...

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.,

Jika diizinkan oleh Allah s.w.t. dengan rahmatnya masih memberikan kita ruang untuk terus menghirup udara esok hari yang merupakan 9 Zulhijjah hari wukuf bagi mereka yang mengerjakan Haji dan peluang untuk kita sama-sama mengejar satu lagi hari berbaki untuk direbut dalam bulan ini untuk mendapat ganjaran berganda dengan mengerjakan puasa sunat 9 zulhijjah.

Puasa hari Arafah ialah puasa sunat pada hari kesembilan Dzulhijjah yang disunatkan bagi mereka yang tidak melakukan ibadah haji. Kelebihan berpuasa pada hari ini ialah ia dapat menghapuskan dosa-dosa setahun yang telah lalu dan dosa setahun yang akan datang, sebagaimana hadis yang telah diriwayatkan daripada Abu Qatadah al-Anshari ra:

Dan Rasulullah SAW ditanya tentang berpuasa di hari ‘Arafah.
Maka Baginda bersabda:
“Ia menebus dosa setahun yang telah lalu dan setahun yang akan datang.”
(Hadith Riwayat Imam Muslim)

Sempena Sambutan Aidil Adha yang bakal menjelang, disusun sepuluh jari mohon kemaafan sahabat, taulan dan semua yang menziarahi blog ini dari semua kekhilafan diri ini. Semoga ibadah korban yang dilakukan tahun ini akan diterima oleh Allah s.w.t. dan dianugerahkan dengan keampunan dari dosa-dosa yang lalu. Amin.

Wassalamualaikum w.b.t.,

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Pesan orang alim, khinzir tetap haram walau disamak kemudiannya disembelih mengikut cara Islam. Begitu juga perkara yang menjurus kepada maksiat, bagaimana sekali pun disucikan akhirnya tetap tergelincir juga ke lembah yang tidak diredhai oleh Allah s.w.t.