Friday, September 29, 2006

Multilevel Marketing

Lesson 12: Multi-level Marketing

Today I am going to share with you another popular way for you to get more money and hopefully retire young. As I said before, there are a lot of ways for you to invest your money and time, these investment vehicles include property, stock market, mutual funds, online marketing........ I am going to talk about multi-level marketing today. You certainly know the big names in this business such as Amway, Nu-Skin......etc.

I used to be like most of you, tired of daily work and having difficulty to breath at the end of every month because there are tones of bills to pay! I am disappointed with my pay and I have problems settling my credit card bills, phone bill, home loan.....etc every month. I am searching all available ways to improve my income.

I met one of old high school friends when I came back from UK after my MRCP examination and he told me that he has found a way to double or even triple his incomes with only half his effort. I was so excited at that time because I almost spent all my saving after my MRCP PACES in UK. I have no ideas at all at that time what kind of business he was talking about but he seemed doing pretty well with a few offices in Indonesia, Hong Kong and China.

' I desperately needed money at that time!'

My friend invited me to one of his company meetings and only at that time, I learned about MLM ( Multi-level Marketing). The idea of MLM is quite simple. You help a company to sell products , you earn commissions based on your sales of products or service provided by your parent company. However, the business becomes more lucrative if you bring more people to join you because the more your downstream members sell, the more you would get as commissions! So the philosophy of this business is simple and attractive, you should not aim to sell products, you can get more if you train people to sell products for you! I was totally amused by this idea!

The idea is simple-' More people under you, more money you would get!'

Imagine that you can recruit 10 people under you, if you train them well and all these 10 members work hard and each of them recruit another 10 members for you, there will be 110 members under you!! Imagine further if all of them make an US10 profit for you every month, you will be getting US1100 per month by doing nothing! ( This is what we call passive income and all of us are dreaming for that!)

The business idea is certainly fantastic and I worked very hard to get members under me. However, it did not take long time for me to realize the following,

1) If you are not the kind of person that likes to talk and promote products, it is a though business to venture into!
2) Certainly the earlier you join the business, the better. Why? Because I notice that when I approach my friends, half of them already joined the business and I couldn't find any new members.
3) In order for you to be at the top of the pyramid, actually, you are stepping on many others under you to get the money. Therefore, there are 100 or even 1000 times more losers than winners in this business!
4) And the worst thing is the winner is always the parent company and not you!

Therefore, I am thinking if I work hard for that company, why not myself starts a business and recruit people to help me to sell products and I pay them commissions?

I always believe that in order for you to earn your money faster with only half your effort, you must leverage your time and money. I would talk more about this in my future posts. I think if you would like to join Multi level marketing, why not try to set up a company/business and franchise to others and make money from that!

Think twice before you join them because you might not climb up the ladder. And the worst part, you are always the one who is under somebody and make money for others. (Therefore, it is no different from what you and me are doing right now as a worker!)

I think I might not be able to cover all my investment tips in 12 lessons, so I would give you another 2 lessons entitled 'Business and Intellectual Property' and 'Conclusion'!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Big Mac Index

Big Mac Index-Which City Makes Most Money?

Recently there is an interesting report published by UBS, the Swiss bank. The Big Mac index was used again to compare the purchasing power of workers from various cities around the world. The purchasing power ranking of cities was based on the number of minutes of work required to buy a Big Mac, the ranking is as follow,

Tokyo 10 minutes of work
Los Angeles 11 Chicago 12
Miami 12 New York 13

Auckland, New Zealand 14
Sydney, Australia 14
Toronto 14
Dublin, Ireland 15
Zurich, Switzerland 15
Frankfurt, Germany 16
Geneva 16
London 16
Vienna, Austria 16
Berlin 17
Hong Kong 17
Luxembourg 17
Montreal 17
Munich, Germany 17
Copenhagen, Denmark 18
Oslo, Norway 18
Amsterdam, Netherlands 19
Helsinki, Finland 19
Madrid, Switzerland 19
Nicosia, Cyprus 19
Brussels, Belgium 20
Milan, Italy 20
Taipei, Taiwan 20
Barcelona, Spain 21
Paris 21
Stockholm, Sweden 21
Singapore 22
Lyon, France 24
Manama, Bahrain 24
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 25
Moscow 25
Rome 25
Athens, Greece 26
Riga, Latvia 28
Seoul, South Korea 29
Johannesburg, South Africa 30
Lisbon, Portugal 32
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 33
Ljubljana, Slovenia 35
ao Paulo, Brazil 38
Shanghai, China 38
Prague, Czech Republic 39
Tallinn, Estonia 39
Warsaw, Poland 43
Vilnius, Lithuania 43
Beijing 44
Budapest, Hungary 48
Istanbul, Turkey 48
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 53
Bratislava, Slovakia 55
Santiago, Chile 56
Kiev, Ukraine 55
Buenos Aires, Argentina 56
New Delhi 59
Bangkok, Thailand 67
Bucharest, Romania 69
Sofia, Bulgaria 69
Bombay, India 70
Manila, Philippines 81
Mexico City 82
Caracas, Venezuela 85
Jakarta, Indonesia 86
Lima, Peru 86
Nairobi, Kenya 91
Bogota, Colombia 97

Tokyo seems to be city where you can earn your money the fastest. It is quite interesting to notice that Tokyo is the only Asian city ranks in the top ten list. The second Asian city where you can make money fast is Hong Kong. And again Kuala Lumpur, is far behind other Asian cities such as Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and even Moscow! And the United States is still the country with most cities where you can buy your Big Mac by working less than 15 minutes!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Stock Market

Lesson 11: Stock Market

Today I am going to talk what I know all about stock market. Actually, stocks can be considered as a good investment vehicle because of a few reasons below,

'Place where you can make or lose money!'

1) Stock is simply a piece of paper stating that you have some ownership in certain company. It has no physical meaning, therefore, you do not need maintenance to keep your stocks as compared to your real estate. For houses, lands, etc, you need to pay some money to the government because of certain taxes. You even have to spend more money every year to repair your house. However, you do not need single cent to keep your shares!

2) The liquidity of stock is high, basically, you just need to call your agent and usually, you can cash out your money within days as compared to property, in ewhich you may need months or even years to get your cash.

3) What you gain in stock is considered as capital appreciation. In Malaysia and a lot of other country, you do not need to pay tax for that. As compared to property, you need to pay tax if you make a profit after selling your house within a certain years after you buy it.

It sounds like that stock is a good option for one to invest his money. This is supported by a lot of studies which show that average stock market return is always higher that your fixed deposit interest. However, you must know that the volatility of stock market is much higher than other investments.

Volatility just means how much a stock’s price can fluctuate, your 1 dollar stock may drop to 20 cents or even up to 3-4 dollars within a year, you must always ask yourself whether you can tolerate that kind of fluctuation before deciding to buy any stock.

I always think you must be an investor if you really want to invest in stock market. Never become a speculator who listens to rumors and hold their stocks only for short term. You want to invest in a stock if the stock can provide you the following,

a) Good long term prospect- you are confident the core business of a company has a bright future. Although the current prospect may not be good, you anticipate the company will grow in 5-10 years time.

b) The stock provides you good dividends and the board of directors are very generous to give the shareholders money after the company makes profit.

c) The company is leader in their field. If you think of soft drink industry, you think of Coca-Cola, you think of McDonald's when fast food crosses your mind. Buy these stocks if you think it is a good time and you have extra cash!

However, you must remember one golden rule if you want to invest in stock market, be disciplined in the market and never use your feeling to buy/sell your shares. Be ready to lose your money as well, of course!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

How To Diversify Your Income?

How To Diversify Your Income?

OK, you are working from 9 to 5 and you are wandering how to increase your income provided you only stick to one job. You are right, you can not get rich if you have only one job unless you are a professional sport player, an artist, a high demand professional such as neurosurgeon or lawyer.

You must have multiple streams of income so that you can double or triple your monthly income. Here are a few ways where you can do it on your spare time and make some handsome money.

1) Create a product- write a book, e-book and even audio CDs and sell them online, or ask publishers to sell it for you and earn some royalties.

2) Join multi level marketing and sell certain products and get commissions from that. Recruit more members to sell the products for you and becomes what they call 'Diamond' or 'Platinum' members.

3) Start your own business , set up a small business like selling fruits/food in market during weekends to get extra cash.

4) Join affiliate program online and help them to sell products and earn commissions or get money from putting advertisement on your sites by joining Google Adsense.

5) Conduct your own seminar or talk to get extra cash. You can organize a talk to help people to solve their problems. Of course, these problems must be common and stir interest for people to attend.

6) Invest your money in stocks, mutual fund, money market etc to get extra money when there is capital appreciation.

7) Get rental income. Buy an apartment, a shop etc and rent out these properties and get money from that!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Internet Tips for FREE!

Internet Tips for FREE!

Recently I received an email about how a person ( Jim Daniels) get a constant income from his internet bussiness. He is going to give you some tips how to do this in his e book entitled 'Internet-Based Financial Independence in 10 Simple Steps'. I love this ebook but he is selling this e book at US97 dollar. He keeps his secrets so simple and you can learn a lot of tips if you are planning to start an internet bussiness.

And he's allowed me to GIVE you the special report today by sharing a secret order button bypass link at his site. That's right, you do not need to pay US 97 dollars if you act TODAY you'll receive the report at zero charge!

Here's how: Simply use the "Gold Key" at the bottom of this site to bypass the order form. You'll save $97 and you'll get aone-of-a-kind blueprint for ever-increasing web profits,

Click here now to get this special report and I hope you enjoy this FREE ebook!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Invest Or Pay Your Debt?

Invest or Pay Your Debt First?

OK, recently I received an email from one of my blog's readers asking me how to start an investment as soon as possible. Yes, you are quite right, I was having the same dilemma as you years back and I am still having the same dilemma right now, 'Should I pay my debt first or use my saving to start my first investment?'


Frankly speaking, I must admit that I am not an expert and certainly I am not a millionaire. I am just an ordinary people starting to learn what investment is. I certainly hope my readers can share their experience with me in this blog.

I always look at these factors before I put my money in any investment,

First Factor - I already have enough money in my emergency fund to pay all my commitment should I loss my job and I have no income for 6 month.

Second Factor- I look at all my debts and see how high the interest is.

Third Factor- I calculate the risk of my investment- high, medium or low and whether my projected return is higher than my debt's interest.

OK, let's me illustrate an example, Mr A has US15k in bank which gives him an interest of 5.0% per annum. He has US10k kept in his saving for emergency fund. He has unsettled college debt of US20k and he has to pay an interest of about 4.5% per year and credit card debt of US10k which has an interest rate of about 18% per annum.

He is keen to use his money (US15 grand) to invest (of course, the first rule of the game in investment, NEVER use your emergency fund for investment, he should keep his US10K in bank and use them only during emergency), however, where should he put his money- stock market, mutual fund, property.........etc?

It is easy to calculate your risk, you must make sure that can you get a better return from your investment as compared to your debt's interest before you even start talking about investment. You notice that MR A has a credit card debt of US10K which the bank charges his 18% of interest per annum. If Mr A can find an investment vehicle that pay him a return better than 18% per annum ( which is unlikely!), then he can invest his extra money into that investment, or else I advise you to pay your debt first!!

Investment only starts when you have extra money. Clear your debt with high interest and only think about investment!

I would talk about stock market in my next lesson. Say tuned!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Getting Paid By Sharing your Computer?

Getting Paid By Sharing your Computer?

Just found out another way to make money online. Not sure whether it is legal or not but appears that this company was recently featured in Yahoo! You need to share your computer with others online to help these companies do calculation. Check out this site Paid2Compute.
However, you need to have an e-gold account before you register!

Hope this information helps!

Are We Getting Happier ?

Are We Getting Happier If We Earn More?

We always heard people saying that human will never satisfied what they have in life. When we are still a normal worker who works nine to five, we wish we can get our first million, after getting our first million, we wish we can make our first 10 millions. We want more... more and more.........Therefore, we must always feel happy in what we are having now. We try to work hard and invest smart to get good returns, but we must also learn how to live our lives.


If you read a report published by, you would be surprised that the happiest country in this world is Vanuatu! You must be wandering where the hell is Vanuatu? It is a small country on South Pacific. Not USA, not UK, not Sweden or Switzerland. It is Vanuatu. So whether you are happy or not does not depend whether you are earning a lot of money. Your happiness depends greatly on whether you are satisfied with what you have right now.

I certainly agree that we must try all ways to earn more, but never forget to enjoy your life. Get a career you enjoy most in life. If you feel tired and hope that it is Saturday everyday, quit your job right now and find another job!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Money-Making Ways Online

Lesson 10: Money-Making Ways Online

As I told before, there are a lot of ways you can invest your money and energy to get a good return. We have discussed about mutual funds and property investment. You notice that in order for you to do so, you need to save some money from your salary by paying yourself first and then invest money in these investment vehicles. A lot of my friends always have the problem like you and me, 'NOT HAVING ENOUGH MONEY' is the barrier for us to have any opportunity to invest in anything!

However, today I am going to tell you something very exciting, you need very minimal start up capital to make money online. You may be telling me that 'I don't own a website, I don't have any knowledge to write HTML, I don't have any product to sell, how is it possible for me to make money online?!' OK...... OK......, you are partially right about this, I am going to tell you a few ways to make money online, some methods may need to spend money, some may NOT!

1) Becomes a blogger

I think this is the only 'FREE' way you can earn money online. Apply an account from and post some interesting articles in your blog. Remember that you must apply an adsense account so that you can put some advertisements in your blog, you can get some money if your visitors click on these advertisement. The only drawback bout this method is you have to write very, very interesting articles in your blog so that people like to come to your blog. If you are confident of your article-writing skill, get a domain and start your own website, you can put more advertisement and 'hopefully' earn more money online.

2) Becomes an affiliate

You do not have any product to sell. It is OK, you can becomes other companies or individuals affiliate. It simple means you promote products for them and earn commissions from that. There are a lot of popular companies that offer their affiliates high commissions. These include,, etc. However, it is easier if you have a website so that you can promote the products more effectively. If you have a website about skin care, then promote some products which are related to skin care such as cosmetics, anti-acne medications etc

3) Becomes an author or a seller

I think this is rather difficult for beginners, you need to have some products to sell. These can be physical products such as camera, clothes.....etc or e-products such as software, e-book. You can set up a website to promote these products and earn money from selling these. You can make it better if you can ask someone to join your affiliate program and help you promote your products to others. As you can see, you can make tones of money if you are able to do this. Companies such as, belongs to this group. Besides selling their own products, some companies may even help others to sell products online and earn commissions from all successful sales.

4) Option trading

You do not need to know anything about internet. Just apply an account and trade
options online. Actually, I do not anything about this but I know people making thousand of dollars from this activity.

5) Some 'unexplained and strange ' ways

I do know some authors claim they have special ways for you to earn money online.
They promise you will be paid by just clicking your mouse. I am not sure what kind of method they are using. But if you are interested to know some method, you can find one of the ways here!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Property Investment

Lesson 9: Property Investment

As I told in my previous post before, there are a lot of ways for you to invest your time and money. We talked about mutual fund earlier before, there are many investment vehicles as I said in my previous posts. Today I am going to talk about property investment. What you have in mind right now maybe Azizi Ali for Malaysians and Robert Kiyosaki for Americans. And if you are Hong Ki, of course , you think of your 'Superman Li'. Yes , you are right , there are too many good examples out there that people really make tons of money by investing in lands and houses.

" Should I buy this house?"

The theory behind why you always make money in investing real estate is because the land available in any country is limited but the problem is the population is blooming and exploding in certain countries such as China and India. Human's behaviour is quite similar to that of animals'. We want territory and feel being safe in our own land. Therefore, it is very natural for us to acquire and buy land to build our 'nests'!

If you look back at history at own country, can you remember when was the last time your country’s land depreciated besides when there were economic downturns. You are right, there are always demands for land and you would see your land and home's value increase slowly every year unless your country/ area is hit by economic crisis, war or natural disaster!

OK..... you might be thinking 'So, are you asking me to buy land and house now?' There are a few 'possible problems' you must always think when you want to buy real estate,

1) If you are thinking of selling your real estate after holding for a very short period, you would always find it difficult to sell because as I said before, liquidity of real estate is less and you need long time to locate a buyer. However, this first rule does not apply when the market is 'crazy' when everyone is flocking to one area to buy houses thinking that houses at that area will double within months.

2) The interest rate is quite high if you want to borrow large sum of money from bank. Eventually, maybe the bank will become the winner ( making more money than you) instead of you! Now, majority of Malaysian bankers have extended their loan tenure, therefore, your children or even grandchildren have to pay your loan after you! This second rule does not apply if you are buying with cash!

3) If you want to buy a house/ shop to rent out, you may not find good tenants easily nowadays. Of course, if you want to get good tenants (such as professional expatriates), you have to buy high–end condominiums/ bungalows which you yourself might not have the luxury to live. This rule, of course does not apply if you do not mind to spend more money than your rental income to repair your property after you tenant moves out.

My advice to you, if you want to invest in property, settle your housing loan first and fast. Save your money and get your second property and borrow less than 50% of your second property's value, then only it is possible for you to get money from your second property. Remember, the home that you are living now is always your liability! Settle this liability first if you want to leap further in future.

A lot of friends ask me,' It is not possible for me to settle my home loan so fast, my loan tenure is 30 or even 40 years!'Yes, you are right, as I said before, 80% of Malaysian cars on the road are owned by bankers, even more shocking to know that I think 90% of houses on Malaysian land are owned by bankers as well! The problem that you might be having is you own ( actually you do not own, you are renting from bankers!) 'TOO EXPENSIVE' home! I have seen a lot of examples when my friends are getting RM2500 per month and buying a 250k house! If possible, do not spend more than 30% of your total take home salary for your monthly housing installment!

Spend your money in accordance to how much you earn. There is a Chinese saying 'Do not wear big hat if you do not have big head to show!' Do not try to impress your friends or relatives if you actually do not have the money!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Making money on line?

Making money on the internet- a future trend?

Hope that you all do not mind that I side track from our usual investment lessons today and talk something about internet.

I browsed through the newspaper today before my work and I notice that there were already two advertisements about making money online.

For some beginners like you and me, you must be wandering how's the hell a person can make money online if they got nothing to sell? As you remember in my future posts, there are a lot of investment vehicles you can put your money or energy in and these vehicles really can generate income for you. If you were like to think as your great grandparent or grandparent, you must be amused how a 20+ youngster makes US10000 per week through internet.

Frankly speaking, I refused to believe this "Ali-Baba" story as well one year ago. However, I know I am totally wrong now, after listening to my friends and attending various seminars, I think it is possible although it is difficult.

Yes, you can make money on line and lots of money if you know how. It is a trend every where in the world for people to make money on line. I would touch a bit about "internet money-making ways" in future lesson with my limited knowledge. It is up to you to explore the possibilities!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mutual Fund/ Unit Trusts

Lesson 8: Mutual Fund/ Unit Trusts

Ok......., today we are going to talk about something most readers are concerned about. If I have extra money, where should I put my money? Mutual fund or unit trusts is always a popular option among beginners.

" Where to put your money?"

What is actually mutual fund? Americans use mutual fund but a lot of Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, our people here call it unit trusts.

Actually the concept is simple, a co-operation or company with a few what they claim themselves as " expert investors" set up a fund where you put your hard earned money, they promise they would invest these monies for you in stock market, bond , property or even money market. They are supposed to help you to earn extra money and the returns they get are management fees and transaction fees. A lot of laymen like you and me are very interested to invest but we just do not have the time to follow the stock market and we hardly have any idea which stock to buy since that your country may have one thousand and one hundred stocks available. So these people provide you a better choice, they would help you to monitor the market and they claim that they can do better than the average stocks returns.

These people whom they call themselves as fund managers are usually equipped with a degree in business or commerce. They have vast experience in investment. You may wandering, since that they know how to invest, why they are willing to share this trick with other layman investors like you and me? The answer is simple, by 'helping' you to invest, their income in guaranteed regardless of the market performance.
Why this thing is happening? Because we are paying them for the services. If you read through the prospectus carefully, they would state that no matter they are making money for you or not, every time you are buying the units, you have to pay up to 5-6.5% more the unit actual net asset value ( NAV). ( Malaysian Unit trusts figures). For an example, if there are 1000 units in a fund and these units worth RM1000, NAV of one unit is RM1, but they are selling to you at RM1.05 ( 5% higher). Besides making money like this,
at the end of every financial year, they charge you managers' fees which can be up to 3% of the total NAV of units available. So are you surprised with the news that 80% of Malaysian who used their EPF money (compulsory retirement plan in Malaysia for workers, similar to 401k plan in US) to invest in unit trusts actually lost their money.

Now, you understand why all the bankers are making money every year regardless of the market. Can you imagine that you have entrusted your money to your 'friends' and hoping that they help you to get some returns and at the end of the day, they lose half of your money and the worst part, they are asking you to pay them some more because you are using their ' intelligence' to ' lose' your money in stock market/ bonds!

However, if you are lazy people and refuse to learn new thing, mutual fund is the ideal place for you to put money in long run. But I am always cautious about mutual fund, maybe there are a lot fund managers making money for you ( and making even more money for themselves) , there are also huge numbers of fund managers who do not make money for you! ( but they are still making money for themselves!)

When I stared my work about 4 years ago, I invested RM1000 after saving for 3 months( about US280) in one of the newly launched unit trust in Malaysia. After 4 years of waiting, they never announced any distribution ( dividend ) to me and the worst part is my investment is worth RM950 only nowa day ( plus 3-3.5% of inflation per year in Malaysia, I actually lost about 15% in that unit trusts in 4 years!). Recently I received their financial report about the fund, actually, they lost RM 32 million in previous year but we as unit trust holders still have to pay RM 3.2 million to the fund managers for their service!

If you are approached by an agent who promises one thousand and one things and tell you how good their mutual fund is, always remember my advice, read properly their prospectus and if possible, invest yourself rather than giving your money to them for them to help you to invest!

There are usually 3 types of mutual funds available in the market, high, intermediate ( medium) and low risk. A high risk mutual fund is a fund where the fund managers would put your money( remember 'your money' not their money')in investment vehicles such as stock market, hoping for higher returns. A medium risk mutual fund is a fund with mixed portfolios ( a combination of stocks and bonds) and usually they pay you certain income every year. A low risk mutual fund is a fund where all your money would be put in investment vehicles that pay you fixed income such as government bonds). You must remember that the agent always tell your that you need to ascertain your risk tolerance before deciding which type of mutual fund to buy because all these funds carry certain risk to your money. ( I always think that I am the one who takes out my money to invest and I have to carry some risks, the fund managers and the company never spend a cent to invest and they have "no risk", don't you think it is funny?)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Investment Quotes

Recently came across these quotes....

'An investment in knowledge pays the best returns' -Benjamin Franklin

'You have to learn to be an investor, if you want to become wealthy'- Warren Buffett