Friday, January 15, 2010

Tips For Investor 2010

THE economy is picking up and most believe the worst may be over. If you’ve been hiding your hard earned money under your mattress for the better part of 2009, than now may be a good time to invest it.

The question is, what and how to invest ???

Getting started

For the first-timers, or those not too familiar with the world of investments, jumping in head first into something without careful research can be costly, especially when it involves losing money. Speaking to an experienced financial planner is not a bad place to start.

“The first thing we recommend a first time investor to do is to develop a portfolio. This can be done by working with a financial planner or an asset manager. We also recommend that you carry out fundamental research first before investing ,” MyFP Services Sdn Bhd financial planner Robert Foo tells StarBizWeek.

Risks and returns

Knowing how much you’re willing to invest, and how much of a risk you’re willing to take, is the next step. Unfortunately, risk is inseparable from returns, as every investment involves some degree of risk.

Licensed financial adviser Jeremy Tan of Standard Financial Planner says: “You will need to know your investment goals and how long you want to continue investing.”

For the non-risk taker, Tan advises placing money in a fixed deposit account, but cautioned that wasn’t a very good option.

“In an environment of high inflation and low interest rates, if you are just going to leave your money in the bank, eventually you are going to lose out,” he says.

Naturally, the bigger the risk, the better the returns. The following are in no way a comprehensive and ideal list of what to invest in, but a simple guide of what our financial planners feel are natural choices for the eager investor.

Unit trusts

Unit trust is a good way for small investors to invest for their future. For those who are unable to divest a lot of money, unit trusts are a good source of returns, says Tan.

“Investing in unit trusts is good for beginners because you can invest with limited funds.

Unit trusts also offer a broader choice of funds. If you invest in a stock, the options are limited to that company’s core business. Unit trusts investors can also redeem their investments at any time.

“In a downturn, if you want to sell off your shares in the stock market, there are risks you may not find a buyer,” Tan says.

Financial planner Wilson Low says people who invest in unit trusts also have the advantage of being advised by professionals. “Their expertise ensures that the investment decisions made are structured and well planned. With the stock market, you don’t get that luxury.”


CTLA Financial Planners Sdn Bhd financial planner Mike Lee claims that gold is a “good investment bet” for 2010. With the US dollar forecast to remain tame for 2010, a lot of investors would be turning to the precious metal for a more secure investment, he says.

“If the dollar weakens, the price of gold will increase since it is denominated in US dollars but widely used in global markets and by central banks of foreign countries.”

Low says that gold was often considered a “safe haven” in a crisis. “If something happens to the world, like a global disaster and paper currency looses value, gold can become a valuable (alternate) tradable currency,” he says.

However, the stock market provides dividends and gold does not, Low adds. Gold futures rose Monday, boosted by strong Chinese imports data and after a Federal Reserve official emphasised that US interest rates are likely to stay low, pressuring the dollar. Gold for February delivery ended at US$1,151.40 an ounce, up $12.5, or 1.1% on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.


Regardless of whether you are a first time home buyer or an investor looking at property investments, the benefits are obvious.

While taking risks in the stock market may yield higher returns, property investment can provide a more stable, steady level of income and a more secured level of return on investment.

Property generally appreciates in value and rarely the reverse. But like other forms of investments, finding the right property requires a lot of research. “Property prices have been relatively stable but it all comes down to location,” Lee says.

An analyst from a local bank-backed brokerage says 2010 is a good year to invest in the property sector. “Many developers held back their launches last year and there should be some level of oversupply this year. However, many buyers have also shied away from the market so there could be a surge in demand as well,” he says.

Tan says property is a good hedge against inflation, but points out that investors may need to bear additional costs like repairs or risk not having a tenant in a downturn.

The stock market

The stock market can be a great source of income. To relatively new investors, Tan advises that the stock market should be their “last option.”

“You have to be a specialist if you want to excel in the stock market. You have to understand the fundamentals of the stock, price-earnings ratio, yield, etc. Unless you’re an expert and understand the stock well, this isn’t for you.

“If you do invest, the natural choice would be to invest in blue-chip companies, which tend to be more stable. If you’re a small-time investor, you can’t expect to earn much by investing in penny (small) stocks,” he says.

Foo shares a similar sentiment when advising newcomers: “We discourage stocks and shares if you don’t have experience.”


Given the broad options above, Lee says the best way to maximise returns is to diversify one’s investment portfolio.

“Investors should diversify their investments and not place all eggs in one basket. If the market goes down, then you risk losing everything.

“If you’re willing to take risks, you should invest in a mix of equities and unit trust funds. And if you have the money, you should look at your portfolio and invest in something that you have not done so already,” he says.

Tan also concurs that diversification of investments is the best option. “To invest in just one area, you must be a specialist,” he says.

Foo says an investor should continuously review his portfolio to ensure that everything is “on-track,” adding that one could also try “diversifying offshore.”

“People today are not just spending in ringgit. A lot of them are sending their children overseas, like Australia. If you’re planning to send your kids overseas, than it’s best to start early and place your money in a foreign investment,” he explains.

He cautions that one should thoroughly research before diversifying into unknown territory.

“In diversifying, you need proper information. So work with planners that have the right tools that can help create the proper portfolio for you.”

Adapted from The Star

The Weakness of Our Education System

In school we are taught that we need to get good grades so that we can get into a good college, then get a good job. This is old advice indeed. You don't need a college degree to become rich. In fact most of the super rich today dropped out of high school or college. If you want to be rich don't go to college ???? We spent in school for about 15 years but it is sad to note that we almost learn nothing about financial education. In fact, we learn a lot about rubbish theories that cannot be used but merely for passing exam.

Going to college will not make you rich. Our school systems are designed to create employees, people who work for money. But the richest people in the world are not employees, they are business owners and investors. You do not need to have higher education to become rich, and funnily enough it is the people with the advanced educations who have the most bad debt and are in the worst place financially.

Going to college will teach you the skills you need to get a job and to get an income. Most people thinks it stops there. They believe that you need to have a high income in order to become rich. This is not true. You will become rich not based on how much you earn, but what you do with your money.

College will not make you rich, but financial education will. There are a lot of smart people in the world who have been to college and got their degrees but who are financially uneducated. Every time they get a pay rise they go further into debt, every time they get a bonus it doesn't even begin to help them financially. They are so wound up in debt and expenses that they cannot afford to quit their jobs and live the life of their dreams.

If you want to become rich then you need to understand finances. Instead of just working hard and handing your money over to someone else to invest it for you, you need to take an active interest in your money. Every dollar you invest is like an employee that works for you. It is up to you to make them work hard and bring you a good return.

I am not saying that we shouldn't go to college. I am saying that going college and earning a lot of money won't in itself make you rich. It is what you do with your money after you come home from work that will determine whether you become rich or stay poor. So what should you do with your money in order to become rich?

1. Invest in Assets
Assets are things that put money in your pocket on a regular basis. Don't believe their banks at their word when they say anything you own is an asset. This definition may be correct, as far as the English language is concerned, but this definition will make you poor.

Invest your money into things that generate you money on a regular basis. Real estate that generates more income from rent than all of its expenses is an example of an asset that generates regular income.

2. Buy Assets First and Then Use The Asset To Buy Your Liabilities
Liabilities are things that take money out of your pocket on a regular basis. Most people fail to become rich because they use their money to purchase liabilities first, then they have nothing left over to buy assets. Rich people buy assets first and then use that money to buy their liabilities.

The lesson is.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Top 10 Tips For Sales Success

1. Know Your Product or Service
It seems straightforward, doesn't it? Well, it is, but unfortunately, there are far too many salespeople who, for one reason or another, have been trying to sell without having a good grasp of what they're selling. These individuals can have a certain degree of success in a good economy, but they're the first to fail when the going gets tough. You need to know what you're selling from top to bottom. You should have every feature and benefit on the tip of your tongue. If you don't, you need to make this your top priority.

2. Know Your Target Market
Knowing who to sell your product or service to is just as important as knowing what you're selling. You need to pinpoint who it is that buys what you're selling and target them specifically. This is especially true during an economic slowdown when you might not have as much to spend on advertising and prospecting.

3. Know Your Competition and Your Competitive Advantage
Your competition is always there, but they're bound to be more ruthless when there are fewer customers. Start by listing your obvious competitors and then dig a little deeper to discover any others who might be sneaking under your radar. Then, figure out what makes your business different from theirs, and how you can stand apart. Evaluate obvious advantages like cost, features, quality, or distribution, and don't underestimate other advantages such as location, reputation, or social responsibility.

4. Be a "Proactive" Business Developer
Now is not the time to be waiting for your phone to ring. Make your own opportunities by networking, advertising, making calls, and pounding the pavement. The more you reach out, the more you'll get in return.

5. Mine the Gold in Your Existing Client Database
Don't underestimate the value of your existing clients. When business is slow, use the opportunity to call your "regulars" to inform them of new offerings, specials, and volume discounts. You'll probably be surprised just how much business you've been leaving on the table by not contacting them sooner!

6. Don't Leave Business on the Table- Cross-sell Your Products and Services
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. Always offer your clients other products or services related to whatever they're buying. As long as what you're offering is relevant, they'll appreciate your suggestions, and they might take you up on what you're offering, as well.

7. Track Progress and Results
Without tracking your sales processes and results, you will never know what works and what doesn't. There are plenty of easy-to-use customer relationship management (CRM) software programs that can help you monitor your sales efforts from start to finish. Trust me. They're well worth the investment.

8. Learn From Your Mistakes
Have you had difficulties with a certain market segment? Or, have you been burned by one particular customer repeatedly? Well, there's much to learn from these situations. Don't keep hammering away at someone who isn't buying from you. Learn from these mistakes, and move on - quickly.

9. Be Persistent
The old adage, "sales is a numbers game" is true, especially when business is slow. Persistency is one of those traits that is common among all successful salespeople. A "don't give up" mentality is truly one of the most valuable attributes that you can have.

10. Enjoy the Process
Let's face it. Not everyone is cut out to be a salesperson. Selling should be fun. You should enjoy the challenge and feel the thrill each time you acquire a new customer. If you feel this way about sales, be grateful. There are many others who dread their jobs and would prefer to be doing something else. So, show your enthusiasm, enjoy the process of selling, and succeed.

Article Source:

TOP 17 Scam In Malaysia- BE CAREFUL

The Cafe Scams - Island Red Cafe & Stevens Corner(strange, both in Pandan Indah) - Island Red Cafe collects members RM6,000 each and promised 5% return every month and even give you a name in the ROC as a shareholder but what's the point when they run away ? Stevens Corner, the famous indian coffee shop follows due to drop of business since their renovation. They collect RM3,000 per member and promise return of RM150 monthly and plans to open nice fanchisee cafe called StevensTeaGarden. Someone mentioned they will make you sign an agreement that give them the rights NOT to pay you anything in future. If you really wish to join, ask for a copy of their agreement and consult your lawyer BEFORE paying them. Bet you will NOT get a copy. Both collect monies from new members with MLM recruitment schemes and pay the old members like Sunshine Empire. You never know when they will run away.

Sunshine Empire - This licensed and legal Company has an impressive office at the ground level of KUB building along Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, near Menara Public Bank and AmBank Building. They also have a showroom office at the ground level in the next building. 2 or 3 months ago, Singapore's Straits Times and The Paper published big news reminding their people to be careful and NOT to believe in them. Hope someone can put up the link or google for it.(As expected, they STOPPED paying back members now and all investors LOST their money).

Someone below has put a link to the Singapore news. In fact there are more to it. Although Singapore is investigating them, they did not stop their business as the business is legal and so far, no Singaporean have failed to receive their commissions as promised. Thus, the government cannot stop them yet.

The news published that the founder, director and group president is someone named James Phang but he is NOT the owner. Isn't this quite strange ? At the end of the game, James Phang can just disappear from the Company easily and claimed that he was just "employed". Such trick always happened in scam businesses.

Now, the Company has STOPPED paying commissions and interests to members with the excuse that the Singapore government has freezed their bank account while under investigation. Do you think their boss will be so stupid to keep much monies in the bank to be freezed ? They are all transfered away. It's just an excuses not to pay back to members and members are only paid "e-bonus-points" which is cashless. If they wish to convert to cash, they have to recruit new members to pay them cash and the recruiter less out trom the amount. So victims act like Vampires and "forced" to victimise other victims if they wish to get their monies back. And their victims will later transform to vampires and the scam carries on.....

MOBILWALLET - This Company owned by 2 young men, Stanley & Rey Gan, office in Queens Avenue Park has collect multi-millions the last 2 years. Claimed that they tied up with Telekoms, Utility Board payment like Water & Electricity bills, even Maybank got fooled by them. Advertisement Billboards everywhere. They STOPPED paying back their members few months ago and the members cannot do anything because they are made to sign an agreement unaware that they have to claims if the company stopped paying them by CHANGING terms and policies.

Water businesses - Oxygenated and alkaline water products - Some of these are bottled water and some are filters or equipment that claimed the trick. One of the better known Company that sold "oxygen" water is SITO(supposed to stand for Selangor International Trading Organiszation and claimed Selangor State Government owned some share in it). The key person and founder is a Dato Robert Ong from Rawang but his name is no longer in the business now. Their products are sold for RM2 to RM3 for a 350ml bottle and now concentrating mostly in the Indian market. Their Chinese and Malays market are long gone since a year or 2 ago. Their customers are made to believe that their water has more oxygen and able to give miraculous effects for the body. Water is H2O, how to put more O into it ? Anyone knows how much oxygen do we breathe into our body everyday at FOC ? Latest news is that this SITO Company is going to create new label to market under a new Company since the SITO name has already gone bad. Someone informed that this Company is owing alot of money(due to refunds) to ex-stockists but just refuse to pay them.
(Latest news, SITO shifted to another place and their MLM business has closed but planning to start again with a different name, beware !!)
Alkaline Products - Can anyone explain how it can work for the body ? The stomach's gastric liquid is so acidic that water of any pH that goes through it will not make any difference.

Car Fuel Booster - K-Link, the famous scam MLM Company that sold the footpatch TAKARA, later the "cock-ring" and energy-card launched the patrol-saving pills last year. Got so hot that even grocery shops are selling for them. Recently many of these cars that used the pills are rushing to the workshops to clean the residual. Few months ago, another MLM Company launched a fuel booster gadget, claimed that saves up to 20% fuel, that is attached to the cigarette lighter. Started off well using binary plan but businese begin to fade now and most users find it NOT effective.

Perfumery Products(eg. Lampe Berger & Bel Air)(more details later). Lampe Berger is not so hot now in the neighbouring countries but there are still new victims every month in Malaysia. Must thanks to those who have contributed and kept the thread alive here in Kopitiam. Bel-Air have closed in Malaysia. LB is almost zero in Singapore. This perfumery product from France with over 100 years history is just bottles and fragrance(check the factory's website) but the Company marketing them in Asia claimed "aromatheraphy" products. Hong Kong TVB aired a program that exposed their scam but their members claimed that HK's TVB already apologised to them. Note that the biggest strenght in a MLM Scam is their members will go all way out to lie in order to defend for their Company. The reason is simple; these members fear that they will not be able to make their money back if the Company collapsed. Knowing that the Lampe Berger products are moving slow, they add a line of skincare products named Estebel, also claime to have over 100 years history in France.(Hardly anymore Chinese newcomers, they are now tapping the Malays in Malaysia)

Energy Products(eg. stone pendants, bracelets, mattress and pillows). They use all sorts of gimmicks and demonstration to make you into believing them. They will do some tricks and demo to prove that these products really produce energy BUT is there any tricks in their demo ? So what if there really produce energy; is it good or strong enough to help the body ? The effect is actually PLACEBO which I will elaborate in a new thread soon.(more details later)

Hi-Tech products(names like bio-tech, nano-tech that claimed millions of dollars of research involved, eg Bio-Young and XKL few years ago). Most of these will claimed a professor behind them(even with name and picture of a person) or used words like "U.S.A. formula", "German Technology" or "Nanotechnology" and no further details(more details later). If you ask for more details like the professor or factory's address, the answer will be "trade secrets".

Investment Schemes - SWISSCASH is the King of all. Swisscash is nearly over now but there are many similar and smaller ones that are still on.(Now, it's closed or stopped paying back members)

GoldQuest - This Company that claimed to be HK-based started with some non-value gold-plated coins that are sold for over RM2,000 have several names and changed products several times. QuestVacation, QuestNet, etc. They have several offices in Amcorp Mall, PJ and their key person(in fact, the owner), a Malaysian Indian was arrested last year in Indonesia for having involved in a very big Phillipines scam. Most of their overseas offices are closed or inactive but their Malaysia business is still hot, with some "energy" products.(Can someone please provide a link which showed the news that their boss was involved in a big scam in Philippines and was arrested in last year ?)

Numerology & Fortune telling - A Company named Visible is using MLM to sell fortune telling classes using your birthday based on Numerology fortune telling. Prpspects will be told that they need to buy a certain "number" between 1 to 9 in the form of pendants or bracelets made of stainless steel and sold from RM600 to RM20,000. Customers, or rather victims are mostly females from rural areas. Very hot in Penang now and a number of spin-off Companies have started.

MJ-Life - This Company boost of a very big background with many many years of history which is NOT true. Their people or associates may be long in business but nothing to do with their MLM launched recently. Why do I consider it a scam or bad ? New members are told to pay a sum of money(up to RM1000) and you get NOTHING for it. You only get a membership can entitle you to enjoy all sorts of special price and discounts when you have medical check-ups in their centres. They will claim all those check-ups cost more if done elsewhere. It's not true. Only the naive and those new to medical check-ups will fall victims to them. Most members who paid the money ended up with nothing.

Seaweed Venture Scams - 1 such Company is located in Taman Maluri, Cheras. They will ask you to invest a few thousands ringgits for their venture of growing seaweeds in East Malaysia and you are guaranteed returns. To gain your confidence further, they will tell you your investment money is secured by "insurance" or "unit trusts" & "trustees". When you ask for further documents to prove, they will give all sorts of excuses or just ignore you because they know they cannot get you. These Seaweed scam is one of the hottest now, warn all your friends about it before they are victimised.

MXM(previously MGM) - This is a master scam owned by a Dato Kam(Pathlab) tapping the younger group, very successful 2 or 3 years ago but since they moved to their big 10-storey office at Phileo Damansara and changed name to MXM, their business dropped. They collect members RM3,000 to RM4,000 with credit card monthly easy payment and in return you get a hospital benefits insurance from Pacific Insurance worth only a few hundred RMs together with some you-don't-need medical check-ups from their associate Company Pathlab. Also talk about fitness, lifestyles bullshit that is all worthless.

Gano Excel/I-Touch Life/GEW2u - This company from the north, a copycat of DXN selling Lingzhi capsules created a new Company called Gano iTouch to cash-in on the internet like e-Cosway after their Company went down the drain since the last 2 years, selling Linzhi and some no-value energy pendants and alkaline water gadgets. They provide free transport every weekend from KL to visit their Alor Star office. It did not work well and recently in mid-2009 changed name to GEW.

NuLife(HK) - This Company started by some HK people has been in Malaysia for more than 10 years but they have flopped in HK and Malaysia due to bad management and a product scam making use of a prosecuted American named Dr Jeffrey Bland, found guilty of false products claim. Since this case in the US leaked out and many Malaysians found out that the real boss in HK is a Steven Tang(he cheated many Malaysians in another scheme about 20 years ago) their business went down all the way. Now they claim Malaysian partners cheated them and start a new Company in Malaysia. Watch out, this new Company will come out with some investment scheme idea that will get many to lose their money.

Arowana Fish Breeding, Oora from Germany, Biofuel(Kompleks Maluri) etc - These are some newer scams. Arowana fish venture ask you to invest some money and give you fixed return. Biofuel will tell you their Indonesia connections(just like Sunshine Empire before using Taiwan) & Oora from Germany(I never trust those cruel Germans) that market some bio-chips and a gadget that claims to give energy and therapeutic effects of accupunture, tai-chi, yoga, etc depending how you set the toy-like gadget, wear it on your body and you get the effect later. They could not explain or provide any demonstration to prove their effectiveness. Only doctors and papers claim that I will never trust. The health effect is actually PLACEBO, which I will elaborate in a different thread.

Easy-Pharmax !! - How could I missed this out earlier. I thought I mentioned this until I got e-mails asking me about it. This is easily in the TOP 3 during the last 2 years. Owned by a Dato Yip(another Dato !!) Members are tricked to invest up to RM40,000 with the false promise that the Company will use e-commerce and online selling to dispose their goods and recover their monies. It won't happen, of course.

Gold Investment Scheme - This is an old trick but back again by several Companies promising a GURANTEE FIXED RETURN income like many other schemes. Try to ask for a copy of their fixed return agreement and consult your lawyer. Common sense tell you any business that promises a fixed return to UNLIMITED numbers of investors, higher than bank interests must be a scam.


GRI(Global Royal International) - The boss behind this scheme is multi-billionaire James Pang(the big scammer waiting for trial in Singapore because of Sunshine Empire). Before Sunshine Empire, he operated NOP and SwissCash. This time, he is using a lot of representatives and MLM leaders since his passport is held by Singapore government and he cannot come to Malaysia. I am told that anyone who is bold enough to call himself a MLM leader in Malaysia can visit his rep in Malaysia or Singapre and they will be given at least RM5,000 as some expenses subdsidy if you are willing to market for them.

One Community Worldwide - Tapping a mostly Bumi market and owned by Steven Yeam(SYN) and Willie Lim of Lampe Berger previously(the Chinese no longer trust them). They are selling a negative ion mattress for RM25,000 !! The same modal, I have seen before for RM2000 from Korea. If you cannot afford RM25K ??? You can buy therapy package for RM300. Don't believe in such product ? You can go for some chlorostrum(virgin cow's milk from nowhere)

c) Many new online schemes that don't cost much money will start soon. One of them is called
ESL(an online English learning program) You are suppose to pay RM300 for one or 2 years usage of online learning. Started by a Malaysian, this program has changed names at least 2 or 3 times since the last one year due to poor response and a lot of "technical problems". I consider it a scam because you are paying money for nothing tangible to direct-selling company through MLM and their program has been very "unstable" as my source put it.

Genius Theme's vacation and rewards package. Such timeshare holidays scheme are being sold for RM400 to RM499 and you are promised a few nights stay in Thailand or Bali. Started by a Company name Max generation, they wholesale to some MLM Company and other Company like Sen Heng, one of them is Genius Theme, a subsidy of a Maxis agent Company. Looks like many people will lose money. If this Company runs away, those hotels and the MLM Companies need NOT be responsible. Genius Theme is using MLM and direct sale to sell for RM499 or RM599(include a flying experience) while Sen Heng is giving it away free if you purchase over RM2000 products. Of course, they are othere hidden costs to be paid, it's NOT really free unless you pay MORE upfront.

e) Another one is an "
online gaming" program using MLM, started by Steve Tan, founder of Xango in Malaysia, also aimed at youngsters.

Lastly but not least, thank you for reading to the end and I hope you can come back for more details and updates or help to contribute for me to update. I hope to receive information of any scams so that I can share them here to protect others. Although most of those above-mentioned are marketed through direct-selling or MLM schemes, I will soon add non-MLM scams. Please contribute.

Taken from

Friday, January 8, 2010

Stanley Ho- Gambling & Property Magnate

Stanley Ho (born 25 November 1921), also known as Ho Hung-sun, Stanley Ho Hung-sun, is an entrepreneur in Hong Kong and Macau. Ho is sometimes nicknamed "The King of Gambling", reflecting the government-granted monopoly he held of the Macau gambling industry for 40 years. He is also nick-named as "Gambling King".

Ho is the wealthiest person in Macau, and amongst the wealthiest in Asia. According to Forbes, he tied for 701st rank among the world's richest people in 2009, with an estimated net worth of $1.0 Billion USD[1]. He owns many properties in both Hong Kong and Macau and has taken part in many kinds of business including entertainment,tourism, shipping, real estate, banking, and air transport.

In early life, he was born in Hong Kong, into the Ho Tung family, one of the most well-known, powerful and influential clans in Hong Kong at the time. Their eldest son was Ho Tung (Sir Robert Hotung) and the next was Ho Fook , Stanley Ho's grandfather. Ho Sai Kwong, one of Ho Fook's sons, had 13 children. Stanley Ho is the 9th child.

Although his family was very wealthy, he started his business on his own. When he was 13 years old, his father lost vast sum of money in the stock market crash and went bankrupt. Consequently, Ho's two elder brothers committed suicide, and his father abandoned the family, leaving him with his two elder sisters and his mother.

Once he went to see a dentist who was a relative of Ho's. The dentist knew he had no money and said something that embarrassed him. He ran home and cried. He swore to his mother: "I must become a successful man. Let those relatives who only talk about money know, I will earn a lot of money in ten years."

Questions To Francis Yeoh from "The Star"

1. What is your advice to young Malaysians who aspire to become successful entrepreneurs in this era of booming information technology and borderless world? – Benson Ting, KL

To be successful in any given moment, the fundamentals have to be right. I always say, master the three languages first. The language of God – integrity and long term perspectives; the language of Man – ability to articulate a vision and inspire confidence; and the language of Machine – ability to innovate with technology and skill-sets.

Once the DNA is correct, excel in what you are good at. Then be smart in coming up with cool products and services that people actually need or want, like the iPod or Facebook. Why force onto the market what no one wants? By all means, capitalise on the Internet. Use it wisely to brand and accelerate the exposure of what you could offer, especially in Asia. But make sure you deliver – on time! Finally, timing! Be ready to work your socks off to build a solid business. Quick fixes do not get anyone far. Just look at the mess in the global economy today.

2. Any plans for the group to explore Port Dickson’s huge potential given that there are many international-type resorts such as The PD World Marina Resort and so forth?I.K. Yeo, Petaling Jaya

We already have many award winning hotels and resorts like Pangkor Laut and Tanjong Jara, but we do keep our eyes open for opportunities to expand the hotels division. However, we will only investigate places with unspoilt natural habitat and avoid areas bent on crass commercialisation like Patong Beach.

If you study Pangkor Laut, we have preserved nature by blending everything built into the existing ecological footprints. The 2 million year old virgin forest on the island is untouched. While our resident naturalist, Uncle Yip sees to it that the ecosystem is kept that way. Needless to say, every YTL resort after Pangkor Laut adheres firmly to this discipline of environmental conservation. If a location in Port Dickson fits our strictest environmental criteria, we would be happy to investigate.

3. As a wealthy entrepreneur, how do you wish to contribute to your countryman? There’s a perception that the group doesn’t contribute enough to the hard-core poor or the sick. Is that true?Jennie Lai, Johor

Helping the poor and the sick is more than corporate social responsibility or moral obligation. It is a biblical command which I obey diligently. I believe in giving sacrificially and I deplore tokenism and boastfulness. However, I also observe Jesus’ teachings that “when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and (God) your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

Philanthropy should not be boastfully paraded. I can accept the premise that high-profile corporate philanthropy could help promote a particular cause or campaign, such as the environment. And YTL has been pushing the green agenda not only within the entire group, but also by actively supporting campaigns and charities.

4. In terms of the consistent success of a big corporation like yours, is the board of directors’ decision equally important as the management team’s hardwork? Teo Thiam Tech, Selangor

We do not measure success in those terms. YTL has a very fluid system. Our directors routinely roll up their sleeves and get stuck-in alongside staff to implement projects, myself included! It is very common for staff to be given the opportunity to lead and run expensive projects that they have conceived. Yes, we throw them in the hottest soup, but of course, holding their hands at the same time. How else can they become the next generation of dynamic leaders?

YTL’s emphasis is always on “ownership.” Whenever directors and staff have that “sense of ownership” of the company, they are more passionate, more willing to take hands-on initiatives, more innovative, and certainly more committed to excel. They make better leaders because they will think about the company and their colleagues beyond the one or two immediate projects.

5. What do you value most, and why? Bulbir Singh, Seremban

I treasure my daily quiet hours spent reading, praying and in reflection. Everything comes from my Maker, from Whom I derive joy, insight and strength. Without my Lord, I am nothing! I am also a family man who loves his family to bits. I treasure the time spent with my wonderful children, my parents, my siblings and their families. Of course, I also give time to my friends. Life is very short. The richness of one’s relationships is what defines him or her. Not wealth, not knowledge, not fame!

6. Your wife passed away several years ago. What if you meet someone whom you’d like to spend the rest of your life with, then? Would that go against your religion? CT Lim, Selangor

Christian teachings on marriage allow a widow or a widower to remarry. My decision not to remarry is my own choice, in honour of my wife whom I love dearly.

7. Do you believe entrepreneurship and being business savvy is innate or can it be acquired/nurtured? Yong Bih Cheng, KL

Whether entrepreneurship is innate or acquired, the real issue is how well you make use of what you have. Many business folks I know are highly successful, but you would not think they are naturally inclined towards entrepreneurship.

And then there are those, like me, who are naturally more entrepreneurial. But some have succeeded in business, whilst others have not. It just goes to show that innate talent is not a recipe for success. The key word here is nurturing! My innate entrepreneurial tendencies were recognised early by my father. He not only encouraged me to exercise my talents, he took major risks by allowing me to pursue new business opportunities on behalf of the company.

My father is a brilliant mentor. He kept a close watch over affairs and patiently guided me, as I moved from building properties, to power plants, to high speed trains and to acquiring utility assets. My father certainly taught me how to accept and learn from failures.

Because of this “nurturing”, my fellow directors and I routinely use the same methods on the next generation of leaders in the firm. No doubt, it is a challenge for companies to cate r to various talents and YTL is no different. But at YTL, we welcome entrepreneurs, as much as the managers. If anyone is passionate, hungry and willing to learn, we will break our backs to train and mentor them.

8. As a devout Christian, how do you keep yourself righteous from unethical business practices, especially in the construction field?Mong, Sunway

Given YTL’s long term perspectives on our business interests, we cannot do without credibility. Otherwise, we would certainly have failed in buying public utility assets abroad like Britain’s Wessex Water or Singapore’s Power Seraya. My point is this – in business and in life, integrity and trust are priceless! Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

There are principled folks in the business world, in the construction industry and not least, in governments. Our preference is always to work with them. Having honest partners spares us many headaches. We know we can trust them to be transparent, as well as to uphold our values.

If I mention some of their names, you would instantly recognise them as those already advocating and upholding moral leadership in their own spheres of influence. To avoid being in “compromising positions,” we do not go into certain businesses – even if the money is good. And whenever we do pursue new ventures and investments, I do openly inform our potential clients and partners of our values and ethics. But always only after the most stringent due diligence. Finally, we find places to invest and operate in where transparency is promoted and the rule of law upheld.

9. What are the challenges you expect to face in rolling out WiMAX given that there are many experienced players competing for their share in the market?Sue Ling, Selangor

YTL Communications will roll out a nationwide infrastructure that will be very different from existing players. We promise consumers a very cool and exciting WiMAX package, backed-up by Clearwire, Cisco and Samsung. Trust me, we will offer entirely new value propositions that are very affordable and also with a “wow” factor. All this will become clear when we launch our WiMAX this year. In the mean time, our challenge is of course, to get everything up and running. By the Grace of God and with very hardworking YTL engineers and experts, we will get there.

10. What is the one big personal goal you would like to achieve in 2010?Sunita, KL

My personal goal is always to walk in the footsteps of God. Whether in 2009, 2010 or God willing, in 2050!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why Franchise?

Because franchising solves the problems of...

Money. Franchising transfers the cost of expansion to franchisees. Franchisees provide the capital to open new locations. You retain control over the business system and never have to give up equity for investors.

People. Franchisees make excellent managers. Why? Because they have a vested interest in the business. It's not just a job - they own it!

Time. It's faster to open franchises than company-owned units, because franchisees use their own resources to open new locations. You simply supervise the process. You can have multiple locations opening simultaneously and don't have to take on debt with each new opening.

And franchising has Other Advantages...

Lower Risk. The legal, operational, and capital risks of business are shared with your franchisees.

Buying Power. With more locations, your power to negotiate products, supplies, and services increases, benefiting both franchisees and company-owned units.

Quality Control. Franchisees are legally required to follow your business system.

A Strategy For Better Business Operations. You are free to focus on "big picture" issues rather than day-to-day operations.

A Solution to Dealer Problems. You can replace under-performing dealers with vested, hard-working franchisees.

An Exit Strategy. Franchising improves business growth and profitability potential, so your business is more saleable.

2010 Stock Tips From HWANGDBS

Investors should buy Malaysian banks such as CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, and property and energy stocks including Tenaga Nasional Bhd that will benefit most from the nation’s economic rebound, HWANGDBS Vickers Research Sdn. said.

“On the back of strong growth outlook and positive market drivers, the longer term upward trend is intact,” Wong Ming Tek, an analyst at HWANGDBS said in a report today. He expects the benchmark stock index to rise to 1,448 by year-end, he said.

The index climbed 45 per cent last year, as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced stimulus plans valued at RM67 billion to pull the economy from its first recession in a decade. He has also eased rules governing overseas investors, initial public offerings and property purchases in a bid to lure more foreign money.

HWANGDBS’s report reflects similar views by other researchers. Today, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd raised its end-2010 index target to 1,410 from 1,370, based on improving corporate earnings and consumer confidence.

The reforms and initiatives introduced by Najib to help stimulate growth and boost income in the economy should continue this year, Wong said.

Malaysia’s economy may be set for a “sharp rebound,” with gross domestic product expanding 5 per cent this year after shrinking an estimated 2.4 per cent in 2009, Wong said.

“We like banks as proxies to the strengthening of the economic recovery,” he said. Tenaga will also benefit as every 1 per cent improvement in electricity demand would bolster earnings by 9 per cent, he said.

His picks include builder Gamuda Bhd, SP Setia Bhd, Malaysia’s biggest property developer, and rival Malaysian Resources Corp.