Friday, June 24, 2011

Malaysia May 2011 Inflation up 3.3 % y-o-y

Malaysia's Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 3.3 per cent year-on-year to 102.9 in May and was up 0.3 per cent compared with the preceding month.

The Statistics Department said that for the first five months of 2011, the CPI rose 3.0 per cent compared with the previous corresponding period.

On a year-on-year basis, the index for Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Non-Food for May showed increases of 4.5 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

On a month-on-month basis, the index Non-Food increased by 0.4 per cent, while the index for Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages remained unchanged, the department said in a statement today.

For the Jan-May period, the index for Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Non-Food increased by 4.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively when compared to the same period last year. -- Bernama

Read more: Malaysia May inflation up 3.3pc y-o-y 

Worth to invest in 4D? Or stock market is better?

For those who are not familiar with 4D, let me explain.

4D is gaming or betting.
Customer will pick a Four digit numbers from 0000 to 9999.
For every $1 bet, Prizes are:

First price $2,500 X 1.
Second price $1,000 X 1.
Third price $500 X 1
Special Prize $200 ( 10 numbers will get $200 each).
Consolation prize $60 (10 numbers will get $60 each).

What are your chances?
Base on what we have learned from school, if you buy $1 for all the numbers from 0000 to 9999, you need to pay $10,000.
Your total winnings will be just $6,600. Yes, ONLY $6,600.

What if you just buy $10 on one number?
On an average or base on probability, your $10 will become $6.6.

One week got three draws. Assuming you buy $10 on every draw for one year (52 weeks).
You would have invested $1,560 and you will end up with just $1,029.60. You lose $530.40, or 34%.
If you buy from two gaming companies, your losses will be double.

I heard now the special price is just RM180 and not RM200. That means you are getting worse.

In stock market, if the company is growing at an average 10% per year and dividend yield is 5%, on an average you probably will be making about 15% per year. The more you invest, you more you make.

Minimum to buy 4D is $1.00.
If I am an analyst, I would rate 4D a STRONG SELL.
Current 4D share price is $1.00, and my target price fair value for 4D is $0.66 (STRONG SELL).

Many will argue that it is based on luck. Some strike few hundred thousands.
Yes, congratulations.

But for those 99.77% of majority who are not so lucky, the more you invest, the more you lose. The longer you invest, the more you lose. The more companies you buy from, the more you lose. You want to invest in 4D?

DiGi offers data plans for iPad 2 with Wifi+3G

DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd is now offering dedicated data plans for iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G in Malaysia.

All data plans will be available without a contract, providing the freedom to activate or cancel a plan at anytime.

In a statement today, DiGi Head of Mobile Internet and Advanced Data Services Praveen Rajan said: "Malaysians are becoming more attuned to a mobile lifestyle and iPad is fast becoming a favourite device in their daily lives.

"Through DiGi, customers have the flexibility to enjoy affordable internet access from our three data plans -- Lite, Basic and Pro." -- Bernama

Monday, June 20, 2011

Top 5 money 'rules' meant to be broken

There are many money "truisms" that can keep you in the poorhouse.
You've probably heard them all, from anciefnt admonishments against any borrowing, to modern urban legends such as "you have to carry a balance to build credit."
So while some money rules should be taken with a grain of salt, others just need to be thrown out with the trash.
"A lot of times there's that kernel of truth in there," says Bill Druliner, financial counselor and group manager for GreenPath Debt Solutions. "Or it's true in some situations and not in all in others."
Check out these five rules you might want to start breaking:
Rule 1: Pay off your mortgage as soon as you can.
"Sometimes it's true, many times it's not true," says Wayne Bogosian, president of the PFE Group, and co-author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to 401(k) Plans." "It all depends on the interest rate you're paying." If you have a relatively low interest rate around 3.5 percent, "after taxes, it's closer to 2.5 or 2 percent," he says. "That's pretty cheap money."
So if you were to take that "extra" money you're thinking of putting toward the mortgage, and invest it into your 401(k), could you get better than the rate you're paying on your home loan? "In most cases, yes," says Bogosian. "Use the money to build wealth."
" Paying down the mortgage doesn't lower your monthly payment," he says. "It takes a highly liquid asset -- cash -- and converts it into a highly illiquid asset -- home equity."
"Once you bury your cash inside the equity in your house, the only way you can get it is to take out a home equity loan," says Bogosian. "And the bank's going to charge you to get at it."
His advice: If you have maxed out your 401(k) contributions or need to build an emergency fund , put the extra cash into a Roth IRA. That way, you have an easy tax-efficient way to save for that rainy day, and if it goes unused, it goes toward building your wealth.
"Most people we've met don't have enough cash in their emergency fund, anyway," he says.
Rule 2: Don't charge if you can pay cash.
"That's not necessarily true, particularly if you can get a benefit from using your credit card," says Bogosian. "If you are the person who is morally committed to not paying interest, go ahead and use that card for everything. You will get points or cash back or both. The caveat here: When that credit card bill comes due, you pay it."
"You've got to know what you're doing," says Bogosian. "If you forget along the way, you're in trouble."
For most of us, that means the money is already in the bank. But if you're in an iffy financial situation (waiting on a bonus check that might not come, in a shaky job situation), you might want to either use cash or spend only what you already have.
Related to the "never use cash" rule is the "pay off the balance every month" corollary. But there are a few lucky souls for whom this might not apply.
The exception is if you have one of those no-interest credit cards or loans, says Bogosian.
He recently took out a 12-month, no-interest loan for $5,000. For 11 1/2 months, Bogosian will leave the repayment cash in an interest-bearing account.
When it comes due, "I'll write them a check for $5,000 and keep the interest," he says.
Rule 3: College kids need to build credit to get a job.
Not necessarily. "It really depends on the individual," says Doug Borkowski, director of Iowa State University's Financial Counseling Clinic.
A couple of years ago, an Iowa State student got a credit card with an $8,200 limit to build credit. She applied for a second one with the same bank. "By the time I saw her four months later, she had $16,000 worth of credit card debt," says Borkowski.
Another student he saw came in with $52,000 in credit card debt as a senior. The student's biggest expense? Meals for friends.
A lot of personal financial textbooks insist students must get a credit card to build credit in order to get a job, because an increasing number of employers check your credit .  
While building credit is important for other reasons, "As far as what I hear from employers, that's not necessarily true." No credit is vastly different from bad credit , he says. And while good credit's a plus, "they would rather be dealing with someone who didn't screw up and has baggage."
One test Borkowski recommends: Look at how you've managed your debit card.
Do you overdraft? Do you run out of money before you run out of month? Spend on wants versus needs?
Bottom line: You have the same amount of money, whether you pay by cash or credit card. If you can't manage a debit card, you're probably not ready for a credit card.
Rule 4: There's a set percentage you should spend on items, such as home, car, food, or entertainment.
Big fallacy, says Druliner. It's "my personal pet peeve," he says.
Guidelines and rules of thumb are fun watercooler conversation, but they wrongly assume that everyone is the same, with the identical tastes and similar lifestyles and money goals.
"It really depends what your goals are, and what's important to you," says Druliner.
"Those percentages, if you don't take them as gospel truth, can be OK," he says. "But you have to look at what's important to you in your situation and what you value."
In the same way that some people will fill their homes with ultra-modern furniture and bright colors, while others prefer classic pieces or a background of neutrals. Neither is "right" or "wrong." But each expresses the person living there.
Some folks may decide to live with friends and split the rent so that they can devote their cash elsewhere. Others may live frugally, putting money toward homeownership or a trip abroad.
The healthy take-away from spending guidelines: It's fine to be aware of the rules of thumb. That way, breaking away from those money norms is a conscious decision. You're actively directing your money toward those things that are important to you, rather than passively spending until it's mysteriously gone.
Rule 5: To build credit, you have to carry a balance.
Totally wrong! But this is one urban legend that Durliner hears frequently, especially from people who are getting secured cards to build or rebuild their credit.
Getting a secured card can help you establish or re-establish credit by helping you compile a record of good behavior: using the card, getting bills and paying them on time. But you shouldn't carry a balance if your aim is to build good credit.
Carrying a balance is bad for your credit rating. Instead, he recommends, use the card for small purchases "and pay it in full every month."
"You don't have to pay interest to rebuild your credit," Durliner says.
First, if you're rebuilding bad credit, make sure you're addressing the mistakes that damaged your credit in the first place..
Then, if you want a secured card, shop the fees carefully before you apply, says Durliner. Often, the best deals are with a local bank or credit union. But you'll usually have to approach them. Conversely, the companies that are soliciting you uninvited with flashy offers may be more expensive once you do the math, he says.
Says Durliner, "Sometimes the best deal is the one that's not as noisy and in-your-face."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

EPF Malaysia in S$3.2b Singapore project

PETALING JAYA: The Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) has entered into a joint-venture agreement with Singapore's GuocoLand group to develop a piece of land for mixed-used development above Singapore's Tanjong Pagar MRT station.
A statement from GuocoLand Ltd said the agreement was for the development of a piece of land at Peck Seah Street and Chon Guan site, known as the Tanjong Pagar White Site.
The EPF purchase and 20% joint-venture involvement in the upcoming S$3.2bil mixed-use development marks another milestone for the pension fund which has been on an acquisition trail since unveiling its interest in acquiring property assets since August 2010.
In 2010, the EPF announced that it had allocated 1bil for property purchases. The fund has so far bought three in Britain, totalling 486mil. But merely buying properties for their yield is not the EPF's strategy.
CEO Tan Sri Azlan Zainol said about a month ago that the fund would like to actively drive some of its investments in property and banking.
This joint venture with GuocoLand will be one of them. The objective is to actively drive an investment, in this case property development. The aim is to diversify its income, not just from investment, but also to be an active partner in the business. As it is, it is getting yields of 5.6% from its British investments.
As for this Singapore joint venture, it would have a commercial component, a hotel and residential development, the statement said.
The stake is estimated at S$640mil. GuocoLand units will hold the remaining 80%.
GuocoLand won the 99-year leasehold plot in a government land tender in November last year with its offer of S$1.708bil or S$1,006 per sq ft per plot ratio. The S$3.2bil development cost includes the price of the land. The acquisition of the site between GuocoLand and Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority was completed in February this year.
Three wholly-owned subsidiaries of GuocoLand Singapore Pte Ltd will undertake these developments. Belmeth Pte Ltd will undertake the commercial component, Guston Pte ltd the hotel project and Perfect Eagle Pte Ltd the residential component.
Three EPF subsidiaries have been set up for the purpose. These areKwasa Singapore Trio Pte Ltd, which will undertake the commercial component with Belmeth, Kwasa Singapore Duo Pte Ltd with Guston for the hotel project and Kwasa Singapore Solo Pte Ltd with Perfect Eagle to build the residential component.
GuocoLand is required to allocate at least 60% of the maximum 1.7 million sq ft gross floor area to offices and another 10% for hotel use.
In line with this, the development will potentially feature over a million sq ft of grade A office space, a five-star hotel and retail space, as well as Singapore's tallest ever residences, which will reach a height of 280m.
The entire development would be completed in 2015 or 2016 but residential units could be launched as early as 2012, GuocoLand said in February.
The developer has also appointed Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) as the project's architects. SOM is the firm behind the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the upcoming One World Trade Center in New York City. The firm also designed Singapore's Changi Airport Terminal Three.

Bill Gates and Other Billionaire's Mansions

Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, 26, may have recently shelled out $7 million for a Palo Altohome, but when it comes to billionaire real estate, that purchase is downright thrifty. Many of the world’s richest people spare no expense when it comes to home sweet home, throwing down tens and hundreds of millions of dollars on mega mansions designed to suit every possible fancy.
Take industrial billionaire Ira Rennert’s 43,031 square-foot Fair Field estate in Sagaponack, New York. Valued at $200 million according to tax assessments, the sprawling 29 bedroom, 39 bath manse is one of America’s largest single-family homes — and arguably the most expensive. Amenities include not one but three dining rooms, three swimming pools sitting side by side, two courtyards, an orangery, a 164-seat screening theater and a pavilion housing a basketball court, a gym, and a 2-lane bowling alley. There’s even an on-premise power plant to keep everything running.
On the opposite coast, Russian venture capital billionaire Yuri Milner recently forked over $100 million for a 25,000-square foot, French chateau-inspired mansion in Silicon Valley. The Palo Alto estate touts indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a ballroom and a wine cellar. If Rennert’s Fair Field estate could be the most expensive home in the country, Milner’s is its direct competition for that title. The Facebook and Groupon investor, who calls Moscow, Russia home, bought the place as a secondary property.
Many billionaire homeowners don’t move into their new digs right away. Once they’ve closed, which usually occurs through a third party LLC to keep the sale as private as possible, it’s time to retrofit the property for their lavish lifestyles, remodeling or in some cases, tearing down and rebuilding a brand new mansion altogether. This is a common occurrence in the ritzy Long Island, New York zip codes that make up the Hamptons, where billionaire investor Ron Baron dropped $103 million on 40 acres of beachfront land sans a house. In the most recent and extreme example, hedge fund billionaire David Tepper just knocked down the $43.5 million Sagaponack home he bought last year; he reportedly plans to build a house that’s twice as large on the empty site.
“A lot of people will buy a $30 million ocean front mansion, tear it down, and start all over again,” explains Alan Fiocchi, founder of AlchemyRED, a company that project manages the ground-up construction or intensive remodeling of multi-million dollar estates around the world. Fiocchi, who works on properties averaging $25 million with a typical renovation budget of $10 million, acts as Owner’s Representation for many billionaire clients, including many of Wall Street’s high profile finance gurus, one non-American Head of State and members of royal families.
Billionaires like their privacy. Fiocchi, who must sign non-disclosure agreements to take on a job, says it is common for clients to shell out money for technology that ensures safety. “We’ve done full security in terms of bullet-proof glass on all the windows,” says Fiocchi. “We’ve even had clients who were extremely paranoid about air quality, so we engaged engineers from Germany to make sure they had the highest air quality known to man circulating through their residences.”
The world’s richest spend millions on the finish work, especially stonework and millwork. Take the Maison de L’Amitie estate in Palm Beach, Florida that real estate mogul-turned-reality show star Donald Trump sold to Russian fertilizer kingpin, Dmitry Rybolovlev in 2008 for a discounted $95 million (originally listed for $125 million). The Donald snatched up the 60,000 square foot, oceanfront estate for just over $40 million in 2004 and set to work sprucing it up, adding gold and diamond fixtures and a 50-car garage.
Some billionaires collect pricey plots of land the way others might collect wine or art. Tech titan Larry Ellison is perhaps most famously known for his Woodside, Calif. compound, fashioned after a Japanese imperial palace with man-made lake, teahouse and moon pavilion. But the Oracle founder has also dished out hundreds of millions of dollars on more than a dozen Malibu and San Francisco estates in recent years. Earlier this year, he scooped up former billionaire Edra Blixseth’s 240-acre Porcupine Creek estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif. for a deeply discounted $42.9 million.
“When I think of a trophy property selling or something unusual entering the market that gets a lot of attention it…actually pulls more inventory out onto the market…and other properties that may be considered competing in this price point come out of the woodwork because the selling of them is optional,” explains Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Miller Samuel Inc, a New York City-based real estate appraisal company. He notes that while high-end aspiring homeowners have the money to shell out on uber expensive estates, many still tend to abstain from buying property that is wildly overpriced – just as their home-buying peers in the lower ends of the market do.
Here are five monster billionaire mansions worth visiting:

Maison de L'Amitie, a $95 million property in Palm Beach, FL.
Photo: ZUMA Press/Newscom
Maison de L'Amitie, Palm Beach, Fla.
Owner: Dmitry Rybolovlev, worth $9.5 billion
List Price: $125 million
Final Purchase Price: $95 million
The sprawling oceanfront 60,000-square foot compound, bought from Donald Trump in 2008, includes diamond and gold fixtures and a nearly 50 car garage.

Xanadu 2.0, worth an estimated $121 million, is in Medina, Wash.
Photo: CelebrityHomePhotos/Newscom
Xanadu 2.0, Medina, Wash.
Owner: Bill Gates, worth $56 billion
Home Value: $121 million, according to tax assessments
The high-tech Lake Washington complex owned by the world's second-richest man boasts a pool with an underwater music system, a 2,500- square foot gym and a library with domed reading room.

Promised Land, purchased for $50 million, is in Montecito, CA
Photo: Splash News/Newscom
Promised Land, Montecito, Calif.
Owner: Oprah Winfrey, worth $2.7 billion
Purchase Price: $50 million in 2001
The media queen's 23,000-square-foot Georgian-style manse sits on more than 40 acres, boasting a tea house, more than 600 rose bushes and an upscale outhouse.

Casa Sin Nombre in Palm Beach, Fla. is for sale for $59 million.
Photo: Corcoran
Casa Sin Nombre, Palm Beach, Fla.
Owner: Columbia University, bequeathed by the late media mogul John Kluge
For Sale: $59 million
Reflecting pools, statues and six houses adorn the oceanfront grounds of the late Metromedia founder's property, which recently hit the market after being willed to his alma mater.

Fair Field Estate in Sagaponack, N.Y. is valued at $200 million.
Fair Field Estate, Sagaponack, N.Y.
Owner: Ira Rennert, worth $5.2 billion
Property value: $200 million, according to tax assessments
The industrial billionaire's hulking 29-bedroom, 39-bath Hamptons compound has not one, but three swimming pools, plus its own power plant on premises.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2011 The World’s 25 Highest-Paid Musicians‏

1. U2 ($195 million)
The ageless rockers are wrapping up the most lucrative tour in the history of music: By the time U2′s two-year trek ends this summer.
Bon Jovi

2. Bon Jovi ($125 million)

Who says you can’t go home? Bon Jovi opened New Jersey’s New Meadowlands Stadium with three consecutive sold out concerts last May and another in July.
Elton John

3. Elton John ($100 million)

Sir Elton has sold 250 million records worldwide over the past 30 years and isn’t slowing down, grossing $204 million on 102 live shows in the past 12 years.
Lady Gaga

4. Lady Gaga ($90 million)

The Queen Monster grossed $170 million on 137 shows in 22 countries over the past 12 months. Though high production costs significantly reduced that sum.
Michael Bublé
5. Michael Buble ($70 million)
The Canadian crooner rode a lucrative concert tour, heavy radio play and strong album sales all the way to a spot among music’s top five earners.
Paul McCartney

6. Paul McCartney ($67 million)

The former Beatle could just sit back and collect checks — he’s the most commercially successful songwriter in the history of popular music.
The Black Eyed Peas

7. The Black Eyed Peas ($61 million)

The business-friendly rockers grossed $68 million on 62 shows around the world over the past 12 months and added to their coffers with lucrative endorsement.
The Eagles

8. The Eagles ($60 million)

The ageless rockers continue to take it to the limit — especially on the road, where they make the bulk of their money.
Justin Bieber

9. Justin Bieber ($53 million)

At age 17, Bieber is the youngest on the list, raking in cash from an international tour, new album, biopic Never Say Never and even a perfume line.
Dave Matthews Band
10. Dave Mathews Band ($51 million)
Still touring after the success of 2009’s Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, the band grossed over $1 million per night over the course of 68 shows in
Toby Keith

11. Toby Keith ($50 million)

It’s not just music that makes money for this country star: Keith also profits from an endorsement deal with Ford, a mezcal line and a restaurant chain

12. Usher ($46 million)

The R&B crooner credited with discovering Justin Bieber had quite a year himself, playing a lucrative concert tour to support his extended play album
Taylor Swift

13. Taylor Swift ($45 million)

Country or pop? Either way, there’s no question that Swift is a moneymaking machine: new album Speak Now was certified triple-platinum barely a month after .
Katy Perry

14. Katy Perry ($44 million)

Perry’s album Teenage Dream is one of nine in history to boast four chart-topping singles. No stranger to business, Perry shills for Proactiv and Adidas .
Brad Paisley

15. Brad Paisley ($40 million)

Country star had a banner year, thanks to strong touring backed by sponsorships from Chevy, Skinny Water, and Sea Ray boats.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

16. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers ($38 million)

Some acts seem to have an infinite shelf life on the road, and Tom Petty is one of them–the bulk of the band’s annual take comes from 46 dates.

17. Jay-Z ($37 million)

The Empire State of Mind rapper out-earned wife Beyoncé for the first time since their 2008 nuptials, thanks revenues from the tail end of a world tour.

18. AC/DC ($35 million, tie)

Scotland-born and Australia-bred, AC/DC continued to shake audiences all night long, grossing nearly $60 million on the road.
Sean "Diddy" Combs

18. Sean “Diddy” Combs ($35 million, tie)

Music now accounts for less than 20% of earnings for the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy, thanks to big stakes in clothing lines Sean John and Enyce,
Beyoncé Knowles

18. Beyoncé Knowles ($35 million, tie)

The Houston-born diva ranks unusually low on our list because she didn’t tour or release an album this year. In the absence of new music revenue, business-focused .
Tim McGraw

18. Tim McGraw ($35 million, tie)

A jack of all trades, McGraw made big bucks in 2010 despite his label’s decision to delay his new album. In addition to a lucrative tour, McGraw starred.

18. Muse ($35 million, tie)

The Britain-based rock group grossed $76 million on 63 shows in the last year and has landed songs on all three Twilight soundtracks–leading bassist Chris .
Rascal Flatts

23. Rascal Flatts ($34 million)

The country stars grossed $45 million on 61 shows over the past 12 months, adding to their coffers with heavy radio play and endorsements from JC Penny
Kenny Chesney

24. Kenny Chesney ($30 million)

The sexiness of his tractor aside, Chesney has a lot to sing about this year. He grossed nearly $40 million on 24 shows in support of his new album, Hemingway’s

25. Rihanna ($29 million)

The Barbados-born singer grossed $1 million per night in 38 shows over the past 12 months; added more with strong sales of new album Loud, digital singles.