Monday, January 7, 2013

Multiplying wealth

What do you do when you get your first big fat bonus? Okay, not necessary big bonus, as long as you have extra money in the bank, what do you do with it?

Have you noticed that how money makes money? Ibu and I had always talked about this because you can see the richer getting richer because they ensure the money that they have will make more money for them in the long run. Like when a man starts an airline business, he furthers it to owning a football club in one of the most important Premiere Legue, start affordable hotel line around the world and the list goes on (sounds familiar?)

So, let's us all discuss and share, how do and don't we multiply our wealth (regardless of how much do you have in your account now):

One : Save up. We sometimes forget the basic and foundation of multiplying of wealth. We usually save our money to saving account since our monthly salary is being credited to it. Some people have current account, especially those with run business, where you can have the cheque book and of course a fix deposit. An account that requires you to save a specific amount of money on a specific duration. The bank will give you back the money with spefic amount of dividends in return. Of course both saving and current account would also give you some dividends, but not as much as fix deposit.

Two : Invest. There are many forms investment. I am sure, most of us are familiar with Amanah Saham Bumiputra (ASB), Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN) (and its other fund) and on the very recent,  Amanah Saham Hartanah (ASH). Next, there are specific Unit Trust Fund that you can also invest in. Seek for good advice from the best agent, they will be able to facilitate you. Even KWSP had allow the our first account to be invest to specific fund.

So, KWSP will send you acknowledgement that an agreed amount in your first account is being used for the  specific unit trust for investment.

And your agent will send you details on them

The same goes with AHB, they do not have saving book as ABS, so they will send you details on your investment

Three : Gold/Silver investment. I am not really familiar with silver investment but nowadays, there are many type of gold investment. Other that physical gold in form of wafer, coins, bars, you can also invest in gold account where you saving is base in the daily price of international gold. Now, most bank institutional are also offering their `local' gold wafer and bar and they offer you to save keep you invested gold. Not only the pattern of the engraved wafer is unique, it is also safer.

Four : Property.My favorite topic! I know many people who starts the property investment on auction properties. I know one friend who is owning 6 auctions properties that when he re-finance all the houses, he gets an amount of money to start a new business. I know an agent that owns nearly 30 properties at Denai Alam, and he basically lives with selling them.

Five : Land investment. Something that I have learnt on very recent. One of our friends had share on how he invested on land property. Basically, he bought an acre or two of land and divided the land to a few lots. The lots are being sold to to individual, to build individual property (house). The concept is quite same to property investment, but my friend punya ayat mmg best, takdela hari ni kita tidur, esok tanah rumah kita bertambah 1 meter,kan? What he's trying to say is land property is not something which akan bertambah, semakin berkurang, so the value is higher.

Six : Insurance. There are many type insurance, life, health, education, you name it. A long term saving for future benefits.

Seven : Starts a business. There are many online business that we have seen on the net. I know a few friends who are taking orders to design dulang hantaran, preparing candy buffet and so many others. There are many people who are looking for any sorts of services and stuff, you just have to show other people of what you can do!

And of course ultimately, the best way to multiply your wealth is through zakat and sedekah. Nothing can defeats that. The reason we multiply our wealth is also to ensure that we can share our wealth with others. Ayah always said, duit yang masuk dalam akaun kita setiap bulan tu, bukan semuanya milik kita. Kadang-kadang kita ni pengagih je. Ha, makan dalam tak? Hehehe!

And, how about the other way around? What we shouldn't do in managing wealth?

One : Unnecessary liability. Of course, this is individual view. But, for me, car is a liability. Unless, you are earning so much more than your monthly expenses, yeah, spend them on your car. But, if it is your first salary, you do not own any feasible asset or fund, `investing' it on expensive car, does not help. 

Two : Apply for personal loan. Be very smart with personal loan. Remember, money makes money? If you apply for personal loan to invest into something definite such as starting a business or your first time to buy an auction property etc, that's cool (but you still need to really study whether the dividend or keuntungan outweigh the interest from the personal loan). Not for shopping or to pay your amounting credit cards.

Three : Credit cards. Do we really have to talk about this?

As conclusion, I do not believe in short cuts or too good to be true investment offers/proposals. Be smart, read, ask and share. Most of our people, we have always dengar cerita org je, have no effort to read and ask for information from the right source. At the end of the day, we start pointing finger to others. So, think about it.

I am not an expert tau, what I am doing is just sharing my knowledge and what I know from reading and discussing with some good friends. And of course, you are invited to share your knowledge too! Please do =)

Hanie Adzman

Friday, January 4, 2013

Re-visit common rules

Yes, people. Let us all re-visit some common rules to be practiced while we are using public transportation and amenities.

One - Do not lean against the middle pole in the LRT and Komuter coach. The pole is meant for people to hold to to avoid unnecessary incident of accident (terjatuh ke, terlentang ke dan seangkatan dgnnya). If you guys dah bersandar dengan segala pose kat tiang tu, kat mana lagi orang lain yang sama-sama berdiri dengan anda nak pegang bila train bergerak? Think about it. (Unless, you do not mind people pegang-pegang badan you sebab tak dapat nak hold to the pole).

awek LRT
Wah! I found somebody who had the same thought as I did. This pic is from The  writer also had complained about people who is leaning against the middle pole. Not the girl in slue shirt, but the man on the left side of this pic.

Two - People, people, people, do not stand right in front of the coach door. Lagi-lagi if you enter the train @ Setiawangsa and to leave at Taman Bahagia. Other passengers who are leaving at Ampang Park, KLCC, Kg. Baru do not appreciate your presence kat pintu tu, believe me (because I am one of them). Remember what grandma told us about jangan duduk kat muka pintu rumah? Yes, nanti kawin lambat. I think the same rule goes here.

Three - Unless you are a Bangladeshi who had just reach Malaysia from depot or airport, you should know that the pink coaches at the Komuter  are for women, gentlemen! Even if you are a Bangladeshi, you should be able to see the woman in pink dress sticker posted on the window, kan? That should give you some clue. So, don't be mad if we gave you this long annoying look if you enter our coach.

Yes, this is the sticker I am talking about.

Four - Malaysians, I think we are smart enough to know that when you are using the escalators, stay on the left side if you wish to berjalan lenggang kangkung. The right side is for people like me, who are chasing for punch in time at 7.00 am (meaning in rush). I think in most places dah ada the sign board for this instruction, yet, we are not good at following it.

So, remember when we were in primary school, our teacher had always reminded us to throw rubbish in the dustbin? And how the prefect will write our name in their one handy book if they saw us liter else where? And I believe we were adhering to it until we saw our own parents throw the plastic food outside the car's window while driving lagi! So, when we asked them why Papa buang sampah luar tingkap? And Papa will answer, ala, nanti ada orang sapu sampah tu. Then, we have internal conflict, who's right now? My teacher and prefect of my parents? Hahaha! Kesian, kecik-kecik dah ada konflik dalaman ;D So, parents, you are actually the best role model to your own children. If you show us the not so good example, we will sure follow one! ;p 

Good reminder!

I find these are some common rules that we Malaysians are still having trouble to adhere to. I know, we are not perfect but at least, do not trouble (read : menyusahkan) others just because we failed to follow some instruction and rules. This is yet to mention how Malaysians drive on the roads. I mean, come on Malaysians!

Hanie Adzman

*as usual, pics are all from Mr. Google! ;D

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Next project

Yes, it is a new year- the 2013. with conjunction to this, we always looking forward to something new; something to gist a new year. If masa tengah bujang dulu, I had always wonder around shopping mall, hunting for new handbags, shoes or blouses, to get a new year feeling but now that I am married and matured (hahaha!), I am focusing on to something else.

So, as you know our Lavender Launderette has been operated for 1 year under our management (eceh, dah macam bunyi kitaorg jaga maintenance apartment plak, hahah!). As such, we believe it is already about time to give our laundry a new fresh look (fresh la sangat.. ;p).

The first step is to find the right color for our front area, the reception area basically. Since the laundry name is Lavender, so of course we need to maintain the feature wall as Lavender color. And now left with to decide what color should we paint the remaining 3 walls. We have looked for a few colors:

As our company's name is Green Purple Enterprise, should we incorporate the green to the lavender paint?

With turquoise (is this too much?) 
Maybe baby blue?

Ibu was suggesting pink, but we thought it was too girlish. Maybe for our daughter's room, will do.

So, we are still contemplating on which color should we go for.

Then we plan to replace our front glass door. The current glass door is the old tempered glass and tinted with dark color. So, when you entered our laundry, you get this very dark view. To freshen the look, we choose a clear tempered glass, so that our laundry looks clearer and brighter!

So dark looking, kan? Nampak mcm Cyber Cafe underground, hahah!

To something that look like this.
Ok, move on to the furniture. We have visited Ikea yesterday, so we have already collected some new idea on what wardrobe should we installed, which bench to place in front of the counter etc, hehe! So much for 2013's mood,kan?

Expedit from Ikea, co-joint with an Expedit table, as our reception table.

Another Expedit to be placed right behind the counter for clean cloth.

Appraco bench for the customers, maybe?

Ivar from Ikea, to place our clean comforter, toto

Maybe Sigurd bench Ikea as the back of the reception counter?

We are still also contemplating whether to have the furniture in white color or dark color (black or dark brown). White will definitely makes the whole area look amazing but the tendency of them to be dirty is faster. On the other hand, dark color makes the area dull. So, yes. this is a tough call.

We are also looking forward to change the floor. On the first thought, we would like to laminate the floor but it will effects the height of the door and all, so we were thinking to change its tikar getah, maybe to some bright color. 

This blue, maybe?

And to end the deco with this Ikea PS - Clock. Comel kan?

Nampak je kecil, tapi it cost RM 129, wokey?

When the hard work will start? Yes, as soon as we finalize the color of the paint first. Can't wait! =)

Hanie Adzman


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Medan - Danau Toba trip

Oh, yes, I'd love to share my details on my Medan trip.

So, the objective(s) of this post are:

1)  To share the itinerary of our Medan - Lake Toba trip
2)  To highlight the places of interest visited during the visit
3)  To give approximate expenses and total damage done in Medan
4)  Thoughtful tips

So, ayah did the booking on October, right after Aidiladha. We planned the trip for it has been long since the last time we spent time together.

We booked LCCT-Medan flight on the 1st November 2012. (We is also including another 2 aunties and uncles, ibu's siblings; so there are 11 of us). So excited and anticipating for good journey, unfortunately Zharif couldn't join us. So, left only 10 of us.

Our flight to Medan departed at 7.30 am in the morning, we landed at the Polonia International Airport at 8.30 am, local time. (Medan is 1 hour earlier than Malaysia, mind you). Done with all immigration and  baggage matter, we headed out to look for our supir (translation : driver). So, they have Pak Adzman's name on a board, so we introduced ourselves to them and they showed us way to the car. We booked two Toyota Kijang (Toyota Innova). All save in the car, the porters who lifted our bag into the car ask for some cash. We were shocked because of course in Malaysia, we don't pay our porters. And they insisted, so we gave them around 200,000 rupiah. [Tips: if you want to avoid these porters, insist to them that you would like to handle your luggage yourself. Be firm. But of course, they find living to this services, so, it is your judgement].

From Polonia International airport, we headed to Jalan Pandak Alang (if I recalled correctly), which took about 45 minutes. One of my aunt, she has a cousin whom married to a local Medan. So, he directed us to the house that he owns in Medan, which was taken care by his sister in law. When we reached the front gate, it was so small, that only 1 van fitted to go though. But, when we reached inside, wah, besarnya rumah!!! Hehehe! We met with the family and they invited us for lunch. Like sleepy people given pillows, we ate udang sambal, ikan kecik-kecik goreng, ayam goreng, pisang and kek ambon. Thank God that her cooking was similar to Malaysian cooking, hehe! And we enjoyed the Indonesian program on the television too!

We left the house at 11.30 am and headed to our hotel Grand Sakura. We booked Grand Sakura through Unfortunately, by the time we reached the hotel, our bed and room were not done. At first, we decided to wait but we can't stand the smokers in the lobby. I don't know whether it is their norm to smoke in a non-smoking lobby, but no one seem care about it. So, we told the receptionist that we are leaving and we would like to leave our luggage at the safe keeping room. [Tips : To check in the hotel at 2.00 pm so that we can avoid this waiting for the room to be prepared- episode].

So, the first pit stop at Medan was Istana Maimon. Istana Maimon is the palace of Sultan of Deli. Nothing really interesting about it but you can actually put on some of their traditional cloth and took picture at one side of the hall. The entrance fee was 50,000 rupiah for the 10 of us. I wish they have someone came up to us and explained to us on, you know, the history and all.

Next, we visited the Masjid Raya Medan to perform our solat. Seeing the kids offering slippers, waxing shoes and arranging them to earn a living in the masjid compound is actually heart breaking. We  should be thankful that we are born in Malaysia where education and working opportunities are plenty.

Then, we went to Pasar Ikan for the very much anticipated activity - shopping!!! But I don't know why was I not really excited about it. I just bought a telekung (itu pun sbb tgk semua org beli telekung) and the rest of the time I was busy `entertaining' the road side sell persons. In case you have been to India or some other under privilege countries, you know what I am talking about. The sell persons will talk to you into buying their stuff, they give you cheaper price, they will follow you until you buy their stuff; that sort of thing. I guess this was my first experience going to such places, so I felt pity for them.

Tired of shopping, we headed back to our hotel for a short break. Thank God our rooms are done.

After nearly 1 hour break, we headed out again for our late lunch cum dinner. We went for our good meal at Kalasan. Subhanallah, it tasted so delicious! We really enjoyed their Minang food. The whole ten of us, it only cost 530,000 rupiah. [Tips: Please come here while you are hungry. The food is to die for].

Then we went around Medan, while most shop had closed.We stopped at one of the shopping centre, and Hazeman got me a Nike sports shoes. It cost 40% less than Malaysia's price.

Off we went back to our hotel and called it a day.

Second day. We has our breakfast at the hotel and left for Parapat. The journey took about 4 hours, one third with proper highway and 2/3 with jalan berpusing-pusing. [Tips: If you have problems with jalan berpusing-pusing, just sleep. That shall avoid vomiting episode]. Along the way, our driver stopped once at this one shop (ala, lupala nama kedai tu). It sells those kerepek, kek; you know, munching food.

We arrived at Parapat nearly to 1.00pm. Checked in at Danau Toba Cottage and Parapat is actually the town at the edge of Danau Toba. So, if you do not wish to stay in Samosir (which is the `island'), you can opt for Parapat. While we were here, we visited this one house, which was stayed by Sukarno, during the colonisation era of the Dutch. He was put under house retention. Then, we walked by the lake and some boat owners came to us, offering us boat trip around the lake. Excited, everybody gets into speed boat and we were brought along the lake. The view was to die for. Cantik sgt! Let the picture do the justice. We were brought to the batu tergantung and of course there is a story behind it. It was believed that batu bergantung was due to this kisah-kisah cinta antara dua darjat la. Too many versions of course, but the batu look like tail of a dog. There was also some fish pond, runs by the local for small industry purpose.

Later, we drove around Parapat and shopped for some souvenirs and for late dinner. One more thing that you have to bear in mind is that the food. Of course, most locals are not Muslims and it is their normal practise that whatever food that they cooked were being served until night. So, yes the hygiene issue is questionable and we were lucky that one of the restaurant in Parapat was willing to cook us fried mee for our dinner.

The next day, our drivers came at 8.00 am, right after we had our breakfast because we wanted to queue for the first ferry to Tomok and to Samosir. Alhamdulillah, we managed to catch the first ferry out and the trip took 30 minutes to Tomok. We reached Tomok at 9.00 am and went through a one hour journey to see the hot water spring. Once we reached there, there was nothing to do because none of us wanted to bath in the hot water spring. And the worst part, there was no Muslims restaurant =( We felt it was a wasteful journey and ended up, we only were able to drink soft drink. Then, we drove back to Tomok, to do some sourvenir shopping while waiting for the next ferry back to Parapat. We also went to see a Batak house at Tomok, and enjoyed a Batak traditional dance (which everyone particpated in. You should see my parents, aunts and uncles enjoyed the dance. Macam org muda, hahaha!) That night, we had our dinner cum lunch with some mangoes.

Last day in Danau Toba, we left the cottege at 6.30am because we would like to go back to Medan to do some shopping at Pasar Ikan again. On the way back, we stopped at this one Lagoon for breakfast and proceed our journey back to Medan. And again, we shopped at Pasar Ikan (we bought some materials for Zharif's wedding) and we had our lunch again at Kalasan for the last time. Before we proceed to the airport, we stopped at the Zalikha Bika Ambon, a bakery that sold Medan's famous cake, Bika Ambon. Their caked really sold like hot cakes. Keluar 50 buku cakes, 20 minutes, all sold! So, we were able to secure some, and packed them back to KL.

We reached airport at 4.30 pm, again, porters rushed to lift our beg and again asked for tips. Prior to our check in, we were instructed to pay the airport tax, 75,000 rupiah/head and then we were allowed to check in and proceed to the departure hall. Our flight was at 6.15 pm and we reached LCCT at 8.00pm.

So, overall, damage done:


* detailed - credit to ayah

But, if I was able to change one thing about the trip, I would not go to Lake Toba just to go and visit the hot water spring (kat Setapak ni pun ada, ok?). I would rearrange the trip to Berastagi. I will travel straight to Parapat, not to stay at Medan because Medan can actually be covered on the last day. Berastagi is a Cameron Highland-like at Lake Toba. 2 days after we went back to KL, I watched Air Asia trip to Medan by Memey Suhaiza and Norman Hakim, and they visited Berastagi. Berastagi is so beautiful and it is a must visit place, but we missed it. 
Another thing that I must advised is traveller with toddlers. It might be slighly difficult because the trip from Medan to Lake Toba was long as such you must planned your toddlers' meal time, breastfeeding time and all properly.

So, I hope this review shall help future Lake Toba's visitors. Those who would like to share your personal experience to Lake Toba, you are welcome too!

Hanie Adzman