Ahad, 13 Oktober 2013

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Are you denying yourself or your wife a new car, house or branded outfit?


Have you ever denied yoursel or a loved one of a branded outfit, an imported toy or expensive fine dining just because you think you shouldn't be spending that kind of money?

Are you still unsure if you can afford to upgrade your home or change your old junk to a better car?

Financial freedom has been a buzzword for some time. It is a desirable long-term goalfor everyone - being able to enjoy the lifestyle one desires withou tthe financial constraints.

However, life is a journey. We should enjoy this journey whilst working towards our long-term financial freedom goal.

SOME of us work hard and save frugally to arrive at the state of financial freedom. Is it possible to have
the liberty to spend as we work at our personal finances?

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  • Know yourfinancial health

Do you have a positive cash flow? How much is left after paying for ally our commitments like housing loan, hire purchase and basic necessities? Do you have an emergency fund for medical bills, major car repairs or replacing big ticke thousehold items? When you know the actual state of your financial  health, it removes the anxiety and it gives you the liberty to enjoy what you have.

  • Have your long-term financial plans in place

Do you own a home? What are your children's education expenses going to be like? Plan your children's education based on your own convictions and values. You do not need to send your children to study overseas just because all your otherfriends intend to. Do you have an idea of the nest egg you require foryour retirement years? Have a plan towards building that nest egg. Work with a financial planner if you need to.

  • Consciouslyput aside 5%to 10%ofyourtake-home income intoyour"playjar"

This is the amount you can spend on yourself or your loved ones without feeling guilty as it was specifically set aside for that purpose. 

  • Determine what's important to you 

Spend your money well o nwhat's really meaningful to you and that which makes you happy. Don't spend on something that will make you feel guilty afterwards. Avoid shopping just because you are feeling frustrated,  stressed or angry. Retail therapy may give you a sense of satisfaction for a brief moment but you may end up feeling worse than before.

Financial freedom may not be as near as we want it to be, but it does not mean we cannot liberate ourselves now to enjoy the journey. Sometimes it isn't just about the destination but it's the journey that counts.

Malaysia’s blue chips fall, Petronas stocks, KLK down


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's key FBM KLCI fell nearly 10 points in early Monday trade, kicking off the week on a cautious note, as investors fretted about the resolution to the US Budget impasse.

At 9am, the KLCI was down 9.84 points to 1,775.91. Turnover was 25.75 million shares valued at RM17.39mil. There were 53 gainers, 68 losers and 113 counters unchanged.

BAT fell the most, down 64 sen to RM62.74 with 2,000 shares done. KL Kepong lost 48 sen to RM22.40 and Hartalega 27 sen to RM7.21.

Petronas Dagangan was down 38 sen to RM29.02 and Petronas Gas 30 sen to RM22.20.

HLFG fell 16 sen to RM15.12 and Hong Leong Bank 14 sen to RM14.16. However, Public Bank rose six sen to RM18.26.

Uzma was the top gainer, adding 14 sen to RM4.59.  Its subsidiary Uzma Engineering Sdn Bhd had secured a one-year contract from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd to provide a drilling project management team for Petroleum Management Unit
(PMU) wells.

Infrastructure companies IJM and Gamuda tose, with IJM up five sen to RM5.82 and Gamuda gaining three sen to RM4.79. Power giant Tenaga added five sen to RM9.10.

Asian shares fall, yen up as U.S. debt deadline nears


TOKYO/SYDNEY: Asian shares and U.S. stock index futures fell and the safe-haven yen rose on Monday as a possible U.S. debt default edged closer after the failure of weekend talks in Washington, though expectations are that a last-minute compromise will be reached.

Adding to the gloom, data on Saturday showed China's export growth unexpectedly fizzled in September, underscoring worries about flagging global demand.

U.S. stock index futures fell 0.7 percent in early trade. If the losses are sustained, it indicates that Wall Street would open lower later on Monday.

U.S. Treasury futures edged up 3-1/2 ticks, though the cash market will be shut due to the Columbus Day holiday. Markets in Japan and Hong Kong are also closed on Monday for public holidays.

U.S. stocks had risen strongly ahead of the weekend on hopes a deal to raise the $16.7 trillion federal borrowing limit was near. However, U.S. politicians remain at loggerheads as the October 17 deadline approaches.

Failure to break the stalemate before Thursday's deadline would leave the world's biggest economy unable to pay its bills in the coming weeks, an outcome that is unthinkable for global financial markets.

Still, trading has remained relatively calm as many analysts expect Republicans and Democrats to strike a last-minute deal, believing U.S. politicians would want to avoid the dire consequences of a default.

"Most likely, a solution will be found before, or be in the making, by October 17," analysts at Nomura wrote in a client note.

"The tail risk comes into play if there is no clear framework for a solution by October 17. Entering this tail would see risk jump in terms of funding market stress and risk assets more broadly."

Some financial institutions have reduced the use of Treasury bills as collateral for trades as the deadline gets closer. Hong Kong's securities exchange is applying a bigger discount on U.S. Treasuries used as margin collateral.


The failure of the weekend talks in Washington saw investors react by seeking safety in the yen.

The dollar fell 0.3 percent to 98.30 yen and the euro dipped 0.1 percent to 133.30 yen. The Australian dollar eased 0.1 percent to 92.82 yen.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was a touch softer.

In commodity markets, gold held steady at $1,271.6 an ounce after losing 2.9 percent last week.

Brent crude dipped 0.3 percent to just below $111 a barrel on concerns that the U.S. debt standoff and slower growth in China would crimp demand.

"China still faces significant external headwinds while a recovery in domestic demand is lifting import growth," HSBC said in a note.

"Beijing should keep its accommodative policy and steer structural reforms to sustain a recovery driven by domestic demand," it added. - Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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