Ahad, 6 Oktober 2013

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Money can't buy me love


Indeed, love is a many-splendored thing. When we are passionately in love, nothing really matters in the world. But when the romance settles and financial issues start to pile up, can love be thrown out of the window?

MONEY certainly can't buy us love but it can to some extent, prevent financial struggles.

I have seen many relationships fall apart due to mismanagement of family finances.

Arguments about money can also multiply into other emotional issues.

That is why financial planning must start as early as family planning.

Couples must make time to ensure that money issues do not stand in the way of their relationship and their family goals.

In managing family finances, both partners need to be financially responsible and

There are many instances in a marriage that one of the partners takes charge of the finances.

Usually he or she is the one with more financial knowledge and experience, the so called "Finance Minister"of the home, whilst the other partner is left tofocus on other family matters.

This sort of arrangement can be beneficial as different partners focus on different areas in their family life.

However, it is advisable that the financially astute partner shares with his better half what he or she does with the family finances so that his partner is more aware of where the family money goes to and learns to be more financially literate.

This becomes especially important in the unfortunate event where the "Home Finance Minister" passes away first or becomes unable to manage the family funds.

Manycouples make the mistake of leaving the family financial matters to solely one partner and the surviving partner becomes "financially incapacitated" due to financial inexperience.

Involving your partner in the family's finances must stretch beyond just having joint accounts to updating your partner about your loans, retirement plans, insurance policies, wills, and where important documents are kept.

If you hire a financial planner to assist you, make sure your better half is included in most of your discussions.

We have often heard that the love of money is the root of all evils.

Conversely, the lack of it can be so too.

Think about it.

One-stop property portal, StarProperty.my, aims to transform marketing of developer properties


PETALING JAYA: Consumers looking to buy real estate can now turn to StarProperty.my to get a one-stop, holistic look into the dynamic Malaysian primary property market.

"There's a gap in the market for this," said the Star Media Group's general manager of new media, Timothy Hor (pic).

"There's a lot of clutter on the Internet and it's not easy to find the right information. People have no place to go to for a holistic, comprehensive view of all the latest developer properties and launches."

Using simple and clear processes, the newly revamped portal will, at a glance, give users an overall view of all the options out there for a rich and interactive experience. All information will be linked to the comprehensive stream of news supplied by the Star Media Group.

StarProperty.my is targeted at all property buyers, from first timers and upgraders to investors and foreign buyers.

StarProperty.my will also help developers in their marketing sales efforts. "This would transform property marketing," said Hor.

"Our purpose is to help our customers reach, engage and convert effectively," he added. "No one else can reach as pervasively as we can, being the number one English newspaper and news portal, coupled with our other media channels like radio, television and web."

"You can even book units online through our e-booking facility," pointed out Hor. "No need to elbow other people in sales galleries, go to all ends of the Klang Valley to attend previews or queue up at ballots. You can get straight to your desired unit, including the floor, view and layout you want, from the comfort of your computer."

The portal's mobile app, meanwhile, will utilise the latest technologies to provide users with customised, location-based information. "We have a lot up our sleeves. We believe it will contribute to a much more efficient and healthy property market."

Those wanting to experience the new StarProperty.my are invited to attend its launch at the upcoming Star Property Fair to be held from Nov 8 to 10 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

The fair will feature the latest projects from over 30 top developers, including S P Setia Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, UEM Sunrise Bhd, Eco World Development Sdn Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd, Tropicana Corp Bhd, Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd, IOI Properties Bhd, Berjaya Land Bhd, PJ Development Holdings Bhd, Hap Seng Land, Land & General Bhd, LBS Bina Group Bhd and OSK Property Holdings Bhd, among others.

Financial institutions will also be at hand to give loan advice, while the itinerary includes talks by experts on property investment, home ownership schemes, home design and feng shui.

Prices of hybrid cars may go up


Hybrid car prices may go up

Import, excise duties on hybrid cars expiring by year-end

PETALING JAYA: Sales of hybrid vehicles might be dented should the Government decide not to extend the exemption of import and excise duties on hybrid cars that would be expiring at the end of the year. The move will drive up prices of these models.

Industry players are expecting the Government to continue with the exemption for locally assembled completely knocked-down (CKD) hybrid vehicles but not for imported completely built-up (CBU) hybrid cars.

An industry player who declined to be named said the main hybrid car distributors, UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd and Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd, are preparing for the impact of the exemption withdrawal.

"There might be a possibility of withdrawing the exemption for CBU cars as this would be in line with the Government's aspiration to promote the country as a manufacturing hub for energy efficient vehicles (EEVs)," he said.

This would be in Honda Malaysia's favour, as it is the only one with hybrid vehicle CKD assembly operations in the country. The Honda Jazz Hybrid is assembled in Malacca.

Recently, Honda Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer Yoichiro Ueno urged the Government to consider extending the incentive for CKD hybrid units.

UMW Toyota also hopes the tax incentives would be extended.

"Without the tax incentives, hybrid cars would not be as attractively priced. More time is also needed to educate the public and improve awareness on these eco-friendly cars. We are also seriously looking at introducing new Toyota hybrids in Malaysia, or local assembly operations with the right incentives," said UMW Toyota Motor president Datuk Ismet Suki recently.

Hybrid cars have enjoyed tremendous sales growth in the past few years, after the Government introduced full import duty and excise duty exemptions for hybrid and electric cars and motorcycles two years ago under Budget 2011. The incentive applies to both CKD as well as CBU units.

According to Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) numbers, sales of hybrid vehicles were negligible before the exemption with just 322 units recorded in 2010. This changed dramatically in 2011, with sales surging to 8,403 units.

It doubled to 15,355 units last year as more hybrid models were launched in the market. The hybrid car sales came from four marques, namely Honda (8,712 units), Toyota (5,653 units), Lexus (979 units) and Porsche (11 units).

"As of July 2013, the country recorded 8,571 units of hybrid vehicle sales. EEVs would still be in demand if the models were priced competitively," said MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad.

At a roundtable discussion held recently in conjunction with the KL International Motor Show 2013, she expressed hope that the incentive would be extended.

"At the same time when we talk about EEVs like electric vehicles, the infrastructure must be in place before sales. The Government should let industry players know the timeframe to introduce better quality fuel. We could then relay the message to our principals, and draft up plans to introduce more fuel efficient vehicles into the country," she said.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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