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Home Staging for Success

Inforgraphic - Staged for Success

For the uninitiated, Home Staging is the act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money.

Highlights

  • Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
  • Staging the living room for buyers was found to be most important (55 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (51 percent), and staging the kitchen (41 percent).
  • Thirty-eight percent of sellers’ agents said they stage all sellers’ homes prior to listing them for sale.
  • The most common rooms that are staged include the living room (83 percent), kitchen (76 percent), master bedroom (69 percent), and the dining room (66 percent).

Home Staging

Home staging includes beautifying the house like adding a small vase of pretty faux flowers in the living room or side tables of all the bedrooms to liven up the ambience. This will attract the cash-rich buyer’s attention and cause him or her to make a purchase on the spot before anyone else gets hold of the unit.

Executive Summary

Profile of Home Staging

Buyers’ Agent Perspective:

  • Forty-nine percent of buyers’ agents cited that homes staging had an effect on most buyer’s view of the home.
  • Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
  • Staging the living room for buyers was found to be most important (55 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (51 percent), and staging the kitchen (41 percent).
  • About one-third of buyer’s agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged.

SGX Hacks for Malaysian Investors

Hi, I’m Ian.

I’m a Malaysian who invest in stocks listed on the SGX where I’m receiving a steady flow of dividend income on a quarterly basis. Perhaps, you may ask:

‘Ian, are you a Singapore P.R.?’ Nope.

‘Ian, are you based in Singapore?’ Nope.

‘Ian, have you worked in Singapore before?’ Nope.

‘Ian, do you have a bank account in Singapore?’ Nope.

‘Ian, how do you invest in Singapore?’ I’ll answer it now.

In this article, I’ll share what I know and do so that you can start investing in SGX-listed stocks as a Malaysian investor based in Malaysia itself. Therefore, here are the 7 hacks that you need to know before investing in the SGX.

#1: An Overview of the SGX

As I write, the SGX offers a boutique of 700+ stocks to investors. The biggest 30 stocks are included as constituents of the Straits Times Index (STI). For a start, they include huge corporations which might have just ring a bell to you such as UOB, OCBC, SIA, Genting Singapore, and CapitaLand. Besides, SGX has a well-developed REIT market where investors can invest in a globalized portfolio of Billion-Dollar commercial real estate. Currently, the STI and the S-REIT markets are the main focuses for most investors who are investing in the SGX.

#2: CDS account vs. Trust account

Here, I’ll write from my perspective as a customer of Maybank Investment Bank (IB). I’m using Maybank IB for my investments in stocks listed on both Bursa Malaysia and the SGX.

Bursa

For Bursa-listed stocks, the buying process is straightforward. First, I deposit an amount into my stock account. Second, I place my order for the intended stock. Third, the money in my stock account would be debited and my stock with the amount of shares would be credited into my CDS account which is under my own name.

SGX

For SGX-listed stocks, the buying process is different. For my first purchase, I deposit an amount into a Global Trust Account. The amount deposited was a little more than the intended amount I wish to invest. Then, I place my order for the intended stock online. After the order, I would have to call my broker (Maybank IB’s staff) to inform him about my investment. From which, I wait for 1-2 working days for the contract note that states the exact amount of my investment in Ringgit. My money in the Global Trust Account would then be debited and my stock would be credited into my Trust (Custodian) Account where Maybank IB keeps my stock and collects dividends on behalf of me.

#3: Transaction Fees

For MayBank IB, the minimum brokerage fee is set to be S$ 30 a transaction. Inclusive of a few miscellaneous charges such as GST and stamp duty, every transaction, buy or sell, should cost a minimum of S$ 32. Here, I’ll calculate the ideal minimum amount of capital needed to make your venture into the SGX worthwhile. For instance, if you intend to limit the transaction costs at 1% of your capital, then, the minimum amount you need to invest is S$ 3,200 or RM 9,600 per investment.

The amount needed will obviously be lower if you choose to limit the cost at 2% of your capital. Ideally, it is best to keep it low and thus, I reckon that you should not invest if the transaction cost is above 2% of your capital.

#4: Invest or Trade

I think it’s expensive to trade SGX-listed stocks as every transaction, buy and sell, costs a minimum of S$ 32 as compared to RM 12 for Bursa-listed stocks if you use Maybank IB. Hence, it is more ideal for investors as stocks listed in the SGX, to me, are to be kept over the long-term. If you are a new investor, I reckon you to aim for dividend income so that you can quickly earn back the transaction costs after 3 – 6 months of holding onto your SGX-listed stock.

#5: How to Open my Stock Account?

If you choose Maybank IB (This is not a Sponsored Post), you can apply for both CDS account and Global Trade Account simultaneously. You just need to bring your NRIC, salary slip, and bank statements and walk-in directly to the nearest Maybank IB branch. I’ll provide the links below:

What to Bring:

Maybank IB Trading Account Application Details

Where to Go:

Where’s the Near Maybank IB branch from You?

#6: But, I want to Invest in the US Stock Market

The facilities provided by Maybank IB is not limited to the SGX. In fact, you can choose to invest in other markets such as NYSE, NASDAQ, and HKEx if you prefer to do so.

#7: Learn to Invest in the SGX

There are many tools and resources available to speed up your learning curve and to familiarize yourself with the Singapore market. Here, I’ll conclude my sharing by listing down some websites and blogs that I personally follow and read on a regular basis:

No.1 – The Fifth Person

The Fifth Person is Singapore’s leading site that focuses on value investing. It is founded by Rusmin Ang, Victor Ch’ng, Adam Wong and Kenji. It contains a lot of quality and very detailed reads on stocks listed in both Singapore and Malaysia (although I’m among the main contributors of Malaysian stocks).

No.2 – Value Invest Asia

Value Invest Asia is spearheaded by Stanley Lim, a CFA, a Johorian who has extensive working experiences in Singapore. It is also a site focusing on value investing and is building up fast-read materials, webinars and even a physical book ‘Value Investing in Asia’ for stock investors who intend to invest across Asia. (I’m also a regular contributor of the Malaysian articles of this site).

No.3 – Dr. Wealth

Formerly known as the BigFatPurse, Dr. Wealth started off as an investment blog and has evolved into a comprehensive financial education firm that has contents and courses on stock investing, REIT investing, angel investing, and even cryptocurrencies.

Ian Tai

Ian Tai is the founder of Bursaking.com.my, a platform that empowers retail investors to build wealth through ownership of fundamentally solid stocks. It is an essential tool that sifts out stocks that grow profits consistently from a database of over 900+ stocks listed mainly in Malaysia.

5 women whose inventions changed the world

Thursday 8th March is Women’s Day. To celebrate, we want to share some of the greatest female minds of our time, whose discoveries and inventions have the changed the world in positive ways.

Many of the women on this list fought prejudice and other adversity during their careers, and it’s testament to their determination and extraordinary talent that we can recognise their achievements today.

1) Patricia Era Bath

Patricia Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe in 1981 – a device for quickly and painlessly removing cataracts while simultaneously lubricating the eye. Cataracts are a common ailment of the elderly, causing confusion and stress. In 2000, Patricia received another patent for her invention, this time for the use of Ultrasound in cataract treatment.

As a black woman growing up in Harlem, she fought a predominately white, male-dominated field to help provide eye-care to racial communities, returning independence to their lives.

2) Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper revolutionized early computing. She programmed one of the first computers (IBM’s Mark 1), which helped solve mathematical problems for The Manhattan Project (subsequently ending WWII), and created the first compiler – a system for converting English into machine code. Her work also inspired COBOL, one of the first programming languages which are still in use today.

As a woman who favored new ideas and approaches, she was often challenged and discouraged by her peers. But through skill and ingenuity, “Amazing Grace”, as she came to be known, shaped modern computing into what it is today.

3) Rosalind Franklin

Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins have largely taken credit for the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA. But without Rosalind Franklin, who contributed vital image data (specifically image 51) to the project, the trio might never have won the Nobel Prize.

Franklin only received recognition for her contributions after she passed away. Since then, it’s been argued that Wilkins showed image 51 to Crick and Watson without Franklin’s permission and that she might’ve deduced the structure of DNA on her own. Controversies, aside, there’s no doubt that Franklin’s work on DNA has helped to underpin a whole new branch of science. It’s just a shame that Nobel doesn’t allow posthumous awards.

4) Marie Curie

As the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the only woman to have been awarded one twice, Marie Curie has left an indelible mark on the world of science. She has been pivotal in our understanding of radioactivity, invented mobile X-Ray machines for use in the field during WWI, and discovered Polonium (named after her home country of Poland) and Radium.

Having been denied a place at Krakow University because she was a woman, Marie Curie overcame incredible odds to become one of the most important scientific figures in history.

5) Caresse Crosby

Caresse Crosby improved the comfort of women everywhere by inventing the modern bra. Sick of the lung-crushing restriction of whalebone corsets, she strung together some handkerchiefs and realized the potential of a lighter, more flexible design. She was awarded the patent in November 1914, and women have been breathing easier ever since.

While it’d be impossible to list all the women who’ve changed the world in this post, I hope these five have inspired you to celebrate the many others who overcame incredible odds to make the world a better place for all of us.

Tyler Perry – How I became a Millionaire Success Story

The website above is no longer around, but the tips are nuggets of gold. Success doesn’t come on a platter of Gold, it takes a conscious effort to succeed. You have to wake up early and work at it, while others are snoring away. Check out Tyler Perry’s success story from the infographic above. One of the tips is to start a business and duplicate it worldwide. For instance, good examples are Subway and McDonald’s franchises that are doing extremely well around the world. Diners patronise these outlets and food branches while enjoying the ambience and surroundings.

Also, stop wasting time on TV, Games, entertainment, Karoake, etc. Poor people have large TV, while rich people have large library. So, what you do with your time, makes a lot of difference to your bank account.

Save 40% of what you make and invest it for higher returns compared to low Fixed Deposits at the highest rate of 4.38 currently. You can make more returns by investing in shares if you have the basic knowledge and check the online counter frequently. To invest in shares, you also need to have holding power and not be too emotional.

Also, stop buying things that have no value like cars, jewelry, clothes, etc. But you certainly need food to survive where I digress from the tip above. Eat organic, vegetables and fruits more often. Education is important. So be a voracious reader!

Habits of the Wealthiest People

The inforgraphic will take some time to load as it as very detailed and have lots of information that are educational. The wealthiest stay wealthier because of their habits that are routine that make them rich. And they are summarised as below:

  • 81% of the wealthy maintain a to do list
  • 44% of the wealthy wake up 3 hours before work
  • 63% of the wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work
  • 79% of the wealthy network 5+ hours or more each month
  • 88% of the wealthy read 30+ minutes or more each day
  • 86% of the wealthy love to read
  • 76% of the wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week
  • The wealthy eat less junk food as compared to the poor
  • >50% of the wealthy watch 1 hour or less of television daily while the poor watch many hours of reality TV
  • So, there goes, the 9 habits of the wealthiest people in summary where majority of them do the above and follow the regiment like daily habits. As it was said, a rich man has a large library; while a poor man has a large TV!

    Penang Job Seekers Expo 2017

    Calling all job seekers in Penang! There is going to be a job expo on the 23rd September 2017 from 9:00am to 6:00pm at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee. Should you be just housewives, unemployed or even fresh graduates, then this is the place for you to attend and meet your potential employers. The big companies will be there to interview you on the spot and maybe even hire soon. For some who are considering of leaving their unhappy work place, they can patronise this expo and decide whether to switch jobs or not. Or even those who received notice of their impending termination, can also come to Wisma Yeap Chor Ee and look for opportunities.

    More than 1,000 job vacancies are up for the taking offered by more than 10 big companies/ MNCs / employers in Malaysia. Not only will there be non-stop interviews for 8 hours; who knows – you might get hired within 24 hours on the spot! You can register for a spot here for the first 3,000 early birds to get a free supreme ticket >> Click Here to register for free

    The above are the details and mark them on your calendar. You can also bookmark this post and be reminded as you check your bookmarks now and then. Remember, it is on the 23rd September next month at the building below.

    In need of transport to get there? Fret not! Just book a Grab Car with the promotional code below. It is only valid for transport to Wisma Yeap Chor Ee and back to your house for 2 rides. Now how convenient can it get?

    Finally, good luck to your job hunting process and adventure! And happy working with your new employer! As for me, I have registered today, just checking out if there are any part time jobs to work at home. I am staying put in my dream job to work in a home office and just looking for more opportunities to earn a little extra for my retirement. This will be work to complete after office hours and in my personal time. 🙂

    SpeedRent – Linking up Landlords and Tenants

    AN online platform, Speedrent, is available in Malaysia for landlords and tenants to deal directly with one another. “The app connects the tenant directly with the landlord. The tenant does not need to pay a deposit,” says founder Wong Whei Meng. On the website, it says “Speedrent makes home renting DIY easy!”

    Traditionally, he says, tenants who rent a place for RM1,000 monthly through an agent would have to pay RM4,000 in total – a two-month security deposit, one month utility deposit (both which are refundable) – and the one-month advance rental. But with Speedrent, Wong says, the tenant pays RM2,000 upfront (RM1,000 for the first-month rent and the other RM1,000 goes to Speedrent.)

    “So this is 50% less in terms of upfront cost for the tenant.” He says the landlord will also pay Speedrent the equivalent of a month’s rent. In return, the landlord will be covered by an insurance policy if the tenant bolts before the one-year tenancy is up. This, he says, is in partnership with Allianz General Insurance. “Traditionally, if your tenant runs away after six months, you get the five months that he paid, and you get to keep the three months security and utility deposits.

    “But with Speedrent, if the tenant defaults on payment or goes MIA, then the landlord will get the six months’ rent. And he will get another two months rental guarantee from the insurance plus RM15,000 and RM1,000 as an inconvenience benefit. “So in total, he gets about nine to 10 months of rent.” The app generates a tenancy agreement template for both parties to sign online. This is sent to Inland Revenue Board for stamping, making it legal and binding.

    Speedrent also does a credit check on the tenant so that the landlord will know whether he has a good credit score. The rent goes through Speedrent, which tracks the tenant’s payment record. If he doesn’t pay up but continue staying at the home, Speedrent will talk to him. If that fails, they will get lawyers to send out a letter of demand and an eviction notice.

    “Based on our statistics, most tenants would opt to leave by the stipulated date.” And if they do not, Speedrent will give their names to CTOS to be blacklisted. “So far, we haven’t had to blacklist anyone yet,” says Wong. If the landlord is the one who is problematic where the place rented out is bad with problems such as bed bugs, Speedrent will remove his listing and ban him from their app.

    Wong says Speedrent which started in 2015 matches about 50 to 60 landlords with tenants each month. High-end units move slowly but those within an affordable range rental between RM1,200 to RM1,500 get taken up fast, he adds.

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