Book of the month – August 2006 Wednesday, Aug 30 2006 

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The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing
by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, Michael LeBoeuf, John C. Bogle (Foreword)

As regular visitors to this blog would know by now, I’m a big fan of mutual fund investing as a means to grow your wealth over the long term. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy dibble-dabbling directly in the stock market every now and then, but being one who likes to be in control of things, it usually involves hours and hours of research before I click the “Buy” button on the online platform I use. 

That’s why mutual funds are great if you want to start a regular investment plan.

With just a small sum of money, you can “take position” in a diversified portfolio and if this is automated via a standing instruction to your bank, it even cuts out the need to be disciplined about tucking away a little something into your retirement nest egg. Which brings me to my book of the month…

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Best Fixed Deposit Rates in Malaysia Monday, Aug 28 2006 

Fixed deposits are still the most popular form of “investment” in Malaysia. As of June 2006, the amount in F.D. accounts attributable to individual investors stands at a whopping RM205 billion. 

However, with the latest inflation figures still hovering above 4%, and the F.D. rates not quite catching up, the danger of negative real returns is fast becoming a reality. Still in these uncertain times, many people continue to favour this asset class to other riskier investments. As the saying goes, “cash is king”.

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Wawasan fund time again Friday, Aug 25 2006 

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Little Mom just called me from Kuching to say Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) will be issuing more Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020 (ASW) units again on September 1. She missed out on the last round and so, is excitedly running around sorting out her deposits so that she can join the queue early on September 1.

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R.I.P. Pluto Thursday, Aug 24 2006 

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Breaking newswe interrupt the “important business” of blogging about how you can manage your money to announce the Death of a Planet

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3,2,1…blast off! Public Asia Ittikal fund launches (2) Wednesday, Aug 23 2006 

OK so checked out Public Mutual’s website and fact sheet – here’s the juice:

The Public Asia Ittikal Fund (PAIF) is an Islamic equity fund that will invest 75-90% of its net asset value in regional equities.

The main objective of the fund is capital growth over the medium to long term. As mentioned, the 11 countries that Public Asia Ittikal fund will invest in are Taiwan, China, HK, S Korea, Japan, the 5 ASEAN countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines) and Australia. The equity categories are mainly blue chips, growth and “fundamentally undervalued” stocks – I’m guessing that we will see companies like Hyundai, Samsung and Toyota in there somewhere.

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Risk profile: Are you a pussycat? Wednesday, Aug 23 2006 

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According to its prospectus, Public Asia Ittikal Fund, the latest fund from Public Mutual is aimed at “aggressive” investors who are seeking capital growth over at least the mid-term (minimum of 3 years). In other words, PAIF is not for pussycats! Or so it would appear.

People usually get scared off when they hear the word “aggressive”. Visions of Rambo and Arnold (aka the Terminator) are very much at odds with the “metro-sexual” New Age aware society we live in today. And when the term “aggressive” is bandied about in the context of investing our hard-earned money, we get even more spooked

So then you might start to think, maybe it’s only the super-rich or the get-rich quick types who invest in the stock market and mutual funds….Not so!

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3,2,1…blast off! Public Asia Ittikal fund launches Monday, Aug 21 2006 

Just heard about the launch  of a new equity fund from Public Mutual called Public Asia Ittikal. It’s apparently the “regional fund” counterpart of Public Ittikal, which I know many of you have invested in.

Countries that the fund will be investing in include Taiwan, HK, China, S Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Australia and of course, Malaysia.

More details as they become available… Anyone buying —share lah your views 🙂

August 23, 2006 – part 2 of this post

Boston Funds Direct (part 2) Saturday, Aug 19 2006 

Invest with 0% sales commission. Sounds too good to be true? What’s the catch? So I meet up with the Senior Sales Manager from Boston Funds Direct on a murky KL Friday afternoon to find out more…

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Boston Funds Direct (part 1) Thursday, Aug 17 2006 

In a previous post, I mentioned a company called Boston Funds Direct, which offers offshore mutual funds (i.e. we can buy directly into global funds managed by the likes of Franklin-Templeton, Schroder’s) with low sales charges. Well, I thought I would get resourceful. Am meeting up with their sales rep tomorrow to find out more information, and possibly, to invest a little money, if appealing. 🙂 Quite excited to find out more actually. Stay tuned for more news on this…

August 19, 2006 – Boston Funds Direct (part 2)

Cheers! Offshore mutual funds? Hic! Tuesday, Aug 15 2006 

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Hi everyone, I was out of action the last couple of days because I had visitors in town and have been socializing more than what I’m normally accustomed to…age must be catching up. 😉 Checked out the new-ish restaurant/bar sevenatenine at the Ascott Residences, along Jalan Pinang and really love the interiors. Food was a bit pricey though, but they have happy hours before 9pm so can’t really complain. Anyway am back in the thick of things again…

Last Friday night, whilst traipsing around town I ended up at a trendy bar in the Ceylon Hill area with my bunch. We bumped into an American friend (let’s call him Lance in case he wants to remain anonymous) whom I hadn’t seen in quite a while. Usually, Lance’s a pretty reserved and quiet kinda fella. But when I saw him at the bar he had several cosmpolitan cocktails lined up in front of him, and was happily slurping away at them. It turned out the bar was having a 1 for 1 promotion till 11 pm, and Lance was making the most of it. With 5 minutes to go to 11, I ordered a couple and we got chatting.
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