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When I first started penning this blog, I was a fairly recent graduate with just a few years of working experience. Living in KL, I constantly worried about reducing my credit card debt (stemming from furnishing the house I had just bought) while keeping up with the burden of mortgage payment at the same time.

That is when I got to know “my enemy who is also my friend” – compound interest.

See, if you owe the lender 10 bucks (RM10) and are charged an interest rate of 10% per annum, that 10 bucks will become 30 bucks by the end of 20 years for interest without compound + principal. But with a compound interest of just 10%, you would be looking at coughing up RM73! Incidentally, did you know that banks in Malaysia are permitted to charge daily compounding tiered interest when you miss your credit card payments?

http://www.bnm.gov.my/index.php?ch=en_press&pg=en_press&ac=696&lang=en

Compound interest though, is not always your enemy.

On the other side of the coin, let us look at how compound interest becomes our best friend for investing.

You see, the formula works exactly the same way.

Invest RM10 today with an interest of 10% (which some unit trusts may potentially fetch), by the end of 20 years that same RM10 will be RM72. Or less optimistically, at 7% it’ll be RM40. This is after considering the fact that you’re not adding anything extra to the initial investment.

For this reason, compound interest has often been touted as the eighth wonder of the world when applied to money and investing. Compound interest can help us achieve our financial goals, such as being able to retire comfortably, becoming financially independent, or even achieving millionaire status.

My investment portfolio is still in its infancy, with some unit trusts bought via my EPF Account 2 thus far. However, as I look forward to growing my savings and investments to be better prepared for the future, I’ve now got my eye on several other unit trusts and private retirement schemes. The good news is I am still young and have plenty of time left to invest and take advantage of my friend (compound interest)!

Have you started taking advantage of your friend?

To learn more about the magic of compounding interest and how it can produce the right results for your investments, check out InvestSmart, an investor empowerment initiative by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC). In addition to providing you with knowledge, information and education, InvestSmart also organises stock market and unit trust seminars for retail investors. The seminars aim to encourage members of the public to take control of their finances so that they can be responsible for their own future and wealth, to equip investors with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to exercise good judgement and discretion in making investment decisions, and to encourage more informed retail participation in the capital market. To find out more, log on to:

www.investsmartsc.my

Congratulations to Nico Rosberg, who was recently crowned as the 2016 Formula One champion, a title well earned after battling with teammates and closest rival Lewis Hamilton for so many years.

KY & Nico Rosberg, 2013
KY & Nico Rosberg, 2013

Nico also promptly announced his retirement, which came as a complete surprise to most everyone, but ultimately it was a decision that few can make, to go out on the top and to put his family first an foremost in his mind. The first father & son champion.

I was very lucky to be part of an event back in 2013 where Nico & Lewis raced in a small strip of road at Putrajaya on a couple Mercedes A250 cars. When a seat opened, I jumped in and had a time of my life with Nico as our driver racing with Hamilton. I’ll forever cherish that special moment being in a car driven by an eventual Formula One champion.

Nico in a Mercedes A250
Nico in a Mercedes A250

The photos and video were kept as a draft that was never published of this blog due to various reasons, but I thought it’s the perfect time to do so. After all, this is my place on the internet where I keep significant memories.

When it comes to property website, iProperty.com is no stranger to most anyone who’s spent some time looking for their next house, apartment, or condominium. In fact, it was one most definitely one of my most-used website when we were looking for a new house a few years ago.

iProperty Website

To me, the best feature of iProperty has got to be their search by map function, which makes searching for a place so much easier. As they say, real estate is all about location, location, location, right?

iProperty Award banner

Well, other than location, it also helps to know which are the award winning properties, so you get a little extra in terms of recognition and additional selling point for the property you have your eyes on. For this, enter iProperty.com People’s Choice Awards – the most prestigious real estate award for property developers, as voted by home buyers and consumers. In another word, by the public, by us, the most important cog in the wheel of real estate development.

There are 13 award categories this year. They are:

  1. Developer Of The Year
  2. Best Emerging Developer
  3. Best International Developer
  4. Best Township Development
  5. Best Mixed Development
  6. Best Waterfront Development
  7. Best Residential Landed Development
  8. Best Residential High-Rise Development
  9. Best Luxury High-Rise Development
  10. Best Northern Development
  11. Best Southern Development
  12. Best Green Development
  13. Best Value Development

Since it is the People’s Choice Awards, you are the ones who actually get to decide who are the winners (in 2015, the awards gathered over 20,000 votes!)

iProperty Award Gala Dinner

This award is in its third year and it promises to be one of the most recognised and credible property industry awards in the country. By voting for the iProperty.com People’s Choice Awards, you stand a chance to walk away with attractive prizes worth over RM 20,000!

Cast your vote now at www.iproperty.com.my/awards by clicking the Vote Now tab, sign in with FB or iProperty account, and stand a chance to win the following:

  • 2 x (2 Day 1 Night stay at KL Hilton vouchers worth RM 700 each)
  • Sharp 32″ TV
  • 10 (25L of Dulux Pentalite paint cans)
  • 11″ Macbook Air
  • Khind Noodle Cooker
  • Khind Jug Kettle
  • Khind Bread Toaster & more

Here’s how you vote:

First, log into http://www.iproperty.com.my/awards/vote-now and click Vote Now

 

Then, sign in with your iProperty account, if you do not have one, you can create one by using Facebook Connect. You then can update your phone number.

 

Go through each category and click on the nominated developers on top left, descriptions and more information will show up on the center graphic and right panel. Click on Vote for Us button to select your choice.

Go through each category (3 pages in total) to cast your votes

You get to review your selections one last time before submitting the final results. Choose wisely! All done. Now, it’s your turn to vote!

The voting period ends on November 11th, 11.59pm 2016, so don’t miss out! Vote now – http://www.iproperty.com.my/awards/vote-now

Winners of the consumer voting campaign will be announced via iProperty.com main social channels – FB / Google+, Twitter & Instagram no later than Nov 28th, 2016. Be sure to follow iProperty.com’s social media channels to see if you are a winner.

We officially moved into our KEN Rimba home a little over a year ago after going through the obligatory renovation period putting in our own touches to dress up the house the way we wanted it. We bought the house after learning about the project via an engagement with the developer for this write up on Sustainable Living at KEN Rimba a few years back.

our (almost) completed garden as of Q4 2016
our (almost) completed garden as of Q4 2016

One of the reasons we chose a corner unit is that we had wanted to make full use of the additional land on the side. The photo above is how our almost completed (pending lights) garden looks like as of current.

If you remember my Grow Your Own Herbs and Vegetable post from earlier of the year, you’d have noticed that our garden looks quite a bit different since then.

we actually DIY the whole garden, designed by Haze
we actually DIY the whole garden, designed by Haze

The first version of the garden was a temporary solution. After a pretty long process of coming up with a design we both like, revamping was in progress by April.

We removed the grass, and started with putting in some railway sleepers as a curvy walking path to the pool area.

Then it was installation of power cables for lights later, and water piping for automatic irrigation system. Red bricks were used to mark the borders of walkways next.

building the water feature was the most labour intensive part
building the water feature was the most labour intensive part

Then we installed some posts and started building the water feature with red bricks and concrete. This is the part that took the longest and also most labour intensive.

Waterproofing it alone took weeks of trials and re-applying even more water proofing agent. Luckily we got it all sorted out, the installation serves as a water planter as well as the filter for our koi pond.

We then procured some galvanised fencing and installed them to let creepers a wall to climb. We then installed the piping for the water planter and it was complete!

The whole project took slightly over four months as we worked mostly only during weekends afternoon. Everything was done by myself and Haze with zero hired help.

making full use of the extra land we have of the corner unit
making full use of the extra land we have of the corner unit

We’re really happy on how it turns out, I think it’ll look much better at night when the lights are installed.

That’s how we utilised the 20 feet of land on the side. A pond, a pool, and now a proper garden.

corner unit with pool still available, always love the ambiance
corner unit with pool still available, always love the ambiance (Legian)

If you have your own 20 feet of land, what would you do with it?

The good news is, there are still corner units available at KEN Rimba, some of which comes with swimming pools as well.

Having a pool really gives the house that villa ambience, and it is also a pool that you don’t need to share with strangers.

master bedroom, guest room (ground), first room, 2nd room
master bedroom, guest room (ground), first room, 2nd room  (show unit)

The corner units also come with extra two feet’s width in built up compared to intermediate units. There are three rooms upstairs and one on the ground floor. Enough for a family of 7 comfortably if you really want to maximise bed space, or use one as a study, a guestroom, or like us, a game/AV room.

living & dining room from the staircase column
living & dining room from the staircase column (show unit)

Every unit also comes with green features such as rain water harvesting tank. For corner units, that comes in really handy in watering your garden. We used ours to keep the koi pond filled up with rain water instead of tap water. I’ve yet to get a water bill at KEN Rimba.

Landscaping around the neighbourhood is well kept and it’ll get even better when the trees grow taller/bigger.

pretty mature but quiet neighbourhood at Legian
pretty mature but quiet neighbourhood at Legian

around the KEN Rimba neighbourhood
around the KEN Rimba neighbourhood

green is in
green is in

The corner units are priced from less than a million ringgit, if you’re in the market for a new home, this is a place to check out.

Website: http://www.kenholdings.com.my
Facebookhttps://facebook.com/KEN.Greenbook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamCS10
Email: contact@kenholdings.com.my
Sales enquiries: 1300-22-9933

Several months ago, I wrote about how putting in the time and effort to invest your money can sometimes make your smaller (or bigger) dreams or life goals become true.

Have you started investing since then? If yes, great, otherwise, well, don’t feel too bad. Perhaps you’re like one of the many of us who’ve been busy catching Pokémon at the shopping mall (KLCC park’s got some great rare ones!). But either way, wouldn’t it be great if you could chill at the mall catching Pokémon and still have the time to learn and do some ACTUAL investing?

Well, InvestSmart, an investor empowerment initiative by Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) is making this happen at INVESTSMART FEST 2016 @ Mid Valley Exhibition Centre (MVEC), Kuala Lumpur from Friday to Sunday, 23 to 25 September 2016! And for you Pokémon trainers out there, there are also actually loads of Pokéstops within MVEC!

INVESTSMART FEST 2016 is the third edition of InvestSmart’s biggest ever retail investor event, gathering capital market institutions, associations, industry players and relevant government agencies under one roof. So, head on over to INVESTSMART FEST 2016 to experience a fun investment carnival atmosphere for the entire family, with an emphasis on digital elements and technology.

There’s plenty to do at the event, there’s traditional carnival games such as duck hunt and basketball shoot, to fun photo opportunities with a replica ferris wheel and carousel, there’s something for everyone. Most importantly, there are many acclaimed SME (Subject Matter Experts) who will be there to teach you how to make your money work harder by investing in capital market products such as shares, unit trusts, warrants, bonds, derivatives, private retirement schemes (PRS) and equity crowdfunding. If some of those words sound like new vocabulary to you, this is the place to go and learn more.

With more than 40 booths featuring brokers, fund managers, PRS providers, and equity crowdfunding operators, INVESTSMART FEST 2016 is the perfect platform for you to learn about, discover and invest in a variety of products to expand your portfolio. Best of all, this event is open to the public and entry is FREE!

To make it sweeter, INVESTSMART FEST 2016 will also feature a digital arena, mystery celebrity appearance, lucky and “Mega” lucky draws, a dedicated Play Area for Kids, free popcorn, ice-cream, cotton candy, FREE goodie bags and so much more. I believe this is definitely one of the more interesting, fun and inclusive approaches to investor education, it isn’t one of those old fashioned or boring sort of engagements.

So, instead of just hunting for Pokémon at Mid Valley this month, do yourself a favor by starting to plan for the long term future and learning to invest by checking out INVESTSMART FEST from 23-25 September 2016. Log on to www.investsmartsc.my/isf2016.html and REGISTER NOW to receive easier and faster PRIORITY ACCESS. Alternatively, you can register on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/InvestSmartSC/

The future is in your hands!