Stocks are one of the investment instruments that can give us a high yield. Like they said, high return will come with a high risk, which means that it can indeed grow your capital, but it can also take you to rock bottom, losing everything you’ve put in that basket. This is why there are a lot of people who refrain from investing in equity, because they simply don’t know how to play the game. Erick Worre in his book Go Pro said that he bought 170,000 shares worth $44 each, which means that the total investment was almost $7.5million. It was a beautiful life until the value dropped to $37, before plummeted to $10, making him experiencing a huge loss only within 90 days after his purchase. But guess what, the value of the company has then increased to $65 (1.4x than its initial worth)! Unfortunately, the people who sold their stocks to “cut loss” when it reached $37 or $10 are not there to enjoy the yield.
Stocks go up and down, and its fluctuation is impacted by a lot of both domestic and global aspects. If you didn't really understand what’s going on and how one event correlates to the other, it will be pretty hard to make a prediction of what stocks to buy or sell and when. In fact, even the experts can make a wrong call sometimes! Moreover, most of us wouldn’t have time to monitor the movement of the stocks value that can swing in seconds.
The good news is, mutual fund (reksa dana) was launched to assist us to invest in stocks, with some help from the experts that we call Investment Management. The guys in such companies have all the necessary knowledge, experiences, and tools to do the trading for us, on various stocks.
Mutual funds are like the fruit basket above. Let’s say, the value of each company in one particular fund product is as follow:
Apple Co. : $10
Grape Co. : $5
Banana Co. : $4
Assuming that the fund currently contains of 3 shares of Apple Co., 10 of Grape Co., 10 of Grapes Co., and 5 of Banana Co., the composition would be like this:
A month later, the grapes harvest turns out to be unsatisfactory, making Grape Co. value dropped to $3. On the other hand, Apple Co. experiences value raise to $15 because the apples grow healthy and flourishing. Guess what, this condition was predicted, so the investment manager had actually thrown away 5 of the Grape Co. stocks and added 3 Apple Co. into the portfolio, making the arrangement goes this way:
As you can see, it would’ve went disastrous if we put our money solely on the shares of Grape Co., that the value fell by 40%. Investment Management’s job is to make such adjustment on the product’s composition, like the illustration above, by buying the raising stocks and selling the dipping ones so that the funds will grow no matter what happens in some parts of the whole basket; and this is the factor that makes mutual funds considered as having lower risk compared to investing in pure stocks.
If you were less aggressive, instead of purchasing for equity funds, you can also opt for fixed income funds that combine stocks with some “lower risk” instruments, or money market funds that only contain term deposits and short-term debt securities. The component of each funds is as follow:
1. Money Market Funds
100% in money market and securities with maturity of under 1 year
2. Fixed Income Funds
Minimum 80% in bonds
3. Equity Funds
Minimum 80% in equity
4. Mixed Funds
Investment in bonds, equity, and money market, with a maximum of 79% on each instrument
There is a wide range of Investment Management to choose from, listed by Bapepam, 85 to be exact. The number of mutual fund selling agents is also increasing, that we no longer have to do the transaction at the bank, but we can also do it online through the portals that are provided by online mutual fund supermarkets (and also several banks). It is also a great news for us as customers that nowadays we are allowed to make a transaction of mutual fund with the capital of as low as IDR 100k, and proudly call ourselves an investor!
That was a bit of explanation of why you can consider Mutual Funds as one of the investment instruments to be put in your portfolio. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment below!
With total population of 262 million as of 3 January 2017, Indonesia sits on the 4th place among the countries with highest population. According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), population growth in Indonesia is 5% on average in every 5 years. It is predicted that the total population of 255.4 million in 2015 will grow to 271 million in 2020, and reach 284.4 million in 2025.
Meanwhile, it was claimed that housing backlog in Indonesia was 11.4 million units as per 2015, supported with BPS data stating that the number of house owners in the same year was approximately 82.6%, which means that the rest of the households in the country stayed with their family members, rented, or did not even have a house to stay. The government had launched a “One Million Houses” project in 2016 to resolve the issue, but of course it’s still a long way to go to overgrow the imbalance number of the available houses that can be provided by the government with the (increasing) number of population.
Such condition where the supply can’t fulfill the market demand has caused the property price to surge. In fact, as stated in Bisnis.com, average property price increase per year in a stable economic condition is 10-20%. If you related the number with our inflation rate that is around 3.5% in 2016, property is really not a bad investment, compared to savings or term deposits that currently offers the rate of approximately 5-7% per annum (gross) only. That’s why it wouldn’t make it any easier for those who delay on buying properties, because the price will keep climbing as long as the condition stays this way.
Once we bought a property, apart from the fact that we could use it to be our shelter, our house/apartment/land can actually generate income. How?
1. Price gain
Of course, as the impact of property price growth, we would obtain some yields when we sell the property some years ahead. Being pessimistic with growth prediction of 10%, a house with a valuation of IDR 100 million this year can worth IDR 259 million (over 2.5x!) in 10 years.
2. Rental Fee
There are some ways to lease, which are monthly, annually, or even daily through websites like Airbnb. If you applied for home loan to buy your property, the income would definitely help you to pay the installment.
I realize that the property value in Indonesia has not rocketed like it was in 2010-2013, but it still increases nevertheless. As long as the number of available houses can’t keep up with the expansion of our population (plus, the land – where the properties are built on - doesn’t get larger either, right?), there will always be demands on property, that makes it still one of the best investment instruments in the market.
After a “should I quit, or shouldn’t I?” long uncertainty, you finally handed your resignation letter that was replied with a yes from your boss. Then what? Just because you’re leaving, it doesn’t mean that you’re free to do anything in your own way during your notice period, unless you want to wipe off all the hard work and reputation that you’ve built from day one at your workplace. To resign gracefully, here are the 4 things that you should avoid when you resign.
1. Be negative
I know that your boss and co-workers, or even the company regulations made you having through though times during your work tenure. However, no matter how stressful or irritating it has been, you must have learned something from working at the company, with those people. Hold your tongue from deriding any of them, because gabbling about your boss’ demanding attitude, or your company’s intolerably complicated policies, or how annoying your colleagues have been, would never reflect well on you.
It’s recommended to try to highlight the good things although it’s only a few days before you sign off. We want to leave in best terms possible because this is indeed a smaller world than we think. I hopped over 3 different companies only to find myself placed under the same division with the person I worked with at my first job. Moreover, you might find your new job to be not as pretty as promised that makes you want to come back to your previous company or need a reference to move to another company, thus burning the bridges might not be a good idea.
2. Be a freeloader
I’ve seen a lot of people spending their last days at the company coming late, taking long breaks, and strolling around the floor gossiping or simply doing nothing but finishing the packing. You would want people, especially who count, to remember you as reliable, and this one-month (or two in my case) notice period is your last shot to leave the impression to others if you indeed were. Many people would think that you are not interested in your work because you’re leaving shortly, but prove them wrong (although it might be true somehow) because, just like what I stated above, you might bump into your co-workers again and the reputation you leave with them could have a significant impact in the future.
Make sure that you do a smooth handover by preparing all your current assignments, along with the person in charge contact details, progress, deadlines, and even issues, that will make it easier for your replacement to take over your job once you’re already gone. If your replacement was already aboard, train him/her properly. Preserving a good attitude until your last day and making efforts to help during the transition will do you good.
3. Take the company property
I know that bringing confidential information might be tempting, that it might be your asset at the next company. However, it would hurt your credibility although you might get away from getting sued. If your future employer pushed you to take along your company client lists or property with you, you might want to ask yourself if they were really a right destination for you, because taking classified documents is against the ethical codes and asking you to do it simply reflects the (ugly) values that they believe in. Besides, if you finally decided to do it, do you think that the hiring company would not end up questioning your integrity and getting concerned if you would do the same to them?
4. Gone with the wind
Before you leave, take some time to say a proper goodbye to everyone, including your clients, suppliers, or co-workers from other departments; and let them be aware of your departure so that they could make appropriate adjustment. You might want to say it personally on top of the farewell e-mail you dispatch the second before you step out of the room. Don't forget to exchange contact details and also thank the people whom you have been working with.
Those were the 4 things you do not want to do when you resign in order to keep a good relationship with your former employer and co-workers. How you behave on your way out would give an impression of what kind of person you are, and whether or not people would hire you (back) in the future or give a good reference to your destination company. Remember, most industries are small enough for people to hear about the individuals they haven’t even met before. Therefore, leave the best note possible is always a good idea.
I believe we all have heard about Network Marketing, or what is often called as Multi Level Marketing (MLM), and some of us might have even got offered to join one (or more). What I found is that many people are somehow irritated to the word MLM, and avoid around friends or relatives who work at such business, because they are reluctant to get offered to become a member. I was one of those people as well back then.
One of the popular objections is “I’m not a sales person.”
Well, the way I see it now, everyone is a sales person. What about that day you ask your friends to watch a new movie with you; or that moment when you recommend them a dentist or a new restaurant; or the way you refer your single girlfriend to your single boyfriend? We sell all the time, and Network Marketing is one of the ways to get paid when we do.
In fact, even a successful billionaire like Warren Buffet endorses the business model of Network Marketing (and also owns some of such companies). Also, quoted from Entrepreneur, Fortune magazine stated that direct selling (of which network marketing is the largest segment) "the best kept secret in the business world”, that it has experienced 91-percent growth in the last 10 years with annual sales in excess of $100 billion worldwide.
The other objection is “I don’t have time/money to do it.”
My view on this statement would be, if we didn’t have time nor money 1 year ago, and we still don’t have it now, are we going to stuck in that condition forever or are we going to do something about it, so that in another 2 or 3 years, we would have more time and savings for ourselves and our families?
One other popular objection would be “I think MLM is a scam.”
I have to admit that yes, some of them are money games. However, I found that if we looked further, some (if not many) others are actually legit and indeed offer an opportunity for us to be our own boss with a smaller capital (for joining fee, admin fee), rather than having to start up a company, which would cost us quite a fortune. Starting a business is not an easy case with all the nitty-gritty that includes the product and market and competitor research, resources management, as well as supply and distribution arrangement; while Network Marketing usually provides a system and trainings that would give you guidance on how to run the business.
Hence, I do believe that, should any of your friends or relatives called you to meet up for an offer to join Network Marketing, it would be wise not to say no straightaway, but instead do listen to what they’ve got on the plate before you decide. It might be what you’ve been looking for, a way out from your clock-in-clock-out day job that keeps you from spending more time with your friend and family; you’ll never know.
To keep you safe from scam or from a company that is actually not for you, here are the things you need to investigate before you decide to whether or not sign up to a Network Marketing company:
1. The Company
How long has the corporation (or the larger company backing it up) been running? Some reps would force you to sign up now although the company has only been established last year or even few months ago, with a defense that you have to join before the market is saturated. From my point of view, we would want to know if the company was stable and sustainable, for maybe at least 5 years, so that we would be able to find out if it was capable and indeed demonstrated the commitment to grow, to serve a proper recognition to its distributors/members, and to provide reputable products and services to its customers.
To find if the company was legit, you can see Direct Selling News (DSN) Global 100, which listed the rank of top direct selling companies. Here is their 2016 list (based on top revenue-generating).
2. The Products
You will hardly find it enjoyable to sell things that you don’t believe (although some people might be able to). Hence, you might want to do some research on the products that the company has to offer, like if the products were safe. I mean, you don’t want to sell something that would harm the people who use it, as it would definitely ruin your credibility. Apart from that, maybe you would want to ask yourself: Are you going to use the product? If you were, then of course it would be easier to sell the product.
Imagine a conversation in which you say things like,
“Hey, have you heard about xxx lipstick? People said that its texture is very creamy, and very transfer proof.”
Then your friend asks you, “Really? Have you tried it?”
And you said, “Uhm… No, because I have my own preference of lipstick.”
Got what I’m saying?
3. The Scheme
Some of Network Marketing companies make money using illegal pyramid schemes. In such scheme, the corporation invites people to become a member by paying some amount of money that the company promises to grow; and the membership would allow the members to obtain a share of the money from every additional member who joins under their recruitments. No product, just recruit and you’ll get paid, and your investment will also increase. Guess what, few months later, the company gets disappeared, along with your money – and all your down lines’ money.
This is one of the cases that have made a lot of people getting paranoid only by hearing the word “MLM”. That’s why I do think that the companies that would sustain are those that actually sell (qualified) products. If it looks too good to be true, more often than not, it indeed is.
So… Is Network Marketing for you? The answer depends on you. Are you ready to replace the daily early-morning alarms and stressful traffic jam with the privilege of deciding when and where you want to work? Also, are you willing to work for it? Let’s highlight the word “work for it” here, because if you were not willing to, it’s simply not for you. Remember, if something guaranteed you to get paid without doing anything, it’s most probably a scam. There are no shortcuts to success. However, if you get yourself into the right Network Marketing with the right attitude, it’s not impossible for you to reach the prosperity level that you could have never dreamed of by working at a corporate office.
Picture taken from Grand Walini official website
Buying a house is not an easy case, but applying for a housing loan could be tricky as well. One thing you have to remember is that the process takes time, and sometimes longer than what’s stated on the advertisements due to some hiccups here and there. It can be stressful because some of the house sellers or agents could give you quite a headache by texting and calling you day and night asking when the house is going to be paid, and even threaten you with something like “There is someone who would pay higher” if you could not finish the payment on time.
However, I found many applicants who actually became the one causing the process to delay. We don’t want to be one of them, do we? Hence, to avoid it, check out the 4 tips below before you apply for a housing loan, to have a smooth process on your application.
1. Keep your history clean
Picture taken from Pinterest
One of the main factors that are taken into the bank’s consideration when they review your application is the condition of your credit history, because they would want to know if you were trustworthy to be lent some amount of money (or big), based on how you treat the other lenders. If the bank found flaws on your history, then your application would either get rejected, or get postponed because you will be asked to give some covenants to justify that.
For example, I had a customer who was found to have a collectability status of 3 for more than 3 months in a row, on one of his credit card history. When I checked with him, he said that he didn’t realize that he missed to pay the card annual fee because he just moved from his old house hence he did not receive the billing statement. We ended up asking him to pay the annual fee and send us the payment receipt. However, it took some time for me to get the approval from the management to continue the process with such covenant because of this finding, which made the process got a little postponed.
Remember, the credit history to be reviewed is yours and your spouse’s (unless you signed a prenuptial agreement that includes division of property of each party, then your spouse would be excluded). Hence, make sure you pay your billings on time, whether it’s your credit card, personal loan, auto loan, or your company loan, to avoid findings in your credit history that could be a hamper during your application process. Also, keep the payment receipt in place, thus in case you were asked to give one, you will be able to provide it straight away.
2. Complete the checklist
You will be informed (or you can actually find the information on the bank’s brochure) about the required documents for the application, which are as follow:
A. Personal documents
I’ve met some customers who submitted their documents partially, which delayed the process. For example, several customers had their personal documents submitted, but not their spouse’s; or only had one-month account statement and told me to proceed with available documents while waiting for him/her to complete the document.
Why would that be a problem? Here’s why.
Let’s say you told the bank to conduct the SID checking on you first while waiting for your spouse’s ID, which actually only took 1 day, then what? The bank would less probably move to the next process even if they found your SID checking clear, because your spouse might not be; and carrying on to the next process would just be a waste of time and effort should your spouse’s SID checking was found to be flawed.
Also, providing only part of the financial data like one out of the required three months account statement will not make the process go any faster either. The bank would not start the analysis until you complete the documents, and by failing to do so in your submission would cost you a delayed process.
3. Make sure that you meet the requirements
The general requirements for a housing loan application in this country are as follow:
You would better check if you complied to the basic requirements above, rather than having your application submitted only to be rejected later for an obvious reason. Remember, the maximum age requirement refers to the age of loan due. For example, if you were a 40 years old employee, then the maximum tenor for your application is 15 years old, unless you can submit a proof that the pension at your company exceeds the age of 55.
4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
It’s really okay to apply in more than one bank, because one might be less conservative than the other, while the other might have a better offer compared to the rest; but the main point is, you would want to have a back up just in case it doesn’t work with one bank. If everyone approved your application, then you will have a wide option to pick from, and a bigger room to negotiate for a better price.
5. Be proactive
Being proactive in following up the progress would also be necessary. Remember, you are not the only customer at that bank, and you might not the biggest applicant they’ve got now, which might put you not quite on their first (or second) priority. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to text the officer day and night. The bank would do their job no matter how much loan you are applying, but you can at least check the progress based on the timeline and try to keep it on track.
For example, if you submitted the complete application on Monday morning, then you could check on Tuesday afternoon if everything was okay and if they would go to the next step, which is appraisal (for secondary house) or straight to financial analysis (for primary house). Should there be an appraisal, ask the officer when they would conduct the survey and make sure that it is indeed done on the day the officer tells you. You don’t want to wake up 3 days later and ask if the application had been approved, only to find that the appraisal is yet to be done; because that will cost you at least another additional 2 days waiting for the surveyor to come to the house, and finish the report, and send the result, before the bank would go to the next step.
Those were the 5 tips on how to have a smooth approval process. Hopefully this article has succeeded in helping you understand what to anticipate and what to prepare in order to avoid the delay on the application process.