A million ringgit Malaysia today is not a dream. In fact, typical homes only cost at most RM500,000 merely 30 years ago. Now, homes can be 10 to 100 times over. One may wonder, where do these millions come from? How do people afford these?
For young people, starting to make money, unless their parents help them, it is quite impossible for them to purchase their own properties now.
A few years, possible?
In just 2008, a property which was RM120,000 then, rise to about RM350,000 now. That’s just 6 years ago, a 200% appreciation.
If I have only 4 such properties in 2008, it is very possible I am now already a millionaire. So being a millionaire in just 6 years, or perhaps to add on a few more years for you to save some money for the downpayment of the 4 properties and add on some time for you to learn about properties and source for good investments – under 10 years – it is still very possible.
I had 2 such properties and another which I bought quite recently. That already make me a millionaire in net worth. What I am about to share will be some regrets and what would I do if I were to be back in 2008.
Education and start saving EARLY, live frugally, delay gratifications
At that time, after reading many books, attended many seminars and learning about investments, I started saving a lot of money when I first had a job. My first job only paid me RM2,500 but I saved at least RM1,000 every month to invest either in shares or mutual funds. At the end of a year, I cashed out all my shares and funds (with profits of course!) to put a downpayment for the first investment property. I did the same the second year.
DON’T ask me how I lived on only RM1,500 per month. The fact that there are people earning much lesser and could survive with only a little, I tell myself I can, too! I didn’t buy a car until I figured that the time spent on waiting for irregular public transport and the savings did not match. Yet, I only “indulged” in a second hand Iswara which I still drive.
I would always attend any invited events especially if they provide food and drinks, savings to my pockets! I learned something new, met more people and had free fillings for my tummy!
Spend in Education
The only thing I wouldn’t be stingy of, was education – books and seminars.
I was clever in asking “sponsorships” from friends, family members and employers! Employers are busy but they know they too want to make money but no time to learn. So they pay my course fees and I share them workbooks, generous notes I took in classes and materials I got. Win-win situation!
It takes discipline (yawn!)
I now regret for slacking and not doing the same (saving RM1,000 per month and investing) the 3rd, 4th, 5th year. Otherwise my journey towards being a millionaire will be on an express lane rather than now on a slower lane.
I spent most of my money and having a habit of a spender, it took me more than 3 missed opportunities before I recollected myself and started anew in my financial management and planning.
There were 4 properties auctioned at only RM72,000 each. The market value of the properties were RM120,000 each. I didn’t have the money to buy. The big spender (me!) spent and didn’t saved. Now the properties are easily worth RM300,000 each!
Then there was a period of market crash. Shares went so cheap, DiGi was less than RM2.50 (now over RM5), Tenaga was less than RM5 (now over RM12) and Maybank was less than RM4 (now over RM9) Ah, you know lah, the spender spent all…
Yes, it takes discipline and consistency in managing your DAILY finance and investments. Yes, routine work can be very boring but it will be worth all the efforts.
Have a goal and plan
I was a “if I think I can, I can” person but I didn’t stick to my plan. I had a goal of RM16 million. If you think RM16 millions is way too big a figure and too greedy, think again. Try putting this figure or even bigger figure as your goal. The bigger the better as the figure helps you to expand your mind!
Also list as many things you really wanted to do as if your goal of RM xxx million is in hand. Feel how it feels when you reach the goal. For me at that time I wanted to do thing only when I want to vs *having* to work for a living. I wanted to have so much free time to attend seminars, learn new things, spend time with family and read as many books as I want. I wanted to be able to spend time and money without thinking too much of my finance.
Goals have special effects on the body and mind. While I have not reached RM16 million, I have already reached my goals of doing what I wanted to. I’m not working at the moment, supported by rental incomes and consultancy/ emceeing jobs. I loved my work and choose to work only when I want to. I have attended over 4 courses this year and plan to read more books. I have taken a course in writing, something I really wanted to do for a long time.
I’ve signed up for a diploma in Buddhism and on a spiritual path. All these will not happen if I had not had a goal of RM16 million and imagine what I can do with those money I have. Yet, while the numeric goal is not here yet, my goals all worked and I am very elated to share this experience – the RM xxx million goal helps to expand your mind and reach your desired lifestyle faster. Is not so much about the money – it is what you can do with the money that counts. In the end, you need not that much but you have gained the desired lifestyle.
While many are still working and have to work till 55. I have stopped “having to” work at 33. I have bought myself 22 years of freedom. I’m not sure what will 22 years mean to you but I really didn’t want having to work till 55. Therefore I started early, continue learning and continue investing.
So, is definitely possible. Even if the journey takes longer, it will still be well worth it! In fact the journey to become a millionaire is the same as the journey to be a better human. Look, consistency and discipline help in work and life. Having a goal, target settings and plans are all helpful in being a better human.
No wonder Lee Ka Shing said “before doing business, be a human first”
My next big thing
My ultimate goal now is still to have RM16 million of which I will do the below:
1. RM3 million to build a home on a minimum 5 acres of land for plantation of crops for the needy. Crops will be distributed to nearby homes and monasteries, excess to be sold and proceeds to be reinvested in planting more crops.
2. RM3 million to set up a Buddhist centre which will be meant for meditation retreats, Dhamma talks and various holistic personal growth activities -**UPDATE 1/12/2014** and a nun training centre for Malaysia
3. RM10 million to set up an investment arm, aiming for at least 10% annual returns. The annual returns will be used as our family funds – monthly allowances for those over 55 years old in the Chew family, subsidize our annual family trip, family insurance, emergency and medical funds as well as to maintain and sustain dream 1 and 2.
I hope your journey to being a millionaire is as wonderful and more exciting than mine.