This article is reproduced herebelow by courtesy of Yahoo Finance.
Who wouldn't want to be worth a million dollars? Many of us dream of achieving this goal, more often than not for the sake of the freedom financial stability would bring. So how can we get there? The answers are actually much easier than you might expect. Here are several easy steps to get you into the millionaires' club. (With a little discipline and the help of some powerful savings vehicles, anyone can hit this mark.)
1. Only Marry Once According to "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D and William D. Danko, Ph.D, the average millionaire is married with three children. The wives of these millionaires are good budgeters and most often described as even more frugal than their husbands. Interestingly, according to Stanley and Danko's survey, half of these wives do no work outside the home and of those who do, they are most likely teachers.
One upside of only marrying once is avoiding the costs of divorce and of subsequent weddings. The cost of a divorce depends on many factors including income, attorney fees, court fees, and the assets a couple has and how they are divided. The average wedding cost in the United States in 2010, according to The Wedding Report.com, was $24,070.
2. Live Off One Income One of the advantages of having a life partner is the potential to pull in two incomes. If you are able, consider structuring your set expenses based on only one income, and save what comes in from the other income. Doing so strengthens your financial position in two ways: In case of an emergency or if one partner loses their job, you will not only have less set expenses to cover, but you will also have built up your net worth as a safety measure.
3. Choose the Right Career According to The Millionaire Next Door, "self-employed people make up less than 20% of the workers in America but account for two-thirds of the millionaires." The book goes on to list an average of 45 to 55 hours spent working per week, so by no means is this the self-employed fantasy of playing golf while your business grows.
The idea of the "right" career can encompass a myriad of factors. Ideally, this would be a career you enjoy, otherwise you likely won't be putting in the dedication required to be successful. The right career would also coincide with overall working trends, or at least not work directly against them. For example, starting a career in typewriter manufacturing may be something you are passionate about, but it would likely suffer due to the current technological trends.
4. Put Your Money in Appreciating Assets According to Stanley and Danko, the millionaires in their survey invested nearly 20% of their realized household income each year. Nearly 20% of the household's wealth is held in "transaction securities such as publicly traded stocks and mutual funds" and the millionaires tended to rarely sell their equities. Only a very small number of the millionaires surveyed had ever leased a car; few even drove the current year model. Half of those surveyed had lived in their homes for more than 20 years, which, as the authors point out, means they have likely enjoyed "significant increases in the value of their homes."
The end result? These people put a financial priority on assets that will make them money, from their homes to their businesses.
5. Don't Live the Millionaire Lifestyle Warren Buffett's frugal lifestyle (especially relative to his net worth) is the go-to example for this point. The average value of the surveyed millionaires' homes was $320,000. The bottom line is, those who spend their money on non-appreciating assets cannot put that same money in an asset that will net them a return and increase their wealth. If it is important to you to build your financial worth, stop spending it on new cars, toys and clothes. (The Oracle of Omaha has a net worth in the billions, but his lifestyle is not as rich as you may think.)
The Bottom Line Becoming a millionaire is easier than ever. While this is a dream that will take work and discipline to achieve, it isn't as far out of reach as you might think. Be smart with your money and before you know it, you'll be able to count yourself among the world's wealthier citizens.
This article is part of a series related to being Financially Fit.
The full text of my interview is reproduced herebelow:
‘Scrapping fuel subsidy a painful reality’
by Raymond Tan. Posted on May 18, 2011, Wednesday
SIBU: Hotel manager Tony Hii, a holder in Bachelor in Economics, agreed with the prime minister that diesel subsidy is like opium.
He said Malaysians had indeed been “addicted” to cheap commodity prices for too long, and this had been made possible at the expense of nation building.
He said people around the globe were paying much higher prices, and Malaysians had to learn to break free from this “addiction” for the country to grow.
“It might be painful, and the people might fume, but we have to take the lessons like in Indonesia, where the people and the government have recently gone through the same painful process to break free.”
He said Malaysians had been relying on subsidies, not only in fuel, but also in commodities like sugar and others.
“When we keep enjoying the low prices, the government has to keep on pumping in more and more money in the wake of the global price hike.
“So, instead of channeling the money to build the nation, the government is sacrificing it for the enjoyment of the people.”
Hii said whenever the government tried to lessen the burden in slashing the subsidies, the people would fume.
“This is not how the economies in Singapore, Hong Kong and many other countries are working.
“Even Indonesia has awakened from this, and when the government announced the lifting of the oil subsidies three years
ago, the people also protested.”
He said in the end, the Indonesians had to face the reality and get used to it.
Hii was aware Malaysians had been giving the excuse that ours was an oil-producing country, and the people were entitled to enjoy the right to cheap oil.
“The truth is, we might be the net exporter of oil now, enjoying the revenue from it, but, if we do not make discoveries of new oil sites, our oil might run out in another three years; by then, we shall be the net importer of oil.”
He said this was what the Indonesians were experiencing, and the government had no other alternative but to announce the cut in oil subsidies to save the country.
He said it was the correct approach to lift the subsidies so that the people and the government shared the burden, like in so many rich and poor nations.
“But, this should be done on the condition that the Malaysian government will use the money wisely saved from the subsidy cut, like channeling it to eradicate poverty, build more infrastructure to improve the living standard, etc.”
He said Idris Jala had recently made the shocking statement about Malaysia going bankrupt in another decade if we did not cut back on subsidies.
“Idris was speaking the truth. No country can afford going on with the subsidies in the wake of the global price hikes.”
He said in oil importing countries like Japan and Germany, the government was instead teaching their people about oil efficiency.
“More countries are doing that not only for economics handling, but also for saving Planet Earth from global warming and for creating a cleaner and greener environment.”
He said many countries had turned to alternative power like in building wind and solar power sources of energy to minimise oil consumption.
He said Malaysia should follow suit; many drivers on the road were just too wasteful on petrol, and this had happened because Malaysia’s oil was cheap.
“Indeed, food and oil prices are rising. The people, or for that matter, the world must learn to live with it, with the government taking the leading role.”
To give a platform for young people to show case their singing talent, especially those who can sing songs in English. 让爱好唱英文歌的年轻人有展示才华的平台。 To promote IMEB, the International Music Examination Board from Australia. 推介澳洲国际音乐考试学院。 To promote SAGA, the Sarawak Australian Graduates Association, the sponsor of this competition. 让更多人认识 留澳同学会。
Dr. Timothy Smith (IMEB Syllabus Consultant, Examiner) (Australia) 音乐博士，音乐考监官。
M.M in music education, Gainesville, University of Florida
M.M in Composition, Mankato, Minnesota State University
B.M in String Performance, Edmond, University of Central Oklahoma
Thomas Ling 林垂正(Sibu)
Bachelor of Music - Performing (Sydney Conservatorium of Music)
Licentiate of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (London)
IMEB Malaysia representative
悉尼音乐学院音乐学士, 英国皇家音乐学院教学专业文凭, 澳洲国际音乐考试学院马来西亚代表
All songs must be in English, and the titles and lyrics must be submitted with the entries. The organisers reserve the rights to turn down any song deemed to be inappropriate in contents. (Love songs are accepted generally, but not songs with explicit immoral content) An entry fee of RM 10 will be charged for each contestant. There will be no refund after submission. 报名费RM10 A preliminary audition round may be held if the entry number is too big for one night. 如人数太多将举行入围赛。 All contestants must prepare their own accompanying CDs or live accompanists. Only a piano is provided. Any other instruments must be prepared by contestants. The CDs must be handed in 2 days before the contest for testing with the system. 伴唱CD，伴奏者自备。 The judges’ decision is final. Disputes are not entertained. 裁判员的决定为标准及最终成绩。 The contestants will be judged on the vocal ability, musicianship, stage craft, entertainment value and outfit. 裁判制度：唱功，音乐感，台风， 娱乐性质，服装。
English Public Speaking Speech Contest Jointly By SAGA Central Region & Sibu Swan City Toastmasters Club
Interschool Public Speaking Speech Contest The Sarawak Australian Graduates Association (SAGA) has teamed up with the world’s largest non-profit organization in public speaking, Toastmasters International via her local chapter the Sw...an City Toastmasters Club to conduct an Interschool Public Speaking Contest. The aims of the contest are to: 1. Promote the usage of the English Language 2. Promote and provide an opportunity for students to improve their public speaking skills and to recognize the best as encouragement to all.
The contest will be open to all senior secondary school students in the Sibu region and will be held on 3rd July 2011 at 8.30 am . The venue will be at Methodist Wei Kok Hall, Sibu. Attractive prizes for all contestants sponsored by Sarawak Australian Graduate Association are as follow: First prize: RM 500 plus a trophy and a certificate Second prize: RM 300 plus a trophy and certificate Third prize: RM 200 plus a trophy and a certificate Forth prize: RM 150 plus a trophy and a certificate Four consolation prizes of RM 100 each plus a trophy and certificate All contestants will receive certificate of participation as well.
There will be 2 sessions: 9:00 am to 12 noon Junior Secondary students Form 3 and below 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm Senior Secondary students, Form 4 and above. For more information, please contact the Organizing Chair Wong Toh Hee 016-888 0038 Dr. Clement Chen 019-889 6699
English Essay Writing Competition Jointly By SAGA, Central Region & The Borneo Post
ENGLISH ESSAY WRITING COMPETITION BY SAGA, CENTRAL REGION IN COLLABORATION WITH THE BORNEO POST
...Organizers: (1) SAGA (Sarawak Australia Graduate Association) (2) See Hua Marketing Sdn Bhd (The Borneo Post)
Objectives: (1) To increase the standard of students in commanding English (2) To arouse the interests of writing of English
Date: 23rd July 2011 (Saturday)
Venue: SMK Methodist
Time 8:00 am until 12:00 noon
Contest detail: 1. There will be 2 questions and the participants have to choose either one of them and shall be complete within one hour.
2. The essay must be written in the prepared examination pad by using blue or black ballpen, must be written neatly and those essay if found untidy and unreadable will be disqualified.
3. The essay must be submitted in English Language only, 150 words in length for the Junior Secondary (PMR syllabus) and 350 words in length for the Senior Secondary (SPM syllabus). The essay that overly exceeds the permitted number of words will be disqualified.
Participation 1. Each school needs to fill the entry form as per attached. 2. Entries should be submitted before 27th June 2011 to: See Hua Marketing Sdn Bhd (Essay Competition 2011) No 40, Jalan Tuanku Osman, 96000 Sibu Tel: 084-315252 Fax: 084-320549 3. Each participate student will receive an attendance certificate.
Sections: This competition will be sectionalized into: (1) Junior secondary (Form 1 – Form 3) • Individual • Team (2) Senior secondary (Form 4 – Form 5) • Individual • Team
Prizes: Individual - Junior Form (Form 1 – Form 3); Senior Form (Form 4 & Form 5) 1st Prize : Cash RM 150.00 + Certificate + Free The Borneo Post one year subscription 2nd Prize : Cash RM 100.00 + Certificate + Free The Borneo Post one year subscription 3rd Prize : Cash RM 80.00 + Certificate + Free The Borneo Post one year subscription Consolations Prizes (3 sets) : Cash RM 50.00 + Certificate + Free The Borneo Post six months subscription
Team - Junior Form (Form 1 – Form 3); Senior Form (Form 4 & Form 5) 1st Prize : Cash RM 200.00 + Certificate 2nd Prize : Cash RM 150.00 + Certificate 3rd Prize : Cash RM 100.00 + Certificate
Prize giving ceremony: To be decided later
Rules & Regulations 1. This competition is open to all Malaysian secondary school students in Sibu. Schools are only allowed to send in one team per category. Each team must consist of five students, all with valid Malaysian identity cards and accompanied by a teacher-in-charge at all times. Any team’s participant’s less than five students, then the team cannot participate in team section.
2. All students participating in the competition must be in school uniform during the competition. The students shall be required to present their identity cards during the registration at the venue.
3. No substitution or omission of any submit shall be permitted at any time and the same students shall be present all segments of the competition.
4. The Organisers shall not be responsible for any damage to and/or loss of personal belongings and/or personal injuries sustained during the competition.
5. The essay will be assessed by a panel of judges selected by organizers. The judges’ decision is final and any correspondence will not be entertained.
6. If at any time during the competition or after the competition, a winner is found not complying with any of the Rules and Regulations, the Organisers reserve the right to cancel and/or recover the claimed prize at its sole discretion. In such a situation, the winning entry or the winning team will be disqualified and a new winning team will be determined by the panel of judges.
7. The Organisers reserve the right to vary, postpone or reschedule the dates and venues of the competition or extend the competition period at their sole discretion.
SAGA, Central Region and Global Educational Services jointly organized a forum on career information sharing on 8th April, 2011 at 11:00am at SMK Sacred Heart.
Informal in nature, the forum was information-oriented and it was in Q & A style. It aimed to give students some practical advice on further studies in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, engineering and accountancy.
Lucy Tang of Global Educational Services (GES) took the lead in Q & A session. She handled the session well, tactfully getting the students to raise questions to the panelists.
After the forum, the participating students were encouraged to stay back to interact with the SAGA committee members.
On the whole, the forum was considered fruitful. We believe it helped the students in one way or another.
The committee members look forward to organizing another one!
May has been a motherly month. Throughout the world, almost all nations remember the second Sunday of the month as a day for mothers!
Love for moms, of course, is not confined to this day only! Mother's Day simply reminds us the great love of mothers. ... What have you in mind for your mom on the upcoming Mother's Day? Just have a look at what Premier Hotel has presented to you if you are thinking of taking your mom for a dining-out in a cosy ambience!
International Buffet Dinner @ Bamboo House
Date: Mother's Day Eve, Saturday 7 May 2011 Mother's Day, Sunday 8 May 2011
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Price: RM50.00 nett per person Rm33.50 nett per senior citizen (55 years old & above) RM33.50 nett per child (4-12 years old)