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Sunday, March 16, 2014

#MH370 Incident and its impact to Malaysia

PFA Asia financial planners on #MH370 incident and impact to Malaysia

For the past 9 days, the 5-star rated Malaysia Airlines(MAS) and Malaysia government has become the world focus because of a flight bound from KL-Beijing vanished and lost contact. (at the time of writing, the latest report suggested the flight could be hijacked and search still carries on)

While there have been numerous theories or conspiracies towards the MH370, which we feel it is only appropriate left it to the capable hands of investigators. This article is written with the objective to discuss or evaluate the impact of this incident to the economy or a country as a whole.

With more than 200+ passengers on board of the Boeing 777-200, the impact is huge and it can be categorised as intangible or tangible impact.

Intangible impact (qualitative aspect)
1. Undue psychological and emotional stress imposed on the :
  • relatives and family members who are worrying on the safety of the passengers
  • ground crew and air line staff in handling the media, questions fired by the relatives
  • search & rescue crews who are restlessly looking for the clues
  • media and press personnels who are competing for the 1st hand news

2. The multiple press conferences answered by different heads from military, Dept of Civil
    Aviation(DCA) and Ministry of transport have lead to contradicting statements. 
    Furthermore, 2 stolen passports were used to board the air plane. This security breach,
    coupled with the capability to handle Major Crisis has tarnished Malaysia reputation.

3.  MAS has a solid in flight service & safety record and is awarded 5 star airline by
     Skytrax. Will this incident affect MAS brand in passenger safety ?
Tangible impact (quantifiable economic value)
1. Search and operation cost for the past 7 days, involving 43 ships, 58 air crafts, sea, 
    air personnels from 14 countries,all over the regions. 

PFA Asia financial planners on #MH370 incident and impact to Malaysia
Courtesy Star online Malaysia
2. Economic output of the passengers who are elite, professionals, business people that
    would contribute to the economic human capital of the countries concerned.

3. Potential claim provisions by the insurance companies. Life insurance and General 
    insurance companies are likely to be hit with the claims from plane, cargo, travel cover, 
    group term, individual life and personal accident insurance.
4. Since Malaysia is a signatory to Montreal Convention in 2008, which controls ticketed
    international travel.This means MAS being the airline are subjected to the automatic 
    compensation scheme as well. (Montreal Convention provide 2 tier claims by airline : 
    155,000 International Monetary Standard per passenger and 25,000 advance to 
    each family members after 15 days of the incident) 

5. Potential lawsuits claims brought forward by the relatives or family members of
    passengers against Malaysia government due to security breach as the plane is
    potentially hijacked. And likely this claims will have to be compensated by the tax payers

In this time of need, it is touching to realise Malaysia have many friends near and far in the regions and around the globe like US, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Phillippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh who have extend help and support of the search operations. The only words can be expressed now is THANK YOU.

PFA Asia financial planners on #MH370 incident and impact to Malaysia

While it is premature to fully quantify the impact to the country as a whole, let take this incident as a learning and improve from here. It is still our hope the MH370 passengers and crew are safe and landed. The lost of money can be recovered but not the lost of lives. #Pray ForMH370.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

4 Risky Locations To Use Your Debit Card

PFA Asia Malaysia based financial planner on debit card risk

Debit Cards have become one of the common tool for us to make payment nowadays. Today, we’re going to shed some light on some locations where you should be extra cautious when you use your debit card.

No. 1 Target : Outdoor ATMs
Outdoor ATMs are among one of the most dangerous places to swipe your debit card. Open-air kiosks give an ideal opportunity for thieves to skim users' data, grabbing it out of thin air, even in broad daylight. Skimming machines are frequently placed over the actual card slots at ATMs or other outdoor card reading terminals like vending machines or parking lot payment kiosks.
PFA Asia Malaysia based financial planner on debit card risk

No. 2 Target : Petrol Stations
Petrol station pumps share many of the features card criminals love when exploiting outdoor ATM locations. In a place where you have multiple transactions occurring at any one time, combined with minimal supervision, it isn't difficult for someone with malicious intent to install a skimming device and a small closed circuit pocket-sized camera to help him in his cause. Thieves employ small video cameras at petrol pumps to capture footage of unsuspecting card users typing in their PINs, saving it for later and going on a spending spree.All the same, even if the thief does not get your PIN, he is still able to reproduce your card's magnetized strip and use it for most transactions.

No. 3 Target : Restaurants
PFA Asia Malaysia based financial planner on Debit Card RiskWaiters regularly take customers' debit cards to run them behind closed doors. However, some will keep debit card numbers and expiration dates with the intention of using them later on. However, it isn't just sit down eateries and their employees posing a potential threat to your debit card. Using your debit card to order delivery can be dangerous too. Cashiers and card terminals tend to keep customer payment information on file for several months. While this might make future orders from that restaurant more convenient, small businesses rarely follow the steps necessary to protect information. 

No. 4 Target : Online Transactions
Debit cards are an undeniably convenient way to purchase products online. When you put your debit card online, it is almost as if you are putting it on display for thieves. Malware or spyware downloaded to a computer provides an entry point for a hacker to store and lift information whenever they please. As your information is transmitted to the merchant, it is visible and accessible by its employees, but is also still vulnerable to hackers, giving it double threat potential.

The main concern is the debit card is tied to your money - your bank account--and dealing with debit card fraud comes with more headaches than credit card fraud. Although debit cards look identical to credit cards, debit cards do not work in the same way that credit cards do in the event of fraud. Debit card users are not always as successful when it comes to disputing identity theft and fraud on their accounts. Once that money is gone, it is gone; and it usually takes weeks or even longer to see reimbursement for stolen funds.

PFA Asia Malaysia based financial planner on debit card risk

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Malaysian Budget 2014 - GST Implementation and consequences

PFA Asia Malaysia Financial Planner on Malaysia GST Implementation

 Next Friday, 25th October 2013 is Malaysian Budget Day.

One of Malaysians main concern is the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).

                                PFA Asia Malaysia Financial Planner on Malaysia GST Implementation

Fitch Ratings, one of the Top three global ratings agencies, recently downgraded the country’s sovereign outlook rating from A to A- as Malaysia’s current fiscal deficit remain unresolved. They also states that the country’s main weakness is still in public finances sector, namely the high federal government debt that stood at 53.3% of GDP at end of 2012 compared to 51.6% at end 2011. At the same time, the country’s low fiscal revenue base stands at 24.7% of GDP compared with the median of other A rated countries (example: Taiwan, South Korea, China) at 32.8%.

One of the steps which the government will take to improve the country’s fiscal position is the implementation of GST. Currently, there’s a very narrow tax base as less and less registered companies and labor force pay taxes. Thus, GST will be a solution to broaden the tax base and increase revenue. The proposed GST will replace existing sales tax (10%) and services tax (6%) (SST) instead of adding on it. It is estimated that a 5% GST rate would result in a net increase in tax revenue for the Government by up to RM8 billion for the first two years.

                                   PFA Asia Malaysia Financial Planner on Malaysia GST Implementation
In the worst case scenario, the cost of living will rise. Middle-income earners will be worse hit, especially those who earn RM4,999 or less, which is not enough to make ends meet when inflation in consumer goods strikes. The cost of borrowing will also increase due to this, resulting in higher cost of doing business which will lower country's competitiveness.

In the end, questions that everybody should ponder upon daily should be:

  1. How should I start to monitor my expenditure?
  2. Do I have a better cost saving alternative before I made a purchase?
  3. How do I balance my current lifestyle expenditure with the inevitable rising cost of living?
Be wise, plan ahead for your personal finances or business finances wisely. As the saying goes; if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Have a T.E.A (Think, Evaluate and Act)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Who OWN USA - Federal Reserve ?

PFA Asia Malaysia financial planner on Who Own Federal Reserve

Over the past few months, we have taken an eagle observation eye on the happenings and surroundings of the world. We discovered that there are many past history in the monetary systems provide clues of what is happening in the future.

Recently we have the news of USA government department shut down due to debt ceiling issue. Beside the political opinion difference, what really behind all these financial mess ?

In view of this, we in PFA Asia has decided to elevate the sights to share some articles surrounding the economy, monetary systems and hope it give the readers a fresh perspective of the relationship between the consumer and monetary system. 

Many bankers, stock analysts, fund broking house are all giving commentary of the effect of the Quantitative Easing. In short, QE is a money printing process and Federal Reserve in USA are responsible to print, circulate the paper money around the globe for day to day transaction.

Have you ever asked, who give this ultimate power of Monetary Easing to the Federal Reserve, Have you ever wondered, who owns or control the Federal Reserve ? 

Federal Reserve was formed way back in 1775 to print the first money during American Revolution, known as Continentals. It has gone through many rough patches in history before establish itself to become the "Central Bank" of America. 

However, due to change in the political climate, monetary policies, the functions of Federal Reserve has changed.

In essence, Federal Reserve is gazetted as a check writing machine or money printing money that creates paper money. Given this huge power, will there be abuse ?

3 questions come to the mind :
1) Who owns the Federal Reserve ? 
    Is it by a group a stakeholders who are private banker who are interlinked ?

2) How does Federal Reserve get its money and boost its reserve ?
     Is it just via Open Market Operations to buy bonds or Treasury bills ?

3) If Federal Reserve is owned by a group of private bankers as stakeholders, then every
  treasury bills issued with a guarantee return 6% is profit for the stakeholders ?

We invite and encourage you to explore and read the following 2 articles for more understanding and knowledge. The truth might be shocking. Stay in the know and stay tuned for next article..what happen when a country bankrupt ?
PFA Asia Malaysia financial planner on Who Owns Federal Reserve

Reference :
History of Federal Reserve
Global Research on Who owns Federal Reserve ?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Top 10 Business Opportunities in 2013, part 2

PFA Asia Malaysia financial planner on Top 10 busienss oppportunites 2013

Continue on Part 2 on Top 10 Business Opportunities 2013 .....
PFA Asia Malaysia financial planner on Top 10 busienss oppportunites 2013
Opportunity 6: The Pet’s business
A lot more younger generation tend to be parenting dogs and cats and would certainly spend lavishly on the pet's needs. The key is to focus on one specialized area be it dogs, cats or exotic pets and be the market leader in it.

Opportunity 7: Self-development
PFA Asia Malaysia financial planner on Top 10 busienss oppportunites 2013More and more people longing for self-fulfillment in their life.Programs and product ranging from self-hypnotism, DNA traits identification to Passion testing gain popularity. The presence of internet platform makes these areas more viable and financially affordable.

Opportunity 8: Free-lancing
PFA Asia Malaysia financial planner on Top 10 busienss oppportunites 2013
As Gen Y work force is extremely demanding for you to preserve, the desire to locate completely new and also inventive solutions to get the job done will become important for you to organizational good results. The answer to this is the concept of Freelancing. This will be nature of the work force in the near future in this area. Area of opportunities regarding focusing on the suitable areas of assistance or perhaps abilities which includes image artist, copywriters, maids, Facebook advertising expert, data processing and many specific places.

Opportunity 9: Cloud Computing
PFA Asia Malaysia financial planner on Top 10 busienss oppportunites 2013A great deal of SME Business community have not really completely utilized the power of  technologies to further improve  of their business. With the introduction of SAAS (software to be a Service) PAAS (Platform to be a Service) ; this will drive the cost of assessibility to be much lower.

Opportunity 10: Health Empowerment
PFA Asia Malaysia financial planner on Top 10 busienss oppportunites 2013As wellness becomes an important matter throughout culture and also skepticism of traditional methods of medical care escalates, there's an increasing desire for more information and also knowledge on heath are on increasing trend. Health product like massage chair is a typical example where the standard filial kid and also daughter might aspire to reduce their sense of guilt of unable to spend enough time with their parents by obtaining expensive products and also tools to help improve their  parents' health quality.

PFA Asia Malaysia financial planner on Top 10 busienss oppportunites 2013

Reference : SME Magazine

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