1. Tell us a bit about your childhood and how it affects your today's practice on personal finance ?
I lead a moderate lifestyle during my childhood. My family is quite frugal and we don’t splurge on branded goods.(nowadays a lot of young people fell into this consumerism trap) Come to think of it, I guess I am fortunate that I did not suffer from any peer pressure during my school days as most of my classmates are quite moderate also even though some of them come from very wealthy families. Until now I don’t really get all the hype of wearing or using highly expensive branded goods just to feel “confident”. Confidence comes from within.
On personal finance perspective, I managed to save quite a high percentage of my salary over my working years. But one thing that my parents never thought me about is the importance of investing to make your money work for you. They are quite conservative investors. Nevertheless, they stressed the importance of education and hard-work to ensure an easy life in the future when I was growing up. One thing to note is that like most old traditional Chinese thinking, they discourages debt taking ,borrowing money to take advantage of the leverage when doing investments or even buying property. Of course too much leverage is hazardous but a good ratio of leverage really does wonders to your total net worth.
2. Answer this question without checking or asking for references : If you can remember, what is your Zodiac and Astrology signs ?
Aries the so-called fiery ram. LOL..Although I don’t believe in astrological signs.
3. What are the things you like to do during your free time, ie. your hobbies ? And what do you most dislike about ?
I like to read a lot during my spare time and listening to music while doing so. I dislike cutting my hair as I need to wait there doing nothing.
4. What is your favorite colors and numbers ? Any most dislikes ?
Favorite color is blue.
5. What is your favorite food ? What do you hate most ?
I like to eat noodles more than rice dishes.
6. If you can meet a person dead or alive, who would that be ? What would you ask him ?
I would like to meet my paternal grandfather which I never had the chance to do so. My grandfather who came from China on a boat, without any family members, a few dollars in the pocket and no education manage to become one of the richest businessmen in a small town.(The first family to own a black & white television which is really a luxury item at that time in a small town) He started as an ordinary hawker selling goods on a floating boat to owning a grocery store business, a few shop-lots and plantations. But alas, the wealth preservation did not happen as he sold all the properties and business (no one wanted to continue the family business) when he reached old age and moved to a bigger town; leaving no wealth preservation plan & investments for the next generation. And with no investment, time erodes the family wealth. But luckily, all his children manage to receive good education because our family was one of the few that can afford it.
So if I were able to “go back to the future”, I want to hear his rags to riches story from his own mouth.
7. What is the best and worst feeling you have ever had ?
Best feeling is to get good academic results in public examination after years of study. Worst feeling is getting diarrhea and food poisoning.
8. What is the last thing you do before go to sleep ?
Read one of my books.
9. What is the first thing you do when you wake up ?
Brush my teeth, refresh and get ready for work.
10. If you were to build a personal finance portfolio for a young man who has similar life path as yours, what will it be ?
Generate more passive income while you are still young and have mixed income portfolio consisting of property investments, dividend stocks and mutual funds. And have sufficient insurance and medical coverage to ensure your wealth will be preserved if anything happens. While young, a person must be brave enough to take a lot of calculated risks. (high risk high return kind of game, because you can afford to make mistakes. It is still okay to stumbled on small mistakes, just make sure you learn from it to avoid the big and grave personal finance mistakes) While in old age, one must be concerned on wealth preservation and guaranteed returns.
At lastly the most important one is to invest oneself in terms of knowledge. Knowledge is power!!!
11. You met someone in a social party, describe what you do in 2 to 3 sentences.
Just say hi and see where we go from there.
12. If you are not doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing ?
I will probably become an academician. A professor perhaps?
13. How much time do you spend on your personal finance blog ?
I read a lot of financial articles online and will blog on related topics that comes into my mind.
14. What is the main objective of your blog, is it initially profit oriented and who are your targeted blog readers ?
The objective of my blog is to encourage more people to share their experiences and knowledge in the personal finance field. There is a lot of more “niche” information that is only available to a small selected group of people. I wish to exposed and share these “niches” to empower the average people through knowledge sharing. There is a lot of hidden pro & cons on certain investment instruments that non-finance related industry people might not know off. (I am from an engineering background myself) . Hence the name of my blog, KnowThyMoney. Know = Knowledge is Power , Thy = Empower yourself through knowledge, Money = Earning more moolah to achieve financial freedom :P
Hence, I always encourage readers to comment on my blog to spur more discussions. Not really sure how to spur this , as I noticed that in general Malaysian readers are only interested to comment on stock pick related posts. (Whether it is a good time to buy stock xyz or not, what is the target price, etc)
Although my blog has Google ads, I don’t make much from it unlike some Malaysian bloggers. I consider it as pocket money if I earn any.
15. What is the biggest achievement your blog so far ?
When I started blogging around 2006, I never expected that I have so much stuff & ideas to blog about on personal finance. (Somehow, I managed to reach around 580 posts as of today.)
16. Tell us one URL other than your own that your readers should read about ?
http://whereiszemoola.blogspot.com/ à Sometimes, I really wonder where he finds the time to do some much research and follow-ups to expose the shenanigans in the stock market. I am curious on his background.
17. How many more years do you think your blog will exist for and how do you plan to finance your blog forever if planned to at all ?
I planned to continue as long as I can. Maybe the number of posts will reduced in the future if I no longer have much time to do so.
18. The world is big, many people have different point of views and emotions. If you met someone who called you geek, liar, cheaters because you yourself didn't do what you preach, how would you handle them ?
I just shrug them off. In this world, there are always people that try to find fault with you regardless of circumstances. So why bother to care their negative opinions.
19. What do you think about these interview questions and how this interview session can be improved ?
I think it is good enough for a starter.