This is the first post of the regular questions and answers series. If you have any question, please try our forum. If you are concern about private information, you can contact me using the contact form. Please note that you agree that our email may be published here (without disclosing identity).

Hi KC,

I’m halfway through your new book on personal finance tips. The home loan refinance chapter lead me to email you – which is the best home loan to refinance (i saw you recommend OCBC).

One more thing, it would be great if i can count on you as my personal finance advisor.

Please advise. Thanks.


Every bank is very competitive nowadays. But due to the recent financial crisis, banks are more stringent to approve new loan.

REIJB published a post about the reason why banks are fussy nowadays.

To me, I have bad experience with a local bank (not good to disclose here, just call it Bank A) – poor service and slow respond. I am refinancing the home loan to HSBC and Bank A keeps giving trouble and excuse. It drags for 5 months already but the thing is still hanging there.

Preferably you should choose oversea banks. You should talk to at least 3 mortgage bankers before you make decision.

Good luck!

Hi KC,

Thanks for the advise. You mentioned in your contact pages about personal finance reports. How is the whole process, and what will the report show?


It is a comprehensive report that will show your current financial health. We will also provide recommendation and action plan to improve your situation.

The process involves 6 steps:

1. Goal Setting
2. Fact Finding – need your cash flow, assets liabilities, investment, insurance etc
3. Analysis – we will analyse
4. Recommendation – we will provide suggestions
5. Implementation – depends on whether you want to engage us on this step
6. Review – normally one should do annual review.


Are ASW2020 and ASM backed by government? How can we know what is the actual NAV of these fund have? Any signs that similar to Bernard Madoff/s ‘big lie’? Attached with the annual report of these fund but not sure how to interprate it.


Let me get back to you on this. I will have to dig some expert’s advice.

Dear Mr. Lau,

I am an expatriate (from India) working here in Malaysia under valid employment permit. I have married a Malaysian citizen (Malay girl) recently under the laws of this country and intend to settle down here for a long time.

I wish to invest in the open share market. Am I eligible? If yes, what are the steps to be taken? Please advise.


Yes. You can trade at Bursa Malaysia.
Refer this:
However, you need to comply with any requirements under the Exchange Control Rules and Regulations of Bank Negara Malaysia.

Now i’m considering to take up a personal loan of RM50k for a duration of 5
years, kindly advise which bank offer the best rate and the estimate mthly
instalment payment. Thanks


If possible, try not to get a personal loan. There are other ways to get cheaper financing.
For example, do you build up equity in a home loan? If yes, you can refinance it to greater margin.
Do you have life insurance that you had paid for many years? There are cash value available for policy loan (at 7% interest rate now)
How about family loan?

I don’t do any research on the personal loan available on the market nowadays. For certain, the rate is definitely higher than your home loan and car loan.

Hi KC,

I was searching for the government plan to help the overload credit card user on the net and i found your finance blog instead. I have a question. Is it true that the government has such plan to actually help to decrease the burden of credit card user? I heard it from a friend of mine and i want more detail. This is how the plan works. the current outstanding amount will be approximately RM40k (cumulative frm several banks). the government will require us to fill up a form on the current income and also current financial commitment. The balance of it will be used to pay off the credit cards debts. and at the mean time, the interest will not be charge to the user as at the date when the user file in the government plan form. My question here is that is it TRUE that there is such plan? And where can I get more detail about it? Please do reply.


Yes. This service is provided by AKPK (Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency)
visit this page:


Can you pls provide some advice on my wish of career change? From corporate world to the financial planning industry? Expecially in this kind of time. Im getting a basic of RM3500.00 + 15% EPF + Medical and also other fringe benefits. I have been in the same industry for 3+ – 4 yrs and I have been job hopping for better prospect and pay. I recognize that I can’t continue do so but I really need a career that can pay off my effort put in and I know that the chances of happening will be slim, working in the corporate world.

However, I also take into the considerations of not having a fixed income, and if I cant really do well in the financial planning career, then it will be scary.

I have the preference to be a financial planner instead of an insurance agent as you will have a fuller picture of what’s the lacks and surplus of your client’s needs. Thus making your job more meaningful. Any comment?


Your points are valid. In this industry, you get paid on your effort. The more you work, and the smarter you work, the more money you will get. I would say that this is a really fair industry. When you don’t have any major commitment at this time (no children, no big house, no big car), there is nothing to be worried about. I work extremely hard for the first two years. Then the job get easier and easier as I build the customer base and network.

I started as an insurance agent, and I am still an insurance agent now. Although I’ve ventured into different financial products like will writing and unit trust, and progressing to provide financial planning services, it is crucial to earn an income right from the beginning. Often there are many people asking me similar question. My answer is – you can’t jump from a nobody straight to become a financial planner (unless you are employed as one). You may have all the knowledge in financial planning, but you simply won’t get business without marketing.

My advice is, according to the current market maturity and environment, it is better to start as a tied agent (whether in unit trust, insurance etc). But don’t just sell products when you are doing marketing and sales. You should provide process-driven planning, including fact finding, and sell according to client’s need.

Another point to get you informed about is – to succeed in this line, it is not how much technical knowledge you master, it is the people skills and network you are able to build as your customer base.

Hi KC Lau,

The Malaysia bank will only guarantee our bank account RM60K after 2010 if the particular bank shut down even though you have 1million in your bank account. So, what will we do for the extra money more than RM60k?

Just spread (diversify) into different accounts in different banks.

Your question is quite broad. I wouldn’t put a lot of money in banks because there are a lot of stuff we can invest in rather than letting the money idling there for low return.

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Personal finance author and trainer

    4 replies to "Personal Finance Money Tips Q&A #1"

    • kelvin

      recently i bought an endowment plan with yearly premium Rm1200 ( SA Rm24,000 ) for 20 years.
      total premium Rm24,000 ( 20 years)
      what is my ROI and EAR for
      1. 20 yrs my returned is Rm35,000
      2. 25 yrs my returned is Rm45,000
      please show me step by step how you calculate on my ROi and EAR on the above investment.
      i have read your previous ROi in housing investment which i not understand how you calaculate.
      thank you.

      • KCLau

        @ Kelvin,

        You will need to learn about “Time value of money”. Try Google “calculate effective annual rate”

    • Vincent

      Good financial Q&A. Keep it up!

    • Fred

      Hi KC,

      Nice of you to refer to my blog on how to open a trading and cds account but the URL link has moved to the following:


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