Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You have heard it, read it and probably felt it!

  • Interest rates (BLR) rose by 0.75% and is expected to rise by another 0.50% to 0.75% this year (please refer below report from CIMB and Standard Chartered)
  • Malaysia’s inflation seen at 23-month high at 3.1%. With 5 out of 12 broad categories in the CPI (Consumer Price Index) basket saw month on month increase in March 2011
  • Cost of living continues to soar!

CIMB Research Report : Economic Update - 21 April 2011

Standard Chartered Global Research : 22 March 2011


For limited period only, AIA HOME LOAN packages will still be offering fixed rates at:

4.85% p.a. (Non Zero Moving Cost Package)
5.25% pa.  (Zero Moving Cost Package)

AIA will be revising the interest rates soon as funds allocated for the two packages above are almost fully utilized. Seize this opportunity now and lock in the lowest long term fixed rates. For the ultimate peace of mind.


For more information, please contact me!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Need a home loan? Contact me for more info on AIA Home Loan Package Fixed Rate at 4.85%!
A HOME buyer with a floating interest rate home loan may feel slightly unnerved in a rising interest rate environment. Just in a span of five months, Bank Negara had raised the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 75 basis points to 2.75% last year and local economists expect the central bank to raise the OPR further in the second half of this year.
As the OPR moves up, banks will also look to increase their base lending rates (BLRs) and a higher BLR will undoubtedly have an impact on a floating rate housing loan. BLR is typically defined as a minimum interest rate charged by banks after considering its cost of funds and other administrative costs.
As most floating rate loans track the BLR, the interest charged will fluctuate based on the rise and fall of the BLR throughout the tenure of the loan while a fixed home loan ensures that the interest charged is fixed throughout the loan's tenure.
For new homeowners, fixed rate loans may be a good alternative provided they are able to lock in when interest rates are still low.

So how do you make a decision on which home loan to opt for, be it fixed or floating?
For individuals currently servicing floating rate housing loans, jumping to fixed home loans immediately may not be the best alternative.
Considerations that one needs to take into account include the cost incurred in refinancing a home loan, as there are fees or penalties impose by the existing financier for exiting your current loan contract.
Also, refinancing will see the individual having to abide by new terms and conditions, which means that the individual's lock in period for the loan may start again. But on the upside, you may receive better prepayment conditions and favourable rates with the new loan.
If a home owner does not foresee a steep rise in interest rates and the variable rate home loan tenure is coming to an end soon, the differential in savings from switching may be small considering that fixed home rates are also inclined to move up in a rising interest rate environment.
“It's important to take note of how many more years you have on your loan tenure. If you have a couple of years left, it may not be worth switching considering the cost of refinancing,” says Whitman Independent Advisors Sdn Bhd managing director Yap Ming Hui.
“Also, look at the fixed interest amount as that will help you decide, if it is too high or low. If the fixed rate is at 8% and a floating rate housing loan is BLR minus 2%, then the fixed rate loan is not competitive.”
However, for new homeowners, fixed rate loans may be a good alternative provided they are able to lock in when interest rates are still low.
Ng Wei Kian opted for a fixed rate home loan when he first purchased his home.
“I'm a type A personality and with the worry that interest rates may move up, I'm much more comfortable servicing a fixed rate home loan,” he says.
He adds that since he is an employee with a fixed monthly income, knowing how much he has to pay on a monthly basis provides him with peace of mind, especially since his housing loan is his biggest financial commitment.
Another plus point is that as you progress in your career and see a higher salary base, your monthly loan repayment becomes smaller in comparison to your earning power, he says.
While fixed rate loans tend to suit risk-averse individuals, it is best to seek out various options offered by banks and insurers alike in their product offering before one commits to a housing loan with repayments locked in for 30 years.
A quick check on website shows that BLR among banks here range between 6% and 6.30% as of October last year while there are some attractive fixed home loans out there, with one insurer even offering a fixed income rate at 4.85% per annum (non zero moving costs) and 5.25% per annum (zero entry cost) (~ AIA HOME LOANS!!!)
The key take away in making a switch in a housing loan is to examine your financial situation and only change if the penalty fees charged outweigh the savings benefit from the new loan.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet.  He held up a sign which said: "I am blind, please help."  There were only a few coins in the hat..

A man was walking by.  He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat.  He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words.  He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. 

Soon the hat began to fill up.  A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.  That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were.  The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning?  What did you write?"  

The man said, "I only wrote the truth.  I said what you said but in a different way." I wrote: "Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it." 

Both signs told people that the boy was blind.  But the first sign simply said the boy was blind.  The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind.  Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective? 

Moral of the Story:  

Be thankful for what you have. Be creative.  Be innovative.  Think differently and positively. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile.

-          Face your past without regret.
-          Handle your present with confidence. 
-          Prepare for the future without fear. 
-          Keep the faith and drop the fear.
The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling. And even more beautiful, is knowing that you are the reason behind it!!!

"Faith is not about everything turning out OK;  Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out."

Friday, April 08, 2011

You never know what can happen in the future, especially events regarding your health. It is advisable you acquire an affordable health care insurance today to avoid any huge expenses incurred due to unforeseen health issues that may arise and you need to seek medical attention.

These days, the living costs are always increasing but your salaries may not rise as fast. However, an affordable health care insuranceis definitely required to see you through the huge expenses that you may incur when you seek medical attention in the future. Then again, there are also reasons why there are still so many people avoiding getting one. This is mainly because these health insurances are getting more and more expensive that a lot people could not afford to buy one. Therefore, there is a growing demand and need for an affordable health care insurance these days.

Because of the high medical insurance costs, many people have no choice but live without one. Those who cannot afford the high premiums feel that it better for them to spend such money on basic necessities rather than on the health insurance. However, they do not know that without such health care insurance, they could burn a big hole in their pocket and even wipe out their entire life savings easily with just one unforeseen major illness or accident that could happen to anyone.

Therefore, be wise to get an affordable health care insurance right now. See things in a long-term perspective as you can actually save more for the future this way by getting a health care insurance today. If you are young especially, you should start getting one today as premiums are lower for younger people. If you are young and healthy and do not smoke, your premiums can be even be further reduced. So, if you are smoking today, quit it immediately. This can help save you a lot in your monthly health premiums when you get one.
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