March 17, 2014

What Kept Me on the Edge On Days Leading to Saturday

By Aldric

16 November 2013  Took the Computerised Unit Trust Exam (CUTE) at Cosmopoint Kuching. I failed.

Early February 2014, I decided to give it another shot. Unlike the first time, I sat for “Understanding Unit Trust Basics” (UUTB) module in its completeness. I also took the “Best Practices” module, another training required before being a Unit Trust Consultant (UTC).

Come Saturday, March 15th, 2014, about four months after the first exam. I swam in anxiety – the “trauma” of the first failure looms in like a heavy cloud.

I completed my exam, which began at 3pm, in 20 minutes. But this time I stuck around to re-check all 60 questions one by one. Taking no chances this time. Calculations were repeated to confirm and verify. No margin for error.

The Outcome

I pushed that “Finish” button. And I confirmed my decision. The results were instantaneous!


The one word that I wanted to see. The only word I expected myself to see. And that is all I saw.

The Stakes

Emotions were riding high. My future will be determined by the 60-question computer exam.

Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB)

To secure a lasting legacy, in 2014 I took out a RM200,000 loan for the Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB). This ensures, at current time, I can leave at least RM200,000 to my brother during my untimely death. Repayment of the loan, per agreement, is currently RM1,151 per month. Rounded up, I am paying RM1,200 per month. A small price to pay for a legacy. I have no EPF, or any with considerable sum to leave. It has also been my goal in the last couple of years to obtain that level investment with Amanah Saham Bumiputera.

As one who enjoys the privilege, I believe in using it before looking elsewhere. Now that I “have” RM200,000 in ASB, I shift focus to increasing my investment with Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera, on top of the repayment of the loan.

My goal for Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera (AHB) is to max out the possible cap of RM200,000. AHB’s returns are not as large as ASB’s 8% average. It is, after all, a new REIT. However AHB distributes the dividends once every six months. It’s single advantage as a non-Muslim for me.

AHB makes sense to you if Shariah compliance is important to you. Unlike ASB, which may invest in any counter, AHB invests in prime properties. These properties are managed per Shariah principles.

So, now with the ASB loan alone I have a monthly commitment of RM1,200.

Perodua MyVi

Transportation is a key investment. The question is: can you make money from the investment, or are you bleeding from it?

In Kuching, having your own car is crucial. Our public transportation system is no where near as efficient or effective as Kuala Lumpur’s… yet. Your earning ability will be strictly limited – whether you are working for someone or on your own. Last February I was fortunate to get my first car courtesy of my late Mother and her sibling.

Paid RM20,000 down for a Perodua MyVi. Mind you this was before the current price of RM47k. So I had to loan RM30,000 to pay off the balance. This loan covers the span of 5 years. Each month, my car loan repayment costs me RM622, which I normally round to RM650.

Note that this does not include other


Insurance makes up a third of basic financial security. To quote Brian Tracy, insurances is meant to cover for large payments or expenses that cannot be paid out of the pocket. This includes vehicle insurance, property insurance, life insurance and health insurance. For now, allow me to focus on my health insurance.

In 2007, my late mother took up a plan for me with Prudential. It has served me well – especially when I underwent my appendicitis. During her own treatment and hospitalisation, my Mother’s plan helped the family bear the costs at Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya. Remember: we are based in Miri, Sarawak. So this insurance plan costs RM169 per month.

Last year, I wanted to take one plan: PruMultiple Crisis Coverage. My budget then was RM200 per month. At the advice of Aunty Anna, my agent, I got PruMCC for RM100 per month and PruLink One for RM89 per month.

I would like to keep and maintain my insurance for the long run – till the scheduled age 80. And, gradually, increase coverage. But for now, my insurance package costs me RM358 per month.

Summary of Monetary Stakes

Basically, I have to make at least RM2,208 in a month to cover my expenses at the moment. At 27, having minimal in-house or “full time” employment, making RM2,300 is a far off possibility. Not unless I start doing sales.

Non-Monetary Stakes

Of course there are other reasons why I am doing this besides the money. Personally I would like to improve myself: my communication skills, my grooming, my networking skills and more. Working in-house allows me to do it to a certain degree. Unless I land a job that allows me to do all that, chances are – again – slim.

But therein lies the problem also. I refuse to allow my future to depend on other people. I simply cannot comprehend the idea of “outsourcing” my future, my career and my income. I must be in control, or using a system or systems to make it. I tried to create my own system in the past through my copywriting. However I need to re-evaluate my strategy. So I am joining a fund house as a unit trust consultant. Systems are present. I merely make it work for my advantage, and the benefit of my clients.

I need to meet people. I have an internal urge to help. Feeling helpless is something I hate and resent. Networking is a key activity which meets that need of mine: the need to match potential solutions with present problems and needs.

Let me give you an example: some time back, I invited friends to apply for a position with our agency (my current workplace). They are in need of a job. At the same time, as I am more alert to events and job fairs, I disseminate that information to them – to increase their chances of landing one suitable with their experiences and qualifications.

I would also like to spend time with family, relatives and friends. Being a UTC frees me from the “punch clock cycle”. By this, I mean being tied to the workplace for a set of time – whether shift or not. My income would largely depend on how many clients I helped. At the same time, I become location independent – to a certain degree. I can help clients based anywhere – allowing me to visit relatives and friends outside Kuching. I have missed many weddings, engagement parties, Gawai, Christmas, Kaul etc. Beginning this year, I’d like to slowly and surely attend each and every one of them – no matter where it may be held. Because I can.

These are, among many, my reasons of wanting to join Public Mutual Berhad as their Unit Trust Consultant. Passing CUTE was the first step. Now I await the agent code and the FIMM card – which will arrive either this coming Friday or next Monday.

It’s scary. But let the adventure begin!