Monday, August 6, 2007

On Being Gainfully employed

"Madam, why is your husband still working whereas you both have so much?"

That conversation was during a dinner cum investment talk that I had attended. My affiliate was perplexed as to why my husband is still in the Employee Quadrant (term coined by Robert Kiyosaki) when I have so much wealth at my disposal. Kiyosaki’s idea in his Rich dad, poor dad’s series is that being an investor or business owner gives one more freedom and a higher upside than being someone else's employee or being an owner-operator of a business. My answer was: I respect my husband’s decision to remain gainfully employed as a professional in one of the GLCs (Government-linked company) in Malaysia. The truth is not everybody can own a corporation or be an entrepreneur and like opposing spectrum – male versus female, good versus evil, white against black there is always the gray area. This goes to say that my husband could be one, both or even all parties of the four of Kiyosaki’s quadrants. In Malaysia, one cannot be gainfully employed as well as be a business owner of a corporation. In actual fact I am the business owner but in a Muslim marriage where the man leads and I love it that he leads, I refer to my husband as my ultimate boss.

At this point, most would have wondered why my blog is called Millionaires are from the same planet. I feel it is immodest to blurt all, a tiny hint would suffice but way back in 1988 when I was 27, I owned at least 100 Telecom shares and a dozen or more shares which than summed even at that time would have been more than a million RM at least. Marketing at that time was buying two or three properties in a day without a blink of an eye. Nevertheless, I still continued teaching in a public high school – not even a lecturer than. I saw teaching as a vocation – my stabilizer as dealing with young people and having a hand at shaping their life held more meaning to me than any amount of money I could make. I think I am one of those lucky people who could have his pie and eat it as well. The only luxury that I afford myself was going for Umrahs (trips and rites to the Holy city of Mecca) and of course holidays. The point I am driving is you could be making tonnes of money and continue leading such an ordinary life.

How you may have wondered, I accumulate such wealth because definitely it was not through inheritance or through marriage and the Internet was not widespread – no emails or whatsoever. The computer’s appeal was more as a spreadsheet. Some hint: Kiyosaki was right about leveraging – I had procured those shares through bank guarantees and owning corporations and the shares were bought through IPOs (initial public offerings) which discount the need for speculation as any listing would sometimes have seen those shares doubling up way back those years when ‘privatization’ was the main agenda of the Malaysian Government. A couple of years down the road, the Malaysian banks no longer offered guarantees to purchase IPOs as chances of hitting one is as good as buying a lottery if not even less. By that time, my attention has shifted to properties – at least managing the properties I have diverted my funds to.

I remembered reading a book urging one to flow with the tide – because that was what I was doing all along. And how would I know high tides to low tides – keep abreast with the signals. I don’t know about luck but I attribute my wealth-building to my background as a researcher and reading which affords me a clear picture of what steps to take in my process of decision-making. Of course again there is the Solat Istikharah- daily rituals that implore the Divine to guide me. If I had remained in stocks – in 1997 when the Malaysian currency was falling down, I could have lost everything. Even if I had quitted my job than – I would have lost my stabilizer as well as my identity. Why than should my husband quit his more than modest job and lose his gratuity and retirement benefits which may come up to be a couple of millions. Life is not only about financial fast-track as opposed to Kiyosaki’s writing who put his Rich Dad in such high reverence compared to his own Dad. Furthermore, I have resigned from my teachings - I feel that the time has come for me to spread my wings and I didn’t want to become some jaded lecturer(talk about vanity) that has lost a lot of her luster standing upfront in the podium. Young people need more vivacious people to be their role models. I do however go back to consultancy from time to time but for now I am just blogging.

32 comments:

Hanafi Mohd Noor said...

Hi, maybe you could share tips on how to sembahyang istikharah, today God has answered my prayer to my lobbying on linux for MRSM. Been called and presented.

Thank You.

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