I was at Cititel Midvalley from Sunday till Tuesday earlier this week. Primarily I had an appointment with CEO and Head of Finance of the REIT Manager for AmFIRST REIT at Menara AmFIRST, Petaling Jaya. I shall keep the details of the 3 hours meeting private, but I am truly appreciative of the time out of their busy schedule to see me in person and listen to me “yak” about what I have been doing inside my REITMethod educational course on the basics and not-so-basics in REIT investment.
If investor has the chance to really meet these industry gurus and pick their brain, oh my, there’s so much insider info you could learn from the practitioners. But these info are not exactly public for a reason. The analogy of this is as such – if you are a BMW salesman, you can speak on behalf of your products and its advantages, and of course you know about the industry very well. But you wouldn’t compare BMW against Mercedes, and you will not comment anything if people ask you stuff on Mercedes. If you are in that authoritative position, I think you could imagine the circumstances should you said the wrong thing or people misinterpret your words.
Next, I had meeting with a staff from CPA (Certified Practicing Accountants) Australia, a global accounting membership body with office in the South Tower at the Gardens. She was curious about what I was doing in my another course – RetireMethod which focuses on post retirement money management strategies for retirees or would-be-retirees. She thought it was something different and we were having discussions about a talk which she intend to conduct later this year.
Also, I had a dinner meeting with one of my members of my REITMethod and InvestBursa online program, Arthur, who’s an expatriate educator at an international school in Mont Kiara. I was with my wife, while Arthur brought a friend/colleague, who hailed from Toronto, Canada. It was an evening filled with some very difficult questions he asked me relating to investing in the stock market. I don’t have all the answers; I am neither an analyst or a fortune teller. But I do believe there’s need to be invested in things that we understand, without needing me to look at my investments all the time. Oh, he treated me and my wife the dinner as well – I guess that’s some uncommon story where your online customers became your friend as well – that is if we do manage to add value to people’s lives.
Then I had a meeting with a blog supporter – let’s just call him Mr KS. KS is a 56 years old, retired comfortably. He called me to meet up at the lobby of Cititel hotel. What I want to highlight here is when I asked what I can do for him. He laughed and started to narrate an incident where he went to an authority figure in Malaysia on financial planning, and after 2 hours of “consultation”, the financial planner told him there’s nothing he could for for Mr KS. Holy shit, here’s an example of someone who’s so “well covered” with everything in place – including the estate planning part. He started to have this whole financial awareness in his early forties due to his unique career circumstances – and at that time he found it so hard to actually get someone knowledgeable to help him plan for his retirement. He figured it out the hard way and today he’s reaping what he sowed 15 years ago. What they say about the law of attraction? If you are going for something you believe in, you’ll get surrounded by like minded-people. These people can be your inspiration, mentor and just someone you would definitely look up to. And I am definitely humbled when he told me he wished there was someone who blogs about personal finance and sharing knowledge in the public domain like myself, 15 years ago. Well my good friend KCLau started way earlier than me, and he’s also someone who inspired me to do what I am doing now.
Then when I reached back to Penang, there’s these few letters in my mailbox. My REIT dividend vouchers to be exact. One of the truest form of passive income. And their corresponding hardcopy annual reports – you only get this if you are in the unitholders list at the end of the year.
Looking back, it was very satisfying to know that starting HowToFinanceMoney.com has brought me new opportunities, meeting new people whom I would have never known if it weren’t for my blog and also making an impact, even just a little, in people’s lives. I’ll get some testimonials posted here soon.
p/s- REITMethod.com, my first online collaboration program with KCLau.com on Malaysia REIT investment will re open for enrollment in early April since the last enrolment in Nov 2012. Stay tuned for the exact launch date.