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How John Goh Learned about Investing...and so can you...

Written by Dennis Ng on .

This was what made me very happy last Sunday.
 
This guy being interviewed in Sunday Times said he learned from Robert Kiyosaki and also Dennis Ng!
 
Looks like the time I spent writing articles and to publish this book has not been wasted.
 
 
Q: How did you get interested in investing?

I was in my mid-30s. My friends showed me how to open a trading account to buy stocks. I then started to educate myself on investing, and read many books on it. The books that had a great impact on me included Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki; The ABCs Of Real Estate Investing by Ken McElroy; Automatic Millionaire and Start Late, Finish Rich by David Bach; and Managing Your Personal Finance by Dennis Ng.

click on this link http://www.asiaseminarworkshop.com/101-7.html

 

To buy my book “Mastering Your Personal Finance” at a Special Price of S$15.90, 20% discount from retail price of S$19.90 and S$6 per book sold will be donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

 
The book will be mailed (no extra charges) to you in 2 weeks’ time, (address within Singapore only).
 
 
Apr 4, 2010
Late starter making up for lost time
Teacher, who didn't start investing until his mid-30s, bought three properties in 12 months
 

While Mr John Goh, 41, regrets not knowing how to make his money grow earlier in life, he now has an investment portfolio comprising properties, stocks and land banking. The secondary school chemistry teacher reads voraciously on the subject to educate himself on investing. -- ST PHOTO: TERENCE TAN

Lorna Tan
Senior Correspondent

For years, Mr John Goh's idea of financial planning was to squirrel his teacher's salary into a low-interest bank account. A science graduate from the National University of Singapore, he has been a secondary school chemistry teacher for the past 17 years.

But he has since become a savvy investor too. He said he regretted not knowing how to make his money grow till he was in his mid-30s.

'No one taught me to manage my finances and to invest. My earnings went into my savings account which was paying a miserable interest,' said Mr Goh, 41.

Then his friends showed him how to open a trading account to trade in stocks about six years ago. Since then, he has voraciously read many books on the subject. Author Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad had a particular impact on him.

Inspired, he decided not to depend solely on his job to provide an income, but to achieve different streams of passive income by making his money work harder for him.

His current investment portfolio comprises properties, stocks and land banking.

Taking a leaf from the book of Mr Kiyosaki, who made his millions from real estate, Mr Goh sold his landed property last year and bought three properties, two of which are investment properties for renting out.

He says his is a 'disciplined approach' when property hunting. He looks for homes near public transport like the MRT stations and bus stops that will offer a positive cash flow and that will provide healthy rentals. He will view about 30 units in a chosen area before making an offer.

His wife Jennifer Tan, 39, is also a teacher and they have a son, Joshua, 12.
Q: Are you a spender or saver?

I am more of a saver than a spender. I save 30 per cent to 40 per cent of my salary.

 

Q: How much do you charge to your credit cards every month?
I usually do not charge more than $2,000 a month. A credit card is a double-edged sword. If you do not pay your credit on time, the penalty fee is going to hurt you badly. I have three cards but use only one actively for easy monitoring of expenses. Almost all my bills are on Giro so I do not waste time on the chore of bill payment, and the bills are paid promptly too. I withdraw $1,000 from the ATM twice a month.

 

Q: What financial planning have you done for yourself?

Almost half of my money is invested in properties which I believe is the best way to grow my money. Singapore is, after all, a small island with limited land. I also diversify so as to spread out my risks. It is not good to put all my eggs in one basket.
About 30 per cent of my money is in unit trusts and insurance. I like unit trusts that have achieved a consistently good performance for the last three years with more than 10 per cent annual returns.

 

I have four whole life policies, three investment-linked insurance plans and one endowment policy. I'm covered by about $1 million on my life and I have a $200,000 critical illness cover. I pay about $12,000 in annual premiums.

About 10 per cent of my money is in stocks. I prefer blue chips that give high dividends; some stocks I have are StarHub, Singapore Press Holdings, SingPost and OCBC preference shares. I select stocks with low valuations and high dividends.
About 5 per cent is in land banking and the rest is in cash. My target rate of return for my portfolio is 7 per cent.

 

Q: Moneywise, what were your growing-up years like?

My mother was a housewife and my father was an odd-job labourer. I am an only child because my parents were very poor and could not afford to raise another child.

 

They paid $40 a month to rent a room in an old shophouse next to the current Bugis MRT station. But my teenage years saw things improving. My parents bought a three-room HDB flat at Rochor Centre, and they are still living there. Since childhood, I have learnt that money is not easy to earn and I must cherish what I have.

Q: How did you get interested in investing?
I was in my mid-30s. My friends showed me how to open a trading account to buy stocks. I then started to educate myself on investing, and read many books on it. The books that had a great impact on me included Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki; The ABCs Of Real Estate Investing by Ken McElroy; Automatic Millionaire and Start Late, Finish Rich by David Bach; and Managing Your Personal Finance by Dennis Ng.

 

Q: What property do you own?

I got married in 1996 and bought my first home, a three-room HDB flat at Rochor Centre for $250,000. It made sense as it was very near my parents' flat and they helped to take care of my son.
I 'lost' $50,000 when I sold my flat in 2002 for $200,000. But I took the opportunity to upgrade and bought a one-storey, 2,000 sq ft freehold terrace house in Sembawang Hills estate at a low price of $820,000.
In April last year, I applied what I learnt about property investments and leveraging and sold my terrace house for $965,000 to free up cash.
I then bought three houses. One was a 21/2-storey, 2,900 sq ft corner terrace in Sembawang Hills estate, bought in April for $1.43 million. The current market value is about $2.2 million.

 

I bought, also last year, in September, a 2,662 sq ft penthouse unit at Nuovo in Yio Chu Kang for $1.18 million. It is being rented out at $4,600 monthly.

Finally, in January this year, I bought a three-storey, 3,200 sq ft terrace house at Century Woods in Marsiling for $1.14 million. It is next to the Singapore American School and should fetch a rental of at least $5,500 when construction is completed.

 

I made sure that my home loans are on fixed rates and my investment properties must be able to attract tenants easily, to generate a positive cash flow. This simply means that the rental income that I get is more than enough to pay the bank loan so there is sufficient buffer.

 

Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?

It was the 10-day family vacation trip to Canada two years ago that cost me $10,000.

 

Q: What's your retirement plan?

I will not retire fully. Having too much free time is not a good idea. When I have a monthly cash flow of $5,000 from my rental income, dividends and interest from my investments, I will consider semi-retirement in my 50s. I will become a financial literacy educator or property agent. I'll also be more active in church ministry. Hopefully, I will have grandchildren to look after as I like to spend time with children.

 

Q: Home is now...

The corner terrace in Sembawang Hills estate.
 
Q: I drive...
A silver Nissan Latio.