A HOBBY can be more than just a pleasant past-time activity. With some effort and perhaps a little bit of luck, it can make you money. One famous example is Famous Amos, the popular US-based cookie company.
While not many will strike gold with their hobbies like the founder of Famous Amos, here are some examples of individuals who have managed to turn their favourite past-times into decent money churners.
Adelyn Koh currently owns and runs the Junk Book Store, which, according to the Malaysia Book of Records, is the biggest second-hand bookstore in the country.
But the idea of selling second-hand books actually started from a hobby, or rather passion for old books, says Koh.
“Yes, it started from a hobby of my husband’s. He used to collect a lot of books and then one day we felt, why not try selling them?”
The rest, as they say, is history. Koh now operates from a three-storey shoplot in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, which is just five minutes away from Central Market a long way from humble beginnings of selling books from a 600 sq ft room in Jalan Ampang.
Junk Book Store, established in 1990, today has an inventory of more than one million rare and used books, with the oldest book dating back to the 19th century.
Many individuals are known for “being good with their hands,” and don’t realise its significance until someone else starts appreciating it.
For Ratnam, 58, who resides in Johor, tinkering with his 1967 Volkswagen Beetle when he was in his 20s was nothing more than just a weekend hobby.
“I started small, first just changing the engine oil and perhaps adjusting the brakes. Than I moved on to bigger jobs, like engine overhaul and transmission replacements. It was always a hobby and I had no intention of doing it for profit,” he says.
Then one fine day, a friend, who also owned a Volkswagen Beetle, couldn’t get it started and went to Ratnam for help.
“I managed to diagnose the problem quickly and got it started,” he says, adding that he did not charge his friend in return for the help.
“My friend kept coming back for minor jobs and would occasionally introduce me to some of his associates (who also owned Volkswagen Beetles) and they started bringing their cars to me for repairs.
“I never asked for payment but many of them felt obliged to pay me. Now, more than 20 years on, I still get people coming to me to repair their (Volkswagen) cars for them and it provides me with some pocket money,” says Ratnam.
A retired postal worker, Ratnam says he’s practically a full-fledged mechanic today.
“It started out as a hobby. Little did I know it would help me make extra money now that I’m retired.”
Khatijah, 64, from Kuala Lumpur, used to bake cookies for her son, a banker, and his colleagues. Soon, word spread and she was preparing food for the entire office.
“I first started baking them on weekends for the family. My son would take the remaining biscuits to work the next day. Initially, I started making extra because his colleagues also wanted to taste the cookies.
“Soon, I started getting requests from the bank manager himself. Some of them wanted the cookies for their family and friends and the orders started getting bigger,” Khatijah says, adding that she makes a “nice small income” from her cookies and biscuits.
Many individuals who are active in sports or just do it as a hobby have managed to reap more than just its “health benefits.”
Kepong Baru-based Universe Gym manager-cum-trainer John Anthony was just a regular member at the gym when it began operations in the late-80s. Then, it was owned and run by a close friend of his.
“I would go to the gym in the evenings to exercise, just like anyone else. I would help to take over whenever my friend had to leave the gym to attend to personal matters.”
Due to unforeseen circumstances, John’s friend passed away and the gym was closed for about a month.
Fearing that the business would be sold off, John took it upon himself to reopen the gym and manage it on a temporary basis until a suitable partner could take over its operations.
“No one else wanted to take over and the gym was just idling away. I felt that it would have been a waste if it was shut down,” he says.
That was in 1996. Fast forward to today and John is still running the gym. What’s more, business has grown and its members have more than tripled.
“We’ve also shifted to a bigger location and (we’re) now the most hard-core gym in Kepong,” he says in jest, adding that he now mans the gym on a daily basis and earns a reasonable side income from it.
John says most of the money is used to maintain and upgrade the gym.
Khalid, 32, from Terengganu, aspired to become a professional football player when he was younger but opted to do something else when he realised that teaching was his true calling.
He still has a passion for the sport and on weekends organises football classes for kids.
“It was a hobby of mine (playing football) and it still is. As a teacher, my weekends are free and I thought, why not try to earn some extra income from it?”
Khalid says he started giving free football lessons to his siblings’ children at a nearby field and soon “the group” got bigger.
“Today, I’m coaching kids from my entire neighbourhood,” he says, adding that he does make much from the lessons he gives.
“It’s not much, but I don’t really do it for the money. The money is just a bonus,” Khalid says.
Ingin tahu rahsia kebebasan kewangan dan juga kebahagiaan? Adakah anda ingin tahu satu perkara yang dapat menyelesaikan kebimbangan kewangan anda dan pada masa yang sama memberikan kegembiraan dalam hidup anda?
Rahsia tersebut ialah – hidup dalam kemampuan anda, atau kata orang putih “live within your means”. Satu perkara ini saja adalah kunci sebenar kepada kebahagian hidup dan kebebasan kewangan anda.
Hidup dalam kemampuan anda. Nampak terlalu asas dan mudah, tetapi tidak ramai yang dapat melakukannya. Sebaliknya ramai yang terus berusaha untuk kekal mengamalkan gaya hidup yang melebihi pendapatan mereka. Apapun amaun pendapatan, mereka akan menghabiskan kesemuanya dan berbelanja lebih lagi. Sudah pastinya ini akan membawa mereka kepada masalah kewangan yang kronik.
Tapi, apakah sebenarnya yang dimaksudkan dengan hidup dalam kemampuan anda ini? Ianya melibatkan beberapa perkara. Pertama, apapun pendapatan anda, berbelanjalah kurang daripadanya setiap bulan. Kedua, adalah membeli perkara yang anda benar-benar mampu sahaja tanpa melampaui sumber kewangan anda.
NOTA: Gambar NGC menarik di atas menunjukkan sekumpulan unta di padang pasir. Warna hitam hanyalah bayang-bayang unta. Perhatikan unta sebenar adalah yang berwarna putih.
Setelah ditegur oleh Bank Negara, CIMB menarik balik kenaikan BLR yang diumumkan beberapa hari lepas.
Kadar BLR kini kembali kepada kadar asal 6.3%. Apapun, kemungkinan besar BLR akan dinaikkan juga pada suku ketiga nanti. Jadi bersedialah untuk membayar lebih untuk loan asb dan loan rumah anda.
Petikan penuh drp bizstar:
KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Bank Bhd and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd will not raise their respective base lending rate (BLR) and base financing rate (BFR). The two banks yesterday backtracked on their decisions in under 24 hours after having announced a rise of five basis points (bps) on lending rates on Wednesday.
Industry observers said this could be a signal for other banks to follow suit and keep their lending rates at the current level.
This is probably the first time in the domestic banking industry that banks reversed on their calls to raise the BLR in such a short span of time after an announcement was made.
Industry sources said CIMB reversed its decision following an indication from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to all banks yesterday that they should not raise the BLR on account of the increase of the statutory reserve requirement (SRR) by the central bank.
“BNM told banks that the SRR is not the benchmark to be used to raise their BLR, as the purpose of raising the SRR is to manage the liquidity in the financial system,” an industry source said.
An industry observer said instead of the SRR, the movement in the overnight policy rate (OPR) would be a more suitable benchmark for banks to revise their BLR. The OPR was kept at 2.75% at the latest monetary policy committee meeting on March 11.
In a statement yesterday, CIMB’s banking units — CIMB Bank and CIMB Islamic Bank — said they had revised their earlier decision to raise the BLR and BFR to 6.35%,
which were to take effect from April 4.
“As a result of this, CIMB Bank and CIMB Islamic Bank will maintain their BLR and BFR at 6.3%,” the banking group said.
On Wednesday, CIMB said it would increase its BLR, following BNM’s decision to raise SRR to 2% from 1% with effect from yesterday.
A report by AmResearch Sdn Bhd yesterday said CIMB’s move to raise its BLR was “unexpected” as BNM had hinted that banks should wait for a while before they
start to consider raising their BLR.
“The increase in BLR by five bps is positive for CIMB. This is because opportunity costs benchmark is estimated to increase simplistically by only three bps, based on our estimates,” AmResearch said.
An industry observer also considered CIMB’s move to increase its BLR surprising, given that traditionally it was Malayan Banking Bhd — the country’s largest bank in terms of assets — that would be the first in raising the key lending rate.
Should the BLR be raised, industry observers said competition among banks was expected to rise, as all other players were also likely to do the same.
Currently, most banks offer home mortgages at the rate of BLR minus 2.4%. An industry observer noted some banks were even prepared to offer BLR minus 2.5% without the typical five-year lock-in period to attract business.
A banking analyst said while the increase in the SRR was unlikely to squeeze banks’ net interest margin, banks raising their BLR would ensure that higher cost of funds was passed on to borrowers. AmResearch said there could be a possibility of further SRR increases by BNM.
During the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis, BNM cut the SRR to 4% from almost 14% in 1996 to boost liquidity in the financial system.
The SRR was maintained at that level until 2008, but was reduced to 1% in March 2009, a move to further boost the liquidity following the global credit crunch.
However, some analysts reckoned that BNM might not increase the SRR, as it could be looking at raising key interest rates instead.
“There is a possibility that BNM is looking at raising key interest rates by 25bps in the monetary policy committee meeting in July, following concerns of rising inflation,” an analyst said.
He added that the central bank could undertake another hike in the OPR in the second half of the year, depending on the global developments then.
BNM had increased interest rates by a total of 75bps last year to 2.75% currently.
The low interest rate environment in the past few years has helped spur property purchases, which in turn pushed up demand for home loans. Consequently, most banks have shifted their focus to consumer loans, including mortgages and car loans.
For housing loans, banks offered competitive rates ranging from BLR minus 2.2% to BLR minus 2.5% in 2009, following BNM’s gradual move to cut key interest rates to 2% in February 2009 from 3.5% in 2008.
The near cutthroat competition ended in October 2009 when banks agreed to standardise home financing rates at BLR minus 1.8% to BLR minus 1.9%.
However, in 2010, the price war re-emerged, following the move by some foreign banks to bring down their financing rates.
An analyst noted that the banks adopted a “volume play” strategy at low interest rate cycle, meaning they would take in as many loans as they could even at razor thin margins, in hopes of earning a bigger margin when interest rate starts to climb in future years.
Ini berita yang kurang enak hari ini. Bila ada satu bank naikkan BLR, pasti yang lain pun akan ikut sama. Kita tunggu sajalah dalam seminggua dua ni.
Petikan penuh dari bizstar:
KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Bank Bhd and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd have announced an increase in their base lending rate (BLR) and base financing rate (BFR) by five basis points from 6.3% to 6.35%, effective from April 4.
A statement by the CIMB Group said that the change in the rates followed Bank Negara’s decision to increase the statutory reserve ratio requirement by 1% to 2% with effect from tomorrow. Bernama
1. Kurangkan bil telefon. Renungkan, anda membayar menggunakan duit hanya untuk bercakap. Jika membeli suatu benda, sekurang-kurangnya anda dapat melihat barang tersebut secara fizikal. Tapi untuk telefon, anda berbual, bayar, tapi tiada benda fizikal yang diperolehi.
2. Beli peralatan mandian dan solekan yang murah. Setiap hari kita dihujani dengan iklan-iklan yang menunjukkan cara menjaga tubuh badan anda. Syampu atau yang sabun yang berjenama tidak akan membuatkan anda lebih hygien atau pembersih. Tubuh kita mengeluarkan bau yang semulajadi, jadi kenapa pula anda membiarkan syarikat pengiklanan yang menentukan apa yang terbaik untuk badan anda.
3. Pilih senaman yang anda mampu. Tidak perlu menyertai kelab-kelab yang mahal. Tidak perlu membeli peralatan senaman yang di luar kemampuan kewangan. Senaman yang paling berkesan ialah berenang dan berlari. Murah dan tidak memerlukan kos.
4. Gunakan perbankan online. Anda akan dapat menjimatkan masa daripada terpaksa memandu ke bank atau pejabat pos untuk membayar bil. Menjimatkan petrol, tol dan bayaran letak kereta. Dan anda tidak akan terlepas tarikh membayar lewat, kerana anda boleh melakukan pembayaran ke hadapan.
5. Beli barang berkualiti. Konsep yang mudah, barang berkualiti biasanya lebih tahan lama. Tapi kena bezakan antara jenama dan kualiti, kerana yang anda mahukan ialah kualiti bukan jenama. Dengan barangan berkualiti, anda dapat berjimat dengan tidak perlu membeli barang tersebut lebih kerap.
6. Elakkan aksesori kereta. Membeli aksesori dan mengubahsuai tidak akan dapat menukar Kancil atau sebarang kereta kepada kereta F1. Terimalah kereta tersebut seadanya, dan nikmatilah keseronokan menaikinya.
7. Jangan mengejar fesyen. Kualiti yang perlu anda cari bukannya fesyen. Berpakaian mengikut aliran fesyen hanya akan mengeringkan poket anda. Lebih baik berpakaian mengikut cara konvensional, ia tidak akan pernah ketinggalan fesyen.
Socrates adalah seorang ahli falsafah Greek yang terkenal. Beliau akan merayau di pasar Athens, berhenti dari satu gerai ke satu gerai yang lain, sambil mengkagumi barang yang dipamerkan. Tapi, walaupun sering ke pasar, beliau tidak pernah membeli sebarang barangan. Apabila kawannya bertanya sebabnya, beliau menjawab “Saya sentiasa kagum melihat betapa banyaknya barang yang dipamerkan yang tidak saya perlukan”.
Ini berlaku pada kurun 400 sebelum masihi. Maknanya, kini lebih banyak lagi barang yang dijual, yang sebenarnya tidak diperlukan oleh kita dan tidak berguna.
Kepada peminat produk Apple, ini berita yg agak menarik…tapi bila agaknya iPad2 akan sampai di Malaysia?
Petikan drp AP:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is back with a refined second-generation tablet computer that squeezes more power into a thinner shell while keeping prices in check. It’s a three-pronged push that should handily hold off competitors for another year.
Underscoring the tablet’s importance to Apple, CEO Steve Jobs briefly emerged from a medical leave Wednesday and made a surprising appearance to unveil the iPad 2 himself.
With the original iPad, Apple proved there is great demand for a tablet that’s less than a laptop and more than a smart phone, yet performs many of the same tasks. Dozens of copycat touch-screen devices are in the works, but so far none has broken into the mainstream consciousness the way the iPad has.
“The competition is essentially going to be picking up the crumbs that Apple decides to leave behind,” said Ashok Kumar, an analyst with Rodman & Renshaw.
He said the number of software applications — or “apps” — available for the iPad gives Apple a huge advantage.
“Is the tablet market anything beyond the iPad? So far the answer is no.”
Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester Research analyst, said iPads should make up at least 20 million of the 24.1 million tablet computers she expects people in the U.S. to buy this year.
Except for Jobs’ appearance, little came as a surprise after months of speculation about features and upgrades. The tablet has two cameras built in for taking photos, recording video and video chatting. The battery life will be the same as the original — about 10 hours of usage or a month on standby.
The iPad 2 is faster than its predecessor. Ross Rubin, an analyst for the market researchers NPD Group, said that should make the iPad better for creating music, video and other content, rather than just consuming it.
The iPad 2 is also thinner — 8.8 millimeters, or about a third of an inch, instead of the current 13.4 millimeters. It weighs just a bit less — 1.3 pounds, compared with the original 1.5 pounds.
With a $39 accessory, people can connect the tablet to televisions, so they can watch high-definition videos on the bigger screen.
The next-generation iPads will cost the same as the originals — $499 to $829, depending on storage space and whether they can connect to the Internet over a cellular network. Apple will add a white model to the current black. In the U.S., the iPad 2 will go on sale March 11 and work on AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.
Apple’s online store began selling the original models for $100 off, starting at $399. Refurbished versions were even lower, starting at $349.
A reporter who used a white iPad 2 immediately after the announcement found it noticeably thinner, with a more rounded back. YouTube video loaded quickly using AT&T’s data service, and “Toy Story 3” played smoothly. Given its size, the iPad 2 appeared impractical for taking lots of photos, but both cameras will help with video chats — the front one to show the caller, and the back one to show what the caller is seeing.
The iPad 2 shared the spotlight with the man who presented it — Jobs, who announced in January that he would take a third leave of absence to focus on his health. In the last decade, Jobs, 56, has survived a rare but curable form of pancreatic cancer and undergone a liver transplant.
Jobs, looking frail in his signature black mock turtleneck and blue jeans, was greeted with a standing ovation.
“We’ve been working on this product for a while, and I just didn’t want to miss today,” Jobs told an audience that included bloggers and Apple enthusiasts. “Thank you for having me.”
He did not address his health or say if and when he would return.
Tablet computers existed long before the iPad, but it took Apple to build a device that made sense to consumers. Apple simplified the software, designed a sleek, shiny shell and sold 15 million of the iPads in nine months.
The iPad was initially used for checking e-mail, surfing the Web and watching online video. But as the number of apps grew, the tablet made itself at home in offices, shops, restaurants and countless other settings.
Competitors including Dell Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have been trying since last year to lure consumers with smaller tablets, without much success. In February, Motorola Mobility Inc.’s Xoom went on sale with a new version of Google Inc.’s Android software that was designed for tablets, not smart phones.
For a moment, the Xoom looks promising, with a comparably sized screen, a faster processor and a few other bells and whistles the original iPad didn’t have. But the iPad 2 catches up again with dual cameras and a faster chip inside. It pulls ahead with a slimmer profile and the ever-expanding number of tablet-specific apps.
After its March 11 U.S. launch, the iPad 2 goes on sale March 25 in 26 other markets, including Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and other European countries.
Apple also introduced updates to the software that runs on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The company said the update, iOS 4.3, will work on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models, except the new version for Verizon Wireless.
Among other things, the new system turns iPhones and iPads with 3G cellular connections into personal Wi-Fi hotspots, so you can share the connection with computers or other devices — if your wireless carrier allows it. Many charge additional fees for this service.
Apple also announced new software designed for the iPad, including a $4.99 version of iMovie for video editing and a $4.99 version of GarageBand, its music recording and editing software. GarageBand includes instruments that can be played by touching the iPad 2’s screen, and it can even sense whether you’re tapping quietly or banging on the “keys.”
The company also said Random House became the last major publisher to agree to sell its titles in Apple’s e-books store.
Shares of Apple, which is based in Cupertino, Calif., rose $2.81, or less than 1 percent, to close Wednesday at $352.12.