Straits Times: Sun, Dec 25
Indonesian businesswoman Conny Ngadiman, 42, wants a fast turnaround when it comes to her investments.
She entered the Singapore property market in 2005 and has made some money from her investments.
But she also experienced her worst investment after selling off a property quickly. She considers it a lesson learnt.
Ms Ngadiman is married to Mr Sioe Ronaldi Sundoro, 47. They have three sons.
She is based in Singapore with her sons and set up interior design and renovation firm 02 Heaven this year as it is an area she is interested in.
Q: Are you a spender or saver?
I spend about $60,000 a month. A lot of it goes towards paying the premiums for my insurance policies and the rest is for business expansion and family expenses like groceries.
Q: How much do you charge to your credit cards every month?
I have 10 credit cards, including four from United Overseas Bank and one from Citibank.
I enjoy collecting platinum credit cards and have never been late in paying my bills.
I just swipe my card when I see something I like. Last month, I bought five items, including a pair of Gucci shoes, a Louis Vuitton bag and a Bottega Veneta bag.
But I do not need so many bags or clothes. I will give away the bags to my friends.
Q: What financial planning have you done for yourself?
I invested in properties in Singapore but not any more. I do not want to pay the seller's stamp duty, which is very high.
I like insurance. If I do not put my money in insurance, I will just spend on shopping. I have many policies, which will provide me with a good payout for my retirement years.
I also buy policies for my children. For example, I have one short-term endowment policy for each child's education. They offer coverage of $225,000 to $450,000 and I pay between $2,000 and $4,000 a month in premiums for the policies.
Q: Moneywise, what were your growing-up years like?
I have two older brothers and one younger brother. My parents used to be in the coffee-trading business but are now retired.
We were the only ones in the kampung to have a car.
I like to save money and bought my first gold bar when I was nine years old.
My parents like to buy gold and they would keep it in the house.
Q: How did you get interested in investing?
My first investment was in a jewellery shop in Indonesia. It was made together with my husband.
It gave me my first pot of gold. From there, I started to grow my business empire by branching out into property investments.
Then I went on to set up branches of my jewellery shop.
We have since closed the branches. We decided to do that after we were robbed at gunpoint. Now we have just one jewellery shop in Indonesia, which my husband is running. His family is in the gold-trading and bird's nest-farming business.
Q: What properties do you own?
I co-own several properties with my husband. They are mostly in Indonesia. They include nine townhouses, the upcoming Okuta Loft in Bali and a few pieces of land - of which the biggest plot is 4ha - that are worth about $1 million in total.
My first Singapore property purchase was a unit at Gardenvista in Dunearn Road. I bought it in 2005 for nearly $700,000.
Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?
My black Mercedes-Benz R300, which cost $306,888.
There was a roadshow in Ngee Ann City and the saleswoman said I could buy the car. I thought it was a joke because I have tried many times to buy a car in Singapore but the dealers could not sell one to me because I do not have a driving licence here.
Anyway, I needed to give her only my credit card for the $10,000 deposit, so I thought, why not?
Surprisingly, my application was approved and I was given a year to convert my licence. So I bought it even though I prefer a BMW.
Q: What's your retirement plan?
I plan to embark on a charitable programme to help needy children with the profits from my upcoming hotel project in Bali, Okuta Loft.
Q: Home is now....
A 1,751 sq ft Pearl Bank apartment, which I bought for $1.65 million in July. It is in a convenient location off Outram Road.
Q: I drive....
My black Mercedes-Benz R300.
WORST AND BEST BETS
Q: What's your worst investment to date?
My worst investment was my Tanglin View condominium, which I sold in 2009 at a loss of about $400,000.
I paid $1.5 million for the unit back in 2007-08.
My agent called me when I was in a hospital in Indonesia attending to my son.
I was so busy that I told him if he could get about $850,000 for me without any viewings, he should just sell it. I later realised it was worth $1.2 million.
Q: And your best?
This was another property, Vida in District 9. I sold it this year for a profit of $500,000.
I paid $1.8 million for it in early 2009. Once I stepped into the apartment, I had already made money from it.
Source: The Straits Times