Straits Times: Sun, Feb 19
Mr Sky Tan Keang Leng, 35, invested $100,000 to start his own interior design business Sky Creation here in 2008.
Today, it has an office in Shanghai and is moving its office in Johor Baru to Kuala Lumpur soon. There are plans to enter other regional markets such as Thailand and Hong Kong.
'If my business doesn't grow, I won't attract
talent,' Mr Tan says. 'I want to see how far I can go.'
But his expansion is carefully planned, he says.
'I have to think of rainy days. Everyone will go through life with ups and downs, so we have to be prepared for it.'
Now that his business is on track for growth, Mr Tan can look at building up his property portfolio. He is also studying for a professional postgraduate diploma in marketing. His wife Angel Ong, 33, helps out with his company's accounts. The couple have two children, aged one and four.
Q: Are you a spender or a saver?
I save more than half of my monthly pay. I spend mostly on food, comic books and foot reflexology.
I collect comics. I have at least 1,000 of them in my collection. In recent months, I have been spending a few hundred dollars a month to build up my collection.
Q: How much do you charge to your credit cards every month?
I charge about $2,000 plus every month. These are for my personal expenses and I pay up every month.
Q: What financial planning have you done for yourself?
I have insurance coverage of around $1 million and I invest in properties and my business. I try to make more money while I can so that I can give my family more security. I don't want them to have to suffer.
Q: Moneywise, what were your growing-up years like?
I grew up with my parents and an elder brother. My dad was a warehouse supervisor and my mum was a housewife. We were poor so I understood the importance of money and planning for the future.
I have not taken a single cent from my family ever since my dad was retrenched from his job during my national service days. That and his subsequent death taught me that I need to work hard and have good financial planning for my loved ones in case of unforeseen circumstances. My family is what keeps me going.
Q: How did you get interested in investing?
My childhood friend Keegan Chan, who is a financial consultant, got me interested in investing. My first investment was an investment and savings plan that I bought from him 10 years back.
Q: What property do you own?
I have a fully paid-up five-room flat in Hougang, which I bought for $330,000 in 1999.
I also own a 1,367 sq ft four-room condominium unit in The Luxurie in Sengkang. I bought it for $1.44 million last year. It will be ready in a few years' time.
Last month, I bought a 527 sq ft suite in the newly launched Watertown in Punggol for $660,000, or just more than $1,200 per sq ft. I will rent it out when it is built. I believe it is a good buy because it is integrated with Punggol MRT station and is near many shops.
I will continue to grow my property portfolio yearly but I want to buy only something within my means. I am therefore thinking of buying a property in Johor Baru next.
Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?
My car, an Audi A7. I bought it for around $280,000 last year. I have no regrets as it was all along my dream car. Previously, I drove an Audi A6.
Q: What's your retirement plan?
I am a workaholic. I enjoy my work and never think of retiring. I want to be financially independent before the age of 40.
I will reach my goal with my property investments and my business. Although I have no intention of retiring, it is my wish to travel around the world with my wife when we are older.
Q: Home is now....
My five-room HDB flat in Hougang.
Q: I drive....
A white Audi A7.
WORST AND BEST BETS
Q: What's your worst investment to date?
I invested around $30,000 to open a bag shop in Queensway Shopping Centre in 2008 with a partner. I had previously done retail sales.
But we closed the shop after several months when we went into the red and I made a loss of $2,000.
Q: What is your best investment to date?
I bought a three-bedroom condo unit in Thomson area for nearly $900,000 at the end of 2008 and sold it for about $1.3 million a year later.
Source: The Straits Times