Thursday, August 7, 2008

Original Interview : FatherSez

  1. Tell us a bit about his childhood and how it affects his practice on personal finance ?My father was not born rich. He told me he had to walk to and back from school for more than 12km everyday. He had started working after school at a very young age. There was one time when his school pants was too short (as it was expensive to buy a new one), that he vowed this will never happen to any of his children if his children needed anything. My uncle supported my father's schooling and my father had always remind us that this type of love is very important in family. My father would tell us that if not for my uncle, my father wouldn't be at where he was when he was still alive. My father had started working at a shop which sells cloth. He did the basic accounting record at the shop. I am not sure how old he was at that time. But I am sure he was still in primary school at that time.My father wasvery very hardworking. This habit was instilled in himself at a very young age. Therefore, my father cant sit and relax. He always needs to do any productive things. Doing accounting basics at a young age had affected my father's decision to be an accountant and he had learn to save at a very young age, buying things with his own money at a very young age-thus appreciating things more (compare d to those who gets things in life easily, like myself).
  1. If you can remember, what is his Zodiac and Astrology signs ? Sagittarus
  2. What are the things he likes to do during his free time, ie. his hobbies ? And what does he most dislike about ?My father loves to read. He likes to go for an evening and morning walk whenever he is free. He loves to meet up with old friends and make new friends and catch up with them. He also likes gardening (but he doesnt seem to have much time for that). Free time is very subjective question to be applied to my late father actually, because while driving he can "zikir" and calculate the plate numbers-e.g 4123 . My father would plus 4+1+2+3=11 , then 1+ 1= 2. Until he gets an individual number. He does this to every plate numbers which he can see at the road. He had told me this is how he exersice the brain. We play family games whenever everyone is free-like monopoly, saidina, chess, scrabbles-as winning is not important in our family, but playing is. Outing and eating out used to be in our family diary. He loves nature.
  1. What is his favorite colors and numbers ? Any most dislikes ?My father seems to like all colours, especially those which are bright and shiny like metallic cream/silver/white. He dislike black.
  1. What is his favorite food ? What does he hate most ? My father likes indian food. He does not eat crab and lobster/prawn. 
  1. Has he ever mentioned whom he would like to meet most ? What would he ask him ?Nope. I think its people who would want to meet him. :) I feel my father would want to meet singers-ABBA and Michael Jackson. He had told me once that people like him wouldnt mind paying to meet legendary singers.
  1. What is the best and worst feeling he has ever had ?The best feeling would be when he sees all of his children /loved ones are happy. Worst is when we are sad and he could not do anything to help us. We meant the world to him, as you can feel from his blog.
  1. What is the last thing he does before go to sleep ?Wish us goodnight and kiss us on the forehead.
  1. What is the first thing he does when you wake up ?He would say "MashaAllah. It is already (fill in the time).... a.m. Then wish us goodmorning and kiss us on the forehead or head. And sometimes he would sing, Early to bed, early to rise, makes jack healty, wealthy and wise. This is actually a humor song. Which holds a very important reminder.
  1. If he were to build a personal finance portfolio for a young man who has similar life path as his, what would that be ? I am not sure, but one thing for sure, he would tell the young man to save 10% of his income and invest it somewhere.And learn about the power of compounding interest. As the income grows, the percentage of saving should also be increased.  A close friend of mine (now fiance) had once asked my father where can he invest the RM1000 which he had save, my father had advise him to start with something like ASB account, as it is not risky for newbies.
  1. Before he passes on, if he bumps into an old friend he hasn't met in years, friend asked what he does for a living, how would he answer in 2 to 3 sentences ? He would not answer the question, basically he would say he is busy "taking care of his kerepots" (which is us). My father was an accountant by profession and financial consultant by the way. If he did answer  the question, he would say , he is just a "kuli". He was always very humble.
  1. If he was not doing what he was doing then, what would he be doing ?He would be a scientist. My father graduated with Dinstinction, physics degree from University Malaya. My father was very bright, positive, honest and hardworking. I felt he would excel in anything he plan to do.
  1. How much time does he spend on your personal finance blog ? The longest I think would be the whole day. This was when he was still very new with the blogging world. And then he starts to organize topics and blog maximum 1 or 2 hours per day. My father had a schedule which states what he would write about for weeks to come.
  1. What is the main objective of his blog, is it initially profit oriented and who are his targeted blog readers ?As you can see from the blog, I feel my father intention was he wanted to share personal finance knowledge with parents (so that both sides can become a better parent -the reader and writer) as we are not taught about personal finance management at school, we are definetely not taught to save and invest at school. We learn about it wayyy after school was over and working life comes. I also feel that my father wrote the blog for us, to learn and read what he had encountered in his and our mother's life.  He would't want us to go through the same hardship, pitfalls etc. So, if he could also help others regarding this matter, I feel his objective was definitely met. No it was not initially profit oriented. It was initially set up to share knowledge. His targeted blog readers are meant for parents. But he writes in simple language where everybody can understand-even my youngest sister could.
  1. What is the biggest achievement his blog so far ? Having his children and extended family members reading it. Achievement is when someone finds your blog useful and meaningful just by reading one post. Achievement is when people keep coming to read your past post(s) and apply the knowledge.
  1. Tell us one URL other than he own that his readers should read about ?Mighty bargain hunter & Cleverdude to name some. You can check it out from the blogroll  from fathersez website. You can try interviewing all of them :)
  1. How many more years do you think his blog will exist for and how do you plan to finance his blog forever if planned to at all ? As long the internet exist, his blog will be there. with our hard earned money, one of the thing we as children will contribute to let the world know of his legacy.  
  1. The world is big, many people have different point of views and emotions. If he met someone who called you geek, liar, cheaters because he himself didn't do what you preach, how would he handle them? He will listen to both side of the story first. Jumping into conclusion in not in his vocab. If he's on the wrong side, he will apologize and improve himself and his family.
  1. What do you think about these interview questions and how this interview session can be improved ? I think it is cool, and I prefer it this way. Only that I would be happier if I have a deadline. Instead of me setting my own deadline.
  1. Would you be interested to meet other finance bloggers in person ? If yes. Sure, on one fine day.
21. How are you related to Fathersez ?
Fathersez was our beloved late father, mentor, and bestfriend. Our daddy cool...

22. What is the biggest legacy Fathersez has left you ?
His endless love,  knowledge, kindness and antics.
Biggest legacy was his book which he wrote for us siblings. Anyone can take everything you have, but they can't take away the knowledge which you have. Learning and growing is one of the very important message in the book.
23. What is Fathersez's influence on your own personal finance concepts ? My father had influenced us to be independent and better each day, in terms of personal finance. We are still growing and learning how to cope. Our  father had influenced us to start investing early. We do not have much investment portfolio yet, but hopefully in the near future we would. My father had influence us to share and read more about PF.
My father had told me if any of us get married to the wrong guy (abusive, controlling, who are not wanting us to grow)-he would be the saddest person. He had told us to work, learn  whenever we can and have our own money. So that If anything happen to me or my siblings, we can cry for 5 minutes-and move on with our life. Tragedies happen when you lost the people you love, and worst ever, when you do not have anything for you to cope with this life (income, shelter etc).
My father had told us that siblings are just like the fingers in one hand. One injured, it would affect the whole hand. Therefore, if one of us are better off in life, we should always help each other. Helping others are also important, whereby helping them to fish instead of giving them the fish.
My father always like singing "work while you work, play while you play, that is the way, to be happy and gay!". This influences me a lot (at the moment) ,  as I seriously need to learn how to be efficent at work and use my free time for family and friends.
24. How would you be sharing personal finance with your friends and future legacy ?
Probably by writing in a Blog, through real-life conversation and publishing a book.
25. What is the one statement to sum up the site in your opinion ?
Priceless. You better read it as much as you can as you are getting free advice from a financial consultant and a loving and kind father/person.