Hassle in closing the trading account with Jupiter Securities

After sending out the forms to close the trading account with Jupiter Securities, I received a call from them on the second working day. The called was made by a man, Chan, who spoke as if he was sleeping.

 

He told me that my signature differ from the one I gave during my initial sign up. I was puzzled,as I did not change my signature at all. I asked him if he could scan and show me the previous form – to see how the signature differ. To my surprise, he said that his backroom office does not have a scanner but fax machine (what century is this?). He told me that he would check how different is the signature from the one I recently signed on, and will call me back shortly.

 

Five minutes later, he called me and said that my signature was missing an exclamation mark. I am not sure how true is it – as I could not remember how I signed recently and in the past. I had no prove. Then I told him if I could just print, sign, scan and email to him the form. I used ECM Money as an example – which allows me to do so. He said this is not the procedure. And subtly mentioned “why not just leave the trading account there?” He made me so mad! If I would have leave the account there, I would not have to go through this process. And told him off that it was my company policy that requires me to do so. I had no choice but to go through the process again – including wasting my courier fee.

 

After relating the incident to hubby, he told me to call the office direct and complain about this issue. So, I actually wrote an email explaining what has happened. Sadly, the same response was given to me via email – and with only slight apology.

 

What I am truly not happy about: when Chan told me to leave my account there. Is this a tactic for them to retain their database? Also, can’t they invest in buying/ renting a scan machine – which now most offices do have – 3 in 1 printer, scanner and fax?

Closing of trading accounts with ECM Money, HLe Broking and Jupiter Securities

Due to company HR policy, I am required to close down all my trading accounts. I had three trading accounts, which I signed up when I was in my previous job, because of one of my assignments. They are from ECM Money, HLe Broking and Jupiter Securities. Nevertheless, I totally underutilized them as I did not trade at all. I only used it for their research information. As a result, ECM Money and HLe Broking had my account suspended. Jupiter Securities was the most friendly to allow me to use their information without barring me.

When I wanted to close the trading accounts:

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  1. Jupiter Securities:

I actually made a call to them and their customer service officer asked me to come over to their office. Thinking that I will be on leave on August 17, I made an effort to go to their Subang Jaya branch. It was difficult to find the place and I called the office. It was lunch time and no one was in the office – but a person who is not related to the company – picked up my call and told me about no one is in the office during office hours. So, I called the headquarter’s customer service again, only to be told that I can drop them an email and they will send me the necessary documents to fill up. I did it when office re-opens after the Raya holidays. My email was responded within hours and I was required to fill up 3 forms and a letter, which I had n send to their office. I courier to them on the Saturday.

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2. HLe Broking

At first I thought I did not have to close the trading account since it was already suspended. But, I took an initiative to drop them an email asking if I need to close the account. Yes, I needed. My email was responded within hours and a form was attached with the email. Similarly, I was required to fill up the form and passed it back to them. I courier to them on the Saturday.

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3. ECM Money

For ECM Money, they did not have a customer service email at their website but to fill up their query form. After filling up and within hours, their officer called me. I told them my issue and he said that he can email me the form. The email was sent to me and I was only required to fill up, scan back and email back the form to them. This was so much easier.

On closure of the trading accounts, from my experience, ECM Money was the easiest – time consuming and cost saving. I was kind of furious of Jupiter Securities for making me go around about. Nevertheless, it is all done. Anyway, thankful for their service of providing me research information for free for  the past two years.

Cancelling AIA term life and life insurance policies

Picture Source: autocricket.com

I have made the decision to cancel three insurance policies after doing the insurance analysis for myself. Two being life policies and one being term life policies. So, I went back to AIA Customer Service at Menara Axis, PJ on Monday. This time round I was served by an Indian lady at counter 7. I wished I could have been served by the lady at counter 8 but she was occupied.

 

When I was at counter 7, I gave the lady the policy numbers. The first was the term life policy where there is no cash value and for about RM120 a year, I could get a life coverage of RM25,000 (meaning the amount would be part of my estate when I die). However, the anniversary date of the policy is in February. If I were to cancel the policy now, it means that the premium I have paid earlier this year will be just wasted. Therefore, the advice was to cancel the credit card payment instruction, which will lead to the lapsing of the policy and thus its auto cancellation next February. So, I agreed to do so.

 

For one of the life policies, its anniversary date is in December. Given that this is a life policy, there is some cash value to the policy. Similarly, I was told to do a cancellation of the credit card payment instruction. However, since this is a life policy that comes with cash values, I have to come again after the coming anniversary date to cancel the policy. The same goes to the other life policy that has an anniversary date in March. In short, I have to come again twice to cancel each of the policies. How frustrating is this. Both of these life policies only cover my life and there is no permanent disability coverage or medical coverage, and that was the reason for cancellation.

 

Sadly, nothing that I could do to save my time on this cancellation. I guess one good idea is to have purchase your life policies almost in the same month – but having said that, you would come to paying a huge amount in that particular month especially if you go for annual premium payment. On the service level, I think the lady at counter 7 is less friendly and helpful. Also, she appears snobbish to me.

 

 

 

Investing unit trust funds through Fundsupermart.com

I got to know about fundsupermart.com.my and its competitor e-unittrust.com.my through work in 2009. They are both platforms that allow investors to invest and monitor unit trust funds from different fund houses. It enables one to invest in funds from different fund houses without going through few agents. Another major benefit is its lower sales charge compared to investing with an agent. However, not all fund houses and not all their respective funds are in the platform. It depends on the fund houses’ willingness to market their funds on the platform. Some do not like the idea of online unit trust as it will affect their major sales force, which are the traditional unit trust sales agencies.

 

For me, I like the idea of online unit trust, despite the fact that I have agents who are willing to give me discounts on sales commission because:

  1. There is more privacy to my investment, as I will be handling the investment myself
  2. I would not be bugged into investing on a regular basis, but make my own decision to invest with any pressure.
  3. It is paperless and can be monitored online [i.e. environmental friendly].

 

Of the two platforms, I have actually signed up for fundsupermart.com since 2009, which I am more comfortable with and more established at that point of time. Even before I started to put my first sen into my account, fundsupermart has been actively sending me newsletter and invitation to their talks. In fact, at that point of time, I receive on a quarterly (or bi-monthly) basis, their magazine for free.

 

It was until August 13, 2010 that I made a small investment with them. I got to admit that I did not go through their FAQ before investing. I remembered making a mistake of investing before banking in the money. However, their live chat has helped me resolved the issue. It will be closed to two years that my account was left idle with this particular small investment. I do check on this investment manually through my excel sheet, as I seldom log into the system to do so unless they send me a statement informing me that there is an income distribution for my fund. This is when I will log in to update my total unit holdings.

 

Though one may see the setback of letting the investment unattended, I would like to applaud fundsupermart for consistently send the summary of my investment report. This makes it a form of reminder to me that I still have this investment.

 

It was until recently that I decided to “get active” to check on the system after receiving their e-statement. I had trouble opening the e-statement, which is password protected. I immediately emailed them to retrieve my password. In less than an hour, their client service officer, called Leann rang me up and taught me step by step on how to retrieve my password. I was certainly happy with their prompt service.

 

On the next day, I decided to log into their system again to see my transaction date. I want to find out the return of investment over the time frame of investment. I got to admit that my investment is currently at 7% loss. I went onto its live chat. And, it was immediately responded by Leann again and I got what I wanted.

 

I am happy to say that even I am a small customer, where I don’t think they earn much from me – after lying idle for a year plus not investing, then investing a small amount in two years, with low commission earned, free newsletter, free talks invitation and etc., they still treat me as a “special” customer. I guess if I were this customer with the traditional sales-commissioned agent, I won’t be getting this kind of treatment, except for some “cursing” (maybe?).

 

Keep up the good work fundsupermart.com. Looking forward to investing through this platform again, but only if I regain my confidence with unit trust funds. My confidence level is not due to the current losses, as I have made even bigger profits from my few investments into unit trust funds. But, I come to believe that……. [I shall leave this blank].

Setting up an “insurance policies” status

This has been a long overdue project that I promised myself to do since I left my job. I wanted to do this for a long time since my agent (who is also a family member) always say that my coverage seems inadequate but I am paying close to RM8k a year for the premiums. My objective is to find out the types of coverage and its coverage amount.

Finally, I proactively took the initiative to do so. To being with, I went through some websites and find the particular items that I would need before calling up the customer service. The items include:

  1. Policy number
  2. Type of policy
  3. Premium
  4. Premium mode
  5. Anniversary date
  6. What are the coverage?
    1. Life coverage
    2. Medical card/ Hospitalisation coverage
    3. Critical illness
    4. Feminine choice (for female sickness)
    5. Surgery
    6. Accidental death and dismemberment
    7. Medical reimbursement (for personal accident)
  7. Cash value/ surrender value

Basically, before ringing up the customer service, you need your policies numbers in hand. Other information can be obtained from the customer service, I presumed initially. Since I bought my policies from AIA, I rang up their customer service hotline, which is 1300 88 1899. They have automated voice message and allow the customers to key in the policies numbers. However, the information that I could get from their automated voice are limited to whether the policy is still on-going, the premium amount and the next payment due date. I wanted to find out more on the coverage and so waited to speak to their customer service officer. To my disappointment, they can only expose information on the type of coverage but not the coverage amount. Its cash value, if any, could not be exposed as well by the officer. [I could understand this. Probably, there could have been agents that pretended over the phone to get information for their clients.]

With much frustration, I decided to stop by at their nearest office, which is located at Menara Axis, PJ. I brought along all my policies and the empty status that I printed out. I went up to their customer service department that is located at level 3 and queued for my turn. Finally, it was my turn and I was attended by their officer at counter number 6. I did not get her name but she is really a nice lady who cares to explain to me with patience. I showed her all my policies – and yes, I have a total of 9 policies. She slowly check into one policy one by one through the system – giving me information that I needed, which are the types of coverage and coverage amount. In doing so, she also gave me advice on which policies I could actually consider surrendering (because they cover purely life only and I could be overinsured on hospitalisation). I really appreciate this process and advice.

However, I told her that I could not make the decision there and then because I wanted to check out the overall policies status and because once policies are cancelled, the agent will be informed – and since the agent is a family member, one can imagine how I would be “mumbled”. Sad to say, I am actually quite disappointed by the agent who recommended me some of the policies.

In the process, she also found one of my policies is due but no sign of payment from my credit card. She asked if I have changed my credit card number. I told her that I did change my credit card and also did a change of credit card application with AIA previously. Probably, that policy was missed out among all the other policies. Therefore, she helped me change the credit card for the policy (she just needed my NRIC and credit card) and asked me to make the current payment through their payment counter. I was also queued without having to re-take a new numbering.

After the long process, which took half a day, I finally got a clear picture of my insurance status. In short, “I worth more dead than alive”. I have to make up my mind on some of the policies that I “should” surrender. It will also depend if I could get a new job in the near future. Furthermore, I ought to keep some of the policies that I am considering of surrendering, probably for my baby’s future. Or maybe I should just hold them for another year (or until November) and see how my financial status goes. I could cut off at least RM3k of premium, which hubby says can be used for our baby’s insurance. Getting insurance is important but when the premium is going beyond one’s affordability – you will definitely die sooner.

Lessons learn (Warning: Some people may not like what I have in view):

  1. If possible, don’t buy insurance policies from family members. From my experience, it is so difficult to get an actual picture of the insurance status. They promised to impartial, but at the end, it all comes to dollar and sen.
  2. Think again when the agent says that the coverage is not sufficient. Even though it is the duty of the agent to review your insurance need status, have they actually did a comprehensive study on what you already have? Even so, have they missed out any of your policies? This is my case when I was recently told to top up my medical card or hospitalization because I was told I had only RM90 per day coverage. Only after the review with the customer service officer, I found out that I actually have a total medical coverage of RM190 per day. And, recently I topped up another RM150 per day. This is too high a coverage for an average person like me who needs maybe a two-person room.  Always do a check by yourself.
  3. When an agent comes telling you that s/he will purchase you an insurance policy as your birthday gift, reject it. Why? Yes, it is a gift for your birthday. But, the next year onwards, you are the one who is going to bear the cost of insurance.

Opening a gold investment account with Maybank

It is months since we decided to open a gold investment account. Due to my procrastination, finally, I have opened our gold investment account this week with Maybank.

 

Basically, we are down to two choices: Maybank gold investment account vs Public Bank gold investment account. But, I have decided on the former because:

 

  1. Maybank gold investment account needs a minimum (new and additional) investment of 1 gram while Public gold investment account needs a minimum new investment of 10gram and a minimum additional investment of 5 gram. So, being a conservative investor, I wanted to start off with just 5 gram and Maybank allows me to do so.
  2. Maybank gold investment account allows me to invest (i.e. buy and sell) gold online thereafter. [I would need to test this. Hope it is as efficient as their e-fixed deposit]
  3. And, for a lame reason, Maybank is just located few doors away from home, I just have to walk out there to get a gold investment account signed up.
  4. Both gold investment accounts require account holder to pay RM10 stamp duty on the opening of the accounts. Therefore, the further advantage of the Maybank gold investment account is that it allows a minimum balance of 1 gram, instead of Public gold investment account that allows a minimum 2 gram. When in need of money and without having to close the gold investment account, “more” gold can be redeemed (by one gram) from Maybank gold investment account.

 

Nevertheless, the difference between the sell and buy price for Public Bank gold investment is slightly smaller compared to Maybank gold investment.

 

Calculation wise:

 

Maybank gold price @ June 28, 2012 – Selling price: RM164.90, Buying price: RM RM157.96

The difference between sell and buy price: 4.21%

 

Public Bank gold price @ June 28, 2012 – Selling price: RM165.78, Buying price: RM159.26

The difference between sell and buy price: 3.93%

 

So, how did I open the Maybank Gold Investment Gold?

  1. I went to the counter to ask them. I was then asked to take a queue number. The branch I went was Kelana Business Centre, but I am slightly pissed off with the officer [named Hanafi at counter 4] instructing me to take a queue number rudely. Unlike other branches, there isn’t an officer to help up customers with queries before getting a queue number. [If I am not mistaken, when I applied for my Manchester United Visa Card, I approached the front desk where they asked me to fill up forms first. The similar goes to applying fixed deposit accounts in other banks like Public Bank]
  2. When my number was called, I told the (another) officer that I wanted to open a gold investment account. I actually knew how the process works – as I write it online before going to the bank. However, I was slightly disappointed that the officer did not care to explain about the charge that is the stamp duty fee until I asked her. I just wanted to confirm that the stamp duty is only applicable on the opening of the account.
  3. I was then told to sit down and she will process my account after knowing that I wanted to invest 5 gram.
  4. Throughout the process (which took more than 30 minutes), I was asked to go to the counter several times. There seems to be no proper process on their end. This includes letting them have my savings book and I filling up the withdrawal form, and filling up some details for the gold investment account. Worse, it was after the withdrawal of my money from my savings account, which is then placed into the gold investment account that she asked me to sign the gold investment account agreement form.
  5. At the end, I was given a gold investment account passbook. I asked them for a passbook cover instead of them offering me one.

 

Overall, the process is simple but dragged by inefficiency. Nevertheless, I am happy that I have finally opened a gold investment account for our future investment needs!

Fast track Maybank Treatpoints with Maybankard Manchester United Visa Card

I have been using Maybank Classic Master Card for quite a number of years. Each year, when it comes it annual renewal, there will be an annual fee, which I thought is waived yearly. I had to call the Maybank customer service for the last few years to request for waiver. When I signed up for the card, I was told that the annual yearly fee waiver applies as long as I spent 12 times a year using the card, which I did. I spoke to its customer service officer regarding this issue in last November and was told that this only applies for the first two years. Thereafter, I will need to ring up the customer service every year to request for waiver. It is quite frustrating to hear that. Then, I was told of some options that I can take for free annual lifetime fee. And, one of the cards introduced is Maybankard Manchester United Visa Card.

Given that hubby and I are fans of Manchester United, there is some motivation to apply for this card. Besides the free lifetime waiver of annual fees, the card has fastrack Treatpoints, where cardholder can get five times the normal points for spending for grocery and petrol. All other transactions will have the fast track points only if Manchester United wins the English Premier League matches. After thinking for a while (the only hesitation is the need to request for change of credit card payments for my auto billing on insurance premiums and phone bill), I have decided to go for it.

I signed up at The Curve’s Maybank since it was near to my office at that point of time. I told the officer that at the same time I would like to cancel my Maybank Classic Master Card as I did not want to bear the extra service tax. I was, at that point time, told that I could do so. However, after the application and collection of the new card (about three to four weeks later), I could not cancel my old card at the branch but to cancel it at Maybank’s credit card centre in One Utama (which I later did). Another issue was, I paid the service tax of RM50 for the old card and I had to pay again the service tax of RM50 for my new card. I called the customer service to request for waiver, which never actually happened. I was slightly pissed off – but learnt that the best time to change/ cancel your credit card is just before the yearly expiration date – to avoid the service tax.

After all the hassle, I nevertheless, enjoyed having the card. I am abit prideful that most people (cashiers) actually admire my card. To them, it looks cool. Further than that, my points really fast tracked. I remembered transferring my 11,000+ Treatpoints from my old card (which I accumulated for years) to this new card. In less than six months, I actually achieved 24,719 Treatpoints (as at June 2, 2012). And, I think I spent about RM3,000 to RM4,000 using this card in less than six months for groceries, petrol, insurance premiums, phone bills and other miscellaneous purchases.

Yesterday, I redeemed my 20,000 points for RM100 Jaya Jusco voucher. I have offset both the old and new cards “unlawful” double service tax.

I think this card is worth having, especially for those that spend using credit card on groceries and petrol. And, for fun, you can speculate on Manchester United winning the English Premier League games.

On sign up, I did not receive any gifts because I went directly to the counter to sign up. I would certainly advise those interested to sign up at their booth (if any) as you will be given gifts (which I missed). The sign up also include some vouchers like Equatorial Hotel in Cameron Highlands (however, it is not of great use to me). There is also the terms and conditions plus the benefits booklets.

One point I dislike about this card is its transparency. I can’t really know which items have fast tracked points from their system. However, I actually tracked a transaction on the day when Manchester United won a English Premier League game, the points did went five times for the day’s transaction.

Follow up read: Maybank Treatpoints fast tracked

Follow up read: Second Treatpoints redemption in 10 months with Maybankard Manchester United Visa Card