Friday, 28 February 2014

What about gold price

This may seem like a heavy topic to digest (trust me, it's not!), but it is important to master the basics to ensure you get the best deal.

Daily and Spot Price
Gold is traded internationally at an agreed price based on demand and supply. The daily gold price is fixed twice a day in the London exchange at 10.30am (London AM) and 3.00pm (London PM), while also being fixed at the end of the trading day on the New York exchange. This price is usually benchmarked by normal gold retailers.

The spot price refers to the current trading price which moves every minute. This price, together with the USD/RM exchange rate determines the price movement of Public Gold products every 20 minutes as featured on its website.

These prices are available on where you could chart your desired historical data of other precious metals too. The quotes are in USD/oz (troy ounce) whereby 1 troy ounce equals 31.104g.

Cost Premiums
All gold bars and coins are sold at a premium over their spot of fixed daily price (at normal retailers). Generally, the premium is the production cost (refining/minting/packaging) to turn the raw gold into sellable items. It is normally set as an amount over the price per gram or troy ounce, which decreases the larger the coin/bar is. Other premium charges might include workmanship, transportation etc.

Buy and Sell price
Just like foreign exchange (FOREX), gold has different buy and sell price. This is called the margin spread. Premiums paid when purchasing gold are usually not taken into account when selling it back to a dealer.

Public Gold price
PG is very transparent in its pricing by displaying the price list on its website 24 hours a day, updated every 20 minutes. This is an advantage to the buyers should the price spikes up or down even for a short duration as opposed to whole-daily price at normal goldsmith outlets. Here is a snapshot.

PG Sell and Buy price of an item has a fixed spread margin as shown in table above on the right.
You can make your own calculation e.g. for a 100 gram Gold Bar, PG Sell price is RM 14,976 minus 5% spread @ x0.95 = RM 14,227.20 (rounded to RM 14,227 which is the PG Buy price). When the gold price appreciates to a percentage higher than the spread, then you are already making a profit because you can sell it back higher than the previous purchase price.

Starting 1st Dec 2014, PG has imposed new premiums (formerly known as Transport Charge) as follows. This is to accommodate the charges of new products with LBMA status manufactured in Turkey

*New spread rating will be announced soon

A good time to lock the price is when the gold price and the USD/RM exchange rate is low. But how low is low is subject to individuals. If you made a purchase before, you might already have a price benchmark. Otherwise, you might want to take a look at the historical data of gold price. 

How PG compares to other retailers
From my observation, many goldsmith shops charge higher premium. True examples
#1- Jan 14th: 10g. bar at WC was priced at RM 1600 when PG price was RM 1449 (10% higher)

#2- Feb 20th: 10g. bar at PK was priced at RM 1710 (buy back at RM 1500, spread of 13% for 'unused' gold, if 'used', minus 25% i.e. RM 1275). PG price was RM 1516 (buy back RM 1422). PK sells at almost 13% higher.
 *Most gold bars at the shops are sealed. To get 'unused' gold buy back rate, the item has to be from the same retailer, seal must be in perfect condition and must bring purchase receipt. Otherwise, it's considered as 'used' gold, automatically devalued at 25% from current market rate.

Datuk Louis Ng, the founder and chairman of Public Gold mentioned in an article featured in 'UNRESERVED' magazine (Jan 2014 issue) that PG's premium ranges only 5-8% above the international market. That being said, other jewellery shops put more than 15% margin which is huge money.

Ready to make the right choice? Read here for the step-by-step guide on price booking. Or contact me at my details below.

Norazharina Mat Amin

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

How I came about gold

When I was younger, I didnt care much about keeping gold bcos I only came across grown-up women who wear them as accesories. My mother used to ask us the daughters to wear the gold chains or bracelets especially when it was Hari Raya. I never really liked the idea but I wore them anyway and quickly took them off and returned them back to her once the Raya celebration was over.

I have to admit that I have many close kins who are in gold business, having own jewellery shops and they are very successful. Once I asked my cousin how did he do it. He told me that when selling jewellery especially those with stones, he could easily mark-up the price as long as it is agreed by the customer (since the gold price is already fixed). Ah, I see..

No, not mine.
When I was engaged and married, I had my own gold rings and a bangle as gifts from my husband. Then again, I didnt wear them bcos #1-afraid they will be scratched #2-I really dont want to be the target of snatch-thieves, so I just kept them in the drawer at home. But that didn't spare me from being a victim of house break-ins. All was taken including a pair of gold bangles belonged to my mother. I'm so sorry, Ummi. I will replace them with something better inshaAllah..

That incident somehow made me appreciate the precious metal more (though I was left with none!). I heard about gold price going up and down, I believe it is the best form of long-term saving/investment but I wasn't sure of the method. I know there are many gold retailers out there but I wasn't sure if I can get the best from them. Afraid that the price might be manipulated by the seller (with the workmanship charge etc).

Until my husband gave me an 'assignment', that is to find the best place to buy gold for our savings. I wasn't really looking very hard, but one day I came across an article regarding financial planning on FB. The article brought me to owned by En. Mohd Zulkifli Shafie (whom I regard as my mentor now, also happens to be my brother's high school friend- what a small world).

He has written many posts on gold, business, tips and advices on financial matters. He himself keeps gold as wealth protection. I basically read about all important things I need to know about gold from there, so I thank him bcos he has done the homework for me! First thing before you jump into buying gold is to have the KNOWLEDGE so you do what's best for you. Read here for why I go for physical gold and here for the reasons I chose Public Gold.

30th Dec 2013, I placed the first order (on behalf of my husband) and fortunately the price was almost at the lowest point of the year, Alhamdulillah. All done remotely- online, bcos we were not in Malaysia at that time. The purchase also qualified me as a Dealer. The main advantage of being a Dealer to me is I get monetary incentives with my own purchase.

When we went back, we collected the gold for the first time and yeah, it felt good :) I am sure we have made the right decision of protecting our wealth in physical gold. Since then, there was no turning back. I placed more orders as I wanted to grab the opportunity to the max. 

Time has proven that gold is the least risk investment in its own class of asset. I never felt any more confident in investment than this way. Although I am also a Unit Trust Consultant registered with FIMM, I find it hard even to convince myself in unit trusts bcos there is just too much risk. 

Now that I have taken that first step towards gold, I would like to create the awareness amongst others too (especially now when the price point is still good!). I'm beginning with this humble blog of mine dedicated to those who would like to venture into this 'golden journey' with me. Or just anyone who might benefit from my writings, inshaAllah.

Norazharina Mat Amin

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Why I chose Public Gold

First and foremost, my credit goes to En. Mohd Zulkifli Shafie for 'introducing' me to Public Gold (PG) through his web page ( From there I read a lot about gold and how PG compares to other retailers/producers. Here are a few advantages:

1. Public Gold is a well-established company
-won many awards i.e. Malaysia Book of Records (first Malaysian company to produce certified gold/silver bullion bars locally), The Brand Laureate SME etc
-started in 2008 in Penang, and now having 18 branches nationwide 
-each product is certified by an independent qualified assayer
-obtained clearance by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in trading gold

2. Competitive rates
-low spread (difference between sell and buy back price) of 4.5% to 8% compared to outside retailers who normally impose 18-25%
-guarantee to buy back even scratched or bent (except in extreme economic conditions like war)
-lower premium because products don't have to go through middle man/retailers (beli harga kilang)
-transparency in price which is displayed and updated on its website every 20 minutes according to world gold price

3. Advanced online system
-provides online facility for booking so you can book anytime, 24 hours a day, anywhere u can get Internet access
-smartphone apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry where you can set your target price and receive alerts when your target is met! Cool, huh?

These are all for now. If you do your homework about another seller better than PG, I would like to hear about it too ;)

Ready to get yours now? Click here to know how.

Norazharina Mat Amin

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Gold 101

Here are some basic infos about gold

The use of earliest gold coin could be tracked back to 561-546 BC. This is a gold stater minted in Sardis, issued by Lydian King Croesus who introduced the bimetallic coinage system that has been used in the Western world until the 20th century.
The importance of this more than 2,500-year old coin lies in the fact that it enabled the first system of free and open markets. The result was the flourishing culture of the ancient Mediterranean world.

Dinar and Dirham
In the time of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the currency of the Arabs was the Dinar (gold coin) and Dirham (silver coin). The first dinars and dirhams minted by Muslims was during the Khalifate of Uthman bin Affaan, wherein the coins differed from the original ones in circulation by the Arabic inscription of “in the Name of Allaah” on the obverse margins. During the Khalifate of Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the coin standard was introduced so that the weight of 10 dirhams was equivalent to 7 dinars (1 mithqal).
Gold and silver coins remained official currency in its original precious metal form until the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I (1910s). Since then, dozens of different paper currencies were made in each of the new post-colonial national states. However, many Arab countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, Qatar, Libya and Iraq still use the names (Dinar and Dirham) to refer to their non-precious metal currencies.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, gold still played a key role in international monetary transactions since the gold standard was used to back currencies. Many world empires have fallen over time and with it, its currency, which is normally known as the world reserve currency. The most recent was the British Empire and the demise of the British pound as the world reserve currency until the end of World War II. Then the US Dollar took over as world reserve currency but on 15 August 1971, the United States terminated convertibility of the US Dollar to gold. This brought the Bretton Woods system to an end and saw the USD becomes fiat currency.

Fiat money has been defined variously as:
*any money declared by a government to be legal tender.
*state-issued money which is neither convertible by law to any other thing, nor fixed in value in terms of any objective standard.
*money without intrinsic value.
The term derives from the Latin fiat ("let it become", "let it be done", "it shall be").

Since gold is bought and sold in US Dollars, any decline in the value of the dollar causes the price of gold to rise.

Gold as an Investment
Gold is the most popular precious metal as an investment. It has often been called the 'crisis commodity' because it tends to outperform other investments during periods of world tensions. That is why gold is sold off during economic weakness.

The most traditional way is buying the gold bullion bars. These come in various sizes and shapes usually in the highest purity form i.e. 999.9 fine gold. The usual weight ranges from 10g to 1kg (there's even 400 troy ounces bar in Europe, that's 12 kg). Most popular ones in Malaysia are PAMP Suisse, Poh Kong Bunga Raya, Wah Chan, Tomei and Public Gold bars.

And then there are gold coins which are usually (but not always) lower purity than bars e.g. 916, 917 etc. When purchasing gold and silver coins, one must be aware of whether the coin is bullion (priced relative to metal quantity) or numismatic (priced at a high value [50% and more] over its metal quantity due to rarity). Do not purchase numismatic coins as they are geared towards coin collectors and are sometimes called medallions. Dinar and Dirham are gold and silver bullion coins, respectively.

The largest integration of the Dinar and Dirham into regular society in the world are in Indonesia, Malaysia and the surrounding areas. There are also small initiatives in Pakistan, United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States of America.

Our former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s push towards Dinar usage was seen as far back as 2000/2001 with the establishment of Malaysia’s legal tender bullion coin, the Kijang Emas. Then there was the establishment of e-dinar Ltd in 2000 and the ‘e-dinar’ online electronic payment system, as well as the establishment of the World Islamic Mint [WIM] in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the minting of the ‘Islamic Dinar’ or ‘Dinar Muslim’ (minted by Emirates Gold). The state Government of Kelantan began minting dinar/dirham (Kelantan Dinar) in 2006 and its new minted coin set (minted in the UAE) came out in August 2010, while the Perak state government began minting its coins (Perak Dinar) in February 2011. Malaysia has a large variety of editions of the dinar/dirham coins including the Public Dinar (Public Gold International Sdn Bhd), GCP Dinar (Goldcrest Pavilion Sdn Bhd), Dinar Darul Takzim, Nabawi Gold Dinar (24 Qirats), Dinarius & Dirham, Malaysia Dinar (Royal Mint of Malaysia), Dinar Kulim (Dinar Gold Enterprises), and Dinar Shari’i.

Islamic Dinar & Dirham
Islamic Dinar
Kelantan Dinar & Dirham
Kelantan Dinar
 Perak Dinar & Dirham
Perak Dinar
 Public Dinar
Public Dinar
GCP Dinar
GCP Dinar
Nabawi Dinar
Nabawi Dinar

Gold in jewellery form i.e. gold chains, bracelets, pendants, rings etc. are still popular. However, since jewelleries are worn, the margin spread is high when selling it back to goldsmith retailers as 'used gold'. Read more about spread here. With current worrying statistics in crime rate, especially snatch-theft, I personally would not prefer to wear gold when going out. 

Storage Options
One of the first places people consider storing their precious metal is in a safe deposit box at a local bank, which is a good choice but not perfect as you have limited access to it during banking hours. There are also private companies offering this service with more flexible access hours and higher insurance value. You can get a list of some Safe Deposit Box services here. The second common place is home storage in a safe or hiding place, which is a good idea for small metal quantities but not perfect as houses can catch fire, broken into and/or affected by nature disasters. A third place for storage is to bury it on your property, ideally when no one is looking, in an airtight and waterproof container. A fourth option is storing it with Allocated Gold Storage Service (AGSS) provided by your gold seller, which is good if you are out-station buyers because the storage fee might be more cost-effective than the travelling expenses to collect the gold. Read more on AGSS here

Whichever of these you choose to do, only tell one person you trust about where it is, whose job it is to access it if you are unable to. The options above all have their advantages and disadvantages, which is why it maybe best to use a combination of them to be safer.


Norazharina Mat Amin

(Updated 2nd April 2014)

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

How to make subsequent login/orders online

So, you placed your first order on Public Gold (by yourself, or through your dealer because you were in bed during that sweet spot price, or for whatever reason there is), CONGRATULATIONS! You are one step closer towards safeguarding your hard-earned cash from being robbed by the bank.

By now, you should have your own permanent Customer Account Code (PG*****, as opposed to the temporary code, TEMP**** given to you when you first registered online). You could find it on the top right-hand side part of the Sales Order.

Now, go back to the Login page. Your Account Code is your Username (PG******), but for the password- click on 'Forgot your Password?' for the system to reset it for you (you can choose the password later).
Insert your e-mail address that you used for your first order. Click 'Submit' and you will receive a  token in your email. Follow the instruction given to reset the password and choose your own. Once you are logged in, you can follow the rest of the steps given in my first post on how to place your order (you just skipped the Step #1-Register).

Don't worry if you haven't made your first order yet. You have 2 options- read here on how to OR you could just drop me your full name, IC no., mobile no., e-mail address and your location in Malaysia (together with that favourite gold item you dream of, or just how much is your budget if you have no idea on that) at my contact details below. All the best!

Norazharina Mat Amin