Get paid to be rich


Self-made millioniare Azizi Ali, author of The Millionaire In Me , believes saying money constantly and spending it wisely are keys to amassing wealth.


Stick to your salaried job, but create additional sources of income-that is the tip Malaysian author Azizi Ali has for millionaire-wannabes

By Clara Chow

PILOT and qualified financial consultant Azizi Ali prefers the millionaire's club to the flight club.

"The latter is fleeting. The millionaire's club lasts forever," he says.

The author of two books - Millionaires Are From A Different Planet (2001) and The Millionaire In Me (2002) - stopped over in Singapore on Monday to promote his books, on the Singapore-Sydney route he flies.

Both titles have been available here since March this year. The first book has sold 12,000 copies and the second has shifted 6,000 copies in Malaysia.

Calling himself a "millionaire employee", he freelances by speaking on personal finances at seminars twice a month in his home country. He charges about RM580 per person each day for his public seminars, and RM7,000 to speak at corporate seminars.

"Very reasonable," he quips.

He lives with his wife, Azlynn, a former flight stewardess, and their three daughters - aged between four and eight - in a 1,800-sq ft apartment in Kuala Lumpur.

The remaining six residential properties he owns are rented out as additional sources of income.

These homes, as reported by Malaysia's The Star newspaper in March, include bungalows, double-storey terrace houses and apartments valued between RM100,000 and RM1 million, based on current market prices.

He is a firm proponent of saving money constantly and spending it wisely.

In his second book, he urges people to hold on to the security of a paid job while creating additional sources of income. From there, "after-burner income" from royalties, dividends and licensing fees will help to amass even more wealth.

Clad in a navy-blue double-breasted suit and red tie despite the afternoon heat, he says: "You must always save money. Be it in times of war, or SARS (Severe Accute Respiratory Syndrome)."

It may sound simple, he adds, but not many people live by this maxim.

But ask him how one should invest one's money in these dour times, with rock-bottom interest rates, and he veers away from specific advice.

"I invest for the long term," he offers instead, adding that he holds on to his stocks for the long term and does not intend to cash out now.

Born in the northen Malaysian state of Perlis, Azizi is the fourth of five children. His mother taught primary school, while his father was a policeman, a businessman and, eventually, an odd-job man.

Home to him then was a wooden house on stilts in the middle of padi fields. In 1979, fresh out of school, he applied for a cadet pilot and was accepted immediately. It took him nine years before he was made an aeroplane captain.

Then, 11 years ago, he took up a part-time MBA training programme accredited to the University of Bath. Graduating three years later in 1995, he has been pursuing his parallel career in financial consulting. He has not looked back since.

The self-made millionaire's 1.6-m-tall frame packs a lot of energy. His goal is to become a deca-millionaire (net worth of RM10 million) by 2007.

And then what? "I see myself doing exactly what I'm doing now," he says.

"Perhaps minus the flying."


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