I had the honour of being probably the first to interview up and coming Malaysian property expert - our very own Dr Victor Gan. For those of you who are still in the dark, Dr Victor is an active property investor who shares nuggets of property investing wisdom at his FB page and has gained quite a following.
His down-to-earth, practical tips in applying value investing in property has taught me so much. I hope you enjoy the exclusive interview.
Can you tell us your name, where you are from and a little bit about your background
My name is Victor Gan, I am born in Taiping, completed my primary school in Ipoh and secondary school in Alor Setar, then went to International Medical University for my medical studies in 2003.
Subsequently I started my housemanship training in Hospital Queen Elisabeth and did my medical officer training in Anaesthesiology and Radiology in Sabah Woman and Children Hospital for 6 years.
Currently I am now working in the private sector in Sabah.
Why did you go into medicine?
I love the science of human body since young.
How My Body Works is my favorite series of books that I owned. I love the Biology subject and I excel in those chapter about the human body.
For those on plants and animals, I normally just study for the sake of exam. Hehehe!
For those chapters on the human body, I studied it because of my love for the subject.
Thus when I went into Form 6, I was in the Biology stream because my aim is to become a doctor one day.
What made you start looking at something else to do besides medicine?
When I was in university, one of my best friend gave me Robert Kiyosaki's book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
That book changed my outlook on money.
One of the key things I remember up till today is this...
The poor and the middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.
I was determined to let my money work for me and not the other way around.
I know that as a doctor, I will be working for money my entire life. Whether you are in the government or private sector, the day you stop working, your income ceases.
Working for money is the easier path – it’s what we’re taught in school (how to write a résumé, get a job, and work hard).
Having your money work for you – by starting a company, being your own boss, or investing – requires calculated risk and a level of comfort with uncertainty.
The rich focus on their asset columns while everyone else focuses on their income statements.
While average people are busy concerning themselves with their hourly pay, rich people are focusing on their assets and net worth.
These fundamentals of the mindset of the rich change my mentality forever.
What business (if any) or side hustle are you doing currently? How did you discover it?
Honestly, I have many side businesses. I am a serial entrepreneur. Hahaha!
I have a child care center together with my wife who was a Neonatal ICU nurse before she quit to start this business. Recently, Gamuda has engaged us to open a flagship center in their completing Bukit Bantayan project.
I also owned multiple bird nests houses together with my business partner who is my mentor in the swiftlet industry.
I am also the property analyst for FAR Capital and Below Bank Value investment company. I was actually found by Faizul Ridzuan back in early 2016. He saw my potential and began to groom me by sending me to train with Marshall Thurber and Bill Allen in Singapore.
That training changed my life completely.
In November 2017, I started my official Facebook Page called Dr Victor Gan – Value Investing in Properties.
To date, some of my articles are featured in property magazines in Malaysia.
I also do professional consultation in terms of giving advice on market pricing, building layouts and market evaluation for developers looking to build properties on any land.
Just 3 months ago, I started my own renovation and property management company in Kota Kinabalu providing investors and home owners an affordable alternative to quality interior design for their properties.
My next project is to dabble in the hotel industry in Sabah.
How is your success or returns from your side hustle thus far?
For me, I am doing all these things because I love to help people. I love to help my patients medically, I love to help the public to be able to invest in good investment properties for minimal cash flow.
Even the renovation company was started because I find that the existing interior design companies in Kota Kinabalu are way to expensive for the normal salaried employee to afford their dream home. Thus, I created this company to solve this problem of interior design affordability.
Money was never my goal when I go into any businesses (except the bird nest business which was profit driven).
I go into all these businesses with the intention to solve a problem.
Nevertheless, when you began solving problems for people, the money will come. I currently earn 8 times the salary of the usual UD48 medical officer salary.
In some months, I can earn up to RM150,000 in just a single month.
But at the end of the day, money was never my intention. Helping people and solving problems is what drives me to work hard.
I get a thrill when my clients earn big money from the properties they invested through me. I don't get so excited by money anymore these days.
What are the challenges you have faced so far in your current chosen side hustle? Any failures? Lessons you can give others?
Honestly, there are so many challenges and failures along the way. Really difficult for me to list down everything here. Haha!
But this is what I learn through it all...
People who avoid failure also avoid success.
Most people never win because they’re afraid of losing, or failing. Yet if you look at the way humans are designed to learn, we learn by making mistakes, right?”
We learn to walk by falling down.
If we never fell down, we would never walk. The same is true for learning to ride a bike.
The same is true for entrepreneurship. Failure is part of the process of success.
Are you happy doing what you do right now?
Absolutely. 200% happy with what I am doing right now.
Would you say studying medicine helped you in your side job? Any regrets studying medicine?
Definitely no regrets studying medicine although I am steering off course from what a normal doctor will embark on. A “normal” doctor will open a clinic, pharmacy, go into health-tech or try to create the next “Uber” for medicine... etc.
I definitely stray way off course from what I studied in university. Hahaha!
Anyway, without being a doctor, I wouldn't be able to command a comfortable salary to begin with to engage in property investments.
I would say medicine is the stepping stone to all my business ventures thus far.
Tell us a bit more about your inspirations, your dreams etc, what you aspire and aim to do in 5 years.
My lecturer asked my class of M203 what do we hope to become in the future.
This was my answer and is still my answer today....(to the shock of the lecturer and my friends since I am the only one with such answer)
My dream is to own hospitals where I can provide affordable private healthcare to everyone. And also to build a university that will continue to raise up quality doctors who will take care of me when I am old.
Pretty big dream fora medical student, right? Haha!
As to what I am aiming to do in the next 5 years...
I am planning to quit medicine completely and go around Malaysia and Asia to teach people about property investment using Value Investing method by Warren Buffett.
I want to educate the public that with the right knowledge, you can create for yourself a 5 figure passive income easily.
And you don't need a lot of money to enter into the property market. All you need is acquiring the right knowledge.
The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. If it is trained well, it can create enormous wealth.
I want to be the trainer to train people to make their mind the most powerful asset they will ever acquired – by imparting my knowledge to them in property investments.
What would your advice be for aspiring doctors who wish to try their hand at entrepreneurship?
Aim for legacy.
Legacy is greater than currency.
Aim to affect other people and the world in a positive way and leave a dent in the universe.
And never ever stop dreaming for yourself.
If you’re not dreaming big for yourself, who’s doing it for you?
Some closing words
I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I did editing and going through his response.
Dr Victor still writes actively over at his Facebook page. Do like and follow him if you want to learn how to build up your net worth by property investment.
Are you inspired to take action? Do you like this interview? Great! Spread the word and give me some love by sharing this article!