Why Do You Need Medical Insurance?

Why Do You Need Medical Insurance?

Medical insurance provides financial backup against medical emergencies such as illness and injuries. In Malaysia, such medical expenses are fast becoming very expensive.

Do you know that medical and hospitalisation costs in Malaysia are estimated to have increased by 16%1 in 2019, and 14%2 in 2020?

One hospitalisation incident, either to yourself or your family, can set you back thousands of dollars. Surgery for a coronary bypass can cost up to RM100,0003, a stent/angioplasty procedure up to RM50,0004 and a single chemotherapy session up to RM5,0005.

You can opt for a government hospital of course but expect long queues, crowds, and a waiting list for operations.

Private hospitals usually offer a faster service, more personalised care and comfortable accommodation. But it comes at a cost. And many private hospitals won’t admit you unless you can prove you can afford the treatment, pay an upfront deposit or have medical insurance.

To protect yourself against these costs, it’s best to get medical insurance. With a medical card from your medical insurer, you can get quick admission and get treatment without coming up with any cash.

At Fi Life, we have searched for the most comprehensive best value medical plans on the market, and we have selected AXA-Affin’s SmartCare Optimum family of plans. Key benefits are:

  • You get a medical card that entitles you for cashless admission
  • You get generous coverage of up to RM2.1 million in medical expenses every year
  • There are no lifetime medical claim limits
  • Cancer chemotherapy treatment is covered
  • You’re covered until you’re 100 years old
  • Premiums are reasonable and good value given the coverage

Get a quote and compare the different SmartCare Optimum plans.
But most importantly, get covered!

Chun Saw and Harvin Sidhu
Medical insurance researchers for Fi Life

Get a Quote Now

1, 2 Aon’s 2019 and 2020 Global Medical Trend Reports
3, 4, 5 Healthcare costs in Malaysia -Shalini Muniapan, Dr. Idlan Zakaria, The Centre, October 2019 (after factoring for medical inflation)

Original article here

I am Marcus Keong and This is How I Invest

I am Marcus Keong, I am…  

known as one of the Malaysian Finance Bloggers. While working as a full-time software engineer, I enjoy writing blog articles and creating Instagram content during my free time. Ever since I started investing in stocks in 2019, I find learning about the stock market, business and financial statements very intriguing. Hence I started my personal finance blog to talk about stock investing and personal finance. My goal is to help Malaysians learn how to start investing in stocks and eventually achieve financial independence.

1. What is your best investment and worst investment? 

When it comes to investment, I’m a stock guy more than a property guy. Learning how to invest in stocks is my best investment so far, since then, I gained a huge boost of confidence to manage my finances.

I spent some money buying books on stock investing and dedicated time to read and apply the theories in the real market. Investing in ourselves in terms of knowledge will never be a bad investment.

Before I invested in stocks, I was an avid gamer who spent lots of time and (luckily) a few bucks in various games. It took me 2 decades (until I’m 28) to realise that gaming is a waste of time. You may argue that some people could earn a living from playing games, but very few can do that.

Besides, it contributes nothing to the community except entertainment. I am not saying that gaming is entirely bad, in fact, it improves cognition and problem-solving skills. But in my case, the time spent on playing games is my worst investment so far.

2. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

My first ever investment is a stock that every Malaysian would know – AirAsia. We tend to buy the companies we are familiar with during the start of our stock investing journey.

I bought AirAsia at RM2.85 when it’s 2018 Q4 result was announced. Right after I bought it, my friend advised that airline stocks have high risk and I regretted it. With its profit loss result, the stock price swung between RM2.40 to RM2.70 and I couldn’t sell it for a profit. So I bought the stock again at RM2.64 to average out my share price. 

In July 2019, AirAsia announced a whooping 90 cents dividend per share. Right after that announcement, I managed to sell all of my shares at RM3 when the share price spikes. I am fortunate to unexpectedly earn a profit of RM1,600 from this transaction.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)  

Just like many beginners, I was attracted to stock tips and short term trading that promise quick profits. However after the long run, I paid for a lesson and I vowed not to touch any speculation derivatives such as options and warrants, no matter how attractive the returns are. In fact, they are not even an asset to invest in.

Apart from this, I also learn to distance myself from investment news and over-checking the stock price. When we look at the share price and news every day, we will get influenced easily. Lesson learned when I lost money through selling during the market crash, due to my emotions.

4. What are you investing for?

While doing my “research” on the Internet about stock investing, I happen to learn about financial independence. It is reaching a stage in life where we have the option of not working for money anymore as we are able to live off our passive income.

This is why I am so passionate about investing so I can achieve the goal of being financially independent. With more time on hand, I get to spend more time with my family and loved ones. I am sharing my journey through my blog, hoping that more Malaysians can be motivated to start investing as well.

5. Marcus’ investment philosophy and approach

Always Invest for the Long Term. Long Term, I mean at least 5 years. If you invest in a property, you would probably hold it for years. But why do stock investors always buy and sell stocks within months or weeks? We should treat stock investing like planting a tree and watch it grow over the years.

With this mindset, I always do a thorough study on a company that I wish to invest in. Once I invest my money, I will hold for at least 5 years or if possible, hold it forever. Of course, there are exceptions such as when the company changes sectors or management turns bad.

Another approach I like is to keep it simple. Don’t invest in too many asset classes or investment platforms just for the sake of diversification. When you diversify too much, you can hardly manage all of them and it becomes diworsification (diversify + worse). So just choose a few asset classes that you are comfortable with and stick to them. Don’t always chase for the highest returns.

Follow Marcus – Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

About “This is How I Invest” – This is the last episode of season 1. As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here
Original article here

I am Jan Wong and This is How I Invest

I am Jan Wong, I am…  

An online strategist, entrepreneur and youth advocate that started at the age of 17. Since then, I’ve started 8 businesses in various industries and now am the founder and CEO of OpenMinds, helping hundreds of brands make sense of marketing technology. I made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2017, spoke twice at TEDx, became a keynote speaker at multiple conferences globally, a part-time lecturer, mentored startups and corporate innovation teams within the region. Recently I have also published my first book for students and entrepreneurs entitled, Building Your Digital Net Worth.

1. What is your best investment and worst investment? 

My best investment has always been towards myself. I believe that if you fail to invest in yourself, it doesn’t make sense in investing in anything else; and that means investing in your own wellbeing, growth and mindset. After all, investing is all about having the right mindset and more often than not, “getting rich” is not the right one to have. In relation to that, my best investment has been with my company OpenMinds that I’ve bootstrapped since the beginning, investing and reinvesting not just money but also time. As with any investment, it has risks, its fair share of ups and downs, takes time and knowledge to maintain it… it has been 8 years since! On the flip side, my worst investment has to be in a startup company that I misplaced my trust in the founder where he demonstrated initial passion and drive that quickly fizzled, followed by him disappearing into thin air (completely unreachable even with his parents). 

2. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

My first investment was in an investment-linked insurance product that was offered by a bank. I went into it without fully understanding what it entailed and what it was for and regretted right after and went to have it cancelled. 

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)  

Don’t invest in something that you have no idea about, or something with an objective that does not align with what you are looking for. For example, a startup or company if you’re looking for a quick return, a high risk unit trust profile if your best interest is in increasing your savings, or an investment-linked insurance product that has a fixed cash out term if you require fluidity in your cash. Jumping unto the investment bandwagon blindly could cost you hefty losses or benefits that are not aligned to your goals. So do your research, know the product you’re about to invest in, evaluate your goals, seek clarification, consider the possibility of losing your investment, and then decide if it’s a risk you are willing to take.

4. What are you investing for?

As an entrepreneur I’m often torn from 3 angles when it comes to investment: investing into my own business for control, investing into other businesses because of potential, and investing into something that is more grounded and has better stability. These are primarily motivated by me wanting to build a sustainable line of income that is not dependent on the hours I clock daily, and that I can have access to funds immediately should I need them for emergencies or that holiday. 

5. Jan’s investment philosophy and approach

Be clear with why you are investing in the first place and what level of risk can you bear. Is it for business scale? Career growth? Health? Lifestyle? What will happen if you would lose everything that you’ve invested, can you deal with that? I only invest what I can afford to lose, and while that isn’t much, I have a clear understanding that investments are meant to help and not to cripple me, and it is not a gamble where you go ‘all in’ only to put yourself in a volatile state. Don’t be charmed by big ‘promised’ returns or investment trends! 

Follow Jan Wong – 
Website, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Email

About “This is How I Invest” – As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here
Original article here

I am Ong Joo Parn and This is How I Invest

I am Ong Joo Parn, I am…

Currently a Malaysian working in Singapore. Like most people, I am working in the corporate world, having a 9 to 6 job. Putting this aside, I am a passionate investor. I spend a huge chunk of my time self-learning and reading stuff related to science, technology, gadgets, food technology and many other subjects. I also spend time going through annual reports of (both listed and unlisted) companies from around the world. 


Sometime during the month of August in 2019, my partner and I decided to start an investing-centric website called Kaya Plus. We want to share our thesis, rationale and knowledge with the public since we feel that there is a major lack of appreciation when it comes to investing and investment literacy. 

I guess I am also a writer now. I write for Kaya Plus and as a paid content contributor to other investing websites as well!

1. What is your best investment and worst investment?

I was thinking whether to answer this figuratively or literally. But I think it is best to approach this figuratively haha! My best investment would be my time. Time is an asset that all of us have in equal amounts. Whether we choose to waste it, capitalise on it is our own personal choice.

But that does not mean I am the most efficient and time conscious person out there. I just think that relatively, I put in more time to self learn and read, which gives me an edge when looking at potential investment opportunities out there. 

To sum it up, my best investment is in myself, investing my time to obtain more knowledge and information so that I can invest better! 

My worst investment would probably be the first few stocks I bought when I was very new in the market. I knew nuts about investing and put a chunk of my hard-earned money into the stock market thinking that what I learned during a course was all I needed to succeed. Things did not end well. A portion of it still sits in my portfolio as a key reminder to never, ever buy something that you have not put in time to study.

2. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

My first investment was a shares trading course around RM 3,000. Took me a few lessons to realise that trading is not all about patterns and charts. There is more than what meets the eye. Judging from the vigor and principles behind trading, I knew it did not suit my personal preference.

I always picture myself being free from checking screens and all sorts of charts when I am an old man. I value the skills and keen eye to be able to look at a company’s business and have an eureka moment. So, my first investment in a trading course showed me that trading is not my cup of tea. And that’s where I started my never-ending journey into the world of learning and investing.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)

Thinking that investing is just for financial freedom is a no-no! Too many people are engrossed with getting rich through investing, they value the end results too much and sometimes want to cut corners.

There is no such thing as low risk high return. Even if there is, chances are that someone providing you this opportunity might be getting a LOWER risk and HIGHER return by selling you that idea. 

Building wealth is just like learning how to run when we are still a kid. You go through the stages of crawling, standing up, walking and then only you will learn how to run. Yearning to run when you haven’t even learned to crawl, or pushing yourself to run too soon can be disastrous.  

It is good to stay focused on the end results. However the general sentiment I get is that, while people know what they want for their financial freedom, they are not willing to sacrifice time and effort to learn what is needed to help them achieve their goals. 

Guess this could be the reason why unscrupulous get rich quick schemes will always resurface and some of us will somehow get snared by their lucrative return promises.

4. What are you investing for?

I believe investing in literacy and spreading knowledge as the key for everyone to further improve themselves. Whether we like it or not, we are living in a world where capitalism rules. You do not need to be the boss of a listed company to bring your wealth to the next level. You just need to ride on it even with a small step at a time and grow with the current pace of inflation and expansion.

I invest because I know that savings alone will never be enough for me to enjoy the life I want. I invest because I know I can always put my knowledge, patience, and tenacity into good use to compound my wealth and savings to bring me closer to who I want to be. 

My dad told me, in life there are only 3 things you need to do to be happy. Being able to take care of yourself, being able to take care of your family, and being able to contribute to society. As of now, investing is my calling. And I want to make investing the center of my strategy to first fulfill myself, my loved ones, and the people around me.

5. Joo Parn’s investment philosophy and approach

Invest globally for sustainability. When we talk about going for a vacation, we always like to look beyond our own country, opting for a getaway outside of Malaysia. But when it comes to investing, we cower and stay put within our motherland. 

Investing globally is just like picking out nice destinations to visit, or to try the best cuisine from a particular country. Going on an overseas vacation gives me the same thrill as investing globally. I get to learn and see everything from a much bigger perspective, rather than staying within my comfort zone. 

Another key aspect is sustainability. Your game plan when it comes to investing should be a strategy that will bear fruits when you eventually retire. It must be something that is foolproof, ever growing, preserving and compounding. 

In simple words, your investments should be nurtured and tended well. If you take good care of it during your prime, it will take care of you when the time comes. So, it has to be a sustainable game plan!

Follow Joo Parn (Kaya Plus) – 
Website, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn

About “This is How I Invest” – As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here
Original article here

I am Raymond Gabriel and This is How I Invest

I am Raymond Gabriel, I am…  

A serial entrepreneur with companies specialising in various fields from marketing consultancy, strategic management, social entrepreneurship and recently Createwills, a fintech company. I am also an author who has published books on financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

1. What is your best investment and worst investment?
My best investment was in Apple a few years ago. After a share split, I made a 40% return on investment.

I invest a lot in education. In the last five years, I have been studying trends and disruption in technology businesses, and this enabled me to build my latest business, a disruptive tech company focusing on digital wills which are doing well. Investing in education is really critical if you want to grow your wealth, like reading, learning and growing your knowledge is a must for wealth creation.

My worst investment was the first property I bought. It was a condominium in Cheras named Changkat View, which I bought for RM140,000. In the late 90s, there were houses in Sri Hartamas going for sale for RM150,000 and houses for sale in USJ Subang for the same price. I bought the condo because it was supposed to come with a golf membership. I valued the lifestyle offered instead of returns, which was a big mistake when investing. Needless to say, the houses in Sri Hartamas and USJ went up in value, whereas the developer for the condo got into problems that they never really recovered from. I never got my money’s worth from that investment and since then I’ve learnt to never prioritise lifestyle over ROIs when investing.

2. What was your first-ever investment? (and how did that go)
I started my first business when I was 21 years old, it started doing well and gave me cash in the 90s, and I was earning around RM20,000 a month. Unfortunately, I took that cash and made my biggest mistake of investing approximately RM250,000 in a company in the Energy Sector. That was at the age of 25, which around the same time, I bought the condo that I’ve mentioned. The partners were crooks and I lost RM300,000. I had to rebuild my income and my first business, in order to pay off debt and loans that I co-signed for. It was a difficult 7 years that I had to go through to recover. But it gave me a purpose to educate others in finance and that’s what I do through my social business for more than 16 years.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)

  • Never invest in what others tell you to, invest in what suits you.
  • Understand your risk level and appetite (I have a template for this in my book ‘Money Quotient’). The level of risk varies for different people. Some people may be able to lose RM100,000 and recover from it, but you may not be able to. Hence, you have to know about your situation and your risk level.
  • Understand your rights in an investment, and read the fine print to know whether it’s legal or not, and who’s behind it (I wrote about 13 things you need to know about an investment before you make the decision to invest).

I think these things have helped me to protect my friends and family from a lot of scams.

4. What are you investing for?
I started my Social Business, to give back to others and to make a profit. My Social Business or Social Enterprise as some people call it, is called People System. I co-own it with another partner and it gives us both good cash flow. We trained a team to lead and manage it.

Moreover, I am also an angel investor, so I invest in companies, mainly in tech. I have also started tech companies besides other businesses that I own. I invest in shares, bitcoin, unit trusts, property and other things.

My context for wealth creation is for wealth distribution – I want to leave an impact footprint not just for myself, but to use my wealth to make a difference in other people’s lives. Imagine if all of us put aside a part of our wealth to benefit others who are less fortunate, we as a human race can actually solve and eradicate poverty from Earth. I am investing for my financial future, but also at the same time focusing on giving back to others, especially those in marginalised groups.

5. Raymond’s investment philosophy and approach

  • Never invest in anything that you don’t understand, even if it’s really cool-looking.
  • Understand how an investment works and how it helps to earn money before you put in any money.
  • Never follow a Herd Mentality, just because everyone is following a trend doesn’t mean that the trend is for you.
  • Understand a Mixed Basket Philosophy and spread your investment into low-risk, mid-risk and high-risk portfolios in ratios that make sense to you.
  • Do research and watch trends until you’re comfortable enough to understand how the investment works.
  • Have a purpose for wealth creation, so that you don’t work with greed as motivation.

Lifestyle and Habits determine savings, savings determine how much capital you have, capital determines what you can invest in and creates wealth, for yourself and for you to distribute.

Follow Raymond – 
LinkedIn, Website

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here
Original article here

I am Looi Choon Beng & This is How I Invest

I am Looi Choon Beng, I am…  

An individual with many hats. I am an employee but also one of the Co-Founders of CityFarm Malaysia. Life is about finding more of ourselves as we slowly wear more hats and pick up more passions on top of responsibilities. Recently, I also became a father, and a lifelong practitioner of value investing. It is not easy to juggle around so many roles, responsibilities, and passion. But all in all, what keeps me busy, is also that which grows me to who I am today.

Somewhere in the month of August 2019 me and my partner decided to start an investing-centric website called Kaya Plus. It was also a period that I knew I had to pick up investing to preserve and compound my wealth for my elderly days. Hence, we created a website to contribute our honest opinions, analysis and reviews!

1. What is your best investment and worst investment? 

Some people tend to link good investments back to monetary gain. But for me, it’s more about self-enrichment and the people I love and care for the most.

I consider knowledge and my family the best investments because the return I receive from them is not measurable in numbers, but in the sense of fulfillment and happiness. Knowledge and love are two things that are difficult to be destroyed,yet are able to grow and compound over time.

My worst investments would probably be property investment and cryptocurrency. I think most of us can relate to how our first property might not turn out to be the ideal end game in mind. Looking back, I would have opted to rent a whole unit rather than jumping straight into buying a property. Also, I have my fair share of losses when cryptocurrency was a hot thing back then. Due to the FOMO, I put in my hard earned money and it all crumbled when the euphoria died off. 

2. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

My first investment was with a Public Mutual fund. Back then, I did not have any knowledge yet to kickstart my own investing journey via the manual way. 

To be frank, the returns are decent, but nowhere great. I knew that if I wanted to achieve more, I might need to look into how to do it myself. That was what got me into investing.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)  

Never invest something without considering opportunity cost. Opportunity cost here refers to time. Whatever you do or invest, you are already putting in time and effort the moment the decision is made. And time is the most precious thing that everyone in the world has in equal amounts. 

The gist here is to put effort into endeavors that can synergize with each other. Only then your actions or investments can tap and grow exponentially rather than just standalone.


4. What are you investing for?

I am someone who advocates the mentality of beginning with the end in mind. Maybe to echo back that time is so valuable that we should always ensure that we are committed to the end results, then only we start putting in the time and effort. 

But sometimes, we also have the tendency to delay things due to our nature. 

One good example that I think is effective in training up our goal setting is to run for a marathon. I have personally run a few, and it has helped shape my mentality and goal setting mechanism plus the focus. Plus, when you sign up and pay for the ticket, by hook or by crook, you will definitely put in the effort to train and finish the run. 

So how do I apply the concept to investing and growing new income streams? My financial goals are about building multiple “automated” income streams. I ensure that the effort spent will have a long tail effect, e.g. development of a financial course. And from there onwards, the business can continue to grow and morph with some system in place.

Ultimately, I do hope that the system can be replicated and managed by someone else. So the punchline is to create income generating systems that can be truly passive.


5. Choon Beng’s investment philosophy and approach

You are what you repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit. Many people want to achieve excellence but aren’t willing to put in the effort and sacrifice. All the great achievements all start out as tiny small good actions. When all of it snowballs and grows, only then we hit certain milestones and achievements. 

That quote also paints a scary outcome if we were to get caught in bad habits and traits. If you tend to waste money even in the small stuff, chances are it will grow onto you and you might get into a debt. So always build on the good habits and small good improvements. It all adds up and it can change how not only our mentality, but also how we see or view things.

Follow Choon Beng (Kaya Plus) – 
Website, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn

About “This is How I Invest” – As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here

Original article here

I am MJ Tan and This is How I Invest

I am MJ Tan, I am
A 21st-century educator and trainer, I’ve been in the education industry for the past 15 years. A value investor, and nonetheless, a mom of my 11 months old daughter. I am a firm believer that financial education is essential for everyone, especially females, and it should be taught in school.

Sharing knowledge has always been in my blood, from classrooms to training rooms. This year, I’ve taken a step to share more via Value Investor Mom’s blog and social media.

1. What is your best investment and worst investment?

I would love to acknowledge that the best investment I have made is myself. During the early years of my career, I set aside education funds monthly. It was spent on books and courses, from personal development to business courses, and investing programs. These had expanded my perspectives of the real world and opportunities for growth. 

Financial wise, I would like to believe that my best investment is the stock portfolio I have created for my daughter (Note: CDS account registered with my name). In July 2020, a year after her portfolio had started, its return was at 11%. My husband and I agreed that most if not all of her monetary blessings (i.e. ang-paos) will go into her portfolio for its compounding growth. By the time our daughter is 18, there will be a decent fund either for her education or exploration of a business idea, if there is any.

My worst financial investment was on equity crowdfunding. Sadly, I made this mistake twice, one on a wellness chain and another on a private villa. I did not perform my due diligence before saying yes. Both invested capital is currently stuck, the recovery possibility is almost null. It was painful but great lessons to remember.

2. What was your first-ever investment? (and how did that go)

I made my first investment in 2012 with a capital of RM10,000 on a primary property (i.e. new development) in Subang. I received a RM14,000 cheque 6 months later from its rebate program. When I got the keys in 2016, I reinvested the RM14,000 in refurbishing the unit to increase its rental rate.

The unit has been rented out for the last 4 years, yielding about 5-6% rental yield per annum. Not the best investment return but I am thankful it is generating a positive cash flow.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)

Do not jump into an investment because everyone says yes to it.

My personal experience was an equity crowdfunding pitch invitation. I have no clue what equity crowdfunding was at that time. I was a naïve young lady who got sold with an optimistic projection with a “guaranteed” return per annum. What made it more convincing was the Tan Sri & Dato backing the project and investing in it. The FOMO bug bit me as people whom I thought had better financial sense went ahead with it. I was wrong, I was blinded by emotions and I trusted others rather than myself. I was not mindful of the herd mentality in the room.

Generally, it is hard to analyse private companies as their financial data is not publicly available. Not to mention most startups do not have any track record. It is tougher to justify the optimistic projections from the presentation without data. Statistically, only 20% of startups succeed in the first 3 years.

However, I am not implying that all public listed companies are great either. One fact is that there is more accessible data to look at before making any decisions.

Ultimately, always perform due diligence and exercise independent thinking before making any decision for any investments.

4. Your context for investing

These may not deem as great traits by many but I do believe in working hard and living below your means. Especially at the beginning of your working journey.

While passive income is great, active income is often underrated. Have a side hustle, work on weekends. I was tutoring young kids when I was in college, took up extra tuition classes after my day job, and made and sold crafts on weekends. It was the time traded for income in the early days that allowed me to size-up my savings for investments. But, there were opportunity costs, I didn’t get to enjoy a fun life like most of my peers had.

The early twenties are the best time to generate more active income when we have more energy and “time”. As a mom now, I would love to have 25 hours a day to catch an extra hour of sleep. 

As cliché as it sounds, I am investing for freedom.

Before I became a mom, I looked forward to the freedom of choice, joining companies that I want to bring value to, without worrying about the offered salary. Now as a mom, I look forward to more freedom of time so I can nurture my daughter.

My investment goals are a work-in-progress. While properties are one of the great assets, I started focusing on value investing 4 years ago. Investing in stocks is more flexible as compared to properties. With value investing, I can start with a fraction of what I invested with my properties. I can analyze the financial data and accumulate great companies one lot (i.e. 100 units of shares) at a time, one month at a time.


5. Your investment philosophy and approach

Start with an end in mind.

Figure out what and why we are investing for.

We could ask ourselves questions, journal them down. Have frequent discussions with your spouse or family members.

I was certain that the properties I bought were for investment purposes, not for own stay. The cash out funds will be for my retirement in the future, not as my child’s education fund.

Be open to learn, unlearn and relearn along the way.

There are many tools and methods to invest our money with. Read up, ask questions, and learn from quality mentors.

I once believed that stocks investing were extremely risky and it is only meant for accountants. That myth was busted after I learned about the fundamentals of value investing.

Have big goals, take small steps, and begin now.

Have a gauge on how much do we need for our retirement, may it be frugally or luxuriously. Then we work backwards, which may sound like starting to save up for investment capital. Take one step at a time.

I am on my journey to financial freedom still. From saving up capital, analysing companies, to investing in great businesses. One month at a time. 

Value Investor Mom wishes you great momentum. Let’s be financially free together.

Follow MJ (Value Investor Mom) –
Email, Website, Facebook, Instagram

About “This is How I Invest” – As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here
Original article here

I am Ibrahim Sani and This is How I Invest

I am Ibrahim Sani, I am…  
The Executive Producer and Lead Business Editor of Astro AWANI, Malaysia’s largest news network by viewership and reach. Previously, I was with the Morning Run team of BFM 89.9. I started my career at EONCAP Islamic Bank, then Hong Leong Investment Bank, and later CIMB Investment Bank.

1. What is your best investment and worst investment?

My best investment was a fluke! Upon joining CIMB in 2010, I bought some CIMB shares when it was around RM3.00. In 2013, I decided to sell it all at about RM8.00 – the highest share price CIMB will ever hit, to date. CIMB share price has been hovering around RM3.50 for most of 2020. That’s an ROI of around 120% in just three years, or 40% per year! 

Worst investments are my cars. I just don’t see the ROI on buying a car, and yet I still buy them. For example, the car I’m using now is a 2018 Toyota Vios. Car loan is RM12,000/year, service is RM2,000/year, fuel is RM RM2,500/year (About RM50/week), road tax is RM1,500/year. I’m excluding all the toll charges. 

Adding it up, I spend roughly RM18,000/year or RM1,500/month on owning and using a car. And I have two of them. I can’t imagine spending RM1,500 a month either on Grab or SoCar or similar? But I still buy the cars. It’s an addiction I have, lol!

2. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

First ever investment is my ASB. It generates an average of 7% return p.a. But the returns are tapering off since 2018. I’d expect 2020 to be closer to prevailing FD rates. All in all, it went (and still is going) well. 

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)  

I never invest in something that I do not understand. For example, I don’t understand property. What makes a property highly sought after? What makes it able to be sold at the desired seller’s price? Office property or residential, it all seems like there’s something wrong with the market. It seems so arbitrary to me, hahaha. 

I do however understand SPACs, warrants, derivatives, and REITs. I understand compounding interest. And I understand robo-advisors. To me, these instruments are rather straight-forward, empirical, and most importantly, more liquid than buying property. Until today, I have never bought a house, and probably never will. 

4. Your context (basically who are you as a person, what are you doing that lead you to your financial/investment goals, what are you investing for)

The investment goal here are two pronged:

i) to ensure I have enough during retirement (30 years retirement, beginning at 60 years), and

ii) to ensure my children are taken care of if either my spouse or me are no longer around. 

Both my spouse and I have life insurance with a RM1 million payout. This would enable my three kids to get uninterrupted education all the way to tertiary level. My wife and I also have medical insurance. But, to top it off, both of us exercise regularly to minimise the risk of even tapping into using the medical insurance. Both my life and medical insurance has an investment element to it. Blended returns thus far is around 5%, with the portfolio consisting of bonds, equities, and other forms of trust funds.

Also, no matter what happens, COVID-19 included, I would set aside 30% of my salary to continue to invest in ASB, robo-advisors, Tabung Haji, and equities. Rubber gloves saw a rally of 1,600% this year, I don’t know if this is sustainable but I am in for the ride. 

Diversifying investments outside of Malaysia is crucial, my robo investments do this for me, but they mostly invest in US tech firms. My next investment frontier and wish list is to enter the Chinese / Hong Kong market to invest. Perhaps soon?

5. Ibrahim’s investment philosophy and approach

Throughout my time being both a banker and a broadcast presenter, I have learnt a few common themes when conversing with countless CEOs, startup founders, and government officials. And that is, cash is king. No matter what I say and do, I will put liquidity of investments as paramount. That is why I don’t tie my money up in houses, cars, boats, or anything that needs time to liquidate. If an investment requires me more than five days to get the cash into my wallet, chances are, I walk away from it. Plain and simple. 

Follow Ibrahim – 
Twitter, Instagram

About “This is How I Invest” – As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here
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I am Ai Ching Goh And This is How I Invest

I am Ai Ching Goh, I am…  

A wife, a mom and an entrepreneur. I currently run 2 startups – Piktochart and Piktostory. Piktochart is soon going to be a visual storytelling tool for professionals, which makes it easy to condense meaning in as little time as possible through visuals. Piktostory is a video repurposing tool to convert long form videos into short clips within minutes. The company is all remote with Malaysian roots and we run on unconventional values. We are a SAAS company, bootstrapped and have 99% of our customers outside of Malaysia.

1. What is your best investment and worst investment?
I don’t have a best and worst investment in terms of monetary value. 

I do not just invest money but my time/effort/energy and I consider these to be of more value than money because they cannot be substituted with a dollar value.

Best investment – my daughter, my relationships with family and husband, products like Piktochart and Piktostory, health (working out).

Worst investment – time spent on social media.

2. What was your first-ever investment? (and how did that go)
With the first full-time pay check I got, I bought a designer bag from Anna Hindmarch (don’t ask me why as I’m not a fashionista, it was symbolic of my independence I guess). I didn’t regret it as I loved my bag, but in retrospect, I would have chosen something that would perpetually grow in its value.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)  

I am embarrassed to say I used to put all my money in FD at 4+% pa, because I didn’t really need to think or evaluate and it guaranteed some fixed returns while saving me time haha. Now that FD is yielding terrible value, I have been playing the “armchair” investor at Stashaway. 

With Stashaway, I actually lost money (but it’s a miniscule amount). I’m in tech so I felt like I needed to understand how bot investing worked. I have since moved most of my capital to guaranteed rates at 2.4% pa. 

I was looking at eToro, but I haven’t yet deposited a huge sum into it because I wanted to understand how stocks worked. I have a virtual portfolio that I have been nurturing over 6 months and either this month or next, due to the instability of the US elections. 

However, I discovered that eToro is not licensed or registered by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to carry out any regulated activities in Malaysia. Hence, I’m also checking out other platforms as the intent is to invest from Malaysia in US stocks.

4. What are you investing for?

I am a mother, daughter, entrepreneur. I have worked out how much my household spends on a yearly basis, added a compounding 4% inflation rate and basically tried to see how much I need in order to survive X number of years without working. I also invest into non-profit causes, i.e. my church and its ministries so I account for that – I want to be able to support the causes that I care about. My husband and I are also trying to convince his parents to take an early retirement and support them through it.

5. Your investment philosophy and approach

1) I do not invest in anything I do not understand. I still do not understand cryptocurrency’s incredible ups and downs so I stay out of it.
2) I feel the need to read a lot about the companies that I invest in and that’s also the reason why I stick with tech stocks and not healthcare or commodities like silver/aluminium etc.
3) I also read from a few investors on how they evaluate and look at companies’ performance.
4) I never invest more than 50% of my net savings into something volatile like stocks.
5) I am not looking for quick gains but “safe” long term gains.

Follow Ai Ching – LinkedIn

About “This is How I Invest” – As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here

Original article here

I am Julian Ng and This is How I Invest

I am Julian Ng, I am…  

The Co-Founder & Chief Financial Guy at Akru. I have 20 years of experience in the investment banking and fund management industries with companies such as CIMB, J.P. Morgan and Public Mutual. I was formerly a producer and presenter on BFM 89.9, where I host shows on business and finance including how it impacted ordinary folks. 

1. What is your best investment and worst investment? 

My best investment is investing in myself. My worst investment is failing to invest enough in myself.

2. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

I didn’t realise that a long time ago when I made my first investments in the stock market, I was actually gambling. I thought that what went up would not come down and that everything I picked was going to be a sure thing just because I wanted them to be. Obviously, that didn’t turn out well.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)  

Don’t waste time trying to pick the right stocks to buy. Buy into whole markets which have given decent, inflation-beating returns over the long term. Better still, pay someone who doesn’t charge too much (like Akru) to invest for you. Use your time for things you love doing.

4. What are you investing for?

I think we can be content and happy without needing too much stuff. It’s enough to be enlightened and healthy and have close friends and family. Having said that, some affordable vices and toys won’t hurt 🙂

5. Julian’s investment philosophy and approach

Investing in yourself gives the best returns because minimal financial capital is needed. Once you reap career dividends, you can invest savings passively so that you can continue to have time to do whatever fulfils you. I personally use a robo-advisor which invests my money into diversified global portfolios which contain about maybe 10,000 securities. My assets are split roughly 70-30 into equity and bonds.

Follow Julian Ng – 
Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email

About “This is How I Invest” – As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.” 

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here
Original article here