FAQs & Guides
Frequently Asked Questions and Guides to save, spend, invest and earn money in Malaysia. Youth-centric.
Hacking. Ransomware. Phishing. It’s a scary time for all of us, especially now that most of our money is digital. ‘Digital’ here refers to money and assets that are reflected in your various banking and investment platforms when you log in.
Digital security is not something you can ignore anymore, dear readers. Imagine logging in one day and finding that your account balance is zero, depleted, transferred out. You’ll stare at the screen in disbelief. You’ll check if the account is indeed yours, and try to remember if you made any transactions that you forgot about (you didn’t). Then, as the panic seeps in, you’ll contact the platform’s support team, only to be told that there is nothing they can do.
To the best of my ability, I’m compiling a checklist of things you should do to make sure your digital money is adequately protected. This article is not complete, digital-based scams evolve all the time, so please help me to update this article if you have anything else to add.
Investment is such a loaded word. It covers a wide area, I guess similar to the word ‘science’. If you’re not from that world, reading content about it is likely to make you confused at some point or another. You need A to understand B to understand C to understand D. This is why beginners find investing intimidating in the beginning.
What I’m going to attempt in this article is to kind of explain those investment terms using analogies, examples, and memes. I’m covering: Technical analysis, fundamental analysis, hedge, arbitrage, ROI, equity, options, futures, IPO, ICO, bull and bear market, and pump-and-dump.
Disclaimer: not a financial expert. If any of my personal understanding below is wrong, please comment and I’ll edit.
On 15 April 2017, I attended a full-day REITs Analysis Workshop, part of the Bursa Investor Education Workshop Series where they talk about different investment vehicles and investment strategies. REITs stands for Real Estate Investment Trust. For other Bursa Malaysia-organised events, see here.
It was presented by speaker Chua I-Min from ShareInvestCoach.com, a Singaporean financial planner specialising in fundamental analysis (I’ll explain this term too). I think the speaker did a great job in breaking down all the jargon into digestible information.
All-in-all, I learned loads. Here are 5 things I learned about REITs in Malaysia, because sharing is caring.
Dave Ramsey is a popular author and radio host in the United States. He gives solid money advice.
One of it, which I 100% agree with, is the Debt Snowball Method – a loan repayment plan for people who owe money and overwhelmed by it. Find the original explanation in his website here, written for the U.S. audience.
What I’m going to try do is to explain the Snowball Method in a way that is relatable to us Malaysians. So you can use it to pay off your debt, or advice someone about it.
This post is dedicated to my sister, who runs the Instagram shop Malaysia Plus Size and sells chic, Muslimah-friendly fashion. We had a conversation about finances and what she should have, as an online business in Malaysia when it comes to paying taxes. Then we were interrupted by mom’s gulai and didn’t manage to continue, so this post is for you sis. If you have a small online business – selling products and/or services from Facebook, Instagram, Mudah, etc and have your own branding (logo) – you should find this helpful, too.
Here’s what you have to have in order, when it comes to taxes.
Ho Chi Minh City (young people in Vietnam prefer to call it by its original name, Saigon) is a good place to head to for an under-RM1000 weekend trip. Why not longer? It’s a great city, but personally I can only handle the traffic noise in small doses. This was my third trip to Vietnam, but first to Saigon.
My 3 days 2 nights Saigon trip was cheap- just RM958. Even cheaper than my 3 days 2 nights Langkawi trip! Saigon is good for ballin’ on a budget 🙂 There are eight savings tips in this post.
The currency is Vietnamese Dong. RM1 is roughly 5,000VND. Can’t lie, holding a million Dongs in one hand made me chuckle.
Saigon Trip Overview
Let’s do something a bit different than usual. Statistics about money can offer a lot of insight about our financial situation. Here, I listed many facts and figures from reputable Malaysian media, educational institution and government agencies. Sources are in ‘x’. Let’s get talking – click to tweet to start online conversations about it. I will RT good commentaries 🙂
If you were to check out personal finance and investment commentaries – from blogs, forums, commentaries – you’ll see that different people have their preferred investment vehicles (types). It’s very interesting, because after a while you start seeing a pattern: people who prefer investment X tend to be Y. It’s fascinating.
Look at this from a behavioural point of view. Many personal finance and investment experts like to say ‘select an investment that works for you’, but what does that mean exactly? How do you choose from many different types of investment available in Malaysia?
I feel like travelling overseas, but am not keen on the horrible exchange rates right now. One day, while happily browsing Google Flights and dreaming of Europe (use it! You get to save money on flights), I found cheap tickets to Langkawi. RM102 for return tickets, including fees. Even though I didn’t exactly have a burning desire to go to Langkawi, I couldn’t resist the price and booked it on the spot.
And that’s how I went on a 4 days 3 nights Langkawi weekend trip. This guide is suitable for those of you going solo/duo travelling and wants to be somewhat comfortable but on a budget. Because of the weather (it rained 80% of the time I was there), this guide is also more general and flexible in nature.
This is a continuation of a series of sponsored posts about EPF and retirement. See the previous two articles here: Will You Fight or Flight? and What Actual Retirees Say.
Here I’ll share an EPF tool, called i-Akaun and why you need to use it. For the purpose of this article, I created my own EPF i-Akaun.
Click here for the original i-Akaun article on CompareHero.
How to Create EPF i-Akaun
For first-time login, get the activation code first. You can do this by:
- Go to EPF counter or EPF Kiosk, or;
- Call KWSP at 03-89226000. Press ‘0’ to talk to the nice operator, then answer some personal questions for identification purposes. They’ll send the code via SMS.
- THEN go to the first-time login page here. (this page took me a while to find)
- For subsequent logins after activation, click here.
- Optional but handy – download the EPF i-Akaun app.
Reasons to Use EPF i-Akaun
1. View and check EPF statements
This is how much you should have, based on your age.
2. Check how much you can withdraw
You can withdraw for education and housing purposes. View status of withdrawal application here too. Note: You can only withdraw from Account 2.
3. Check who’s your beneficiaries
I.e. who is going to get your EPF money. If you haven’t added beneficiaries, I suggest you do that asap. It’ll make it much easier for them to withdraw later on. Note: You can only submit the names at EPF counter. For security and anti-fraud reasons.
4. Check when is the last time your employer submitted your EPF
Sometimes, irresponsible employers conveniently ‘forget’ about this. If you work, your employers should contribute 13% (or 12%, depending on how much you earn) of your salary towards your EPF. If they did not contribute this, they are in the wrong.
5. Latest info on EPF and office locations
Quite handy I think.
Having tried it out, I’ll have to say the experience was good. It’s convenient – I managed to change my address with no problem. I also checked my beneficiaries and felt secure seeing their names listed there – it’s reassuring to know that if anything happens to me, they will be able to access my EPF money. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you to open your EPF i-Akaun now!
This article was written in collaboration with CompareHero. To stay up to date with the latest news on personal finance in Malaysia, please follow CompareHero Facebook Page.