As part of an outreach campaign, members of the financial media – including personal finance bloggers like yours truly – were invited to the office of Life Insurance Association Malaysia and treated to a first-hand presentation of the latest update within the investment-linked products industry.
Even the CEO of Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (or LIAM for short), Mark O’Dell attended the meeting. He’s like the top boss in the insurance industry. His background is very, very impressive. Happy to report he was approachable in person.
Let me share with you how LIAM explains investment-linked products. It’s quite clever.
Investment-Linked Products, explained using Nasi Lemak
My relationship with Islam the religion may be complicated, but I’m ALL for Islamic finance. During Securities Commissions Malaysia’s SCxSC 2019 Fintech Conference event, someone said Islamic finance = ethical finance and gosh, that’s it, that’s why it’s always been appealing for me.
I love the underlying values behind it, like how usury (interest) or riba is completed prohibited, and how excessive risk-taking or gharar is not encouraged. Conventional finance can be so predatory – yes, predatory – and I love how Islamic finance and banking is structured in a for-the-good-of-all way, even though admittedly things are never perfect in practice.
When it comes to Islamic investments, I admit I do have a big preference to Syariah-compliant investments. Not ALL of my investments are halal, but most of them are. I’m a work in progress, as we all are.
Throughout the years, I’ve made my notes when it comes to Islamic investment options in Malaysia. It’s far from comprehensive, but it’s time to share it with you. Hopefully it’ll help.
In my late 20s, I finally decided to act on something I’ve been self-conscious about all my life – fixing my crooked teeth by wearing braces. The treatment took one and a half years, and I took it off for good last January 2019.
Now that the braces are off, it feels like a distant dream. In a, ‘wow, I can’t believe I went through with it’ way. I thought I’d jot down everything I spent before, during and after my braces journey before I forgot all about it.
I hope this article will help everyone planning to do braces (or going through it now) to plan your budget, and perhaps help in choosing tools to buy/avoid. I’ll divide it into three sections – things I paid before, during and after wearing braces.
Things I Paid for During My Braces Journey – Before
Oh my, my expenses in October 2019 was in the RM6k, almost RM7k range again. Urk. Business, Utilities & Rent and Insurance & Medical expenses took the bulk of it though. Even after all this time, even knowing how I shouldn’t skimp on these expenses, I still wishfully dream for under-RM3k monthly expenses.
Is that kind of monthly expense realistic, though? To thrive (not merely survive), at least RM4k+ per month is needed no? I know that many companies advertise jobs with starting pay of RM2.2, RM2.5k. And they expect people to be able to ration that out all thoughout the month?
And I guess other people got sick of that unrealistic expectations too, because boy did this tweet go viral:
So sick and tired of all the personal finance advice that accuses Malaysians of not saving enough money when the biggest reason is actually freaking low wages
Yes, YES, we *could* live on that amount. If we *only* spend on what we need to spend on to just live, we could.
BUT that would mean a living a life devoid of any entertainment, any leisure, any trips home to see the family, any activities with friends, any personal fulfilment, any meaning. How DARE they judge every single bubble tea, every nice meal we have, when that could be the only thing that makes life tolerable for us.
Ah, credit cards. The enabler of reckless spending, yet such a useful financial tool when utilised right.
How useful is useful? And how enabling? I had to ask. Naturally, I turn to the RoR audience – I wanted to know the biggest swipe they have ever made on their credit cards. Not just that – I also asked if they themselves thought it was a good decision.
Here are their answers. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
Confession: It’s really… weird… that personal finance, as a topic, is getting more attention than ever. I mean, it’s good and all, it’s just strange to be right smack of it all, as a personal finance blogger.
And shit REALLY got real ever since the Malaysian government launched the National Strategy for Financial Literacy (2019-2023) on July 2019. I’ve personally gotten more outreach requests for interviews, speaking engagements and collaborations since then.
So, there’s no questioning that personal finance is a HOT topic. For today’s article, I’ve decided to brainstorm and compile how YOU – a personal finance enthusiast – can take advantage of this situation. Here are some ways to make money from this hot trend.
The data came from US demographics, but mental health is universal and this discussion is applicable to us Malaysians as well.
I don’t have solutions, but I agree with this gentleman’s sentiment:
I’ll say it again: If you hate your job stop blowing the money that they’re paying you. Stack that money so you can put it into things so you eventually won’t need that job anymore. Spending recklessly while working a job you hate is STUPID. Stop bullshitting.
But of course I admit that’s a priviledged way of looking at it. Some people truly can’t afford to quit their jobs because non-negotiable commitments are too high.
So here I want to say… employers, take care of your employees. I can give many reasons why you should – happier employees are more productive, etc – but at the end of the day… the reason you should take their wellbeing into consideration is because they’re fellow human beings.
When I was in college – and by college I mean the combined time I spent studying for diploma, degree and masters – I supplemented my parental and PTPTN allowance with a bunch of part time jobs.
Had to lah. For one, I felt guilty for using FAMA scholarship when getting my diploma and degree, especially after I found out my parents were actually facing financial difficulties during the time. Parents, I tell you, they never tell you anything :'(
For another, looking and finding part time jobs for college students turned out to be a productive way to waste time. It’s procrastination but in a good way. Don’t lie to me – some of you college students reading this, you’re looking for part-time jobs despite haven’t finished your assignments yet correct not?