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[SPONSORED] Investment-Linked Products, As Explained By the CEO of Life Insurance Association of Malaysia

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.

investment linked product

Let me share with you how LIAM explains investment-linked products. It’s quite clever.

Investment-Linked Products, explained using Nasi Lemak

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10 Types of Islamic Investments in Malaysia (that Everyone Can Get)

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.

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How I Spent Over RM10k During My Braces Journey

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.

Note: It was fast because I got Damon braces. See 3 Things to Know About Braces Cost in Malaysia for types of braces and cost comparison.

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

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Link Roundup #38: 10 Things to Know This Week

Accelerate your personal finance knowledge with this regular feature on Ringgit Oh Ringgit – the Link Roundup! I promise you’ll find these 10 links informational 🙂

1. Malaysian Salaries Are Insufficient – The Star

Finally, we as a nation are focusing on low salaries. Before this the narrative seems to be more to blaming – as if we’re struggling solely because we’re simply poor savers and budgeters.

The Star’s editorial team rightfully pointed out that even EPF (aka KWSP)’s Belanjawanku guide lacks so many necessary expenses, like insurance, phone bill, PTPTN and contribution to parents.

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Budget Update: October 2019

Budget Update October 2019 1

Budget Update: October 2019

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:

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.

I’m going to share this article again: 3 Ways to Get A High Salary in Malaysia

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Malaysians Share the Biggest Credit Card Expenses They Ever Made

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!

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8 Malaysia-Based Personal Finance YouTube Channels to Follow

I’ve compiled Malaysia-based personal finance Twitter accounts to follow, and Malaysia-based personal finance Instagrammers, so now its personal finance Youtubers and Youtube channels’ turn!

Note that I have intentionally excluded other personal finance media and figures in Malaysia who (1) don’t use English as a medium, (2) don’t publish videos on a regular basis, and (3) is too product-focused.

This names in this list links directly to their Youtube channels and appear in no particular order. If I missed out anyone, do let me know (or leave a comment with a link to the profile!)

#1 – Suyin Ong

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Personal Finance is Trendy. Here’s How You Can Make Money From It.

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.

Related: 19 Financial Education Initiatives in Malaysia You Should Know

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.

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Link Roundup #37: 10 Things to Know This Week

Accelerate your personal finance knowledge with this regular feature on Ringgit Oh Ringgit – the Link Roundup! I promise you’ll find these 10 links informational 🙂

1. Half of millennials and 75% of Gen-Zers have quit jobs for mental health reasons  – CNBC

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:

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.

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Pros & Cons of 4 Part Time Jobs for College Students in Malaysia

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?

It’s okay, no judgement. In fact, doing a little work is good for you, beyond the obvious income factor. If your parents make noise, tell them a HSBC-led research said that ‘the academic performance of students who work 10-19 hours per week is superior to their peers‘.

In this article, I want to share the pros and cons of different types of part time jobs for college students in Malaysia. Let’s start.

#1 – Booth attendant / Promoter / Event staff

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