First off, I want to say that most players in the financial ecosystem are important*. Not even going to deny it. Like banks for example – they provide tons of job opportunities, safekeeping of funds, access to financial services and overall contribution to the country’s financial health.
*most are important except the Ponzi people and other scammers. I pray they will miss all the connection flights in their lifetime
But let’s go beyond the friendly, approachable image the financial industry like to portray to the world. Here are 4 things you should know about the financial ecosystem we live in.
#1 – Banks use the money you deposit to make more money
You know how content from insurance/takaful companies all kind of say the same things? “Protect yourself and your family in case anything happens”, “Life is unexpected, be prepared”, “Make sure your loved ones are taken care of”?
Yeah, they’re repetitive. And boring. Important stuff, sure, but boring.
So when I got the opportunity to interview Great Eastern Takaful’s CEO, Shahrul Azlan Shahriman, I told them I wanted more meat if we proceed with a paid collaboration to promote their newest takaful product, i-Gr8 Harapan. I told them I don’t do pure ‘promotion’ without interesting content about their new takaful product and the takaful industry in general.
Surprisingly, this jual mahal approach paid off. They approved all of my questions. Here they are, for your reading pleasure.
This whole blogging thing. It wasn’t intentional. I mean, it was, the whole writing part was. But the recognition that comes with it, the knowledge that what I write and say has some form of influence… that part wasn’t intentional at all. Truthfully I’m still shocked by this blog’s success. The total number of visits crossed the one million mark recently. One million!
Here are some personal thoughts, observations and reflections on being a personal finance blogger in Malaysia.
Living with frugality mindset is something I’ve consciously tried to do for many years now. For the most part it’s great, I’ve saved so much money. But let’s talk about the downsides, shall we? Roses still have thorns and all that.
This is not an article to deter you from frugalism – no, not at all. I have zero regrets adopting this lifestyle. I just want to share the bad that comes with the good.
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As a Malaysian, I love this country. I love it so, so much.
But there are also many things we can improve on. We could have been better than Singapore. It’s the slow, sometimes even backwards progress that makes us angry, annoyed, bitter. We feel helpless about many issues. We have the preconceived notion that even if we do something about it, nothing much will change. So what do we do? We complain.
I’m sick of complaining and hearing complaints. I want to do something to improve our country, and I need your help. This is my idea and I’d love to get your feedback on it.
I notice that these things happen to people who are good with money. Not saying I’m that great (OK OK only), but I try. They are based on personal experience and anecdotes collected from various personal finance-related forums, blogs and other sources online.
These are meant to be humourous, so don’t take them too seriously!
1.5 years ago, I switched from paid employment to self-employment. It’s been great. I have earned up to 4.8x my previous monthly salary.
My exercise journey also started more or less the same time. From the peak of my weight, I’ve lost about 28kg so far. I know BMI (Body Mass Index) isn’t the best indicator, but I’m finally in the ‘healthy’ range. As someone who has always been ‘the fat one’ since primary school, this is a pretty big achievement. I’m crazy proud of myself.
It can’t be a coincidence. I think exercising and healthier living choices did impact my career and income, for the better. This post is a jumble of self-reflection on this correlation.