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Opinion Piece

My say on current events.

[PERSONAL] Malay and Money: A Reflection

Oh boy. This is a hard article to write.

Right. Let’s start with this. My name is Suraya. It’s an obviously Malay name. Even though technically I am of mixed parentage, I am 100% culturally Malay.

This is embarassing to admit, but when I was younger, I went through a period of being ashamed of my own race. I wanted to erase that identity. So much that when I was living in Japan, I went by Aya. When I was studying in the UK, I took the name Sue.

I’m no longer that person. I’ve learned to accept my Malay-ness. I love my name. In fact, I insist on it – always call me Suraya, not Su, not anything else.

But why was I embarassed of my Malay identity in the first place? How did I eventually accept it? I wanted to pen this essay to just kind of, dive deep into this complicated, complex psyche, through the lens and intersection with personal finance and money management.

Here we go. These are all reasons why I detached from my Malay identity. Read until the end – this article only makes sense if read as a whole.

#1 – Blind loyalty makes us follow bad leaders

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4 Money Making Tips I Wish I Knew Earlier

Making money is a type of high that is hard to describe. Seeing the numbers in your bank account grow is extremely, extremely satisfying.

As someone who is obsessed with personal finance, I read a lot of articles and books that give various money making tips. Here are some that weren’t immediately obvious, things that I wish I knew earlier.

#1 – You have to have (some) money first before you can invest it

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[PERSONAL] How Money Affects My Dating Life

Received a request to write about the topic of dating and money (thanks for the suggestion, Carrine Yap!)

This is an interesting topic for sure, something I haven’t done before. Rather than talking about how I manage finances in a relationship, I thought I’d go one step further and talk about how money affects my dating life.

First of all, a disclaimer. This is how money affects *my* dating life. I’m not telling anyone how *they* should date. I’m just saying, due to my background, privilege and money mindset, this is how I choose to go on dates and get into relationships.

So with that in mind, if you view yourself as a bit of a traditionalist or conservative, I ask you to skip this article altogether, or read with an open mind. Comments like ‘men should be the one to do X’ or ‘you should be more Y’ will be deleted.

*You* can do that, go ahead, nothing’s stopping you. You live your life, I’ll live mine. I don’t attack you, you don’t attack me. Fair right? 🙂

Dating and Money Approach #1 – Like money, personal relationships are private matter

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[SPONSORED] 4 Things I Learned from Kenanga’s Investment Event

On 12 January 2019, I attended an investment event organised by multi-award winning Kenanga Group. The name intrigued me right from the start – you don’t come across something like Market Outlook Symposium 2019: Smart Investing or Dare Betting? every day. Held from 9am-2.30pm, the event packed in five speakers (and a lunch break). You can check the agenda of the day and speakers’ profiles here.

I had fun live-tweeting the whole event. Click on the Twitter thread below to read 50+ tweets giving play-by-play account of each speaker’s presentation. Among others, you’ll find stock picks by Kenanga Investment Bank’s Head of Research, a warrants trading tool (that may help you get double-digit ROIs), what to do with your money during bear markets and more.

Here are some things I learned from the event. Some commentaries are not specific to the event itself, but an overview of the general investment events scene in Malaysia. This article is sponsored by Kenanga, but all opinions are mine.

#1 – The Kenanga-organised event… exceeded expectations

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[SPONSORED] What Rich Malaysians Do With Their Money (That You Don’t)

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the T20 in this country received 46.2% of overall income share in 2016, while the M40 and B40 received 37.4% and 16.4% respectively.

rich malaysians

Image credit to DOSM

Looking at the statistics, you can’t deny that rich Malaysians must know something that the rest of us don’t. I mean, the top 20% can’t have gotten almost half of all the income in Malaysia by accident.

I am greatly fascinated by the money mindset that the rich have. Not their lifestyle, mind you – looking rich is not the same as being rich – but their mindset: what they learned from their parents (if they were born rich) or from life experiences (if they worked hard to get there).

Here are some things that I’ve learned about rich Malaysians.

#1 – They buy time

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How You Behave With Money, According to Your Personality

Because money and personality are two topics I love to mesh together.

Your Personality, Using the Big Five Personality Traits

Before we go on, we have to spend some time talking about personalities – what is its definition? In comes behavioural science.

The book Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being by Professor Brian R. Little gave me some great info about the categorisation of personalities, so I’m going to use that. There are many ways to test personality types, including the popular Myers-Briggs model, but Prof Little said the one I’m about to share is the most peer-approved one.

Note: It’s important to remember that for most people, it’s never as clear-cut as A or B (ie, introvert or extrovert). It’s more like a spectrum. Not only we can have qualities of both, we can adjust it to the situation as well.

The Big Five Personality Traits which can be used to explain the spectrum of our personalities are:

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Why We Can’t Stop Spending Money

Look up any commentary or news piece about poor Malaysians and the (sad) state of our finances, and you can find discussions about our self-control. Apparently, some of us lack self-control so much that we simply can’t help buying all the H&M clothes and trying out all the Starbucks drinks against our better judgement. That, said the commentators, is the reason why many of us complain too much about the cost of living, so stop complaining and just buy less lah!

This shallow reasoning makes me angry.

Are we simply going to ignore decades worth of behavioural economics research that is used to influence our purchasing behaviour and habits? Or do we just not take into account thousands of people employed in big companies whose jobs is to develop and execute sales, advertisement and marketing strategies?

And you expect me, a mere individual, to be able to resist all these combined efforts and temptations, 100% of the time? And tell me I lack willpower?

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What Malaysians Found Out After GE14

This is a commentary post on GE14. Not about who won – although I am elated about that – but about things that was suddenly unearthed after the results came in. Wherever possible, I added a personal finance element (gotta keep to the theme of this website), but some of them are just musings about what we just experienced.

Special thanks to post-GE14 TwitterJaya. I wouldn’t have been able to give these observations if not for them. Where possible, I’ve added the link to the original poster.

What Malaysians Found Out Post-GE14, In No Particular Order

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