The Malaysian PF Community

[SPONSORED] 4 Types of Banks in Malaysia and What They Do

What was your first memory of banks?

My first memory of the whole banking institution is a bit fuzzy, but I still remember bits and pieces. I vaguely recall snippets of these events:

  • my mom taking primary-school-age me to a bank to open a savings account (Maybank’s Yippie);
  • receiving piggy banks in the shape of bank mascots and buildings; and
  • someone giving a talk to my whole classroom and us receiving a small notebook with visuals explaining the importance of saving money (this is also where I learned the phrase ‘sikit-sikit lama-lama jadi bukit’)

You might have similar memories, or at least received similar messaging. Most of us have been exposed to mostly the consumer-facing side of a bank.

What if I tell you this is just one aspect of banking services; there’s a whole lot more going on.

In this article, I’d like to share with you the other types of banks, other players in the financial ecosystem, and how they work with each other and be part of this smooth machine that runs our financial life in the background.

The 4 types of banks in Malaysia

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Get REAL Financial Advice: 3 Ways to Find Financial Planners in Malaysia

Here’s the dilemma I observed, after being in the personal finance space for a while: financial planners in Malaysia want more clients. Everyday Malaysians want more guidance in their money management.

Why, then, do some of us choose not to seek out professional financial planners, and instead choosing DIY money management methods and getting our financial advice primarily from friends and family (who may be bad with financial management themselves)?

I’ll tell you why – distrust. Who are you to tell me what to do with MY money?

Or at least I’d say that, until I knew better.

It’s totally not their fault, but network marketers (MLM and Ponzi), scammers, high-risk-high-reward opportunists and self-proclaimed financial gurus have totally bastardised the phrases ‘financial freedom’ and ‘financial independence’ until they now become red-flag phrases instead.

I have attended financial-themed events that turned out to be recruitment drives for forex platforms and property investment coaching, and now I am sceptical of anyone who claims to know what’s best for my financial life.

So here’s something you should know: real financial advice still exist, BUT you must know where to get them. Here are 3 ways to find actual and professional financial planners, who are all licensed and certified and certainly more competent in giving out financial advice than the group in the previous paragraph.

#1 – Through free consultation at InvestSmart’s #FinPlan4U event

The first method is to let the universe pair you up with your fated financial planner (jk jk but not really).

Every year, Securities Commission Malaysia holds the public education event InvestSmart, which includes a collaboration with the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM) and Malaysia Financial Planning Council (MFPC). The public can book a one-to-one financial planning consultation under the #FinPlan4U initiative, which is completely FREE.

I attended a session back in 2018 and had a good experience with my assigned financial planner, and I’d recommend you taking advantage of this initiative too – if you like your financial planner’s vibe, you can proceed to hire them, but if not you can continue your search, no worries.

In 2020, with the pandemic and everything, #FinPlan4U will be held virtually from 19-25 October 2020. Click here or the image below to register and book your slot.

financial planners in malaysia

#2 – From financial planner/content creator hybrids

Nowadays, there is more financial content in Malaysia than ever before, produced from konon-terer personal finance bloggers like myself to financial companies to financial planner/content creator hybrids (and more).

Financial planner/content creator hybrids are people who choose inbound marketing strategies to get clients, instead of outbound marketing.

(Simplistically, inbound marketing = clients chase you; outbound marketing = you chase clients.)

In Malaysia, some notable financial planner/content creator hybrids include:

  • KC Lau (the OG)
  • Pakdi (Malay language)
  • Stev Yong of Wealth Vantage Advisory, who also runs top personal finance website
  • Peter Yong of Mr Money TV
  • Farah Adira (Twitter platform)

I’m sure there are more but these are the names I can think of atm. I admire them for creating free beneficial financial content and prioritising their audience. If some of those audience members turned to customers, that’s a win-win situation all around.

P/s – if you’re a (licensed) financial planner/content creator hybrid yourself, please comment and I’ll add you to the list.

#3 – Through platform

And finally, if options #1 and #2 doesn’t work for you, and you prefer to search for your own financial advisor, you totally can at, the platform to find and book financial planners. Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM) is behind, so its legit.

financial planners in malaysia

The cool thing is you can select financial planners based on location (if you want face-to-face consultation), language (English, Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia, Cantonese, Hokkien, Tamil) and fees.

Even cooler is you can select your financial planner based on their specialisations, such as:

  • Emergency Savings
  • Estate Planning
  • Comprehensive Plan
  • Health Care Planning
  • Financial Security
  • Credit Protection
  • Child Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Succession Planning
  • Family Office
  • Child Tertiary Education Planning
  • General Accumulation
  • Wealth & Investment Portfolio Management
  • Islamic Financial Planning
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Wealth Protection
  • Estate (Will, Trust and Power of Attorney) Planning and Implementation

Muslims will appreciate the Islamic Financial Planning selection. Do ask your financial planners about Hibah, Wasiat, Takaful and other Syariah-compliant financial products and services. The Hibah instrument, for example, can help you leave an inheritance to non-Muslim loved ones, and to female family members who may be financially abandoned by male relatives after your passing.

I said what I said.

Where do you get your financial advice from?

There’s nothing wrong with getting financial advice from friends, family and companies. But you must know ALL advice is biased. Someone who made money from property will tell you property investment is a good idea. Ditto stock market. Ditto digital assets. List goes on.

With financial planners, it may still be hard to get independent advice, but they are the best possible professional option. Being a licensed financial planner is NOT easy, they have to complete many modules before they can claim that title.

Any of you have hired a financial planner in Malaysia before? Why did you select them? How was your experience like? Share with us in the comments section 🙂

My open letter for financial planners

This section is for financial planners in Malaysia, whose attention I’ve captured with this article, hopefully. It’d be a missed opportunity if I don’t include this.

I respect your profession, I really do, but here’s the thing. I don’t know if you’re aware of this but some financial advice that you give out sounds (a) really condescending, and (b) victim-blaming.

For example, every time I hear some financial planner repeat the statistic, 52% of Malaysians ‘face difficulties raising even RM1,000 for emergencies’, what you say is we’re bad at saving money (and yes to be fair some of us are pretty bad at it), but what you ignore is the fact that many Malaysians are underpaid.

According to a BNM report…

“To illustrate this point, if a Malaysian worker produces output worth US$1,000, the worker will be paid US$340 for it.

The corresponding wage received by a worker in benchmark economies for producing the same output worth US$1,000 is, however, higher at US$510.80” – BNM report

Stop telling people they can budget their way out of poverty, when that is a near-impossible feat. Being poor is expensive.

Stop telling people who have not taken insurance or do wills that they don’t care about their families – it is hard for low-income earners to commit to long-term plans when they are still figuring out how to feed and shelter their families today.

Stop telling people to simply stop spending money, without acknowledging sales and marketing, which *is* a billion-dollar industry, is exceptionally good at what they do.

The funny/sad part is some of you give us all this advice, while you are comfortably living in the higher M40/T20 income bracket.

It’s not my place to tell you what to do, nor your responsibility, but here’s my plea anyway – where you can, please:

  • lead by example and provide at least living wage to your employees, and
  • fight for higher pay for low-paid colleagues, including the janitors and cleaners, and
  • encourage your high-net-worth clients – the ones who have more money than they know what to do with – to give back. Tell them that’s how they can buy happiness with their money

Thank you for reading. I’ve poured what I kept inside for the longest time, now over to you. Thank you for your continued dedication to helping fellow Malaysians.

[SPONSORED] 5 Sessions You’ll Want to Attend at SCxSC20

My fellow fintech nerds, where you at? Securities Commission Malaysia’s annual fintech event is back, and this year they’re taking it virtual! 

SCxSC Fintech Conference 2020 or SCxSC20 for short, held in partnership with Rakuten Trade and MDEC will be happening completely online from 5 to 7 October 2020, for the steep price of FREE. 

Like the previous years, the schedule is filled with thematic sessions under the fintech umbrella. This year, the four verticals are: Innovative Technology, SC Digital Initiative, Fintech Entrepreneurship and Fintech Literacy. 

Some of the sessions are *really* cool, I thought I’d list them here, schedule them into your calendar. Here are five sessions that you’ll want to attend at SCxSC20.

#1 – Investment Behavior In Turbulent Times

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3 Reasons to Attend Cakna Kewangan Summit 2020

Ringgit Oh Ringgit is pleased to be one of the official media partners for Cakna Kewangan Summit 2020, the Malay-language personal finance event which will run for 3 days, from 13-15 June 2020.

Some sponsors/partners you might be familiar with include PTPTN, Bursa Malaysia, UOB KayHan, INSKEN (Institut Keusahawanan Negara), MFPC (Malaysia Financial Planning Association) and (for some reason) Kelantan state government.

cakna kewangan summit 2020

Let me give you two good reasons to attend Cakna Kewangan Summit 2020.

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[PRE-ORDER NOW] Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 2 & Cerita Duit Orang Malaysia: Jilid 1!

Are you bored out of your mind this MCO and looking for entertainment but don’t want to feel like you’re wasting time? Get the latest Money Stories book series, the personal finance in edutainment format! #productivepeopleproblems

Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 2 contains 11 personal finance-themed short stories, including one from myself, and Cerita Duit Orang Malaysia: Jilid 1 is the Malay translation of Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 1, with 2 additional new stories 😀

Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 2 features writers: Sukhbir Cheema, Nina Osman, Raja Ummi Nadrah, Afiq Abruzzi, Kong Ing Hong, Junnie Lee, Stuart Danker, Azraei Muhamad, Catalina Rembuyan, Myra Mitha and Suraya Zainudin

Cerita Duit Orang Malaysia: Jilid 1 features writers: Jouhari Ali, N.T.Cloever, Sarah Anne, Eu Leon, Sumi S, Aina Izzah, Juntaki, Jonathan Kam, Chan Ai Sin, Azizul Amiludin, M21 and Suraya Zainudin


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Malaysians Share 7 Silver Linings from the Coronavirus Pandemic

One of my favourite quotes is: change what you can, accept what you can’t.

That quote is more important than ever nowadays. It’s hard AF, but I want to choose to change my attitude to this whole coronavirus pandemic. I refuse to play the ‘woe is me, everything sucks’ game.

Don’t get me wrong. I am miserable. MCO sucks. Living alone and being away from loved ones right now sucks. Cancelled plans suck. Feeling helpless sucks. Not knowing when this will end sucks.

But I still want to try and live. Find the positives wherever and however I can. It’s the only way I – we – can cope with this without going mental. I’m already seeing predictions from pandemic specialists on how months of MCO may be necessary. How am I supposed to be productive and creative (and earn money during the recession) if I’ve lost it at this early stage?

The thing about feeling negative is it makes it hard for you to think positively. So I turned to the RoR audience for help.

And omg, did you DELIVER. What amazing perspectives you had. Thank you so much. I love it so much, I’ve decided to compile them here, so everyone else can also see the silver linings that you saw.

#1 – The Environment takes a breather

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13 Things to Do During Restricted Movement Order in Malaysia

Restricted Movement Order just started, but I admit I’m already restless.

But… I refuse to complain about it. Whatever I’m facing is minor – so minor – compared to what the frontliners are facing. Staying home is the least I can do.

In this article, I compiled some things we can all do during the Restricted Movement Order.

#1 – Work from home

As you know, the Restricted Movement Order demands people who are not part of essential sectors to just stay home and do their work from home. We just have to assume we ourselves are infected and limit our exposure to other people so we don’t infect them.

Easier said than done though. I was already working from home before this, and the transition is minimal, if any, and I still find myself unable to focus on the work.

But hey, like aka work goes on. That’s why I published this article anyway.

#2 – Enable your spouse to work as well

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How to Apply for SOCSO / PERKESO Self-Employment Social Security Scheme

I enrolled myself in the PERKESO Self-Employment Social Security Scheme!!!

(By the way: PERKESO = Pertubuhan Keselamatan Social = Social Security Organisation = SOCSO)

This is so exciting. PERKESO Self-Employment Social Security Scheme was previously only available for the Passenger Transportation Sector (ie e-Hailing drivers), but as of January 2020 have since been extended to cover 19 more informal sectors. Scroll further down to see the sectors and types of professions eligible for enrollment.

What Benefits You Get Under the PERKESO Self-Employment Social Security Scheme

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What’s In My Bag: Malaysia Personal Finance Content Creators Edition!

Welcome to the What’s In My Bag: Malaysia Personal Finance Content Creators Edition!

For International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020, I thought it would be fun to play around with the theme, #EachforEqual, and ask my fellow personal finance content creators about something that enables their personal and work lives: the contents of their bags.

To put simply, what do we carry around with us to get. shit. done?

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5 Interesting Info I Found in the Securities Commission Malaysia Website

Some time ago I wrote about how I got bored one day and decided to check out (and write about) the Bank Negara Malaysia website.

I got bored again, so here’s an article about me clicking around Securities Commission Malaysia website pulak.

(Huh, this can be an ongoing series. I can write about other financial institutions’ websites, why not)

Similar disclaimer here. None of the screenshot-ed images below are mine, they’re taken from the website. Securities Commissions Malaysia team reading this, please don’t sue me *laughs nervously*

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Malaysians Share Their Best Employee Benefits!

Good employers exist. Before we even start this article, I just want to tell you that despite all the workplace-related horror stories you read on social media, good and caring employers exist. They just get overshadowed by all the bad ones.

And here’s the thing – they *want* to attract you, a talented professional, to work with them.

This article serves two purposes:

  • For employers and future employers to take note of what brilliant employees expect in exchange for their hard work and loyalty, so you can grow your business better
  • For employees to refuse – nay, reject – workplaces that don’t treat them well. Let those businesses die a slow death, they deserve it

Basic Employee Benefits

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[SPONSORED] I Tried Bursa Marketplace’s Mirror, Learn & Trade Platform

The idea behind investing in the stock market is easy – buy shares from companies you like, wait for it to grow, and earn a profit through dividends and/or increase in value.

(You can also make money if the share price goes down – that’s called shorting, but that’s not halal and more suitable for more advanced traders so let’s not go there).

But if the idea is so easy, then why do I find it intimidating?

Bursa Malaysia knows that many people have the same feeling. Part of their mandate is to attract more investors to the Malaysian stock market, so they come up with various initiatives, including educational ones, to help us overcome that fear.

The latest initiative – Bursa Marketplace’s Mirror, Learn & Trade Platform or MLT Platform for short – may be the coolest one yet. I tried it out. Here’s what I thought of it.

bursa marketplace mirror learn trade mlt platform

#1 – Choosing who to mirror is the first step

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