The classic investment advice says slow and steady wins the race, but all of us are hares. Whether you like it or not, we are attracted to BIG, FAST results. Despite knowing better, words like ‘highest return on investment’ and ‘highest growth investment’ *will* capture your attention.
Admit it. Even though we know that we should think long-term, all of us try to chase that sweet, fast high. And I think it’s okay to acknowledge that, because denial won’t do any of us good.
On an individual level, yes we’re greedy and impatient. But also on a societal level, we’ve also been conditioned to think that fast growth=better. You can see this mentality all over:
- Bursa Malaysia ranks stocks by ‘top gainers’ and ‘top losers’.
- The default search for unit trusts is by in FundSupermart (now FSMOne) is by ‘Best Performing Funds’ based on 1-month(!!) period.
- Property investors are advised to factor in property rental rate growth, the higher the better.
- When gold prices soared, *more* people bought more of it, causing a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- And more
I personally admit that I constantly look for opportunities to get high investment returns, too. If I didn’t, cryptocurrencies wouldn’t have made more than half of my total investment portfolio. You can read my reasoning in the article, but basically it started as a small % before ballooning to higher % over the years.
So in that spirit, I think I want to write about the actual return on investment that I got from my investments, based on personal experience.
One – Just because I got these return on investment, doesn’t mean you will too. Lots of factors are at play, including my risk appetite and pure dumb luck.
Two – I am not a financial expert, just a poyo, konon-terer DIY investor. Half the time I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. This is both good and bad, because it forces me to constantly learn more about personal finance. It turns out learning is also an awesome coping mechanism to the financial anxiety that I get.
Return on Investment vs Annualised Return on Investment
Before we start, we need to differentiate between these two terms, because they CANNOT be used interchangeably. According to Investopedia’s How to Calculate Return on Investment article, you can calculate ROI with these two methods,
and Annualised ROI with this method.
Where possible, I’ll use the ROI/Annualised ROI numbers that was given to me from the investment platforms OR historical numbers.I’ll also use Calculator.net’s ROI Calculator where applicable
But! Take the info here with a grain of salt – over the years I have added more funds, withdrawn, moved funds around at various timelines so everything except data from official sources is more of a rough estimate than a true figure.
Alright, here we go.
My Lowest to Highest Investments, Ranked
#10 – Money in bank
Not really an ‘investment’, but hey got la small amount. My primary account, which is a Maybank Savers account gives 0.60% return on investment per annum. The other accounts give 0% I think
#9 – Tabung Haji
From 2010-2019, the annual returns ranged from 1.25% to 8% (source). That’s not bad, considering (1) it never went negative, and (2) the profits have already been zakat-ed on your behalf.
However, I probably won’t use Tabung Haji for anything other than hajj funds. It didn’t do very well in 2018 and 2019 (1.25% and 3.05% respectively), plus I’m nervous over the alleged misappropriation of Tabung Haji funds.
#8 – Unit Trust – PRS
PRS = Private Retirement Scheme = think of it as optional EPF. My one and only PRS fund at FSMOne generated 27.84% profit over 6 years, or 4%-ish in annualised ROI (had to calculate myself).
Why continue this investment? Because it gives me up to RM3000 in tax relief annually.
Special note: There are literally tens of PRS-specific unit trust, and hundreds if not thousands of unit trusts. The ROI range will vary A LOT.
#7 – EPF
From 2014-2019, the annual returns ranged from 5% to 6.9% (depends on conventional or syariah). Image taken from KWSP Dividend page.
I don’t have enough Basic Savings to channel into unit trust, which I considered for diversification purposes. More info: [SPONSORED] All You Need to Know About Buying Unit Trust Through EPF i-Invest
#6 – ASB
From 2010-2019, the annual returns ranged from 5.5% to 8.9%. MyPF.my maintains a great page on ASB annual returns. You can see the returns shrunk in recent years (but still good).
#5 – Unit trust – BEST Invest
Quite new at this one, but VERY excited over its possibilities. I love that it is (1) syariah-compliant, and (2) ESG investing ie Environmental, Social and Governance ie sustainable investing ie ethical investing.
At the moment, it’s already showing 7.08% absolute returns after only 2 months or so in.
#4 – P2P Financing
Currently, with some defaults, my annualised portfolio performance is a comparatively low 10.23%. However before defaults, it was as high as ~16-18%.
(Note: The screenshot is from Funding Societies. My referral link is here)
#3 – ETFs – Robo-advisory
My portfolio is Moderately Aggressive, and this is its allocation. If not mistaken, the ‘US Stocks’ part is channelled towards Wahed FTSE USA Shariah ETF.
And I’m getting a whopping 20.17% gains from my portfolio right now.
I don’t understand the (US) economy, I really don’t. Record numbers of people are unemployed, the poor are getting poorer… yet the stock market is booming :/
The bubble will burst, though. I don’t think this will last, it’s not sustainable at all.
(Note: The screenshot is from Wahed Invest. My referral link is here)
#2 – Gold
Gold is a tricky one to rank because it reaaaaally depends on when you buy and sell. Same like buying and selling (non-dividend) stocks, I imagine.
If you bought 5 years ago, circa 2015, you’ve probably made a nice profit.
But if you bought in 2011, then you either (1) have sold at a loss, or (2) now only see (small) profit
Personally, I bought gold many times in small amounts over the years, and I can’t even properly calculate my ROI. But I estimate somewhere around 30-50% return on investment? Hard to say.
(Note: The screenshot is from HelloGold. My referral link is here)
#1 – Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies
And I guess to no one’s surprise, the highest returns of all my investments belong to cryptocurrencies.
According to my calculations, my ROI for crypto – mostly BTC plus some ETC and a scattering of airdropped alts – is a whopping 2900%, or 134% in annualised ROI.
Like gold, it’s very hard to calculate ROI for crypto because it really depends on the time you buy and sell. I was lucky (dumb luck I tell you) to stumble upon crypto relatively early, therefore I get that kinda ROI.
Equally important: I’m not a trader. I don’t buy and sell often, I don’t try to make money in the wild price swings (even though I’m tempted). My strategy is literally to buy and keep for years, because as said in this Pantera Capital’s Medium article: Don’t look at the highs, look at the lows.
As investors, we tend to get caught up in the all-time highs. Equally important are the yearly lows. Looking back at the low-print of the market for each year, Bitcoin has shown consistent positive growth — there’s only one year with a lower low than the previous years.
Thankfully it worked out. But of course, I can say this because (1) survivorship bias, (2) As a crypto holder, *of course* I want more people to get into it, the demand will push the price higher. So again, take what I say with the biggest effing grain of salt.
(Note: I bought my first BTC from Luno. My referral link is here)
Okay, so those are all my investments and their respective return on investment. I hope it gives you – especially if you’re new to investment world – an insight into one person’s actual investment performance. Again, I want to stress how lucky I am, AND I also want to take this opportunity to invite you to read up my article about investments which I lost ALL of my money.
So far, I don’t have investments in properties (REITs, flipping, rental etc) and in the stock market (Read: 7 BEST Articles to Read Before You Jump into Stocks Investing in Malaysia) and a few more, so I don’t know the ROI range for those investments. If you’re doing those, please share your return on investment in the comments section.
How have your investments performed over the years? Which performed the best, and which, the worst?