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What to Invest with RM1000: 15 Options You Should Know

So you are new at investing, and wondering what you could invest with RM1000 that you’ve finally, painfully saved up.

That is not an insignificant amount to you. Truthfully, even though you’ve been told ‘investing is important!’ and ‘you should invest early!’, you’re afraid.

There are two types of fear here, and they compound each other. One is the fear of losing money, which is understandable. The second is the fear of playing it too safe and NOT maximising profit potential!

It’s ok, I’ve been there, I’ve felt the nerves you’re experiencing. Here are some suggestions on where and what you can invest with RM1000, written for beginners in mind. Disclaimer: Not financial advice.

First off – Pay off debt

Before you start investing, take note of what you owe first. Credit cards, bank loans, and other high-interest loans charging 8% or so in annual interest MUST be paid off first.

Why? Because if you skip this step, whatever profit you get from your investments goes straight into paying off those interest instead of padding your pocket. If your investment return is less than your debt, you’re even making nett loss! No point in investing like that.

No bad debt? Good. Go on to the next line.

Related: Explaining Snowball Method, The Best Way to Pay Off Debt

#1 – Invest with RM1000: Practical Mode

If you want to be really practical about it, you can prioritise these investments:

  • EPF (Employees Provident Fund aka KWSP) – for retirement
  • PRS (Private Retirement Scheme aka kinda like optional, secondary EPF) – for retirement
  • SSPN/SSPN-i (education fund for your children) – for children’s education

Read more about these investment options in: 3 Most Practical Investments in Malaysia (Prioritise These Over Others

These are the most ‘practical’ investments to make, even if they’re not particularly exciting. You’ll need the money in the long term anyway so might as well start now. You get tax relief and other benefits too.

The only downside for these investments is you CANNOT withdraw and use the funds before retirement/for its intended purposes. If that’s important for you, then consider…

#2 – Invest with RM1000: Emergency savings

Unlike #1, these options does NOT ‘lock’ your money – you can withdraw them anytime. This is a good option if you want to grow your savings while studying other investment options in #3. They are easy to understand and have minimal maintenance – just deposit and get on with your life.

  • ASB/Tabung Haji
  • High-interest savings Account
  • Fixed deposit/cash management portfolio (ok FD does lock your money for the short term, so the latter is better)
  • Gold
  • Foreign currencies

Read more in: 5 Best Places to Save Money in Malaysia, Ranked

By this point, you have easily used up your RM1000 allocation – it’s not uncommon for people to save up six, seven-figure amounts in the options in #1 and #2 alone. Personally, I would divide my first RM1000 into 2, 3 or even 4 different ones, just to learn by doing.

#3 – Invest with RM1000: Diversification mode

It’s been a few months/years since you worked on increasing your savings in #1 and/or #2. And you’re thinking of yourself – now that my ‘safe’ investments are sorted out, maybe I should use some (not all!) to diversify into other investments. What other options are out there?

Lots. Too many, perhaps. Let’s see..

There are roboadvisor platforms (a great place to start tbh) Best Robo Advisor in Malaysia: Lowest Fees, Syariah-Compliant, Global Exposure and More

There are individual unit trusts, some of which you could get under EPF i-Invest [SPONSORED] All You Need to Know About Buying Unit Trust Through EPF i-Invest

There are stocks 7 BEST Articles to Read Before You Jump into Stocks Investing in Malaysia

There are cryptocurrencies How to Buy Cryptocurrencies in Malaysia [2021 Guide]

There are real estate investment trusts aka REITs 5 Things I Learned About REITs in Malaysia (From a Bursa Malaysia-Sponsored Workshop)

There are warrants (do stocks first) [SPONSORED] The Beginners Guide to Warrants in Malaysia

There are p2p lending [SPONSORED] I Asked Hard Questions to the CEO of Funding Societies Malaysia

Which one to pick from #3? Follow your curiosity. If you’re like most people, you will have a natural interest in one or more options, so you’ll start your exploration there. For example, stocks appeal to people who like keeping up with news about what big companies do. That’s already a ridiculously big world to explore.

Personally, I don’t care about stocks and properties, so I don’t even bother with them. I absolutely love cryptocurrencies and roboadvisors, so those are my picks. You can see my portfolio breakdown here: Breakdown of My (SUPER HIGH RISK) Investment Portfolio

Important: you don’t have to rush #3. It’s good to just take your time learning as much as you can, without making rash decisions.

Conclusion

So, what will you do? What will you invest with RM1000 (or more) that you have?

As mentioned, start with #1 and #2, then slowly introduce #3 into your life. In any case, the key is to START, then learn as you go along.

Hope this helps anyone looking to start investing their first RM1000. Questions? Give em here or comment via FB, Twitter, etc 🙂

P/s – Have you gotten insurance? It’s not strictly an investment, yes, but I argue the best offense is useless without a good defence. It’s like putting all attack-type players in your party with no healers – bad idea. Read my insurance article: 9 Things You MUST Know Before Buying Insurance in Malaysia

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38 Comments

    1. You lost some time, but you can still catch up by making larger contributions. Remember that saying – ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is now’. The same principles still applies 🙂

  1. I’m a starting up investor, but shouldn’t I as an investing novice play it risky instead of playing safe? Ps I have no commitments and I’m a student

    1. Hey Alvin,

      Within the safer types of investments are riskier options as well. For example: unit trust. Some, like conservative funds, are mostly for retirees. Others like growth funds or specific commodities (precious metals, properties, some geographical locations) have higher risk and potentially higher rewards.

      I think a bit of risk is good for students. You have time to recover if things don’t go to plan. So yeah, pick a riskier one if you wish, but make sure the platform itself is not risky.

      1. Thank you so much for ur reply. I am inspired by the book Rich dad poor dad to be an investor. From what the book stated, real estate is a really potential investment to be invested. May I know why are u not interested in either REIT or physical property?

        1. I think I like the idea of property, but only for personal use kot As it is I’m interested in so many other investment vehicles. Best not to overstretch myself at this time 🙂

  2. Hi, I am back again haha sorry if it’s bothering you, but I couldnt find anyone to discuss about the idea of investment since my surroundings are people who dont invest at all. I have questions to ask, firstly, if after done my research and done studying investment, is it reliable to play stock market through online (eg etrade tradeking etc) or should i go to local broker? Second of all, should i even involve in stock market as i am only a student p.s I am not in any financial related course.

  3. Hello, very interesting blog you have! Do you have any tips for someone looking to start investing in unit trusts?

  4. ASB is not just for MALAY, FYI it for BUMIPUTERA that include indegenous sabah & sarawak, orang asli & malaysian Siamese (they do hold bumi status). I personally know few chinese man who own ASB because their mother was malaysian Siamese thus they got the bumi status. FYI most sabah & sarawak chinese hold bumi status because their parent mix marriage.

    1. You’re absolutely right, Malaysian guy. Have edited the section to include Bumiputera. Thanks for the anecdote, that is fascinating to find out.

  5. Hi, Thanks for the nice blog, it is informative. May i ask, with regards to your 1st point mentioning the loan for ASB, are you a Bumiputra? Is loan applicable for non-bumis?

  6. Hi Suraya,
    Need advise. I stupidly joined this MLM business called McOcean because my relative was in it and knew my “Hot Buttons”. They asked for 36k from my personal loan and said i can get it back once i find 5 people. Its been a year, i cant even find a single person because everyone is way smarter than i am. Screw it. Just how do I restart my life in investment when i have this 36k to pay?

    1. Oh crap, that sucks. What an expensive lesson.

      I know personal loans can have pretty high interest rate. It’s in your best interest to pay that off quickly, preferably without being hit with any additional charges.

      If you have anything of value that you can technically live without – collectibles, vehicle, other investments – sell that.

      Otherwise your other option involves stepping up your side income game.

      It might take a while, but you’ll get back to positive net worth. People in worse debt have successfully restarted their lives. Definitely doable. You can do this.

  7. Hi there! I’m glad I finally found someone who replies to other people’s comment personally!

    I am a student who still have few years of study, however, I have RM1500 salary every month due to my part time job. I wonder what kind of investment can I try as a beginner? I am afraid of risk tho as I earn my own expenses myself… 🙁 I can accept low risk investment, but I am more to the stable profit side. It’s okay if it will be just a little number, all I want is maybe increase a little? 🙂

    Do you have any suggestion/comments on what type of investment should I go? Note: I have zero investment knowledge, but I am willing to learn!

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Drey,

      Working while studying, nice!

      For starters, look up PRS. My writeup here: ringgitohringgit.com/faq-prs-youth-scheme-malaysia/

      This seems to be the best option now, for long term. Govt is giving RM1k for RM1k contribution from under 30 years old.

      If you want something a bit more short term and relatively safe, then ASB (if bumi), FD, and to a certain extent gold.

  8. Hi there. Just came across your blog — very interesting and informative! Keep up the good work.

    My question: Where should one go to invest in REITs?

    Thanks!

  9. i love your blog.
    very informative
    keep on writing
    ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is now’. i’m far far away from there,,, but i love to read about investment

  10. Hi Suraya ,

    Thank you very much for such a wonderful article. I had read few other articles of yours as well which had gave me a rough idea on how and where to invest.
    Keep doing your best 🙂

  11. Hi Suraya,

    Your blog is really inspired me and for other as well. The first think I do after read your blog, is looking more information about Bitcoin & cryptocurrency. And I decided to invest in this two. Its really good in return but yet with high risk, within 2 months it give 42% margin.

    I’m really new in investment planning, my target is to have at least 1m at my retirement age. I believed on principle “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, other than ASB, EPF, Crypto, Unit trust and insurance whereas can I invest?

    Oh ya, I heard some people are using ASB loan from certain bank and after certain period of time they cancel the loan and make some amount of money. Is that true?

    Thank you Suraya!

    1. Hi Azam,

      Re: where else to invest – I kinda compiled all I know here. Perhaps you’d also like to look at P2P lending? If you already have crypto better keep the rest of your investments safe though.

      Re: that ASB trick – I’ve heard of it, yeah. Not sure how it works in practice, but I’ve seen the blogposts. It was a while back so not sure if the ‘trick’ is still applicable now.

  12. Hi Suraya,

    great piece of work, would be fun if you can actually turn them in to videos, since youtube pays as well rite? haha.

    1. Hey Arthur,
      Right? I was thinking of videos too. Need to play around with video editing software first!

  13. Hi Suraya,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge generously. I am a fresh graduate, with gross income nearly 3k. Been thinking to set aside a portion of salary (tentatively 30%) to buy myself a cozy mini condo when I hit 30 (it’s a dream of mine, but no harm dreaming~~).

    With that little portion of salary and 5-6 years before I hit 30, how would you advise me to invest the salary (I have no PTPTN loan, credit card loan)? Fixed deposit? Savings accounts? Unit trust? Stock?

    Looking forward to your 2 cents! Thank you!

  14. Hey, im a international student im planning to invest my money. So that i can earn money while studying. May i know where to start and how to start it.

  15. Hi suraya,

    I rarely read blogs or even write comments (even on fb i don’t lol) but I have to say it’s refreshing to be reading again! you’ve got me captivated from start till finish!

    I’m here through Mr-Stingy’s blog on investment advises for 2018 (though seems a bit late to be reading it). Love the way you tone your blog, very down to earth.

    I have 2 questions though hope you have time to help me with it.

    1. I have a fair bit of investments fails in MLM and Forex (also MLM?), about 15k down but I’m currently into Property. Have 2 properties to my name and was looking to continue down that path until i remembered “don’t have all your eggs in one basket”, so I’m looking to invest in Gold and ECF.

    Any additional advises to this before I go down the rabbit hole? Feels like gold is the safest but low return (which i’m a 8% or no talk kind of investment) and i’m not sure if ECF is a matured thing already or is still wobbly in Malaysia.

    2. Do you give any talks as I probably would like to attend yours. If not, Do you attend any or do you just read online from the other blogs that you mentioned?

    Be waiting with my hands in my lap and notebooks ready for your advice!

    1. Hi Sebastian,

      You’re sweet, thanks so much for the kind words!

      My personal take on your 2 questions:

      1) You’re right with the ‘don’t have all your eggs in one basket’ thing. And properties are tricky – unless you have great places and tenants, you’ll always have the risk of no income for months on end.

      On gold – the appreciation rate is not a sure thing, they fluctuate. You can read more at https://ringgitohringgit.com/gold-prices/
      On ECF – I’d say the industry is just getting started in Malaysia

      Both gold and ECF are for long-term. If you go with them with that mentality, it should (but not guaranteed) be okay.

      If you want safe and short term, then FD loh

      2) I do some talks, but not always on personal finance. When I have them, I share over at my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ringgitohringgit/ – so check out there 🙂

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