Here are some types of investments that I have: mutual funds/unit trust, gold and crypto.
This article is all about investments I don’t have yet, but always been curious to try. I may or may not proceed with one or any of them in the future. It’s just to show you what I’ve done about them so far, and why I didn’t proceed with them yet.
#1 – ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds)
I’ve heard really good things about ETFs. How they tend to be low in fees, how they’re fairly low-risk, how they’re the passive investment of choice for many in the financial circles.
To be completely honest, I kinda sorta know the gist of what ETFs is, but they’re not particularly intuitive to understand. It tracks the performance of an index rather than the portfolio, or something like that. If anyone has an awesome analogy to share that explains ETFs well, please share in the comments section!
In Malaysia, I see ETFs being promoted most often by:
- MyETF – their sponsored posts appear in my social media (see their video explanation of ETF below)
- Robo-investing fintech companies now in the process of launching in Malaysia (they said they will start in Q3 2018)
Here’s my understanding of ETFs so far (please let me know if any of them is wrong, I’ll edit):
- You can buy and sell them through brokers (related: DividendMagic’s broker comparison post). Although what I heard is selling is harder than buying, because ETFs are not very liquid in Malaysia (yet)
- ETFs can track asset classes, country(ies) and demographic. I’ve seen ETFs in Malaysia that track Top 50 US companies, ASEAN, Dow Jones, agribusiness, etc
- There are plenty of Syariah-compliant ETF options in Malaysia. Nice. As a (brainwashed) Muslim, this is important to me. The guilt is real.
- They’re suitable as part of a long-term investment portfolio. ETFs is the slow-and-steady kind, not the ‘moon’ kind.
Looks good, right? But here’s what’s stopping me from investing with them now: aside from wanting to try ETFs, I also want to try robo-investing platforms. However, none of them is launched yet (at time of writing – this part will be updated after they do). Also, when I asked, they say they only plan to include Syariah-compliant ETF options in the future 🙁
I’m keen on robo-investing platforms because (1) those can help me pick the type of ETFs that is suitable for me, according to my risk appetite, (2) their fees are much lower than other brokerage accounts (less than 1%, I heard!) and (3) I can invest outside of Malaysia, which is good for diversification.
So. Robo-investing fintech companies reading this. Please launch soon, and include some Syariah-compliant ETFs. I’ll promote the heck out of you 😀
#2 – Properties
Specifically, these two types: REITs and rental units
For REITs, I’m sort of interested, but not that passionate about them. If you are interested in REITs, see my 5 Things I Learned About REITs in Malaysia (From a Bursa Malaysia-Sponsored Workshop) article.
For rental units, I have this idea of buying a multi-room property, live in one of those units, then rent out the rest. It’ll solve both (1) my accommodation and (2) passive income strategy. Usually, when you buy property, you have to pick one or the other – for own stay or for investment. I thought this kind of solution, in theory at least, can be a ‘best-of-both-worlds’-type of solution.
I got the idea from a chap called Alan Corey in his book, A Million Bucks By 30: How to Overcome A Crap Job, Stingy Parents, and A Useless Degree to Become A Millionaire Before (or After) Turning Thirty. He bought a big house, lived in the smallest room, and rented out the rest.
There are lots of trade-offs for this strategy, though. Summarised in two words, tenancy woes. Living with other people can be frustrating, to say the least. How much do I want to sacrifice my quality of life, privacy and landlady-related headaches in exchange for the money?
A possible solution is complete boundaries between myself and my tenants. Different entrances, living areas, bathrooms, kitchens, the works. But that sounds expensive – that’s already considered an apartment unit, and hell I don’t have money to buy a whole apartment unit!
So until I see a property in my budget range that can work for this kind of situation, the search continues.
#3 – P2P Financing EDIT: I’m now investing in P2P Financing
What I heard (but can’t confirm or vouch for the stats) is that P2P lending is an awesome, mid-to-high-risk investment but with default rates of only less than 1%. You lend money to businesses in Malaysia, and within a few short months you can gain double-digit interest rates. It’s a short-term kind of investment, an alternative to fixed deposits.
This is one of those moments where my head goes, hmmm if it sounds too good to be true….
Regardless, I’ve heard enough good feedback about P2P lending from people I trust that I do want to give it a try. What’s stopping me is:
- There are only six licensed P2P lending platforms in Malaysia (list in Securities Commission website), and as far as I know only one is Syariah-compliant (STUPID GUILT UGH)
- The campaigns tend to end very fast. If you miss out, you miss out – gotta be very diligent with checking the emails to be one of the funders/investors. If you go to any of the websites, more often than not you’ll see everything is already 100% funded
- And because the campaigns tend to end fast, you have to make quick decisions. To put in money or not? Decide then and there. Personally, I take a while to decide on all of my investments. I like researching them first.
Any of you tried P2P lending before? How’s your experience with it? Tell us everything.
#3 – Equity Crowdfunding (ECF)
Have you watched Shark Tank? That’s kind of how equity crowdfunding works, except the investors are a bunch more people instead of individual ‘sharks’.
At time of writing, there are seven licensed equity crowdfunding platforms in Malaysia (list in Securities Commission website). I’ve been tempted to put my money in various companies many, many times. Especially startups which I thought was brilliant, like Me.Reka Makerspace (they’ve reached their goal, but still accepting funding until end of September 2018!).
What’s stopping me? Simple. I don’t want to over-allocate high-risk investments in my portfolio. I
hold hodl cryptocurrencies. The wild volatility already gives me anxiety. It takes all my willpower to not cave in and sell everything, especially during bear markets.
Anyhow. I’m planning to keep my crypto holdings for at least a few more years. This could be my best investment decision, or the worst, let’s see. If it turns out well, I’ll re-diversify and consider investing in startups.
Last thoughts about investments I want to try
There are some investments I’m absolutely not interested in, like art (collectibles in general), foreign exchange (USD/EUR/etc money), and individual Malaysian stocks. I’m not saying they’re bad investments, I’m saying I don’t enjoy them and therefore won’t be motivated to research them, which is not a good trait to have as an investor for those types of investments.
How about you? What investments:
- Do you have?
- Do you want to try?
- You are NOT interested in?
Linking related posts about investments that’s related to this article:
- 12 Types of Investment Available in Malaysia and The People Who Have Them
- What No One Tells You About Investing in Malaysia
- 6 Things to Know When You’re Investing for the First Time
- “I just want to invest; what does these investment terms even mean?”
Articles about investments I have: