link roundup
Link Roundup

Link Roundup #49: 10 Things to Know This Week (Covid-19 Edition)

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Accelerate your personal finance knowledge with this regular feature on Ringgit Oh Ringgit – the Link Roundup! I promise you’ll find these 10 links informational 🙂

1. COVID-19 and MCO Resources for Malaysians – I’m Funemployed

Nicole compiled a pretty good resource page for Covid-19 and MCO. Find:

  • Financial assistance and personal finance resources
  • Jobs and employment opportunities
  • Food and groceries
  • Discounts and deals
  • Charity and donations
  • Mental health resources
  • Education resources
  • Health and fitness resources

And more in the article above. You can also contribute to the resource hub by filling out this Google Form.

2. Malaysia Bank Moratorium: Why You Should Opt For The 6-Month Deferment For ALL Loans  RinggitPlus

Which option is the best?

  • Option 1: Pay the accrued interest in one lump sum
  • Option 2 (A) & (B): Pay the same monthly repayment, and extend loan tenure
  • Option 3: Pay a higher monthly repayment, but keep the loan tenure unchanged

The author argues that Option 3 is the best. Click the article to find out the reasoning why, with numbers and calculations

3. Covid-19: how bad will it be for the economy? – The Economist

TL;DR: really bad.

4. How the greedy ruling elite failed us, by putting profit before pandemic preparedness – South China Morning Post

I thought this is yet another opinion piece, before I read the credentials of the contributor:

Dr Andy Xie is a Shanghai-based independent economist specialising in China and Asia, and writes, speaks and consults on global economics and financial markets. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1997 and was managing director and head of the firm’s Asia-Pacific economics team until 2006.

Prior to that he spent two years with Macquarie Bank in Singapore, where he was an associate director in corporate finance. He also spent five years as an economist with the World Bank.

He was voted one of the 50 most influential persons in finance by Bloomberg magazine in 2013.

Suffice to say he has the credentials to talk about the subject matter, and yes the article is as damning as the title.

While the virus is a natural phenomenon, the ensuing tragedy should have been preventable. Infectious disease experts have been predicting a pandemic like this as a certainty. Yet, the global ruling elites ignored it.
Instead, they gather at Davos every year to talk about power, money and technology – mostly about its potential for making money. They have not focused on the No 1 responsibility of any ruling class – the safety of the people. If health care systems had been prepared for a pandemic like this, there would be 100 times fewer casualties.

5. How Emergencies Like Coronavirus Expose Nonsense Business Practices – GoBankingRates

The only consolation from this whole Covid-19 crisis is some business practices will (hopefully) change for the better. It has to, otherwise society will stop functioning, either through a revolution or through massive deathcount that wipes out significant portions of the population.

This is such a fascinating article. It compiles disasters caused by greed, like the fire that broke out which caused 150 seamstresses to burn or jump to their deaths in 1911, and the resulting changes in labour laws as the direct result of this incident.

Lots of other examples. Recommended read. I have no doubt that Covid-19 pandemic will impact future laws too.

6. These DIY Face Mask Materials Are Best, According To Scientists – Refinery29

So, to mask or not to mask? In the beginning, the recommendations were no masks unless sick/showing visible symptoms – probably to stop non-frontliners from hoarding precious medical supplies.

But… if you want to err on the side of caution, or the costs are too prohibitive, or you just want to keep the supplies for frontliners and the most vulnerable, you can make DIY face masks.

The article states:

  • bandanas, when layered with layers of a filtration system such as a few coffee filters, were significantly more effective (than bandana alone)
  • one of the most common — and surprisingly effective — materials were 600-thread count pillowcases or fabric similar to flannel pajamas when doubled up

TO BE CLEAR, these options are not as effective as surgical masks. However… better than nothing.

7. Ergonomics Expert Explains How to Set Up Your Desk – Wall Street Journal

Anyone else battling stiff shoulders and lower back pain while working from home?

8. How 7 self-made millionaires, who retired in their 30s, are preparing for the worst: economic mayhem caused by the coronavirus – SCMP

At times like these, a small subset of the population is worried, but not too worried – the high-earning, frugal people. These are the people who will/have withdrawn from the rat race in favour of simpler lives, after spending considerable effort (helped with a dash of luck) to build up a healthy cash cushion.

Can you imagine having years’ worth of living expenses? That’s the ultimate dream, the ultimate flex. The trick is, I think, to not desire much.

This lifestyle also requires you to selectively tune out calls for donations. I’m not sure how (if?) they’re battling the inner turmoil of donating it all away vs keeping the money for themselves.

9. Marcus’s Stock Portfolio Update in March 2020 –

Sharing for the honesty and transparency. Marcus is a DIY stock investor, and his paper loss in one month is -26.8%, a huge reduction.

Deciding to stay invested vs deciding to cut loss is a hard, personal conversation. There’s really no right answer, because no one has a crystal ball.

(btw, my own personal approach is to not touch my investments, just focus on earning. If I need to, I’ll dip into those, but not until I have to)

10. [Product feature] How to Say No: Templates to Help You Say No to Any Situation

Speaking of earning money. You know what generates income?


You know what sucks time?

Saying yes to every small request, because it’s hard for you to say no.

This information is common sense for some of you, but a revelation to others, especially if you are the agreeable, ‘but its not nice to say no’-type of person.

Click here to find templates to help you say no to requests to ‘pick your brain’, unnecessary meetings and other activities that stop you from focusing on you.

I especially love this template:

How to say no to someone that won’t take no for an answer. (by Emmy McCarthy) : salespeople
Hey {{ first_name }},
I love your persistence! The answer is still no. I’m simply not able to fit your request into my schedule right now. Believe me, I am not the only way that you will make this project work / achieve your goal but my role is going to be the one who is cheering you on from the sidelines.
I hope the resources/references in our previous email exchange were helpful.
Now go smash those goals, you’ve got this!

That’s it for this round, catch you next time! Want to submit a link you thought was great? Reach out to me on FB or Twitter.

To read past link roundups, please click here.

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  1. I loved #7. Since many of us is WFH, we tend to get comfortable in the privacy of our own home. So this is a good reminder for us

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