Link Roundup #59: 10 Things to Know This Week

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. Why Are Rich People So Mean? Wired

Great read, something to be aware of as you get financially better. Money buys us distance – house in gated communities, car instead of bus, a set at the VIP section – and that reduces our interaction with the community, which includes the less privileged.

The more you do it, the easier it is to ignore. You no longer ‘see’ the problem.

2. 7 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Startups in Malaysia (Reviews 2020) – TechRakyat

Great article by TechRakyat on e-commerce platform choices for Malaysians.

My personal opinion is everyone should try doing sales. Offline, online, whatever. Worse case scenario is you’ll be out a few hundred ringgit (if you go cheap), best case is you get some profit (don’t expect it though, very rare for newbies to straightaway make money).

If it doesn’t work out for you, it’s okay, you learned the basics of selling. Now use the foundation to sell yourself – it’ll come in handy during job interviews and things like that.

Personally, I wouldn’t repeat my 3-month telemarketing stint, but I learned so much about closing sales using just my voice.

3. Why Do Poor People Stay Poor? – Of Dollars And Data

Poor people stay poor due to lack of initial wealth, based on a paper released by the London School of Economics.

[We] find that, if the program pushes individuals above a threshold level of initial assets, then they escape poverty, but, if it does not, they slide back into poverty…Our findings imply that large one-off transfers that enable people to take on more productive occupations can help alleviate persistent poverty.

It is due to systematic oppression and unequal wealth distribution, NOT due to individual shortcomings.

4. When You Are Miserable On The Job But Too Busy For A Job Search – Forbes

The tl;dr is ‘make the time’, and happily the article gave lots of tips on how to do that.

5. How Financial Apps Get You to Spend More and Question Less – Wired

You NEED to know about the prevalence of ‘dark patterns’, which is user interface design that “makes it very easy to get into a situation but very hard to get out.”

The article cautions why: they are used for the purpose of ‘manipulating your behaviour by using your own psychology against you’, and ‘trick you into handing over your data, signing up for emails you don’t want, or, worse, paying for services you don’t intend to buy.’

Read this part:

A 2018 report from the Consumer Council of Norway detailed a few other patterns, like reframing, which is when companies use positive wording to describe something that’s generally negative.

“In order to nudge users toward making certain choices, the way that the different options are framed is an effective motivating factor,” the report reads. “Focusing on the positive aspects of one choice, while glossing over any potentially negative aspects, will incline many users to comply with the service provider’s wishes.”

This appears to be a popular method in financial services. For example, American Express frames “the flexibility to carry a balance” as a perk instead of a way to accumulate debt and pay them interest.

Be hyper-aware of marketing language and UI/UX  and the actions you take because of it, y’all.

6. The “Infinity Kangkung”: Cost-Effective & Labour-Efficient Vegetables production – Dr JB

Great step-by-step guide on growing over 50 rounds of kangkung by Dr JB (an Anaesthesiologist! So multi-passionate) with under RM100 in upfront cost!

I was thinking, wow this is such a great way to be a good neighbour. Daydreaming myself growing a lot of kangkung, keeping some for my own consumption, then distributing the rest to neighbours. I’d be the popular kangkung lady.

You can buy some of the items at Mr DIY’s Gardening section – they have things like organic soil and fertiliser at very affordable prices.

7. What is DeFi? –  Techcryption

DeFi – short for Decentralised Finance – is *the* buzzword of the moment. A lot of what I call ‘stupid money’ goes into it. What is that, you ask? When lots of individual investors put in a lot of money in extremely new startups with questionable reputation. I like blockchain and crypto but calling it as it is, stupid money.

Still, one can pay attention to what people do. Some a very small handful of them will probably be proven right and the money invested will reach 4, 5, 6-figure (and above) ROI in incredibly short amount of time (but most will lose the money, such is the trade-off of participating in these things).

As of time of writing, the most popular DeFi projects are doing: lending, decentralised exchange, derivatives and assets.

DeFi is worth checking out, because it’ll force you to think of how those things can work without financial institutions. I won’t participate (yet) but the whole thing is mentally stimulating for sure.

8. What’s a blockchain bank? A Wall Street veteran building one explains. – American Banker

A blockchain bank! It exists?! How does it work?!

I just found out about Avanti Bank, exactly that. Click the link to hear an interview with Caitlin Long, the founder and CEO about how it works and operates. Great stuff.

9. 5 things I learned when I sold 90% of my belongings and moved to a new city every month for 2 years – Business Insider

And finally, an article which triggered the part of me that just wants to escape it all and experience everything life has to offer. Personally I had a small taste of the semi-nomadic lifestyle – lived in Japan, UK, Australia, France and Ipoh for 3 weeks-10 months each – and LOVED it.

Anyone else who are just addicted to living (as opposed to travelling) in another city? How do you scratch the itch, when you’ve ‘settled down’?

10. 3 Budget Fitness Ideas That Keep Your Wallet FatFrugal Millionaire 

Last but not least is an article by new personal finance blogger Casey. Loved this article – it included a brand new way of exercising slash earning referral I wasn’t aware of! Check it out, ESPECIALLY if you’re the type of person who loves to organise team sports.

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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