The Hard Truth: Why You Shouldn’t Care About What Stock Investment ‘Influencers’ are Buying on Social Media (Especially at Times Like This)

So, the inevitable has happened.

With the fear and pressure from Covid-19 pandemic and drop in oil price, the market has gone real bad.

As an example, Dow Jones has just dropped by 20% from its previous peak and entered a technical bear market earlier today.

At the same time, for the first time since 2008/09, the VIX (Market Volatility) Index had a daily close above $53. Also known as the Fear Index, this means that the market is generally in fear and expects huge volatility moving forward.

In short, just like the story of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’, the wolf has, in fact, arrived at our doorsteps.

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The VIX Index

At times like this, it is not rare to see (more and more) social media stock investment gurus/influencers posting about the stocks that they are accumulating at low for ‘long-term investment’.

However, I am of the opinion that these posts, if not conveyed properly (as discussed below) are deeply irresponsible and you SHOULD NOT be taking 99% of these posts seriously.

If you have been consuming the content from these stock investment gurus/influencers for tips to get over times like this, this is the cold, hard truth that you need to hear:

  1. 99% of These Posts DO NOT Tell You the Whole Picture

Yup, I know that this stock investment guru has posted about accumulating Tesla at low. Perhaps, this guru even shared about why and how he entered the trade.

But this post only covered 1/3 of the whole investment plan.

Do you know their exit plan? Do you know the If/Then statement that the guru has in mind should certain changes in fundamentals happen? And more…

  1. Do You Know How Long is this ‘Long-Term Investment’ Going to Be?

“I am holding this long-term.”

But how long is ‘long-term’ for this guru? Did he/she mention the timeframe at all? How long is this guru going to hold this investment?

Weeks? Months? Years?

Even so, without knowing the basis of the investment plan, do you have the courage to hold these investments if the price keeps tumbling after you follow this guru’s entry?

  1. YES, You are Going to have a Different Risk Tolerance Compared to this Guru

This guru/influencer that posted this stock that he/she just got in may have the patience and risk tolerance to hold through a 20 – 30% further drop in price.

But can you do so? Can you handle the mental pressure of price going against your favor for even, say, 10%?

Know your investment plan: Do Your Homework and Due Diligence.

  1. Heck, Some of These People May Not Even Know What They are Doing

The irony is, it is much easier to write and spread bullshit investing ideas and concepts nowadays via social media platforms.

Spot for Facebook and IG pages that ONLY show off about how much they’ve earned – this is the biggest red flag that you should stay away from these pages or individuals.


Instead, What Should You Do?

  1. Formulate Your Own Investment Plan

If you have any prior (proper) experience in the market, learn to be independent and formulate your own investing plan.

What’s your entry plan? What’s your exit strategy? What’s your If/Then statements if X or Y happens?

Having all of these processes done properly will give you the confidence on when (and when not) to take action and stick through your investments at tough times.

Shameless Plug: For those who are not familiar, I share about how to formulate your own investment plan and processes in my upcoming REIT Investing Workshop. Details HERE.

  1. Focus on Reliable Passive Investing Solutions

If you are not familiar with how to manage your investment actively, definitely check out reliable passive investing platforms like StashAway and Wahed.

These platforms use financial algorithms to invest on your behalf and rebalance your investments according to the market situation.

(p.s. I highly recommend StashAway for the general public, and Wahed for those who are looking specifically for Shariah-compliant passive investment.)

  1. Focus on Wealth Preservation

Of all, make sure you have enough cash flow while not simply pouring them into the market based on tips!

Once you learned how to formulate your investment plan, this cash will act like bullets for you to take advantage of when the time is right.

No Money Lah’s Verdict

Stay calm, stay rational, and be healthy.



The Cheetah and How a Struggling Trader/Investor can Learn from It

 

Many people that traded and invested in the stock market (or any market, in this case) experienced great volatility for the past few weeks.

Some made a kill, nailing their yearly return goal in a week. For many, though, it was an overwhelming time filled with emotions and anxiousness.

You are (were) probably in the red. You are (were) probably underperforming. You are (were) probably beating up at yourself for this outcome.

The reality is, this is a path that every investor and trader MUST experience in his/her journey. The difference is how one handles this hurdle that makes up to an amateur and a consistent investor/trader.

 


 

How to Climb Back Up from a Slump?

To be clear, it is NOT EASY to recover from a slump. Mathematically, it is hard (eg. a 50% drawdown will take a 100% gain to breakeven). Emotionally, it is even tougher to get back on track.

In times like these, it is crucial for one to go back to the BASICS.

Stop looking around Facebook groups and investing/trading forums for tips for the NEXT big opportunity.

Quit those groups if needed – these are noises that hardly contribute to your recovery anyway.

The point is, stop making investing/trading so complicated and difficult.

 


 

Back to the Basics

What are the trades that work the best for you? Make a list and focus on only taking these trades for time being – with smaller size.

If you are a long-term investor that has just dumped your holdings due to panic and fear, look into your investing process – have you followed your entry & exit strategy? Do you have one? Work on them one by one.

The point is NOT to remake your losses immediately. Rather, it is for you to rebuild the mental confidence towards yourself FIRST.

 


 

The Cheetah

 

 

“The cheetah, while the fastest animal on the African plain and can outrun any of the prey it feasts upon, always chooses to go for the young, weak or sick.

Once identified, it attacks with laser-guided focus and effectiveness. It is only then that the kill is most likely. That is the epitome of a professional trader.”

This is one the of most resonating trading analogy that I’ve come across lately in an article by Mike Bellafiore of SMB Capital (one of my favorite role models in trading).

As extraordinary as a cheetah is, it still focuses on the most basic kills which are also the most effective ones.

Likewise, the goal for us as an investor/trader is not to try to be smart and predict whether the market is bottoming. Rather, it is to understand our strength and take the best opportunity with probability in our favor.

Know your strength. Go back to the basics. Be a cheetah.



Wahed 2020 Review: The First Halal-Investing Robo-Advisor in Malaysia with Huge Potential!

Late last year, I was introduced to Wahed, a robo-investing platform that prides itself on being the first halal investment robo-advisor in Malaysia.

Less than 4-months of launch in Malaysia (Wahed was started in New York), Wahed has been making an impression among fellow fintech and investment enthusiasts.

Being an enthusiast myself, I have also signed up for a Wahed portfolio to personally try it out myself, and got a $5 (RM20) FREE bonus while doing so  (remember to apply my promo code “YIXCHI1” to get the bonus!). 

In this article, let’s dive deep into Wahed, and see if this is a robo-advisor that you should invest in!




(1) First thing first: What is Wahed?

Wahed is a robo-advisor that helps invest your money into Shariah-compliant investments*.

What differentiates Wahed from other robo-advisors is that they are the first company that has received an Islamic Robo Advisory license from the Malaysian Securities Commission.

As such, Wahed also takes up an important role in fulfilling the Malaysian Muslim community that is looking for an investment platform that is aligned with their values of life.


*For readers who are unclear, Shariah-compliant investments are investments governed by the requirements of Shariah law and the principles of the Muslim religion.

Wahed Invest is one of the new robo-advisor platform in Malaysia.



(2) Who Certifies Wahed’s Shariah compliance?

Wahed’s Shariah review is done by their Shariah Advisor, Dr. Aznan Hasan.

Dr. Aznan is the President of the Association of Shariah Advisors in Islamic Finance & Deputy Chairman of Shariah Advisory Council of the Securities Commission (SC). He is also a former member of the Shariah Advisory Council of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

Wahed also has Straightway Ethical Advisory LLC (a US-based Shariah financial advisory firm) to advise them on matters of Shariah compliance and Islamic financial ethics at the group level.


Source: Wahed’s Official Site




(3) How Wahed Invests Your Money?

Now, though positioning themselves as the forerunner of halal investing, Wahed is at its core a robo-advisor that invest on behalf of their users too, just like its competitor StashAway and Mytheo.

Hence, Wahed is definitely a robo-advisor that you should not overlook if you are looking to build your passive investing portfolio, regardless of your religion and background.


(a) Fund Management Methodology

Just like its robo-advisor competitors, Wahed’s fund management strategy is powered by its proprietary financial algorithms. This means that there is no way we can back-test the strategy ourselves aside from the information shown at Wahed’s official site.

Unlike StashAway’s ERAA methodology, there is very little mention of how exactly Wahed manages the users’ funds.

That said, Wahed does mention that its financial algorithms are derived from the Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). Essentially, the idea behind MPT is to help an individual create optimal portfolios that are tailored to the needs of the user based on one’s risk tolerance.

Personally, it is a little bummer to see so few details about the investing methodology employed by Wahed on their website (Wahed, take note).


More explanation about the investing methodology behind the scene would be very helpful.


(b) Investment Instruments: 5 Major Asset Classes

The good thing, though, is Wahed does give us an idea of what they are using their users’ funds to invest in.

As per my experience**, there are 5 asset classes that Wahed will invest our funds in, namely:


    1. US Stocks (MyETF Dow Jones US Titans 50)
    2. Malaysian Stocks (MyETF MSCI Malaysia Islamic Dividend)
    3. Sukuk (Islamic Bond) (RHB Islamic Bond Fund)
    4. Gold (TradePlus Shariah Gold Tracker)
    5. Cash

There are 6 different risk profile that you can choose from. Depending on your risk profile, there will be a difference in the allocation of your funds across these assets.


**Information on assets and asset allocation is accurate is per my record when I signed up for a Wahed account. Unfortunately, unlike StashAway, Wahed does not reveal the total number of asset classes that they can invest in.




(4) Fees Comparison: Competitive, But Can Be Better

One big advantage that robo-investing services have over conventional mutual funds is its fees.

Generally, while typical mutual funds have an average fee of 3-5% per year, robo-investing services charge only a fraction of the fee (<1%).

This is important, as a few percentage differences in fee could mean a lot to your return. Here is a simple calculation to give you an idea:


 RM100,000 at 5% fee per year = RM5,000 on fees.


RM100,000 at 1% fee per year = RM1,000 on fees (and no, robo-investing services offer lower fee than 1% at RM100,000).

The question now is, how are Wahed’s annual fees compared to the other presently available robo-investing platforms – StashAway and MyTheo?

Now, every robo-investing platform has its own tiers of pricing. Hence, to make my life (and yours) easier, I am comparing the fee in terms of the category of fund amount:


Full fee details: StashAway, Wahed, MyTheo.

Now, as you can see, Wahed’s annual fees are competitive, and it gets even cheaper when your fund exceeds RM500,000 and above.

That said, in terms of versatility of fees, I think StashAway is still the robo-advisor to beat.




DON’T MISS THIS: Click HERE to Get an EXCLUSIVE $5 (RM20) BONUS When You Fund Your Wahed Portfolio today (REMEMBER to apply my promo code “YIXCHI1”)!




(5) Customer Service: Up Your Game, Wahed!

At this point in the article, I would like to say that while lower fees are important, it is not everything. A lower fee that compromises the overall customer experience is a NO-NO.

After all, what’s the point if a company has a low fee but no one is attending to customers’ issues properly?

To test out Wahed’s customer experience, I sent out inquiries to all 3 channels of customer support (as stated available in the Support section of the app): Email, Phone & WhatsApp, all during office hours.

Firstly, Wahed’s response time for email is decent. However, I failed to reach out to the support team via call and it is also disappointing to see that there is no WhatsApp chat support available yet.

As a whole, I think Wahed has to really up their game to stay competitive in customer experience when competitor like StashAway is already providing more support channels for users to reach out to them.





(6) How to Open an Account?

Opening a Wahed account is simple and can be done in less than 10 minutes (Click HERE to install the Wahed app on your phone). And while doing so, remember to apply my promo code “YIXCHI1” to get a $5 (RM20) FREE Bonus when you fund your Wahed portfolio!

The account opening process is also straightforward. You will be asked about your investing goals and your savings in order to identify your risk profile.

Then, you will be recommended with one of the 6 portfolios from very conservative to very aggressive. Of course, you can also choose your own portfolio if you have a personal preference.

Once you completed all the procedures, it will take a few days to get your account verified and you are good to start!


You will be recommended a portfolio upon completion of your profile.




(7) What I Like About Wahed?


(a) Huge Market Potential

What Wahed is providing is truly one of its kind at the moment, and fits in well with the demographics of the majority Muslim community in Malaysia.

In short, Wahed is the to-go robo-advisor platform for people that are looking for Shariah-compliant investments.


(b) Help in Promoting Ethical Halal Investing in Malaysia

Given its unique positioning, Wahed is a great platform to promote halal investing to fellow Malaysian users regardless of religion and background – of which I like its core principles and concepts.




(8) What Could be Better?


(a) Customer Service needs Some Work

As discussed above, Wahed needs to put more effort to improve its customer service. That said, I do understand that Wahed has just launched in Malaysia (Oct 2019) and may need time to build up their Malaysian team.

On this matter, I will revisit Wahed’s customer service in my review next year and see if there’re any improvements.


(b) App UI needs Refurnishing

One thing that annoys me while using Wahed’s app is that the app interface seems to have issues showing the last letter and decimals of the word and numbers (eg. Overvie’X’ and RM100.’XX’). This may be something that Wahed will have to resolve with their backend team.


Wahed must improve their UI.


(c) Minimum Deposit of RM100

Unlike competitors like StashAway that has no minimum deposit, Wahed has a minimum deposit of RM100.

While this may not be a big issue, but it is definitely not as flexible as other robo-advisors around and I would love to see this minimum being lifted in the future.


(d) Only 1 Portfolio for each User (for Now)

As of the time of writing, there is no way for me to create another portfolio in Wahed other than the one I’ve created when I opened my account.

Meaning, I am not able to open a Moderate risk portfolio if I started off with an Aggressive risk Portfolio.

This is kind of a bummer because, in comparison, StashAway allows multiple portfolios of different risk profiles.




No Money Lah’s Verdict – A Robo-Advisor with Huge Potential

Is Wahed a good robo-investing platform?

Personally, I feel that Wahed has done a good job of positioning itself at the forefront of halal investing in the robo-advisor space.

Not only that, I’ve also heard good feedback from the Malaysian community, especially their awesome referral reward: Fund a minimum of RM100 and get $5 (RM20) FREE Bonus – Instant 20% Gain!.

If Wahed is able to enhance its customer service and user experience, I foresee that it will definitely give competitors like StashAway and Mytheo a good run of their money.

If you find this review on Wahed useful, my suggestion is to TAKE ACTION on your investments RIGHT NOW: Time wasted on inactions is more painful than money badly managed.

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p.s. Which Robo-Advisor Should I Invest In?

Now, if you are wondering if you should go for one robo-advisor over another, why not try investing in these platforms and see which one fits you the best?


StashAway: Claim your EXCLUSIVE 50% off your fees for 6 months when you use my link HERE!


Mytheo: Enjoy FREE 3 months management fee when you use my link HERE!




Disclaimers:


  1. Past return is not indicative of future performance. (just like your mom may not be angry at you today doesn’t mean she will not get angry with you tomorrow) 
  2. Now, one thing that I have yet to comment is Wahed’s return. As Wahed is still new in Malaysia (since Oct. 2019), I cannot comment on the return – and neither you should take others’ words as it is. I will keep monitoring the return and give my feedback in my 2021 review. 
  3. This post may contain affiliate links that afford No Money Lah a small amount of commission should you sign up through the links.

 


StashAway 2020 Review: A Solid Robo-Advisor that You Can Depend On.

About a year ago, I was introduced to the term ‘robo-advisor’ and ‘robo-investing’ via an app called StashAway.

During that time, StashAway has just expanded to Malaysia (they are based in Singapore), and the idea of investing your money with an algorithm-run money management platform (instead of conventional mutual funds) was still very fresh among fellow Malaysians (and no worries, they are regulated by the Securities Commission of Malaysia).

Along the year, similar competitors like Wahed and MyTheo (reviews coming soon!) were also launched into this exciting space – offering more options to fellow Malaysians that are interested to invest passively.

Fast forward to 2020, let’s look into how StashAway has fared in 2019, and while it is the first robo-investing platform, does it still provide the best offerings to fellow Malaysians?

Read: Introduction to StashAway – How Does it Work?


Quick Recap: What is a Robo-Advisor?

Essentially, robo-advisory platforms like StashAway, Wahed, and MyTheo help to invest your money according to your risk preferences and goals through algorithms instead of typical fund managers.

I like to think of these platforms as a mutual fund alternative that offers a cheaper and more affordable way to invest passively (more about fees below).


My StashAway Returns in 2019 & How I am using it in 2020?

One of the most fun ways to start a review about an investment solution is, of course, to talk about the returns.

To be honest, I’ve only funded my StashAway account once to really test out the platform in 2019, and totally put it behind my mind since then (that’s the whole point of passive investing, right?).

To my surprise, my StashAway portfolio has performed decently in 2019. Combined, both my aggressive portfolios (30% & 36% risk index) returned a very respectable ~11.6% return in 2019.

Looking back, this should not come as a surprise at all. This is because a majority of the fund allocation of the aggressive portfolios goes to U.S. sectoral equities – and the U.S. market has been crushing it in 2019. (Kudos to StashAway’s algorithms for catching the trend!)

As a whole, I am quite happy with how StashAway has been managing my money.

From 2020 onwards, I have started to save on StashAway via a recurring monthly deposit to 2 moderate-risk portfolios (10% & 14% risk index).

A large portion of the allocation in my aggressive portfolio is invested in the US market.

Fees Comparison: The most competitive & versatile fees across the Robo-Investing space

One huge advantage that robo-investing services have over conventional mutual funds is its fees.

In general, while typical mutual funds have an average fee of 3-5% per year, robo-investing services charge only a fraction of the fee (<1%).

This is significant, as a few percentage differences in fee could mean a lot to your return. Here is a simple calculation to give you an idea:

 RM100,000 at 5% fee per year = RM5,000 on fees.

RM100,000 at 1% fee per year = RM1,000 on fees (and no, robo-investing services offer lower fee than 1% at RM100,000).

The question now is, how are StashAway’s annual fees compared to the other presently available robo-investing platforms – Wahed and MyTheo?

Now, every robo-investing platform has its own tiers of pricing. Hence, to make my life (and yours) easier, I am comparing the fee in terms of the category of fund amount.

Full fees details: StashAway, Wahed, MyTheo

As you can see, StashAway’s fee is highly competitive, and it gets even better as you invest more with them.

In terms of fees, StashAway definitely nailed it among all the competitors – a perfect representation of ‘the more you invest, the less you pay’.

DON’T MISS THIS: Click HERE to Get an EXCLUSIVE 50% OFF Your (already low) StashAway Fees today!


Customer Service: Still Solid?

At this point in the article, I would like to point out that while lower fees are important, it is not everything. A lower fee that compromises the overall customer experience is a NO-NO.

What’s the point if a company has a low fee but no one is attending to customers’ issues properly?

If any, StashAway held pride in their customer service. In a 2019 year-end email to customers, StashAway boasted an 8-seconds average response time for calls during office hours.

To test out StashAway’s customer service in 2020, I sent out inquiries to all 3 channels of customer support available: Email, Phone & WhatsApp, all during office hours. Is StashAway’s claim about their customer service legit?

As you can see below, StashAway’s customer service is pretty solid. In short, they get the job done.

Solid Response Time from StashAway CS team (Standard as per my personal expectation).

What I Like about StashAway (2020)

There is a lot to like about StashAway as an innovative solution for passive investing, and here are 5 things that I like about StashAway:

(1) Ideology/Investing Philosophy

Since the technology and strategies employed by robo-advisor platforms are proprietary, there is no way for us to backtest the strategies’ effectiveness on our own.

In this case, knowing the ideology behind the people that creates these proprietary strategies is crucial. This gives us a good idea about the approach and mindset of a robo-advisory platform towards the market.

As such, I like StashAway’s CIO Freddy Lim’s ideology in making risk a primary consideration while delivering returns and value to the users:

The ultimate goal is to deliver competitive returns at the appropriate level of risk and at a fraction of the cost incurred by traditional strategies.

(2) Competitive and versatile fees

As compared in the section above, StashAway stands out as the robo-investing platform that offers the most competitive and versatile fees for customers of all financial capabilities.

Big thumbs up on that.

(3) Customer service

In my first write-up about StashAway last year, I mentioned that I liked StashAway’s customer service and the point is still solid this year. 

Also, do you know that StashAway is presently (at the time of writing), THE only robo-advisor that offers the convenience of funds transfer between your portfolios? (eg. You can transfer funds from your aggressive portfolio to moderate ones)

(4) Large range of asset classes

In August of 2019, StashAway introduced 13 new asset classes into their already huge asset selections, making up to 32 asset classes that StashAway can use to better optimize customers’ risk and returns.

In other words, this means that StashAway has more flexibility and versatility to best preserve and invest customers’ funds in the face of increasing market uncertainties.

(5) Community & Value Driven

Over the past year, one thing that I really respect the StashAway team is their effort in adding value to the community (while building their brand awareness, of course).

I like how StashAway has been actively organizing talks on the theme of financial planning and investing for the community. These are little things that add value to the people, but requires huge time and effort – kudos to the team again.

Don’t Miss This: Click HERE to Get an EXCLUSIVE 50% OFF Your (already low) StashAway Fees today!


What Could be Better? (2020)

(1) Bring more innovative financial solutions to Malaysia

One of the things from StashAway that really made me excited last year was the release of StashAway Simple.

StashAway Simple is the company’s answer to Fixed Deposit (FD) and FD-alternatives like the conventional Money Market Fund – hence with a low-risk index of around 2.4% with no lock-up period (unlike FD).

I was excited about StashAway Simple, until I noticed that it was only available in Singapore.

What I would love to see from StashAway in 2020 is the release of StashAway Simple in Malaysia, as I am sick of the manual form-filling process of our local financial services already. (be fair to the Malaysian customers maaa…)

[Update 15/6/2020: After a long wait, StashAway Simple is finally launched in Malaysia! Click HERE to check out my review on StashAway Simple!]

(2) Bi-annual or Annual Portfolio Round-Up

As a user, there will be times where I wonder if there is any progress or changes made on my portfolio. 

As a suggestion to help improve the overall user experience, it would be great if StashAway could do a bi-annual or annual portfolio round-up so I have an idea of what was going on with my portfolios. (refer: Spotify 2019 Year in Review).


No Money Lah’s Verdict – A Comfortable Recommendation for Passive Investing

One of the biggest conveniences that technologies have brought to us is the innovation in financial solutions & services, and robo-advisors are definitely one of them.

Given StashAway’s smart fund management, a diverse range of asset classes, competitive fees, and solid customer service, it is a no brainer for people that are looking to start investing and/or diversify their investment portfolio – while not burning a hole in their passive investments paying expensive yearly fees.

Personally, I am a happy customer, that’s for sure.

If you find this review on StashAway useful, my suggestion is to get on board right now: The best time to invest is 20 years ago, the second-best time is NOW.


Read: 

  1. Wahed 2020 Review
  2. MyTheo 2020 Review (coming soon!)


Disclaimers:

  1. Past return is not indicative of future performance. (just like your mom may not be angry at you today doesn’t mean she will not get angry with you tomorrow)
  2. This post may contain affiliate links that afford No Money Lah a small amount of commission should you sign up through the links.

 


3 Ideas to Maximize the Return of Your Angpau Money (Tried & Tested)

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Gong Hey Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year everyone – may this new year showers you with health and wealth!

If you are like me, you know that growing up, we do not get to keep our angpau money. Instead, our angpaus are being kept and managed by our parents.

The good thing? It prevented us (the child) from spending on unnecessary stuff. On the flip side, it made a lot of us pretty bad angpau money ‘managers’ upon growing up.

 If that’s the case for you, here are some solid suggestions (which I personally do) on how to best make use of your angpau money!

 


 

#1 Invest them! (Starting from RM0)

Getting your angpau invested is definitely one of the best and most direct ways to start a prosperous new year!

If you are new to investing and/or have no extra time to manage your money, be sure to check out StashAway to help manage your investments, hassle-free!

Essentially, StashAway is a smart wealth management platform that helps you manage your investments via algorithms in accordance with your risk appetite and economic condition – think of it as an (often cheaper) alternative to mutual funds.

Personally, I have been using StashAway to manage my passive investment portfolio and have no problem recommending it to people due to its reliability (regulated by Securities Commission) & lower fees than typical mutual funds.

In terms of returns, StashAway managed to give a return of around 10% for my combined aggressive portfolios in 2019 – a very respectable return by all means. Check out StashAway’s 2-year performance in the photo below.

Alternatively, there are other similar wealth management services like Wahed (Promo Code to get FREE RM40  bonus when you deposit a min. of RM100: YIXCHI1) and MyTheo (Promo Code to get 3 months FREE management fee: CHINYXWD49) of which I will be covering in the future.

If you are keen to try out StashAway, be sure to click HERE to get an exclusive 50% OFF your StashAway fees – AND no worries on how much you get for your angpau as you can get started with any amount at all!   

 

StashAway’s Performance compared to same-risk benchmark. (Source: StashAway)

 

 


 

#2 Spend on Books for even Bigger Return!

Nothing pays more dividends than acquiring new skills and knowledge.

If there is one thing that I can comfortably recommend anyone to spend on, books will top the list without a doubt.

Now, if you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know that I am a huge book lover.

I enjoy reading books on personal growth, habits and money & investment – and here are 3 books that you should not miss in 2020:

 

(a) Mindset by Carol Dweck (Personal Development)

Mindset by Carol Dweck is a great book on personal growth that I am personally reading at the moment.

This book emphasizes the importance of having a growth mindset in personal life, sustainable leadership and long-lasting relationship – and the approach that you can apply to build this mindset.

Definitely check out this book if you are looking to make a significant breakthrough in 2020.

 

“True self-confidence is “the courage to be open—to welcome change and new ideas regardless of their source.” Real self-confidence is not reflected in a title, an expensive suit, a fancy car, or a series of acquisitions. It is reflected in your mindset: your readiness to grow.”

― Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success

 

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(b) Atomic Habits by James Clear (Habit-Building)

Atomic Habits by James Clear is hands down, the best book on habits that I’ve read in 2019.

Essentially, this book rips off myths on conventional habit-building methods and introduces us to simple & scientifically proven hacks to build a good habit that lasts.

If you have problem building habits that last, this is THE book to go for.

 

“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”

― James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

 

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(c) The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman (Money, Personal Finance & Business)

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman will be my next read after I am done with Mindset.

The reason I am excited to read this book is that it covers a comprehensive aspect of personal finance and business – which I think would contain a whole lot of golden nuggets for me to discover.

Plus, you can now get this book at 41% OFF – which is really a great deal that I do not want you to miss out on.

 

“You can’t make positive discoveries that make your life better if you never try anything new.”

― Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

 

 


 

#3 Optimize Your Financial Goals with a Professional Personal Financial Planner (BONUS: Free Consultation Session using my link below)

If you are looking to have a prosperous new year in 2020, you will definitely need a solid money plan on how to grow your wealth (like seriously).

This is even more important especially if you have a goal in mind that would need a big sum of money to accomplish in this new decade:

Planning to get married? Buying your first house or car? Looking to retire soon?

How about the plan for a trip to Japan, or the idea of changing your 3-year old smartphone this year?

If you have all these big (and small) financial goals in mind, and are still clueless about how to achieve them, engaging a Personal Financial Planner is the way to go.

Personally, I have worked alongside my very first Personal Financial Planner to get my 2020 financials planned with effective action steps – and I’ve learned so much about my finances.

Now, I DO NOT want you to pay for a Personal Financial Planner if you do not find value in their services.

For that, I am throwing in a FREE financial consultation session for you to find out for yourself (Click HERE to register) – I promise that it will be a time well-spent with great insights!

 

Working alongside my personal financial planner

 


 

Verdict: The Best Return of Investment in Money Spent is When Your Grow Alongside Them.

One of my biggest satisfaction when it comes to money spent is to feel or know that I’ve learned something from the transaction.

As of the case for angpau money, it is even more meaningful to use them in ways that could elevate your wealth and/or growth to kickstart the year.

For me, that’s the best return ever.

Take care and have a great festive season! 🙂

Yi Xuan

 


Disclaimers:

(1) This post may contain affiliate links, which afford No Money Lah a commission if you make a purchase.

(2) Any investment related sharing in this article is purely my personal opinion and should not be taken as a buy/sell call. Please seek financial advice from a professional financial planner for this matter. 

 


Is Now (or anytime) a Good Time to buy Gold?

If you are considering to start buying gold or to add on to your current gold holdings, this article is for you.

The second half of 2019 has been an interesting time for gold.

Gold went from the year’s low of around $1270/ounce to a 5-year high of $1565/ounce – a huge 23% run, before settling for $1555/ounce to end the year.

This is an interesting time because I started to see a lot of ‘Buy Gold’ or ‘Gold is the Safe Haven’ related articles and contents sprouting around social media.

Clearly, people’s interest in gold has been rising especially with increasing uncertainties around global geopolitical issues.

With a simple price action analysis, let’s explore whether it is now a good time to buy gold? If now’s not a good time, then when’s the best time to do so?

TLDR –

In my opinion, gold would likely see its next bullish run if it is able to find a stable footing above the $1525 – $1610/ounce resistance zone (~RM215 – RM227/gram*).



*USD 1.00 = RM4.00 for ease of calculation


First thing first – Where does Gold Price stand now?

Again, gold is in an interesting phase right now.

From the gold’s 10-year weekly chart below, it can be seen the price of gold has finally broken away from a 6-year large corrective structure since the 2nd quarter of 2019.

This is significant, as the bulls (or the buyers) are finally taking over the overall trend after a 6-year tug-of-war against the bears (or the sellers).

In short, it can be said that the market is becoming more bullish towards gold for now.  

10-year weekly chart for gold. (Get your chart HERE)

That said, is it the right time now to buy gold?

As of now, the price of gold stands at a unique point.

Referring to the 10-year weekly chart below, the price zone between $1525 – $1610/ounce has been a key interaction point between the Bulls (Buyers) and the Bears (Sellers) over the past decade.

As an example, the first point of contact was in April 2011, when the Bears defended the zone from the Bulls for the first time.

Thereafter, the Bulls have defended the zone 3 times between 2011 – 2012. This showed the conviction of the buyers to defend the zone from being further pushed downward.

However, it was also in the same zone that the Bears actually took control in March 2013 and pushed the price below the zone – which started a 6-years long corrective phase.

At this moment, the buyers have been testing the zone twice since late 2019. That said, the Bears are clearly still holding the fortress firmly against the buying pressure.

In short, $1525 - $1610 is a key price zone that the Bulls (buyers) must overcome should we want to see a more significant bull run in 2020.

$1525 - 1610 is an important price zone with many interactions between Bulls & Bears over the past 10 years.

What if… the Bulls (buyers) manage to break above the zone?

Now, if the Bulls break the Bears’ defense on the key $1525 - $1610/ounce zone (RM215 – 227/gram), chances are this would trigger the Stop Loss orders of the Bears on the other side of the zone.

This would stop some key sellers out, and would likely lead to a change in the overall market bias to be even more bullish.

Should that happen, I am anticipating a more aggressive buying pressure from the market.

This upside would likely be going to continue until the next key resistance level of $1800/ounce (~RM254/gram) – a 12% potential upside from the $1610 level.

In short, I will be more bullish towards gold should price manage to overcome and find a stable footing above the key $1525 – 1610 resistance zone.

$1800 is the next key resistance should price breaks above the $1525 - 1610 price zone.

What if… the Bears (sellers) manage to defend their position at the $1525 – 1610/ounce zone?

We cannot say with 100% certainty that Bulls will take over the trend – what if the otherwise happens?

Let’s say the Bears (sellers) manage to defend the $1525 – 1610/ounce zone, chances are the price of gold will be pushed downwards away from the zone.

With that in mind, the next key price zone where the Bulls (buyers) would likely be active again would be the zone between $1365 – 1465/ounce. (RM 193 – 207/gram)

On that note, the gold price could either make a bullish rebound (green arrow) if the $1365 – 1465/ounce zone is well defended by the bulls. Otherwise, a further bearish momentum could continue if price breaks below the zone (red arrow).

$1365 - 1445 is the next key support zone should price is not able to make it above the current zone.

Good to Know – China has been buying gold at an increasing rate**

In my previous article, there is a mention of how China’s gold holding makes up less than 8% of the country’s total reserve.

However, global geopolitical issues, especially the US-China trade war which started in the second half of 2018 have made an impact on the rate of China’s gold reserve.

Since the 3rd quarter of 2018, China has been buying gold at an increasing rate (4Q2018: 0.5%, 1Q2019: 1.8% and 2Q2019: 2.2%).

On that note, geopolitical uncertainties are definitely part of the reason why gold price has been increasing in 2019.

China's Gold Reserve (in tonnes) (3Q 2016 - 2Q 2019) [Source: World Gold Council]

No Money Lah’s Verdict

I have always enjoyed reading and studying about gold.

Gold’s unique characteristic from an economic and cultural perspective makes it one of the most interesting and valuable commodities in the world.

However, since gold is a volatile (and to some extent, speculative) commodity, I am more inclined to have the thoughts that people should approach gold in a well-researched manner.

To summarize from today’s article, I will be more bullish on gold should price breaks above the key $1525 - $1610/ounce zone as this will follow with a 12% potential upside (towards $1800/ounce).

Hope you enjoyed this read! 😊






Thinking about opening a gold investment account? Definitely check out the link below to get started!


Disclaimer: This article is written based on my best research as of the time of writing, and should not be considered as a buy/sell recommendation. Please do your own due diligence and/or seek professional advice when making your investment decision.

--

**Credit: Part of this article is made possible with the help of my friend, Mr. Varian Soong.

Mr. Varian Soong is an Economics graduate from University of Malaya. Being one of the brightest of his batch, he came in as the 1st runner-up in the 2017 CFA Institute Research Challenge. 

Also, he has completed CFA Level 2 professional paper and he is now pursuing his professional career as a Credit Analyst in Public Mutual Bhd. 

Connect with him on LinkedIn HERE.


3 MUST-BUILD Mindsets to become a Better Investor & Person in 2020

Hey everyone!

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you Happy New Year! 2019 has been challenging yet really amazing for me. What’s more, the year was even better as I get to know everyone of you – your support and feedbacks have been tremendously motivating to me.

As I gather my takeaways as a developing trader, investor and, well, a person, I would like to share with you 3 MOST IMPORTANT mindsets that you must work on or cultivate in 2020.

From my personal experience and studies, these 3 mindsets are crucial for a person to develop and master in order to achieve any kind of significant breakthrough in his or her life & investing endeavors.

Now, it must be mentioned beforehand that building these mindsets would not promise immediate monetary returns. However, I am confident that having them will make your 2020 an extremely empowering year to live in.


#1 Mindset: Focus on Process over Outcome

A mistake that many beginning investors do is to anchor their investing performance to the return of their investments.

This mindset is what I call the ‘Outcome-based Mindset’, and it is THE BIGGEST mindset hurdle that an investor must overcome to stand a chance in the market.

Reason being, there is no 100% certainty that the market is going to give us what we want. When that happens, the confidence of a beginner investor will get shaken to the extent they may eventually develop a pessimistic view towards investing.

Hence, in 2020, focus on getting the process right. Aim to build a ‘Process-based Mindset’.

Focus on the process of learning. Focus on the process of executing your investing plan properly. Focus on the process of growing.

Amateur investors aim for the outcome, the successful ones focus on the process.

Focus on getting the process right in 2020 and the outcome will come.

#2 Mindset: Consistency is the Key

Now, when I mention consistency, I am not talking about the %/year that you can make consistently.

Rather, I am referring to one’s consistency in the execution of his or her processes.

You cannot control the market movement (external factor), but you can certainly take charge of how consistent you are in your process and effort (internal factor).

Be consistent in your routine to study financial reports & charts. Be consistent in your process to filter for quality investments. Be consistent in your risk management.

Ultimately, be consistent in your pursuit of mastery.

As cliché as it sounds, the consistency of ‘outcome’ that amateur investors dream of – they come from the consistency of ‘process’ that successful investors practice to heart.

Consistency in execution leads to consistency in outcome over the long run.

#3 Mindset: Relate to Challenges with Positivity

As the year goes by, it is for sure that there’ll be challenges in your life and investing journey.

In times like this, people with a mediocre attitude will look for someone or something to blame for their encounter.

On the other hand, people with a growth mindset will take charge of their life challenges and take it as an opportunity to improve.

Fear and challenges consume the people with a fixed mindset, but lift the people with a growth mindset.

Lady luck favors the positives.

Verdict

2020 is an exciting year. For the year and the decade ahead, things will evolve. The market will change. Some skillsets will become obsolete, and some will become high on demand.

However, a healthy mindset is timeless. No era of time will ever make a growth mindset irrelevant.

With that, I wish you the very best in your life and investing journey in 2020, and have a great, great year ahead! :) 

-Yi Xuan


Get Your 2020 Financial Goals Mapped-Out Strategically with Practical Action Steps!

Stepping into the new year (and decade) and still have ABSOLUTELY no clue about how you can achieve your ideal financial lifestyle & goals?

Or rather, you have some idea about your financials but are still 'kind-of' miserable about HOW TO REALLY ACHIEVE YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS?

Personally, I had a fair share of these experiences in 2019, until I finally consulted my first ever Personal Financial Planner to get my 2020 financials properly planned - and it is the BEST thing that I've done for myself in preparation for the new year and decade!

Hey wait - I DON'T WANT YOU TO PAY for your Personal Financial Planner if you are not convinced that they are not able to add value to your financials.

Hence, as a No Money Lah's supporter & reader, I am throwing in a FREE Financial Consultation just for YOU!

Find out HOW and CHECK OUT my personal experience working alongside my first personal financial planner BELOW!


I've Been Working Alongside a Personal Financial Planner - Here's My Experience with Them.

Back in October, I had the opportunity to work with my very own Personal Financial Planner to get my financials planned for the new year of 2020 – and I would like to share my experience with you today.

Now, it should be noted that I do have the habit of keeping track of my daily expenses. Plus, I do monthly reviews on my overall financial status and investments.

This means that I actually have a decent understanding of my personal financial state. That being said, why did I opt to work with a Personal Financial Planner?

The reason is simple: because I have a personal financial goal in mind, and I would like to seek professional opinion on how I can achieve my goal.


What is a Personal Financial Planner, really?

The best way to explain what a Personal Financial Planner is to compare one to an insurance agent.

Essentially, a Personal Financial Planner covers a wider aspect of personal finance aside from insurance. In addition, financial planners are usually brokers to multiple insurance companies which means that they are able to compare and filter for the best solution (from more than one insurance company) for their clients.

A crucial difference, though, is that Financial Planners earn mainly through charging their clients a consultation fee, while insurance agents earn mainly through the commission of the insurance solutions sold

Added together, working with a Personal Financial Planner ensures minimal conflict of interest in their services as they are only accountable to their clients and no one else.  

That said, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to financial planning, and one should go for the best-suited services by considering what’s best for him/her under their personal circumstances.

The difference between a Financial Planner & Insurance Agent.

What is it like to Work with a Personal Financial Planner? (My Experience)

Generally, a financial planning package (or service) is separated into 2 modes: a full financial planning package or a modular package.

A full financial planning package includes a comprehensive analysis of every aspect of personal finance from investment, insurance and estate planning (eg. Will writing and asset allocation).

On the other hand, a modular financial planning package includes a comprehensive analysis from either one of the 3 services (Investment OR Insurance OR Estate Planning).

Now, it is also important to note that both packages of financial planning also include an in-depth analysis of one’s cash flow status and financial health check – which is extremely crucial in helping us to understand our current financial strength for future planning.

Personally, I opted for a modular financial planning package from Wealth Vantage Advisory, specifically in investment as I want to explore how I can best optimize my cash on hand to achieve my financial goal.

A glimpse of my current financial strength, courtesy of Wealth Vantage Advisory's trademarked Wealth Vantage Score.

The Flow of Working of a Personal Financial Planner (Step-by-Step)

Personally, I find working with my Personal Financial Planners from Wealth Vantage Advisory (Stev & Catherine) really simple and straightforward (to be honest, I thought it was going to be a complicated process initially).

Step 1: First Engagement

It all starts with an initial meetup in October in Stev’s office after signing up for my financial planning package.

The objective of this meetup is to do some fact-finding, expectation, and goal-setting. Along with the meeting, I also sent in my personal financial details required to my Personal Financial Planner.

Now, it should be noted that not everyone is equally comfortable to share their personal financial details, even with a professionally trained Personal Financial Planner. I, for one, resonate with this very much as I felt vulnerable when I was asked to do so.

However, Stev and Catherine’s professionalism towards their work eventually made me really feel safe for doing so. Furthermore, the existence of legal paperwork in this financial planning process also ensures the privacy of our personal data.

Behind the Scene…

So, what happened after I submitted the details required by my Personal Financial Planner?

In Wealth Vantage Advisory, they have a team of certified & professionally-trained financial planners to analyze my financials and put up a detailed action-steps to help me achieve my goals.

Knowing this gives me peace of mind knowing that not just one, but a team of experts is working behind the scene to produce a solid financial plan that’s in my best interest.

Working with a Personal Financial Planner helped me to realign and be accountable for my financial goals.

Step 2: Implementation Meeting (1 month after first engagement)

About one month after our first meeting (October), I met up with Stev again for our first implementation meeting in November.

By now, my financial plan is prepared and Stev essentially, in detail, went through my (1) current financial health and (2) investments’ strengths and weaknesses with me.

The meeting was really an eye-opener as I have never been exposed to such detailed financial data of myself.

Essentially, I was given an aerial view of my current financial status including the health of my cash flow, net worth, asset allocation and more. With that, my financial plan also includes precise action steps in order for me to achieve my financial goals (more in ‘My Takeaways’ section).

What I really like about Wealth Vantage’s Personal Financial Planning session is that although I opted for a modular financial planning package in investment, Stev and the team also helped me analyze my insurance plans.

With that, they also provided me with suggestions on how to optimize my insurance expenses by comparing my current package with the other solutions in the market  – a nice touch indeed.

Behind the Scene…

Having a Personal Financial Planner is not just about giving you a plan and say bye-bye to each other.

In fact, the good thing about having a Personal Financial Planner is to assist and keep you accountable for the execution of your plan.

I find this very useful as it provided me with a push to get certain things that I’ve always wanted to do done after the meeting.

Detailed analysis of my personal financial status and precise action steps for me to achieve my financial goals are prepared.

Step 3: Follow-Up Review Meetings

Review Meetings are done to keep track of the execution of one’s financial plan. Not only that, it is set up to see if there is any further implementation needed to achieve one’s financial goals. 

For someone that is opting for a modular financial planning package like myself, Review Meetings are done on a half-yearly basis (twice in a year). For people that opt for a full financial planning package, Review Meetings are done once every quarter (4 times a year).

For sure, this is a great structure as you get all the accountability and support in getting your plans executed properly.

The full flow/timeline while working with a Personal Financial Planner, schedule courtesy of Stev from Wealth Vantage Advisory. (click to enlarge)

My Takeaways

An important takeaway for me in my financial planning session with Wealth Vantage Advisory comes in the form of my asset allocation. While I have been conscious of my financial status, I did not realize that I am not optimizing my assets to its full potential.

Namely, I have a relative sum of emergency cash reserves that could be put into Fixed Deposit (FD) alternative like Money Market Fund. Doing this will give me better returns on my cash reserves while still ensuring the liquidity of my cash (unlike FD).

In addition, I also like that the proposed action steps are precise and straightforward. In my case, the plan proposed a fixed % of cash allocated to the Money Market Fund. This is a sweet touch considering most people (okay, maybe it’s just me) are just too lazy to make decisions nowadays.

Not only that, going through a financial planning session also pushed me to rethink my approach towards my income stream. As in, how can I improve my active income flow while pursuing my goal to become a professional full-time trader?

This made me realized that sometimes all people need is a push and accountability to really do what it’s needed to achieve their financial goals – and engaging a Personal Financial Planner is no doubt a great way to do so.


Do You Really Need a Personal Financial Planner?

Now, I personally think that most people need a Personal Financial Planner more than they think.

Even for me that practice the habit of keeping my financials in check, I still found enormous value while engaging a Personal Financial Planner. The question is, do you need one?

If you are a young adult planning ahead for your wedding, family planning, and any other financial goals – go for it.

If you are a parent planning for your children’s future education and life – go for it.

If you are in your 30s, 40s or even 50s looking to retire earlier and/or manage your after-life asset allocation but not sure what to do – go for it.

Even more so, if you have a lot of savings in hand but have little to no clue on how to deal with them – GO FOR IT.

Getting a Personal Financial Planner will give you a clearer picture of your financial strengths and weaknesses – and support your journey towards achieving your financial goals.


Get Your First Financial Consultation Session Today – FREE OF CHARGE!

Before we continue, I think it is helpful for you to know that a 1-year Full Financial Planning package from Wealth Vantage Advisory is priced at RM3,000. Meanwhile, the 1-year Modular Financial Planning package (Investment/Insurance/Estate Planning) is priced at RM1,000.

To be clear, I DO NOT want you to pay for a Personal Financial Planner unless you are convinced that they are able to add value to you.

That said, I also want you to give yourself the chance (like what I did) to explore the potential where you are able to make the best use out of your hard-earned money and achieve your financial goals in life.

Hence, I am working together with Wealth Vantage Advisory to bring a FREE session of Financial Consultation Session to all No Money Lah’s readers!

Even better, if you sign up for the session, you will also get a FREE trial of MyPF’s Premier Site (one of Malaysia’s top Personal Finance site), where you also get access to exclusive personal finance tools & investment insights.

Essentially, you will be able to gauge if a Personal Financial Planner is going to add value to your pursuit of financial goals once you experience your FREE financial consultation session – so be sure not to miss out on this one!


Disclaimer

This article is made possible through a collaboration with Wealth Vantage Advisory. Special thanks to Stev and the team for making this collaboration such an impactful one.



Wealth Vantage Advisory did not receive copy approval rights on this article – that means they are reading this article for the first time, right alongside you. :)



p.s. This post may contain affiliate links, which afford No Money Lah a commission if you make a purchase.

 


Is Gold a Stable Investment?

A lot of people, especially among the Asian community, have a long conventional perspective where gold is a stable investment compared to other existing investment vehicles. I, for one, used to think so back when I was a teenager.

For a while, I have been intrigued by the conventional thinking of gold as a stable investment. Hence, I went on researching and managed to do some digging into this topic.

In this short yet important article, let’s explore if our conventional perspective is true, and do some myth-busting wherever necessary:


Gold is, in fact, not as stable as you think

To many, gold is thought to be a stable store of wealth. At the very least, gold should be something that, in our very own slang –


“Will not lose money one right?”

Apparently, that’s not the case.

Take SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), an ETF that tracks gold performance, as a benchmark – which has an mean annual return of 0.39% for the past 10 years (not too bad for a ‘stable’ investment, huh?).

However, just looking at the average annual return DOES NOT give us a clear picture of how stable gold has performed.




Now, instead, let’s look at the standard deviation value of gold – a measure that will give us a better view of how volatile is gold over a 10-year period.

With a standard deviation of 16.59, this provides us with a better picture of gold’s volatility.

Essentially, a standard deviation of 16.59 means that if you have held gold for the past 10 years, there is a probability that your return could go as high as 16.98% a year (0.39% + 16.59%), or as low as -16.2% (0.39% – 16.59%) a year.

In comparison, the S&P 500 index scored an mean annual return of 1.13% per year, with a standard deviation of 12.48 for the last 10 years.

This means that, if you have invested and held the US stock market for the past 10 years, your return could be as high as 13.61% (1.13% + 12.48%), or as low as -11.35% (1.13% – 12.48%) a year.

Simply put, gold’s movement to the upside and downside is huge and is definitely not as ‘stable’ as perceived by many. In fact, gold is a volatile asset – even when compared to the stock market.


Gold vs Stock Market Volatility over the past 10 years. (Source: Yahoo Finance)




Gold is Volatile, But…

It is not something you should overlook. This is because gold, even as a volatile asset, is a great portfolio diversifier with almost 0 correlation with the stock market. Also, gold is a great hedge of wealth against growing consensus towards global interest rate reduction.

Even more so, gold also plays an important part in the portfolio of prominent investors, namely as a hedge against inflation. In the All-Weather Portfolio by Ray Dalio (founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds), gold makes up 7.5% of the total portfolio aggregation.

In other words, it still makes a lot of sense for one to include SOME proportion of gold into his or her portfolio as an effective way of wealth preservation. 

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Ray Dalio’s All-Weather Portfolio (Source: IWillTeachYouToBeRich)




No Money Lah’s Verdict

In short, gold is not the ‘stable’ investment as perceived conventionally. As such, gold is NOT SUITABLE to become the MAIN store of wealth and investment vehicle for most people, due to its volatility as mentioned above.

However, gold should not be overlooked, as it still has its advantages in diversifying your risks when it comes to the preservation of your wealth.

To end, here’s an interesting angle to look at gold, as shared by a friend of mine, Jason:


Gold should not be seen through the investment lens, but the preservation lens. And not the preservation of fiat value, but for value where fiat money cannot exist (meaning, the day when our paper money is no longer valuable as a means of exchange)



Meanwhile if you like this article and would like to invest in gold, open a HelloGold account today (and get RM5 off when you invest a min. of RM50 when you use my referral code ‘CHIN012W’!)





Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) is one of my favorites to invest in, as they provide relatively stable dividends – hence making them a great passive income source.




Disclaimer: This article is written based on my best research as of the time of writing, and should not be considered as a buy/sell recommendation. Please do your own due diligence and/or seek professional advice when making your investment decision.

 


Malaysians' Guide to Gold Investment

Gold is an asset that has been universally recognized as a store of wealth since ancient times. Despite not being a legal tender form of exchange (read: currency) these days, gold is still widely accumulated by the society and countries alike.

In this article, let’s look at some interesting (and lesser-known) facts about gold, WHY invest in them, and HOW to invest in gold as a Malaysian.

What Makes Gold So Attractive?

(1) Gold is uniquely beautiful

Gold is stunning on its own. As such, gold’s shinny and elegant nature make it an attractive choice for jewelry and life accessories alike.  

(2) Gold is scarce

Gold is a type of commodity. This means it is a rare metal and the amount of gold available to mankind is limited.

Not only that, the mining process of gold is also painstaking and expensive, making gold an even more valuable asset to own.

(3) Gold is durable and useful

Gold does not decay or rust – and it is almost indestructible. All the gold ever mined is still around in one form or another.

In addition, gold is a good reflector of light and an excellent electric conductor. This contributes to the extensive usage of gold in electronics such as circuits, dental fillings and more.

(4) Gold is homogeneous

One pure gram of gold is similar in value to the next gram. This makes it easy for people to ascertain gold’s value and utilizing it in trade and commerce.

Having understood the characteristics of gold, it is useful for us to understand WHERE gold is being supplied and HOW gold is being used in the world.

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Characteristics that make gold such a special commodity.

Supply & Demand of Gold

Have you ever wonder how is gold being supplied all around the world?

According to the World Gold Council (WGC), around 75% of the world’s gold demand is contributed by gold mining. Unlike paper money which can be printed with relative ease, the only known way to produced gold is to mine them.

That said, gold that is mined is usually not enough to meet the demand for gold. Hence, the remaining 25% of gold demand is met by the recycling of gold. These recycled gold supplies come mainly from jewelry (~90%) and gold extracted from technological hardware.

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Gold supplies all around the world

If that’s the case, WHO is buying gold around the world?

There has been 4 main use of gold worldwide.

The first use of gold, which takes up around 50% of the total demand, comes from (you’ve guessed it)jewelry.

This is followed by investment-related purposes (eg. Gold-backed ETFs), which contribute to around 25% of total gold demand. In addition, gold is also accumulated by central banks all around the world. This takes up around 13% of total gold demand.

Lastly, gold usage for industrial production takes up the rest of the demand.

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Gold demand around the world

Which country holds the most gold?

Now, as mentioned, gold is highly accumulated by the central banks of many countries. Gold is being held as part of a nation’s reserves, mainly due to gold’s nature as a safe haven asset and an effective diversification of their portfolio.

The role of gold to central banks (Source: World Gold Council)

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With that in mind, let’s make a smart guess before you proceed – which are the countries that hold the most gold?

As of October 2019, the United States holds the most gold in its national reserves (8133.5 tonnes!) – which takes up near to 78% of the total reserves. The far second is Germany with a total gold reserve of 3366.8 tonnes, making up 72.9% of the country’s total reserves.

Countries like China and India have a gold reserve of 1942.4 tonnes and 618.2 tonnes respectively, making up less than 8% of these countries’ total reserves.

Back in Malaysia, we are placed at 53rd (out of 100 countries) when it comes to our total gold holdings. This translates to a total gold holding of 38.9 tonnes – which is 1.8% of Malaysia’s total reserves.

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Malaysia is ranked #53 in global gold reserves.

Why invest in gold?

(a) Hedge against the drop in interest rate & geopolitical uncertainties

With global powerhouses like the US reducing its interest rate, it is inevitable that there will be a drop in return (or yield) of major bonds in the market. This will cause the return of bonds less attractive in the eyes of investors.

Adding on to various geopolitical uncertainties, this makes gold especially appealing as a safe-haven asset for institutions and retail investors alike in search of protection against uncertainties.

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(b) Portfolio Diversification 

Gold is also an effective instrument for you to diversify your investment portfolio. This is because, for the past 10 years, gold has almost no correlation (0.04) with the stock market movement.

In short, this means that gold price is generally not affected by the ups and downs in the stock market, making it a good wealth diversification vehicle.

Useful link: S&P 500 vs Gold price movement for the past 10 years

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There are many solid reasons to have gold as part of your portfolio

How can Malaysians Invest in Gold?

#1 Recommended – HelloGold 

HelloGold is a mobile app that allows you to buy and sell gold for as little as RM1. This is really a big plus point, considering that the other offerings in the market have a barrier of entry of a minimum of 1 gram of gold (~RM200). Some of the advantages of HelloGold are:

  • Low barrier of entry - Invest in gold starting at just RM1!
  • No-hassle account opening - The easiest way to get started in gold investing. Open your account via HelloGold's mobile app - no need to be physically present at counters to do so. 
  • Shariah-Compliant
  • Automated investment - If needed, you can automate your monthly gold investment via HelloGold’s SmartSaver plan.
  • Flexibility in managing your gold holdings - With HelloGold, you can buy and sell gold via the app anytime, and even send gold to your family and friends via the app.

This flexibility is a huge thumbs up considering that I used to have to visit the Maybank counter myself to withdraw my gold investment as a Maybank Gold Investment Account holder.

In terms of security, every gold bought is yours and is held at HelloGold’s vault provider in Singapore (which, you can redeem them if needed), and is well-insured by insurance company.

With that in mind, unless you really need to hold solid gold, I definitely recommend HelloGold to most people that are keen to invest in gold. 

 

#2 Physical Gold

Should you fancy physical gold bars and coins, you can also get them via sites like BuySilverMalaysia. That said, I personally feel that unless one has specific needs for physical gold, I do not recommend them due to safety and storage hassles. 

#3 Gold-backed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)

TradePlus Shariah Gold Tracker (Code: 0828EA) is Malaysia’s first shariah-compliant commodity ETF that tracks the performance of gold. Essentially, think of it as investing in a fund that goes up and down with the price movement of gold.

With some fees, you can invest in gold without having to take care of physical gold. 

#4 Banks’ Gold Investment Accounts (GIA)

Alternatively, you can also purchase gold through banks’ gold investment account (eg. Maybank, CIMB). That said, GIAs usually charge a spread when you buy and sell gold.

Also, just a personal experience from using Maybank’s GIA: while I could purchase my gold online, I have to visit the counter should I wish to sell my gold holdings, which is a real hassle by today’s standard.

Note: (1) **Refer HERE (2) CIMB GIA has an annual fee of RM5 if year-end gold balance <5g (3) Details about Gold-backed ETF HERE

No Money Lah Verdict

With gold being an effective portfolio diversifier for your wealth, there is no doubt that one should accumulate gold as part of his or her portfolio.

However, the million-dollar question has yet to be answered: Is now a good time to buy gold?

In the next article, I will discuss about the price of gold and if it is a good time to invest in gold - Stay tuned!

Meanwhile if you like this article and would like to open a HelloGold account (and get RM5 off when you invest a min. of RM50, be sure to click HERE and use my referral code ‘CHIN012W’!)


Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) is one of my favorites to invest in, as they provide relatively stable dividends hence making them a great passive income source.

Click HERE to find out HOW you can pick and invest in quality REITs!


Disclaimer: This article is written based on my best research as of the time of writing, and should not be considered as a buy/sell recommendation. Please do your own due diligence and/or seek professional advice when making your investment decision.