What is Amanah Saham & How to Invest in it? (Part 1)

I have never paid much attention to Amanah Saham investment until a recent request from a reader to write about it sometime back in May.

In fact, my initial impression towards Amanah Saham was that most of its funds are for Bumiputras, and funds that are open to the public are very hard to buy – and that was everything I knew. But thanks to the request from that reader, I have found myself researching about arguably one of the most reliable investments that give a very solid return.

Without further ado, let’s find out more about Amanah Saham!

What is Amanah Saham?

Amanah Saham are funds that are managed by Amanah Saham National Berhad (ASNB), a subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB). ASNB was established on 22 May 1978. In short, ASNB is a government-supported unit trust management company.


Fixed Price Fund vs Variable Price Fund

As of the time of writing, there are a total of 14 Amanah Saham funds under the portfolio of ASNB, and of all, there are 6 Fixed Price Funds and 8 Variable Price Funds:

Funds open to all Malaysians are highlighted in yellow.

(A) What’s the difference between Fixed Price Funds and Variable Price Funds?

 

Fixed Priced Funds

Variable Priced Funds

Value Fixed @ RM1/unit. Varies according to the market.
Sales Fee 0% 3% - 5%
Performance Consistent (6%-7%) Fluctuating

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To give you a better picture, just take Variable Price Funds just like the conventional mutual funds in the market. As the name suggests, Variable Price Funds are funds that will fluctuate in value in accordance with the market movement. In terms of fees, Variable Price Funds also charge sales fees between 3% - 5%.

Simply put, for your Variable Price Fund investment to match the return of a 3% Fixed Deposit (FD) rate, your fund’s return will need to be at least 6% (assuming a sales fee of 3%) – which I wouldn’t recommend putting your hard-earned money in considering the inconsistent performance of all Variable Price Funds for the past 3 Financial Years.

On the other hand, ASNB’s Fixed Price Funds are the ones that everyone is talking about. The key strength of Fixed Price Funds (well, you have guessed it, didn’t you?) is the value of the fund will be fixed at RM1/unit no matter the market condition. Not only that, there is also no sales fees (yes, 0%) charged by all 6 Fixed Price Funds.

The best thing? All 6 Fixed Price Funds have been paying an average 6%-7% dividends consistently for many years, making them one of the most reliable investment vehicle in the market.

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Comparing 2 of ASNB's most established Fixed & Variable Price Funds

(B) All hail, Fixed Price Funds! (Benefits)

For all the reasons above, I will discuss specifically on Fixed Price Funds as these are what everyone is talking about when it comes to Amanah Saham investment.

Personally, I am genuinely happy to see that out of the 6 Fixed Price Funds, 3 (ASM, ASM 2, ASM 3) are actually open to all Malaysians, and I was delighted for good reasons:

#1 Unit value is fixed at RM1/unit:

Meaning, any market fluctuation will not affect the fundamental unit value of these funds. In other words, in the instances where the market is so bad that there is no dividend payout at all, at least the value of your fund will remain constant.

This makes Fixed Price Funds stand out as one of the best Unit Trust investment available in the market.

#2 Consistent Dividend:

Fixed Price Funds are famous for good reasons. One of them is because they are able to deliver a solid and consistent performance for a long period of time.

From my research, all 6 funds are able to deliver an average of 6% - 7% return on a consistent basis for the past 5 financial years (More about their performance on Part 2).

A consistent 6% dividend, when reinvested (which these funds do), will bring you a massive compounded return over a long period of time.

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RM10,000 compounded at 6%/year vs simple return

#3 Dividend Earned is not Taxable:

So you do not have to worry about tax filing.

#4 No Sales Charge:

Another highlight feature of Fixed Price Funds. Meaning, you do not have to pay any sales fee if you purchase any new units.

That said, Funds have full discretion to charge a 1% sales fee – just saying.

#5 On-The-Spot Redemption:

You can withdraw your investments and get your money immediately (either via cash/cheque/bank transfer).


(C) Risks & Cons of Amanah Saham investment (Fixed Price Funds)

One thing that we have to keep in mind is that there are no investments that are 100% risk-free. Here are some of the risks and cons of investing in the Fixed Price Funds of ASNB:

#1 Market Risks and Interest Rate Risk

All Fixed Price Funds’ performance and return are subject to the fluctuation of the market and interest rate.

While it is true that the unit value remains fixed at RM1/unit, dividend payout may fluctuate in accordance with funds’ exposure market and interest rate fluctuation.

#2 Capital not Protected

Your capital is not protected by Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) if ASNB goes bankrupt.

#3 Availability of Funds

As there is a quota capped to our race to these funds, when the quota is fully filled, you will have a hard time trying to get into these funds (unless suddenly someone let go of their units).

#4 Withdrawal Hassle

Any withdrawal of funds must be made over the counter at ASNB’s branches.


How to Register for an ASNB Account?

To register for an ASNB account, you must bring along your IC and the minimum cash needed for the initial subscription for the funds (RM10 for Fixed Price Funds), and apply at any ASNB branches or agents.


No Money Lah’s Verdict

In my opinion, I honestly think that if you can get your hands into any of ASNB’s Fixed Price Funds, it is no doubt one of the best money decisions that you will ever make, period.

For myself, I will go and open my ASNB account and start trying my luck to get my hands on any of these funds, and I will keep you all updated on my experience (so stay tuned and subscribe if you haven’t already!)

In Part 2, I will introduce and go through the performance of all 6 Fixed Funds with you, so you can decide which one to invest in after that! As for Part 3, I am going to share my personal view on Amanah Saham investment (plus my rants - you gotta check it out!).

Have a good read!


Disclaimer: The accuracy of this content is based on the best effort by myself and at the time of writing. I do not guarantee the validity of this content as details and performance of ASNB and its funds will change over time. This article is also not a buy/sell recommendation. Please seek professional financial planner's advice on this matter.

Credits to MyPF and MyFinTalk for their comprehensive writings on ASNB!


Note: For all my Bumiputera friends and readers that may be asking about to buy into Amanah Saham via cash or ASB Financing, definitely check out the articles by Crezki & KC Lau for more tips and info!


[Sponsored Post] The Most Practical Thing You Can Do for Your Parents as an Adult

Growing up, there will be moments when we are thinking of ways we can treat our parents into something special. To many, a lot of these brainstorming moments happen in conjunction with our parents’ birthday or Parents’ Day.

As such, some of these meaningful and special ideas could be doing a handmade card for them, bringing them out for a meal and more.

In my opinion, despite so many ideas, one turns out as the most practical that a child can do for their parents as an adult – understanding the financial protection status of the family.

Let me explain:

Just like how money management is not emphasized among individuals, financial protection (eg. Insurance coverage) is also extremely overlooked (underemphasized) in a family.

Look, I get it. It is a total hassle.  

It is such a hassle to find (dig) out the insurance coverage of our family members. This is especially true for most of the parents in a family, because chances are they may have bought a number of policies (with different agents over several insurance companies) over the years.

I faced the same issue myself. Just like many, insurance is a part of my life that I really did not feel like touching. Reason being, I thought that the process is problematic and very likely my monthly commitment will increase after that (because agents will ask me to buy or add-on some other coverages).

That said, stepping into adulthood changed my perspective towards financial protection. Understanding money and finances, I realized that financial protection (eg. Insurance) is essential in building a defensive line against any emergencies and unpredictable events that could happen in the unknown future.

With that in mind, sometime last year, I spent some time to find out the status of financial protection of my parents and sibling.

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Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: Find out all the insurance policies by your family members. If you can’t find the hardcopies, chances are you can download them off their respective account online.

(Note: Depending on the age of the policies (especially parents’ ones), e-policy may not be available to some of the older policies. Luckily, my dad is very good at filing so I faced little issue in finding all the policies in hardcopy.

p.s. In retrospect, I think I could have also approached my parents’ respective servicing agents to understand the status of their policies.)

Step 2: Consult a reliable financial planner to analyze the status of financial protection among your family members.

Step 3: Get a summary on the status of insurance coverage (Life, Medical, Critical Illness, Personal Accident) of each family members, and find out what’s lacking in accordance to their age and potential needs.

Step 4: Inform and update parents on their current insurance coverage, and what needs to be done for parts that are underinsured.

Sorting out the whole family's insurance protection is just like spring cleaning (really).

Here are some pain-points/problems that I’ve found during this whole process:

  1. Parents do not have a clear idea of their financial coverage. In short, they do not know what they are paying for.
  2. Their servicing agents did a very poor job in after sales follow-up and education. Once my parents are sold their policies, their servicing agents did not follow-up with necessary updates and education.
  3. As a result from 1 and 2, part of my parents’ protection are underinsured and it is very costly to get a new policy or rider for these coverages at their age.
Never underestimate the cost of financial protection if not dealt with properly at young age.

Here are some of the key takeaways and lessons that I’ve learned from this whole experience:

  • As an adult, it is crucial for you to understand the status of the financial protection of your family.

In fact, that is, without doubt, the most practical thing that you can do for your parents.

  • The earlier to find out and address the matter of financial protection in your family, the better it is.

Of course, for one obvious reason – the older your parents get, the more expensive it is to get them insured.

  • Never rely 100% on insurance agents to deal with your responsibility.

In some way, it is your own responsibility to understand and build the financial defense line of your family. Don’t sweep this responsibility off your shoulder because it is a hassle for you.

Plus, not all insurance agents are reliable with their follow-up services (sorry to say but it's true).


Here’s another thing that I think you could do for your parents:

If your parents have retired or are in the age of retirement, chances are it will be very expensive to get them covered should you find out that they are underinsured. This is a very tricky matter, as at the age they are also extremely prone to accidents such as falling at home or injury while doing leisure sports.

SecureMas by LonPac Insurance is a personal accident (PA) insurance that reimburses your parents’ medical and hospitalization expenses should they are involved in an unfortunate accident.

One great feature about SecureMas is their price: Starting at RM270/YEAR per parent or RM425/YEAR for both father and mother, you can get your parents insured against accident at NO yearly price increment. This means that what you pay is the same throughout the whole coverage period regardless of the age of your parents.

The eligibility age for SecureMas starts at 35 to 70 years old, renewable up to 100 years old. If you are keen to get your parents protected, definitely check out the video below:

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How to Buy/Enquire?

SecureMas is a financial protection product directed at the underinsured parents’ market. If you are keen to find out more, you can inquire about SecureMas via their official Whatsapp number by clicking on the button below:


How to Claim?

I will never be comfortable with an insurance product without knowing their claim procedures, and I think you should be aware of that, too.


No Money Lah’s Verdict

So, I guess that’s it for this article! Personally, I think it is the responsibility of every young adult to find out the status of financial protection within his/her family. Let’s just say it is part of adulting. The bottom line is, don’t wait till its too late to build your financial defense line for you and your family members.


Note: SecureMas is a Personal Accident (PA) insurance that reimburses policyholders in the event of injury and/or death due to accident ONLY. It is not by any means a medical product, so there is no medical card involved. Meaning, you still have to pay for any medical expenses upfront, and your claim will come in as reimbursement upon document submissions following the claim process above.




4 Ultimate Financial Goals in Life & How to Achieve Them

Look, you are now a working adult with a decent monthly income. However, no matter what you how hard you work every month, your money in the bank doesn’t seem to grow much, at least not at the extent you desire.

They (the society) says that you got to have a house by 30, and you are looking to marry the girl of your life by the age as well. Damn, what about the expenses with having kids after that?

Where will all this money come from?

You see, many of us know the importance of money. However, only a few know how to manage money.

Coincidentally, the people that know how to manage money are the ones are financially better off in life. Heck, they may not even earn as much as you every month, but they are wealthier than you in the end.

Why is it so?

One of the reason is that they have clear and precise financial goals, and they work towards it with commitment and discipline no matter their current financial condition.

If you want to make the most out of your hard-earned money, here are 4 ultimate financial goals in life that you got to strive to achieve:

Level 1: Financial Stability

To achieve any sort of financial successes in life, you must first aim to achieve Financial Stability.

Essentially, you have attained Financial Stability when:

  • Your existing liquid assets* are 6 times your monthly expenses, and,
  • You have life and hospitalization insurance to cover you and/or your family’s expenses should anything happen to you.

 In short, attaining Financial Stability will give you peace of mind knowing that your current lifestyle is in good hands should unexpected events such as retrenchment and accidents happen to you.

How to achieve Financial Stability?

Step 1: Identify your current monthly expenses.

Step 2: Identify your current status of liquid assets.

Step 3: Identify the total liquid assets needed to cover your monthly expenses for 6 months. (6 x Monthly Expenses – Current Liquid Assets)

Step 4: Commit to save at least 10% - 20% of your net income every month to fill up the differences.

Step 5: Identify how long you will take to achieve Financial Stability given your saving commitment:

Step 6: Last but not least, make sure you have enough insurance coverage for you and your family members!

*Liquid assets are things such as cash or assets that can be readily converted into cash. (eg. Fixed Deposit, Stocks, Unit Trusts)

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Financial Stability is the first financial goal that you have to strive to achieve in life.

Level 2: Financial Security

Financial Security is the level of wealth where you have attained income-generating assets and investments to generate passive income enough to cover your most basic expenses.

At this level, you can stop working and still live a very basic lifestyle. It also means that if you continue to work, all your active income will go towards building other income streams and investments and this will further compound your overall asset value.

A list of basic expenses is:

  • Personal/family expenses (eg. Food, groceries)
  • House and car loans
  • Transportation (eg. Petrol, Touch & Go)
  • Utilities (eg. Water and electricity bill, phone bill)
  • Credit card interest repayment
  • Insurance premium

How to achieve Financial Security?

Step 1: Identify your basic expenses (monthly) and multiply by 12 months to find out your basic expenses per year.

Step 2: Identify your current passive income per month. How much more do you need to fill in the balance to cover your basic expenses?

Step 3: Think of all the potential income streams and income-generating assets that could generate the passive income needed to cover your basic expenses.

Step 4: Execute and build those income streams and assets.

As an example, you could focus on building your passive income via intellectual properties (eg. Books, Courses) and investment in dividend-generating stocks (eg. REITs). As a rule of thumb, focus on building at least 3 – 5 streams of income-generating assets.

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Financial Security is where your passive income is enough to cover your monthly basic expenses.

Level 3: Financial Freedom

You have achieved Financial Freedom when your level of passive income is able to sustain your current lifestyle. This may include things like going for vacation abroad once every year and a decent birthday meal for your loved ones a few times a year.

Achieving Financial Freedom is one of the most enlightening moment in life, as you continue working not because you have to, but because you choose to do so.

Again, depending on your lifestyle (how you spend), you may achieve Financial Freedom earlier or later than others. Hence, to achieve Financial Freedom, it is also essential for you to cut down unnecessary expenses.

How to achieve Financial Freedom?

Once you have built at least 3 – 5 income-generating assets and achieve Financial Security (Level 2), you have to learn how to scale them to influence more potential customers and increase your return.

As an example, if you have written a book, now you can write an e-book or online course to teach people your knowledge. Having your products online have a higher scalability factor that could reach out to more potential customers.

Likewise, you could start a YouTube channel or blog to reach out to more customers within your niche area.

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Financial Freedom comes next after Financial Security, where your passive income can pay for your current lifestyle.

Level 4: Financial Abundance

Financial Abundance is a level higher compared to Financial Freedom. It is a stage where your passive income is able to sustain your dream life. This is the level that is achieved by people such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

How to achieve Financial Abundance?

As the popular saying goes: In general, every millionaire has an average of 7 income streams. Hence, it is essential for you to expand your income streams in order to achieve Financial Abundance.

Some of it may include investments into high-yield businesses and stocks, high scalability online business, investments into real estate, network marketing and more.

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Financial Abundance is the final stage of financial goals. This is where people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates stand.

Financial Plan to Achieve Financial Security, Financial Freedom and Financial Abundance

An example below is a template that you can use to plan your financial goals.

Remember, while some income-generating assets do need certain capital to start, many can be started without much capital in hand. The most important thing is to just START and give your 101% in effort.

Also, do note that income-generating assets that produce passive income does domean that you got to sit there and wait for the money to flow in. In general, most passive income streams require your attention and utmost effort to build and sustain, especially during the early years.

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A template that you can use to design your plan to build various income-generating assets.

No Money Lah’s Verdict

So here you go! To ensure financial success in life, here are 4 financial goals that you should strive to attain, stage by stage.

Before we part ways in this article, do understand that no one stage is easier to achieve that the other. Do not feel depressed if you haven’t achieved any of these goals yet (I myself is working towards Level 1 too!).

Rather, let's devise plans and call-to-actions to make sure we commit and work towards these goals!

I wish you an amazing financial journey and I look forward to hear your financial success stories some day in the future!


Learn how I build PASSIVE INCOME in the stock market with MINIMAL RISK!


p.s. This post is inspired by Adam Khoo's book 'Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires'. You can get this book at any local bookstores near you.