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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

EPF Increases Minimum Basic Savings to RM240,000 At Age 55 Effectively Starting 2019

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has announced that the basic savings at age 55 will be increased from RM228,000 to RM240,000 effective Jan 1, 2019. The increment will also be made across all ages accordingly, refer to the table below. 


EPF last revised the amount back in Jan 1, 2017 from RM196,800 to RM228,000 (read here). Given that Malaysian has not saved enough for retirement, EPF further increases the basic savings. 




What is Basic Savings?
The basic savings is a pre-determined amount set according to age in Account 1 to enable members achieve a minimum savings at different age, for example, when they reach age-55, they should have at least RM240,000 to retire. The amount in excess of the Basic Savings can also be invested in products offered by appointed Fund Management Institutions approved by the Ministry of Finance.


Why Do I Need That?
The rationale for the implementation of this basic savings is to ensure that members have sufficient savings when they retire in order to support their basic retirement needs for 20 years from age 55 to 75, in line with Malaysians' life expectancy. The new quantum is bench-marked against the minimum pension for public sector employees, which has been raised from RM950 to RM1000 per month from age 55 to 75. (I don't think RM1000 per month is enough either!)


How Does It Affects Me?
Well, it doesn't if you did not opt to withdraw for the Members Investment Scheme (MIS). But if you do, then the withdrawal amount for MIS will be reduced




Conclusion:
With the increment in Minimum Basic Saving, members can now withdraw lesser money, so that you have more money at retirement!


To find out more about it, feel free to contact #YourFinanceDoctor at henrytcx@gmail.com
Don't forget to follow us on our Facebook Page too!

Earn, Save, Invest, Repeat!
Till then. Happy Investing! ;)
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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

How to Deal with the Market’s Ups and Downs

The most commonly asked question on investing - Is it a good time to invest? I would argue that anytime is the best time – not because I can answer correctly to the question but precisely because I can’t… and neither does anyone else. 


Study after study has shown that the vast majority of professional investment managers can’t successfully time or beat the market and the few that do happen to outperform aren’t able to consistently to do so.

So what does this mean for you as an investor? Trying to time the market is probably a waste of time that will likely backfire. The irony is that investing is so complex that your best bet is to keep it simple by following these three steps:


1) Invest according to your risk tolerance.

Risk tolerance comes in two forms. The first is how much risk you can afford to take, which is largely a function of when you might need the money. Anything you might need in the next 1-3 years (savings for emergencies, a vacation/holidays in the next year) should be kept safe in cash. Beyond that, the longer your time frame, the more aggressively you can invest in the market, which are extremely volatile in the short run but are less likely to lose money the longer you hold them (assuming you’re well diversified).

The second is your personal comfort level with risk. How do you feel if your portfolio turns red? After all, if you can’t sleep well at night when your portfolio falls in value, you may be tempted to cash out and miss the recovery. The more conservative you are, the less you may want to have in stock market and vice versa.


2) Reduce your costs.

Regardless of which investment you choose, you’ll want to look for ways to reduce your taxes, fees, and transaction costs. To reduce taxes, make sure you’re utilizing Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) with tax relief up to RM3,000 and even Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional (SSPN) with tax relief up to RM6,000 for those with kids. 

As for unit trust or mutual fund costs, a Morningstar study found that low costs was the “most proven predictor of future fund returns” when comparing similar funds. Regardless of the types of unit trust fund, you’ll want to pay attention to the fund’s sales charge and switching cost. The former is what the fund charges you every upfront investment (some can goes as high as 6.5%!) and the second is how much it costs when switching between funds. You can generally minimize both by investing using Wrap Account (as low as 2% sales charge and free switching!).

The same holds true when choosing an advisor as their advisory fee will come on top of any fund fees you’re paying. Most unit trust agent collect a commission from selling high-fee funds or charge a percentage of the assets they manage for you. Both can be expensive and present conflicts of interest. Instead, look for unbiased advisors that charge a flat annual, monthly, or hourly fee as this can be both cheaper and less biased.


3) Stick to your plan.

Once you’ve created a suitable to yourself and low cost portfolio, the most important thing you can do is to stick with it. You may be tempted to jump onto the next hot investment fad (dot com stocks in the 90s, and then real estate, and more recently cryptocurrency), chase top performing funds or strategies, or bail out during the next bad news or market downturn, but any of these actions can badly affect your portfolio returns

If you can’t help yourself, put aside some “play money” you can afford to lose by speculating and consider hiring a financial advisor to talk you out of a bad decision with the rest of your money.  Financial advisor can help you to stick with your portfolio when the going get rough. (Vanguard estimates that this “behavioral coaching” can boost your returns by 1.5%.)


This last step may be as simple as the others, but it’s not easy. The hardest part of investment management isn’t when or what to invest. In fact, it’s not about managing investments at all. It’s about managing ourselves!



Henry Tan, CFP®, Shariah RFP, is a Licensed Financial Advisor at #YourFinanceDoctor. For speaking opportunities on personal finance issues, please email henrytan@fa.my

Monday, July 30, 2018

6 Questions to Test if You Know Your Money

The one and only trait of all the wealthy people is - Understand Your Money. Do you really know about your money? Here are 10 questions to test yourself! If you can answer all clearly, congratulations, you are on your way towards the wealthy people! 


6 Questions to Test if You Know Your Money


Q1: Where did my money go last week?
Wealthy people know exactly where they spend all their money. Having said that, the wealthy people have allocation/budget for all expenses. So if you don't, it's not too late, take 10 minutes to review your bank and credit card transactions. Did you stay within your budget last week?

Q2: Where will my money go this week?
If you did not stay within your budget last week, no worry, this week is your redemption! If you have overspent last week, what can you cut down this week to make up the difference? Review your budget again to figure out how much exactly you can spend on each categories this week.


I don't even have a budget?
At this juncture, if you cannot answer the two questions above, then you really gotta start from the beginning! Get yourself a notebook for tracking of all your income and expenses, call it "My Money Book". If you are Go-Green supporter, you can set up a spreadsheet using Excel or Google Sheet to do the tracking. To help you kick-start your financial management, you can download #YourFinanceDoctor Template here. 


Q3: What do I want in 5 years that I need to save/invest for today?
"Direction is so much more important than speed. Many are going nowhere fast." I bet many of you have not really thought of what you want in 5 years that you need to save/invest for today. You probably just work work work work work. *plays Rihanna's Work* Here are some examples:

"In 5 years, I would like to have RM100k to buy a house." 
"In 5 years, I would like to have RM50k for vacation in Europe for a month." 
"In 5 years, I would like to be financially independent with a passive monthly income of RM5k."

Q4: What is the one major goal you want to accomplish in a year?
Long term goal does not motivates you in short term? Set yourself some short term goals as well. Big goals can be broken down into small goals so that they looked more achievable. Here are some examples:

"I want to pay off all my credit card debt."
"I want to accumulate RM10k for emergency fund."
"I want to start invest RM1k per month."

Q5: What should I do this week to move closer to my goal?
"A dream is only a dream if work don't follow it." You can dream all you want but if you don't put it into action, you can never achieve them. So ask yourself, what step will you take to move yourself closer to the goal? Here are some examples:

"I will track every dollar I spend this month to see where my money is going."
"I will stop using my credit cards so that no new debts added."
"I will stop all entertainment expenses until I have accumulate RM10k emergency fund."

Q6: What can I do this week to further my money knowledge?
Learning is a lifelong journey. But this is simple. You are already doing this right now!

"I will Like & Follow #YourFinanceDoctor blog."
"I will make appointment with #YourFinanceDoctor to better manage my finances."
"I will read a chapter from a personal finance book."
"I will attend investment conference to keep myself up to date."

6 Questions to Test if You Know Your Money


Like the saying goes "你不理财,财不理你". If you dont take care of your money, your money will not take care of you too. So you should always be proactive for your personal financial management. Start now so that 5 years from now, you will look back at all these steps you have taken and thank yourself for how far you have achieve. It's never too late to start NOW.


Monday, May 14, 2018

How The Market Will Be After Election?

A historic win at Malaysia's general election by the opposition alliance, Pakatan Harapan, unexpectedly beat the 60 years of ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. While the news is excellent for democracy, market uncertainty is likely to linger. Thankfully most are positive that the volatility will be temporary. 


***Update***
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad swiftly named a senior cabinet portfolios and a “council of elders”is likely to soothe investor sentiment within a brief period.

Council of Elders:
1. Daim Zainuddin
2. Zeti Aziz
3. Hassan Merican
4. Robert Kuok
5. Jomo Kwame Sundaram

***********



Related Quotes:

Amy Yuan Zhuang, Research Analyst at Nordea Markets
The unexpected election result is MYR negative in the near term, but once political uncertainties fade away, the MYR will likely strengthen against the USD, supported by expected USD weakness, high oil prices and solid macro conditions.


Aninda Mitra, Senior Sovereign Analyst at BNY Mellon Investment Management
The bottom line is that while a long-term fix of governance, institutions and public life is now in sight, near-term policy uncertainty will be high. That will take a toll on the ringgit at least until more clarity emerges.


Teera Chanpongsang, portfolio manager at Fidelity International
Short-term, we may see market volatility given uncertainty around policy implementation. However, we may see some opportunities should policies move in the right direction. 


Gan Eng Peng, Director of Equities Strategy and Advisory at Affin Hwang Asset Management
While we acknowledge the possibility of short-term capital outflows because of policy uncertainties, we firmly believe the newly-formed government presents an opportunity, as it is comprised of a group of senior ministers with strong credibility.


Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, CEO at Employee Provident Fund
Short term volatility is natural given this is the nation’s first experience of a power transition, but the smooth process seen so far will assure investors that Malaysia is a mature democracy and economy. The new government’s call for greater enhancements to local institutions’ corporate governance practices and independence, together with greater scrutiny by strong regulators, such as Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia, would bode well for the local business environment.


Anushka Shah, Sovereign Risk Group Assistant Vice-President at Moody’s 
The Government’s debt burden is relatively higher than other A-rated sovereign states and this will likely remain a challenge for the country’s credit profile. 


Anthony Dass, Chief Economist at AmBank Group Research
Removing the GST and introducing the SST and other subsidies will act positively on the economy, as they help to improve the disposable income of households, and thus, spending. This will help buffer any shortfalls from the GST. Besides prudent financial management as we have seen in Selangor and Penang, a more transparent public procurement system or tendering process will improve competition and lower margins for players and ease budget strains. Dr Mahathir’s strong track record, added with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the prime minister-in-waiting and the maturity of Malaysians as reflected in this GE, augur well for the country. These are positive signs on the business and consumer confidence.


Simon Chen, Investors Service Financial Institutions Group Vice-President at Moody’s 
We are closely following the developments around some campaign promises that could have a negative impact on market sentiment and trigger volatility in the financial markets. These dynamics will take time to unfold and a lot will depend on what the new Government unveils in the coming weeks and months.


Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim, Governor at Bank Negara Malaysia
Malaysia was no stranger to short-term volatility, as the country's open economy was highly integrated with global markets. Industry players should not to overreact to market noises, especially when it was caused by factors which were temporary in nature.


Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, Managing Director at Khazanah Nasional Bhd 
On managing investors’ perception during the transition of power, he said there could be the usual gyration in the market in the short-term, but the current environment provided a fantastic opportunity in the medium-to-long term. So, from the market, ringgit standpoint, I think clearly the confidence is actually the biggest factor. I think with the new reset, this will come through. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

What is RM200 PRE-AUTH DEBIT?

Have you come across "PRE-AUTH DEBIT" and "PRE-AUTH REFUND" with the amount of RM200 in your bank transaction statement? Well don't be shocked, these are actually the bank deduction when you swipe your card for self-service petrol pump at petrol station. 



As you know, #YourFinanceDoctor is a frequent user of Caltex given that there's BPoint to earn. And recently, Caltex is promoting on the Wave & Win with Visa Paywave, so I started to use the self-service pump. Which explains why recently there's such deductions in my bank statement.

To be honest, I don't always check my bank account statement, but I was shocked at first too for not knowing what it is, but given that there is refund so I am not too worried. After a quick search in Google, then only I found out...

PRE-AUTH = Pre Authorization

Basically the bank will deduct RM200 for Pre Authorization IF AND ONLY IF cardholder pays for petrol at a self-service pump. This amount will be refunded within 3 to 5 working days. So if you do not wish to be deducted, just proceed to the counter to use your card.  

Why do they want to deduct?
Well, since the amount of money to pump petrol is not known yet until you are done and put back the pump nozzle, so they have to deduct a fixed amount of RM200 first just to make sure that the card has sufficient credit before the transaction. So if your account has lesser than RM200, you would not be able to proceed to use. 

Can I avoid being deducted?
Not unless if you opt to use pay-over-counter. But if you insist to use self-service pump, perhaps you can consider to use CIMB Card with no deduction but only at Petronas


So the next time if you see such deduction, don't be scared or shocked, you will be refunded! 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

3 Years Since I Quit My Engineering Job And Start My Own Business As Financial Advisor!

As many of you would know, I used to be a product regulatory engineer in Keysight Technologies (formerly Agilent Technologies) for 3 years before I quit my corporate job to start my own business as a Licensed Financial Advisor/#YourFinanceDoctor

 Top Advisor under Advisory Fee in 2017

After completing my 2 years Certified Financial Planner® part time course and exam, I was eligible to upgrade myself from being a unit trust consultant/insurance agent to Licensed Financial Advisor (FA) by applying for the licenses from Bank Negara Malaysia and Securities Commission Malaysia. Read more on why I want to upgrade to being a Financial Advisor. Recently, I even gotten myself Shariah Registered Financial Planner (RFP)! 

Those were the days as engineer! 

Throughout the 3 years, many were curious on what business I am into, am I doing well or not, and even asked if I would consider to go back engineering job. I am not going to lie, but these 3 years has been really tough, so much so that it was way beyond my expectations. Nevertheless, I am still going strong and determined than ever, just like the mantra of the Survivor, "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast!". 

Completed both CFP and Shariah RFP


So here are the most commonly asked question and answer.
What business you are into?
Licensed Financial Advisor. I help my clients to achieve their financial goals through proper comprehensive financial plan, which helps them to see the big picture and set both long and short-term life goals. In return, it's easier for them to make financial decisions and stay on track to meet their goals. 


Any difference from insurance agent/unit trust consultant(UTC)? 
Since I used to be both agent and UTC, I know exactly how it is like. A simple multiple choice question exam with just SPM certification, one can be easily qualified. Besides, being financial advisor means I have to resign from any insurance company and unit trust company, and become independent-unbiased advisor that only represents client


How do I know if you are really who you claimed to be?
If seeing is believing... Check out these websites:
Certified Financial Planner (CFP): C005430 (http://www.fpam.org.my/fpam/membership/membership-lists/)
Shariah Registered Financial Planner (RFP): M30012221 

Financial Talk in universities and multinational corporations.

How many FA in Malaysia?
Many people would have thought that they have heard or known about financial advisor, but those that they know are probably insurance agent/unit trust consultant calling themselves financial advisor. In Malaysia, there's only about 600 REAL financial advisor out of 32 million Malaysia's population! In fact, misusing the term "financial advisor" without the license from BNM will be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eight years or to a fine not exceeding twenty-five million ringgit or to both. (Section 139, Financial Services Act 2013)


What is your Unique Value Proposition?
There are too many people that are simply selling product and collecting commission. They are driven by the incentive trips and bonuses provided by the companies, to the extent that you would start wondering if they are putting client's interest first or their wallet first

Since a financial advisor does not represents any insurance companies/fund houses (not entitled to any of those incentive trips/bonuses too!), I can sell anyone of them which are best suited to the client. I will need to research the marketplace and recommend the most appropriate products and services available, ensuring that clients are aware of products that best meet their needs and then only securing a sale. 


Is that consider as a business?
Yes, we are required to register with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM). In order for Bank Negara Malaysia to give us the license, we will need to provide a statutory declaration where we declared as non bankruptcy and also pass all the "Fit and Proper" criteria.


Do you get a base salary as a financial advisor? 
No I do not. As a financial advisor, we are all self-employed


If not, how do you earn?
I am a Fee-Based financial advisor, where I charge both fees and commissions based on the investment or insurance products I sell. I charge a fee based on client's annual household income and also a fee on asset under my management for my client. 

As far as I know, there is still no "Fee-Only" financial advisor in Malaysia given that the awareness on financial advisor is still far too low. But given the rise of fin-tech, I hope one day I would be fully converted to "Fee-Only" financial advisor.

Being awarded as the Top Advisor in collecting Advisory Fee in 2017.


All in all, I believe in proper financial planning, which by having a comprehensive financial plan, it is the best way to help you to make sensible and informed decisions about money that can help you achieve all your goals in life; it's not just about buying products like a medical card or a saving plan.

Gain control and peace of mind today, contact #YourFinanceDoctor! 
Give me a call: 016-427 0233 or shoot me an email: henrytcx@gmail.com TODAY!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Net Asset Value - NAV

What is Net Asset Value - NAV?

Net Asset Value (NAV) is the value per unit of a unit trust fund or a mutual fund on a specific date. The per-unit amount is based on the total market value of all the securities in a unit trust fund's portfolio (Total Assets minus Total Liabilities) and divided by the number of units outstanding. Hence, it is the price per unit of the fund which used for subscribing (buy) and redeeming (sell). 



What is the difference with share price?

Unlike share price which fluctuates throughout the day, NAV per unit is only computed once per day based on the closing market prices of all the securities within the unit trust fund's portfolio. So, investors usually can only get to know the NAV per unit the next day. However, all the subscription and redemption order will be processed using the NAV of the Transaction Date. 

Example:
Investor A bought RM10,000 into Unit Trust X on 10/1/2018 (Transaction Date).
But Investor A can only get to know the NAV he bought on the following day, 11/1/2018. (T+1)
In other words, today you only get to know the NAV of a unit trust fund for the day before.  

What else I need to know?

Unlike share price of a share company, the NAV of a unit trust fund does not depends on demand and supply of the unit trust fund. In order to buy a share at a certain share price, one would need wait for a matching seller and vice versa. But for unit trust fund, one can always make subscription and redemption at anytime. 

From the NAV formula, only increases in Total Assets or decreases in Total Liabilities can directly affect NAV of a unit trust fund. As a result, changes in NAV are not the best gauge of a unit trust fund performance. Many other measures such as Annualized Return, Sharpe Ratio, Alpha, Beta and so on, would be much better indications of a unit trust fund performance. 


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