4 Timeless Money Goal Tips

It’s July, which means it’s about time to do a mid-year check-in (WHERE DID HALF THE YEAR GO?!). Personally as I do my check-in, I’m keeping in mind that a lot has changed since January. Between political uncertainties and battling the pandemic, my 2020 goals look like they were written in an alternate timeline and require significant adjustments, if not overhauling, and that’s ok. The goals still did their job as a directional force, which was especially helpful in incredible times of uncertainty.

Now if you need some help readjusting your goals, here are 4 timeless tips I picked up from my conversation with Suraya Zainudin (Ringgit Oh Ringgit) and Aaron Tang (Mr. Stingy) at the start of the year about goals.

  • Break the goal down instead of having one big ambiguous goal like ‘save more money’. Try something like ‘I will save 10% of my income every month’. That will clarify the goal, and with that help you achieve it.
  • Build systems to help you achieve your goals. An example here related to the above-stated goal would be to automate your 10% savings, which is a feature available on most banking platforms. Set it up so that every month 10% of your income goes into another account so that you can’t “accidentally” use it up.
    • Pro Tip: Personally I’ve set it up so that the money leaves my account a few days after my salary comes in, to be specific the 1st of the month. This way I start the month knowing that I’ve put money towards my different goals and commitments.
    • Pro Pro Tip: Consider increasing your EPF contribution – that way you’ll tap into the power of compounding interest and you won’t be able to touch the money till you’re 55.
    • Super Pro Tip: Think about trying a digital investment platform, like Stashaway. This will also tap into the power of compounding interest but with more flexibility.
  • Review your goals. Take Mr. Stingy for example, he sets aside (a SMART goal approved) half a day every month to do a money review and keep aware of his finances. Don’t try and be a hero and say you’ll do it everyday, be realistic. I feel that it’s better to start small and grow, than to start big and stop soon.
  • Mistakes will happen. You’re not perfect, remember that it’s ok to make mistakes or even fail, as long as your making progress and taking the right steps. Example: Suraya had some pretty moonshot goals, (like earning RM100,000 in 6 months!), and although she knows she might not achieve them the process of trying to get them done will move her forward!

I hope that these were helpful and I’d love to hear your own thoughts, tips, and strategies for goal setting! Let me know in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter!

Now if you’ve got 20 minutes and want to hear more from Suraya and Aaron, check out the full episode on BFM, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or whenever you listen to podcasts. The episode is titled: Money Goal Tips With Mr. Stingy And ‘Ringgit Oh Ringgit

4 Reasons To Passively Invest

While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for all of us, passive investing is often touted as a simple and effective way to invest by buying a reputable ETF with global exposure and doing so for the long term. I discussed this, and the argument against stock picking, with Julian Ng, Chief Financial Guy of roboadvisor-hopeful Akru, which you can find linked below. However if you don’t have 20 minutes to spare right now, below are 4 reasons to consider the passive investing strategy.

My conversation with Julian Ng on the basics and merits of passive investing, the argument against stock picking and why not all ETFs are created equal

Diversification – Many of us are busy, we can barely find the time for hobbies let alone researching a portfolio of stocks to buy. Buying into a reputable global ETF could allow you to minimise time on research, while giving your money simple and immediate global diversification. Paired with dollar-cost averaging, you will be able to further manage risk by diversifying your investments over time.

Simplicity – Too many choices and decisions can cause overthinking and analysis paralysis. This can keep many people from investing purely due to inertia. Reduce the friction by keeping your investing strategy simple and long-term focused by using a reputable global ETF.

Discipline – A simple passive investing strategy can also encourage discipline as you keep your investing to the selected ETF(s). This can be more efficient risk-taking (and diversification) than stock picking, which is characterised by concentrated bets, and can be nerve wrecking during increased market volatility.

Fees – Going in and out of the stock market generally incurs fees, which can eat into your returns in the long term if taken for granted.

For more on this, catch the full Ringgit & Sense podcast with Julian Ng, Chief Financial Guy of Akru, on the BFM app or Spotify

7 Ways to Teach Kids About Money

How do we teach kids about money and finances? When should you start a retirement fund for your child? How much does a kid cost today?

In conjunction with World Children’s Day, I address these and more with Steve Lim, Chief Learning Officer of Affin Hwang Asset Management.

Catch the conversation on Apple Podcasts, the BFM app or on Spotify.

We also get into ways to teach the value of money, managing instant gratification, showing the power of compounding interest and more.

If you’ve got questions, comments, suggestions or stories, please get in touch with over email at ringgit@bfm.my or tweet us at @ringgitandsense

Simply Saving Just Isn’t Enough

Is saving enough for retirement? What are the common financial mistakes young people make? How should we think about investing?

On this episode of Ringgit and Sense, I speak to Nirmala Subramaniam of AKPK and financial planner Warren Mak about these and more.

Catch the conversation at any of the following links or search ‘Ringgit and Sense’ on your usual podcast platform.

Apple: https://apple.co/2NDhxjB

BFM: http://bit.ly/32eqaVa

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/32cTqLO

The Cost of Connectivity – How Much is Too Much?

When it comes to data, how many gigs is too many gigs?

With the dawn of the age of the smartphone, the internet has essentially become a necessity and sometimes that can hurt our wallets. Telcos are offering us more minutes and gigabytes but is more really better?

  • How much data should you get?
  • Are you overspending?
  • Should you choose postpaid or prepaid?
  • Should you get a phone with a plan?

I explore these questions, and more, with Idham Idris,  Licensed Financial Planner and Director of Wealth Vantage Advisory.

Check out the conversation at any of the following links.

Apple: https://apple.co/2N69k7b

BFM: http://bit.ly/2N8Uhdf

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2NbxahW

Pocket Cast: http://bit.ly/2Nbxq0u

Sell Your House and Live In It Rent-Free?

Can you sell your house but continue to live in it till you die, rent-free?

A few weeks back I had Rajen Devadason and Soelan Sittampalam in the studio to chat about retirement planning and ways to cash in and monetise the equity in your house to fund your retirement.

BFM: http://bit.ly/2w4ZKGq

Apple: https://apple.co/2QazWBR

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2w3bKbB

Pocket Casts: http://bit.ly/2w7r0nO


The Gig Economy – Plan or Fail

On the back of strikes from Uber drivers and Uber’s lackluster IPO, I spoke to Robert Foo on the state of the gig economy.

We got into the importance of financial planning, especially since the lack of it here could land you in a lot of trouble, because you’ve got to do your own taxes and retirement planning since there’s no EPF or monthly tax deductions.

Catch the full conversation at any of the following links:

BFM: http://bit.ly/2w7HPyW

Apple: http://bit.ly/2w7HPyW

Spotify: https://apple.co/2QcxlY5

Pocket Casts: https://spoti.fi/2w5fHfN


How to Legally Pay Less Tax Next Year

The tax season is coming to an end but I don’t think it’s too early to start thinking about the next one, especially if you feel like you could’ve done better this round.

In this episode of BFM’s #RinggitAndSense, I spoke to tax consultant about ways to better plan next year’s taxes and possibly save some money, legally of course.

Thannee also explains the differences between tax planning, tax avoidance and tax evasion.

And yes, you should definitely be tax planning.

Check out the episode at any of these platforms or your usual podcast app.

BFM: http://bit.ly/2VoFqiw

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2JtE276

Apple: https://apple.co/2VrIz0Y

Pocket Casts: http://bit.ly/2VrJJcQ


Najib’s RM1.5B Tax Bill, Getting Audited and the Special Voluntary Disclosure Program

What do you need to know about getting audited, keeping documentation and the Special Volunteer Disclosure Program?

I spoke to Thaneermalai of Thannees Tax Consulting Services to help clear up these issues.

We also spoke about Dato Seri Najib Razak’s recent RM1.5 billion tax bill.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know here or on Twitter at @BFMradio

To find the episode, click on one of the links below or look for Ringgit And Sense on your favourite Podcast App.

BFM: http://bit.ly/2KryLic

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2uWqjgq

Pocket Cast: http://bit.ly/2Da6jLN

Why is Materialism a dirty word?

Good Morning all!
Feeling really good this morning, managed to achieve a few small goals of mine this morning and that has pumped me up. Woke up at 6, had my holy hour, swam for a bit, and was in Monash by 8. Grabbed a Café Mocha from a barista who has just more back from a break, really friendly guy, made a mistake with my billing and took accountability and responsibility for it, how many of us do that nowadays? Anyway, that’s a topic for another day.

So I was thinking this morning, while using the Bose QC15, and thought, what’s wrong with materialism?

So yea, today I’m going to write about Materialism.

Now I know there are many definitions of materialism, so for the sake of clarity, this is what I’m referring to: the love and pursuit for material possessions.

Now I have absolutely nothing against materialism, he’ll I’m majorly guilty of it. I love my toys, my gadgets, my things, but not as much as I love my family and that’s the most important thing when it comes to materialism. Go ahead, get the car you love, buy that gadget you want, treasure them, but never, in any circumstance let an object come between you and your family and team.

I think this passage by Robin Sharma will best illustrate what I’m trying to say:

“Contrary to popular belief, The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari isn’t a manifesto against making money and enjoying the good life. My main message there was simply “remember what’s most important to leading a great life.” drive a BMW, wear Prada, stay at the Four Seasons and make a ton of money if these are the things that make you happy. Life is certainly full of material pleasures that really do make the journey more delightful. No need to feel guilty about enjoying them. But please don’t forget about those basic but beautiful treasures to be loved along the way. Like deep human connections, realising your best through fulfilling work, exploring the arts and experiencing the glory of nature.”

I love my Apple products, my Ray Bans, my Starbucks Café Mocha, my (not really mine yet) Giselle, my beautiful posters, my shoes, my Polo Tees, my suit and etc. And I will not feel guilty for having them.

One day I want to have a beautiful house, a Mercedes SLS AMG and a Rolls Royce Phantom. I want to either have my own firm/company, run my own media empire or be a World Class Success Coach like Robin Sharma, or all of the above. I want to go on great vacations and stay at beautiful hotels. I want to be able to send my kids to whatever schools that will give them the best education and I want my wife to have the option of not working yet being able to live the her dream life as well. I want to have nice suits, a wardrobe of Ralph Lauren Polos, a membership at KLGCC, and an Eco friendly private jet. I want to play golf with top business people and top politicians on a regular basis. I want to be able to deck my house in whatever gadgets I want, to host glamorous parties yet be able to support my community, raise the standard of living and help those who need help to get to a level where they can help themselves. And no, I do not feel guilty for having these dreams.

I want a a lot of things, but nothing will ever be more important than my family and my team, than my future wife, than my future kids. I will do my best to achieve my material dreams, but my top priorities will always be the same, be the best son I can be, the best husband and most importantly, be the best god damn dad in the whole damn world, because nothing, and I repeat nothing, is more important than being a parent. And along the way, I’ll do the best I can at work and my career to realise my material dreams.

Yes this may sound may sound naive to some of you, it may sound farfetched to others, some may think that I’m being arrogant, and others may think that I’m not being a realist. But hey, this is what I’m going to aim for, and if I do not achieve it, I’ll deal with it. One of my heroes, John F. Kennedy once said, “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”. And if I’ve learned anything over the past 3 years, is that the biggest obstacle between me and my dreams, is me.

I want to live the good life, which to me means having a great family first, being the person i wish to be and being able to afford and sustain having lots of toys.

“only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” JFK

But I digress, remember that it is you who owns the object and not the object that owns you and your pursuit of material objects will be balanced and healthy.
Be wise, be smart, dream big and prepare for the worst.

Have a great day,

Straight From The Heart,

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