The Best Personal Finance Summaries – 3 March 2019

The biggest giveaway to date by us
Over the last few months, we've been asking ourselves how do we support Malaysians in improving their financial situation.

We've always prided ourselves at finding the best opportunities for you, but we've noticed that in general, most people do not end up taking advantage of those opportunities. And if they don't take advantage of it, it means that they will not be able to start doing better.

So we've been asking why. Why is it that people know what's in their best interest, but still fail to take action on it.

And after hearing from a bunch of them, we realized that it's because we're never rewarded to take action with our finances.

Which is why we're going to change that.

We're going to start holding a giveaway every few months to help encourage you to take actions that we believe will help you improve your current financial situation.

The first giveaway is RM500 in pure cash.

All you have to do is complete one of our approved actions and you will be entered to win RM500!

The first winner will be announced in:
3 March 2020 1

Get started here.

From Us

[VIDEO] Book Summary: The Automatic Millionaire
Did you know it's possible to automate your finances and actually have it grow to be worth millions in the future? If not, then this short book summary is for you!
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Money in Daily Life

Malaysia’s 2020 Fiscal Stimulus Highlights

Highlights for Malaysia’s RM20 billion fiscal stimulus announced by Malaysia’s prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir to counter the Coronavirus risk and increase spending.

Firstly, what is a fiscal stimulus?

A fiscal stimulus can be interpreted as an attempt by a government to increase economic activity by reducing taxes, increasing government spending, or both.

Malaysia’s Fiscal Stimulus Objectives

  • To offset the impact of COVID-19.
  • To promote spending (private consumption).
  • To attract quality investments.

The summarised highlights of the fiscal stimulus are tabulated below:

Cash Flow to Assist Affected Businesses Financing Assistance Tourism Sector Human Capital Development Rakyat Assistance Investments
Deferment of monthly income tax payments. Working capital for SME at a 3.75% interest rate. RM600 for travel sector drivers. Double deduction on expenses in training. EPF contribution reduced to 7%. GLC accelerates investment projects.
15% discount on electricity bills. Micro-credit facility at a 4% rate. RM1000 personal income tax relief for domestic travel. RM100m matching grant for HRDF. Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) brought forward to March and RM100 to be paid in May. RM2b Co-investment Fund from government and private investors to fund startups.
Exempt Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) levies. Streamlined approval for existing loans. RM100 digital voucher for domestic travel. RM50m subsidy for up-skill courses. RM10m to reduce food prices. Waiving of listing fees by SC and Bursa Malaysia.
Exempt 6% service tax for hotels Relief for payment moratorium restructuring/rescheduling loans. RM500m matching grant for tourism promos. RM1k – 10k grant for e-commerce entrepreneurship. Duty and tax exemptions for port-related purchases.
Rebates on rental at the airport. RM2b for rural area infrastructure repair.

6 Financial Podcasts to Listen to in 2020

Here are six podcasts that I enjoy and listen to often that are at least partially financial.

Check out this informative post by Trent Hamm from The Simple Dollar where he shares the 6 financial podcasts he enjoys listening to.

#1 – NPR’s Planet Money

Short verdict: Explains the personal impact of economic issues brilliantly.

The podcast does a fantastic job of dissecting and serving seemingly broad economic issues in a bite-size format. Also, it always comes up with an interesting topic – one after another.

Recommended episode:
Planet Money Buys Oil – the crews actually bought barrels of oil just to explore the cradle-to-grave supply chain of commodity, and necessarily, discuss the concept of commodity investing.

#2 – The Mad Fientist Podcast

Short verdict: Focuses on strategies for early retirement.

The podcast tackles a lot of typical personal finance issues from different point-of-views. Sometimes, the fresh angle is what you needed to be inspired in pursuing financial freedom.

Recommended episode:
Discussion on “the walk-away money” – while the coined term is not necessarily family-friendly, the episode discusses one of the crucial components in personal finance refreshingly.

#3 – So Money with Farnoosh Torabi

Short verdict: Interviews people with a wide variety of financial perspectives.

The host of the show, Farnoosh Torabi, is one of the best interviewers on personal finance topics. She can carefully plan for the structure of her interviews to keep the listeners hooked.

Recommended episode:
An interview with Emily Roberts – In the episode, interesting financial pieces of advice directed at recent graduates – who have high earning power and significant student debt at the same time, are discussed thoroughly.

#4 – The Dave Ramsey Show

Short verdict: A rebroadcast of his radio call-in show focused on debt freedom.

Dave Ramsey talks about real-life financial issues with straightforward advice and a practical perspective. His show clicks when he interacts with guests thanks to his down-to-earth personality.

Recommended episode:
Not mentioned

#5 – Money for the Rest of Us with J. David Stern

Short verdict: Covers investment issues from a beginner’s perspective with a sharp focus on tying in current events.

Different from other podcasts, Money for the Rest of Us balances day-to-day personal finance matters with personal investing topics. In short, it covers a wide variety of issues that are all beginner-friendly.

Recommended episode:
You Have Permission to Spend – The host, Stern addressed the classic struggle of personal finance – the art of balancing between the decision to invest or to spend money and gave his opinions on the matter.

#6 – Stacking Benjamins

Short verdict: Covers personal finance with a great sense of humor.

The entire show is done with a light and humorous tone; it has some good personal finance ideas embedded in the program but delivers them with a nice light touch. It typically features a “headline” segment, where the hosts look at one or two current news articles and discuss how they affect finances, followed by an interview with someone of personal financial interest.

Recommended episode:
Not mentioned

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Grow Your Wealth

Highlights from Warren Buffett’s 2019 Letter

Highlights from Warren Buffett’s 2019 Letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

The Berkshire Hathaway 2019 Letter was released to shareholders on February 22, 2020. According to the rule of GAAP, Berkshire earned $81.4 billion in 2019.

Key Gainers

Non-insurance Business

Business Combined Earning Description
BNSF railroad and Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) $8.3 billion 6% increase from 2018.
Clayton Homes, International Metalworking, Lubrizol, Marmon, and Precision Castparts $4.8 billion relatively little changes.
Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, Johns Manville, NetJets, Shaw, and TTI $1.9 billion $0.2 billion increase.
Other businesses $2.7 billion $0.1 billion decreases.
Total $17.2 billion 3% increase from 2018.

Property/Casualty (“P/C”) Insurance Business

  • If premiums exceed the total of expenses and eventual losses, insurance operation registers an underwriting profit that adds to the investment income the float produces. Berkshire gets paid for holding the money.
  • Berkshire has a considerable capital, steady cash flow, and diversified non-insurance earnings. This allows Berkshire to be more flexible in investing when compared to other companies.
  • While Berkshire is prone to unexpected losses, it can easily handle it and bounce back as soon as possible.
  • As a well-managed company, Berkshire retains a part of its profits for reinvestment purposes. The compounded interest can increase the company’s value in return.

Investment Insights

  • The top 15 common stock investments by Berkshire are American Express, Apple, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Charter Communications, Coca-cola, Delta Air Lines, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Moody’s, Southwest Airlines, United Continental, U.S. Bancorp, Visa, and Wells Fargo & Company.
  • A good company’s stock should (1) earn good returns on net tangible capital, (2) run by able and honest managers, and (3) available at a sensible price.
  • Berkshire’s holding manages an assembly of partly owned companies that earn more than 20% on the net tangible equity capital.
  • If interest and corporate tax rates are low, equities will perform better than debt instruments.
  • Berkshire will buy back its stock if it is deemed sold for less than its worth.

The Future of Berkshire Hathaway

  • The company is well-prepared for the departure of Buffett and Munger.
  • The investors should not be worried because (1) Berkshire’s assets are deployed in diversified businesses that earn attractive returns, (2) Berkshire controls its investments, (3) Berkshire’s financial affairs are stable. They can withstand external shocks, (4) Berkshire is well-managed by skilled managers, and (5) Berkshire is focused on the welfare of owners.
  • The executors and trustees would not sell any Berkshire shares owned by Buffet but will convert and distribute the shares gradually to various foundations.
  • It is estimated to take 12 to 15 years to dispose of the entirety of Buffet’s shares into the market.

Cool Opportunities

A way for females to get free insurance
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How to make money while you sleep