I’m back from hiking Mt Kinabalu and am proud to say that I made it all the way to the top (at 4095.2m)!

It wasn’t too physically challenging (as in no upper body strength was needed to climb over rocks or anything), but it seemed to have been more of a mental fight. To constantly push myself to keep going, to not stop and so I’d like to think that I’m a little stronger mentally because of that experience.

Anyway, usually we only cover the last week’s worth of news, but because there was no newsletter last week, this week’s will be slightly longer.

From Our Own Site

BigPay – The Best Travel Credit Card for Malaysians?
BigPay was brought to my attention by a fellow reader after she had asked if it was as legit as what the site claimed. And so I dug into it and am pleasantly surprised that it could be the perfect travel card.

Read more about it here!

4 Things Crazy Rich Asians Teaches Us About Money
Though Crazy Rich Asians is full of laughs and drama, there are a few subtle money lessons that gets you thinking. In fact, it got me thinking enough to read the book and write this post!

Weekly Summary – September 5 2018 1

From traditional media

EPF warns of false RM6,000 incentive, fake website
If you see a message along the lines of members who worked between 1990 and 2018 are entitled to a RM6,000 incentive from the EPF, it’s fake. Please do not provide them with any of your personal information. Instead, stick to getting EPF related information and incentives at http://www.kwsp.gov.my/.

From local Malaysian bloggers

If I have RM 25,000 to Invest …
One of those popular I have x amount; what should I invest in questions. Here the author breaks it down in an unconventional way. Instead of talking about buying a certain stock, or a house or anything, he talks about thinking of ways to increase your earning potential. His challenge to you? Make 2x more in 2 year’s time.

There are many ways to do that, but what he focused on was selling. Become better at showing people how their lives would be better and you would naturally earn more. As for the RM 25,000? Buy coffee and talk to people who are many 2-3x more than you to learn how they’re doing it and then start honing your skills in that area through books and programs.

Sounds a lot like my piece about the best way to make more money, huh?

Malaysians Share How They Save Money on Coffee
Drink the free coffee at work and use a thermos to bring it back home
Tell everyone you love coffee so they get it for you as gifts
Take them from the hotel
Reuse ground coffee from cafes (Starbucks will give it to you)
Dilute the coffee with other things like water, milk, milo, tea etc
Take advantage of deals (boost and grabRewards got)
Invest in a home coffee machine

I personally don’t drink coffee but if I were, I’d go with the last option.

Making sure the maintenance of our high-rise is good for future
If you ever feel like your condo management is ineffective or simply spending money on things that they should not be, maybe you should consider joining the Joint Management Body (JMB). The JMB is responsible for many different things, but the main ones are the management fees and the spending of the fund.

Being on one in the past, I can tell you that it’s very important to have people who know what they’re doing there. If the whole JMB is full of people who do not know anything about money, they will either charge too much in fees because they are scared of the future repairs, or they will not charge enough in fees and when the repairs do come, they have to suddenly charge a lot up front.

That and I have also heard of a lot of questionable activities if the group is full of inside people who are stealing from the fund itself.

Your New Malaysia Sales Tax Guide
Slightly late, but you can get a rough idea as to what the tax on different types of products here.

My First Loss Investing with Funding Societies
This person has been investing with Funding Societies (a peer to peer lending platform) for over a year and has finally ran into an investment that may not live up to its obligation. That said, he is still making ~10% each year and is still confident in the platform.

The Money Habits of Wealthy Malaysians
An Eye Towards Investments – The truly rich, however, don’t just blindly work a 9-to-5. They take that money they earn and use it as a tool to earn even more money.
Planners as well as Doers – A person who really wants to achieve financial success will ensure that every action they make has a reasonable ROI of any kind.
Financial Self-Awareness – The person who is working towards financial success is consistently aware of their spending habits and knows how to handle their finances daily.
Willingness to Take Risks – Every form of success take risks, but these are measured risks.
Great Teamwork – Successful people always know and appreciate the value of the contributions from the people around them.

Weekly Summary – September 5 2018 2

Ideas From Around the World

Time Is Money, Spend It Wisely
People like to say time is money, but they tend to forget that when they procrastinate. Here are some ways to overcome that:

Give Every Moment a Job – if you’re intentional with your time—if you give every moment a job—then you’ll win the time management game.
One Inbox to Rule Them All – get those distractions out of your head, and put them all in one place. Go through your email and list down everything that needs to acted on.
Context Is the Cure for Chaos – break your to do list down to when or where you should be doing them (a list of things to do at home, at work, during the morning, etc)
You Only Have to Remember One Thing – all you have to remember is to write down any new things you need to do. The author uses the app todoist

This is actually a huge time and brain saver for me. By having everything I need to get done written somewhere, I free my brain from all this and allow it to focus on tackling bigger problems (like skill development, or business opportunities).

College Students: Here are The Biggest Financial Mistakes You Need to Avoid
Not keeping a budget – Knowing where your money is going could be enough to change your behavior and establish better spending habits.
Giving into peer pressure – we learn about not giving into peer pressure to avoid alcohol or drugs, but nothing about spending habits. If you gave into the pressure to eat with all different groups of people every time, you’ll quickly run out of money.
Not applying for more scholarships – if you think it’s too much work applying for a $500 scholarship, think about the amount of time it’d take to make that much money
Avoiding credit – credit history takes time to build so getting a credit card early can really set you up for a good credit score when you need it to purchase a house or a car.

Keep Your Budget Simple & Avoid Decision Fatigue
A lot of us tend to over-complicate things, especially our finances. If you make some complex budget tracker, you’ll subconsciously avoid doing it That’s why it’s a good idea to pare your budget down to just the essentials. What categories, goals and accounts do you really need?

Although I completely agree with keeping it simple, I believe the first step is to understand how you spend. That’s why I’m a big proponent of spending only cash the first 2 – 3 months and after that, you will have a rough idea as to where your money goes and how you are doing against your budget without thinking about it.

The Negatives Of Early Retirement Life Nobody Likes Talking About
1) You will suffer an identity crisis for an unknown period of time – if you have been known in your company and industry for something, you will feel like that part of you has disappeared once you stop working.
2) You will be stuck in your head – when you suddenly have an extra 10 – 14 hours a day of free time, it’s very difficult to optimize your time wisely.
3) People will treat you like a weird misfit – Having a job means you are a productive member of society. If you retire at a young age, people will assume you are simply slacking off and not paying any taxes.
4) You’ll be disappointed that you aren’t much happier – so many people think that once they achieve financial freedom or leave a job they dislike, they’ll suddenly be permanently happier.

Although I do not know what it is actually like to retire, I do think that many of these negatives are true for someone who has not built an identity outside of work. This is also why I wrote a piece on why saving for retirement is bad advice (and what to do instead).

How to get rich and stay rich
This is a review of the book How to get rich and stay rich. There are a few different key lessons, but the main ones in my opinion are:
Anyone can get rich if they want it badly enough – why isn’t everyone rich? Because many people either are not aware that it is possible or they are not willing to make the sacrifices
All riches involve a sacrifice – “Most people who [try to get rich] will go along for a year or two spending less than they earn and then decide that they are not really getting anywhere, that they might as well get a new car.” Getting rich generally requires years decades of spending less than you earn.
You can never get rich from your salary alone – salary is important insofar as it determines your standard of living,” but you need to do more with your money than put it under your mattress

If you want to read the rest of the advice on getting rich, take a read through the blog piece!

Weekly Summary – September 5 2018 3

Cool Opportunities

I have decided to show these opportunities to you because I believe that they are some of the best ones out there and in many cases, are ones that I am personally involved with or am looking to get involved with.

Right now, there’s this insurance contract that will give you 10% after 2 years. This works out to be about 4.9% each year, which is 0.8% better than the best 2 year fixed deposit available right now in Malaysia.

The only downside is that you will need to have US $20,000 to invest. However, if there are enough people interested in pooling money together, I can sign one of these contracts on behalf of everyone and distribute the returns after 2 years.

If any of this is of interest, or you want more information on it, leave a message in the Facebook group.