Is it worth it to invest in Mutual Fund? This is a common argument among many investors & investment gurus about how bad or good mutual fund is but when we look at the history of mutual fund in Malaysia, company like Public Mutual is ranked the best Mutual Fund company in Malaysia even though some investors complained that their load fee is too high. Since one of my mentors run an agency firm that carries various mutual funds, he always mention that there is no free lunch in this world. Do you agree with this statement?
Many investment gurus & books suggest that Mutual Fund is a bad investment to make but is it really that bad? Personally, I started to invest in Mutual Fund since 2008 & I completely sold all my Mutual Fund in 2018 to switch to Robo-Advisor. Did I lose any money in Mutual Fund? The answer is NO. In fact, some of my funds make me around 5%-15% return.
What I Like About Mutual Fund?
1. It’s Managed By Professional Fund Manager
It can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing too. Good thing is, if the fund manager manage the fund well then I may able to enjoy good amount of return. If the fund manager is bad, I may not able to have good return. One of the famous fund managers that I have featured in my recent post is Peter Lynch. You can read about him & his investment strategies HERE.
2. I Can Invest in Various Countries or Assets
As a stock investor, I limit my stocks investment to Malaysian Stocks. It is because I have a better understanding on Malaysia Market since I’m based in Malaysia & most of the stocks I own is the company that I do spend my money on as consumer or customer. I do have my eyes on USA stocks but I have yet to make any investment so far. With Mutual Fund, I am able to invest in other countries such as China, Europe & USA or I can invest in other assets as well.
3. I Can Save More Time
Even though I rarely monitor my stocks performance, my monitoring towards my mutual fund is way lesser than my stocks. The reason I rarely monitor both is because I look at my investment as a long term investment. And remember, I am paying someone management fees to monitor my investment in mutual fund.
4. It’s An Affordable Investment to Start With
You can start to invest with as low as RM500 & your monthly investment can be as low as RM100. That was how I started to invest with my low salary in 2008. RM100 per month is not too heavy for me back in those days.
What I Dislike About Mutual Fund?
1. High Load / Sales Fees
There are plenty of Mutual Fund Companies in Malaysia that are charging between 1.75%-5% Load Fees. Some companies will mention that there is no Load Fees but watch out because they will actually mark up that fees into your fund price.
2. Management Fees
On top of Load Fees that you have to pay to your agent, you have to pay additional amount of money to the Fund Manager. Of course there is no free lunch in this world but paying it twice may cause additional profit to be taken away from you. P/S: You still have to pay them if the fund under performs. LOL.
3. Yesterday’s Return Does Not Mean A Good Return Tomorrow
It links back to What I Like About Mutual Fund. What if my Fund Manager leaves the company & they are replaced by other Fund Manager? This may cause my investment return to be lower or negative.
4. My Fund Manager is the Owner of the Stocks
Unlike stocks investment where I am part owner of the company, I do not have any ownership of the companies the Mutual Fund Company invest in. That means, I can’t attend any AGM or have any voting rights.
5. Your Fund Manager may Appoint another Mutual Fund Company to Invest on Behalf
This is a bad thing. Why? Because it will result in multiple Management Fees incurred. Imagine we are paying Load Fees & Management Fees to the Mutual Fund Company but at the same time, they are paying another Mutual Fund Company to manage your fund. Sounds complicated but it happens to some funds. If you are investing in any Mutual Fund, you can checkout their Annual Report to find out more on that.
6. Not Much Visibility
In my few years of investing in Mutual Fund, I find that some of my Mutual Fund investment is less visible in terms of which stocks they invest in & other details.
In Your Opinion, Do You Think Mutual Fund is Worth To Invest?
After completing what I like & what I don’t like about Mutual Fund, I realize that I have more Dislikes than Likes. LOL. But it’s kinda true. Like I mentioned earlier, I have sold all my Mutual Fund to invest in a Robo-Advisor called StashAway. Or if you are looking to explore other Investment Platform, you can also checkout Funding Societies. Both companies are offering LOW MANAGEMENT FEES & personally I am more comfortable since I have more VISIBILITY on my investments.
That is my opinion. How about yours? Do leave your comments & opinions below so we can further discuss on this topics.
Recently, I have stumbled across a property investment book called Back To Property Investment To Create Wealth by Anders Ong. After browsing a few pages of the book, I decided to connect with Anders to interview him on my blog. Getting to know some brief story about him, his story is quite inspiring for someone that can purchase his first property at 24 & he managed to purchase 1 property each year while working a 9-5 job.
Hope you guys enjoy this interview & I can guarantee you can learn a lot from this.
1. Can you give our readers a short introduction about yourself?
Greetings, I’m Anders Ong a young real estate speaker, property investors, enthusiast, trainer, advisor and author of the latest property investment book titled “Back To Property Investment To Create Wealth.” I started to invest in properties when I was 24 years old (6 years ago) and managed to purchase at least one property every year non-stop since then. To be able to achieve what seems to be impossible, I have to be a BIG Dreamer.. a Dreamer with believe, passion and sincerity whole hearted.
2. What has inspired you to write your book?
When I was 10 years old, I asked my mum how much does a property cost? and she replied me they were around RM100,000-RM200,000 which is of very huge amount (in year 2000) compared to me as a kid who only receive RM1.00 as a pocket money to buy food in school canteen. She then continue and said that the repayment amount would be doubled if we are taking loan and pay back to the bank. I was shocked on how people could buy such an expensive thing in this world… But today RM100k-200k is considered Low Cost. hahaha
That night I look up into the sky in the car seeing the bright moon, and suddenly I got the idea of helping people to own property when I got older in my mind. But to be honest, helping people to buy or building property for people is not as easy as ABC or an easy task.. Thus, I decided to try myself and teach people whereby it is the easiest way to help out. Today, “Back To Property Investment To Create Wealth” is published and distributed in the whole Malaysia to make real estate knowledge accessible and affordable to poor people up to rich people and different backgrounds to reach Financial Freedom through property investment to create massive wealth. I am happy a quarter of my dreams to help everyone had been fulfilled.
3. What is your financial goal?
Financial Freedom goal is what everyone aspires to achieve, and my financial goal is to retire once I am 40 years old. By saying financial freedom, I actually mean that one day my return of investment and my passive income from real estate could sustain my daily lifestyle without compromising on the standard and quality or having at least RM10 Million cash 12 years later. Why 40 years old? It is because Time is more valuable than Money so we all have to hustle hard to earn Time.
4. Where do you learn about property investment?
Property is always in my mind and soul, I can talk about property investment and research whole day. I learned property investment through property portal, forums, newspapers, property book, doing research and survey myself. I did not enroll in any fancy or expensive classes of few thousand to learn about property investment. But, I am quite amazed on how many people whom enroll into those luxury classes to learn about property investment which can cost up to RM10K. This is the reasons, I wrote my book…
5. How did you manage to buy 1 property a year with your 9-5 job?
I did it all through strategies which I learnt during the buying and researching process which has been commercialized by many property gurus out there. For example, No Money Down(NMD), Property Markup, Below Market Value, Technical Analysis and most importantly do not Follow The Crowds or People Advice without research.
6. Do you think it is possible for the readers to buy more than 1 property with average income?
DEFINITELY YES! I am a good example myself, I am of average income myself and I did not had any silver spoon together with me to eat my lunch and dinner. The most brief and simple steps is always to do the following:-
Look for new development & property boosters.
Compare prices of similar & completed properties.
Check the rental yield of surrounding properties.
Do not wait, there is no market down if we do our research.
7. How many properties do you plan to own?
I do not know how many properties I would like to own, because I never get bored of investing in properties and I always have the urge to keep on investing whenever I see a good property for investment. Before this, I wish that I could own up to 30 properties but, why limit ourselves.There are limitless possibilities in this real estate world and I would like to venture into different classes of real estates in the future.
8. What is your worst financial or investment decision you have ever made?
In terms of property investment, I do not have any failures or worst properties decision made before as all are making money now. I only made a loss in other platforms 3 years ago because of putting money into Money Game platform which was then vanish into thin air in a matter days.
9. How do you define success in your life?
The definition of success is very wide and different for everyone, and I have my own definition of success as well. My definition of success is being able to provide a better life for my parents, my partner, my families and to the societies. Yes, we can have bigger house and bigger car and better life but it won’t change the world and societies as we are only helping ourselves and changed ourselves not the environment. I aspire to help more people to achieve their dreams of financial freedom and it would be my biggest success to see the smile on everyone face with a better life.
10. Any advice to the BBM readers on property investment?
My advice is very simple and straightforward:-
Do not follow the crowd in property investment
Do not wait for a property price to drop
Do not overstretch for property investment
Do not buy based on emotion
Do not listen to naysayers without facts
Do not wait to invest
You can grab a copy of Back To Property Investment To Create Wealth to learn all the tricks of property investment at an affordable price of RM44.80 in all bookstores –MPH, Popular, Kinokuniya & Times.
Alternatively, you can purchase the book online via the link as below :
Welcome to Black Belt Money & Habits Podcast Episode 3
In this episode, we will be discussing about our credit card habits. Both of us used to struggle with credit card debts & it took us years to clear off our debts. What are the tips & tricks to spend wisely with credit cards. Is credit card good or bad for you?
This is a pilot project for both Raymond & Dion. Stay tuned for more episode from both Raymond & Dion.
For the past few years, there is a huge trend of eating clean & it has been hitting us like a storm. It ranges from Atkins Diet to Keto Diet & many others. This trend have caught many individuals to actually adept to this & some of them even started a healthy food business to support this trend.
As a former MMA fighter & active competitor, I do have my fair share of going into clean eating mode especially during my preparation for fight. On average, I have to lose 7-10kg for me to compete at my weight class. Coming from the beautiful food haven of Penang, I never liked eating clean since Penang hawker serves the best food you can ever find. LOL. That is why after my competition, I’ll be going on a crazy food hunt that will last up to a month.
How Can You Eat Clean & Save Money?
This is something that I always look into during my eating clean period. I will be looking at minimizing my cost since clean eating can be really expensive.
1. Prepare Your Own Meal
First things that comes in your mind is “I don’t have time to prepare it or I don’t know how to cook”. Cooking is not that hard especially when it comes to clean eating. The preparation can be as easy as combining all the ingredient together such as Roast Chicken from Tesco with Fresh Veggies or cooking Salmon with Olive Oil & add Fresh Veggies. Those easy recipes or ideas are all available online.
2. Do Your Own Survey
To prepare affordable clean meal, I used to do lots of survey to find the cheapest Salmon, Chicken & Vegetables. Salmon are usually cheaper at Tesco or Giant compared to other places like Jaya Grocer or Aeon. Even for supplements, I find that bodybuilding.com (International Store) or Eji Nutrition (Malaysia Store) offer cheaper supplement compared to other Online Stores or GNC.
3. Source for Alternative Ingredient
Since many Nutritionist recommends Avocado, the trend tends to go towards including Avocado in the meal but do you know there are plenty alternative food that are out there as well? Other example includes Beef. There is Beef sold at expensive price but you can purchase it at cheaper price at your local market as well.
4. Mix & Match Your Meal
My daily clean eating includes Chicken, Salmon, Brown Rice, Eggs, Fruits, Whey Protein, Veggies, Nuts & many others. What I usually do is Mixing & Matching my cheaper & expensive meal together. Example : I will eat Chicken for lunch & Salmon for dinner. Aside from balancing my cost, I am able to enjoy different food alternative as well.
How Do I Make My Clean Eating Meal Taste Better?
Usually I will go for 4-8 weeks of strict diet to prepare for my competition. Adding extra flavors to enhance my meal is important since I need to maintain such diet for few weeks. Since we are not body builders & we are not looking to lose any fluid from our body, using Himalayan Salt is fine for our meals. Other ingredient such as Lime, Chili Powder, Curry Powder, Paprika, Pepper & many others are recommended if you are looking to do this for long term.
Am I On Any Clean Eating Plan Now?
No I’m not at this moment. I have stopped competing from any active competition since 2016 & I don’t look at competing anytime soon. Perhaps if there is any competition that interest me then I may do it again. I may not be on full clean eating mode now but I do try to control my meal portion & reduce any unhealthy food on my daily diet.
Eating Clean is a Journey where it requires a commitment to do it. All I can say is, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Maybe it’s because I’m from the beautiful food heaven of Penang where all the best food are available. Anyway, if you are looking to embark your Journey to eat clean, do factor in the cost so you can save money & stay committed in the long run. Do feel free to DM me personally if you have any questions on clean eating & I will try to answer it as many as possible.
Welcome to Black Belt Money & Habits Podcast Episode 2
In this episode, Raymond will be sharing a bit of background about himself & what inspires him to start Black Belt Money & Habits Podcast. This is a pilot project for both Raymond & Dion. Stay tuned for more episode from both Raymond & Dion.
Most of us have a life goal to achieve & one of it is to be rich. Many people might be exploring some ways to be rich but aside from working hard & working smart, what habit do you need to be rich? Before we proceed further on the 9 Habits That Will Make You Rich, lets have a quick question that you may want to ask yourself.
Question To Ask Yourself :
1. Why do you want to be rich? 2. How much effort are you willing to put to be rich?
The reason why I asked you to ask yourself this question is for you to know how bad do you really want it. Once you done answering these questions, its time to explore the 9 Habits That Will Make You Rich.
1. Keep Hustling
Most of the Richest Man in the World spends most of their time hustling instead of resting & wait for time to flew by. Rather than resting on your bed after work or during the weekend, picking up a book or courses might help you to learn something new. Elon Musk is known for working 85-100 hours a week. Ask yourself, have you been spending your time doing something unproductive recently?
2. There is No Such Thing as Wait for the Big Idea to Come Mark Zuckerberg did not start Facebook out of accident or luck. In fact, he’s been writing program since he’s young. With years of experience plus ideas, Facebook is born. Lets look at your current work industry, what do you think you can do better? Any gap you are able to fill? Do you think you can make a change in the industry that you are working now?
3. Create a Plan & Stick to It
You might have a plan on how to be rich or you might not have plan. If you don’t, its time to create your plan. Creating a plan is easy but sticking to your plan might be a challenge. How can you create a plan & stick with it? First, you have to create a SMARTPlan.SMART : Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timeline.
Some people might have different definition but it is quite similar. Once you have a SMART Plan, do review it from time to time. It can be once a month or once a quarter.
4. Save Before You Spend
Many people have a habit of spending & save what is left. Some of us have been in such situation where we plan to save whats left at the end of the month. Did it actually happen? It might be rare case to most of us. Instead of you spend before you save, why not save before you spend? Or you can try to save before you spend & save what is left after you spend.
5. Watch Your Spending
Lets have a quick moment to think what have you spend on recently. Did you overspend your money? Saving money is important but spending frugally is as important as saving money.
6. Invest In Yourself I have shared abit of Invest in Yourself earlier. There are many ways to Invest in Yourself aside from reading books or taking courses. It can be from working out & eating right. I have covered Invest in Yourself in my previous post. You can read it by clicking here.
7. Look for Multiple Source of Income
Most of us are working a 9-5 job. Working 9-5 job does not mean that you cant source for additional income. Additional income can be from Investment, Side Business & many other ways. Maybe you might think that you have no time for that. We have 24 hours a day, spending additional 1-2 hours might not be that heavy for you to begin with.
8. Never Give Up
Sometimes plan might be out of place or things might get tougher but no matter what, you must never give up. Positivity, confidence & persistence are the key. Remember Grasshoppa, Never Give Up.
9. Seek Guidance from a Mentor
Some of us might be seeking guidance from people around us. Some of them might bring positive result to us & some might bring negative result. It is important to know who to seek guidance from. Before I start to invest, I heard many people said that “Stocks are risky & you need a huge amount of capital to start. It is not something you should get yourself into.” I listened to that person & those advice stuck in my mind for years. What I did not realize is, that person might be burned from investment mistake or he/she might just hear that from other people. Seeking a right guidance from the right people will help you to be rich.
How to select the right mentor that fits your goal? First look for the person that is more successful than you. Second, see if the person is working in the industry related to you or the industry that you are interested in. Third, ASK for guidance. It is that simple.
All the above habit might sound easy but it actually requires huge effort & discipline. It really depends on how bad you want it. If you really want it badly, its time plan & set your goal.
NO!!!!!!!!! You cant start tomorrow. You have to start to think about it now. If you are busy, give yourself a quick 5 minute to think of what can you do to be rich or if have no idea, think about how much you want to have in your bank account in order to be rich. I truly believe that you can do it.
Bo Dallas BOLIEVE! Compilation - WWE Funny Moment 2014 - YouTube
A few weeks ago, I got in touched with Ing Hong aka The Stockmonger via Facebook on a possible meet up in Penang. After a short chat with him, I realized he is also a Penang based Personal Finance & Investment Blogger originally from Labuan. Throughout my BBM Blogging journey, I’ve always thought that I’m the only one that is based in Penang but I’m wrong.
Anyway, we have chatted few times & the idea of featuring him in #BBMGetInspired suddenly pops in my mind. I asked him about it & he was excited to share his Personal Finance & Investment Journey with all of you.
1. Can you give our readers a short introduction about yourself?
Hey everyone, I’m Ing Hong. You may not know me by my name but you may (or may not) recognize me as the writer behind The Stockmonger, a blog that I started in December 2018. I write about investments (mostly stocks), personal development and personal finances. I’m an avid reader and book collector so I will occasionally share about books that I have read on my blog and social media.
2. What inspired you to start your blog?
I love reading updates from Dividend Magic because it shows progress toward a long term goal. One day I asked myself, “Is there anyone else who shares their portfolio openly like Leigh from Dividend Magic?” The answer seems to be no, so I decided to start one myself.
In addition, I always felt that I have some great ideas that are collecting dust in my brain. It so happens that I can express these ideas through a blog. Two birds with one stone.
3. What is your financial goal?
My goal is to build a stock portfolio worth at least RM500,000 by 30 years old (I’m 24 at the time of writing). The reason behind the number is because assuming I earn a modest 5% dividend yield from my stocks, I will have roughly RM2,000 a month which is enough to sustain my most basic needs.
The end goal is not to have passive income so that I can just sit home and do nothing and collect dividend. I desire the freedom to pursue my passion without worrying about starving. I’m quite interested in woodworking and building stuffs.
4. Where do you learn about investing or financial planning?
My first ever investment book was Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. My perspectives about money changed after reading it. After that, I got hooked and read voraciously about the stock investment basics from financial blogs and books.
5. Can you share a glimpse of your investment portfolio or what are you currently investing in?
Sure! My investment portfolio is up on my website. As of now, all of my investments are in stocks. It made sense for me since I know more about stocks compared to other investment vehicles.
Yes I do. I just use a Google Spreadsheets to track all my income and expenses. Basically I just record down all my incomes and expenses. By the end of the month, I will know if I overspent or have extra cash.
I wrote a detailed post on my budgeting system in my website.
I’m sure there’s probably some app or system out there that can do better. But this is what works for me.
7. What is your worst financial or investment decision you ever made?
The worst financial decision I made was investing into stocks that I don’t understand during the wrong time. It hurt me badly financially and emotionally. I thought I would never invest again. But luckily, I managed to rise above that painful experience.
8. How do you define success in your life?
My definition of success changes very often throughout my life. I remember success means having the best grades in school when I was in high school. After that, success became having a beautiful girlfriend when I was in university. I wasn’t able to be consistently successful in both though.
My latest definition of success is having a growing net worth. In short, as long as my net worth or wealth is growing consistently every year, I label myself as successful.
9. Any advice to the readers on investment or financial planning?
On financial planning, spending less than you earn is something that won’t go wrong. But if you’d like to take it a step further, I advise you to use the money jar system like how I did. It’s well balanced and very easy to follow.
On investment, only invest in what you understand. I invest in stocks because that’s what I understand the most. If you find yourself knowing nothing about any investments, then the first investment you make should be on education. Start reading books, blogs or attending courses to increase your knowledge on your interested field of investment.
Once you know the basics, step out of your comfort zone and apply your knowledge. It’s okay to start small but make sure to get started because we tend to learn more from practical experiences. It’s alright to lose money at first, just keep at it and don’t give up.
THANK YOU Ing Hong for taking your time to complete this interview. Looking forward to work with you for more future opportunity.