• Hi Mr Stingy,

    Can i know what is the current portfolio you own and what are the specific ETFs you have? it does not have to be in amount for privacy sake, just around the percentage will do.

    I will do my due diligence.

    CHeers and have a great day!

  • Hi Mr. Stingy,

    Thanks for the informative article. I’m a newbie just venturing into ASN variable unit trust and just wondering if you can enlighten me regarding these few questions:-

    1) Are the so-called dividends which are declared during financial-end is actually already seen in the daily fluctuation value which indicates your balance? So after they declare the dividends, nothing additional is actually added to your balance? I seem to notice this with my ASN Sara 2 recently.

    2) Are there any sales charges when you want to cash-out these funds?

    3) Considering that you mention that you don’t really advise investing with the variable ASN funds because of high fee. I’ve used the app for purchase and it seems to have a cheaper 1.5% fee for every transaction and an annual 1% fee which I assume is calculated daily. Is it still something not worth looking into?


    • Hi Ken,

      Thanks for dropping by. I don’t really have experience in ASN variable funds so please re-check my thoughts. Just trying to answer based on what I remember:

      1. I’m not sure, but something should definitely change — whether it’s in the number of units you have, or the value of the units. Or perhaps it’s juts a time delay and they haven’t credited to you yet?
      2. I don’t think so. I think these funds are “front-loaded.” Meaning sales charge when buying only.
      3. 1.5% sales charge and 1% annual fees sounds a lot better. I would consider, but also compare with other opportunities out there. My personal pick is robo-advisory, where all in yearly fees go below 1% (+ no sales charge).

  • Dear Mr. Stingy, I recently found out that SSPN-i account is giving a decent average return of 4% and the saving is government guaranteed. Besides that, there is RM8000 tax relief, free takaful and you can withdraw the money at anytime. Also, you don’t need to have kid to open an account, you can open individual account (https://www.ptptn.gov.my/kategori-had-umur-sspn-i-side).

    Isn’t this a good saving plan? It is better that bank saving account and FD rate. Appreciate your kind comment and advice.

    • Dear Mr. Stingy, Any thoughts on putting money to SSPN-i account for the 4% dividend? Thanks. 🙂

      • Hi Baymax,

        Hmmm, haven’t looked too deeply into this myself, but I’m thinking if it’s purely for returns, there are better alternatives (ASB immediately comes to mind if you’re Bumi). If you’re a parent though, I think the combination of tax relief + dividends + guaranteed saving by government might make sense.

        • Thanks for your thoughts, Mr. Stingy. Your approval meant a lot. 🙂 I’m not a Bumi. Hard to get ASN fixed price fund but I just found out that there is now myASNB portal for investor to buy fund directly, no need to go to counter anymore. I will give that a try. 😉

  • Dear Mr Stingy, First of all, thanks for all your wonderful articles. I find them very credible and helpful. Thanks for taking the time to write and share them with the public.

    I’m from Malaysia and uninitiated in investment. Just feel that the Covid-19 pandemic is a good opportunity to investment in stock market at a good price (hopefully). I don’t know how to read financial report or pick an undervalued stock but my guess is many blue chip stocks are now at attractive price. Since I don’t know how to pick a good stock, I was thinking of investing in Vanguard S&P500 index fund. Although, I’m not quite sure how to do that yet. I know you mention Stashaway, so, will have a look at it. If I do open Stashaway account, I will be sure to use your referral link. 🙂

    Now, I have a question that I can’t seem to go around it. I’m not sure how to ask it but it goes something like this. If most fund managers can’t beat the S&P500 performance, why doesn’t everyone just track the index? Won’t it make life easy for the fund managers and also ensure investors get a good return? Why all the many funds when none can beat the S&P500? Thanks for taking the time to reply and elaborate. May life always be kind to you and your family.

    • Thanks for your kind words Baymax. Just to clarify, investing in the Vanguard S&P500 index fund (one fund only) is quite different from investing in a robo-advisor (which might invest into 6 different ETFs for you).

      On your question about fund managers and the S&P 500, here’s an analogy using music. The majority of people in the world probably can’t sing better than a professional backup singer (who while can sing well, isn’t famous or very successful commercially). But that doesn’t stop many other people trying to become professional singers. Because if you’re that ONE special person who beats the market (whether it’s investing markets, or the music markets), you can make a lot of money and become very successful. Most people won’t make it, but people will try anyway.

      Also, remember that a fund manager gets paid in fees (regardless of whether the fund makes money or not). It’s a very lucrative career.

      • Thanks for the helping me with the puzzling question, Mr. Stingy. I’m a little slow, I read your analogy a few times and I think I finally get it. Many fund managers are “trying” to beat the market but most are not successful. 😀

        As mentioned, I don’t know about stocks, I mentioned Vanguard S&P500 because I read that it is the one recommended by Warren Buffett. I guess it is better to listen to the expert than trying to be a “professional singer”.

        Investing in multiple ETFs is better than just investing in one S&P500 index fund? How is that so? Thanks.

        • Investing in multiple ETFs is better than just investing in one S&P500 index fund? <-- well yes and no. Yes, because technically the more ETFs you have, the more diversified you are. No, because historically just one S&P 500 index fund might beat the combination of ETFs. (Sorry I know investing is confusing.) The issue with buying an S&P 500 index fund from Malaysia is it isn't the most straightforward thing to do. It's a bit "troublesome." Hence, why I think robo-advisory makes more sense for most people.

          • Thanks for the explanation on investing in multiple ETFs. Recently, I attended Stashaway Webinar: Investing Basics. It is my first webinar with them. In the talk, Ken mentioned that investing in robo-advisory is a long term thing, 3, 5, 10 and etc. years. There is a question by one of the participants. What happens if in unfortunate event the company closes down. Ken explained that investors money are in trust fund and separate from the company operation expenses. Investors will still get back their money. But if at that point of time the ETF price has gone down then investors might get back less than what they put in. That seems to be a likely risk, since robo-advisory are a new thing and not sure how long they can survive. It will be good if they continue to operate for many years. But if not, we might not have opportunity to see our investment bearing fruits? Just my 2 cents. 🙂

          • Historically over time, you would expect the majority of the ETFs invested in to go up in price.

            But even if the ETF goes down in price, whether the robo-advisor survives or not is kinda irrelevant. You would be still “losing” money. In other words, what determines your profit/loss is not whether the robo-advisor survives or not. It’s the ETFs prices.

  • Is it good to invest in the EPF approved unit trust with Account 1?

    • Hi Chieng,

      Personally I wouldn’t do it. Unit Trusts come with larger risks and higher fees, whereas I consider EPF to be a “low-risk” retirement fund.

  • Hi Aaron, thanks for the excellent write up, very helpful!

    It truly is a pity we still don’t have low cost index funds like Vanguard in the US, have you managed to find any other alternatives that Malaysians can take advantage of?

    Currently the only reasonable alternatives (not too crazy complicated/hassle) seem to be buying ETFs on Bursa, or using robo-advisor platforms like Stashaway.

    However, both has their drawbacks where ETFs on Bursa does not track tried and tested US index like the S&P 500. Robo-advisors do get our hands on US index funds, but it’s fees are still a far cry from the ultra low cost index funds available in US (it almost cost nothing at ~0.04%!).

    I guess if we are left to settle, we should be grateful that robo-advisor fees are much more affordable than unit trust fees, while giving us access to index funds/ETFs internationally. That gap in fees vs low cost index funds in US will eventually add up over the long term but hey, if it’s the best we got now…I’ll take it lol.

    Can’t be too demanding since fintechs like Stashaway already makes our lives easier/automated, while bringing international ETFs closer to home, I guess it’s worth the fees.

    Would be interesting to hear your thoughts if there are any other effective passive investing mediums for Malaysians that can provide similar reliability/simplicity like index funds, thanks!

    • Hi J,

      Thanks for dropping by. There are a few other options:
      1. There’s a Malaysian ETF that tracks the US Stock Market. However I think the tracking error and fees aren’t great.
      2. You can sign up with an international broker and buy ETFs in the UK that track the US Stock Market. I say UK because I believe the withholding tax on dividends is less (15%) than the US ETFs (30%).

      But yeah, a bit more complex. I’d argue robo-advisors fall into a nice sweet spot between cost and convenience at this moment — and are probably the better choice for most people.

  • Hi Mr Stingy,

    Planning to open a Rakuten Trade Account with your referral code if you have any.

  • This is a great article with lots of information. Thank you for giving a detailed explanation on all kinds of investment. I would like to have suggestions on you on which investment shall i go for. I am currently a student but I do have some savings in the bank, about 5k, which is the best to go for?

  • Hi Mr Stingy,

    Great article you have here!
    Care to share how we find out new AS funds availability? I browsed through its website and many others, but came up short of that info.

    • Thanks Tan,

      When you mention new AS funds availability, do you mean when the government launches new funds? If so, they’ll always make huge announcements in newspapers/websites etc.

      If you’re talking about existing funds but units available for sale, unfortunately you’ll either have to go to the Amanah Saham website or to a PNB branch.

  • Hi Mr-stingy,

    Your article is really helpful. I was browsing through https://www.imoney.my/share-trading and because I’m really new to this, I don’t understand what it’s showing me.

    Can you explain to me the 3 columns of details they are showing like:
    RM100k and below
    RM7 – 0.1%


    • Also, how do I know which bank to choose? Is Rakuten good? I googled and read someone’s complaint about it and that he had a difficult time withdrawing out.

      • Hi, the RM 7 is the minimum brokerage fee charged. It’s either that or 0.1% of the trade amount.

        From my experience, Rakuten is pretty good so far. Best to give it a try and experience for yourself. All the best!

  • Have you ever explore trading options (US) as a way to generate monthly income? If yes, what are your thoughts on this?

    • Hi Li Sa,

      I haven’t done this before. My perspective is unless you’re a sophisticated investor, it would be extremely hard to make money from this.

  • Hi Mr-Stingy,

    How do you keep track of all the investment that you made? All the transactions done daily\monthly, and all the tools\apps involved?

    • Hi Ali,

      So I currently just use a very primitive spreadsheet to track this. Would be nice if I had an app to do it, but I haven’t had time to really explore this yet.

      • Hello Aaron! Any updates regarding this? 🙂 Much appreciated if there are!

        • Hi Mabes,

          Mmmmm most of what’s here is exactly the same as now. What kinda updates were you looking for?

    • Hi Deric,

      As a rule of thumb, everyone should be careful with their investments. Also, Financial Horse doesn’t just dislike StashAway. He has another article where he writes what he likes about StashAway: https://financialhorse.com/stashaway-2/. In summary, I generally agree with his conclusion: if you’re someone new or don’t want to get into the difficult, nitty gritty of investing — StashAway is probably a good product for you.

      If you’re a sophisticated investor (and have lots of alternative options, e.g. you’re based in Singapore, unlike in Malaysia where our options are much more limited), then StashAway may be a bit too simple for your liking.

  • This is such a great guideline for beginner. Thank you for it so much! Do you have any recommendations & tips for the youth (early 20s) who wanted to start investing?

  • Thank you so much for the article! It helps a lot 🙂 Just wondering, do you have any suggestions and tips for the early 20s who wanted to start investment?

  • Thanks for providing such a comprehensive article! May I find out more about the global market investment? Understand that we can invest in overseas market if we open a global trading account in Malaysia, but I believe the transaction charges might be higher. Do you recommend to engage an oversea broker (e.g. US brokerage firm) to access US market? If yes, do you know which platform to go to? Thanks!

    • Hi Noelle,

      Thanks for your kind words. I’ve not really compared overseas brokerage firms to local international brokers, as I’ve found the process to be more intimidating than I’m comfortable with. For overseas stuff, I’m really most comfortable with putting my money into Stashaway, and letting them run things…

  • Hi nak tanya pasal p2p. Jika tak keberatan boleh kongsi berapa jumlah pelaburan awal. Setakat JUN 2019 adakah ianya memberi pulangan yang baik dari pelaburan asas.

    Terfikir untuk melabur ke dalam pelaburan yang baru ini. Harap dengan sedikit bantuan dari tuan boleh pergi lebih jauh.

    Apapun terima kasih atas tulisan yang membina.

    • Terima kasih Nizam. Pelaburan awal minimum RM 1,000. Lepas itu pelaburan minimum jadi RM 100.

      Biasanya pulangan antara 10 – 14%. (Tapi tiada “guarantee.” Ada yang untung dan ada yang rugi.) Kalau nak cuba make sure baca website P2P betul-betul dulu supaya selamat. All the best!

  • Hope to read more about Hellogold from you. As I have no background in financing, I can’t go too critically into understanding how well is Hellogold. So far it’s great. I just can’t imagine any drawbacks and that keeps me on edge.

    • Hi Carlena,

      I think Hellogold is great in the sense that it allows convenience — people to buy and store gold easily. The drawback to it is comparatively, the charges are slightly more expensive i.e. you could find cheaper ways of doing it. Of course, there are pros and cons to everything, and it’s great that they provide an option.

  • Thanks for the info. Funny I used to be in the industry and investing or more accurately ‘speculating’ in stock market was very natural. 15 years later…. I am so risk averse it doesn’t makes sense and reading too much makes it worse. Anyways bit by bit.

  • Thanks for this amazingly helpful article. It’s brilliant!

    What would be your advice on investing to hedge against a local economy, like Malaysia, crashing? Diversifying into other global markets? Or am I just being paranoid?


  • Hi Mr Stingy,

    You my man, are brilliant! Thanks for sharing this out complete with its pros and cons, it takes dedication, passion, and a desire to educate to be able to write what you have written.

    I’m quite a noob myself who’s finally managed to save up some money after a few years of working — looking to make my money go the gym and grow some muscles of their own now. I’m particularly interested in the P2P investing platform as I’ve been exposed to Fundaztic and MFS recently. Will be careful to not put everything into one basket definitely.

    Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing this article. I too, am slowly developing my “stingy” side :p.

    • Thanks Azlan for dropping by and your kind words,

      Hoping the investments work out for you and all the best! Feel free to drop by if you have any questions!

  • Perfect to hear,but can someone invests in a very good business deals here?What kind is the best business deals here.?

    • There’s no such thing as a “best” business deal. Instead, I think everyone should invest in something that’s suitable for him/her.

  • Just to share a concept of brokerage fee, to take advantage of the rates.
    I assume DIY investor start with small amount. Below the figures you need to consider.

    Broker A.
    Online cash upfront rate is 0.1% or RM8 minimum.
    If you buy kacang putih amount total RM3000.
    You pay RM8, which is ~ 0.27%. (if you sell also another 0.27%)
    To make use of 0.1%, the minimum deal you do is RM8000.

    Broker B.
    Online Collaterised rate is 0.42% or RM28 minimum
    If you buy a total of RM3000, you pay RM28, which is 0.93% (if sell also another 0.,93%)
    To take advantage of the 0.42% rate, you have to deal an amount of RM6667.

    Share me your thoughts.

  • Hi Mr Stingy!

    Thanks for the article. Just wondering, u include cryptocurrency, but left out fiat currency.
    Is it because it’s ‘Fiat’?

    • Hello Fazirul,

      No, it’s just because FDs / Bonds / Unit trusts etc. are all forms of fiat currency investments.

  • Was looking for articles on this for the past few weeks, since I’m just 22 and a newbie in this, and finally found this site. It is really great and so helpful. Thank you so much !!

  • Hi there Mr Stingy,

    Great blog! Love reading your blog together with some other great blog (ringgit oh ringgit, dividendmagic etc). Very informative. Please keep educating & supply us with all this knowledges that we will not find in school/uni.

    Personally, for the average Joe out there, just invest in Asb. Try your best to maximise the quota of rm400k. With almost no risk, no service charge and average of 7% return per year = no brainer!

    For me, the best investment I’ve ever made in my life is no other than crypto during late 17/early 18. Made fortune on altcoin (xrp 😉) during the last bull run. Now its time to rebuild my portfolio and that p2p & robo look really exciting. Thanks for the info. Gonna learn about this new type of investment while hodling my crypto bag!

    • Hi Amir,

      Thanks for dropping by. Yeah, ASB is like the ultimate investment tool (just that many of us out there have no access to ASB :'( ). Glad to hear you’ve made good profits during the last bull run. All the best ahead for 2019 and beyond!

  • Thank you for the articles! this is so useful for newbie like me, reading alots of information but don’t know where to start with.

  • This is absolutely informative. Wasn’t aware some even exist but the conventional and of course bitcoins etc. Thanks mate. I love this site…

  • i love this article, contemplating in purchasing a real property and to get hooked up with that hence started to do some research in other types of investment there is here in Malaysia.

    good knowledge sharing here. Thanks!

  • Hi, Mr Stingy. Are you based in Malaysia? What do you do with Luno as there’s no withdrawal allowed now, but only to convert to Ethereum.

    • Hello Faith,

      Yes, I’m based in KL! You?

      Withdrawals with Luno have been ongoing since March 2018. So you can definitely withdraw your money if you want. The only thing that’s pending is deposits — but with the Securities Commission looking to regulate the industry in Q1 2019 — hopefully that clears up soon!

  • With the collapse of Peer to Peer lending in China like PP Miao, a state backed company, how safe we are in Malaysia even we have 6 approved companies by SC?

    • As far as I understand, in China many of the P2P lenders started up even before regulations came into play. It’s different here in Malaysia: we had firm regulation and licenses issued, before any of the companies could start operating. So I expect it to be safer here.

      That being said, of course high returns comes with higher risk. Would never ask anyone who wants 14-15% returns to put in all their money there. Maybe just a portion of the portfolio which can accept higher risk?

  • Hello
    Im a newbie investor here . Can you guide me how to create the account as im very interested on REIT in your articles . Hope you can contact me thru the my details below as I need a teacher to start investing in the future . Thanks

  • Hi Aaron, I’m a new freshman in investing. Found your site by accident few days ago and you provide all good yet transparent info! A great blog to follow 🙂

    I’m thinking to start in REIT but in some other blogs they mention that we would need a brokerage to purchase. Can you write a post on brokerage? Eg. What is brokerage? Top brokerage in Malaysia, etc.

    Appreciate your hard work and sharing! Keep this up.

  • Thank you so much. Truly appreciate it.
    Straight forward , easy to digest and very useful article for someone like me.

  • One more avenue that you can advise your reader to invest via timesharing like East West One palm oil plantation scheme which approved by SSM. However, there are failure too like Golden Palm Growers Bhd, the second case in Malaysia.

    • Thanks Lim — haven’t heard of this before. Do you have any links where people can find out more and maybe sign up? Thanks.

  • I personally like P2P Lending very much, it has help me to generate passive income. I am using 3 platforms now, B2B Finpal, Fundaztic & Funding Societies.

      • Hi Mr. Stingy. Reading P2P seem interesting for investment. When you said losing money, do you meaning losing all my money invested?

        • Hey Lim,

          I haven’t actually looked too deeply into whether it’s possible that you will lose all your money (or maybe just a portion?) if the company defaults on its payments. However I’m sure the Securities Commission has drafted out a very reasonable guideline. Just haven’t had time to fully investigate yet. If anyone knows — please share!

  • Hi there,

    Just want to share. If one wants to invest in gold or silver, they may try to buy it from Public Gold. There, you will get physical gold or silver at affordable price. They even have this GAP (Gold Accumulative Program) where you can open an account with them and deposit RM100/month. Whenever you have enough amount to but, say 1g of gold (it’s RM177/g at the moment), you can just go to the nearest branch and convert your saving to a physical gold. Do not worry as they are Shariah compliant and they hold to the concept “Beli Emas, Dapat Emas”.

  • I super love this article. Thank you for taking the time to compile this super informative article. I felt so ‘liberated’ knowing that there are other investment options that are easy and doable with less hassle compared to buying properties etc.
    Again tq

  • Well done! A comprehensively researched and written article, I know, I’ve clicked thru some of the links.

    Definitely a good guide for those who want to DIY, which many young people start to do as they take charge of their financial destiny.

    One note about risk/reward is that its important for people to recognise that the market is not a computer simulation where dialing risk one way or the other will magically dial the reward commensurately. Risk is priced because the more unknowns the product has, the more market will put a premium on it. The more we study about a product and the more we know about it, the risk for that product comes down for us.

    I would also suggest a financial advisor that act as an middleman offering a range of risk/reward products should be sacked. Instead get a financial advisor precisely because of what this column does and signifies, impart knowledge to reduce our risk in the market.

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