How has the year 2018 been financially? What was good, bad, and ugly this year? What are you expecting in the year ahead?

2018 in Review


  • Increased investment options for Malaysians including P2P social lending, robo advisory, and property crowdfunding.
  • Initiatives to increase transparency and reduce corruption in Malaysia.
  • A slow but sure increase in demand among Malaysians for professional financial planning, and a shift in financial professionals to focus on holistic financial planning activities instead of pushing products.


  • Equity markets and many other asset classes including bonds, gold, and oil saw heightened volatility and significant corrections.
  • Trade wars dominating headlines and causing more potential losers than winners, coupled with a depreciating Ringgit.
  • A crash in cryptocurrency leaving those who invested an overly high percentage of their portfolio or using leverage to suffer significant losses.


  • Tweets causing much consternation and noise as people in powerful positions tweet without a filter.
  • An increase in racially charged sentiments and incidents, and worse being incited.
  • Breach of ethics and user privacy among large companies motivated by greed and financial gain.

2019 in Expectation


  • An increase in direct channels for consumers to invest, buy insurance, and other financial products with low/no commissions helping save costs.
  • Property stamp duty for houses betwen RM300,001 and RM1 million waiver, lower financing costs, and more affordable homes for qualified first-time buyers.
  • eSports in Malaysia and globally to continue growing prompting a shift in advertising dollars.


  • Continued volatility in equity markets as the rumblings continue to grow for a bear market and impending economic recession.
  • Increased fear among individuals, companies, and investors leading to belt tightening, reduced spending and low confidence having a domino effect in the economy.
  • Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) increase from 0% to 5% for individuals, and 5% to 10% for companies and foreigners will reduce net profit from property sales affecting property investors and sellers.


  • Growth, and increased maturity for Malaysians and citizens of the world.
  • Technology and digital growth, people-focused as we head into the 4th industrial revolution.
  • Increase in financial education and knowledge sharing initiatives empowering people of all ages and financial background to grow.

How was your 2018 financially? What are you hoping for in 2019?