Getting Started

Personal Finances needs are unique for each individual & having a good plan is invaluable. Below are simple steps to get started & improve with your Personal Finances planning.

personal-finance

What’s Your Age & Focus?

  • Late Millennials (below 25): Paying off any debts (e.g. student loans), living frugally (hopefully) & growing income.
  • Millennials/Gen Y (25-34): Building savings, starting investing & buying your 1st property.
  • Gen X (35-44): Middle of marriage & mortgage years balancing expenses, baby care/education planning & investing as much as possible.
  • Late Boomers (45-54): Starting to plan for retirement, have more luxury/comfort items & made some gains with investment/savings.
  • Baby Boomers (55-64): Spending slows as readying for retirement years, holding more to familiar investments & increased amount in FD/savings.
  • Seniors (65+): Living on savings, investment income & to hopefully leave a small gift for loved ones & causes.

 

Personal Finances Quick Checklist

  1. Emergency savings fund: 6-12 months expenses
  2. Insurance: medical, income replacement, less than 10% net income
  3. Investment: min 10% of net income & max comfortably 50% for most
  4. Plan out your annual cashflow, budgeting & goals. Put money aside for what’s important first.
  5. Plan your investments portfolio & get educated on investing and/or work with trusted advisors who put you first
  6. Plan your retirement fund based on your planned retirement age
  7. Execute your Personal Finances plan, track your numbers & review regularly (recommended every 6 months)

 

Key Risk Management Checklist

  1. Medical coverage: cover for medical bills, hospitalisation, surgery & treatment especially with Malaysia’s high medical inflation costs
  2. Income replacement: for yourself & dependents upon occurence of death, disability or critical illnesses
  3. Debt cancellation: to cover all or part of debts for loans (e.g. home/business loans)
  4. Legacy planning: to plan for your own golden years & leaving a gift for loved ones, organizations or charitable causes

 

Investment Quick Rules

  1. Invest in what you know & are familiar with (else get educated / work with a good advisor). Do NOT follow hot tips from the kopi tiam.
  2. An age-based investment portfolio strategy (even though slightly dated) is a good starting point (use 110 less current age for ratio of high risk:low risk investment allocation)
    More important than the individual investment is your overall portfolio allocation between high risk:low risk. Do not put in more than 1/3rd into any single investment.
  3. Diversify but do not over-diversify (3 to 10 investments is a good rule of thumb)
  4. Track your investment performance. If something is not performing & there is no concrete factual evidence that things will change, cut your losses ASAP.
  5. Use an investment advisor who works for you (and not to enrich himself/herself at your expense)

 

More Info

 

Share & discuss on your Personal Finances journey below.

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