Saturday, March 10, 2018

Tips: Spend or Invest?

Yesterday I gave you a scenario and question on my instastory about what will you do if you were given RM 10,000 cash by your boss. The result was 52% higher on “invest it in unit trust” and 48% on “spend it very wisely”.

Before I explain the best answer to you, the reason why I ask you this question is to see how many of you really have the knowledge about finance. Apart from that is also to educate you about financial freedom.


There is no right or wrong answer to this question but the best one. So, what will I do with the ten thousand ringgit? If I were to be given such amount of money, I would invest it on unit trust. Oh, I know what you’re thinking – but why? Isn’t it risky?

Here is why I chose this answer.

My goal is to become financially free in few years time from now insha’Allah. Financial freedom is financial independence. It is about you living your life freely – having enough wealth to live on without working. For example, some people set a target to reach financial freedom at the age of 45. Meaning, by this age, assuming they have reached the target, they are already living their life to the fullest. They don't have to work and go through tons of stress at work merely for the sake of survival. Instead, the money works on its own. All they have to do is just enjoy life and they have all the time to spend with their family. Isn’t that great? But the question now is how can I achieve this goal?

The answer is through investments. There are many types of investments you can find out there but an example I gave here is unit trust investment. How does it work? Before I can start investing, obviously, I need money. To own the money, I must work and do savings. To do this, I must learn financial planning – dividing my salary according to the category of my expenses every month.

One of the categories I have is Financial Freedom Account (FFA). Let us say I have collected RM 1,000 in this category. What I can do with this saving is I can invest it in unit trust. I know some of you might be questioning the risk but if you have the knowledge or a trusted Unit Trust Consultant (UTC) like I do, you will not be too questioned about the risk. In my case, my younger sister is a licensed UTC and I can trust her to manage my investments. So, from my investment in these unit trusts, I apply the concept of compounding.

Wait, compounding? What does that mean?

Keep reading as I explain the meaning of compounding in the next section.


You see, rich people became rich because they understand the reason why they have to work at the first place. They know what to do with their money later on and they understand the power of compounding.

Compounding is the ability of an asset to generate earnings, which are then reinvested in order to generate their own earnings. In other words, compounding refers to generating earnings from previous earnings.

Albert Einstein once said that compounding interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He then continues by saying, those who understand it, earn it and those who don't, pay it. This shows that even Einstein knew about investing including the benefits of compound interest.

To make you understand this concept, I will take my investment story as an example. So, what will happen with the money I invested on unit trust? Every end of the year I will receive dividend from this investment. Instead of taking the dividend and spend it on material things, I will reinvest the dividend so that it can generate more dividend. So if I reinvest this year’s dividend, it means that the amount of dividend I will receive next year will be more than the amount of dividend I received this year. That is what it meant by the power of compounding.

I wonder if you have read a legend about an Indian emperor who was amazed by a new game called chess. The inventor showed this game to the emperor. Because he was so impressed by this game, he asked the inventor to name his reward. The man replied by saying that in return he wants one grain of rice for the first square, two grains for the next square, three for the next, four for the next and so on for all sixty-four squares with each square having double the number of grains as the square before.

The emperor agreed and amazed by the man who asked for such a small reward – or so he thought. A week later, his treasurer came back and informed him that the reward would add up to an astronomical sum. Meaning, far greater than all the rice that could conceivably be produced in many centuries!

Just like the emperor, we are all similar in some ways. We find it difficult to understand how fast functions like doubling makes numbers grow. But that is how it works in compounding interest and you can apply this in your financial planning.


I am blessed to have a father who knows how to manage our finance at the earliest stage of our life. When we were still young, he taught us to save money. Each one of us has our own piggy bank. After school, we would put our remaining coin in our piggy bank. Once they were full, he would bring us to the bank to put all the money in our accounts. When we turned 18, he opened an investment account for each of us because he knew that the earlier we invest, the more we can generate our earnings because of the longer time frame. To be frank, we didn’t know about this until these recent years.

I’ve realised how lucky we are to have what we have now and I think the more I learn, the more eager I wanted to share this knowledge to you because I understand the struggle we have to face to make a living in this era. Even baby-boomers are still keeping their position at work for the sake of living. I’ve shared to you the things I had to go through to find a secured job and stable income in my previous post, it wasn’t good. So, I’m sharing you this in the light of helping you to survive the economic crisis we are facing today or at least to help you survive.

You, who are reading this, could be a father or a mother and I am more than happy to know if what I share to you in this post is giving you some enlightenment on how you can shape your children’s future. If you want to know more about financial planning or unit trust investment, the person who I would highly recommend is, of course, my sister. Because of our own experiences, I think we both share the same value here.

Before I put a full stop to this post, I really hope you have gained something valuable today. I will share more in my next post insha’Allah. If you’re interested to find out more about what happens to me now especially on how I deal with my body issue, subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out on my next blog post “In the Game Again”.

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