I am Jo Yau and This is How I Invest (and Insure)

Published 06 Jan 2022

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By Fi Life Team
  1. What’s your day job?

    I am the Chief Marketing Officer of RinggitPlus, Malaysia’s top financial comparison site.

  2. What’s your best investment?

    I have been investing in property since my 20s, I owned a condo at the age of 27. I was lucky to be able to save up a little and took advantage of low-cost property ownership that allowed you to buy new properties every 5 years when the market was bearish. By the time I hit my early 40s, I sold all the properties, made a decent profit and managed to buy my dream home at my dream location.

  3. What was your worst investment?

    I bought a landed property (initially meant for own stay) in Puchong South (very far from CBD) where there were many vacant properties. When my life goals changed, I decided not to stay there but was stuck with that property. Even though I managed to rent it out, the rental only covered 50% of my loan instalment amount.

  4. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

    My first investment was in mutual funds which I had very little knowledge of and just blindly followed the advice of my sister who is a mutual fund agent. Little did I know that the agency commission was so high (after investing for over 15 years) but thankfully some of the funds performed well and I still enjoy good returns annually.

  5. Any investment no-nos?

    Thankfully I work at RinggitPlus. I have the opportunity to be “educated” on the many available investment options via direct investment channels which charge smaller fees that help to grow your investment. An investment no-no for me is to buy an insurance policy that comes with investment link products, because insurance’s main objective is to offer protection. There are now so many other investment asset platforms out there that provide better returns. Another no- no is buying a property that is far from CBD that doesn’t fetch good returns when you decide to rent/sell.

  6. What are you investing for?

    I am investing for my future, for my next phase of life, for my retirement.

  7. What’s your investment philosophy/approach?

    I am a moderate risk taker; I focus on long term investment strategy. Every month I will automatically perform a regular monthly investment to my asset classes to ensure that I do dollar cost averaging and not timing the market, because no one can out beat the market. I don’t believe in buying speculative short-term stocks, that gives me heart attack and sleepless nights. But of course, there are some asset classes that I am willing to take a higher risk with (money that I can afford to lose), like crypto.

  8. What about insurance? When do you think is the best time to buy insurance, what type of insurance, and why?

    I am a 100% true believer of sorting out your insurance when you are younger, as soon as you join the workforce. Get the basic coverage like medical and critical illness because when you are young and healthy, you pay very little premium. I regret not having a good insurance agent who could advise me properly when I started to buy savings insurance plans that have little coverage. Now at the age of 40, I realise that I am under-insured and I am unable to get any more cover due to my medical condition.

  9. What would you do differently finance-wise if you could turn back time?

    If I could turn back time, I will not spend all the hard earned money I made into indulging expensive and unhealthy lifestyle but to start building my emergency funds, buying sufficient coverage for my insurance and start investing as much as I can afford. Investing when you are in your 20s gives you a long runway and your money can work so much harder for you. While you work hard for your active income, building passive income is equally important. This is something I regretted but thankfully I am not too late in the game 😊

Follow Jo Yau-
Website, LinkedIn

About “This is How I Invest” - As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

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