Advice for 25 years kcchongnz

Hi KC,

I came across your post- and cannot help but to send you an email as I wish to learn more from you.

I really like how you give very straightforward advice with real life experience examples.

Let me get straight into the topic now. I managed to save HKD80,000 cash earlier while working overseas. The exchange rate (HKD->MYR) used to be better at 0.55-0.57 during early 2017. Then it dropped to about 0.45-0.48. I was waiting for the rate to climb up but as of today it is only 0.5 from (I highly doubt the local money changer will give this rate)

I have no choice but to change HKD 10,000 earlier this year (Rate: 0.49, the best I could find) to pay for my car's downpayment.

Here's my questions for the remaining HKD70,000:

    Should i continue to wait for one day when the rate goes up?
    Or should I exchange it right away and then do some investment with it to make up the loss?
    With this capital (after exchanging: should be around RM35K), what advice do you have for me for investment? FD? Shares? Unit Trust?

About me:

Debt: RM40k car loan, 7 years (other than this, I'm all clear)

Current salary: RM3,600 (before EPF & Socso deduction)

I am really looking forward to your advice.

Thank you,

Young lady

Hi Young lady,

It is great that at your age you can save that much of money, and you could buy your car with your own money. When I was at your age, I had none. Not only that, I was ridden with debts, even though I already work part time when studying. That was partly due to the ignorance of personal finance. Nobody taught us then, not in school or university for sure, and offered by anybody.

I don’t think I was exception then, neither it is now. Most youngsters nowadays depend a lot on their parents. Their parents spent scores of thousands for them to study at home. Some wealth ones even spent hundreds of thousands, or million to study abroad. Many of them spent longer time to complete their study. Some when finished their undergraduate degree, they continue to study postgraduate, or other degrees, instead of working. Some started working, but mostly spent all their salaries indulging in good life, clubbing, holidaying overseas, flashy restaurants etc. which they cannot afford and as a result, incurred heavy personal and credit card debt. Parents got to help them continue providing them a place to stay, food to eat, pay their debts, to buy their cars, even house, so much so that some of them do not know how to value money. That is the peril of children of having rich parents. Luckily I was not rich.

So, congratulating for saving a tidy sum of money at the age of 25. You have a great future as you have the right attitude, and time at your side.

Your first question, should you repatriate your HK70k back to Malaysia now with the “low” exchange rate?

In this respect, everybody is different. Without getting to know you better, here is my opinion in a general form.

Nobody can predict the direction of the foreign exchange rate correctly and consistently. So, forget about predicting it, or wait for the rate to get better then change. If you need the money now, for example to pay down your debts, or buy a house, just change and use it.

My statement of difficulty in predicting the foreign exchange rate, or other macro-economic thingy is not just blurting out without rational. There is huge amount of academic studies showing that there is no statistical significant evidence to show that it could be done. There are simply too many factors and variables involved.

But what if you don’t need the money now?

I think it is good to leave the money in Hong Kong as a regional diversification. You are earning in Malaysia now and with your attitude, you should be able to save money from your salary here. It is not how much you earn, but how much you save. You don’t need to keep up with the Joneses. I recommend you read this book, “The richest man in Babylon” by George Samuel Clason.

However, I do not recommend you leave your money as bank deposit but invest in the equity market for better growth of your wealth as you are still young and have many more years to ride out any storms in the equity market. You may read my rational for it in the link below.

Let the power of compounding does its magic,

Your HKD70k will compound to HKD228k say at a bank fixed deposit rate of 3% for 40 years. Whereas if you can compound at 10% in the equity market at 10%, your money grows to HKD3.17m in 40 years by the time you retire. That is 14 times more money in the pocket!

By the way, 10% is about the long-term return of most matured market in the past, including that of Hong Kong and Malaysia.

One way you can do it now is to invest in an index fund with low cost fee in the Hang Seng Stock Exchange, or in the form of a broad market exchange traded fund, or ETF.

Eventually, I think you should invest in your own to get better return from the market following a proven successful approach of investing. However, it is not easy, nothing is easy in life anyway.

To have a higher probability of success in investing in your own, first, read, and reread my articles on “Never buy any stock touted by anybody” without making your own analysis in the link here,

And “Never be over-confident in investing” in the link below,

These two will prevent you from losing in the market. In investing, not losing is always better than any other alternative. Never get involved in any “get rich quick” scheme. Don’t ever believe there is big fat frog jumping all around.

Next, you must equip yourself in the fundamental of investing, FA, by looking at investing in a stock as investing in part of a business. You must know the business you invest in; how it makes money, does it make good money with the capitals it deploys, what are the risks involved etc. There is no other way to build long-term wealth slowly but surely following the fundamental approach in investing.

Warren Buffett when he was young used to say,

“I always knew I would be rich”,

He utilizes the approach of fundamental value investing. He is now one of the riches man in the world.

There are many resources in the internet and some providers in the market to learn about FA. I am one who provide this service online in a structured manner. One can learn it from anywhere, any time, and at his own pace. If you are keen, you may email me at,

As for now, focus on your career in Malaysia, further save, improve you skill in investing and invest following the right way.

Of course, do not forget to live a life filled with happiness and love.

Good luck.


Certified financial planner