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JOB security often relies on the stability of the economy.
When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the country into lockdown, many found themselves unemployed or without a steady income – which demonstrated the value of having alternative sources of income that go beyond the usual earnings to provide financial security.
According to RinggitPlus 2021 Malaysian Financial Literacy survey, 50% of respondents could not survive more than three months on savings and over 62% of respondents preferred medium-to-high risk investments.
More and more people are turning to investments that are relatively flexible, allowing liquidation in a pinch.
These investments in the form of unit trusts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or dividend stocks provided a passive income to many Malaysians – particularly those new to the stock market during the pandemic – and continue to do so as they expand their portfolio to include the US market.
Given the acceleration of digitalisation, reputable digital investing sites are not only affordable and convenient, but they are also user-friendly as essentially anyone can navigate them.
While this may set off alarm bells for individuals who believe investing is risky – especially when money is tight – brokers are continuing to educate investors on proper risk controls that should be taken.
Learning to lower risk
Lower-risk investing is possible through a mix of ETFs and mature stocks.,
For instance, an established and reputable company like Nestlé is considered a mature stock because it can hold its value well during market disruptions and it tends to declare dividends, which are a good source of passive income.
Additionally, there are measures in place these days to better safeguard investments in the short term. For example, stop orders can be set so that shares traded on a digital platform are automatically sold when the share price encounters a steep dip to avoid further loss.
Practising smart investing
When in doubt or when something sounds unbelievably risk-free, or if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
Undoubtedly the pandemic saw a surge in scams across numerous platforms, as people were more vulnerable and there was greater access to many who were at home.
Therefore, look out for trigger words like “guaranteed returns”, investment schemes that promise easy money, and so-called social media investment gurus.
Avoid making snap decisions and take time to personally investigate any investment opportunity as there are no quick ways to earn large amounts of money. So if an investment claims this, be wary.
When in doubt, check the Securities Commission Malaysia’s alert list.
The world has changed, and many are still feeling the sting of the pandemic. As borders reopen and the economy recovers, we cannot forget lessons the pandemic has taught us.