Financial trends and tips for 2021

By Kelly Wong Li Yuin,

Ushering into 2021, what are the new year resolution that you have made? Most of the usual new year resolution that involves financial are save more, invest more and not to overspend. I shall skip chanting the same mantra about financial planning, here are some cool financial trends and tips that may be inspired for you:

1) Don’t follow the trend

Do you confer that peers influence greatly in our life including buying decision? The recommendation can be done through verbally or digitally. Your mind could be interfering, “Hmm, this looks cool and everyone has it, maybe I should get one too”. In addition to the great digital marketing, the items that you want to buy were only 2 to 3 clicks away. Most of the times, many end up having stuff that aren’t needed. As quoted by Chuck Palahniuk, the more things you own, the more they own you. In another terms, what you own, owns you.

2) Keep more cash or emergency funds

Uncertainty is the trend now. Uncertainty takes place any moment in employment and business revenue. All of us had experienced of uncertainty and changes in a day or two of movement control order which due to the pandemic. What is certain is keeping more cash or emergency funds are able to overcome any uncertainty in future. Instead of the normal practices of 6 months emergency funds, you may want to consider revise it to at least a year. What would be difference if you have more emergency funds?

3) Keep investing

With the low interest rate environment globally, you need your money to work harder for you. Investing is now less risky compare to inflation risk. For instance, putting money in fixed deposit that gives 1.8% interest rate per annum, your money would be doubled up in 40 years. Yet if investing money with around 6% return per annum, your money would be doubled up in 12 years. The few percent of interest influence greatly of the length of time. By defining of your financial goals and objectives, you are able to plan well to invest into the right instrument to achieve the return of your investment.

4) Shop for bargain

Encouragement of spending is definitely uncommon in financial planning, but smart spending does. With affordable pricing around, you may shop for bargain on stuff that’s part of your financial goals. For example, there may be bargain for your favourite facial skincare sets, your dream car or the property that you plan to purchase. Smart spending means using your money wisely by making good buying decisions.

5) Declutter financial statements

Schedule some time to organise and check on financial statements. The papers can be converted to digital statements with some simple login. Some old files can be scanned into softcopy for references. Create an excel sheet to record the numbers from the statement and it may be useful to improve on our recording on net worth and cash flow.

6) Make some gain from unused or old items

Have you ever bought something that you rarely used? You may check if the items are going to be used in near future. Some items may be worth some money and you may consider selling it online. Besides recycling the items, the buyer may have better use on their hands. Once, I sold off my old laptop to a parent for her son in need for his study. Another advantage to this exercise is to serve as a reminder to be more in control in your spending in future, to buy things that you really need. By selling off the unused or old items, you may keep the cash for better opportunities. Would you be more careful in spending if you have to pay for every gram of garbage that you throw?

7) Invest in hiring financial planner

Hire a financial planner maybe a great investment. Financial planners are able to advise how to make the best out of your wealth that tailor to your objectives. Invest in fee-based or fees only licensed financial planners as they are able to give you unbiased and independent advice. A financial plan able to prepare for uncertainty while planning for the best, which gives you peace of mind and certainty of your financial goals.

Last but not least, keeping a good financial habit is like building muscle in the gym. Start with baby steps and work your way up to greater achievements.

Kelly is CEO and licensed financial planner of Alpine Advisory Sdn Bhd. She brings 17 years of experience in the financial industry, during which she has achieved numerous industry awards. The team are committed to help their clients to turn their financial goals into reality with the comprehensive range of services incorporates integrated, unbiased financial planning and reliable strategies to help optimize client’s financial position. More info at www.alpine-advisory.com

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