Kaya Plus 2019 Annual Newsletter

Dear Readers & Fellow Kaya-rians,

It has been 5 months since Kaya Plus’ inception. Although the idea to start this page manifested in the month of February’19, due to some complications (and complacency!), we only manage to make a presence in the month of August’19.

What a year it has been in 2019! We are still very much deep in the Sino-US trade war period. The global news was never short of any headline-grabbing titles. We saw tariffs slap and withdrawn, trade talks improving and broke down, which after 1 full year the outcome had never really improved. Also, the few months of anarchism that has ravaged Hong Kong, the financial hub of Asia, has also severely weakened growth prospects.

The Malaysian stock market has taken the worst hit. The KLCI index has fallen from its New Year opening of 1680 points to 1580 points (as of 05.12.2019, time of writing). This pales in comparison against our neighbouring countries’ performance, where the Straits Time Index of Singapore stayed relatively flat, while the SET index of Thailand was a bit under the water. But compared against Singapore, we are looking at a difference of close to 10% in the year to date performances.

Black line: Kuala Lumpur Composite Index
Red line: Straits Time Index Index
Blue line: Stock Exchange of Thailand Index

However, things were surprisingly bullish over at the United States of America. Year to date, the Dow Jones index is up by a market-sweeping 27%. 

This is a harsh reminder to all of us, that as much as we try to invest to grow our wealth, it is never easy to get a return that surpasses the overall market returns consistently. While we champion investing is borderless, we keep hearing a lot of Malaysians complaining that foreign market shares are expensive. 

Well, guess what, pooling 100% of your hard-earned money in the Malaysian stock market which has clearly underperformed is a much more expensive mistake most of us make. When it comes to vacation, we yearn to travel around the world. But when it comes to investing, we silo up ourselves to concentrate on a market that has underperformed. Not only did we not manage to grow our wealth, we actually allow the value of our investments to be eroded. This mindset calls for a change!

How can we at Kaya Plus lead the way moving forward? For the past 5 months since starting, trust us it has been a heck of a learning curve for us. The learning may not necessarily be something new, but we would say a lot of it comes from continuous improvements, from deriving insight related posts, analyzing and crunching the numbers from companies’ Annual Report (yeap we crunch the numbers DIRECTLY extracted from the reports), managing our social media pages, incorporating facts, tips, news into easy to understand posts and memes to strike an understanding straight to our viewers, while evoking fun during the process.

It has been a fantastic 5 months experience in the financial education space online. We strive to fill up the severely open gaps of the Malaysian financial education online space, which lacks strong opinions and analysis readily made public. This pales in comparison to Singapore, where one of our co-founders are currently based, where there are easily 10-20 reputable financial bloggers and sites who not only publish their numbers and facts well but also able to state their case and opinions when it comes to a 50-50 bull or bear case situations.

We aim to continue growing by leaps and bounds. As the founders at Kaya Plus, we know once we made a presence, there is no turning back. It has to be an ongoing progress of struggles and improvements until we finally make our mark. We acknowledge that to grow more, we have to look beyond just the Malaysia market. Singapore’s market is just as lucrative as well for investment diversification. 

We also had the opportunity to work with Value Invest Asia from Singapore, which reaffirms that it is possible to bring knowledge and value from the Singapore market to Malaysians and tap onto the Singaporean market with our existing Malaysian related offerings. We opine Malaysia companies are generally more skewed towards growth companies, and Singapore’s stock market has an abundance of high performing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which easily beats the best Malaysian REITs hands down! A combination of investment in both markets will surely help investors work towards financial freedom.

2020 will be a very challenging year. We have been reading the news about an impending market crash ever since the year 2018 but till now the bear is nowhere in sight. It may or may not even come in the year 2020. But we do know the US elections are coming up, and with Trump’s impeachment query still ongoing, it can be certain that there will be more uncertainties ahead, just as you thought we have had enough uncertainties played out in the year 2019. 

But one thing that we are very sure. Having a foolproof investment plan and strategy, which each and everyone can execute, regardless of the market conditions and economic environments, holds more substance and makes more sense than timing the market. We know it is important to diversify and keep on improving, hence we will be taking our same impetus and spirit, maybe even increasing it, as we embark on a new frontier, by bringing our readers on a journey around the world via the stock markets with our simple to understand posts, witty insights, and entertaining memes.

Lastly, we would like to personally thank a few individuals from the financial blogosphere that has helped grow us to where we are today.

Thank you, Stanley, from Value Invest Asia for providing an opportunity to share our posts and opinions to a larger audience while we are still growing ours.

Thank you Kak Suraya from Ringgit Oh Ringgit for the guidance and sharing of our contents to your audiences.

Thank you, Leigh, Ing Hong and Suyin from Dividend Magic, The Stockmonger, Suyin Invests for frequently sharing our contents to your audiences.

Thank you, Ian Tai, from Bursaking.com.my for giving valuable advice on how we at Kaya Plus should grow and improve.

And for those that we failed to mention, thanks for the support, likes comments on our social media accounts.

Lastly, whether you are ready or not, hop on to the Kaya Plus bandwagon, and join us today on the journey towards financial literacy.

That’ll be the first fantastic decision that you have made for the start of 2020. And we promise you, you’ll be thankful 10-20 years from now on, as it could be the best decision you could have made, that truly made a difference.

Hear from you soon, and happy 2020!

To your Investment Success,

Joo Parn & Choon Beng

Founders of Kaya Plus

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