Expat Financial Advisors in Malaysia – that will be the topic of today’s article.
I will compare some of the options available locally, alongside more portable, online, and international options like what we offer.
It makes sense to have a portable option as an expat, as opposed to a localized one, and that is something we specialize in.
If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what i specialize in, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).
Table of Contents
This interesting exotic country is located in Southeast Asia and consists of two parts, separated from each other by the South China Sea. The western part of Malaysia is the most developed, so about 80% of the local population lives there. East Malaysia, on the other hand, is less populated, but retains the remains of an evergreen rainforest.
The capital of this small state is the city of Kuala Lumpur. The indigenous population is represented mainly by Malays and Chinese. Islam is practiced throughout the country. The state is actively extracting oil, developing agriculture and tourism. In addition, a fairly large number of electronics and household appliances are produced here. Malaysia is ahead of its counterparts in Southeast Asia in economic development.
Let’s try to assess whether Malaysia is suitable for life for expats. Many Europeans very often go there for permanent residence, hoping to catch their luck there, and some go to this tropical country for “wintering” in order to survive the harsh winters.
Pros of living in Malaysia
• Good knowledge of English by the local population. For quite a long time, Malaysia was a British colony, and this explains the free English of the locals. All your requests and wishes can be stated in English, you will be understood and helped in solving your problems. Agree, this fact greatly simplifies living in a foreign country.
• Opportunity to find a job. If you have an education, little experience and knowledge of the English language, then most likely you will not have problems finding a job. In addition, people with white skin color are quite in demand in many hotels and inns, they give them, so to speak, a status. The professions of a teacher, doctor, engineer, programmer, as well as specialists in the field of tourism are in demand.
• Cheap electronics and home appliances. It is locally produced, so the price of these products is quite affordable. The equipment here is considered the cheapest in the world.
• Drivers follow the rules of the road (driving here on the left). Compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, the difference in the behavior of drivers on the road is very large. A pedestrian, crossing the road, may not be afraid for his life and health. True, all traffic signs are exclusively in Malay.
• Malays treat immigrants well. As a rule, residents of multinational states show tolerance towards visitors. In addition, the local population is friendly, hospitable, welcoming and ready to help if necessary. The opportunity to feel “at ease” is worth a lot.
• Low crime rate. In Malaysia, you can feel calm and not worry about your safety. Alcohol is very expensive here, as in most Muslim countries, so the number of offenses on this ground is minimized. True, sometimes there are pickpockets.
Cons of living in Malaysia
• Difficulties in obtaining citizenship. Most expats have a work visa. An applicant must be at least 27 years of age to obtain a visa. After several years of residence in the country, you can obtain resident status. Dual citizenship is prohibited by local law.
• Dirty cities. Local towns and cities have a very unsightly appearance. Cleanliness is clearly not mentioned here. Rats and bad smell on the streets are found in almost all countries of Southeast Asia, and Malaysia is no exception. For the sake of justice, we note that garbage on the roadsides is a very common phenomenon in the vastness of our Motherland.
• Exotic cuisine. Local culinary delights will not appeal to Europeans due to the specifics of the source products and the large number of spices. Milk and dairy products are practically not consumed by the locals. Bread is also exotic. If we talk about Chinese cuisine, which is also present here, then it has a lot of fatty and fried foods. But if you like rice, then it will be easier for you to adapt to the local cuisine.
• Poor road quality. Perhaps most expats will not feel much difference. Roads in different popular countries do not please motorists with their quality.
• Smog from forest fires. Not all is well with the environment in Malaysia. Tropical forests are being mercilessly cut down to clear new oil palm plantations. In addition, old oil palm plantations are being burned down and new ones planted. And so in a circle. But smog in Malaysia is not only “own production”, sometimes it is brought by the wind from Indonesia, where fires often occur.
How do you know if you need a financial advisor in Malaysia?
Money is difficult to control, no matter how much it is. Sometimes we need professional financial help because we cannot develop and follow strategies properly, but at the same time we are not sure where to start, and for the first step we will define and fix what financial goals you want to achieve.
Do you want to start investing or investing more money in Malaysia? If you don’t know where to start, keep reading.
This helpful blog post will be a quick guide and overview of when you should contact a financial advisor, how they can help you, the three main types of financial advisors, real estate investment in Malaysia and more.
Often, specific events cause a person to seek financial advice. These events are usually associated with unexpected blows, major losses, or major life events.
Wondering how much you need to save to retire at 65? Need advice on how to pay off debt? Wondering how much insurance you need? Finally, are you an expat in Malaysia and need financial advice?
The truth is that some financial decisions need support; others you can probably handle on your own – at least for now.
If you find yourself in one of these scenarios, you may need financial advice:
• I’m about to retire and want to make sure I’m on the right track
• I just inherited some money from my parents and I need advice on how to invest it.
• I recently got married and as a couple we need help managing our finances.
• I am recently divorced or widowed and as a single person I need financial help.
• My parents are getting older and need help managing their finances.
• I hate investing and financial planning, and I need professional help so I don’t lose all my money.
• I love financial planning and investing, but I need a second opinion to see if I can do it better.
Financial advisor is simply a term that includes financial planners and investment advisors. It is extremely important to look for financial advisors who follow the fiduciary rule, which means that they act in the best interests of their clients and work only for a fee.
This means that the client fees are their only compensation and they receive no commission when you invest in certain funds or buy financial products.
A good certified financial planner can help organize your overall financial picture, including developing your retirement savings and investment strategy; planning big expenses, such as buying a house or having children; daily budget and expenses; plus tax and estate planning.
You may also consider hiring a financial planner if you are too overwhelmed or confused about your money to make important financial decisions, including how to balance multiple financial goals, manage a business, pay off outstanding debt, or put together a plan for pension savings.
If the alternative to meeting with a financial planner is decision paralysis, you might be better off seeking outside advice.
Investment advisors usually focus on the nuances of your investment strategy, such as which stocks or funds to buy in retirement accounts, which ones to withdraw, and how to minimize taxes. They can also manage your investments, but typically charge between 0.5% and 2% commission on the portfolio.
Remember that you don’t need to be an investor with millions in the market to have a financial advisor, on the other hand you don’t need one if you just want to know how to invest your money or what funds to choose when you retire.
An online financial advisor is often a cheaper alternative, and some even provide access to investment advisors or financial planners for an additional fee.
Automated investment services (sometimes referred to as robotic advisors) set up and automatically re-balance your investment portfolio for you based on your goals and risk tolerance, with an annual management fee of just 0.25% of your account balance.
A financial advisor can be a valuable investment in meeting your goals and helping you “set it and forget it” about your investment.
Bank Financial Advisors
Many banks provide the opportunity to use their financial advisors for your investments. They may even offer incentives such as lower fees or a free check if you have an investment bank account.
Please note that your bank advisor is chargeable and you will have to pay additional fees. There is usually a minimum amount they want you to keep investing through them in order to keep the service going. You may want to work with your bank because you already have a relationship with them. However, it is important to make sure that your bank’s investment services are right for you.
People will choose to use their bank because they feel the advisor is more trustworthy, or because it makes it easier to find a financial advisor.
A banking advisor will likely be able to offer you a wide range of investment options as well as life insurance. Brokerage fees should be comparable to those of other independent financial advisors or brokerage firms. When you’re thinking about investing, having a solid company and name can be reassuring.
While it’s nice to maintain a well-established relationship, you should find out what happens if you need to change banks due to your move or a similar reason. You can leave your investments at the bank even if you don’t have an account with them.
If you plan to temporarily freeze your money, a fixed escrow account might be a good option. A fixed deposit is more like a savings account, however your investments have an expiration date and a fixed rate.
The main investment is withdrawn at the end of the established period (term) specified when making the deposit, and at this stage interest is accrued on it.
There are various types of term deposit accounts that can be invested in in Malaysia. To get the most out of your fixed deposit investment, you must set clear goals before you transfer money to a fixed deposit account.
When opening a term deposit account, the following points must be considered: the period in which you are ready to invest your money and the range of interest rates that you want to earn.
Local Financial Advisors
The difference between a local financial advisor and other types of financial advisors is really the difference between a professional service approach and a specific product approach. Of course, rich local experience is an advantage.
Hiring a local consultant has one key advantage: you can meet with someone who will advise you on the rules of a particular location, in this case, the rules of Malaysia.
Many firms cannot afford this. Whether you agree with virtual business or not, there are bound to be situations where you feel the need to meet and talk with someone who will provide you with valuable strategies and advice.
Other financial consulting companies usually distribute their workload among separate departments. Your “consultant” is most likely an account manager who acts as a buffer between you and some other people in the back office who actually do the work.
Your “planning” probably comes from the planning department; your investment analysis most likely comes from an analyst who is far from what really matters in your life, and those who actually implement the strategy usually see you as just a bunch of “buying” and “selling”, each which makes a shopping day. You simply won’t be able to meet a real “advisor” because these responsibilities are divided among several people in different offices.
On the other hand, you should be able to meet with a consultant if you choose an independent service-oriented consulting firm. Again, hiring a local financial advisor is optional, but for most people there are many benefits to meeting face-to-face.
Most advisors to large financial companies such as banks receive some or all of the commission for selling you a product, whether it be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurance policies, or annuities.
This creates an inevitable conflict of interest. The securities laws in this country recognize this fact and require these “advisors” to be at a lower level. This is called the “fitness” standard, which means they only need to consider whether the products they sell are suitable for your broad investment profile.
The highest standard is the “fiduciary” standard. An independent consultant, online or local, who agrees to meet this standard is required by law to always put you first.
These consultants never sell products, charge commissions, or do anything else that could create a conflict of interest. They weigh all the factors in your situation before making any recommendations. Their advice is 100% objective. Whether you hire a local consultant or not, remember that they are objective and always prioritize their clients. Speaking of online financial advisors, let’s talk a little about them.
Online Financial Advisors
Online financial advisors have been steadily gaining popularity over the years and for a variety of reasons.
One of the first reasons people started working with virtual financial advisors was to buy time in the old days as they didn’t have to get in a car or be stuck in traffic to meet their financial advisor during a phone call or meetings on Zoom.
For people who travel frequently or plan to move to another part of the country (or live abroad), working with an online financial advisor also ensures that your relationship doesn’t end, no matter where you are.
Perhaps the most significant advance accelerating the trend towards virtual financial advice is the ability of financial advisers to specialize in serving a niche that would be impractical if they were limited to working with clients in their home city.
Thus, you have the opportunity to hire a financial advisor who truly understands your individual needs based on their education, experience, and commitment to helping people like you.
What can you gain from working with your online financial advisor?
Individual approach to your business. An online financial advisor is in many ways different from a robot advisor or even a bank advisor. First, you will receive real and personal advice from a real expert who is well versed in finance and investment, and not from a person who wants to sell you banking products.
This is important for those who want to take a healthy look at their finances and give advice like a pro. Sometimes the software or algorithm doesn’t work, especially if your problems are a bit more complex.
Relatively low fees. Of course, the cost will come down if you decide to hire an online financial advisor as they don’t have a luxury office and other attributes that will affect the cost. What he needs is a computer, the Internet and a good experienced brain.
They also cost less than regular companies or financial institutions that provide financial advice. It’s also a smarter choice if you’re looking to save money and spend less, but still know if you really need a financial advisor. The benefits you will receive from this will multiply when you decide to have a second or third session.
Hire only a reliable online financial advisor to get the best service. After all, your money is hard-earned and you will definitely need someone to show you how to maintain and grow your wealth to new heights.
Online documentation. Financial planning does require a lot of different documents. Those who receive basic financial planning advice will easily find hundreds of pages of consulting documentation.
There will be many documents that will also require your signature. As an online financial advisor, we take advantage of technological advances as there are many cloud and secure platforms that will store your financial details. Therefore, we can safely send you all these documents online by e-mail.
But the most incredible thing is the ability to put an electronic signature! Use a few clicks to sign documents, switch superusers, set up attachments, and implement Plan B.
All of these documents will be securely hosted on an online portal that only you and your online financial advisor can access.
Many may be skeptical about this, which also has its own explanation. It’s a relatively new concept and it’s hard for people to get used to some of the things that can also be done on an online platform, but it’s a great tool that saves you time and benefits in the first place.
Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?
Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 417.7 million answers views on Quora.com and a widely sold book on Amazon