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No matter how much we save, it may not be enough. (anymore)

When I started working, my parents told me that savings is important. I think they hoped I could save more instead of spending it all away. They saved a lot because they know they have to get ready for the family’s future; my brother, my sister and I. Both were educators. Well, their savings ensured all three of us have enough to eat, enough daily allowances and enough for all three of us to complete our studies. They spent the most for me, sigh… My sister was a sportswoman, so she got student scholarships all the way until she finished her Diploma. My brother got into an Engineering matriculation programme. Both got PTPTN after that and both have FULLY REPAID their PTPTN loans. Both are responsible Malaysians, regardless of the government of the day. Coming back to savings, it seems that Malaysians are saving less.

Article in Malaysians are saving less. The growth pace of individual savings weakened in 2017 compared to previous years. Sunway University Business School professor of economics Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the rising household debt-to-gross domestic product ratio was a contributing factor to the declining savings. He said, “When household debt goes up, you can expect savings and fixed deposit balances to decline as there would be less income available for savings, and [monthly income] would instead go towards financing assets that include property investments.”

Socioeconomic Research Centre executive director Lee Heng Guie said the weaker growth rate of savings could be that some had to repay debts using their savings. Lee said the pickup in savings was seen from 2011-2012, likely due to the normalisation of the overnight policy rate. He said, “After the 2008 global financial crisis, the central bank slashed the interest rate, and this started to normalise from 2010 onwards. So the role of interest rates is an important factor here especially for pensioners when deciding where to put their money.” UOB Malaysia senior economist Julia Goh also said the growth rate of household savings has also been a decline. “The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of household savings declined from a growth rate of 7% in the periods of 2000 to 2005 and 2006 to 2010, to 6% in 2011 to 2016,” she said. Article in

It’s hard to save more, these days. Let’s talk about those who actually could save IF ONLY they did not buy that new handbag, that new handphone or that weekly trips to the cafe for a RM15 latte. Actually, what the stats continue to tell us is that the disparity in income will likely become wider everywhere in the world. Earlier article here. Those who could somehow save and use that savings to invest for higher returns will likely be better off many years in the future compared to those who did not save at all. Whether it’s an investment into equity for good returns at low management fee (click here) or buying a property and let it increase in price slowly, all these will help us even as the savings rate continue to decline. Better understand it and start earlier. Starting LATER will come sooner than we thought. Happy understanding.

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Next suggested article:

News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia. Article written and edited by Charles.

Next suggested article: Higher savings via MY100.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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