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Personal Finance 101: It’s a myth that everyone must buy a property

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Personal Finance 101: It’s a myth that everyone must buy a property

I agree with this statement! (with 5 reasons below)

Personal finance experts (especially the ones without any property to their name) often tells everyone about the returns from whatever investment except for property. They may share a double digit returns from a certain investment. They may share how they saved double digits of discounts when they did a certain purchase. They may share some saving money tips. In fact they also share many different hacks on how to manage money better etc.

By the way, all these are useful and whether or not we have property investments, we must follow all the tips given if the personal finance expert is a legit one. Come on, as they say, even Elon Musk does not own a property. (Source here: As for the myth that everyone must buy a property, it’s not true also. Five reasons below if you also like to skip property investment altogether.

#1 Has Elon Musk’s 0.1 percent of wealth, maybe?

Elon Musk has US$239 billion in terms of net wealth. Source here: Just 0.1 percent means we should have something like US0.24 billion (RM1.14 billion). If we have RM1.14 billion and we saved it at the bank for Fixed Deposit, then at 3.5 percent return that’s RM39.9 million returns per year or RM3.325 million per month. Surely, we do not need any property investment lah. That’s why Elon does not need to pay attention to any property investment tips yeah.

Coming back to main topic. If we do have a huge wealth, just need to make sure we do not squander it and it will be more than enough. Skip property investment lah.

#2 Has a few properties passed to us by our parents

Why buy when we already have a few right? There are parents who already have bought properties for their children. Thus, when we grow up and the properties bought by our parents have already appreciated in price and it’s passed to us (before the inheritance tax comes into force somewhere in the future), then of course we also do not need to have any property investment. We already have $$$ and also a place to stay. Anyway, perhaps we can sell all those properties and just use they money to rent for the rest of our life too.

#3 We have a job which is paying super huge salaries and we are spending it wisely

There are senior managers who are just 30 years old today. They could be earning RM25,000 if not even higher. In other words, every year, their annual income reaches RM300,000. This does not yet include the contribution from the employer into the EPF savings. In other words, that’s another RM36,000 per year into the EPF from the employer.

We assume this person does not receive much of an increment until the person retires. That’s RM25,000 x 12 months x 30 years (work till 60) = RM9,000,000. We assume this person only managed to save 30% of what he earned? RM9,000,000 x 30% = RM2,700,000. EPF meanwhile has RM1,080,000 and we just say EPF’s performance not so amazing and this RM1,080,000 just doubled only. That’s RM2,160,000. So, in total conservatively, this person has around RM4,860,000. This person can choose NOT to invest into any property lah. More than enough money to just rent until the day the person says bye bye.

#4 Just a typical T20 but we save, invest and protect what we have

A typical T20 person here in Malaysia maybe earning RM20,000 per month. This person is great with savings and saves 30% per month. He’s investing it into equity (long term capital appreciation potential), unit trust (stable returns) and perhaps some gold holdings (since this is usually a safe haven in times of uncertainty). At the same time, the person buys insurance to protect and ensure the wealth is not suddenly used to pay medical bills. In other words, this person does not lose what he / she has gained over the years until the retirement day.

This person definitely does not need to buy a property lah. The person has more than enough whether in savings, in returns from investments and even protected too. Just rent any place would do lah. When this person retires and main income stops, his wealth is already way higher than what’s needed for rental anyway.

#5 Rental does not change much because too many choices or one is willing to stay in less popular areas

Let’s be realistic here. Rental for the same sized condo in a less popular area versus a popular area can be a huge difference. It can mean ability to rent for 30 years versus ability to rent just 15 years. Plus the fact that because everyone wants to rent at the popular areas, of course the increase in rental is likely to be higher too.

However, if we assume monthly rental does not change much or we assume that as soon as rental increases then we move to a cheaper place. When it increases again, we move to other cheaper places and so on… Then, I think it’s fine to just rent a place since we would not need to spend too much just on rental. Oh yeah, if we assume rental stays unchanged at RM2,000 for the next 50 years, than if we need to rent for 30 years after retiring, that’s RM2,000 x 12 months x 30 years = RM720,000 only.

We can even just rent a room lah!

Plus… one can also rent just a room right… not necessarily one whole house. Just a courtesy reminder lah. As a home owner, there’s no way that I will not change my rental because I also need to cover my expenses which is also increasing too. Unfortunately not many home owners are super rich to do charity for their tenants. Some are, definitely but majority are not. As for the decision of property investment, I leave that to you to decide. Cheers.

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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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