Money: The good, the bad, the ugly of 2018

Here is a review of 2018 from a financial standpoint and expectations for the year ahead.

2018 in review

Good

• Increased investment options for Malaysians including P2P social lending, robo advisory, and property crowdfunding.

• Initiatives to increase transparency and reduce corruption in Malaysia.

• A slow but sure increase in demand among Malaysians for professional financial planning, and a shift in financial professionals to focus on holistic financial planning activities instead of pushing products.

Bad

• Equity markets and many other asset classes including bonds, gold, and oil saw heightened volatility and significant corrections.

• Trade wars dominating headlines and causing more potential losers than winners, coupled with a depreciating Ringgit.

• A crash in cryptocurrency leaving those who invested an overly high percentage of their portfolio or using leverage, to suffer significant losses.

Ugly

• Tweets causing much consternation and noise as people in powerful positions tweet without a filter.

• An increase in racially-charged sentiments and incidents, and worse being incited.

• Breach of ethics and user privacy among large companies motivated by greed and financial gain.

Expectations for 2019

Good

• An increase in direct channels for consumers to invest, buy insurance, and other financial products with low/no commissions, helping save costs.

• Property stamp duty for houses between RM300,001 and RM1 million waiver, lower financing costs, and more affordable homes for qualified first-time buyers.

• eSports in Malaysia and globally to continue growing, prompting a shift in advertising dollars.

Bad

• Continued volatility in equity markets as rumblings continue to grow for a bear market and impending economic recession.

• Increased fear among individuals, companies, and investors leading to belt-tightening, reduced spending and low confidence having a domino effect in the economy.

• Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) increase from 0% to 5% for individuals, and 5% to 10% for companies and foreigners will reduce net profits from property sales affecting property investors and sellers.

Hopes

• Growth, and increased maturity for Malaysians and citizens of the world.

• Technology and digital growth, people-focused as we head into the fourth industrial revolution.

• Increase in financial education and knowledge-sharing initiatives empowering people of all ages and financial backgrounds to grow.

This article first appeared in https://mypf.my

 MyPF is on a mission to help simplify and grow Malaysians’ personal finances through financial education.