Run a business on the side, fresh grads told

robertfooPETALING JAYA: A financial planner has advised fresh graduates to set aside savings to start their own business as soon as they get a job. Or even start a business on the side.

“Think about having your own business in the future. If your job allows for it, then work on it on the side while you’re still working. And if not, then set aside money for a future business,” said financial planner Robert Foo from MyFP Services Sdn Bhd.

“If you’re suddenly retrenched, at least you have something. Don’t think that just because you’ve been working somewhere for a certain amount of years or that you’re a permanent staff that you’re safe.

“In this day and age, you can’t be completely dependent on your job anymore, you have to count on yourself.”

Foo was commenting on a recent report, the Aon Hewitt Malaysia 2016 Compensation Management Survey, which revealed that more than half of the fresh graduates earn less than RM2,500 a month.

He said when it comes to where that money was most wisely spent it all depended on the fresh graduate’s conditions.

“It’s all subjective. Some fresh graduates come from rich families, some from poor. Some of them are living with their parents and some of them are living alone.”

He said what remained a constant is the importance of setting aside money for rainy days, to add to one’s retirement plan, and for investments.

He said fresh graduates should also think about saving up some money to join courses that will make them more valuable staff.

“While working, a fresh grad should focus on his career and set aside money to go for courses to improve yourself in your career because this will help not only while you’re working but also if you ever need to look for another job in the future.

“Just keep in mind that a lot of people lose their jobs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it will never happen to you.”

On transportation, he warned fresh graduates against turning necessities into luxuries.

“A lot of fresh graduates tend to get excited about earning an income and a lot of them tend to tie themselves down to loans they can’t afford, one of the biggest culprits being a fancy car.

“Yes, transportation is a necessity, but don’t turn your necessities into luxuries. When I was first working I used to ride on a kapcai,” he said.

“Some people say that motorcycles are not safe but if you are a reckless driver then even a car, no matter how big or expensive, is not safe either. It all depends on you.”

Foo said the same thing applied when it came to communications.

“You don’t need a fancy phone but you need something that you can use to contact people and maybe to do some research, which means you’re going to need a phone that will at least allow you to use the internet.

“At this stage you shouldn’t be thinking about getting the latest iPhone yet,” he quipped.