Growing Your Year-End Bonus
You’ve got money from the bonus payout. Maybe not a lot but some. Enough to drive your mind giddy with the thought of lavish meals, gifts in abundance, and quality vacation time.
While the decision to pamper yourself and live like a king for once (you deserved it) is always rather tempting, one must stop to question the wisdom of doing so – especially in increasingly challenging financial times. Isn’t it better to watch your money multiply like Gremlins in a swimming pool?
So, what can you do to grow your well-earned bonus?
Here are five smart investments to stash you bonus in:
Private Retirement Scheme (PRS)
It is unlikely – despite drastic changes to the world’s climate, that we will experience money falling from the sky. As such, it is important to begin piling up your riches now to sustain a comfortable retirement.
The general consensus appears to be that contribution to the Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) is no longer enough, in fact, a survey by HSBC shows that by the year 2020, at least one in 10 Malaysians will not be prepared for retirement.
One possible solution? Other than your EPF savings, you can also contribute to a PRS as early as you can. At a 10% monthly contribution and expected return of 6%, a 25-year old individual earning a monthly gross salary is expected to have a return of RM460,779.14 just from PRS investment by the age of 60.
Read more about Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) here.
Unit trust funds
Unit trust is one of the many investing options that should be considered – even if you are new to the working world. In fact, you can start investing in unit trust with an initial amount of RM1,000.
Low initial investment amount aside, unit trust funds can also be relatively safe investment vehicle as a fund manager will be appointed to ensure the investor’s portfolio is diversified – in other words, all your eggs are not in one basket, thus mitigating investment risk.
Read more about unit trust here.
Investing in bonds means lending money to a government or company at an agreed interest rate for a certain amount of time. In return, the borrower promises to pay you interest at regular intervals and repay the loan at the end of the term.
Bonds should be considered as part of a diversified investment plan. And it is most often medium to long-term investment.
It is most often the preferred investment vehicle for those with smaller risk appetite, but unlike fixed deposit, investments in bonds are not protected by Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM), although they offer higher returns. Thus, bonds are suited for investors who are able to accept a certain degree of investment risk, higher than that of bank accounts. But, greater risk also means greater returns.
Read more about bonds here.
A convenient and risk-free alternative to bonds, fixed deposits are the go-to investment for people who wants relatively low-risk investment vehicle or saving method compared to a savings account without concerning themselves with the steeper learning curve involved in other forms of investment.
Being able to commit to a fixed deposit tenure (i.e. no early withdrawals) can yield the account holder interest at regular intervals. And, as previously mentioned, placements in a fixed deposit account is insured by Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM).
However, many have opined that interest from a fixed deposit is no longer enough to cushion rising inflation rate.
Read more about fixed deposits here.
The best laid plans to save money can unravel when hit with unexpected expenditure of substantial quantum. These unexpected expenditures can be in the form of medical bills and mortgage repayments – which one have little choice but to fork out money for unless one chooses to treat their own illness or go without a roof over their heads.
While having insurance may be a luxury they simply cannot afford to some, those who have extra cash to spare should consider protecting themselves and their families from heavy financial burden with mortgage insurance and health (if not life) insurance – and like a Private Retirement Scheme, the earlier the take-up, the better. Many life insurance policies also come packaged with a unit trust investment component, which makes it a handy stone with which you can kill two birds.