A student emailed me to ask for advice on investment. Without revealing his true identity, let’s call him Ahmad.

Mr KCLau,

I’m a student at a local university and I’ve been following your blog for a very long time.

I must say, due to your articles, I’ve changed from a spendthrift person to a more financially literate individual.

But now I stand at a junction by which need advice to go on.

I’m a 1st year student, doing medicine for 5 years.

My current assets are:
1) ASB savings: RM87 567.00
2) Gold (current market price): RM7268.00
3) Fixed deposit: RM11 258.00 (with rate of 2.5% p.a)

Each month, I will be able to allocate around RM 1200 for the next 5 years.

Based on the above info, what would be the wisest course of action which would generate the most income in a 5-year period?

The current course of action is I’m putting 60% of my income in ASB, 25% in gold and 15% in FD.

With the restrictions such as being a student, I lack the capability to invest in real property and stocks. Being a Muslim, I am not going to invest in non-Shariah compliant investment vehicle.

Your opinion is highly appreciated.

Thank you.

Current Situation

First of all, it is pretty impressive that a student has a total net worth of RM106,093 since most students are in debt with study loan such as PTPTN. Moreover, Ahmad still has a positive surplus of RM1200 to save and invest every month.

The current asset allocation provides some diversification. Gold is a hedge against inflation. ASB provides steady returns every year. Meanwhile Fixed Deposit gives him the liquidity and flexibility during emergency.

Challenge faced

When we see no trouble in his financial situation, Ahmad is asking for advice to maximize his return in 5-year period. This is a common question people would ask when they are investing their money. But I think the more useful question should be

”What should I do to improve my earnings?”

In fact, there is no sufficient information to give the proper investment plan. The first thing we need to know is the financial goals Ahmad wants to achieve. For example, are you going to use that money for a business start up? Are you going to save that money as your retirement fund?

However, I would assume that Ahmad wants to learn what he should be doing with the money within this five years in school to produce the best monetary outcome when he graduates in the future.

Suggestion to produce the best outcome

Ahmad is doing great with managing his money. I would say he is well ahead of most people around him, who are still studying. He doesn’t spend much. He can really save money.

My three suggestions are

1. Continue to accumulate and invest your money
Now, you can continue to accumulate your wealth using your proven strategies to save in ASB, Gold and FD. There are two other options you can consider – stock and unit trust. There are many Shariah compliant funds and also fundamentally strong companies to invest in. But before you make any investment decision, learn about this equity-type investment and the cost involved.

2. Invest to gain knowledge
You can take up some investment courses in the area most interest you. Some courses are not cheap, but most of the time, it is worth the money to pay hundreds or even thousands to attend the courses. You will be able to learn the tricks and knowledge to earn even more money.

Some courses you can consider include real estate investment, stock investment, self-development, business development and leadership program.

3. Invest to broaden your network
As a student, we are expected to spend most of our time for academic result. But in the real world, excellent academic result doesn’t ensure financial success.

“What you know” is important. But “what you know” will only produce the most financial reward when you know the right person. So “who you know” have to be coupled with “what you know” to give you the success you are looking for.

By all means, join some social works, networking groups, relevant societies and become a committee member. Being actively involved, you will show to the people around you that you are capable to getting things done. The trust relationship will be built along the way. This will be very useful when you doing business in the future.


When I was still a student, I don’t have much money to invest. But I have a lot of time. So I invest the time to gain knowledge and broaden my network.

Ahmad, you are even better. Your future profession is a very profitable career. Now you have time and also money. You can invest both time and money on the right area. I am sure you will succeed in a very short time.

Wish you all the best!


Personal finance author and trainer

    20 replies to "Investment Strategy for a Student"

    • […] if you wanna be street smart with your duit raya this year, consider investing as a way to prepare yourself for your future and free yourself from debt. But before we […]

    • coey

      Hi mr.kc lau.. I’m a first year student without income. I would like to know how to start invest. I have 10k in my saving account. Thank you.

      • KCLau

        @Coey, it is best to first invest in knowledge. Only invest your money at the place you know and comfortable with. I suggest that you pickup some books on stock investment. You can also engage some unit trust or investment consultant to know more about the option available to you. The easiest place to start is unit trust funds.

    • M. Alimuddin

      A first year student is 19 years old actually, since after SPM (18 y/o) he would have to take either foundations/A-level/matriculation for a year or even STPM for 1.5 years, except if he went to Egypt but that’s a different matter since it’s going to be 6 years.

      But that’s another issue.

      Well, I’m very impressed with Ahmad since I’m 19 and will enroll in UKM in September, and I don’t have that kind of money. RESPECT. I currently have few thousands in terms of assets in the form of my small business added with my ASB savings. That’s a long way for me to even reach his level.

    • firdausprudential

      1st year student = 18 years old.

      ASB savings: RM87 567.00, that would be from his parent. financial planning for your kids.

      to all parent, start savings for your kids since age 1 or before birth from Prudential (PRUmychild).

      my wife is pregnant now, and I want my kids to have more less amount 90K upon age 18. I plan to put rm200 monthly in investment link policy together with Critical Illness and medical card.

    • wsk

      it’s really impressed that Ahmad with young age has a total net worth above RM 100k because most students would not be in the same financial ability even it’s well known that there are some people really can do the same by starting own business, involving in direct selling etc. At this moment, I also hope that I can own RM100k…then, I can further my study oversea! 🙂 I m facing the problem to get start invest in stock. It’s really needs some time for me to figure the right way… K.C Lau, I would like to get some advice or your opinion regarding my situation. Like this, I have some money now(about RM 3k) for me to invest in stock market because i think it might be the best method for me to to generate more money. However , I don’t sure how to make $$$ by Investing in stocks .is it for short term? long term? what is meant by “CONTRA”? and where can I knw what’s the trend this year….Sorry for asking too many Questions…but hope that u can share with me your experience,like what precaution has to be taken before invest, how to knw which share I should buy, any website that you might want what to recommend so that I can lean more about Investing in stocks , how to minimise risk?

      Thank you.

      • KCLau

        Investing in stock is not as simple as you think. Even experts make mistake, and some are disastrous mistakes.
        Why not spend your effort to learn some money making skill – such as selling, and doing some freelance work.
        That’s will be more practical. Unless you are very interested in stock trading and learn the inside out (not easy though).

    • Kris

      Wow..so much money accumulated as a student..Yeah..he can try out shariah compliant mutual funds out there. 😛

    • Ryan @ Planting Dollars

      Good overall advice. Leverage your strengths, which in this instance is time, and use them down the road when you have the money to magnify and produce greater dividends with your knowledge.

    • kampunginvestor

      Such a young boy with that much of money. I wonder how did Ahmad end up with so much money at a young age? Is his parents giving him a high monthly allowances every month?

      To be able to save RM 1200 a month is not easy and furthermore he is a student. I am really curious how can he get so much money.

      If really his parents gives him so much of money and he is doing what he is currently doing, i take up my hat for Ahmad as does really knows how to save money! ^^

    • Woon Lip Fuey

      Many average investors don’t like to invest their time but invest their money, so they lost a lot of money. I think before do any investment, we should invest some money for some course or seminal etc to improve our knowledge and skill of investment.
      Ahmad’s life will be very very wonderful if he takes seriously in the education, then join to the fast track.and retire rich.

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    • ChampDog

      Ya, I agree. He looks like a pretty wealthy student and Gold + ASB seems like a pretty good strategy too for long term investment. Invest to gain knowledge is probably the next thing he should do and I bet he has already started. 🙂

    • RockYourVote.net

      The Best Investment Strategy for Students…

      Investment advice for a student…

    • me

      Dear Ahmad,
      You are definitely a lucky boy. As a first year student, you’re probably 18y/o and it is unlikely that the bulk of that 100k came from a day job’s salary.
      I’m assuming that most of your funds came from your parents. If that is the case
      1. You should thank them for their generosity and their guidance in choosing safe+high yield investment i.e. gold+ASB).
      2. You should be very careful with your investment decisions since this money is effectively your parent’s gift for your future development.
      3. Given the recent extreme volatility in the markets I would be very careful before making any equity-based investment.

      If this is your own hard earned money then I apologize for this flawed assumption.

    • Wong

      Wow, a student with more than RM100k net worth!! I’m so impressed! I graduated with RM10 each in my two bank account. I started everything with my parents money, include buying a new car and cloths for interview. Haizz…..regretted. I should start saving RM100/mth during my 4years study, then i can graduate with RM4800.

      Ahmad can start invest in unit trust such as Public Itikal Fund, syariah-complied fund, its pass history is impressive, with average 8-10% return per year. Ahmad can allocate RM800 for investment, RM400 in ASB or FD, for emergency use.

    • RU5H

      Hi KC,

      Been a reader of your blog for quite some time but this would be the 1st time i’m commenting here. Keep the good info coming & many thanks!

      Ahmad, it is amazing that you can save up RM1200 a month and what you currently have is truly outstanding for a student. Some working people might have trouble saving this much a month and i must say, Well done! Just take note to maintain or enhance your financial literacy further as when the money comes rolling, that is when the problem starts. Lets see your progress in a few years time 😉

      • KCLau

        Welcome ..
        You should comment more.
        I believe you will make a lot of like-minded friends here.

    • Mrcoolku

      He is indeed a smart student which I regret I did not. I graduated with no extra money and in debt with government’s loan. During the last year of uni times, I only started to pay attention to personal finance. XD
      I am sure Ahmad will retire earlier and retire rich in the future.

      • KCLau


        You won the book “Buat Duit Tanpa Makan Gaji” in the last contest.
        Please contact me with your snail mail address.

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