When Ken was queuing up for his usual cup of iced latte, a former colleague, Johan patted on his back.
Johan: ‘Ken, sudah lama tak jumpa. How are you, bro?’
Ken: ‘I’m fine.’ Jokingly, he asked: ‘Are you here for a drink?’
Johan: ‘Eh … Tak ada lah. I’m still fasting, bro.’
They later found a quiet spot and began to catch up. Like Ken, Johan was just killing time as his wife Atiqah went shopping.
Ken: ‘Kerja mana sekarang?’
Johan: ‘The same company that you left some years ago.’
Ken: ‘How’s life?’
Johan: ‘Sama je, nothing special. I’m just surviving only. Not like you bro, sudah kaya raya. Haha …‘
Ken: ‘Haha … That’s not true, belum sampai lagi. Now, I’m still inching one step at a time towards financial independence.’
Johan: ‘Wow … that’s impressive. Ken, if you don’t mind me asking, ‘How does a person attain financial independence?’ Personally, I always admire one who has achieved it and wish that I could be financially free someday in the future, too.’
Johan asked a valid question. Like most working adults, Johan is appreciative of the virtues of financial planning. But, he is clueless on how to start planning for his finances.
Ken: ‘I believe there are many ways of one achieving financial independence. As for me, I think the first step is to get ourselves a financial plan. In a way, it’s kind of like Waze.’
Ken continued: ‘For instance, we use Waze to direct us from our current location to our desired destination. Similarly, a financial plan is one that directs us from where we are financially to where we want to be in the future.
Impressed, Johan commented: ‘Wow … I’ve never looked at it that way before. You really do know a thing or two about financial stuff. ’
Johan asked: ‘Ken, what’s in a financial plan?’
Ken: ‘Usually, it consists of three things: Wealth Preservation, Wealth Protection and Wealth Accumulation.’
Pillar #1: Wealth Preservation
Johan: ‘So, the first one is wealth preservation. What is it about?’
Ken: ‘It’s about saving money. It’s good to have spare cash for a rainy day while earning some interest if they are not used.’
Johan: ‘Good idea. Two questions, bro. First, what’s the point of saving money if the Ringgit keeps on dropping? Second, I’m a Muslim. I’m not into conventional FDs.
You know what I’m saying?’
Ken: ‘Good that you pointed that out. Recently, I spoke to Ramli, Bank Manager of UOB Malaysia. He briefly introduced me to three Islamic accounts, which I think, may be suitable for you.’
Johan: ‘Really … What are they?’
Ken: ‘The three accounts have different features. So, it depends on your reasons for opening the accounts. They are:
- FD Plus-i
It’s UOB Malaysia’s Islamic FD account where its capital is guaranteed, offers fixed competitive profit rate, and more importantly, it credits in profits into your savings account on a monthly basis – not upon its FD’s maturity. So, if you are into getting higher profit rates and stable income for your savings, then, you may consider FD Plus-i.
- Foreign Currency Call Account-i
It protects you from a fall in Ringgit’s value against major currencies of the world. Through FCCA-i, you may save in 11 different key currencies. To name a few, they include AUD, SGD, USD, EUR, and Sterling Pound. The full list of the accepted currencies is easily accessible on the Bank’s website.
- ProSave Account-i
It’s a Shariah-compliant savings account which comes with as much as RM 10,000 in complimentary takaful coverage that covers death, total permanent disability, and 36 critical illnesses. How often do you enjoy takaful coverage by just opening a savings account in Malaysia?
Johan: ‘Wow, they all look impressive to me! Looks like I need to check them out in greater detail. I think I might need to speak to Ramli after this.’
Ken: ‘Great, I’ll pass Ramli’s contact details to you later. As for now, are you ready to find out the next pillar needed in your financial plan?’
Johan: ‘Absolutely … What is it?’
Pillar #2: Wealth Protection
Ken: ‘It’s a protection plan. Since you’re a Muslim, I think it’s good that you are covered with takaful because you have Atiqah and children. It will safeguard their financial future.’
Johan: ‘So, what does UOB Malaysia have to offer in terms of takaful?’
Ken: ‘Here’s what I know. They have a product known as Smart Secure Takaful underwritten by Prudential BSN Takaful Berhad. It has several interesting features such as:
- Annual Cash Payouts
It’s payable after the end of 2nd certificate term until its policy expires. The amount payable is explained in greater detail here.
- No Medical Examination
Fast and hassle-free application to enjoy as much as RM 300,000 per life in Basic Sum Coverage via the plan’s Guaranteed Issuance Offer (GIO).
- Wealth Distribution via Hibah
Your beneficiaries would enjoy full rights over the Hibah. Thus, it allows them to receive their Hibah as quickly as 14 days, saving them from going through a prolonged inheritance procedure.
Johan: ‘Noted. I haven’t given much thought about this for a while now. I think, it would be great to start reflecting on this.’
Ken: ‘Awesome. Pillar #2 is about you building a defensive wall to safeguard the financial future of your family.’
Johan: ‘Then, what about Pillar #3?’
Pillar #3: Wealth Accumulation
Ken: ‘Pillar #3 is about going on the offence. It’s about investing your money for growth, hence, allowing you and Atiqah to enjoy a sustainable and comfortable lifestyle upon your retirement.’
Johan: ‘Great! Defence and offence. Sounds like football to me.’
Ken: ‘Well yes, in a way, having a financial plan is likened to a formation planned out before a football game. It is similar to deciding how many strikers, midfielders, and defenders and who you would like to put in before the start of the match. If you view it that way, then, planning your finances would be a lot more fun.’
Johan: ‘But … there’s one problem. I don’t know how to invest. Is there anyone who can invest on behalf of me?’
Ken: ‘I think, if you are the type who is not interested in learning about investing or have little time to manage your portfolio, but yet, wish to invest in either a local or global fund, then, you may choose to invest in a Shariah-compliant unit trust fund. There are plenty of funds for you to choose from.’
Ken continued: ‘For UOB Malaysia, they have a total of 17 Shariah-compliant Unit Trust funds, inclusive of the new United-i Global Balance Fund from UOB Asset Management (Malaysia) Berhad.’
Johan: ‘How do I choose which of these funds to invest in?’
Ken: ‘You may start by completing their proprietary My Wealth Planner form to better understand your risk tolerance and investment objectives. You can choose one or more funds according to your investment profile.’
Here Comes the Wife …
One hour later, Atiqah walked into the cafe loaded with shopping goods.
Atiqah: ‘Ken, lama tak jumpa. How are you doing?’
Johan: ‘Sayang … I was just talking to Ken and he gave me plenty of useful financial advice.’
Atiqah: ‘Really … I bet you guys had a great time just now.’
Ken: ‘We did.’
Johan: ‘Bro, how do I get in touch with Ramli, the Bank Manager?’
Ken shared Ramli’s contact details and the link to UOB Malaysia’s full suite of Islamic Wealth Management Solutions for his reference. It was nearly 5 p.m. and Johan and Atiqah needed to prepare dinner to break their fast. Thus, they parted ways and Ken headed home fulfilled after a nice catch-up with Johan.
Disclaimer: The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this article are fictitious to demonstrate UOB’s latest product offering.