I have known Yap Ming Hui for ages.

For years, Yap is an advocate for independent financial advices. He believes any financial advice given should be tailor-made to the benefit of an individual and not as a result of  ‘sales pitches’ which primarily benefit both the salesperson and financial institutions that introduced their financial products.

Whitman, his firm offers customized wealth management solutions to high net worth clients ranging from successful entrepreneurs to high-flyers in corporate sectors across Malaysia. Yap himself had authored six best-sellers, appeared on NTV7’s the Breakfast Show, and shared his views on personal finance in various printed media such as The Edge, Business Times, The Star … etc.

I too, had featured him several times on my Live Webinars.

It has been years since we last contacted each other until … just recently, when he reached out and excitedly share about his latest breakthrough – a mobile app which provides DIY financial plan to its users. And get this, it is FREE!

Our WhatsApp chat call went like this:

KC: ‘Hi Yap, what’s up?’

Yap: ‘Hi KC, it has happened!  I finally have the resources and the technology to develop a Mobile App that would help Malaysians DIY a financial plan and help individuals  from all walks of life achieve financial freedom. It’s a dream come true, and guess what – 9 years in the making!.’

KC: ‘Wow! That’s cool. What’s the app?’

Yap: ‘It is called iWealth. You can download it from Google Play or App Store.’

KC: ‘Awesome!’

Yap: ‘Would you do me a favour? The app is a free tool.  Can you download it and give it a try. Let me know what you think about it. Okay?’

KC: ‘Sure. I’ll do that right away.’

iWealth

Shortly, I registered an account with iWealth. It was a quick and easy process.  The app then prompted me to fill in several basic particulars such as age, income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and my financial goals. Out of which, a chart (current roadmap to financial freedom) that projects my Net Worth over Time was plotted and shown to me. It looked like this::


From this initial interface, the user would be able to tell , whether or not, they  would accumulate sufficient wealth to fund their desired lifestyle until the age of 85 and beyond. If the users are not happy with what they see on their current roadmap e.g.my wealth ran out before reaching 85, the app allows you to adjust:

  1. My Return on Investment (ROI).
  2. My Expenses before and after Retirement
  3. My Financial Goals
  4. My Retirement Age

From there, iWealth would chart a new simulation called the  Improved Roadmap as shown below:

Personally, I find iWealth easy to use as I am able to quickly chart my net worth within 5 – 10 minutes after downloading the app. I believe this app is suitable to those who wants to DIY their own financial plan and importantly, serve as a good starting point for Malaysians who worry about their finances but do not know where to start. iWealth would be a good app to help you know where you stand, and what actions to take next.  I believe there are many of us out there, who wish we knew the ‘magic numbers’ to how much we need to save, to spend, to lavish, to invest, in order to achieve a peace of mind and importantly have enough resources to retire.

If you happen to be one of these people, you may check out the app at  iWealth.com.my or download the app free of charge (FOC) at:

Download Link: iWealth App on Google Play and App Store

In this article, I’ll like to share what I like about iWealth and perhaps, add a few pointers of improvement that could be made to enhance the users’ experience of the app.  So Yap, if you are reading this …….. here’s my honest review:

Like #1: It Considers Our Lifetime Income

Upon completion of the chatbot on the app, I was shown a projection of how much money i can possibly earn throughout my entire working career, i.e. the lifetime income earned until age 60 years. This figure is derived from the annual active income figure that I have entered.

I find this subtle revelation helpful for working adults.

As I write, many people, especially those who are in their 20s and early 30s, are not aware of how much money they can possibly earn in their lifetime and thus miss out on the full potential to capitalise on this information. It has led to many short-term financial decisions being made which could be harmful to a person’s financial wellbeing in the future.

With iWealth, we are able to see the big picture of our financial status over our lifetime. But further from this, by knowing one’s lifetime income, we get the opportunity to truly realise the extent of our money making capabilities. Hence, it helps us to be more purposeful and long-term focused when we make major financial decisions.

Like #2: It is a ‘Wake-Up’ Call to Achieve True Financial Freedom

Second, iWealth tells us, whether or not, we are on track to achieve true financial freedom. In layman terms, is your wealth growing fast enough?

When you input your financial information on the app, you are shown how much extra wealth (or not)  you will have at age 60. From here on,  users can navigate the app to see which strategy will give them the most wealth at age 60 (refer to image below).

There’s a difference between a financial calculator and an app which looks into your entire wealth in a holistic manner. iWealth is a holistic financial planning tool that takes into consideration all your financial goals, such as your home purchase, children’s tertiary education, retirement planning and more,  in its totality. In short, the app is able to give you a big picture view as to where you stand now in relation to your journey to achieve your financial freedom.

I am of the view that only by knowing clearly where we stand, we  will be able to increase our chances of success towards attaining true financial freedom.

If you find your wealth not growing fast enough, you would be able to take corrective actions ASAP to improve your financial success. As the saying goes, better sooner than later. .

Let’s put it this way, if you continue to manage and invest your money without a clear picture, you wouldn’t know if your actions are contributing and discounting to your financial freedom achievement. So, iWealth allows you to get out of such a conundrum.

Like #3: Tailor-made Financial Strategies.

Question: ‘What is the best way to achieve financial freedom?’

There’s no one definite way to grow wealth.  A combination of factors are at play in order to do this.

However, if you’d ask:

  1. A Unit Trust Consultant, he would say: ‘Invest in Unit Trust’.
  2. An Insurance Agent, he would say: ‘Get a Savings Plan.’
  3. A Stock Investor, he would say: ‘Invest in Fundamentally Good Stocks.’
  4. A Real Estate Investor, he would say: ‘Buy Real Estate’.

You get the picture. The answers above are generic and do not consider factors specific to each individual according to his/her current status and life objectives.

Unlike any other financial apps out there, iWealth offers users a snapshot of their present and future financial standing while generating a suite of personalised strategies to help users  get closer to achieving their financial goals. These strategies can be employed immediately to grow your wealth. iWealth will indicate if you need to:

  1. Increase Your Investment Return.
  2. Reduce Your Retirement Expenses.
  3. Reduce Current Expenses To Increase Your Savings.
  4. Delete or Reduce Some of Your Financial Goals.
  5. Reduce the Amount of Your Children’s Tertiary Education Fund (if any)
  6. Increase Your Retirement Age.

All of these methods are suggested after you have filled in your particulars such as your financial status, life objectives … etc. Thus, the suggestions given would be more tailor-made and specific to your personal financial needs.

Like #4: Flexible to Choose Your Preferred Strategies

Here is a good thing I like about iWealth.

Its end-users have the flexibility to choose or mix & match a combination of the strategies provided until they find themselves a preferred financial plan.  It’s akin to having your own financial Waze. Like Waze, iWealth helps users to identify a few alternative routes to reach their financial freedom destination. From those alternatives, users can then choose the best approach to achieve their financial goals.

As such, it is important for users to explore or go through various permutations with the app, to find the most effortless and preferred strategy to grow their wealth moving forward.Here, I’ll like to stress the following:

Planning is Good. Having the Right Answers is Great. But, Wealth is only Built if You Start Executing Your Financial Plan. Do not be Paralysed with Analysis.’

If you are not able to formulate your ideal financial plan in one sitting, not to worry.  

There is a function to save your details in the app so that you can log back in to where you left off to continue plotting your ideal plan. In fact, you may login to review and update your data for as many times as you wish after you have downloaded the app. You are also encourage to login from time to time to update your financial information if there are any changes to your circumstances e.g you received a promotion, you’re expecting another child and etc.

Minor Suggestion:  Breakdown of Assets Should be Given

I had noticed that there is no breakdown of assets given when I was required to fill in my financial particulars.

Instead, I was required to fill in one absolute figure for ‘assets’ and one amount in percentage for ‘return on investments’. I struggled to come out with the two figures, especially the latter one, for I invested into a diversified portfolio which consists of stocks, real estates, P2P financing … etc.

I may know the market value for each asset class of investments made. But, it is a challenge for me to quantify one absolute ROI figure for all of my investments in my portfolio as they are all yielding different ROI figures.

Therefore, I’ve WhatsApp Yap about it:

KC:’ Yap, is there a place to put in different asset classes in iWealth?’

Yap: ‘Don’t have, at the moment. Why did you ask?’

KC: ’Cause I have different investments in different asset classes. All of them are yielding different ROI figures.’

Yap: ‘Oic … For more detailed analysis and suggestions, you may choose to sign up for iWealth+ as it offers more features and financial advices are provided by my professional team of licensed financial advisers.’

KC: ‘Got it.’

In other words, iWealth is superb already. But, if you want to take your finances to the next level and are really serious about it, you may consider iWealth+. According to the website, iWealth+ is an advisor driven online wealth management mobile app which brings the best of human advisory element with fintech innovation. It’s supposed to offer a more comprehensive suite of strategies

All in all, iWealth is a very useful tool to have in your pocket. Potentially it can also be a wake up call for individuals who has never bothered to check in with their financial well being. If i may be bold to say, everyone, young and old should download this app so that they are aware of where they are – financially speaking. The sooner, the better.  You wouldn’t want to find out, when you are old and grey, that you don’t have the resources to retire comfortably, or that half way through your child’s tertiary education, you discover that you cannot afford it.

Download iWealth now, and get started to map your blueprint to financial success.


KCLau
KCLau

Personal finance author and trainer

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