In this small community of personal financial bloggers, most probably we will know each other or eventually know each other. Recently I’ve been connected to another Penang-Kia named Stev Yong who is the founder of My Personal Finances or MyPF. If you have ever been to their website, you are able access many information regarding personal finance & investment. They even offer consultancy service related to financial education.
From time to time, whenever I get to know someone in this space, I will always ask them if they are willing to share a glimpse of themselves & their personal finance journey to BBM readers. I hope you guys enjoy the latest interview.
1. Can you give our readers a short introduction about yourself?
Hi BBM Grasshoppa! Stev here the Founder & CEO of My Personal Finances. MyPF is a leading award winning financial education platform to help you simplify and grow your personal finances. I’m also the CKO (no knockouts but the Chief Knowledge Officer) of Wealth Vantage Advisory Sdn Bhd; which is Malaysia’s Top 5 independent financial advisory firms and a licensed financial planner. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my loved ones, and serving in church and Bible study.
I have always enjoyed writing and started blogging before it was known as blogging. After leaving employment 7 years ago, I felt a calling or vocation to help people grow, especially in personal finance. MyPF.my started from being a single writer/editor/“PSPH*” to today where we have a close-knit team that strives to produce awesome content daily!
*PSPH: pau sua pau hai (Hokkien): literally doing anything and everything.
3. What is your financial goal?
I maintain a personal mission and goals statement which I review weekly. Financially on the near term is to surpass the RM1 Million investment portfolio goal, followed by a medium term financial independence goal, and a long term financial abundance goal.
You can read 7 Stages of Financial Independence to learn more.
4. Where do you learn about investing or financial planning?
Learning about investing was through the school of hard knocks, and learning from my own/others achievements and mistakes. I started my investment journey in my early teens with unit trusts in the 90s, and then progressing to stocks and other investments. Financial planning was a mix of self-learning and structured learning through a Certified Financial Planning (Cert TM) program. I continue to learn to this day through continuing professional development (CPD) programs, client queries, and articles on MyPF or other financial sites.
5. Can you share a glimpse of your investment portfolio or what are you currently investing in?
My asset class allocation is approximately as follows:
– Fixed deposits/cash: 3%
– Fixed income: 22%
– Equities: 54%
– Property: 20%
– Others: 1%
6. Do you track your spending? If yes, how?
I tracked every single transaction for close to two decades. Today, I track only overall budget categories allocation as the time required versus the utility I get for granular visibility is minimal. Once an automated budget expense tracking solution is available in Malaysia (or if MyPF launches one), I may just start again.
7. What is your worst financial or investment decision you ever made?
An “investment” into a MLM ponzi scheme, when I just started working, losing some RM30,000. Lifelong lessons learnt include on due diligence, to not be greedy, and that people who appear rich/famous/intelligent are not necessarily ethical.
8. How do you define success in your life?
In a simple sentence: Time and financial freedom with loved ones.
9. Any advice to the readers on investment or financial planning?
Paraphrasing a couple of Warren Buffett quotes, “You can sit in the shade tomorrow if you plant a tree today” and “Focus on the forest, and not the tree in front of you”. Start early, allocate wisely, and have a plan.
THANK YOU Stev for taking your time to complete this interview. Looking forward to work with you for more future opportunity.