Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012 - The Story Continues

2012 hasn't been great, but hasn't been that bad either.

After entering the "Big 30" club, it's like I am forced to grow up overnight. Now into the 2nd year of this phase of my life, i think i am starting to get used to it.

With the depreciation in the value of money while the property prices keep on rising, it is indeed a huge pressure for us to keep up. For now, we are still thankful that we have a small hut to live in, but if you think through it, things would be very challenging for our next generation.

The property prices in our regional countries (big cities at least) are way more expensive than what we have in KL. Let it be Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta or Ho Chi Minh, KL's property is surprisingly at an "Affordable Level".

In Malaysia, it is apparent that Wealth Gap is widening at an alarming pace. Well, the increase in social issue + crime rate is positively link to the widening of Wealth Gap. We used to have a fat layer of Middle Income group but now, this group is dividing into 2 groups, one leaning towards the "Rich", and one leaning towards the "Poor".

For a lot of my peers, they are continuously and proactively looking for investment opportunities. This is a positive thing for the country, but of course this is because they are also looking for a Social Class Upgrade. Some, they chose to be more passive and believe that savings, rather than investment, is the way to go.

Both school of thoughts have their own merits, however, we shouldn't work in silo and believe that everything else will be ceteris paribus (Latin terms used in Economics to describe "All Else Remains Unchanged"). When we are moving, the society, economy and the globe are moving as well.

The key here is, if you are looking for a social class upgrade, you would need to Outpace everyone else.

You see, if the country's social welfare & education system is good, we do not need to fight for survival by outpacing everyone else. However, we do know that in Bad Times, we will have no one to rely on but ourselves.

Official stats or numbers on cost of living shows that Malaysia is among the lowest. Indeed it is. But every household's earnings must be sufficient to cover the daily expenses + indulgence, while a huge portion of the income will need to go to a Rainy Day Fund. We would need to save up for insurance premium, emergency funds for medical bills, maintenance bills and other miscellaneous, kids' education fund etc. If you add all this together, that's a totally different story and the cost of living in Malaysia is extremely high for all of us.

Recent President Barack Obama's speech particularly moved me. He mentioned about the importance of education and medical welfare for the people, which I am totally in agreement with him. This is what we are lacking in Malaysia, a sense of Security where our present + future will be protected.

As a matter of fact, it would be tough to rely on the government to make any drastic change, and in avoidance to drop further in the Social Class Rank, i think it's time for us to work hard, invest & divest and save for the future. It ain't gonna be any easier if you don't do anything, now.

It's action time.

No comments: