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  • M+ Global Review Malaysia

    Interactive Brokers? Too complicated. Rakuten? Too limited. So, what can you use to trade US stocks? Let me introduce you to the newest kid on the block, M+ Global. A Comprehensive M+ Global Review (Mplus Global) Malaysia What is M+ Global (Mplus Global)? M+ Global is a global trading platform based in Malaysia with access to markets in the United States and Hong Kong. You’ll get to invest in stocks, warrants, ETFs, IPOs, bonds and many more with just a touch of a button. Started by Malacca Securities Sdn. Bhd., they have had 60 years of experience in our local investment landscape. They are also listed as a participating organisation under Bursa Malaysia as well as licensed by the Securities Commission Malaysia since 1963. So, you can say that they go way back (and are very trustworthy). Fees Account Opening Fee: RM11 Trading Fee: US$3/trade or 0.10% of trade value (whichever is higher). For reference, check the table below. Types of Accounts Malaysia Market 1. Cash Account When an investor opens a M+ Global Cash Account, they’ll be automatically opening a direct Central Depository System (CDS) account. This means the investor will own the stocks, and have access to corporate actions (such as dividend payments, rights issues, or bonus share distributions) and when the investor sells stocks, the funds will be directly deposited into their account. 2. Islamic Cash Account The Islamic Cash Account allows investors to engage in compliant investments according to Islamic principles. The account is established based on Islamic financial principles, avoiding interest-based transactions and investments related to non-Islamic businesses. 3. Collateralised Account In other words, M+ Global offers the option of opening a margin account through their Collateralised Account. Through this account, investors will be able to borrow money from the broker (in this case, Malacca Securities) to buy securities. Essentially, you deposit some money and the broker lends you the rest. However, do note that although margin trading has the potential to amplify gains, it also has the potential to amplify losses. So, do be wary of this if you choose to trade on margin. The investor will only need to pay for the purchase of those securities two working days after the transaction date (T+2). US & HK Market 1. Share Financing Margin Account Similar to the Collateralised Account for the MY market, when you open a share financing margin account, you'll be borrowing funds from Malacca Securities to buy US and HK securities. It's worth noting that, a margin account may bear interest and has no settlement deadline until a Margin Call is received. If the account's risk level reaches a certain threshold, the broker has the right to liquidate the securities in the account. Account Opening (Existing User from M+ Online) If you already have an account with M+ Online, you can now link it to your new M+ Global account for free. Here's how you do it in just 6 simple steps: 1. Click on the registration page. 2. Log in to the M+ Global application. 3. Select the account type. 4. Declare your tax residency. 5. Read and agree to the account opening agreement and relevant disclosures. 6. Provide an electronic signature. All that is left is to wait for your account approval before you can trade the world. How To Open A M+ Global Account: A Step-By-Step Guide (New User) I opened an account the other day and it literally only took 5 minutes! It’s so, so quick and easy to open. Follow these next few steps and you’ll be on your way to trading all the US stocks you want. 1. Fill in your Contact Information Click here and start filling out your contact information like your phone number, email address, and username. Make sure to use our invitation code: T30E. 2. Choose your preferred Market and Account Type If you’re new to investing, you can select Cash Account under the MY Market. Check that you also select the US Market and HK Market so that you’re able to trade in those markets. And if you'd like, you can also turn on the Share Margin Financing Account for the US and HK markets. 3. Proceed to Identity Verification Fill in your full name (as per NRIC), and MyKad number and proceed to their eKYC (snap pictures of the front and back of your IC as well as record a 2-4 seconds video selfie). Their verification will take less than 30 seconds to complete so it’s quite instantaneous. 4. Fill in your Personal Details Provide all details requested for this section such as your full name, gender, race, address, and marital status. 5. Provide your Employment and Spouse Details Similar to the previous section, fill in the details of your employment and if you have a spouse, fill in their details as well. 6. Verify your Financial Profile For this section, you’ll want to provide details on your preferred banking account that will be linked to your M+ Global account. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to provide proof of your bank statement which can easily be obtained through your email. Simply screenshot your bank statement and upload it in the requested section. 7. Determine your Investment Risk Profile In this section, you’ll be required to take a basic risk assessment. This is just to better understand what kind of investor you are, the investment goals you have in mind and the investing timeframe. This will not affect the choice of securities and markets that are made available to you. 8. Fill in your Tax Residency Typical to all trading platforms, you’ll need to provide your tax residency as well as your Tax Identification Number (TIN) for this section. 9. Declarations & Agreements and Disclosures Check all the boxes that apply to these two sections. 10. Confirm your registration Simply provide your digital signature and make the RM11 account opening fee to confirm your registration. Finally, wait 1-3 working days for your evaluation to process. And that’s it! 10 steps, 5 minutes, KAOTIM! Pros and Cons of M+ Global Competition may be tough for M+ Global with other more well-known brokerages out there like Interactive Brokers and Rakuten but I can confidently say that this new kid on the block has what it takes to take on all of them. So, here are some of the pros and cons of using M+ Global. Pros 1. Trade using MYR As M+ Global is based in Malaysia (and in some ways, made for Malaysians), you’re able to trade US and Hong Kong stocks with MYR. In under 3 minutes, you can fund your account in our local currency using FPX. So, there's no need to go through the hassle of opening an overseas account, funding it, linking it to the brokerage and undertaking all of those frills. 2. Over 200 licensed dealer representatives Facing trouble while using the platform? Just reach out to their customer support team! They’re available 24 hours a day to assist you in any way. In comparison, all this while as a Malaysian we've only had the option of using overseas brokerage so getting assistance is quite difficult, especially if we take into account the timezone difference. However, with M+ Global, since it's locally based, help is readily available whenever you need it. 3. Real-time access to the market Get real-time access to NASDAQ, NYSE and HKEX prices and data. This way, you’ll get to observe the changing market conditions and decide if you’d like to trade instantly on the security. 4. Offers Shariah-compliant filtered stocks M+ Global has partnered with IdealRating Inc, to offer a comprehensive list of Shariah-compliant investments for our Muslim friends. Simply click on the button that says “Shariah” and you’ll get to see all the US and HK securities which are compliant. For your information, IdealRatings Inc. has a global presence, serving clients like JP Morgan and Bloomberg. 5. User-friendly and comprehensive The entire account opening process can be done digitally in less than 5 minutes. Their app is also very intuitive, clean and simple to use. At the same time, they offer various tools like a watchlist, news and quote marketplace. Cons 1. Unable to buy fractional shares If you’ve used Interactive Brokers (IBKR), you’ll know of their feature to buy fractional shares. Fractional shares allow investors to own a portion of a share, enabling more accessible and affordable investment opportunities. Unfortunately, M+ Global doesn’t have this feature… yet. However, the platform has plans to offer US fractional shares in the near future. Looks like we’ve just gotta stay tuned for it then. 2. Limited market access At the time of writing, M+ Global only offers access to the US and Hong Kong markets. Other markets like Europe, Canada, and the Asia Pacific are still not available; so hopefully it’ll be added on soon. 3. It’s still new M+ Global just launched this year so it’s still too new to tell or have a proper user review. There are also several features that haven’t been made available like fractional shares (as mentioned previously), Hong Kong IPOs and option trading. So at least that’s something to look forward to. Our Verdict I’ve played around with their app for a few days and have deposited a fair amount of funds in the app. Honestly, I have to say, the platform is very intuitive and easy to understand. I can get information like the market overview, sector and top stocks performance, specifically diving into each stock's financial analysis easily without having to Google search for anything. The best part is that I can create a watchlist of all the stocks I want to keep an eye on, label them according to their sector, for example, and then track them to the indices I prefer. I also get to receive the latest market news as well as curated news based on my watchlist. Free Palantir Stock For First RM2,000 Deposit Currently, M+ Global also has an offer to receive 1x Palantir stock if you deposit RM2,000 into their account. Conclusion Overall, if you’re new to investing, I highly recommend M+ Global because their platform is genuinely so easy to use and you don’t have to worry about converting your money or any of that. I hope this M+ Global Review helps especially if you're based in Malaysia. Again, click here to sign up for M+ Global and don’t forget to use our invitation code: T30E. Disclaimer This is not an investment advice. All content produced is solely for education and entertainment purposes only. Please consult your financial advisor before making any investment decision. Subscribe to our financial newsletter for the latest news, insights, and advice on personal finance, investing, and more. With every email, you’ll gather the confidence and knowledge to make informed decisions to achieve your financial goals.

  • 5 Types of Health Insurance You Need At Different Life Stages In Malaysia

    If there’s one aspect of financial savviness that cannot be ignored, it has got to be the ability to secure yourself and your future. A safety net, one could say. But it’s also arguably one of the most “annoying” facets of financial planning and that is health insurance or takaful. Not only are these policies an important part of your own financial planning but it’s also paramount in looking out for the well-being of yourself and your loved ones, especially during unforeseen circumstances. As we progress through various life stages, our healthcare needs evolve, making it important to have the right health insurance coverage in place. In this article, we will explore the five types of health insurance that Malaysians need at different life stages. Young Adults (Late Teens - Early 30s) Young adults ranging from late teens to early 30s are advised to get medical insurance. This group of people, often in the early stages of their careers, may have limited savings. This is why medical insurance is crucial as it offers financial protection against unexpected healthcare expenses like coverage for hospitalization, surgeries, and outpatient treatments. A medical insurance/takaful or medical card, ensures young Malaysians are able to access quality healthcare without the worry of hefty bills. After all, we will never know when we might fall sick, right? Typically, the average cost of medical insurance in Malaysia can range from RM100 to over RM300 per month, depending on your individual age, health risks and your chosen product's coverage and terms. Generally, the younger you are, the cheaper your policy will be. Here are some medical insurance/takaful plans you can explore: FWD Insurance Medi First by BSN AIA A-Plus Health Medical Card Manulife ManuEZ-Med Medical Card Middle-Aged Adults (Mid-30s - Early 50s) Individuals in their mid-30s to early 50s are encouraged to sign up for critical illness insurance. This is because middle-aged individuals face an increased risk of critical illnesses like cancer and heart disease. The way critical illness insurance works is that it provides a lump-sum payout upon diagnosis, helping cover medical treatments, debts, and other financial obligations during a challenging time. On average, critical illness insurance premiums in Malaysia can range from RM500 to RM1,500 per year for a basic coverage plan. However, more comprehensive plans with higher coverage limits and additional benefits may cost more. Here are some critical illness insurance/takaful plans you can explore: Allianz Prime Care (Plus) Prudential Total Multi Crisis Care FWD Insurance CI Intense Shield by BSN Pre-retirees and Retirees (Late 50s onwards) Although relevant for individuals across all age groups, those who are especially nearing retirement or are already retired are encouraged to have a life insurance policy. A policy like this provides you with a safety net for loved ones, covers debts and final expenses, aids in estate planning and business continuity, and can support legacy and charitable giving even when you have passed on. It can also address health and long-term care needs and offers potential tax benefits. It’s hard to say what the average cost of life insurance is because it depends on a variety of things like your gender, medical exam, lifestyle preferences and affordability. According to RinggitPlus, it all boils down to: How much are you willing and can you afford to pay and; what your long-term financial needs are. Here are some life insurance/takaful plans you can explore: FWD Insurance i-FlexCover by BSN Etiqa Ezy-Life Secure Zurich TermLife All Ages Finally, regardless of your age, there are two health insurance/takaful you can consider applying for and that is disability insurance and accident insurance. Disability insurance is crucial because it safeguards your income if you're unable to work due to a disability or injury. It helps maintain financial stability, covers essential expenses, and prevents the depletion of savings in case of an unexpected disability. Here’s a list of disability insurance/takaful you can check out: AIA A-LifeLink 2 FWD Insurance WealthLink Pro by BSN Prudential PRUWealth Enrich Meanwhile, accident insurance provides financial protection in case of unexpected accidents, as the name would suggest. Think about it, accidents can happen to anyone, and they usually result in big medical bills, hospitalization, and even long-term disability. So, accident insurance offers a financial safety net, covering these costs and providing peace of mind, ensuring that you have the means to recover without facing a significant financial burden. Here’s a list of accident insurance/takaful you can check out: RHB Max Personal Accident Insurance AmGeneral AmPro PA Plus Kurnia Star Personal Accident Insurance Why I Think Health Insurance Is Important Throughout Different Life Stages In Malaysia I totally understand why some people find the topic of insurance a bit bothersome. More often than not, it’s linked to annoying agents who relentlessly push policies, use complicated jargon that feels like a foreign language, and the seemingly never-ending paperwork. It's as if the insurance industry has its own secret code that only a select few can decipher. But here's the thing – behind all that complexity lies a straightforward truth: insurance is about protection. It's about having a safety net when life takes an unexpected turn, a financial shield to safeguard your loved ones, and a means to ensure that your hard-earned dreams are not derailed by unforeseen events. Personally, from my own experience as a young adult, grappling with the uncertainties of early career life and recognizing the need for medical insurance, to witnessing friends and family in their middle years facing the harsh realities of critical illnesses. And as we approach retirement or embrace it fully, we realize the significance of a life insurance policy that not only protects our loved ones but also reflects our values and commitments. So, while the process may seem cumbersome, the peace of mind health insurance offers, especially at different life stages in Malaysia is undeniably worth it. It's like having a reliable umbrella in a sudden downpour – you may not appreciate it until you really need it, but when you do, you'll be grateful it's there. Subscribe to our financial newsletter for the latest news, insights, and advice on personal finance, investing, and more. With every email, you’ll gather the confidence and knowledge to make informed decisions to achieve your financial goals.

  • RON95 Petrol Subsidy: M40 Hit The Hardest

    Malaysia government announces RON95 petrol targeted subsidy for 2024 Earlier this week (27 November 2023), Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli finally announced the long-awaited RON95 petrol subsidy programme that will be introduced in the second half of 2024. This is part of its targeted subsidy programme to replace the current blanket policy which in Rafizi’s words, “has allowed the top 20 per cent (T20) households to become 53 per cent of the recipients, and is deemed unsustainable.” The transition to targeted subsidies is seen as a crucial step in strengthening the country's fiscal position, especially in light of soaring global crude oil prices. The government, having shouldered a substantial subsidy burden in the past, views this shift as a necessary measure to maintain economic stability. In 2022, the subsidy expenditure for fuel and energy was notably high at over RM80 billion, with the T20 group benefiting from a significant portion of this expenditure. Currently, RON95 costs RM2.05 per litre – a subsidised price and is available to everyone regardless of household income. How will the government implement the RON95 petrol and diesel targeted subsidy? According to NST, the RON95 petrol as well as the earlier-announced diesel targeted subsidy is set to roll out following the completion of the Central Database Hub, Padu. Padu, which is currently 60% complete, is designed to offer a comprehensive view of a household's economic situation by considering factors beyond income, such as household size, education levels of dependents, location, and vehicle ownership. This system aims to minimize errors in subsidy allocation and ensure that assistance reaches the most deserving groups. As The Edge and NST put it, the government plans to implement the (subsidy) programme using three mechanisms: #1 Subsidy Based on Individual Net Income The first method involves providing subsidies based on an individual's net income. This will be determined through a social protection scheme, ensuring that those in need at the individual level receive the necessary support. #2 Subsidy Based on Household Net Income The second approach looks at the net income of households. This method will combine aspects of social protection and social assistance, offering a more holistic view of a household's financial status to determine subsidy eligibility. #3 Combined Individual and Household Net Income Eligibility The third method integrates both individual and household net income criteria. Here, a card subsidy system will be implemented, likely simplifying the process of subsidy allocation and ensuring that it reaches the right beneficiaries. The decision to implement these methods follows extensive preparation, including a nationwide survey conducted in June to ascertain the most suitable methods for subsidy rollout. In addition to public input, the government has been in discussions with various ministries and financial bodies since May including the Finance Ministry, the Domestic and Consumer Affairs Ministry, the Prime Minister's Economic Planning Unit, and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). However, the final plan for subsidy implementation will be announced following cabinet approval set to occur in November. What do experts think of this move? Most economists commend the government for this move – although it took longer than expected, however, most of their concerns lie with the implementation of the targeted subsidy. As reported by NST, Putra Business School economic analyst Associate Professor Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff and Professor of Economics, Geoffrey Williams from the Malaysian University of Science and Technology said Padu needed to be comprehensive and well-tested before the (subsidy) programme roll-out. Williams also suggested three alternate ways the Madani government can roll out the programme: Suggestion #1: Gradually eliminate all RON95 petrol subsidies, increasing prices for everyone, but compensate low-income earners through cash transfers. Suggestion #2: Differentiating petrol prices based on income levels. This could involve either charging higher-income earners more for RON95 petrol or providing low-income earners with reduced prices through the use of discount cards or vouchers. This will be the likely way that the subsidy will be implemented, as previously mentioned in this article. Suggestion #3: Implement a tiered pricing system where the cost of RON95 petrol increases with higher consumption, effectively targeting subsidies and encouraging the use of electric vehicles for environmental benefits. Williams favoured this approach for its efficiency and eco-friendliness. RON95 petrol targeted subsidy: A good thing or bad for M40 and B40? In my view, while the RON95 petrol targeted subsidy reflects a commendable effort by DS Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government to adopt a more sustainable and equitable approach to fuel pricing for the rakyat, its effectiveness will largely depend on the government’s ability to accurately identify and assist those in need. According to The Edge, experts have said that targeted fuel subsidies could hit the middle-income group (M40s) the hardest, as the top 20% of income earners (T20) will be better able to absorb the higher fuel costs while the bottom 40% of households (B40) will be eligible for handouts to buffer the resulting higher inflation. And I agree with this. While the targeted subsidy aims to provide relief to the lower-income group, its impact on the M40 group raises concerns. There is a risk that the middle-income group might face a squeeze in their spending power due to the removal of blanket subsidies and the rising cost of living. I think then, the government’s challenge will be to balance the need for fiscal prudence with ensuring equitable support for all segments of the population, particularly the M40 group, which forms a substantial part of Malaysian society. What do you think of the RON95 petrol targeted subsidy programme? We would love to hear from you. Subscribe to our financial newsletter for the latest news, insights, and advice on personal finance, investing, and more. With every email, you’ll gather the confidence and knowledge to make informed decisions to achieve your financial goals.

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