4 Steps to Achieving Financial Merdeka
30 August 2022
Whether it’s having enough passive income to cover your living expenses or having the autonomy and luxury of time to choose what you want to do, financial freedom means different things to each of us.

Here are 4 steps that can help you kick-start your journey towards being financially independent.

1) Make a Plan
If you don’t know your destination, how do you even know if you’re on the right track? It’s important to first draw up a financial plan that maps out your objectives that is aligned with your own definition of what financial freedom means. Importantly, set definable goals with specific timeframes of when you can achieve them.

2) Manage and settle your debts
In Malaysia, the most common type of debts are personal loans and credit card debts. This is the main reason why many individuals are unable to achieve financial freedom. Therefore, the most important thing to do here is to revisit your finances in order to have your debts under control. List down what needs to be paid off first, specifically targeting high-interest ones first. Always make it a priority to pay off your debts every month to avoid it from snowballing.

3) Grow your savings by investing
A key element of financial freedom is to let your money work for you, so that you have time to invest in other ventures or passions. While saving is crucial, it is critical to also invest in order to stave off inflation and achieve the desired lifestyle you want in the future. Don’t be deterred if you can only invest in small amounts. Leverage on the power of compounding to earn returns on your returns and multiply your wealth.

4) Be patient and consistent
Most importantly, remember that the path to financial freedom is a tough journey. The journey to achieve financial freedom may take years to build your wealth and ride through the different cycles until you achieve your goals. But no matter what, always remain disciplined, invest regularly and you will be setting yourself up for success.

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This article has been prepared by Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (hereinafter referred to as “Affin Hwang AM”) specific for its use, a specific target audience, and for discussion purposes only. All information contained within this presentation belongs to Affin Hwang AM and may not be copied, distributed or otherwise disseminated in whole or in part without written consent of Affin Hwang AM.

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Managing Director
Teng Chee Wai is the founder of Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (Affin Hwang AM). Over the past decade, he has built the Company to be the fastest growing and only independent investment management house in Malaysia’s top three, with an excess of RM47 billion in assets under management as at 31 December 2018.​

​In his capacity as Managing Director / Executive Director, Teng manages the overall business and strategic direction as well as the management of the investment team. His hands-on approach sees him actively involved in investments, product development and marketing. Teng’s critical leadership and regular participation in reviewing and assessing strategies and performance has been pivotal in allowing the Company to successfully navigate the economically turbulent decade.

Teng’s investment management experience spans more than 20 years, and his key area of expertise is in managing absolute return mandates for insurance assets and investment-linked funds in both Singapore and Malaysia. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Assistant General Manager (Investment) of Overseas Assurance Corporation (OAC) and was responsible for the investment function of the Group Overseas Assurance Corporation Ltd.​

​Teng began his career in the financial industry as an Investment Manager with NTUC Income, Singapore. He is a Bachelor of Science graduate from the National University of Singapore and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Actuarial Studies from City University in London.
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