Portfolios Performances for the Quarter Ended 30 September 2022
Akru was founded by people with vast experience in investment banking, financial management and fintech. We are supported by an investment team with capital market licences from the Securities Commission Malaysia as well as experienced investment advisors.
How do I know when to start investing?
In our latest instalment of our ‘Ask Akru Now’ series, we’re answering the most popular, age-old question we get from friends and family.
Now that we’ve figured out an investment period, let’s understand compound interest. In very simple terms, compounding your interest means you’re earning returns on your returns. You’re taking the money you’ve earned from your investment and reinvesting it into the same plan.
Here’s an example based on an important goal: Say you want to plan for retirement, and you feel comfortable setting aside RM1,000 per month for 30 years. Even if you choose an investment product with a modest returns rate of 5% per year, you’ll be able to accumulate a total RM832,258 by the end of your plan.
Balance your debts and savings
Another common question we hear a lot in our line of work is whether we should pay off all of our debts before starting an investment plan. It’s a good question, and the answer is, well, a bit complicated.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that not all debt is created equally. Some debt is perfectly fine to have while you invest; the best example of this would be a home loan, as their interest costs are usually much cheaper than the returns you’ll earn from the property.
On the other hand, setting aside funds toward repaying expensive debts—such as high-interest credit card bills—could leave you financially better off, even if it means delaying your efforts to save and invest. It makes no sense to earn 10% returns from your investments while paying 18% interest on a credit card debt.
Expensive debts like credit card bills are strong examples of reverse compound interest working against you. If it means working towards the bigger picture of your investment strategy, then paying them off is a good idea.
Yes, now really is the right time
If you’ve gotten this far along in the article, you might still be wondering if now is the best time to begin investing, especially as the entire world is gradually, slowly coming out of the woods due to the global pandemic––and the simple answer, again, is yes, now.
Many Malaysians, especially young adults who’ve just started working, assume they don’t have enough money to become investors. We’re here to tell you: There are plenty of ways to dip your toe into the markets, and one of the easiest and best ways to invest well no matter how much money you have is to utilise a robo-advisor like Akru.
Akru can make your money work harder for you by investing in a globally diversified portfolio. No prior investment experience is required, and setting up an account is quick and easy. We also don’t charge you an arm and a leg, so the sooner you start investing the more interest you can compound—or accrue, to use our namesake.
Whether you’re able to set aside RM50 or RM500 per month; whether your investment period is five years or 50; Akru can recommend an investment portfolio that’s tailor-made for you.
Year-To-Date 3rd Quarter 2022 Market Review
So far in 2022, stubbornly high inflation, steep interest-rate hikes, recessionary worries, conflict in Europe, and the soaring US Dollar triggered severe asset-price volatility. The headwinds appeared to wane in July and August. However, markets were under pressure in late September as central banks continued tightening policy as inflation remained high and weaker than expected economic growth. But investors remained worried about high inflation, slowing economic growth and the potential cause of recession if for Fed raised interest rates too aggressively an aggressive Fed to cause a recession. The only source of comfort is that investor sentiment is very negative, and valuations provide the margin of safety, providing some reassurance that markets have already accounted for the bad news.
The US, Developed ex-US, and Emerging markets declined about 25% over 3 quarters. Rather than diversifying stock losses as seen in 2020, 2008 (Global Financial Crisis) and 2000-02 (Dot-Com Bubble followed by 9/11 and recession), bonds have plunged too. Rising interest rates have sent yields soaring and prices into freefall. The Morningstar US Core Bond Index and Global Treasury Bond Indexes were down 14% and 23% in 3 quarters.
Currently, the Morningstar US and Global ex-US indexes look more attractive based on P/E, dividend yield and Morningstar equity research-assigned valuation.
The US Dollar has benefited from Fed hawkishness and its safe-haven appeal during market volatility. In real trade-weighted terms, the US Dollar is the strongest since the Piazza Accord era of the mid-1980s.
Fear-Gripped Markets Could Present Long-Term Investment Opportunities
“I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” — Warren Buffett
For most investors, volatility is an enemy. Volatility leads to fear; fear leads to panic; panic causes poor decision-making. Investors fear markets could easily fall further, inflation could persist, the recession could rage, or the war in Ukraine could worsen.
Morningstar’s Annual “Mind the Gap” study highlights the difficulty in timing market entry and exit points. The “gap” refers to the shortfall between total and investor’s returns or an investment’s money-weighted returns, which adjusts for asset flows. The data consistently show that investors mistime their purchases and sales, as indicated below:
The research study also suggests that investors can improve their investment returns by:
• holding a small number of widely diversified funds;
• automating routines like rebalancing;
• avoiding narrow or highly volatile funds; and
• embracing dollar-cost averaging techniques.
In addition, down markets often present opportunities and offer better value for patient investors in the long term.
Past data and performance do not indicate future performance. Actual individual investor performance will vary depending on the initial investment, amount and frequency of contributions, allocation changes, taxes and fees during the time frame considered