For the absolute beginner, getting into investments of any kind can be a little daunting. After all, the idea of taking hard-earned money and putting it into some form of security, then leaving it to market forces to decide whether or not you win or lose doesn’t exactly inspire plenty of confidence—at least to the uninitiated.
Ask most seasoned investors about their experiences and they’ll tell you that when done right, it all can be very rewarding—the excitement of adding a new entry to the portfolio, the research and hard work done to make sure an investment is the right one, and the satisfaction when an investment does well in the end.
Today, with the widespread availability of apps, social networking, and speedy connectivity, the options for investments are vast, spelling good news for those looking to invest some capital for the first time.
For those new to the party, here’s a list of 5 investment opportunity types that are modern and have a relatively low barrier of entry, making it easier for new investors to start their portfolios, with a special skew towards Malaysian-based opportunities.
1. Real Estate
Right at the top of the list is the path of property investment. While not exactly the most modern entry on this list, real estate is still ever-popular due to the relative stability of the property market.
Of course, getting into the property market immediately probably isn’t an option for new investors in the traditional sense. Usually, you need a considerable amount of money to get started, you have to wait long for property prices to appreciate, there are many factors to consider before selecting a property to invest into, and there are always the chance of a downturn in the market.
But lately there have been options that make it friendlier for newbies, especially those who don’t want to commit large financial sums into a property. More specifically, we’re talking about property crowdfunding platforms that let you invest your capital into portions of properties and allow you to profit off the appreciation in value, although the mechanics differ from platform to platform.
Although the tremendous hype surrounding crypto has died down a bit lately, it seems that its ecosystem is still alive and well, with the volatility that saw crypto exchanges come and go so quickly also apparently diminishing every day.
Right now there are plenty of options for those wishing to invest into crypto, with there being the option to buy pieces of crypto instead of buying whole coins. For example, you can start off by spending amounts as little as RM3 on exchanges like Luno to kickstart your crypto journey.
Be aware that while there are plenty of exchanges online, only a few can be considered completely trustworthy, and even fewer are available in Malaysia. For those that would like to take a look into it, here’s a list of Malaysia-based exchanges registered with Bank Negara to go through.
As always, be sure to do your research before getting into anything with risk involved.
3. Equity Crowdfunding
Gaining plenty of momentum over the years, the path of equity crowdfunding is another easy one to get into. The concept simple—a startup needs funds to grow their business, and instead of turning to angel investors or venture capitalists as is done traditionally, they instead turn to the general public to ask them for capital.
This process is usually done through a specialised crowdfunding platform, where anyone willing to invest can put in a sum of money in exchange for a stake in the business.
The funding usually ends when the targeted goal is met, very much like a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project, and investors can then look forward to reaping the rewards when their investments do well (hopefully). Usually, these rewards come in the form of yearly dividends from the profits made.
Equity crowdfunding deals have minimum entry amounts that differ from deal to deal and platform to platform, all depending on the valuation of the business. But you can sometimes expect to find deals that start at RM570 per share or even lower.
4. Peer-to-Peer Lending
Also another investment type that has grown in popularity lately, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is similar to equity crowdfunding in a sense that businesses turn to the general public in search of funding, but instead of giving up equity for funds, they take small loan amounts to be paid back with interest.
It’s a pretty simple concept and one that newbies can easily get into, with entry amounts sometimes going as low as RM50. In Malaysia, Fundaztic, Funding Societies, and QuicKash are some examples of P2P platforms that you can start with.
5. Robo Advisors
Imagine letting a robot take your money and trusting it to make profits while you sit back and relax. This is exactly what you get with investment management robo-advisors—a trend that is also quickly gaining more widespread recognition do to its relatively low entry barrier and also low risk rates.
This route is also one that is very easy to get into. For example with StashAway (one particular robo-advisor platform), you can invest amounts as small as RM100 and then proceed to let the platform work on your behalf. There is even an app that you can use to easily monitor the performance of your investment.
You can read our previous article on trying out StashAway here.
Be advised however that returns here can be slow, so don’t expect to make a quick buck.
Disclaimer: All forms of investments come with their own risks, so be sure to do your due diligence, and be especially careful of scams that promise guaranteed returns.