Thursday, February 11, 2016

Selling Low and Buying High

From the Malaysian Insider (excerpt):

Scandals, weak ringgit spurring Malaysians abroad to cash out EPF funds
Some Malaysians are making the drastic choice of renouncing their citizenship to withdraw their EPF savings before the age of 55. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 11, 2016.
When Joanne Koo first emigrated to Australia with her young family six years ago, she never planned on renouncing her citizenship as she was eager to hold on to her Malaysian ties, savings and investments.
However, earlier this month, Koo and her husband made a trip to Kuala Lumpur to surrender their Malaysian passports for the sole purpose of making a full withdrawal of their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings. (Savers are allowed full withdrawal at age 55.)
“It was never on our mind to take what my elders see as a drastic step (of renouncing our citizenship). But we’ve been monitoring the situation in Malaysia for a few years now, and we’re not confident,” she told The Malaysian Insider.
Koo, 44, is one of thousands of overseas Malaysians who have been spooked by the financial scandals and political instability plaguing the country over the past two years, and who have decided to withdraw their retirement savings to “safer environments”.
 Here's the Aussie Dollar in Ringgit terms over the last six years (2010-2015; monthly averages):
The average exchange rate over the period is AUD0.329 to RM1, compared to AUD3.23 in Dec 2015. The average for December 2015 was just 0.57% lower than the average for January 2010. The average for 2015 as a whole was actually 0.84% higher than for 2014. Anybody talking about the "weak" Ringgit should be aware of how equally "weak" the Aussie Dollar has been.

Now if you are talking purely about investment returns or political scandals you might have an argument, but using the "weak" Ringgit is a poor excuse.

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