According to the Securities Commission Malaysia, high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) is defined as an individual whose:
a) Gross annual income exceeding 300,000 ringgit or its equivalent in foreign currencies in the preceeding twelve months
b) Who jointly with his or her spouse has a gross annual income exceeding 400,000 ringgit or its equivalent in foreign currencies
c) Total net personal assets or total net joint asset with his or her spouse, exceeding 3 million ringgit or its equivalent in foreign currencies, excluding the value of individual’s primary residence
d) Total net investment portfolio (whether personally, or jointly with his or her spouse), in any capital market products exceeds RM1 million or its equivalent in foreign currencies.
This would make us wonder who these people are, what do they do and what are their belief systems? More importantly, how did they get to where
they are today and how can we embark on the same journey?
With years of experience in managing high-net-worth individuals in Malaysia where 80% of them are self-made millionaires, I have identified seven successful habits that most of them have.
1. They Are Good Active Listeners
They are not as arrogant as others think they might be. They leave their cup empty every time they meet someone, helping them strengthen their
perspectives on different issues. They’re not just actively seeking feedback from others; they would also listen to understand the other party.
Active listening helps them build strong relationships, as well as gain a deeper understanding of their friends, staff and colleagues. This would
greatly help in developing their own sense of empathy and improving their communication skills.
2. They Leverage
Most high-net-worth individuals in Malaysia are fully aware of their own weaknesses. Therefore, they know the importance of leverage and why they would never work alone. They work on their strengths while leveraging their weaknesses on others.
For example, they know they can make money in the stock market but might not have the time to manage it themselves. They prefer to have a trusted and reputable fund manager to manage their investments and to have a financial planner advise and monitor it for them.
In my observation, many of them succeed because they focused on their strengths and figured out a way to outsource their weaknesses. If they do not possess a particular skill, they would delegate it to someone who is great at doing it, so they could focus on the bigger picture and have more time and mental energy to execute it.
3. They Create Their Own Future
A lot of high-net-worth individuals in Malaysia would not take no for an answer and are willing to go the extra mile to achieve what they want. They are persistent which enables them to create their own luck and opportunities in order to reach their lives’ objectives and financial goals.
For example, they would love to see what kind of financial mistakes they can possibly make, and will look up creative plans and solutions to protect
and preserve their wealth. They are also always on the lookout for alternate routes to be financially successful.
4. They Make Full Use Of Their Time
Time is very valuable. The high-net-worth individuals in Malaysia know how to prioritise matters and would not simply waste their time engaging in useless conversation or mindless activities. All their activities will be related to creating value, even though while having fun.
For example, choosing to spend time listening to audiobooks during work commutes. When they tune in, they will choose a channel that is insightful for their mind and soul. Most of them will wake up early in the morning and find time to exercise regularly and keep themselves healthy.
HNWIs are always looking to develop new skills to empower themselves. For example, they will go for activities like swimming, diving, and shooting to equip themselves with life skills.
5. They Are Constantly Learning
Constant learning and self-improvement are top priorities for most high-net-worth individuals in Malaysia. They love to read and choose economics, finance, technology and self-help books that can add value to their lives. They would also develop and commit to a routine, even when they don’t feel like doing it. This is because they understand the importance of sticking with their routines and habits to keep on growing.
“They commit to themselves in doing rather than daydreaming.”
6. They Network
It is very important to surround yourself with people who share the same vision and are capable of making their dreams come true. They will commit their energy, focus and drive to succeed in life.
“Your network is your net worth.”
A great team is needed and networking helps them reach their dreams and goals in life.
7. They Are Financially Prudent
Having a high income does not necessarily mean having high savings and investments. Lots of high-net-worth individuals in Malaysia are financially prudent. They do not simply spend money and live a luxurious life.
They enjoy using the return from their investments to further grow their net worth. They are in command of their money flowing in and out. Being prudent is one of the important traits in financial management and they have targets to achieve based on a clearly defined financial roadmap.
So there you have it with the 7 habits of high-net-worth individuals in Malaysia.
About the Author
Dr Inaz Hashim is an experienced holistic financial planner focused on managing high-net-worth individuals in Malaysia. She is a licensed Financial Planner with Expanded Scope & Islamic Financial Adviser (IFAR) with Phillip Wealth Planners. She graduated from RCSI-UCD Medical College and holds Shariah Registered Financial Planner (ShRFP) from MFPC. She has completed her Certificate of Shariah in Banking & Finance from International Islamic University College Selangor. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters of Science in Islamic Banking & Finance at International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).