BRATs editorial team member Sarenraj Rajendran


AFTER a period of relative obscurity, Justin Bieber is back in the spotlight, but this time for all the wrong reasons.

The pop star was charged with driving under the influence and resisting arrest, and his police mugshot has been making the rounds on social media.

While his recent behaviour is clearly misguided, the same can’t be said for his financial investments. The Biebs’ has been investing smartly (under advice from financial advisors, no doubt) in various tech companies, including Spotify and startups like Soju Studios and TinyChat.

Given the constantly rising cost of living, young Malaysians would do well to learn a thing or two from Bieber and invest their money early.

Of course, not all of us have the kind of income Bieber has. So how can we invest? The trick is to start small, just to get into the habit.

You can also start off with lower risk options, like unit trusts, which are becoming more and more popular among young people compared to higher risk alternatives like share trading and foreign exchange.

I was once told that the rule of thumb when it comes to buying a property is that it shouldn’t take up more than one third of your income. If that’s the case, I know most people my age probably won’t be able to afford a house in the Klang Valley anytime soon after they graduate. That just makes investing all the more important.

Another thing you can do is invest in your talents, something which quite a few teenagers I know are doing with quite a bit of success. You can turn talents such as photography, music or design to earn extra income. Some friends of mine learnt to play music from YouTube years ago, and they now perform at weddings and corporate dinners, earning four-figure sums for a single performance.

Many people will tell you that passion can take you a long way, and that is certainly the case with these friends of mine.

Your ability to invest is limited only by your ability to imagine and come up with ideas. Conventional wisdom tells us the higher the risk, the higher the profit. As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of low-risk options young people can consider. But among my peers, many of us are starting to realise that we have to be willing to learn to take these risks early. That’s because you can either profit from it, or learn from the mistake.

The writer is a member of The Star’s BRATs young journalist programme, organised by R.AGE. To register for the BRATs 2014 programme, log on to

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