When we first started DollarsAndSense.sg in 2012. We had a simple mission – To help Singaporeans make better financial decisions.
We operate in a challenging environment trying to find a fine balance in our articles. On one hand, we hold ourselves to delivering beneficial and up-to-date financial information catering to the masses, but on the other hand, this is a group of people who don’t necessarily prioritize such information.
Our challenge is to convert this complex content into simple, bite-sized ideas that people can understand. And we think we have made a difference in Singapore over the past four years. In fact, the most recent Mastercard survey showed that Singapore is now ranked first in financial literacy with the Asia-Pacific region, up from sixth-place in 2014.
In today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving financial and media landscape, content providers are always battling for attention. To achieve this, we need to be accurate and fair, and we need to have opinions that provide perspective to differentiate ourselves.
Budgeting skills, compound interest, risk management and dollar cost averaging are all concepts that are important to know about regardless of where you are living in. These concepts are, however, rarely searched for. This is where we come in.
Sound financial concepts transcend geographical boundaries, whether you’re in Singapore or Malaysia. The crucial thing is that we understand readers in our target demographic and have built up the skillset to relay information in a way readers want to receive.
Being Hyperlocal Is Important
A person living in Singapore would have different considerations when buying a house compared to someone staying in Malaysia, or anyone else in the world. In some countries, people would rather rent than own a home, and with good reasons.
Likewise, investing and retirement planning would be different for people in different countries. Some countries have pensions or welfare schemes. Others tag their pension schemes to a “save-as-you-earn” concept, similar to CPF in Singapore and EPF in Malaysia. In some countries, the capital market provides extensive choices for retail investors. In others, choices are limited.
We understand the need to be hyperlocal and deliver information that is relevant to a specific country.
Trust Is The Defining Factor In The Financial Sector
Trust is an invaluable commodity in life. All of us want to work with people whom we can trust.
When it comes to finance matters, trust is paramount. Nobody wants to buy an insurance policy from an agent he doesn’t trust. Nobody wants to buy a property from a housing agent or developer they can’t trust. Nobody wants to put their life savings into a bank that they don’t fully trust.
If there is anything the global financial crisis in 2008 has taught us, it’s that we can’t just rely on the advice provided from the “experts” in the banking sector. We cannot just believe what they say, without questioning their motives.
The world today cannot function if financial institutions were suddenly gone and we cannot expect that we don’t have to pay for the services of people in the finance industry. But we have to recognize that their interests may not always be OUR interest. Which is why DollarsAndSense is a big advocator of getting people to empower themselves when it comes to finances because our families and our futures rely on it.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not saying that their products and services are bad. Yes, they might be the “experts”, or so they claim. Yet at the same time, many of them cannot get away from the fact that their job, one way or another, is to sell us their products or services, or support the people who are doing that.
Being Consumer Centric
When it comes to running a digital publisher, readers are not only readers; they are also our brand ambassadors and the reason for our existence.
Most digital publishers do not charge their readers for articles simply because there is a big hurdle for people to pay for information on the internet. Most people perceive content on the internet to be free. To fight for eyeballs, and revenue, many digital publishers turn to flooding the market with content. This gives rise to information overload.
For example, try to Google “best foods in Singapore” or “best investments to make in Malaysia”. You are going to have a difficult time sorting through what’s true and what’s not because everyone is trying to fight for your attention.
This is why we have focused our energy on building a strong brand that is always fair and accurate. To the credit of our people, DollarsAndSense has built up a strong rapport with our readers who trust our analysis and judgement.
Our mission is to provide you with important knowledge to better make a financial decision. In order to do this, we strive to make our content interesting and engaging for you so that you will be attracted to learn more. This is what we know because, even for us, it gets boring and discouraging to write about something that nobody cares about.
What sets us apart is that we have no “motives” for you to read our content. We have no insurance policies to sell you, no credit cards for you to apply for, and definitely, no get-rich-quick investments for you to buy into. Neither do we have any bank accounts for you to send donations. We are not a charity organisation. So how can you support us if you enjoy our content?
You can do so by doing the one thing that keeps us going, and that’s by reading our article and sharing it with your friends. That’s the most important endorsement we can get from you.
We hope to bring you more good stuff in the years to come, be it in Singapore, Malaysia or elsewhere in the world.
And without further ado, we welcome you to visit DollarsAndSense.my, a website created to help Malaysians make better financial decisions.
Timothy Ho, Co-Founder, DollarsAndSense
On behalf of the DollarsAndSense team.
DollarsAndSense Malaysia is a website that aims to help people make better financial decisions, one interesting, bite-sized article at a time. Like us on Facebook to stay in touch with our latest articles.