7 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU MAKE AN INVESTMENT DECISION
1. Determine your investment objectives.
It is critical to understand what they are and what your risk tolerance is. Determine which product(s) to invest in by being clear about what you want to achieve from your investment.
2. Seek the advice of a licenced professional.
Professionals can assist you in determining your risk profile and setting financial goals if you require investment assistance. Is it a long-term aim, such as funding your children’s education? Is it to share your wealth?
3. Determine which investment products are appropriate.
You’ll be in a better position to do so once you’ve determined your investment objectives and risk tolerance.
4. Invest in a variety of assets.
This can help to minimise an investment portfolio’s total risk. Because all investments entail some level of risk, choosing the correct combination of investments can help you limit your losses and create greater stability in your investment returns without losing too much in possible gains.
5. Perform your due diligence
Understand the offering’s details as described in the prospectus, for example, for each investment kind, ask yourself:
Ø Shares – what is the company’s history? Has it proven to be profitable? Is it heavily in debt? Who are the members of its top management team?
Ø Unit trust – What assets does the fund invest in? Who is in charge of the fund? What are the dangers?
Ø Is there a cost (or costs) associated with the transaction?
6. Ensure that any securities offering is registered with or approved by the SC.
Otherwise, it is against the law. Registration/approval is significant since it indicates that the company has met the conditions for raising cash from the general public. It also implies that the prospectus contains only the information necessary for investors to make an informed investment decision.
7. Confirm a company’s or investment scheme’s licensing/registration status.
Also, make certain that the product is being advised by a licenced or authorised person.
TYPES OF INVESTMENT IN MALAYSIA
Here are the three most common (and safest) types of investments that any new investor in Malaysia can find:
1. Unit trust
2. Fixed Deposit (FD)
3. Investment-linked Insurance Plan (ILP)
The main thing to remember about these three investments is that they are significantly less risky than investing in the stock market. Of course, this is dependent on the type of stock market investment you choose.
1. Unit Trust
A unit trust is a portfolio of various assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and so on. The portfolio is then divided into “units,” which are sold to investors (you).
However, your funds will be pooled with those of other investors. The money earned will be distributed to everyone in proportion to their contributions.
Mainly, it is known as income distribution, which includes capital gains, dividends, or shares, depending on the type of unit trust in which you invest. Unit trusts are professionally managed by fund managers, which is a huge benefit, especially for new investors.
Unit trusts are classified into four types:
i. Equity Funds: These portfolios are made up of Bursa Malaysia stocks. The performance is based on the stock market.
ii. Balanced Fund: A mix of equity, fixed income, and money market funds.
iii. Fixed Income: Consists of securities such as government and corporate bonds, which are loans to companies or governments.
iv. Money Market Funds: These are short-term, liquid funds. These funds can be withdrawn.
You can invest in unit trusts in Malaysia. One popular one is Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB), which we discussed previously. While ASB is restricted to Malaysian Bumiputeras, major banks like RHB and CIMB offer other options.
A unit trust can be purchased directly from the unit trust offices or through any bank (some even offer the service online). Regardless, the cost of entry varies by unit trust. Depending on the unit trust, the minimum investment ranges from RM100 to RM1,000.
The amount you must pay depends on the Net Asset Value (NAV), which is the price of one unit.
The return rate is expressed as a percentage (year). The fund’s performance history is usually available on their website. If the fund has a history of good returns, you can base your returns on that. You can also check their monthly return rates on websites like Fundsupermart.com.
2. Fixed Deposit (FD)
Consider a fixed deposit as a money time capsule. You can’t withdraw money from a fixed deposit account until the tenure is over. Because fixed deposits pay a much higher interest rate than savings accounts, we recommend them after your tenure ends.
This can be from one month (short-term fixed deposit) to five years (long-term fixed deposit). The longer you keep your money in a fixed deposit account, the higher the interest rate (and your returns).
There are two types of fixed deposits:
A conventional fixed deposit must pay you a fixed rate regardless of the bank’s performance, whereas an Islamic fixed deposit pays you based on the bank’s performance.
Fixed deposit rates in Malaysia typically range from 3% to 4%. Here are some current 12-month interest rates (as of 27 November 2018):
Ø Affinbank Fixed Deposit – 4.05% P.A
Ø RHB Ordinary Fixed Deposit – 3.35% P.A
Ø Alliance Bank Fixed Deposit- 3.35% P.A
Ø Maybank Fixed Deposit Account- 3.35% P.A
Ø Cimb Unfixed Deposit- 3.35% P.A
To begin investing, simply open an account with the bank. Remember that depending on the bank, a minimum deposit of RM1,000 to RM5,000 is required.
3. Investment-linked Insurance Plan (ILP)
An ILP is exactly what it sounds like: it’s an insurance plan that also works as a savings vehicle. As a result, your coverage may vary from critical illness to death depending on your policy and chosen insurance riders. If you have a financial emergency during the policy period, you can withdraw a certain amount from your account.
But how does insurance work as an investment? It works like this: a portion of your premiums is invested, and the rest is covered as usual.
A fund manager manages your money in an ILP. Just like any other unit trust, your return depends on the fund’s performance.
Investing in an ILP has two options:
i. single-premium – Paying a single premium covers the entire coverage period
ii. regular-premium – paying a regular premium allows you to pay in instalments throughout the year, depending on your budget.
There are policies that are geared towards specific goals such as an education fund, so picking one depends on your priorities as below:
i. Prudential Prulink Million: A regular premium plan with RM350,000 coverage.
ii. Maybank Premier Education Savers: A life-long investment plan to build your child’s education fund.
iii. Great Easter Smartinvest Growth: A plan that starts with an RM5,000 one-time premium and allows you to top-up your investment.
Most ILP policies allow you to tailor your portfolio to your budget. You can switch to a lower risk fund, but there may be a limit and a processing fee. If you decide to increase your insurance coverage, a portion of your fund may be sold to cover the costs.
But are they risk-free?
Simply put, NO. You can’t avoid risk when investing because the company you invest in may face market volatility or go bankrupt for whatever reason.
So, when it comes to your money, your risk appetite will be a key factor in your investment decisions. Riskier investments yield higher returns, but can you afford to risk your money?
A risk appetite refers to your tolerance for risk. Portfolio diversification is the oldest risk reduction strategy. Simply put, don’t put all your money in one investment plan so you have options if one fails.
Invest only if you understand the risks and can afford to lose money. You should consider investing a portion of your savings in trusted investment platforms, as this could help you achieve all your future financial goals.
RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITIES AS AN INVESTOR
THE INVENTORS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
As a Fidelity retail investor, you have the following rights:
1. Service of high quality
i. To be treated fairly, ethically, and with respect in all interactions with a securities firm and its employees.
ii. Receiving competent and courteous service and advice at a reasonable cost.
2. Complete and unambiguous reporting
i. To receive clear, accurate, and simple descriptions of all Fidelity transactions, statements, and other communications.
ii. To be fully informed about all of the costs associated with your account, as well as the costs associated with individual transactions, such as commissions, sales charges, and other fees.
iii. To receive accurate and timely account statements that include detailed transactional information.
iv. To be given detailed descriptions of Fidelity’s policies and practises for safeguarding the privacy of nonpublic, personal information.
3. Investing advice that is responsible
i. To receive responsible investment recommendations based on your personal goals, time horizon, risk tolerance, and other factors that you have disclosed.
ii. Expect Fidelity to provide professional assistance in clarifying your investment goals and risk tolerance.
iii. Fidelity must present reasonable investment alternatives designed to meet those expectations, as well as disclose the comparative risks, benefits, and costs.
4. Problems must be resolved quickly and fairly.
i. If a problem with your account arises, you should expect Fidelity to treat you fairly and promptly.
ii. If fidelity is unable to resolve a dispute to your satisfaction, you should be informed of your options.
RESPONSIBILITIES AS AN INVESTOR
You have a responsibility as a fidelity retail investor to:
1. You should educate and inform yourself.
i. Before making any investment, read all sales literature, prospectuses, and/or other offering documents thoroughly.
ii. Take into account all investment risks, fees, and/or other factors described in these documents.
iii. Make certain that you understand not only the relationship between your investment objectives and the risks and returns on your specific investments, but also the relationship between your specific investments and your investment objectives.
iv. You must keep in mind at all times that every investment involves some level of risk and that it is possible to lose money – some or all of it – on any investment.
2. Contact your financial representative.
i. When seeking investment advice, provide complete and accurate information about your financial situation, investment goals, and risk tolerance so that Fidelity can make appropriate recommendations.
ii. Seek out whatever information you require or desire from a Fidelity Representative by asking proactive questions about your account, a specific transaction, risk exposures, potential conflicts of interest, and, of course, commissions, sales charges, and other fees.
iii. Notify Fidelity immediately if your investment objectives, risk tolerance, income, net worth, or liquidity requirements change significantly.
iv. Examine your portfolio holdings on a regular basis, as well as whenever your financial situation changes. You may want to make changes based on the performance of your investments and your current goals.
3. Keep your accounts up to date.
i. To ensure payment for securities purchases by the settlement date, keep cash or available margin-buying power in your investment account, or transfer funds into that account.
ii. If you pay by check or wire transfer, you should always make your payment to Fidelity Investments.
iii. Examine all transaction confirmations, account statements, and reports thoroughly and promptly. You should immediately report any errors or questions to a Fidelity Representative.
4. Use the appropriate resources.
i. For specific tax or legal advice, consult an attorney or a tax advisor.
ii. Remember that you are entirely responsible for your investment decisions.
iii. Examine the validity and dependability of investment information obtained from any source, particularly unsolicited information obtained via the Internet.
iv. Please keep in mind that neither our advice nor the opinions of outside securities analysts should be interpreted as a guarantee of future performance or rate of return.