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Making the right choice

YOU have RM500,000 cash in your bank and an array of investment managers, financial advisers and other intermediaries offering you a huge variety of investment options. 

How much return do you want? Capital guaranteed? Which markets do you want to invest in? Is it a good time to buy or sell certain equities?  

The decisions could be endless and daunting to many investors, said S&P NetWorth Advisors Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Paul W. Chan. 

He said there were mainly two sources of ideas for investment decisions – external and internal.  

External sources include current news, for instance high oil prices, events such as the North Korean nuclear test, magazine articles and brokers’ recommendations.  

The internal-source investor, on the other hand, focuses on his own financial needs and a personalised long-term strategy designed to meet those needs. 

His buy or sell decisions are based on what is required to ensure that his financial holdings are in accord with the game plan.  

“Investment professionals are only used to assist in executing decisions already made. Thus, current market fads, trends and so-called expert opinions are largely irrelevant to such investors,” Chan said.  

He said investment decisions were unlike other consumer spending decisions, which could be influenced by marketing and advertising activities.  

One frequently asked question is a variant of “Oil prices and gold are sky high, and I’ve read that many experts are sounding an alarm about stocks. Should I sell my funds?” 

Investor decisions on whether to cut stock holdings would depend on the market’s volatility, what the business magazines say or the direction of the interest rate regime, Chan said.  

“External sources will never tell you whether it’s a ‘good’ time to sell stocks as no one knows what the market will do in the coming months,” he added.  

While current events might provoke a review of one’s personal list of questions, they should not dictate the answers, Chan said, adding that investors should take ownership of their investments.  

“Watch out for the high entry cost of investment, understand its goals and time-horizon, the investors’ risk appetite, their age groups and portfolio diversification. Have a simple personal checklist to jumpstart towards investing with peace of mind,” he said. 

Singular Asset Management chief investment officer Teoh Kok Lin said investment products that used to be exclusive to certain investors were now “brought to the level of the laymen given market liberalisation.”  

For example, retail investors could now invest in commercial properties – which were not so easily accessible in the past due to the high capital required – via real estate investment funds (REITs).  

“Such a trend pushes investors to learn faster and adopt a better investment habit. While volatility risk is always present, investors have to understand their own risk appetite and improve on where and how to put their money,” Teoh said.  

Aseambankers Malaysia Bhd chief executive director Surachet Chaipatamanont said products were “retailised” for better accessibility and this included Islamic offerings.  

Islamic products are offered across the board for retail investors. The breath and depth of the market allowed “investors of all types to be offered Islamic alternatives,” he said.  

Chaipatamanont added that Islamic products, compared with conventional ones, provided more competitive pricing and “in most cases, higher returns.” 

HLG Asset Management chief executive officer Richard Lin Kwok Wing said the investment options for a fund of RM500,000 could include equity based unit trusts, bond based unit trusts and balanced funds.  

Hong Leong Unit Trust has 19 unit trust funds under its management, offering a diverse product range including a selection of syariah-compliant unit trusts, growth funds, equity funds, balanced funds, sectoral funds as well as bond funds. 

He said diversification was essential for any investment type to enable investors to customise the investments according to their objectives.  

For example, an aggressive investor could have higher exposure to shares and lower exposure to bonds and money market instruments while an investor with moderate risk could opt for a very small degree of exposure to shares with bonds and money market comprising the bulk of their portfolio, he added.  

Lin said investment decisions would depend on three factors – first, the risk appetite of the individual. “Risk averseness of investors varies in accordance to their age, income and marital status,” he said. 

Second, the investor’s investment objectives would be taken into consideration, emphasising the creation of value, return or growth. The third factor would be the investment horizon – the investor’s short, medium or long-term goals.  

Potential in Islamic wealth management

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should create more Islamic wealth management products to capitalise on the increasing interest from high net worth individuals from the Middle East. 

Member of the Central Syariah Advisory Council for Bank Negara and Securities Commission, Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, said it was time for Malaysia to take advantage of this interest by providing a range of products for investors. 

“Investors are increasingly interested in investing in this region. They are keen on sukuk products, equity-linked notes and structured products.  

Dr Mohd Daud Bakar (left) and Dr Tan Chong Koay at the fund launch.

“Equity-linked products are also appealing to all investors, retail and corporate,” he said at a briefing to launch the Pheim Asia Ex-Japan (PAXJ) Islamic Fund yesterday. 

Dr Mohd Daud is also president and chief executive officer of Amanie Business Solutions Sdn Bhd, which is the adviser to Pheim Unit Trusts Bhd, responsible for launching PAXJ Islamic Fund. The latter is a wholly-owned unit of Pheim Asset Management Sdn Bhd. 

Dr Mohd Daud said Malaysia should step up efforts to tap the global Islamic financial market, projected to grow from an estimated US$700bil in 2005 to US$1.4 trillion by 2010 and US$2.8 trillion by 2015.  

He said Malaysia had the adequate infrastructure to be an Islamic finance hub, but lacked the products to lure more investors. 

Pheim Group founder and director Dr Tan Chong Koay said the PAXJ Islamic Fund would give investors a chance to tap into high-growth investment opportunities in Asia and in the Islamic financial market. 

“We believe that Asian equities will emerge as one of the global asset classes that have the potential to deliver superior returns,” he said. 

Dr Tan said this was due to the strong regional economic outlook and renewed focus of corporations and governments in strengthening business fundamentals. 

“Also, there has been an increasing number of companies with capital appreciation potential, specifically in small to medium-sized entities,” he added. 

PAXJ Islamic Fund has an approved size of up to 200 million of RM1 units and is benchmarked against absolute annual returns of 7% in the long term. 

Dr Tan said up to 95% of the funds would be invested in syariah-compliant equities in South-East Asia. A minimum of 5% would be kept as liquid assets or cash, and could be invested in syariah-compliant fixed income instruments. 

He also said that to date, all the funds launched by the firm had outperformed their respective benchmarks since inception. 

The PAXJ Islamic Fund is the company’s fifth unit trust fund and the second syariah-compliant after Dana Makmur Pheim, a domestic balanced fund launched in 2002. 

New instrument for unit trust investors

This week, Yeoh Keat Seng discusses the pitfalls of investing in unit trusts and suggests an industry mechanism that would provide investors with greater depth when including this investment instrument in their wealth management portfolio

WITH an aggregate net asset value (NAV) of over RM50bil as at mid-2006, unit trusts have become a mainstream form of investment for individual investors.  

Over the last 10 years, the industry’s NAV has grown seven-fold and now represents around 7.2% of Bursa Malaysia’s market capitalisation compared with only 1% previously. 

The pace of the growth of the industry here should not come as a surprise, as it mirrors the experience in the developed markets. Unit trusts offer several advantages which suit the needs of retail investors, namely diversification at an affordable price, access to professional fund managers, assurance of liquidity and convenience. 

Yet anecdotal evidence suggests a gap often exists between what investors expect and what they get from investing in unit trusts. This may be due partly to some investors having unrealistic expectations, or advisers not setting expectations right at the beginning or offering advice that may not be sound, or industry players importing unit trust practices from elsewhere without accommodating these to our market’s structural differences.  

This article focuses on the gap in expectations arising from the peculiarities of investing in unit trusts in our market, and suggests a possible solution to the problem.  

Conventional wisdom says that investors should treat unit trusts as buy-and-hold instruments because by sticking to the same fund, they will enjoy better returns than if they continuously try to time their investments. For many investors though, the theory does not seem to apply in practice.  

There are several possible reasons for this. First, a buy-and-hold approach works only if the factors that have contributed to the fund’s performance remain intact over time. Very often though, they do not always remain so for very long. 

Also, fund managers change. In developed markets, the fund management process is often institutionalised, which means that performance does not usually fluctuate much when there is a change of fund manager. In our case, performance is often highly dependent on individuals rather than a process, and unfortunately, their tenure with a firm often tends to be shorter than the client’s recommended investment horizon. 

Fund sizes change. Many award-winning funds have been unable to sustain their performance as they grow substantially bigger. This is not to say that size is a handicap, but in certain cases where the investment mandate is very narrow, or where the securities are very illiquid, there is often an inverse correlation between size and performance. 

Second, some funds are not meant to be long-term buy-and-hold investments. While there is a diversity of sector and theme-based funds in developed markets, it is debatable whether such funds can serve the needs of the average Malaysian looking to invest passively in a unit trust fund here. 

A technology fund in the US would have an investment universe comprising hundreds of stocks in different sub-segments worth hundreds of billions of dollars. A similar fund here would only have a handful of alternatives, with depth and breadth sorely lacking. Such funds may be good for tactical allocation, but not buy-and-hold. 

Third, a rigid buy-and-hold strategy should not apply blindly regardless of market circumstances. Even within an individual’s recommended asset allocation based on his risk requirement, there is a case for lowering his equity weighing if it becomes obvious that the market is about to go through a bearish phase. 

Another argument in support of a more active approach is that buy-and-hold fails to take advantage of changes in market cycles and investment styles the market favours. Small caps did very well between 2001 and 2003, but under-performed sharply after that. Index funds significantly outperformed others in 2004 and 2005, but were laggards prior to that. 

At other times though, the long-term buy-and-hold approach stems from the conscious decision on the part of investors. In many cases, when advice to switch or cut loss is given, there is no follow through. Whether it is unit trusts or stocks, many investors have a psychological problem with realising losses, even when they agree on the fund’s likely under-performance.  

In my opinion, a fund of funds could provide a timely remedy for the problems faced by many of our unit trust investors.  

A fund of funds is a unit trust that invests in a number of other unit trusts.  

Its advantages are extra diversification and simplicity, but in this context, I believe another critical advantage is the availability of a fund manager to actively manage the underlying funds.  

The value add of a fund of funds manager lies in selecting the appropriate funds, monitoring them for changes which could affect their performance (e.g. fund manager and size), taking advantage of opportunities to make tactical allocations, and being disciplined about cutting losses or switching out when market situations warrant it.  

Just as many investors are better off letting unit trust managers manage their money in individual funds, there are others who are better off letting fund of fund managers manage their unit trust funds as a whole. 

There is, however, a possible downside to this approach if the fund of funds manager does not do his job well. In that case, what the investor risks ending up with is a highly diversified but very mediocre performer at best, or a long-term under-performer at worst because of the extra layer of fees charged.  

Fund of funds are not available here yet, but I believe there is room for them in this market, especially given the circumstances described above.  

Ask beyond basic questions


THIS is the second article in a series of articles by the Securities Industry Development Centre on smart investing. 

IN the usual interaction between a unit trust agent and an investor, you normally see an agent doing most of the talking and the investor mainly listening. Not many pertinent questions are asked by the investor except for the standard “How much dividend will the unit trust give out?” or “What is the minimum amount to start investing?” 

To fully benefit from your unit trust investments, you must be prepared to ask many questions. The answers you get from these agents can help you determine whether investing in a unit trust is suitable for your investment goals and objectives. It will also prevent you from investing in unit trust products that are not suitable for you but which some agents may be promoting to earn higher commission. 

Here is a list of suggested questions (not exhaustive, of course) that you should ask your agents.  

  • Is this unit trust fund approved by the Securities Commission (SC)? All unit trust products must be approved by the SC. To check on an investment product, call (03) 6204 8000 and ask for the Trust and Investment Management Department or visit SC’s website at www.sc.com.my.  

  • How long has the unit trust company been in business? What is its record or performance in giving the promised returns?  It is important for an investor to check out the background of a unit trust company, including the company that will be managing the funds (if the fund is being managed by external fund managers). Find out their record and the experience of the fund managers. You must take the effort to get to know the people to whom you are entrusting your hard earned money.  

  • Does this fund suit my investment goals and risk profiles?  You must first be sure of what your investment goals or objectives are and how much investment risks you can tolerate (investment risks are essentially situations that may arise which can cause you to suffer losses).  

    Nowadays, there are many categories and types of funds in the market, each with its own benefits and risks (the higher the returns promised, the higher the risks you have to take). Hence it is important for you to understand the funds being offered and for you to choose a fund or funds that suit your investment goals and risk tolerance. For instance, if you want a consistent income, you must invest in funds that provide steady consistent returns. You should not be pressured by any agent to invest in a fund that is not suitable for you.  

  • What will happen to the money that I put in a fund? Where will it be invested?  Each unit trust fund has its own investment strategy to meet its investment objective. For example, for an equity fund that targets growth of capital, generally most of the fund’s assets will be invested in equities of companies listed on the stock market that have potential for growth rather than a blue-chip company that offers consistent dividends. As such, the former is riskier.  

    On the other hand, a bond fund will invest most of its funds in bond products, which are low risk. It is, therefore, crucial for an investor to know which investment products/instruments the fund will be investing in, as this will have direct implication on the risk tolerance of the investors. If the fund is investing in high-risk investment products, the unit trust fund itself becomes a high-risk investment. (Check Question 3 too). 

  • How do I know that my fund is doing well? How can I compare it with other funds?  Each fund has its own benchmark (something you can compare its performance with), which is stated in the prospectus. You can compare the rate of return of your fund with these benchmarks.  

    The common benchmark for equity funds is the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) while for bond funds, it is normally the average 12-month fixed deposit rate of banks.  

    Alternatively, you can compare your fund with other funds of similar characteristics. For example, if you have invested in a bond fund, compare its performance with other bond funds.  

    A more complex unit trust fund may have a more complex benchmark. 

  • How will I make money from this fund? (Capital gains? Dividends?) If you invest in unit trusts, your returns could be in the form of capital gains (if the price of units moves favourably) or dividends (if the management company announced any). Get your distribution agent to explain this and read the prospectus.  

  • Do I have to pay any fees or charges?  Every investment has a cost to it and investing in unit trust funds is no exception. Generally, unit trust management companies will impose distribution/transaction charges, such as sales charge and/or redemption charge, when you buy and sell units and imposes management fees and trustee fees annually for the services they provide. Your agent must explain this clearly to you. Read the prospectus for more details on the kind of fees and charges imposed.  

  • If I change my mind after I have invested in a fund, can I sell it back to the company and get a full refund?  Investors are given a “cooling-off period” so they can reconsider if they want to continue investing in the unit trust fund. Subject to conditions, a unit trust investor is entitled to a full refund if he decides not to continue investing in the fund within the “cooling off period.” “Cooling off” is your right! Details on cooling off are highlighted in the prospectus.  

  • How easily can I sell the fund if I need my money right away?  Unit trusts are liquid investments. You may approach your distribution agents and submit a redemption notice to redeem the units and get your money back. It’s important that you know when you will be getting your money back so that you are more prepared in case you need the money urgently. Ask the agent. Details on redemption are also available in the prospectus.  

  • Will I be getting any statement regarding my investment status from the management company?  Your monitoring process will be easier if you receive a statement from the management company regarding your investment status. Find out how frequently you will be getting such a statement. You must monitor your investments.  

  • Where can I get more information about the fund?  Most of the information about a unit trust fund is in its prospectus and annual report. Ask your agent for a copy of the prospectus and read it before investing. 

    l The Securities Industry Development Centre (SIDC), established in July 1994, is the training and education arm of the Securities Commission (SC).   Its mission is to build human capital, guide investors in the capital market and develop investor education programmes to meet the objectives of the Malaysian Capital Market Masterplan and address national development needs. It is recognised as a premier training centre for capital market participants and regional regulators.  

  • Don’t be the next victim

    This is the final article in a series by the Securities Industry Development Centre on smart investing.  

    1. Are you an easy prey for investment scams? Take this quiz to check your vulnerability.   You always associate investments with: 

    a) 100% profits 

    b) Guaranteed returns with no risks 

    c) Doubling your money in no time! 

    d) None of the above 

             

    2. Which of the following statements BEST describes your investment philosophy? 

    a) I will choose only an investment that gives high returns with no risk 

    b) I will choose an investment that matches my risk tolerance 

    c) I will choose an investment that can double my money in no time 

    d) I will choose an investment that is highly recommended by close friends 

    3. You have been offered a job as a trading executive in a foreign commodity broking firm. The job requires you to get as many clients as possible to trade in a red bean futures contract in Macau. You were told that the investment yields high returns in a short time.   Your clients will have to deposit RM3,000 as a margin deposit at your firm. Your commission will be based on the amount of money your clients deposit in the firm. What is your next course of action? 

    a) Start looking for friends and family members to become your clients 

    b) Check with the regulators immediately whether the firm is licensed to trade in red bean futures in Macau  

    c) Try to invest in the red bean futures contract yourself to test your luck 

    d) Find out more about the investment from your friends who are working in the same firm 

             

    4. How do you verify whether a unit trust agent is authorised to promote/sell unit trusts? 

    a) Request for his call card 

    b) Request for his authorisation card issued by the Federation of Malaysian Unit Trust Managers 

    c) Not necessary to verify as any person can promote or sell unit trust products 

    d) Check for an authorisation letter from the unit trust company 

             

    5. Your unit trust agent asks you to give cash to him so that he could buy unit trusts on your behalf. What do you do? 

    a) Give him the cash 

    b) Give him the cash and request the agent to issue a receipt immediately 

    c) Pay him with a cheque in his name 

    d) Refuse to give him any cash  

             

    6. If you want to check a stockbroker’s licensing status, which of the following websites would be your source for the required information? 

    a) www.thestockbroker.com.my 

    b) www.sc.com.my 

    c) www.licensedcompany.com.my 

    d) www.licensedbrokers.com.my 

             

    7. A close friend persuades you to invest in an exclusive offshore investment scheme that guarantees 200% return and tax-free. Do you? 

    a) Agree to make the investment because you trust your close friend implicitly 

    b) Request for written materials on the investment and invest once you have read them 

    c) Check with the regulators to see if they have any information on the investment scheme 

    d) Agree to invest only if your friend could show the advertisements or news on the investment scheme in the media or the Internet 

             

    8. To protect yourself from investment scams, which of the following measure(s) would you adopt? 

    a) Read and understand the investment prospectus and annual reports 

    b) Seek advice from licensed financial professionals 

    c) Be sceptical and ask a lot of questions about the investment 

    d) All of the above 

             

    9. You will invest in an investment scheme if: 

    a) The promotional materials and company website look professional and impressive 

    b) The company’s office is at a prestigious address and its name professional and impressive 

    b) The company’s office is at a prestigious address and its name sounds official  

    sounds official 

    c) The company’s personnel wear expensive swanky suits and drive snazzy cars 

    d) None of the above 

             

    10. If you fall victim to an investment scam, you would:  

    a) Do nothing and keep quiet 

    b) Blame it on your bad luck 

    c) Lodge a report/complaint with the relevant authorities immediately 

    d) Pay an unknown person who claims that he can guarantee the full recovery of your money   Answers:  

    1. d: If you associate investment with 100% profits, guaranteed returns and doubling your money, you are more susceptible to investment scams. Most investment scams promise high returns with no corresponding risks to entice people to invest in it. 

    2. b: Your investment choices should match your risk tolerance. If you are a risk-adverse person, make sure you invest in a low-risk investment scheme. To find out about the risks of each investment products, contact your remisier or licensed investment professionals. 

    3. b: Always check with the regulators e.g. Securities Commission or Bank Negara, to verify if a company has been issued a licence and has been allowed to offer or market investment products to the public. 

    4. b: The Federation of Malaysian Unit Trust Managers (FMUTM) is responsible for registering all persons who want to market and distribute unit trusts. When dealing with such agents, you should request for his “authorisation card” issued by the FMUTM. For more information on agents, visit FMUTM’s website at www.fmutm.com.my  

    5. d: Never ever give cash to your unit trust agent. Always issue a cheque to the trustee or to an authorised person as specified in the prospectus. That is why reading the prospectus before investing is important. 

    6. b: For a quick check on whether a company has been licensed or authorised to conduct or offer investment activities, log on to the Securities Commission website at www.sc.com.my or call the SC’s licensing department at (03)6204-8000

    7. c: Beware of investment companies that offer high yield investments and operate from offshore locations such Bahamas, Macau, British Virgin Island or any other exotic offshore locations. Scammers love to use these international locations to boost their credibility.  

    8. d: Before investing, do some research and ensure that you understand what you are buying. Go through the investment scheme annual reports and prospectuses and seek assistance from your remisier or licensed financial professionals to fully understand the information disclosed in these documents. Contact the SC to verify if the company has been licensed or authorised to offer such investment schemes. 

    9. d: A company may have an official sounding name with a prestigious office at a premier location, complete with a professional looking website, but that does not mean that it is legitimate. Always check with the SC first. 

    10. c: If you come across or become a victim of an investment scam, lodge a complaint with the SC’s complaints department: Tel: (03)6204-8999, fax: (03)6204-8991 or e-mail: aduan@seccom.com.my,  

  • The Securities Industry Development Centre (SIDC) was established in July 1994, and is the training and education arm of the Securities Commission (SC). Its mission is to build human capital, guide investors in the capital market and develop investor education programmes to meet the objectives of the Malaysian Capital Market Masterplan and address national development needs. It is recognised as a premier training centre for capital market participants and regional regulators.  
  • Sound advice for investment

    Choosing an investment professional or adviser is a big decision and the wrong choice can be very expensive. Be prudent. Do not rush out and hire just anyone, advises the Securities Commission’s Security Industry Development Centre.  

    In life, there are times when we need to turn to experts for help. When you’ve got a fever, you visit a doctor. When your car needs repairs, you see a mechanic. Similarly, when you need assistance with your finance or investments, you should talk with an investment professional or adviser.  

    Many novice investors are ready to invest but may not know where to start. Some investors may know where or how to invest but do not know if they are doing the right thing. This is where an investment professional or adviser (remisier, financial planner, and fund manager) can help. Whether you’re a novice or experienced investor, speaking to an investment professional or adviser can always help. Like the saying goes, two heads are better than one.  

    Here are some important considerations when selecting an investment professional or adviser. 

    Qualifications 

    Get to know your investment professional or adviser. Ask for his/her academic and professional qualifications and get to know more about the type of clients he/she sees. Preferably, you should look for an investment professional or adviser who is familiar with the kinds of financial situations you face. Listen to how well he/she knows the industry and investment products, and ask how long he/she has been in the business. 

    Important! Deal only with fund managers, financial planners/investment advisers and remisiers who are licensed by the Securities Commission, or unit trust agents who are registered with the Federation of Malaysian Unit Trust Managers (FMUTM).  

    Experience 

    Sometimes, an investment professional or adviser may come highly recommended through word of mouth. A good track record speaks volumes about his/her capabilities in helping you with your investment. Do not be shy to ask about his/her experience in the different investment services and products or areas of specialisation.  

    Communication 

    Apart from being knowledgeable, it is also important that your investment professional or adviser is able to explain to you the basics of an investment plan and the various types of products available clearly. Once you fully understand what is involved, your investment professional or adviser will draw up an investment plan based on your financial needs and objectives. Investment can be a complex topic to the man-in-the-street. A good investment professional or adviser will keep things simple and comprehensible to his/her clients.  

    There should always be a two-way communication between you and your investment professional or adviser. When you’re in doubt, do not hesitate to ask questions. A good investment professional or adviser will always welcome your questions in order to serve you better.  

    Asking the right questions can help you develop a better understanding of your investments, choose the right products and, most importantly, make well-informed investment decisions. Sometimes, questions that you may regard as too simple may actually be the ones that lead you to invaluable information.  

    Communication doesn’t end after the first or second meeting. Instead, you and your investment professional or adviser should be in regular contact and keep each other updated on your investment progress.  

    Client’s needs first 

    A good investment professional or adviser always puts his/her client’s needs first. During your meeting, pay attention to the process he/she takes in advising you. Listen whether he/she– 

    ·aims to get a full picture of your circumstances and needs  

    ·asks you the necessary and relevant questions  

    ·does research  

    ·declares any interests or affiliations with companies, products and services that may give rise to conflict of interests.  

    Regardless of the size of investment, you should get the same amount of attention from your investment professional or adviser.  

    High professional standards 

    First impression counts very much. How your investment professional or adviser presents himself/herself and conducts the meeting is an indication of his/her professionalism. It is important to choose someone whom you are comfortable with and gives you the confidence that he/she is good at his/her job.  

    It would be helpful to find an investment professional or adviser who suits your investing style or personality. A good investment professional or adviser is the one who is not just an order taker, but one who has an investment philosophy that matches yours, is objective when under pressure and acts in your best interest.  

    In addition, a good investment professional or adviser will also point out the risk each time profits/returns is mentioned, so that investors are fully aware of the risks and returns associated with certain investment products before making investment decision. 

    He is also responsive and keeps in touch with the latest economic developments 

    Fees and other charges 

    Just like doctors and mechanics, investment professionals or advisers do impose a fee for their services or advice. It would be good to iron out the initial charges, professional fees or other costs that may incur early and have this in writing to avoid any dispute later on. You must get your investment professional or adviser to list down the fees and charges, and ask him/her to explain each item clearly. You have the right to know what you are paying for and should get the standard of service that is in line with the amount paid.  

    No one investment professional or adviser suits every investor. Investment professionals or advisers are different from one another and the same applies to investors. As an investor, you should be aware of the possibility that your investment professional or adviser may not suit your investment style or if his/her standard of service fails to meet your needs. If you are not happy with your current investment professional, you have the option to switch to another.  

    In conclusion, investment professionals or advisers should assist and/or guide you in making decisions. They cannot make the investment decision on your behalf because the final decision investment decision lies with you as an investor. As such, you must play your role as an investor. This implies that you must know what you want from your investments, be aware of the risks you are prepared to take and equip yourself with the relevant knowledge. 

    Industry players: No need for further delay

    PETALING JAYA: The deferment of the implementation of single-pricing regime (SPR) for unit trusts to July 1, from April 1, is reasonable and should not be delayed further, according to industry players. 

    CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd chief executive Noripah Kamso said: “We do not feel that it should be extended further. Keeping to this deadline will discipline the industry to solve all the issues within a specific timeframe. 

    Tunku Ya’acobb

    “We strongly feel that we should speed up being transparent to investors regarding the cost of their investment.” 

    Hwang-DBS Investment Management Bhd chief executive officer and executive director Teng Chee Wai said the company viewed the deferment as reasonable as it had started upgrading its systems in 2006 when the Securities Commission issued the new guidelines the same year. 

    Concurring with Teng and Noripah, The Federation of Malaysian Unit Trust Managers president Tunku Datuk Ya’acob Tunku Abdullah said the federation had had several discussions with its members and that everyone was comfortable with the July 1 deadline. 

    Pacific Mutual Fund Bhd general manager for business development and marketing Gary Gan said the company felt that the new implementation date was reasonable assuming the comprehensive and detailed SPR guidelines were finalised by the first quarter this year.

    Single price will eventually lower sales charges for unit trusts

    PETALING JAYA: The single-pricing regime (SPR) for unit trusts will in the long run pressure fund houses to reduce sales charges and see unit trust consultants playing a more active and advisory role in their clients’ future investments. 

    CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd chief executive Noripah Kamso said that in the long run, the SPR was good for the industry because it would be the beginning of a more transparent and cheaper cost of investing. 

    “Clients will be clearly informed about the different distribution channel charges. This will pressure fund houses to reduce distributors’ sales charges. 

    “This move is in line with (the trend in) developed countries. Sales charges in the United States tend to range between 4% and5%, slightly below our industry here as a whole,” Noripah told StarBiz. 

    Noripah Kamso

    The Federation of Malaysian Unit Trust Managers president Tunku Datuk Ya’acob Tunku Abdullah said since discounts and rebates would no longer be allowed under the SPR, the industry could come under pressure to lower fees in the long term. 

    “There will be a paradigm shift as unit trust consultants will move from being sales oriented to a portfolio-managed mentality. The emphasis will be to retain investors and actively manage their funds by switching in and out of the different asset classes to optimise returns for investors. 

    “The role of the unit trust consultants of the future will be more like that of a fund manager rather than that of a salesman,” Tunku Ya’acob added. 

    He said the federation applauded the Securities Commission’s (SC) move to implement the SPR as it would result in better transparency compared with the current two-price system. 

    He said the two-price system of bid and offer pricing would be replaced by a fund’s net asset value. 

    Tunku Ya’acob said the upfront fees would be calculated based on the investment amount, similar to the practice in the stockbroking industry. 

    Pacific Mutual Fund Bhd general manager for business development and marketing Gary Gan said the regime would benefit the industry in terms of transparency in fund sales charges. 

    He hopes the regulators would also take into account the numerous proposals and recommendations from industry players so as to develop the most optimum SPR structure. 

    SC chairman Datuk Zarinah Anwar said recently that the implementation of SPR for unit trusts had been deferred to July 1 from the original schedule of April 1. 

    She said that under the regime, the SC expected full disclosure of the different sales charges between different distribution channels in the prospectus or statements.

    More than one option to becoming your own boss


    In the second of a series of articles as a run-up towards Entrepreneurship Expo 2007, William Ng discusses some often underestimated opportunities to be your own boss

    Last week’s article on franchise as an option for aspiring entrepreneurs has drawn in many emails and comments. I thank all who had emailed me with comments. 

    Every year, tens of thousands of individuals join some form of direct sales network or financial product companies, with the aim to eventually achieve financial freedom.  

    To many employees caught in the daily rat race, getting out of that vicious circle and becoming your own boss is difficult, to say the least. Over the years, you would have developed a comfort zone, where your income, expenses and lifestyle revolves around and is dependent on your job. How do you then hope to achieve your goal of running your own business without ‘sacrificing’ your hard work over the years? 

    There’s really no fast answer to that. Some people use all their savings, or borrow money from banks, families and friends to open a business they have an interest or feel there’s a potential in. But for the majority who don’t have such resources, a business in direct sales or selling financial products may be an option.  

    But isn’t that for people who can’t get a ‘proper’ job 

    In the United States, direct sales or more specifically multi-level marketing account for more than a quarter of all consumer sales. Similarly, it is a well known fact that multi-level marketing produces more millionaire than any other industry.  

    Successful insurance and unit trust sales agents are known to earn in excess of a million ringgit per annum. A recent industry survey places average monthly income of an insurance agent in Malaysia at RM 8,000 a month. And that includes part-time agents as well. 

    Most people I know fear MLM and financial product sales due to lack of understanding. Both industries are very different from the business and career structure we are used to. However, both require an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to be your own boss.  

    Where to begin 

    A good place to start understanding these industries further is an entrepreneurship exhibition such as the upcoming Entrepreneurship Expo 2007. At such expos, you will have the opportunity to speak to representatives from these companies and get to examine the business concepts they have to offer.  

    You will also want to speak to friends and relatives who are already in such businesses (all of us know someone who is). Ask questions you would normally ask when starting out in a business – how much is the capital outlay, what kind of resources would you require, how much you can potentially make, the products and the market, etc.  

    The beauty, and unfortunately the problem, of MLM and insurance / financial products sales, is the need to expand your ‘network’ in order to achieve success under such schemes. The whole model of this business is the ability to leverage on other’s efforts, and the collective power of a huge network of people.  

    Then again, this is not very different from ‘traditional’ businesses where you rely on referrals, words-of-mouth and your sales people to grow your business.  

    What you need to watch out for is the unnecessary pressure you may find yourself under when faced with such opportunities. Many networkers (as MLM distributors are often referred to as) and agency leaders are trained to get you ‘sponsor’ed in order to grow their own network. There’s really nothing wrong with that – but ultimately you must know how to say no. After all, if it is going to be your own business, why let others decide for you? 

    Equally important, you must decide if you want to go headlong into this business fulltime. Many people find ‘trying out’ the business part time useful (if that’s allowed by your company, or you do it hush hush), prior to committing their lives into direct sales.  

    What do you need to succeed in an agency / direct sales business? 

    Many people assume that such businesses are for fresh graduates or people who are retrenched and cannot find other jobs. That’s far from the truth.  

    The most successful people in this business are experienced entrepreneurs – many of whom own multiple businesses. Common business skills such as people management, financial planning, ‘stock’ control, business etiquettes, etc. are very useful in direct sales and financial product sales.  

    I count among my friends successful networkers who own equally successful businesses in other industries. Would they trade one business for the other? No, because like any good businessman, why give up something that’s already making money for you.  

    Hence, this calls for an understanding of what you will be getting yourself into.  

    Of course, like any businesses, you will need to have both tenacity and passion to succeed. If someone comes to you with a promise of quick bucks through MLM – don’t even believe that. Like any business, you will have to work towards that – although in MLM and financial product sales you have the distinct advantage of not having to incur heavy capital outlay. 

    A word of warning 

    There’s plenty of scams out there to catch aspiring entrepreneurs. There’s no better word to call these half-baked programmes but the word ‘scam’. In Malaysia all direct sales companies (including those offering mail order) are required by law to be registered with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. The Ministry monitors these companies for compliance of regulations, and frequently blacklists companies that are known to be dubious in their business. For a list of registered companies, visit the Ministry’s website.  

    Similarly, if you are to join an insurance agency or financial planning group, ensure their background and credibility. It’s your business, so associate yourself with the best. 

    Take that first step! 

    Again, direct sales and insurance / financial planning is not for everyone. But there’s really no harm to find out more and see if this could be your ticket to becoming your own boss minus the usual capital requirements. Go ahead and visit the Entrepreneurship Expo 2007. 

    Entrepreneurship Expo 2007 will be held from 6 to 8 April 2007 at Mid Valley Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur. The expo features opportunities, products and workshops for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Among exhibits are franchise and licensing opportunities, agencies and direct sales, financing information, products and services for SMEs and a showcase of outstanding Malaysian SMEs. For participation enquiries, call +603-78808692 / 8693 or email ryan@5senses.com.my.  

    The writer is Publisher of SME Magazine. He can be reached at william@smemagazine.com.my

    Investing in global funds

    The Securities Industry Development Centre (SIDC) continues its weekly educational series by giving an overview of what global funds are all about. 

    SINCE the liberalisation of Bank Negara’s foreign exchange administration rules on April 1, 2005, Malaysia has seen the launch of global funds by several unit trust management companies.  

    Malaysian investors now have the opportunity to invest in securities traded on foreign markets through investment vehicles in the form of global funds.  

    Below are some frequently asked questions on global funds. 

      Q: How do I start investing in a global fund?  

    A: Investors may go to any authorised unit trust management companies offering funds which invest in foreign markets. 

    Q: Where can I look for information on the fund?  

    A: Generally, information like fund objectives, risks and potential returns are available in the fund’s prospectus. Investors can also obtain guidance from licensed investment advisers. 

    Q: How about the fees and charges? Is it similar to a local fund?  

    A: There are no extra fees involved for investing in a global fund. The charges are the same as those for local unit trust funds. (However, management fees for global funds tend to be higher, ranging from 1.5% to 1.85%. But the sales charges are the same as local funds.) 

    Q: How do I monitor these funds?  

    A: Investors can check the unit prices in all major local newspapers. However, in certain circumstances due to different time zones of the foreign markets (where the funds have invested in), the price information may not be current (two days late). 

    Q: Is the cooling-off period the same as local funds’?  

    A: The cooling-off period is similar to that of local unit trust funds, i.e six business days after the purchase date.  

    The table shows the differences between global and local funds in terms of their investment objectives, risks and benefits. 

    There are several categories of global funds: 

    ·Equity: A unit trust fund that invests primarily in shares/stocks traded on foreign stock exchanges.  

    ·Bond/Fixed income: A bond/fixed income fund is defined as a fund that invests primarily in debentures in foreign markets.  

    ·Balanced fund: A unit trust fund that invests in a balanced mix of shares/stocks and debentures in foreign capital markets.  

    ·Feeder fund: A unit trust that invests all its assets in just one collective investment scheme abroad.  

    ·Funds of funds: A unit trust fund that invests all its assets in other collective investment schemes. To qualify for this category, the fund must invest in a minimum of five collective investment schemes (local and abroad).  

    ·Real estate investment trust (REIT): A unit trust fund that invests in local and foreign real estates.  

    Investor must not confuse “fund category” with “fund type” because they have two different meanings. To illustrate: 

    Fund name: AQS Global Equity Fund  

    Fund category: Equity 

    Fund type: Growth 

    What does this actually mean? The fund seeks to provide capital growth and some income in the medium to long-term (fund type) by investing in a portfolio of global securities (equities). (fund category) 

    Be it a local fund or global, investors must always read the prospectus. The prospectus will provide information about the fund that could assist investors in making an informed investment decision. It is better to read than to weep.  

    ·The SIDC, established in July 1994, is the training and education arm of the Securities Commission. 

    About capital guaranteed fund

    Securities Industry Development Centre

    AS an investor, you may have come across a Capital Guaranteed Fund. But do you know what it is?  

    Commonly, a Capital Guaranteed Fund (CGF) is a unit trust fund that is structured to provide investors with returns while guaranteeing investors against any capital losses at the maturity period of the fund. The fund tends to have a limited lifespan, usually between three and five years. 

    The main element of the CGF is its capital preservation feature. A CGF is usually guaranteed by guarantors who are required by the Securities Commission to be licensed financial institutions like banks or merchant banks with good credit ratings. These banks will receive guarantor fees in exchange for their bank guarantees. These fees are borne by the management company. 

    How does it work? 

    A CGF typically consists of three phases: Offering phase – This is a period of several weeks when investors can buy units in the fund  

    Guarantee phase – This is a period of the fund lifespan when the fund will be invested and reinvested by the manager of the CGF. Should an investor exit the CGF during this period, the investor may be entitled to investment returns (if any) accumulated up to that point, but will not be entitled to the capital guarantee if the CGF suffers capital losses at the time of exit. The capital guarantee feature is, in most cases, applicable only to investors that hold his/her investment until the fund’s maturity date.  

    Post-guarantee phase – Upon maturity, the fund will be liquidated and investors’ capital will be returned, and any income from the fund will be distributed to investors. Should there be any shortfall between the initial capital invested and the asset value at maturity date, the guarantor will cover the shortfall in the investors’ capital.  

    The guarantee factor: Let’s assume that you bought units in a CGF at an initial selling price of 50 sen per unit. The fund maturity period is three years. You invested RM5,000 in exchange for 10,000 CGF units. If upon maturity of the fund, the net asset value fell to 40 sen per unit, you will receive 50 sen per unit, instead of 40 sen per unit, as your capital is guaranteed, plus any income the fund had received during the tenure of the fund. 

    The fund’s guarantor will pay for the 10 sen difference. In this case, you will receive the RM5,000 initially invested in the CGF from the 10,000 CGF units that you hold. Without the guarantee, you would have suffered a capital loss of RM1,000 and would only receive RM4,000 (excluding fees and charges). However, if on the maturity date the net asset value per unit is 60 sen, the guarantee will not be triggered and you will stand to gain from the capital gain of 10 sen per unit. In this case, you will receive 60 sen per unit, rather than 50 sen, plus any income the fund had received during the fund’s tenure. You will receive RM6,000 at maturity for 10,000 CGF units (excluding fees and charges). Your profit is RM1,000 plus the income distributed by the fund.  

    The guarantee is only applicable for units that are held until the maturity date, in this example, three years. If the units are redeemed before the maturity date, the guarantee is not applicable and investors’ capital will not be guaranteed and will be exposed to potential capital loss . For some CGF, a penalty will be imposed for early redemption. You must consider all these factors to ensure that investing in the CGF is consistent with your investment plan. 

    Capital preservation is the main feature of CGF, but it should not be the sole basis for making your decision to invest in the product. Like any other investment products, CGF comes with investment risks, too. Therefore, you should review your financial goals first and subsequently evaluate the CGF offer thoroughly, to ensure that both are consistent before you invest. You should also review the fees structure of the CGF imposed by the fund’s manager, because these fees could affect your investment returns. Never invest without reading the prospectus first. 

    Picking the right unit trust fund

    Securities Industry Development Centre

    ”WHICH fund should I choose?” is a common question among unit trust investors. Choosing the right fund has never been easy. But the following six steps could help determine the most appropriate funds for you. 

    1. Know why you are investing 

    As an investor, you must be clear of your investment objectives. This will help you determine the right fund for you. For example, if you are looking for a source of steady income, you may not want to invest in a unit trust that was set up to achieve capital gains. 

    2. Know your risk profile 

    In investment, risk means the possibility of experiencing investment losses. As an investor, you must always assess your risk profile and really understand how much risk you can take, that is, how much money you are prepared to lose. Different funds have different degrees of risks and always remember – higher returns means higher risk. The ability to really know and understand your risk profile is crucial. It will keep you focused and can prevent you from being distracted by your agent’s numerous colourful brochures and promises which could mislead you into choosing the wrong fund. 

    3. Do your homework 

    Once you are certain of your investment objectives and risk profile, it is time to get all the relevant information. Your sources of information could be from the following:  

  • Prospectus This is the most important document for unit trust investors. Sadly, most investors do not bother to read the contents of a prospectus, preferring to rely on the agent to tell them about the fund. But if you want to be a serious investor, it is advisable for you to read it because most of the basic information, such as the fund’s objectives, manager’s qualifications and experience, fees and charges, and other relevant information are in the prospectus. You can get the prospectus from the unit trust management company.  
  • Newspapers and business magazines Newspapers and business magazines are the most accessible source of information for unit trust investors. Usually, newspapers will carry news and data on unit trust funds.  
  • Financial planner If you decide to use their services, ask whether they are independent financial planners or otherwise. A non-independent financial planner may receive commissions for a product they are recommending. As a client, you should be made aware of this fact and you should not be compelled to invest in these products.  

    4. Check the fund manager’s background and experience 

    Since you are parting with your hard-earned money, it is crucial for you to know the fund manager’s background and experience. In addition, check whether the fund manager is licensed by the authorities, by logging onto the Securities Commission’s website at www.sc.com.my

    5. Never rely solely on funds’ past performance 

    You must never look at past performance only as a basis to gauge the future performance of the fund. Remember that past performance does not reflect future returns. In addition, not all funds under the same management companies achieve the same performance.  

    6. Select the funds that matches your investment objectives 

    A suitable fund is the one that not only would give you good returns but must also meet your investment objectives and risk profile. By setting your objectives and understanding your risk profile as well as gathering the relevant information, you should be able to determine the right fund for you.  

    This is just a basic and general guide to choose the right unit trust funds and not an exhaustive one. As a smart investor, you must make all the necessary effort and initiative to ensure that your investment decision is an informed one. Remember, your investment decision is yours to make alone. So choose wisely. 

    The Securities Industry Development Centre (SIDC) was established in July 1994, and is the training and education arm of the Securities Commission (SC). Its mission is to build human capital, guide investors in the capital market and develop investor education programmes to meet the objectives of the Malaysian Capital Market Masterplan and address national development needs. It is recognised as a premier training centre for capital market participants and regional regulators.  

  • Mind your money


    Securities Industry Development Centre

    WHAT would happen to an untended vegetable garden? You will surely see more brown weeds than green leaves and succulent fruits. The same thing applies to your investments. If left unmonitored, you may not see the desired result and returns.  

    While it is important to do your homework before investing, maintaining the discipline to monitor your investments is equally important.  

    Monitoring is a vital activity to ensure that your investments are performing according to your financial plans and expectations. By keeping an eye on your investments, you will be able to adjust your strategies to either enhance your returns or cut your losses.  

    You must also monitor your investments in a correct manner to ensure efficiency. Here are a few simple tips to monitor your investments: 

    ·Pay attention to changes: We live in a dynamic world. Everything moves and changes at a fast pace. As such, no matter how foolproof and robust you perceive your financial plan to be, it will still be susceptible to changes.  

    Changing laws and regulations, the turbulent nature of the domestic and world economic environments (for example, the 1997 Asian financial crisis), changes in the capital markets, and reversal of company fortunes can affect your investments. As a consequence, your investments may need to be restructured to suit your financial plan and goals better. As a wise investor, you need to be proactive to these changes. 

    ·Evaluate performance: You should continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of your investments to find out how they are doing. Regularly check how your shares, unit trust funds and other investments are performing against the projections made when you first established your investment goals. 

    If your investments are doing well, you may want to pump in more money, or encash part of your profits and buy another investment product. If they are not performing as well as expected, you may decide to sell them. 

    How often you should review your investments depends on the size and time frame of your investments, and whether you have chosen high-risk or low-risk assets.  

    ·Keep track of investment documents: The simplest way to monitor your investments is to review the documents and statements sent to you. Investment statements (for example, CDS account and trading account statements and contract notes) make your monitoring easier.  

    A contract note, for example, is issued by your stockbroking company to confirm your stock market transactions.  

    A contract note, which is a legally binding document, contains crucial details of your investment transactions, such as details of trade, brokerage, stamp duty, clearing fees, cost of purchase and proceeds from the sale.  

    If you do not receive the contract note, you must contact your remisier and insist that it be sent to you immediately.  

    Upon receiving your investment documents, it is a good practice to read them and check their accuracy. If you think there is any inaccuracy, contact your investment professional immediately. You must also file your documents systematically for future reference. 

    It is best to monitor your investments personally and not delegate the task to someone else. Monitoring should be done regularly and without fail as monitoring lapses may cost you dearly. 

    Modify your plans: You should review your portfolio of investments regularly. Your financial situation may change and therefore, you may need to review your financial plan and goals. For instance, should you receive a windfall, which increases your funds for investing; you may want to aim for bigger financial goals. 

    On the other hand, you may actually have fewer funds for investing than you initially thought and may want to revamp your financial goals. 

    When drawing up a financial plan with your investment professional, it is wise to have an exit plan. An exit plan stipulates what you need to do when your investments perform poorly or below your expectation. For instance, you could consider removing and replacing inferior investments. 

    In conclusion, the day you start investing is not the day you stop referring to your investment plan or doing your homework.  

    You will still need to read the newspapers and company annual reports regularly, follow the developments of your investments through television, radio and websites, or meet with your investment professional on a regular or need-be basis. 

    The learning never stops. A wise investor will continuously equip himself with as much investment knowledge as possible to be on top of his/her investments.  

    lThe Securities Industry Development Centre (SIDC), set up in July 1994, is the training and education arm of the Securities Commission (SC).   Its mission is to build human capital, guide investors in the capital market and develop investor education programmes to meet the objectives of the Malaysian Capital Market Masterplan and address national development needs.  

    It is recognised as a premier training centre for capital market participants and regional regulators.  

    Log on to SIDC-Malaysian Investor website (www.min.com.my) for information on how to be a wise investor. 

    How to monitor shares, trust funds


    YOU should monitor the company you have invested in by tracking its profitability, earnings growth, gearing and dividend payouts. 

    Read the company’s announcements, shareholders’ circulars, annual and interim reports, and pay particular attention to the closing dates of rights issues, warrant issues, take-overs offers.  

    Pay attention to corporate earnings, auditor’s report and directors’ interest. Make yourself available to attend annual general meetings to find out how the company is managed and gauge its business prospects.  

    For collective investment schemes such as unit trust funds, you should monitor their performance (relative to the objectives of the fund), strategy, reporting and portfolios.  

    In addition, you can ask your unit trust agent for more information, including: 

  • Performance of relevant investment markets  
  • Level of volatility associated with return  
  • Rate of inflation 
  • Performance of other similar unit trust funds 
  • Strategies employed in recent years. 
  • There’s no short cut to wealth


    KUANTAN: There is no short cut to wealth, not even via the Internet, advised Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday. 

    He urged the public not to put their earnings and savings in cyber get-rich-quick schemes which he likened to similar scams popular some 20 years ago. 

    “There are severe and dangerous effects to the schemes offered through the Internet. Your entire life savings can go up in smoke and when this happens, your retirement days will not look that rosy,” he told reporters after officially launching the Malaysian Unit Trust Week (MSAM) organised by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) at Padang MPK 2 here. 

    Najib said the Internet investment schemes were similar to previous get-rich-quick scams that were so popular during the 1980s such as Pak Man Telo. 

    On whether there were any legal means that could be exercised so action could be taken on the operators who used the Internet as the medium, Najib said the Government would have to look into the matter . 

    Crystal marvels: Najib with (from left ) Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, PNB CEO Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah and Ahmad Sarji at an exhibition showcasing crystal replicas of buildings in the country in Kuantan yesterday.

    Earlier in his speech, Najib said he still received reports of people being duped by the schemes. 

    “Do not think that everything in the Internet is good,” he added. 

    On MSAM, Najib said he believed it was an important medium to create public awareness and education on investment for it would promote wise spending, encourage people to save and invest in schemes such as those offered by PNB. 

    The unit trusts gave good returns and were safe, two important criteria when making an investment, he added. 

    MSAM is held from April 20 to April 29. It aims to promote investment education to the society. 

    Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will close the event on April 29. 

    The MSAM features 184 exhibition booths representing 54 firms and institutions includ-ing PNB subsidiaries such as ICI Paints (M) Sdn Bhd, Chemical Company of Malaysia Bhd, Golden Hope Plantations Bhd and Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd. 

    Unit trust industry biggest in region

    KUANTAN: Malaysia’s unit trust industry is the biggest among Asean countries, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He said the industry had gained a bigger market and a wider influence among the people over the past 10 years. 

    “The Government is confident the industry is able to register a more rapid growth with its continuous efforts to launch products for various groups,” he said. 

    Najib said that last year, the unit trust industry recorded an overall increase, with its net assets growing at 23.6% from RM121.8bil. Its fund management rose 29.2% to 164.4 billion units. 

    PNB chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, in his speech, said the Malaysian Unit Trust Week (MSAM) was an important activity for PNB as it would be able to display the institution’s ability to utilise, protect and expand the stakeholders’ investments and eventually, distribute the profits in dividends and bonuses.  

    Group Activities 2nd Qtr

    Assalamu’alaikum semua…

    encl activities & training scheduled for May-June 2007.

    Training

    1. Need volunteers – Syllabus & materials provided (can improvise for the better or to suit facilitators)

    2. Month May training a bit cram but if gilir-gilir, shud be ok.

    3. Any further topics to include – welcome feedback

    All invited.

    Usually conducted at Cheras, Saturdays 9am – 12.30pm (unless request otherwise).

    Tea-break provided.

    Training material – usually free unless banyak sangat.

    Group Meet

    Tentative monthly meet for Jas & associates – on Monday (after Azizah’s weekly meet)

    As usual, we’ll have an informal discussion (incl lunch) at selected venue (also open to suggestion).

    All invited.

    Other Developments

    1. Azizah is planning the following :

    ..Biz Preview on a weekly basis (every Wednesday nights) – alternate venues between Cheras & Bangsar branches.

      Please show your support by bringing prospects. Not enough numbers will only backfire the event’s objective (as in the past).

    ..first BOP is 9 May 2007.

    [Jas’s opinion : I do not recruit by the numbers but am blessed so far that my teamates are very encouraging & take UT biz seriously. I will give my support and assistance if it means more production for the group]

    2. Azizah’s Monday meetings

    ..we use to have part meeting & part skill/product training.

    ..I’ve been informed by Azizah that the Monday meetings will be MORE of problem solving & challenges (brainstorming) facing agents day-to-day activities.

    [Jas’s opinion : do attend and bring new agents. Make it a good habit especially for newcomers. After all, we won’t know how long we can take advantage of this session. We may break away end 2007 if all goes well (unwell?) ]

    3. Azizah’s Friday training

    ..Azizah is planning Friday nights SKILL training.

    ..We (Jas & Associates) have done a few “modular” kind of training @ saturdays, and I plan to continue this.We’ll see how it goes in the future if changes are needed.

    [Jas opinion : our modular training materials will enable upcoming leaders to have a basis for training their team. In future, it becomes easier & faster to groom agents. Someday, all Leaders will be GAM and I’d like to part with useful tools & good memories and look back and know that I’ve done enough for my group].

    So, feedbacks & comments welcomed. Pls let me know where you guys & gals can assist.

    Just,

    jas