Monday, February 23, 2009

Ways to weather stormy markets

What you can do, and what not to do, to whip your investments into shape

Stocks today are more volatile than they've been in years. January's wild weeks and February's broken-heart start are signs that new market leadership is emerging and old mainstays are losing steam. It's time for you to change with the times.

But how? Change is tough enough to imagine; it's even harder to do, especially when the market's direction isn't clear and buyers are grasping at straws. Adapt to changing conditions by adopting rules that can carry your investments through these turbulent times -- and beyond.

“Too many people get distracted by benchmarks, well-meaning friends, media reports or information from people that know nothing about them," says Dan Moisand, a financial adviser at Spraker Fitzgerald Tamayo & Moisand LLC in Melbourne, Fla. "They forget why they are investing in the first place. The clearer and more specific one is about goals, the better."
Here's what you need to do with your investment portfolio now, and what you don't want to do -- especially now.

Time horizon

Do see the big picture: When confusion reigns, you don't necessarily have to stay the course, but you'll want to stay above the fray and keep perspective on long-range goals and plans.
Always keep an investment portfolio that fits your personality and objectives. It's probably hard to believe now, but if you're planning to retire in 10 or 15 years, today's gyrating markets won't even register. If your money is appropriately divided among stocks, bonds and cash, any direct hit to stocks -- and your pocketbook -- will be cushioned.

All this makes it easier to tolerate the market's inevitable swings and stumbles, and to use these downturns to your advantage with prudent bargain-hunting.

Don't be short-sighted: Toss your monthly brokerage statements. Time in the market, not timing the market, is ultimately a more profitable strategy.

Longer time horizons make losses less likely. That's because stocks usually go up.
So show those market-timing gurus and gizmos the door. With investing, you don't have to join the party at just the right time; you just have to show up.


Do stay diversified: Smart investors are exposed to various types of stock funds, government and corporate bonds, cash, and maybe a smattering of real estate, commodities and natural resources. Portfolio diversification may be old hat -- don't put your eggs in one basket and such -- but cliché or not, it works.

Don't speculate: "It's more important to avoid the big mistake than to hit home runs," says Ellman, the New Jersey adviser.

We all love stories, especially Cinderella stories where the little guy or gal triumphs over injustice and lives happily ever after. The stock market is full of those get-rich-quick stories. Mostly, though, it's brokers who are getting rich off the little guy's quick trades.

If you think one stock will be a lottery ticket, ask yourself this: If you were given $100,000 today, would you put it all into that stock? Remember, Cinderella's bubble burst at midnight.


Do keep your portfolio in balance: Many investors react to the moment, buying near tops and selling near bottoms, making hasty decisions based on rumors and hunches.

The best plan is simple but challenging: Trim winners and add to losers. This is known in portfolio-speak as "rebalancing." Do it religiously once a year, and be sure to wait an extra day so your sales will qualify for favorable long-term tax rates.

Don't get pushed to act: In turbulent times like this, it may seem that you have to do something, anything, to stop the shaking. In bull markets the opposite is true, and you'll do anything just to get on board. After all, everybody likes volatility when stocks are going up.

If you feel compelled to make a move, take a lesson from the pros. Big institutional investors and money managers contemplate "what if" scenarios and have a plan of action in place when they occur.

Don't chase hot performance: Everybody loves a winner. Among mutual funds last year, for instance, trophies went to natural resources, energy, Chinese stocks and other emerging markets. This year, who knows? But it's unlikely that these same sectors will enjoy another round of turbocharged results.

While it's tempting to follow the crowd, investing is never that easy. "Don't take needless risk," Levin says. "Stick to your investment plan and rebalance back to your target levels for U.S., international, small and large stocks, as well as bonds."


Do invest with confidence: "Smart investors pick an asset allocation that is consistent with their risk tolerance," says Jim Peterson, a vice president at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. "They don't chase performance in hot areas of the markets and they don't panic when certain areas of the market do poorly."

Be flexible as well. In addition to boosting bond allocations, many investors have shifted into U.S. and international growth stocks in anticipation of an economic downturn. Growing companies with lots of cash and a broad, global customer base are better equipped to withstand chaotic times.

Yet even proven defensive measures might not be so effective this year for stock investors. Come December, you may find that the stock portion of your portfolio is below your target range. After a brutal year, you won't be in the mood to buy, but that's exactly what you want to do. The more comfortable you are with your plan, the easier that decision will be.
Don't get overconfident: Know what you don't know. Believing that you know the inner workings of a particular stock or business sector can be dangerous, even -- maybe especially -- if you work for that company or industry. Think Enron.

"You have to understand that the market has a way of doing what you don't think it's going to do," Kays says. "That's why you have certain rules in place to protect yourself on the risk side, and when people get overconfident they break those rules."

Overconfidence is prevalent when stocks are soaring, but even in this market downturn there are bargain-hunters who are convinced they're catching the bottom. They may be in for a rude and costly surprise.

"You're better off missing the bottom on the way up than getting in and things dropping another 20%," Kays says. "There's an old saying in the investment field that the pioneers get the arrows and the settlers get the land. You don't have to be the hero."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Survey: Malaysians not saving enough

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are not saving enough and they are not prepared to face a financial meltdown should they lose their job or be retrenched.

According to the latest findings from Citi’s Financial Quotient (Fin-Q) 2008 survey, only two in five (39%) Malaysians actually save and less than one-in-three (28%) make and stick to a monthly budget.

Citibank Bhd head of segment and marketing, retail bank Timothy Johnson said the results from Malaysia show an average Fin-Q score of 51 points out of a possible 100 points, with 54% of Malaysians scoring 50 points and below.

A majority of Malaysians reported in the survey saved up to 20% of their monthly income - excluding the 11% in the Employees’ Provident Fund - and 12% said they do not save anything at all.

In the event of a job loss but with continued regular expenses, one-in-five indicated their savings would last for only four weeks.

On average, Malaysians reported having 11 weeks of savings in reserve,

“Against the backdrop of the current challenging economic environment, these findings are quite worrying,” Johnson said in a briefing yesterday.

He said although the Fin-Q scores in seven of the 11 subject areas have shown improvement, it was not.

“We believe that a lot more needs to be done to ensure Malaysians are truly financially savvy as the detailed survey results revealed that there is still room for improvement,” he added.

The Citi Fin-Q survey comprised 500 online interviews of 40 questions each, rolled out to determine the level of understanding among Malaysians about their personal finances and financial practices. The survey was conducted from Oct 15 -30.

Johnson said more Malaysians were taking an interest in their finances and the recent economic crisis had made saving for emergencies an important element for them.

According to the survey, 56% are somewhat better off now than they were a year ago. Nevertheless, 37% were worried about their financial future. While 86% of Malaysians attempt to follow a budget, less than one-in-three (28) actually stick to the budget.

The Fin-Q also revealed that 30% Malaysians indicated they would “know exactly” and 60% have a “good idea” what to do if they were given six months salary to invest. There was also a 6% increase in the number of Malaysians who have a formal retirement plan and 56% are confident or somewhat confident that their savings will lead to a comfortable life in retirement.

Asked how much would be needed for retirement, Johnson said it was very subjective. He said the answer required thorough thinking and planing as the amount of money you need in retirement had a direct correlation to the style of living you wish to have.

“If you want to retire in Bahamas, you will need a bigger amount compared to living in a house in suburban area,” he said, adding that to gauge the figure, one should look at the current expenses and estimate how they might at retirement.

Johnson also pointed out a fascinating finding in the survey. He said 35% Malaysians believed that money can buy happiness.

He said the Fin-Q was a snapshot of our current level of financial literacy and what we all need to do to better control our finances. Malaysians needed to be disciplined and have good financial management to ensure enough savings, he said.

“I believe Malaysians should provide additional focus on developing and enhancing their level of financial literacy, more so given the current challenging environment.”

source :

Friday, February 6, 2009

Why You Should Join Me?

Why would I want to be a Unit Trust Consultant?

Because YOU deserve to have a well-paid and fulfilling career in an industry that is enjoying explosive growth in Malaysia.

The Malaysian unit trust industry is vastly untapped

The local unit trust industry is a multi-billion Ringgit industry because of its vastly untapped potential. In a period of just 15 years since 1992, the amount managed by private unit trust companies grew from a mere RM400 million to RM71.005 billion! (Source: Lipper, 28 January 2008)

The Malaysian Private Unit Trust Industry's Growth Rate from 1992-2007

Great Opportunities to earn unlimited income

According to the Securities Commission, in December 2007, the Malaysian unit trusts boasted 15.32% equity penetration rate*. In comparison to the same period, United Kingdom's equity penetration rate was 41.62%. (Source: London Stock Exchange and Investment management Association, UK)

Malaysia unit trust equity penetration rate

In December 1992, the Malaysian unit trusts equity penetration rate was merely 6.40%. This means that Malaysia's rate is low in comparison with more developed countries like the UK and Malaysia's ratio is rising rapidly.

For you, all these translate into plenty of opportunities to earn potentially unlimited income as a unit trust consultant.

Why would I want to join Public Mutual?

Because Public Mutual is the biggest and the best!

No.1** unit trust company in Malaysia

There are 28 private unit trust companies in Malaysia and Public Mutual has the largest market share of 40 percent as at end-December 2007.

Market Share of Private Unit Trust Industry as at 31 December 2007

We have more than 50% market share in equity and balanced funds sector, Islamic fund sector and foreign fund sector.

We manage more than 60 funds with a total net asset value of RM27 billion for over 1.8 million accountholders.

We have a wealth of 27 years of experience in managing funds.

Public Mutual is the most awarded unit trust fund manager in Malaysia, raking in total of more than 100 major awards since 1999 including Best Fund Manager in Asia awarded by Failaka Advisors, Dubai and The Most Outstanding Islamic Fund Manager Award at the KLIFF (Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum) Islamic Finance Awards 2007.

Strongly supported by Public Bank

We are backed by the vast resources of one of the largest and strongest banks in the country – Public Bank. Public Bank is a premier financial institution that continues to be accorded prestigious domestic and international recognition for its banking and management excellence.

Extensive Network

We are supported by more than 240 Public Bank branches which augment our network as ubiquitous collection centres. We are linked extensively through our national network of 26 branches, as well as a 33, 000-strong agency force to provide better service to our investors.

So, what's in it for me?

Unit trust consultants of Public Mutual enjoy great benefits. Amongst them are:

  • Highly competitive incentive structure and benefits programme in the industry.
  • The potential to earn unlimited income.
  • Flexible working hours.
  • Overseas trips, awards and public recognitions.
  • A wide range of financial planning and professional sales tools.
  • Subsidised Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificatin course and diverse training programmes.
  • Sales incentives and campaigns to support your sales effort.
  • Numerous recruitment incentives and subsidies for agency building.
  • And much, much more...

Now What?

Contact ME!

Take hold of this opportunity NOW if you seriously crave to enhance your personal and professional life.