Monday, 17 June 2013

The Rise of Financial Planner

As promised, Finance Malaysia blog would like to educate public at large on the importance of personal financial planning, after knowing that most Malaysians falls into debt traps because of this poor financial planning. After finding out, we're surprised that actually not many of us knowing this NEW distribution channel in financial markets --- Financial Planner.

The NEW Alternative...

Traditionally, when we sourced for financial products or services, we normally go to either agent or bank. Example, for life insurance or unit trust, we buy from life insurance agent or unit trust consultant or banker.

This trend continues few years back, when Securities Commission of Malaysia and Bank Negara Malaysia comes out a framework or guidelines introducing financial planning industry. Then, financial planning firms emerge, until only recently some of us would have heard about its existence in the market place. Of course, financial planners came into picture too.

Role of a Financial Planner?
By definition, a financial planner is a practicing professional who covers the whole process of financial planning including cash flow management, education planning, risk management, investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning and business succession planning (for business owners). The key defining aspect of what the financial planner does is that he/she considers all questions, information and advice as it impacts the financial situation of client. 

Highly Regulated?
In Malaysia, the term 'financial planner' was regulated and legislation requires a person to be licensed before he/she can hold himself/herself out as a 'financial planner'. Authorities view financial planner as a professional and should be differentiate it from the rest of financial practitioners. Just as the title 'Dr' only for Doctor or doctorate graduates, and 'Ir' for qualified professional engineers to instill the confidence of public based on titles.

It's an offence to call on yourself as financial planner or practicing financial planning for clients, without license in Malaysia. Those who found commits such offence, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5mil or to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years term or to both. Wow... Considered as a serious offence.

Even said so, many insurance agents or unit trust consultants commits the offence without realizing it. So, please tell your insurance agent or unit trust consultants whom you love or care about.

This article was contributed by Alex Yeoh, a licensed financial planner with a reputable financial planning firm. Finance Malaysia blog will work together with Alex in bringing more interesting articles on personal financial planning. For more info, you may reach him via email

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