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Selecting Investment Advisors

This article is reproduced with permission from
Normandy Advisory Services Sdn. Bhd (Licensed Investment Advisor)
15th Floor Menara Multi-Purpose, No 8 Jalan Munshi Abdullah, 50100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03 - 469 5560 Fax : 03 - 294 5561


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When comes to investment planning, investors would normally have to crack their heads about where and how to start. Some seek the help of professional advisers to solve their problems. Others prefer to do everything by themselves rather than rely on professionals.

Quite often many investors do not have time to plan their finances efficiently. Investors in this group often adopt a "pure" passive investment strategy for their financial planning as they are wary of market volatility. They are more comfortable investing in traditional instruments such as savings and fixed deposits with banks which require less risk, thus less monitoring of the market

With a growing number of options available in the market, it would be unwise for investors to stick to only one or two traditional investment tools which provide a relatively slow albeit steady return.

Financial planning is one of the general range of services in the market provided by qualified investment advisors. A competent investment advisor can provide invaluable advice for investors who lack the necessary investment knowledge and practical skills. One must remember that managing even a small investment portfolio can be time-consuming.

What is an investment adviser? The Securities Industry Act defines an investment adviser as "a person who carries on a business of advising others concerning securities. Any party giving investment advice today must be licensed by the Securities Commission (SC).

How can one determine whether one has selected a reliable investment advisor? Below are some things to look for. A good investment advisor should :-

1. Give impartial investment advice

The adviser should provide independent advice. They should be independent of any product provider. For example, when buying a unit trust, many people normally prefer to talk directly to the product provider. There is nothing wrong with this but bear in mind that the product provider is likely not to give "fair" advice. It is only natural that his or her advice would be biased towards his or her product.

On the other hand, the investment advisor who is not formally linked with any product provider such as a fund manager is more likely to give impartial investment advice. In other words, there is no conflict of interests. The advice would not be skewed to any particular product provider but based purely on quantitative and qualitative analysis of a fund.

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