Wish or Will?

By Elsa Pau
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

When 30% of people, in a survey of their investments, believe the way to create wealth is to win ‘Mark Six’, it presents a challenge that the financial service providers need to address head-on.

In a recent release by AIA, their survey with 500 working adults aged between 20 and 59 reveals a few interesting findings in their wealth management attitudes, although most may not come as surprises.

While the majority of the respondents (90%) in Hong Kong still haven’t reached their first pot of gold, which most would define as the first HK$2 mil, one in four (27%) participate in speculative activities such as trading of concert tickets, stamps and coins, handbags and purses and even sneakers. The survey also shows that nearly 30% of the respondents have borrowed money from their family and credit card for their investments. Ironically 70% of the respondents have no idea of their investment returns, and about the same percentage wish they could turn back the clock and change their investment decisions. The rest of the respondents are placing almost 60% of their money in time deposits with a very small percentage (5%) who have a fixed savings strategy.

These figures and findings are appalling and hugely ironic; I would summarise the underlying messages as: wishes, security, negligent, gambling and regrets. In short, most people have a wish to be prosperous but they lack a realistic strategy to aggregate wealth, by being ultra-safe or overly speculating. Neither of which will help them get to their destinations and objectives.

In order to arrive at our long destination safely, we should carefully plan for our trip. We could use the more conventional ways of reading maps (studying every instrument yourself before investing), or we could use the more modern solution of GPS (having a professional advisor guide you through). You must also fill your tank with sufficient gas (having enough money in the bank) and check your dashboard occasionally before it runs out (so you could avoid the extra risk of leveraging). When you’re tired, rest. Don’t try to deplete your energy and run into a risk of crashing (when the market is tired and not performing as it should, let it take a break and don’t chase after it).

In 2015 and beyond, there is still much work to be done by financial services providers in providing basic investment education, and helping those already investing to take a more pro-active role in the development of their wealth accumulation goals. BENCHMARK will help to play its part in this, as we expand our readership through new distribution partnerships.