High demand for certified financial planners

There is a worrying trend as the numbers of scams have increased, particularly during this challenging time

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM) encourages more people to take up the certified financial planner programme recognised by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) due to the high demand for financial planners during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the launch of the annual Financial Planning Symposium 2020 yesterday, FPAM president Ismitz Matthew de Alwis said there should be more licensed financial planners in the market today as high ethical standards are needed to maintain public confidence and financial health.

The symposium, themed “Live Your Today, Plan Your Tomorrow” is part of the FPAM’s Financial Literacy Year 2020 (FPAMFLY2020), in support of the Financial Education Network.

He said this year’s line-up will focus on matters that impact critical aspects of a person’s life, such as the effects of Covid-19 on the economy, strategic asset allocation and wealth management.

SC chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar (picture) said FPAM’s role could not be understated as investors are now seeking safe harbours, new opportunities and guidance.

“Investors are going through very uncertain times, but they are also increasingly aware of the significance of financial planning and management,” he said.

He added that education in financial planning had become a vital part of Malaysians’ economic wellbeing.

“The opportunity in the market, perhaps not surprisingly, is accompanied by unscrupulous factors who want to take that opportunity and advantage for themselves.

“They are trying to exploit vulnerable investors, and there is a worrying trend as the numbers of scams have increased, particularly during this challenging time. This is why we must all be involved in improving financial literacy in a systematic, sustained and coordinated way,” he said.

The FPAMFLY2020 organising chairman Nicholas Chu said the objectives of the programme are to elevate financial literacy across the country, cultivate good financial management behaviour and promote engagement with licensed financial intermediaries.

“Little did we realise that when the board mooted the idea to elevate public financial literacy, we will be facing an almost year-long pandemic.

“Nonetheless, it is timely, and we quickly tweaked our activities to be focussed on current challenges,” he said.

He added that to date, 14 financial literacy outreach programmes, which began at the end of March, had been completed, running three sessions each day for a month of webinars on FPAMFLY’s Facebook page.

“Almost concurrently, we co-hosted with BFM radio station to run a weekly series of personal finance webinars, targeted to help the working class and small and medium enterprise owners in a similar situation.

“We just concluded Season 2 with 25 webinars under our belt. For the Chinese speaking public, we have a four-interview series with Ai FM which started in September,” he said.

He added that another joint venture with BFM, a pilot six-module employee financial wellness programme, has been completed.

“It started with an on-ground workshop followed by online due to the Movement Control Order. Currently running is our public online short video competition where competitors share their personal financial stories, be it lessons learnt or success stories,” he said.

Upon submission, three winning participants are en route to winning RM5,000 each.