Khamis, 21 April 2011

Unit Trust. Healthy wealth management

> In this age of instant everything, we often look for a quick fix to all issues, including our physical well-being or financial woes
By: Tan Beng Wah (Thu, 03 Mar 2011) 

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, the famous American of the 18th century, was a diplomat, philosopher and inventor. Above all, he was fantastic at multi-tasking.Amazingly, this super-achiever was the one to coin the phrase: "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man, healthy, wealthy and wise." Franklin obviously had the foresight to recognise the causal link between health and wealth.
However, humans are creatures of contradictions. We know the "damage" caused by habits like smoking, over-eating and drinking, but many of us still continue to indulge in them. As these unhealthy habits eat into our financial and physical health, many of us justify our actions by saying that they help to relieve stress.
More often than not, we spend too much on things we do not need or cannot afford. This is evidenced by the fact that each day, 41 Malaysians on average become bankrupt due to credit card debts, and defaulting in repayments of car and housing loans.
The average person today between the age of 41 and 54 has savings of only around RM30,000. Some 14% of people in that age group have no savings at all.
How do we then achieve a balance between living a long life and being healthy, wealthy and wise?
In this modern age, we often look for a quick fix to all of life’s issues and vanity is a champion instigator of the quick-fix remedy. Despite the dangers of crash diets and slimming pills, many still believe that it will help them shed those extra kilos quickly.
But nothing can replace the good old prescription of regular exercise and a balanced and controlled diet to maintain a healthy figure.
Some would go in search of a miracle cure for beauty. They put themselves at risk of being permanently disfigured by paying money to reshape their bodies. Many men and women fall into these makeover traps to achieve super figures or look more youthful.
Similarly, despite the negative publicity on get-rich-quick schemes, many people are still gullible enough to fall prey to them.
It is important to realise that there is no quick fix to either attaining good health or accumulating wealth.
A healthy state of wealth can be achieved by regularly setting aside a portion of your income for investment. Use this knowledge to empower yourself to lead healthier lives and achieve a state of financial freedom.
If you are seeking total financial freedom through financial wealth management, you need to engage a professional financial planner to conduct a check on the health of your wealth.
Break out of your comfort zone and don’t wait for that life-changing moment before carrying out a health check on your wealth. The earlier you consult a professional financial planner, the better your chances are in achieving your financial goals.
A financial planner is, after all, a trained expert who can help you plan your short-and long-term financial needs. This is important as the processes take into account your needs, risk tolerance and life financial goals according to your investment time-frame.
For investments, financial planners use their knowledge to create a personalised wealth management plan with a diversified portfolio of investments within different asset classes, with the right proportion, based on your risk tolerance. They will continuously rebalance your portfolio and grow your investments to leverage the state of your wealth.
They can help you manage your investments according to your intentions, by helping to put into effect various financial instruments such as a will or trust document, to protect your interest.
Financial planners will also help you manage risks due to disability and illnesses in order to protect the interests of those who depend on you if you are no longer around or if you are disabled.
Do not expect your financial planner to work miracles. As with any holistic programme, when it comes to ensuring a constant healthy state of wealth, you still need to regularly feed your investments to see your wealth grow.
What your financial planner can do is help to ensure that the wealth you create is regularly invested so that you will achieve financial freedom eventually.
Ultimately, it boils down to moderation and balance. More people are now realising the importance of a balanced lifestyle to maintain good health.
Similarly, balance is also important when it comes to wealth management. Just as stress is not good for our health, neither is stress good for wealth management.
Call in a financial planner to take the stress out of balancing your portfolio and keeping your investments healthy.

Tan Beng Wah is the chief executive officer of CIMB Wealth Advisors Bhd (CWA) with more than 30 years of experience in the financial and IT services industries.


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