Sunday, November 28

SC: Malaysians should start planning and investing for the future

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(From left) Bursa Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Amirsham A Aziz, Ranjit, Khairy, SC deputy chief executive Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin, and SC chief regulatory officer Foo Lee Mei pose during the opening of InvestSmart Fest 2017.

KUALA LUMPUR: With the growing sophistication of the capital market, and the increasing number of financial and investment decisions, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) urged Malaysians to be more mindful of their financial planning by improving their financial and investment literacy.

SC chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh highlighted this during the InvestSmart Fest 2017, which is an initiative by SC.

Officiated by Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia Khairy Jamaluddin at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the three-day InvestSmart Fest aims to promote financial and investment literacy in order to enhance investor empowerment.

Themed ‘Invest For Your Future’, InvestSmart Fest 2017 is in line with SC’s efforts in promoting long term savings and investments, and retirement planning.

“With the growing sophistication of the capital market, the number of financial and investment decisions that consumers have to make is increasing. Longer life expectancy also means there is a need to ensure that accumulated savings are enough to cover longer period of retirement.

“Consumers are also responsible for the financial products they decide to purchase and will have to face the consequences of their choice.

“Equipping consumers with financial and investment literacy is crucial to enable them to protect themselves, cope with unexpected events, and ensure their financial well-being,” said Ranjit.

He added, “In order to achieve financial well-being, Malaysians need to possess the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively manage their financial resources. This includes the ability to make sound investment decisions, build and manage wealth, and adequately prepare for retirement.

“As TN50’s 5 key themes are centred on drawing upon the aspirations of our youth for nation building, financial literacy amongst our future leaders cannot be overly emphasized.”

Since the launch of InvestSmart in 2014, the SC has reached out to over one million Malaysians through seminars, roadshows, and engagement with community leaders (SC-In-The-Community Programme) nationwide. The use of digital channels such as websites, Facebook page and mobile app has allowed SC to also reach out to the tech-savvy and younger Malaysian demography.

“Improving financial and investment literacy involves long term behavioural change – change that is inspired through multifaceted and coordinated initiatives sustained over a period of time.

“Therefore, the SC has enhanced its structure by setting up a behavioral analysis unit under our Consumer and Investor Office (CIO) to integrate greater appreciation for investor behavior.

“Additionally, in order to ensure the cohesive development of Malaysia’s financial and investment literacy programmes, SC and Bank Negara Malaysia are co-chairing the Financial Education Network to develop Malaysia’s National Strategy for Financial Literacy,” Ranjit said.

As the National Strategy is geared to address financial and investment literacy needs within all segments of society, he noted that key agencies including Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Employees’ Provident Fund, Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia and Kementerian Pendidikan Tinggi are also involved in the formulation of the strategic priorities and action plans.

The National Strategy for Financial Literacy is targeted to be launched in the first quarter of 2018.