Financial planning isn’t what it used to be, with the old days of sticking your money in a savings account being long gone. In its place is a digitally-savvy generation that has changed the way in which traditional financial planning is perceived.

Nobody knows this better than a financial planning firm whose illustrious history and track record in the financial planning industry has put it ahead of many other firms out there.

VKA: A Brief History

Established in 2003 with practice offices in the Klang Valley, Penang, Johor Bahru, Miri, Sibu and Kota Kinabalu, VKA Financial Group aspires to provide comprehensive solutions to clients from all walks of life, including individual clients as well as SME/SMI and corporate clients.

“Our firm’s name VKA is synonymous with our motto of providing Value-added, Knowledge-based and Action-oriented solutions to the clients that we served,” says Dato’ Javern Lim, founder and group managing director of VKA Financial Group in an interview with Smart Investor recently.

“’Which are the areas that I can add value to my client?’ This is an important question when it comes to the ‘Value-added’ part of our motto. ‘Knowledge-based’ reminds financial adviser the importance of continuous learning, while ‘Action-oriented’ refers to the VKA platform providing access to hundreds of financial solutions and how, from that array of solutions, there is one that is bound to suit the client,” explains Dato’ Lim.

The firm has well-structured departments that are headed by experts in specific areas such as Conventional and Islamic Personal Financial Planning, Corporate Financial Advisory, Wealth Management Advisory, Employee Benefits Programme, General Insurance as well as Risk Management. These departments provide support and deliver competent solutions to their clients.

Imparting Financial Management and Solutions

VKA adopts a hands-on approach in terms of growth strategies in order to keep up with the growing demand for financial planning in the country.

“We have year-long financial education talks for our corporate clients to help their employees to be smarter in terms of managing their own finances,” Dato’ Lim acknowledges, adding that VKA also engages youths by conducting talks on the basics of financial planning and being a Licensed Financial Planner, and collaborates with universities to have a structured internship programmes for their undergraduates.

On reaching out and imparting financial education to more Malaysians, Dato’ Lim comments, “We are in the age of information that creates a scenario whereby we are often burdened with information overload and sometimes have trouble separating what is genuine information and knowledge, and what is not.

“Recognising this potential challenge for Malaysians who are keen to learn how to DIY their personal finance matters with the proper process and approach, we are in the midst of planning to bring our financial education initiative to a larger scale to reach out to more Malaysians.

“This will all be happening next year, and through this initiative we aim to share with them the proper financial planning methods so that they can take charge and gain more control of their finances.”

One of the core beliefs of VKA is to always be up-to-date in terms of knowledge on clients’ needs as well as changes in the industry, and this is something that the firm does exceedingly well, Dato’ Lim assures Smart Investor.

On this, VKA conducts their own in-house training, market outlook updates as well as related conferences to maintain the quality of their service and appropriateness of the advice to their clients.

Your Best Interest at Heart

While people may think that financial planners are everywhere, the truth is that there has not been any over-supply of financial planners at all. This false impression, Dato’ Lim reckons, is due to the abuse and over-usage of the terminology by product salespeople.

“Financial planning is a regulated activity in Malaysia, and to provide financial planning services a person has to be licensed and practice under a licensed financial planning firm.

“A licensed financial planner will generally place the client’s best interest at heart and discuss with the clients to come out with a plan or strategy that can help the client to make progress in their life in their pursuit towards the individual’s life-goal,” he stresses.

People should not turn to financial planning only when they are ‘rich’ or when their income reaches a certain personal milestone.

Opines Dato’ Lim, “We should all be proactive and seek out a competent licensed financial planner to discuss our aspirations and concerns, as well as what we hope to achieve if we can overturn the tide that is currently working against us.

“If we act first, we will have more options and flexibilities and will not be restricted by circumstances later on – wouldn’t this be a better outcome to have?”

For more information about VKA Financial Group, please contact 03 8071 1661 or write to enquiry@vka.com.my.

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