World Financial Planning Day (WFPD) on 5 October 2022 is a global event organized by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB). The Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM) as an FPSB affiliate, has rallied its stakeholders and financial planners to take part in this year’s WFPD2022 to promote financial literacy and the financial planning industry.
Ooi Beng Cheang, Financial Literacy Manager at the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM), answers some questions regarding financial literacy and planning, and what it means to ‘Live your today, plan your tomorrow’.
Smart Investor: This year’s theme for WFPD is ‘Live your today, plan your tomorrow’. Who does it pertain to the most, and why the message is more relevant at this point in time?
Ooi Beng Cheang: It is a relevant theme for Malaysians as we continue to face various challenges requiring better financial literacy. With the rising cost of living, adjustments must be made to our current personal finances for us to achieve our future goals. Malaysians are faced with many pertinent questions today such as:
How do we setup a realistic monthly and yearly budget?
How will inflation affect my retirement plan?
How do I deal with rising healthcare cost?
There are many other questions with no easy answers.
In the forest of questions about money, many will need a licensed financial planner to serve as a guide to find the best path through life’s journey. No one path is alike, and a financial planner will be able to chart the best roadmap for each individual.
SI: What is FPAM’s plan to promote financial planning and financial literacy this year and how the public can make the most of it?
OBC: FPAM has organized a much larger campaign for WFPD this year compared to last year. This year, FPAM has engaged with its corporate and chartered members, financial planners, and the media to help promote financial literacy since July 2022. We realize it is important to get the financial planning firms and financial planners involved early so that they will be seen as a source of authority for financial literacy in Malaysia.
Financial Planners were encouraged to post financial literacy content on social media from 31 August to 5 October and use the hashtag #wfpd2022 and #MYwfpd2022 to increase visibility of the campaign. Postings were also shared by the financial literacy website SmartFinance.my on Facebook and Twitter.
To ensure that the campaign reaches as many people as possible, financial planners were also encouraged to post content in a variety of languages.
Besides the promotional campaign, FPAM is also working with the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) on making #FinPlan4u a success this year. The yearly event allows the public to speak to a licensed financial planner in a one-to-one financial consultation session.
As the time is limited to one-hour for #FinPlan4U, one should prepare some talking points ready on what they want to address with the financial planner. This could be questions about their life goals like retirement or children’s education fund. In the session, the financial planner is not allowed to sell products and will advise the public in general about personal finance.
This year’s #FinPlan4u kicks off in Kuching, Sarawak on 17 to 18 September. After that, the event will continue with online sessions from 11 to 13 October. It will then continue on ground at KLCC from 14-16 October. FPAM is working with the state chapters, corporate and chartered members to rally our financial planners to take part in #FinPlan4u.
SI: Tell us more about smartfinance.my. Specifically, what function does it serve and how can those seeking the help of a licensed financial planner can make the most of it?
OBC: Besides the #FinPlan4U sessions for this year in September and October mentioned earlier, the public can also arrange to meet other financial planners by searching for one on smartfinance.my. The website list licensed financial planners that have been vetted to ensure they have the proper credentials. The public can search for a financial planner based on location of specialty area and then arrange for a free one-hour consultation to see if the financial planner is a good fit for them. This way, the public can screen several financial planners and only work with the one that best suits them.
The public can also read articles and watch videos about financial literacy. These will give them a good basic understanding if they are on the right path. These articles and videos will also give the public some talking points with the financial planner if they notice some areas of concerns.
SI: Why does one need a financial planner in their life and how can one go about looking for the right professional?
OBC: Financial Literacy is a life skill that if not picked up early in life, may results in personal finance mistakes that may have lifelong repercussions. For example, going into credit card debts and not paying it off in time will affect one’s credit rating. A financial planner will work with their client to help set a disciplined payment schedule, putting their client on the right path again.
The earlier one engages a financial planner in their life, the better as they will have a proper financial road map of where they want to go in life. If they should encounter any costly adversity, the financial planner will be there to guide them through the storm.
To be a licensed financial planner, the person must hold either of these credentials – CFP, IFP, ChFC, RFP, or Syariah RFP. The public should ensure that the financial planner is licensed under SC to practice as a Licensed Financial Planner (LFP). This can easily be done by going to SC’s website (https://easy.seccom.com.my:8222) and searching for the full name of the LFP under Licensed and Registered Persons. The result should show their license number and the name of their financial planning firm.