Latest from Islamic Investment Malaysia

Monday, March 31, 2008

Lesson 8 - Concerns Of Most Prospective Investors

Why Isn't One Investment Plan Right For Everyone?

Before investing, decide what you want your investments to do. Investing is simply using money to make more money. Investment ringgit are not meant to be used for daily living essentials.

You might choose to invest in bank deposits, government bonds, securities, or life insurance. They are all different, and no single investment channel fits the needs of every individual. Neither can a single financial product fulfill all our needs at different stages of our lives.

Since most unit trusts or collective investments limit their investments to securities, let us explore some of the reasons why investors, both institutional and individuals, might want to own a unit trust. Many prefer unit trusts because they are easily bought and sold. They represent variety and flexibility of returns. Unit trusts can be bought at varying prices, from very low to very high, and small amounts can be invested at convenient intervals. Unit trusts can be selected, often with excellent results, by having limited investment background.

When investing in unit trusts, investors can profit in two ways. They may receive distributions. Since the market value of unit trusts fluctuates, investors also profit when selling their unit trusts in the event of substantial or marginal increase in value. However, fluctuation also means the value of your unit trust can go down in value. That is why unit trusts are recommended for medium to long-term investment programme. Regardless of which unit trust is selected, it should meet the investment goals. A basic rule is that it should not be done on impulse.

What About People Who Are Retired Or Have A Family?

Age is a strong consideration in investment decision. Notice how conservatism comes with age. With age, comes the awareness that a serious investment error could jeopardise the security that has taken years to accumulate. The closer the retirement, the fewer the years to rebuild.

Investment risk is quite different from gambling. Weighing risk based on facts is investing. Taking chances based on odds is gambling. The point is, age is an important factor in deciding risk.

Another strong consideration is responsibilities. A young individual beginning a career with the additional responsibility of one or more children must weigh these responsibilities. The most protection for the fewest ringgit should supercede any forced savings that would reduce family protection.
Financial needs change. How they are met should depend on our responsibility.

Why Should I Start Investing Today?

Today's decision should consider tomorrow's needs. There is a direct relationship between the amount of money you need to accumulate and the number of years you have to do it.

For example, if you plan to have a RM120,000 education fund, have 20 years to do it, and expect an annual rate of return of 12%, you have to invest only a little over RM120 a month. Wait 5 years, and with 15 years left you will need over RM240 a month. Procrastinate another 10 years, you will have to take almost RM1,470 each month!

Time can be a real asset when planning for a child's education or our retirement. The more time we have to save, the fewer ringgit we need now. Do not let time slip away.

What Are The Three Rules Of Investing?

There is no simple formula for successful investing. If there were, it would include three basic elements:
Understand what we buy
Buy value at a reasonable price
Be patient
Understanding is so basic, it is often neglected. Too often an investment is made with no total understanding of the transaction. It is vital to understand your investment - the good, the bad, the risks and the rewards. Fully comprehending the objective of any investment will help you be more comfortable.

Value buying demands both research and discipline. A stock may be judged undervalued for various reasons. If an industry is out of favor, the market value of the stocks within the industry might go lower but, if the fundamentals are still positive, it is an opportunity for the investor to buy selectively as it is still a good value stock.

Patience is a vital ingredient of value investing. It could take several years for the value of your investment to materialise. This waiting period demands both patience and confidence. Most successful investors know it takes time for their investment to double, triple, and so forth. Professional managers generally agree that 5 years is reasonable.

Choosing A Professional Fund Manager : Why Can't I Do It Myself?

Put not your trust in money But put your money in trust
Oliver Wendell Holmes

There are a lot of peolple who like to "do it their way" when it comes to investing. Right or wrong, they want to be captain of their ship. But not eveyone can or likes to be captain of their ship. Being a passenger has advantages. It is usually more comfortable and certainly less time consuming. When your investments are managed by someone else, you sit back and either reap the harvest or suffer the loss.

Bank deposits and insurance are the best known managed investments outside the securities area. They usually have some guarantee of principal or income, and the income is usually low with not much risk.

Where does that leave you if you want your money to not only produce a reasonable income now, but to also grow over the years?

The answer to your question is PROFESSIONAL FUND MANAGEMENT.....If you lack experience, time, financial resources, or courage to personally manage investments, or if you believe others can get better results, this is the way to go.

Selecting The Right Unit Trust - How Do I Find A Unit Trust That Fits My Objective?

It used to be simple selecting a unit trust. Today, there are a multitude of different unit trust funds competing for investment ringgit. Perhaps a simpler way is to first identify your investment objectives. If you want your money to grow a larger sum in the future to pay for an objective and your risk tolerance is higher, you may choose a growth fund to do the job. On the other hand, if you need an ongoing income stream to pay for expenses and your risk tolerance is low, a better choice may be a bond fund. You may have different investment objectives, risk tolerance and time horizons at any one time, which warrants owning a mixture of different unit trust funds for different investment purposes.

Why Do I Have To Spend All That Time Reading A Prospectus?

Before investing in any unit trust, read the prospectus. It's required that you get one, so if it's not offered, ask for it!

A prospectus is your protection contract. It tells you all you need to know about the fund. If you plan to own the fund, you will want to know how your money will be invested.

The prospectus is a blueprint of the fund. It tells what the fund managers can and cannot do with your money. It describes risk and limits, and the amount of risk the fund is allowed to take. It tells you whether the purpose of the fund is to make profit as quickly as possible or to make only reasonable gains while first bringing in income and protecting your principal.

Many investors who are in a hurry to reach their goal, take the shortcut of not reading the prospectus. This could jeopardise your investing decisions. Read the prospectus. Arm yourself with sufficient information to make an 'informed decision'. It prepares you for what lies ahead.

No comments: