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Financial Planning Survey

>> Thursday, February 25, 2010

Based on findings of a recent survey conducted by the Financial Planning Association of Singapore (FPAS) released yesterday. The survey showed that 71 per cent of financial planners expect business to improve in the next six months.

But they can expect a tougher time in trying to convince consumers to pick up new financial products. About 31 per cent of the 387 polled in the Financial Planners' Opinion Survey said it remains a challenge to persuade customers to do financial planning.

This is because consumer confidence in the financial planning industry has weakened in the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers fiasco.

One of the gaps in the industry is that practitioners are highly specialised: They are either in insurance, investment or in wealth management. Going forward practitioners would need to be more well-rounded, ethical and professional to get consumers to focus on financial planning.

The FPAS has organised trainings to help members raise their competence level and understand key issues, such as compliance and prevention of financial crimes.

More than 90 per cent of financial advisers said they agree to the market-based regulations for greater transparency and disclosure and about 86 per cent believe that professional organisations should help set rules and regulations.

On the issue of compensation, 81 per cent believe that consumers should have the option to pay a mixture of fees and commissions on the products and the advice given.

Upgrading skills and educating consumers are topmost in the priorities of financial planners, according to the online survey which was conducted from Jan 22 to 31.

To this end, the FPAS will launch a Financial Products Dictionary to help consumers make informed investment decisions. Targeted for launch in October, the dictionary will be available on the FPAS website in English and Chinese. This is in collaboration with other associations like the Association of Banks in Singapore, Life Insurance Association, General Insurance Association and others.

The FPAS is also planning to have a National Financial Planning Day in October, where it will organise activities to encourage Singaporeans to do financial planning.

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To promote the education of individuals for the need to have a healthy lifestyle and wealth management through proper financial planning, particularly in investments.




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