Wealth Planning
  • Understanding female investors - women using capital to change the world

    Source: Moxie Future
    Date Submitted: 21 Feb 2018
    Views: 125
    Downloads: 0
    New research published by Moxie Future shows that women are leading the way when it comes to investing responsibly with almost two thirds of those surveyed expressing an interest in pursuing investments that have a beneficial impact on society.
    The report entitled, “Understanding Female Investors: Women Using Capital to Change the World” (#UFI18) was commissioned by Moxie Future to better understand the investment preferences, habits and motivations of women and their interest in responsible investing, which entails channelling funds into companies and industries that are creating positive social and environmental change.  
     “Our survey shows that female investors want more than just good financial returns,” says Moxie Future’s Founder Ms. Jessica Robinson. “In addition, increasing numbers of professional women want to make investment decisions that positively influence the world and are aligned with their values.”
     In total, 2,536 women aged 18 to 65 were surveyed across the five major markets of Australia, China, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States through online interviews conducted between March and April 2017.
    Findings from the research highlight how female investors in China show the greatest interest and concern when it comes to responsible investment. In total, 84% of women surveyed in China expressed that they are motivated to be a responsible investor.
    Among those surveyed, globally 69% of women indicated that they would be interested in investing responsibly if suitable products were available. Interest in responsible investment products is notably highest among women in China (91%) and the United States (74%). 
    Across all markets poverty, income equality, healthcare and climate change are causes that matter the most to women when it comes to investing their wealth.
    In addition, while the research found that women are motivated, there are a number of barriers to be addressed. Many women view their lack of time, knowledge, understanding and distrust of information regarding investment products as the key obstacles in the responsible investment process. Within China however, the leading concern is lack of tested products in the market.
    “The research shines a light on the mindset of today’s female investors from their priorities when making investment decisions to the concerns that may be deterring them from investing responsibly,” says Ms. Robinson.
    “While our study has found that women are generally positive about responsible investing, it has uncovered the practical difficulties that they face when committing their money, not least a perception among women that the financial services industry is failing to offer advice that aligns with their goals and interests.
    “What this tells us is, not only is there a disconnect between women and the financial services sector, but there are untapped opportunities for the industry to work more closely with female investors to deliver products and services specifically designed around them. This includes catering to the investment preferences of women and addressing their needs in a more meaningful way.”
    With regards to China, Ms. Robinson attributes the higher levels of interest in responsible investing to the fact that Chinese women are facing more visible challenges, particularly environmental threats which may explain why they are more motivated.  
    “This is not forgetting that in terms of financial confidence, our research has uncovered that Chinese women tend to be the most bullish in their own investment abilities,” she continues.
    Results from the research also point to how of the five markets surveyed, women in Germany appear to be the most lacking in confidence. Concludes Ms. Robinson, “When it comes to responsible investment opportunities, confidence matters because the higher the level, the more likely female investors are to be concerned and engaged.”
    To view a full copy of the report, please see “Understanding Female Investors: Women Using Capital to Change the World. HONG KONG, 30 January, 2018 – New research published today by Moxie Future shows that women are leading the way when it comes to investing responsibly with almost two thirds of those surveyed expressing an interest in pursuing investments that have a beneficial impact on society.
  • The prevalence of global stock market inefficiencies gives rise to ample opportunities for stock picking

    Source: Chan Fook Leong, CFA
    Date Submitted: 19 Dec 2017
    Views: 1142
    Downloads: 0
    Media Release

    The prevalence of global stock market inefficiencies gives rise to ample opportunities for stock picking
    • Active management can yield alpha from inefficiencies in global equity markets particularly in the Asia Pacific region and in emerging markets 
    • These opportunities to generate excess risk-adjusted returns are in spite of trading costs 
    • There is a positive relation between transaction costs including the presence of short selling restrictions and alpha
    By Chan Fook Leong, CFA, for Asia-Pacific Research Exchange (ARX)
    Singapore, November 14. Professor Söhnke M. Bartram from University of Warwick highlighted the prevalence of global stock market inefficiencies over a lunch-time talk to a full house of CFA charter holders in the FTSE Room on the 9th floor of Capital Tower, Singapore.

    When there are deviations from fair value, stock picking can yield alpha. The mispricing in equities is prevalent globally, particularly in the Asia Pacific region and in emerging markets as uncovered by Professor’s Bartram research project using point-in-time accounting data from more than 25,000 stocks from 36 countries over a period of more than two decades.

    He and joint researcher, Mark Grinblatt, showed that the risk-adjusted returns are significantly larger in emerging than developed markets, suggesting that emerging markets are less efficient at incorporating material public information.

    Potential profits are also larger in the Asia Pacific region. Equity markets in Asia Pacific, the region with the largest alpha, experiences 26-50 basis point additional alpha compared to the Americas even after factoring in differences in the state of economic development.  

    In their research, fair value is determined using replicating portfolios instead of the more conventional discounted cash flow model or the structural asset pricing model where assumptions such as terminal growth and discount rates need to be determined. The replicating portfolio method is a simplistic non-discretionary approach as it relies on less assumptions to arrive at the fair value of a stock. Using international accounting data which is readily available to investors, firms with the same accounting metrics should have identical fair values.

    The replicating portfolios assign monthly fair values to more than 25,000 firms from 36 countries from 1993 to 2016. Thereafter, ordinary least square regression methods are employed to determine the most under- and over-priced stocks. Professor Bartram found that mispricing is greater in emerging markets and in the Asia Pacific region.

    The proxy of trading costs in this research are costs typically incurred by institutional investors. The study also shows that constructing a long-short portfolio still yields positive alpha in spite of trading costs from fees, commissions, and market impact. Moreover, simple adaptations of strategies that reduce turnover such as buy-and-hold strategy can improve alpha in emerging markets.

    Transaction costs which include trading and compliance costs also predict potential profitability – there is a positive relation between such costs and alpha even after controlling for variables such as the quality of a country’s information environment, its level of economic and financial development, and its regulatory framework. This implies that a hypothetical country with zero transaction costs will be devoid of alpha.  

    The other determinant of the level of alpha is the presence of short selling restrictions and other characteristics that might curb arbitrage activities. Limiting arbitrage activities impede the process of stocks reverting to fair value which in turn gives rise to mis-priced stocks.

    Stock market inefficiencies leads to presence of higher alpha in emerging markets and the Asia Pacific region compared to other parts of the world. The former two market or region represent the amongst highest transaction costs including the presence of the prohibition of short selling relative to others, and thereby leading to higher alphas waiting to be realized from picking these severely mis-priced stocks. Best of luck.
    The full research report can be downloaded from the Asia-Pacific Research Exchange (ARX) website (
  • Do Investors Benefit from DCA?  Evidence from the Stock Exchange of Thailand

    Source: Kanin Anantanasuwong, Sirithida Chaivisuttankgun
    Date Submitted: 07 Nov 2017
    Views: 426
    Downloads: 9
                  This paper empirically examines the effectiveness of DCA and its alternative strategies in the Thai stock market. Looking that one-year investment horizon, we find that the DCA and its closely relative VA are less preferable to a simpler strategy such as LS or AA in term of risk adjusted performance. This is a contradiction to the common advice given by professional financial advisors. While they claim that DCA reduces the exposure of an investment, thus limit its risk, our finding about downside risk measure is inconclusive. DCA and VA are better than LS and AA when using the mean of Sortino ratio, yet their medians are worse.
                  We create indices that follow the growth of wealth from investing in each of the strategy, and find that, while DCA and VA offer less terminal wealth, they failed to prevent the portfolios from the decline during the financial crisis in 2008. This is due to the fact that DCA and VA can only prevent the losses that occur in the early phase of the investment horizon. If the losses come later on when the strategies have already accumulated a lot of exposure on the stock market, then they are no better than LS.
                  However, even though DCA and VA are inferior to LS and AA in term of the outcome from investment, they might be appropriate choice for people who want to make a saving plan which investment schedule comes in line with their monthly incomes. Thus, the usefulness of DCA and VA are rather in term of money management than investment outcome.
  • Heterogeneity Effects on the Management of Retirement Fund

    Source: Thepdanai Danswasvong, Sira Suchintabandid
    Date Submitted: 07 Aug 2017
    Views: 205
    Downloads: 6
    ​This paper studies the importance of plan members’ heterogeneity to the management of defined benefit (DB) pension fund. We propose a new multi-member model of DB pension fund that allows for heterogeneity in plan members’ retirement ages, salary growths, and other characteristics.
  • RMBI Newsletter Issue 13 (Financial Crime Risk: Anti-Money Laundering and The Rise of Text Mining in Financial Markets)

    Source: Tsang Chiu Yu, Derek, Wong Ching Ip, Venice, Chiu Hok He, Angus, Li Chin Wa, Chin
    Date Submitted: 26 Jul 2017
    Views: 414
    Downloads: 0
    In the latest issue (Issue 13 – August 2017), it covers the stories of:
    Financial Crime Risk : Anti-Money Laundering Practices in Banking
    To understand anti-money laundering, we have to understand what money laundering is. Money Laundering is the process of converting illegal funds into seemingly legitimate assets with the purpose of concealing the ownership or original source of these funds. This makes it difficult for the authorities to trace the origins of the funds. To counter this, the banking sector has established a set of internal regulations and system known as anti-money laundering. These are legal controls taken by financial institutions to investigate suspicious transactions to help prevent money laundering activities within the banking sector.
    The Rise of Text Mining in Financial Markets
    The world is awash in data. Financial markets are awash in data. We are generating around 2.5 quintillion (2.5×1018) bytes of information every day, and there is an average of 4,000 brokerage reports a day comprising around 36,000 pages in 53 languages. As market participants try to maximize their competitive edge from the growing mountain of information, the nancial world increasingly feels there is a need to harness the power of big data and it has been shaping the way they acquire, analyze and utilize data. The recent development is the rapid expansion of text mining. Hence, this article will focus on the development of Text Mining technology as well as Text Mining technique.
  • Corporate Governance for Asian Publicly Listed Family-Controlled Firms - Executive Summary

    Source: Tony Tan, DBA, CFA, Fianna Jurdant
    Date Submitted: 18 Jul 2017
    Views: 3277
    Downloads: 0
    Good corporate governance is increasingly considered one of the prime drivers of business success. Through transparency, equitable treatment of all shareholders, and a robust system of sound practices and procedures, good corporate governance can enhance performance and growth, both in the individual firm and at the national level.

    A solid corporate governance framework is particularly important for family firms, which face unique challenges as they balance the advantages and disadvantages of family involvement in the business.

    Based on an analysis of 56 family-controlled listed companies in 14 jurisdictions,* the CFA Institute report, Corporate Governance for Asian Publicly Listed Family-Controlled Firms, identifies opportunities to enhance corporate governance structures for family firms in the region. The report reveals how effective corporate governance can help these companies—and the regions in which they operate—continue to achieve economic success.

    Over the last few decades, Asian family firms have played a pivotal role in fueling the region’s economic growth, and their influence will continue to rise. By 2025, the number of firms in Asia with revenue exceeding USD1 billion is expected to be nearly equivalent to that in developed economies globally. Family firms will represent 75% to 80% of those entities.
    However, the growth of Asian economies in recent decades has been largely propelled by low labor and production costs. As the performance of Asian economies begins to mirror that of developed economies, their future capacity for growth will not be sustainable if they are competing on cost alone. To remain competitive, Asian family firms must innovate, expand outside of traditional markets, and professionalize, which will necessitate the tapping of global talent and capital. This will put pressure on these firms to have a corporate governance structure in place that can meet international standards and investor expectations.

    Challenges of Internationalization
    Between 2000 and 2010, the total market capitalization of Asian family firms grew significantly. A major driving force behind this was an entrepreneurial desire among Asian family firms to use capital market funding to expand in new markets, with the number of listed family firms increasing 62%. As more family firms use capital markets to fund their internationalization plans, they will face the challenge of developing sound corporate governance frameworks that meet the needs of the heightened regulatory environment and the scrutiny that comes with being listed.

    Challenges of Professionalization
    Although Asian family firms prefer to pursue family-management succession plans, many recognize the need to capitalize on external talent to meet future business pressures. Efforts to professionalize a family firm, however, may be double-edged.

    On the one hand, professionalization might boost a firm’s effectiveness. On the other hand, professionalization might give rise to additional agency costs, such as the need to offer incentives to align the interests of professional management with those of family members. If a family firm is to realize the benefits of bringing in external talent, then that incoming management will need the freedom to do the job for which they were hired. Defining an optimal equilibrium between family culture and external professionalism is therefore imperative to facilitate future value creation without incurring greater expenses.

    Challenges of Dispersed Ownership
    The average percentage of family ownership of large-size family firms in Asia is substantially lower than that seen in their European and North American counterparts. This implies increased ownership diversity, which can result in two major issues. First, with a widely dispersed minority ownership structure, the entity is potentially exposed to greater majority/minority owner conflicts. Second, Asian family owners who wish to expand their businesses while still retaining control may rely more on creditors than on further equity dilution. This could potentially lead to greater shareholder/creditor conflicts. Family firms should develop corporate governance policies to address these concerns.

    Research is inconclusive on whether the family-firm construct enhances or diminishes corporate governance practices. In theory, the long-term horizon and closer alignment of principal-agency interest in family firms should improve corporate governance. However, those same features could prove problematic by increasing risk, whether as a result of a lack of transparency, entrenchment, or wealth expropriation from minority owners.

    A solid corporate governance framework is essential for family firms to effectively balance the advantages and disadvantages of family involvement in the business. Combining governance, management, and ownership in the hands of family can bring benefits, but this centralized decision-making structure inevitably brings risks. Sound corporate governance practices can help family firms include different perspectives on their boards, which can mitigate risks. Moreover, such practices can help family firms balance the interest of different stakeholders, a task essential to the long-term sustainability of these entities. As well, sound corporate governance practices can help family firms reduce their cost of capital and reduce capital waste, making them more attractive investment targets and more competitive entities.

    The complex challenges facing publicly listed family firms in Asia are influencing the underlying corporate governance frameworks of those firms. Through a holistic understanding of corporate governance features supporting firm performance and value across the region, these firms will be better able to address the difficulties they face and to thrive in the future. The development of policy recommendations that assist in enhancing the corporate governance practices of Asian publicly listed family firms will also increase protection for minority owners from wealth expropriation by the majority, controlling family owners.

    Learn more about how corporate governance can impact family firm value and success at
  • Presentation deck of ARX seminar - Stock Market Efficiency, Participants and Investment Delegation

    Source: Yeguang Chi
    Date Submitted: 09 Jun 2017
    Views: 2216
    Downloads: 19
    Presentation deck of CFA China Shanghai seminar - Stock Market Efficiency, Participants and Investment Delegation

    In December 2016 CFA Institute supported the 29th Australasian Finance and Banking Conference by sponsoring two research awards in Banking / Finance / Investment Management in Asia-Pacific markets and the winner of the first prize goes to Yeguang Chi, associate professor of Shanghai Jiaotong University SAIF.

    In addition to uploading Professor Chi’s winning paper “Private Information in the Chinese Stock Market: Evidence from Mutual Funds and Corporate Insiders onto ARX, to bridge the gap between academics and practitioners we have created a Practitioner’s Brief, a short practitioner-focused digest of the research paper and an accompanying video edition of that digest.  The brief and video were well received and CFA China Shanghai decided to bring it to life by hosting the first o2o seminar on June 6.

    During the event Professor Chi first illustrated the conditions of China’s stock market in terms of trading volume of retail investors and performance of mutual funds. Then he presented his research findings on how and why mutual funds and institutional investors in China outperform the market, highlighted the disadvantages retail investors possess in a considerably inefficient market and encouraged retail investors in China to consider delegate the investment decision to fund managers, trade less or to go for passive investments. Meanwhile he also urged for more disclosures on private meetings and stronger enforcement against insider trades to enhance market efficiency.

    Professor Chi's presentation deck can be downloaded in the attached.
  • Safe Withdrawal Rates for Japanese Retirees Today

    Source: David Blanchett PhD, CFA, CFP, Katsunari Yamaguchi, PhD, CFA, CMA
    Date Submitted: 17 May 2017
    Views: 1054
    Downloads: 7
    Japan faces many retirement challenges. People are living longer, interest rates are at zero, and most personal financial assets are parked in low-return bank deposits. Each of these characteristics lowers the portion of savings a retiree can withdraw each year while safely expecting savings to reach the end of retirement. This portion is commonly known as the “safe withdrawal rate.”
    In this paper, we use historical returns to explore safe withdrawal rates, both in Japan and internationally. More importantly, we estimate safe withdrawal rates for Japanese investors based on our current return and risk expectations for Japan.
  • Safe Withdrawal Rates for Australian Retirees

    Source: David Blanchett CFP, CFA, Anthony Serhan, CFA, Peter Gee
    Date Submitted: 29 Mar 2017
    Views: 3067
    Downloads: 11
    In this paper we briefly explore safe withdrawal rates from the perspective of historical returns, both international and domestic, but more important provide some context of safe withdrawal rates given our return expectations. There are four primary findings from this research. First, Australians may have unrealistic future return expectations given how well the markets have performed historically. Second, while safe withdrawal rates today are similar to historical averages, they are lower and may be significantly lower when incorporating improvements in mortality and the impact of fees. Third, current minimum withdrawal rates for account based pensions in Australia may lead to investors depleting retirement assets too soon. Finally, a balanced portfolio is likely the best allocation for Australia retirees. Overall, while these findings are less optimistic than past research on the topic of safe withdrawal rates, they are nevertheless an important starting place for retirees and financial advisors today.
  • The Competitive Saving Motive: Concept, Evidence, and Implications

    Source: Wei, Shang-Jin, Zhang, Xiaobo
    Date Submitted: 04 Feb 2017
    Views: 83
    Downloads: 1
    Wei, Shang-Jin; Zhang, Xiaobo | November 2015
  • Promoting Better Lifetime Planning Through Financial Education

    Source: Yoshino, Naoyuki, Messy, Flore-Anne, Morgan, Peter J
    Date Submitted: 03 Feb 2017
    Views: 242
    Downloads: 2
    Yoshino, Naoyuki; Messy, Flore-Anne; Morgan, Peter J | June 2016
  • Why you should not have evil thoughts when making money

    Source: Kyith Ng
    Date Submitted: 04 Jan 2017
    Views: 270
    Downloads: 0
    I would first like to apologize for not posting much this week. Most likely I would talk about 1 or 2 companies I notice this 2 weeks in following posts. I hope it interest some of you to give your honest feedbacks.
  • Jeremy Grantham: Market Valuations are better now. Buy High Quality Blue Chips

    Source: Kyith Ng
    Date Submitted: 01 Jan 2017
    Views: 295
    Downloads: 0
    Jeremy Grantham is someone I really like to read up on, simply because he managed to forecast the long term returns of 10 asset classes and got them correct. I think that is no mean feat, people always forecast and in the end it is pretty far off. This goes to show his valuation model is great. In this article 2 days ago, he talks that valuations have become better than months ago. And though he have an opinion on farmland and agriculture being the next super bull, he still advocate holding High Quality Blue Chips and great European blue chips. Read some of my past postings on him here.
  • The Growing Importance of Infrastructure as a Core Asset Class

    Source: QIC, Asian Investor
    Date Submitted: 27 Dec 2016
    Views: 377
    Downloads: 0
    QIC recently partnered with Asian Investor magazine to conduct a survey to gauge the attitudes of Asian investors towards infrastructure as an asset class. Questions revolved around; allocation strategies, likely exposure trajectories, factors effecting manager choices as well as what challenges they face. The results have been illuminating, and on the whole they show a growing interest in infrastructure as an asset class that is well suited to current market conditions
  • Options that Deliver are the Ones that Matter Most

    Source: QIC, Investment Magazine
    Date Submitted: 27 Dec 2016
    Views: 358
    Downloads: 0
    QIC recently partnered with Investment Magazine to host a roundtable discussion looking at option strategies and the practical issues around portfolio insurance. Ten participants, including Neil Williams and Robert Swan from QIC, debated the malleability of options to both profit from and insure portfolios, the anxiety of upfront costs as well as getting boards on board.
  • Global Asset Allocation Trends

    Source: Aaron Low, CFA
    Date Submitted: 14 Nov 2016
    Views: 387
    Downloads: 13
    2016 CFA China Conference
  • MySuper vs. KiwiSaver: Retirement Saving for the Less Engaged

    Source: Geoff Warren
    Date Submitted: 07 Nov 2016
    Views: 357
    Downloads: 3
    Comparison of New Zealand's KiwSaver with Australia's MySuper default pension funds.
  • Delegation, trust and defaulting in retirement savings: Perspectives from plan executives and members

    Source: Adam Butt, Scott Donald, Doug Foster, Susan Thorp, Geoff Warren
    Date Submitted: 07 Nov 2016
    Views: 319
    Downloads: 1
    Australian superannuation fund members are surveyed to gauge motivations behind defaulting, as well as their wants and needs from their pension fund. Comparison is made with findings from interviews of fund executives.
  • Daniel Goleman: Three Steps to Better Investing

    Source: Matthew Borin
    Date Submitted: 14 Oct 2016
    Views: 599
    Downloads: 0
    It is a blog posted on CFA Institute's website on 20 September 2016
  • Prioritizing Cash Holding to Debt in Evaluating Listed Stocks

    Source: Kyith Ng
    Date Submitted: 08 Oct 2016
    Views: 583
    Downloads: 0
    When prospecting listed companies to buy, good companies might not always have a lot of cash. You cannot prioritize cash being higher in the decision to buy or not to buy. One of the gracious opinion provided by a reader to my brief prospecting of Transit Mixed Concrete is that the cash to debt ratio was not ideal. My inference is that high cash to debt is appealing. In some cases it is and personally, when I see a high net cash company relative to market capitalization (stock price x number of outstanding shares), it also intrigue me to take a second look. However I will perhaps show you by the end of this while this is a valued metric to consider, it usually isn’t something we should place high on the list of evaluation. Here are some of my thoughts.
  • The Bidadari BTO: My 8 considerations as a Home and Future Monetization plan

    Source: Kyith Ng
    Date Submitted: 08 Oct 2016
    Views: 269
    Downloads: 0
    November brings forth a new batch of BTO flats and the gem among the list is 3 projects that are based in Toa Payoh. I think it is the kind of 4D lottery if you manage to snag one. Like Dawson and Duxton that comes before, here are some of my thoughts ranging from how I see it as a place to live, to your future considerations if you snag it.