Investment management (or financial management) is the professional asset management of various securities (shares, bonds, and other securities) and other assets (e.g., real estate) in order to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of the investors. Investors may be institutions (insurance companies, pension funds, corporations, charities, educational establishments etc.) or private investors (both directly via investment contracts and more commonly via collective investment schemes e.g. mutual funds or exchange-traded funds).
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) (formerly the Securities Commission) provides Authorisation to individuals who provide Personalised Financial Advice, Investment Planning Services and/or Discretionary Investment Management Services. Individuals who receive authorisation are referred to as an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA). In order to receive authorisation, individuals must complete the National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) (Level 5).
The R.F.P. is the older (established in 1987) and more stringent of the two publicly monitored designations. All R.F.P.s must first demonstrate their competency, then abide by a code of ethics and adhere to rigorous practice standards as defined by the granting body, the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP). Every R.F.P. must attest each year that financial planning is their primary vocation.
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There are a range of different styles of fund management that the institution can implement. For example, growth, value, growth at a reasonable price (GARP), market neutral, small capitalisation, indexed, etc. Each of these approaches has its distinctive features, adherents and, in any particular financial environment, distinctive risk characteristics. For example, there is evidence that growth styles (buying rapidly growing earnings) are especially effective when the companies able to generate such growth are scarce; conversely, when such growth is plentiful, then there is evidence that value styles tend to outperform the indices particularly successfully.
Marriage. Many couples wait to explore life insurance options until they have children or purchase a home, says Divam Mehta, founder of Mehta Financial Group in Glen Allen, Virginia. "While those are the standard benchmarks, I recommend searching for appropriate life insurance solutions as soon as marriage for a myriad of reasons," Mehta says. "First, the foundation of any financial plan should be insurance. Second, when individuals enter marriage, they are not only forming a union of the souls, but also a union of finances, most notably debt. Many young couples will have student loan debt, car loans and or credit card debt that lenders can possibly go after. The third and most important reason that marriage is an appropriate moment for life insurance is that that it the sooner you start, the more affordable it is, and the more time you have to accumulate cash value if it is a permanent policy."
In Singapore, financial services are highly regulated by The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the regulator and supervisor of financial institutions in Singapore. Rules are set by MAS for financial institutions and are implemented through legislation, regulations, directions and notices. Currently, the majority of the financial planners (financial consultants) are commission-based, which may cause a conflict of interest related to the products recommended. In 2015, a balanced scorecard framework was implemented to better align the interests of the FA industry and consumers. This ensures FA representatives and supervisors meet key performance indicators that are not related to sales, such as providing suitable product recommendations and making proper disclosure of material information to customers (Non-Sales KPI). Failure to achieve good grades for the Non-Sales KPI will directly affect their commission (variable income).
Many RIAs are fee-only advisers, meaning they can’t work off commission or sell a client any investment products that aren’t in the client's best interests. Financial planners don’t have to be RIAs to work under this business model. Fee-only financial planners generally make their money as an hourly rate, an annual fixed retainer or as a percentage of the investment assets they manage on behalf of their clients. They also have a fiduciary duty to their clients over any broker or dealer.