03 Oct Life as a Remisier and Financial Advisor
Hi I am Louis. I am a Remisier and Financial Advisor. Today I would like to share with you my journey and welcome you into a typical day in my life.
I took a leap of faith by leaving my stable corporate career in April 2015. (You can read about why I made that decision here.) Due to the unique nature of my license, I am able to provide advice and execution of trades for a wide range of financial instruments. They range from insurance, bonds, ETF, stocks and many more.
My job requires me to meet with many retail investors and to scrutinise their portfolio. Of course, client information is always confidential and I will not be disclosing their information here. What I am going to share is the overall performance and general sentiment.
As a dual licence holder, I need to be a multitasker. For a start, I need to stay updated with what the market is doing. Every morning, I will find out what has happened overnight in the US and Europe, monitor client trades and read about scheduled market activities for the day. I do this every single day. I call it my ‘breakfast’.
After breakfast, I will spend time looking at my clients’ portfolio. Usually the initial appointment with a new client is a fact finding session. I will gather all insurance policies and investment summaries, and find out more about the client’s background and investment objectives.
It is my job then to analyse and compile the information for the client during the next appointment. The compilation and analysis for a client can be range from an hour to half a day or even longer, depending on how complex the financial situation is.
During office hours, I will stay connected to my trading desk and answer client queries on the market and on individual stocks. My evenings are usually spent with clients.
There is a whole range of tools and instruments available for wealth management. Each serves a different purpose. A holistic wealth management plan should utilise each instrument wisely and it is my job to recommend the right tool to achieve the desired outcome.
On the weekly basis, I will review how I have spent my week and outstanding items that require follow ups. On a monthly basis, I will do a monthly presentation on the global investment market and provide a monthly portfolio performance report for my clients.
Excel, excel and excel
I am a ‘numbers’ person. I believe only by looking at numbers can we tell the difference between a good or bad financial instrument.
Regardless of which instrument you are using for your wealth management, analysis based on the projected returns and potential risk will indicate the suitability of the instrument in your wealth management process.
Throughout my journey in providing financial advice, I have built up several standard templates for wealth management. I am happy to share them with you and you can download them at:
These are the standard templates though, and may not be applicable for more complex portfolios. In such cases, I construct a projected cash flow for client. Based on the existing circumstances and by applying certain assumptions, I am able to project the future cash flow for a client:
The purpose of the cash flow projection is to ensure that the ending cash balance stays above zero. This indicates that one can live comfortably with sustainable cash balance for the entire life span.
Experience, stories and investment performance
What I like most about my job is the interaction with clients. In our conversations, I get to hear many different life stories. While there are many investing success stories, there are just as many who are still struggling. I have also come across many high income individuals with minimal savings.
There are some common traits I see in successful investors. For a start, they take action and get things done. On top of that, they put in effort into learning and understanding the financial markets. Most importantly, they understand that there is no free lunch in this world, and that high returns is always correlated with higher risks.
If you want to be successful in your investments, make sure you can invest with patience, understand the investment instruments and make prudent decisions.
Generally speaking, most retail investors are not generating good returns from their investments. A lot of them do not even track their investment. The majority of people do not know the purpose, the structure or even how well an investment is performing.
There are many priorities in life and we tend to get carried away with family, work and our hobbies. Many of us give little thought to planning our finances well. In addition, the topic of money can be daunting to someone without a finance background.
Truth is, financial planning is something we cannot afford to ignore. Many of us work hard in our careers to achieve a better income and a more comfortable standard of living. Unfortunately, in many cases our savings are not working hard enough, our investments are not generating good returns, and our insurance policies are not providing sufficient protection. The cost of these ignorance is way above the gain that we try to generate from our income.
I have always believed in a balanced approach to investment. Through proper asset allocation, one can achieve financial freedom by using different financial instruments to obtain better risk adjusted returns. If you need advice on your portfolio, do drop me a mail at [email protected]