A wealth perception survey conducted by Hong Leong Bank Berhad (“HLB”) with over 1000 Malaysian respondents aged between 18 and 77 years old revealed that only 12% of Malaysians consider themselves wealthy.

However, despite this modest self-assessment, a significant 79% of Malaysians admitted to not having an official or documented financial plan. This lack of financial planning is predominantly attributed to the perception that they lack sufficient funds to initiate a formal wealth management strategy.

Among the 327 respondents who indicated their engagement in investments, 57% reported investing in stocks, closely followed by 56% allocating funds to ASB/ASM schemes, and 54% engaging in gold investments. Additionally, 44% of respondents favored fixed deposits as their primary investment approach.

The survey findings underscore a prevailing trend of self-directed investing among Malaysians, with an impressive 83% of investors opting to manage their investments autonomously, without seeking input or guidance from professional financial advisors.

Notably, when formulating a financial plan, almost half of Malaysians (49%) turn to social media for financial advice, while an equal percentage rely on insights from family members.

According to Hor Kwok Wai, managing director of Regional Wealth Management at HLB, the high percentage of self-directed investors reflects a growing preference for hands-on involvement in financial planning and investment strategies.

He emphasizes the need for financial institutions like HLB to provide robust resources and support to empower and educate investors about making informed and effective investment choices.

Hor Kwok Wai said, “As a financial institution, we have a duty to assist all customers in achieving financial sustainability and prosperity by providing reliable and responsible financial products and services.”

He recognizes wealth management as a pivotal aspect of customers’ financial paths and believes in empowering investors with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate the ever-evolving financial environment confidently.

The survey also uncovered the driving forces behind investors’ choice of investment strategies, highlighting the pivotal role of family and community in the motivation for wealth accumulation among Malaysian investors.

Additionally, the survey revealed that 78% of Malaysians have insurance coverage, with over half considering insurance highly important for ensuring continued support for their families in unforeseen circumstances.

Comparatively, the survey delved into the Singaporean perspective with over 500 respondents, revealing that 87% of Singaporean investors manage their investments autonomously, leveraging digital platforms and emphasizing factors such as favorable returns, low charges, and familiarity with the investment product.

Singaporean investors, like their Malaysian counterparts, exhibit a penchant for investing in stocks, high-interest savings accounts, fixed deposits, and Singapore Savings Bonds. Furthermore, insurance holds significant importance for Singaporeans, with 97% indicating they are insured.

Hor emphasized the importance of dispelling myths surrounding wealth management through fostering financial literacy and awareness, ensuring individuals are equipped with the knowledge and insights necessary to navigate the complexities of wealth management with confidence and prudence.

He said, “Having a secured financial future through proper wealth management should be accessible to all individuals.”

To further support individuals in their wealth management journey, HLB offers self-managed investments via HLB Connect Online, allowing customers to start with as little as RM50.

Additionally, customers can seek assistance from professional wealth managers for comprehensive planning for education, retirement, and legacy needs, with a wide range of solutions covering Malaysia, Singapore, and other regions.

In conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration, HLB is offering special promotions for customers planning to kick-start their wealth management journey, including a chance to win prizes over RM30,000 when they invest through HLB Connect online until May 31, 2024.

As part of their commitment to empowering investors, the bank is also launching its wealth management podcast entitled “Market Matters with HLB,” providing insights and knowledge regarding investments and HLB’s wealth management solutions.

For more information on HLB’s wealth management offerings, please visit their website at https://www.hlb.com.my/cny.


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