Personal Views

We’re Not That Backwards Are We?

My husband and I believe that we’re both so geeky. You cannot ignore the fact you’re a geek because in the middle of Central Hong Kong, you’re both busy looking for a bookstore. Hahahaha…

So excuse me… for telling you this. Coming to Hong Kong for me was not just about the shopping. Ok Ok ofcourse it’s the shopping. But there’s more!

Hong Kong, by all means, is the center of finance in Asia Pacific! So this one geeky financial planner is just super excited to finally have the chance to visit.

We took picture in front of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Building. We walked pass Hong Kong Exchange Building but was too tired to walk towards it. Ofcourse there was also a guilty picture in front of Louis Vuitton headquarter (Iwet, yang ini khusus untukmu sayang… hehehe)

We spent the last night in Hong Kong to dinner with a friend. My Don has a very different circle than I do. He’s got friends all over the world. Whether it’s old friend from Singapore boarding school who now lives in Glasgow or some old training mates in Bangkok or Mumbay. This time, we met Gilbert, a Philipino friend of Don, who used to work with Don in the previous company and has been working together with him in several projects from the Hong Kong head office. (Ayo tebak, bank apa yang ada di Hong Kong? Hehehe…)

To my surprise, Gilbert has so much interest in.. financial planning! So we clicked to well and had a fun conversation together. We exchanged ‘tips’ on which fund is exciting. I asked him how he got started. Gilbert told me he got burnt during the monetary crisis. He used to buy and sell mutual fund (reksadana) when it goes up and down. That’s how he got burnt. When he started to make more money, he decided he would do his investment in a smarter way.

Gilbert buys his mutual fund regularly every month regardless of the price. This is called cost averaging. You buy whether it is high or low. So you get to the average price. And, he goes for the long run. He’s been telling his wife NOT to touch the fund and will use it for their future needs such as education fund for their daughter or pension fund.

I was jumping on my chair now. That’s what I’ve been telling people to do! That’s how we do our investment!!! We buy on the 5th of every month, regardless of the price with the semi automatic Regular Subscription, thanks to the assistance of Mbak Suna and her team (they work for a bank which right now is probably the only one offering this service). We have different time line for different financial goals. But usually each reksadana is prep for the next 5 years. That’s what we’ve been recommending our clients to do for the last 3 years…

So now…. will you all listen to me?

Mutual fund (reksadana) is a big industry in Hong Kong. It is growing too in Indonesia. It’s one of the easiest investment products to start your portfolio.

Here’s the difference to our Indonesian Reksadana market… just a simple thing to do… checked out the newspaper. The list of reksadana in Indonesian newspaper is 1 or 2 pages. In Hong Kong, it’s 5-6 pages!!! Call me crazy but I spent my 5 days in Hong Kong observing their financial industry with pleasure and envy.

The range of funds available is also crazy. You’ll see they have what they call Global Money Market Fund, Global Equity Fund, Equity Fund by country name, they even have what they call BRIC equity Fund = Brazil, Russia, India China equity fund….

Mmmmm… I was practically drooling now Smile

It’s a crazy world out there… Advertisements for mutual funds are placed all over the city. You’ll see them in the bus stop, on the body of the trams, all over the walls of the train station, inside the train, not to mention the billboards. The skyscrapers are lighted at night with big names from the financial industry. Insurance companies don’t just sell unit linked products, they evolved into a full service financial institution offering savings, protections and investments.

The skyscrapers will remind me to move forward… we are NOT that backwards!

The skyscrapers will remind me to move forward… we are NOT that backwards!

Meanwhile over here… we’re still working on getting people to jump from savings to reksadana… mmm….

We’re NOT that backwards are we? Let’s face it, we are usually 15 years BEHIND compared to the big guns. But I AM optimistic. When people are ready… I am ready too.


Finance Should Be Practical!
Ligwina Hananto


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