When we think about improving our finances, the first thing that comes to mind is usually learning about savings and investments. Chuin Ting shares in this episode of Wealthtech Unwrapped how saving and investing are significant, they should not be the overarching goal when planning for our finances.
Over the years, Chuin Ting has learned that financial planning is much more than just investing and getting returns. She believes that one’s financial needs must be linked closely to their financial plan, and investments are just a small part of that. Clients need to think about what the end goal of financial planning looks like for them, and from there, consider what investments to incorporate in that plan. In other words, Chuin Ting believes one’s goal in life should be the overarching framework that informs all other financial planning related decisions.
Chuin Ting comments how especially in Singapore, the retail market is very focused on pushing products. Rather than swaying clients with products containing fancy features, it is imperative to consider a client’s financial goals. That is what MoneyOwl aims to do, helping their clients to see the full financial picture. Only with a goal in mind can advisors begin to chart a course of action for their clients effectively. Additionally, this roadmap should not only include saving or investing. For MoneyOwl, insurance is a key consideration in financial planning. Chuin Ting notes that even the best-laid plans can buckle under the weight of a crisis. Thus, it is vital to provide insurance to protect clients and their financial plans in a low-cost manner.
Chuin Ting understands that financial planning is extremely intimidating for many. She explains that the human element in advice still remains critical in this landscape of ambiguity and fear. Instead of projecting a bunch of numbers at clients, managers have an influential role in helping clients understand the need for planning and helping them stay the course. MoneyOwl takes an extra step to reassure by continually making adjustments to their client’s financial plans. Chuin Ting shares that this is essential as financial planning is a lifelong process and circumstances are always in flux. A circumstance unique to Singapore that MoneyOwl focuses on is CPF. Holding the view that CPF should be the bedrock of retirement planning for all Singaporeans, MoneyOwl includes CPF as a key component in financial planning.
Finally, Chuin Ting explains why she cannot see human advisors disappearing completely from the financial planning scene. Technology has certain trust attributes that need to be considered by both managers and clients. Digital platforms are presented as attractive and can serve as amazing tools for clients, but these services need to be designed in the right way by developers. Because of how ubiquitous technology has become, it can easily be infused with agenda and used negatively to manipulate clients. Much like how financial institutions lost clients’ trust during the oil crisis, people in Fintech need to be careful not to lose or abuse this trust.