December 6, 2021

The evolution of Financial Planning in Malaysia with Linnet Lee – Transcript

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Gwen Lazarito
Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the financial planners, Southeast Asia podcast, Glenn here and today I have a very special guest. I am with Linnet Lee, and she is the CEO of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia. So, then I think he’s so much for being in the show today.

Linnet Lee
Thank you, Gwen, and thank you for the invitation. Greetings to everyone from around the world, I would say because I understand from Grant, some of you come as far as to buy. And I hope you are having a fantastic Friday. Today, we are going to talk about the evolution of financial planning in Malaysia.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, definitely. So But before, before we get into that, Lynette I would like to your the audience to get to know you more. So I guess my first question for you is, how did you get into the financial advice industry,

Linnet Lee
I started the tide agent in Unit Trust me all the wrong moves, they they I was encouraged to pick up a financial planner so that I can earn my own Commission, which is not a good move. Because I realized that to be to be able to do well in Unit Trust, you need to have the competency. So and you’re not very good consultant to yourself. So so I don’t encourage people to do that. I will say it’s better that you get your own, get a unit trust consultant, or if like just like in financial planning, you can sign blindside yourself is better to get a second opinion from another financial planner, I do that too. So anyway, as my my I started in financial planning, I started in the financial industry by being a tidy agent. And I enjoyed what I did. I am quite compliant person. So I followed almost everything. But there were things habits that I picked up, which I felt today, looking back, it could have been better. So along the way, what I did was, as I serve my clients, I find that they had a wider scope of needs. And I actually worked with insurance agent to recommend insurance, I did pick up a license for myself, because my agreement with my principal says that I cannot take another license without an approval while I’m holding my unit trust agreement. So that’s how I started. And then after that, I started adding on financial products, which my client requested. The reason why they asked me to help them two sources, because they didn’t want to talk to anyone else. Their personal informations all with me. And it’s a natural progression into financial planning. Because when when you start marketing, or other picking up products for them, one fine day, I just realized that, hey, you know, how does this gel together? How do the pieces of the puzzle fit together? And that’s when I took up the financial planning certification, which is the CFP program which was very big in Malaysia back then, and what had global recognition and that’s why I picked it up. I have no regrets. Because not only did it benefit my clients back then he also benefited me personally because today I’m debt free. And I’m so happy being debt free. So yes, so I wanted to help more people to have this realization. So I moved into financial planning. Then eventually I headed a financial planning division of a financial planning firm, a boutique firm. And when and I liked it because I was able to help people on a company basis. planners that were on boarded by the company. Eventually there was a vacancy in financial and FM Financial Planning Association of Malaysia. And I say hey, why not? You know, it’s a natural progression from a company to nation why? But he opened up a whole new world to me and that’s where I am now. Today.

Gwen Lazarito
Yeah, Am I correct seven years in FMX?

Linnet Lee
Coming to a buy a January next year?

Gwen Lazarito
Amazing. So, eight years. Oh my gosh. And so, so you started in 2014? How did the financial planning industry grown from when you started to now?

Linnet Lee
Okay, so 2014 Begin motor because I joined in January, not anymore. So Okay. By the time I joined in 2014, we had two regulators back then really. One was Securities Commission, issuing license for financial planning, and the Central Bank of Malaysia issuing approving representative for financial advice. So, what happened then, in 2014, when I joined Securities Commission recognized the CFP certification program, and Islamic financial planning certificate planners certification program for licensing, whereas, the bank, the current Central Bank, recognize fine the qualit registered financial planner is a local certification, as well as the Sharia registered financial planner certification for FA along the way, I can’t remember which year, but they decided to harmonize the recognition of qualification professional qualification. So it made life easier means if you have any of this for I O, and one more, a very, very long time ChFC chartered financial consultant from the insurance industry, that one too. So with these five certifications, if you apply with either the central bank, or with the Securities Commission, you can get yourself licensed as a financial planner or approved as a financial advisor. Right. So you’re gonna ask me, Hey, Linda, what’s the difference?

Gwen Lazarito
Yeah, oh, I think I’ve been corrected a bunch of times with this of financial advisors only go through can only provide insurance advice. Is that it? And sure. Yeah. And yes. And Malaysia and financial planners can do the like the whole life financial planning can offer different products from different companies and all that stuff.

Linnet Lee
Let’s go a little deeper into that. Yes, face? Yes. Okay. So, financial planner, when you have a license in financial planning. In Malaysia, you could actually draw up a financial plan be a comprehensive or a modular plan. And if you never implemented any products, you just make recommendation in the plan, you can charge a fee and sign off the plan. Whereas if you have a FA, you’re approved as a financial advisor, Rep. You can’t you can charge fees, and you normally bundle products based on client’s needs, goal based regard advice, and you give a recommendation, and it follows by program. So if you ask me whether what is the difference? Well, financial planner does plans plus the recommend plus the implement, which is what advisors do. So is a little bit extended. Yeah, this is kind of like, you know, from cradle to grave.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes. So it’s, it has more impact in a person’s financial life and for their lives in general to have a financial planner, because they can provide all types of personal finance. Yes. financial advice. Yes. Yes.

Linnet Lee
And this is while the numbers of planners, people who do actual planning may is growing, but at the moment, they are more advisors and they are planners. However, the planners, they do more than that they are not about crunching numbers and analyzing your financial situation and telling you what to do. They actually walk you through your life, your dreams and your goals. And on top of that, they they do counsel their clients. Yeah. And and they are also able to help the clients crystallize their thoughts and prioritize their goals. So this is where this is extended, or the comprehensive service that a financial planner gives. And I’m not saying that one is better than the other. There’s totally nothing wrong. If you say no, I’m not interested in doing the planning. I’m only interested in doing that advice is perfectly okay. More importantly is how you you work and how professional you are in conducting yourself.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, that’s true. Because you are bringing the name of the financial advice industry in general with you at all times. Right?

Linnet Lee
Exactly. So that that was, this is why we set out to have clarity. And we’re happy to say that even the financial planning standards board the owner of the CFP, Mark outside of us, they are also encouraging the 26 territories, affiliate members to also consider looking at the, although countries who are entrenched with the term financial advisors is a little bit trickier to make that change. But newer organizations that characteristic just come up, they’re actually encouraging them to make a differentiation. Because if not, if we ourselves, as financial planning professionals are not clear, how are we going to give clarity to the public, to our people. So, so that’s when in 2014, when I joined, we started having clarity of rules, definitions. And then the other thing that came in was the regeneration fees or commission. Now, if you look at the take to step back and look at a world of people in UK, countries like UK, India, as well as Australia, they are fee based. Yes, yes. And and in US SOPs. Uh huh. Philippines. What is it like?

Gwen Lazarito
It’s more on commission base. Yeah. Okay.

Linnet Lee
We started commission base, US is a hybrid and malicious started having an hybrid in the sense that there are fees, and their Commission’s one of the questions that was raised by the regulator, during our dialogue sessions is should we be moving towards fees? And And my answer was that, it depends on what we want to see. Because if you were to chop off commission, you would definitely see a huge drop in the number of people who don’t want to do planning, they will drop off. And the experience from Australia is no one wanted to serve clients. There’s no one to serve clients, because there are no, no commission. Yeah. And people do not want to register as an advisor. So India can afford to do that because the population is large. And they have there are quite even though the larger has dropped off, but the ones that remaining were able to continue to serve the community. So my short answer to regulate this is why don’t we do a transition, meaning that instead of taking go go to court, the key and do that? Why don’t we we do it step by step, first, we educate, and then after that, we encourage, then later on the route the regulation can come in. So I think they kind of like that idea. And, and that’s why, if you look from 2017 onwards, we had joint action plan. Actually, I like to pause it for a moment and acknowledge Securities Commission as far as buying a Gara, because they actually consult us when they want to make changes the industry players, and it helps, because then there is a dialogue. And there is feedback. Yeah.

Gwen Lazarito
So you guys are the ones who are really like on the ground listening to, to what’s happening in the industry.

Linnet Lee
And there are two ways to look at it. One is we can give feedback and the regulators can decide how to move forward. However, if there are there will always be some people who are resistant to change. And they will say no, this this hose, this is how it should be. But there will be people who will be pushing to move forward. So it depends on which voice is louder.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, that is true. That’s true for all sorts of things, right?

Linnet Lee
Yes. So in from 2017 to 2019. The Securities Commission, sec, as I call it for short, they lead a joint action plan. With it for this three years for which we roll out two main initiatives. One was more of empowering consumers and the second so that is for the public at large, and to educate them about financial Planning, as well as also the importance of financial literacy and how financial planning can help them in their lives. And the other area was raising the bar of financial planning profession. So within those two initiatives, one of the main activity that was very significant was the start of what we call a fin plan for you. This is a one to one public consultation. Now, this one is initiated by Securities Commission during the eclipse investment fests this one is aligned with the word investor, we buy your scope. So so it was very interesting. We do showcase this the skills of the financial plant competency of financial planners, we had, we had the farmers on ground, we had financial planners, they were all together 200 over financial planners. They took them to sit at a table and and offer their complimentary services one hour per public come and talk about their personal finances. No products, no pushing products, no pushing services, just pure talking about the public’s financial situation. So that was fantastic. I. Yeah, yes. So that one started, and as we’re doing it every year since then, it also coincided with World Financial Planning Day, which is the first Wednesday in October, every year. So we’re planning for next

Gwen Lazarito
year. Yes, I’m the first time that I saw that was actually a post from licensed financial planner in Malaysia, Kevin Neos post, he made a month long post starting in the financial planning day of October. So that was very interesting as well.

Linnet Lee
Kevin, has Kevin is one of the most hardworking. But we have yet to do talks, you do webinars, podcasts, we are in the midst of developing a employee financial wellness workshop together with VFm, our premier radio station, we have actually rolled it out. This is a series of financial planning workshops for employees. This because we wanted to empower more public so we are getting companies to pay for their staff to come in learn about personal finances. So that yeah, that one, we are in the midst of approaching more companies to pick it up. So that yeah, let me put that aside. Maybe we can talk another day, just about furniture, etc. That’s very interesting. But yes, yes. Do go on. Yeah. So so that was between 2017 and 2019. We had that. We also had the sponsorship program to certify more people to do financial planning. Because if you look at Malaysia, currently, we have about licensed financial planners, we have about 1001 as of end of 2020, if I do the numbers based on the population that we have, and if I look at just people in the median income group, my personal opinion is that we would probably need about 16,000 licensed financial planners, and hey, is sunrise industry, and so attended. Yes, definitely. Yes. So these are the groups of people who, who would benefit from some form of advice or planning so that they can live better lives and nothing works well as when a country’s population is financially stable. It will help the economy it will help the country

Gwen Lazarito
100% Yes, that is so true. And that’s why I’ve always been an advocate for financial planning because it benefits everyone. Right. So I think I mentioned this before, offline. Before we recorded the podcast that yes, it definitely benefits everyone. So there’s still a lot more slots to go right. So between and yes, being a sunrise industry, it’s it is definitely exciting times.

Linnet Lee
Yes. I look forward to the day when parents will tell the children why don’t you become a financial planner. It’s one of them. None of us started life saying that we want to be lawyers, doctors, accountants, but we never said we wanted to be a financial planner. Well, yeah, that should change. I think that should change. You touch people’s life positively. You, you, you touch your own life. And you make and you’re financially more stable. You help more people? I think. So it’s a very noble profession. I’m looking forward to my retirement. And then I’m gonna go take license and practice again.

Gwen Lazarito
Again, wow, that’s amazing. So, yes, and it’s definitely. So that’s so true. Because this this career isn’t just for the, for young people, right, like, unlike some couriers that really need to be a lot younger in order to practice well, but here it’s, it’s open to any age, just as long as you have the passion for it, the passion to help people with their finances and their lives. Yes,

Linnet Lee
you need passion, unique competency, unique experience. And if you put that all together, that’s your that’s your word. Oh, and one more professionalism? Yeah, it’s the secret recipe to being a successful financial planner. So moving on to what happens in 2022 2022. Okay, so by 2019, we have already completed the three Action Plan, which is a giant action plan, that we came to the second edition of the SC lead gen action plan. And for this one, in 2020, is there will another two initiatives that we’re looking at. One was expansion of financial planning license, and the other one was upholding professional standards. And outcome from this. One is that now people with financial planning license, they do not have to take any more license, they just need to add on their competency taking certain exams, that’s required by the regulators. And you can expand to recommend stocks, as well as bonds. So which is good, which means you do not have to hold too many license. That’s one part that one was completed in October 2020. And in 2021, we also completed two out of the three areas. And second of this second initiative, in terms of professional standards we have for financial planning associations, and these four associations, harmonize our code of ethics, as well as our best practices. And we came up with a set just for licensed financial planners, we presented it to our regulator, who accepted it. And we are we have rolled it out to all the four associations members, especially for those who are licensed. One more area, which takes a bit more time to develop is the firm operating standards. And I understand that it’s not just in Malaysia, but in other countries as well. The common things that we see is so called pinching staff, printing talents, and firms not happy with the planners, planners, not happy with their firms. So we thought that if there’s a well thought out basic firm operating standards, this will help to eliminate all of this, because then there’ll be proper structure processes in place. So this is one we we had to pull import talents. We got this lady who is Hannah, she is from Australia. She used to be a financial advisor, but now she’s focused on compliance. So she actually agreed to volunteer to help us because while she is in Australia, but she’s also a Malaysian Ah,

Gwen Lazarito
nice. So she already has the knowledge that she got from the Australian Yes.

Linnet Lee
Yes, yes. So, so, we told her we want to at least have a basic standards for us to be able to help so that anyone who takes up the financial planning license with the regulator, they know how to structure their their company well, so that they are able to serve their planners better. And because planners here currently are being on contract, they are not employed yet, although there are some companies who have started employing, unlike India, India actually hire their planners. And so the some countries like in Australia, I hope to see Yeah, I hope to see people actually hiring financial planners in Malaysia more.

Gwen Lazarito
So that comes like a more stable job or for people and more people would like to join in and become financial planners as well.

Linnet Lee
Yes, they have a steady source of income, they can focus on their clients. And then they could get performance bonus. I think that

Gwen Lazarito
that would be good, that would be good.

Linnet Lee
But this a lot of work it, we we still have some hard work along the way. But I believe it’s worth it. I think it’s worth it. So yeah. Another piece of good news in 2021 is on the 29th of September, Securities Commission announced that there’s going to be consolidation of licenses for financial planners and financial advisors, which means, because currently when your practice in Malaysia is very common for people to hold two licenses, because one is so that you can also recommend and implement insurance, the others, the other one is to do planning as well as capital market products. So with this, if there’s a if there is a consolidation, you only need one license. But we are in a very preliminary stages, the two regulators are discussing it. And everyone is holding their breath waiting to hear what’s going to come out. And other exciting developments in financial planning. Yes, and

Gwen Lazarito
hopefully all of these, all of these changes would help encourage people to to Yes, again, become financial planners and for existing financial planners to make their jobs easier so that they can focus on their clients. Yes, that’s

Linnet Lee
right. They don’t have to worry about fulfilling CPD points here and there and then paying licenses here and there renewal of license is just one rather than multiple. So, the other thing I just want to touch very briefly on is the fact that we are for financial planning associations in Malaysia and people asking why and how, how are they all position I used to scratch my head when I first started then now I understand better. So, just stick to step back and just look basically, in most countries, there will always be two, why two, one is normally a certifying body the other one is a membership body. So, the certifying body is association that offers the professional qualifications. The the membership body is the one that helps the people the financial planners to practice. So, in Malaysia, we have four is because the insurance has been in Malaysia long, long before financial planning. So they used to have one certifying body which does the as I said earlier, the ChFC however, sometime in 207, they stop because Malaysian government, local, which is RFP. So because of that the CFC do not exist in Malaysia anymore. But what the Association did, they reinvent themselves and in 208, they renamed themselves Malaysian financial planners and advisors Association. They don’t do certification. What they focus on is financial planning, practice management. So it is a membership body, their focus and help be the planners and advisors in financial plan planning practice management. Now, FM came in in 1999. And at the time we brought in a CFP, and we work with the local body, which is the FIM Institute of banking and finance Malaysia, which is supported by the two regulators, which is a central bank and Securities Commission. And our focus is on three pillars, as you said. So, before this podcast, one is on certifications, and administration of it. Second is industry development. And when we say industry development as a whole, that’s why we work very closely with regulators. And the third one is public financial literacy, which you said that you like that portion of it? Yes, yes, definitely. Then we have Malaysian Financial Planning Council. This is the body that looks after the local certification, which is the RFP and Ashara RFP. For a while, people thought that we were competitors in a way we are and yet we’re not because we do recognize an MPC qualification as a pathway to the CFP program. So we do give them a two module exemption if they have the CF mrpc certification or the RFP certification. So, last but not least, in 2011, the Association of financial advisors was formed. They they support the financial advisors or other they support firms, financial advisory firms, they represent financial advisors and when when they approach regulators and stakeholders. So, you know, we we all play our our different roles. And that’s why there are four associations in Malaysia.

Gwen Lazarito
Yeah. So I actually, I one of those people who have also scratched their heads when I first actually interviewed my first Malaysian financial planner here in the show, because she first guess was Kevin. So Kevin was my first guest to the show. And he did mention all these the regulator’s Yes. And it’s like, I need to research this more. So it’s really great that you did expound on these in more in an easier to digest fashion, because other countries will be listening to this as well. And it would be good to understand how the financial planning industry works in, in, say, here in in Malaysia. So yes. So that’s actually very interesting. And I guess, oh, I had a second question for you. So now that we know more about the financial planning industry, I guess I a different question would be, like, how does my Malaysian financial planners actually were? What are their different approaches in helping their clients?

Linnet Lee
Okay, well, different financial planning firms have got different models, the most common, you’ll see them pick a particular area, and they move from that. And I give you an example. For example, if and predominantly, for firm owners who come from an insurance background, then they will come from the protection aspect of financial planning. And from there, then they would deal with you, they will review the client’s protection needs and all that, and then they will start introducing, okay, you know, protection is important, but why is it important how it fits into the whole financial planning puzzle, and what are the other areas you need to look at. Whereas, it’s very common to see those who come from either unit trust or investment angle, they’re talking about investment, how important investment is, but with investment alone itself, it’s not good enough, you need to hinge your investment to a goal that you want. And then you need to do the protection part. And also you need to do the Exit Planning, because at the end of the day, if anything happens to you, what is going to happen to the investment that you have, because your petition party would have covered would have actually ensured that, you know, whatever that that you are unable to fulfill, you would have been fulfilled. But where’s it going to go? How is it going to go? And then tax planning comes in. So we do see accounting for accounting from Bank Financial planning firms coming from the taxation and accounting angle as well.

Gwen Lazarito
So I actually interviewed one recently, KR both, so it was very, our podcast was also an eye opening, because I actually never thought about taxation and tax planning to

Linnet Lee
kp bosses. If you spoke Yes, yes. Yes, he, he, he was our board member in the earlier years. Yes. Yes. Very good. If in fact, he he, he is one of our advocates for financial literacy to the public.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, definitely. He, he’s very passionate about it, and what financial planners can actually do for people and for the industry and what and the future as well. So we talked about it in a podcast. So that was also very interesting. But yes, the net please do go on what you talked about. So so

Linnet Lee
how do we, what do we do? One of the things that I felt was important and thing and the board also supported the initiative is, we said that we need to strengthen the financial planning profession. We also need to educate the public in regards to financial planning. So one of the in early 2014 We came up with a little booklet on how financial planning is financial planning for you. And in it because there are a lot of other financial professionals in the market, the state agents, the advisors, they are relationship managers, financial planners, that financial advisor representative. So we had this little booklet Yeah. Which, which gave a snapshot of the different financial professionals and and the role that they play and who they regularly and represent for the public so that they have some clarity. Oh, that’s

Gwen Lazarito
wonderful. And how has that translated now? Like, what was the effect for that project?

Linnet Lee
Well, for starters, we actually had a lot of financial planners who actually made use of this to go out and talk to the their clients, which is exactly what we want them to do. Because to us is, education is everything. And they were very good, because then they tell their clients, once you’re clear, please pass the booklet to the next person.

Gwen Lazarito
That’s good. That’s good. And, yes, because I think one of the things that have hindered, as whatever I can see here in the Philippines have hindered people from reaching out to financial planners is they’re actually intimidated by financial planners in the first place, because they thought that yes, they sell products, and that they are intimidated by the the the fees that they may charge. So they don’t know. They won’t ask, they won’t even ask because they thought that financial planners are just for the rich people, we can’t afford their fees, which is, I think, very unfortunate. So being able to go out there and educate people, what financial planners can actually do. And even like how they charge is very beneficial.

Linnet Lee
And we need every one of the listeners out there, to say the same thing as we do. So that we are all on the same page is, and this is where I always position because once upon a time I used to hold license, and I’m trying to get back to holding your license. I always explain that. Those who are lower income group, they need basic money management, budgeting and debt management. This is an area which they need a lot of help. Yes, the super rich are all the high net worth and ultra high net worth clients. They don’t need financial planning, because they have all this money. What do they need any wealth management? They think wealth planning, they need succession planning. And for those who have businesses they need, they will probably need family office family governance. So it is actually the median income that need the financial planning more, and the market is normally bigger in the medium

Gwen Lazarito
income group. Yes, yes, that’s true. And I just want to include this in the podcast, because if there are non financial fenders listening to this, I actually listened to one of your previous podcasts. It’s from pod cat. I don’t know if you remember, but it talks about financial literacy there. And then he talked about it in a very simple manner. And I actually shared this to some of my friends. So because I still have I owe financial advocate who still has friends who does not believe in financial advice. So I’ve sent it to them, actually to help them understand the beauty of financial planning and how to start. So yes, I definitely agree that there are different categories of people that need different types of help.

Linnet Lee
Oh, well, good. I didn’t know that you the podcast was done years ago.

Gwen Lazarito
And it’s still it’s still like it has evergreen content. Yeah, it’s still violet until today.

Linnet Lee
So have you interviewed Steven, Steve Young,

Gwen Lazarito
yet? Yes, I will. I will look that up. So I look him up. Yes. But yeah, I’ll also for the for the listeners here in the podcast, I will link to the podcast episode that I mentioned in the podcast description. So you can also check it out.

Linnet Lee
It’s really really heartening to know that he has reached out to people have made a difference. I must thank you, again, really appreciate that.

Gwen Lazarito
No problem. So it’s actually really it’s always a great feeling for me to to know that there are a lot of people there out there who care so much about the financial well being of other people. So it starts with these podcasts. It starts with you being passionate about what you do that you create all of these things and take these initiatives for financial planners in order for them to help their clients and other people as well. Very good.

Linnet Lee
Just when can I do I have time for just one last bit of survey of the consumer survey?

Gwen Lazarito
Oh, no problem. Take your time. face, let us know.

Linnet Lee
All right, we started one in 2015. This one was initiated by financial planning standards board, and Malaysia had our own set of questions to ask. But the outcome in 2015 came, as we asked consumers to the auditor, the public to tell us what are the top five financial planning services of interest to them. And back in 2015, the top one was retirement planning. The second one was investment planning. That was budgeting, cash management and debt management all in one for insurance services and planning. Last but not least, was the complete financial planning roadmap. Now, in 20 2018. Under the joint action plan, remember the first joint action plan by Securities Commission, we kind of repeated this study, but we couldn’t get back we had about 1000 respondents, we couldn’t get back the same people because we, the the research company, they did not want to do for us in Malaysia. So we did it on our own. But we still had 1000 over respondents, the demographic was younger than the one in 2015. So we repeated that. And in 2018, we found things have changed a little. The top number one rank of financial planning service that they wanted was that management and building emergency fund.

Gwen Lazarito
It does that is that because of the demographic, you think, or because of the times,

Linnet Lee
I think there are two component key components that we are looking at. One is demography. And second, because from 2015 to 2018, there were a lot of financial education initiatives done by almost many quarters, not just FM, but a lot of other organizations as well, which is much, much, much welcome one. And because of that, that’s why we see a progression. And the progression is that people are talking about budget, cash flow management, coming to the fore to the forefront, and financial planning came up to from the fifth position. That’s good, followed by followed by protection planning. And I felt that to me, I see this as a progression. And perhaps I think another one or two more years, we should run another round of survey to find

Gwen Lazarito
out. Oh, yes, I actually I was going to ask if this was run, if this survey was run, anytime last year during the pandemic, if the if the pandemic has cost, a lot of change in how people think about their finances, but it would also be really good idea to run it now that we’re in the recovery phase.

Linnet Lee
Yes. Because I would say, number one, we will all everyone was scrambling to manage the pandemic, so not much time. And I don’t see a significance because you know why? pandemics don’t happen every time. So he may not the outcome may not be significant, he will be significant to see what happens during a pandemic, yes. But if we want to do a tracking, the will be maxing nificant to track after that, and see what change when a pandemic happens.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, yes. And that’s very interesting, because I know that there was a lot of there were, there was a big shift in the priorities that people had in the wake of the pandemic. So yes, I believe that would be very interesting to see if there’s a difference, or if it’s still the same. If it’s still that management, that’s number one on the list. Don’t be surprised

Linnet Lee
it still stays the the pandemic changed one thing, the income classification, pre pandemic level for Malaysia, we had the lower income group as 40%, middle income group as another 40% and the upper upper income group is 20. But putting putting a finger to the pulse with sense and also true speaking with stakeholders, we have the feeling that the lower income group has gone on to 50% rather than 40 because of the pandemic, and surprises of all surprises. The top top income group from 20 increase to 30.

Gwen Lazarito
Ah, yes, that’s very interesting because we did feel that here in the Philippines to to I feel like yes, a lot of people may have, unfortunately, been struggling really hard during the pandemic, but there are a lot of people as well who have tried because of it. So, yeah, and it would be interesting to learn why the number changed? Well, for people

Linnet Lee
who have money, they throw into the stock market, they buy, they buy assets. And because that nothing is permanent, what goes up? What comes down goes up, what goes up comes down. So, as we go into the recovery stage, if you picked up assets during the down, you know, almost rock bottom, it was the money now,

Gwen Lazarito
the heaven for stock for those who had money to buy stocks, definitely. Yeah, yeah. And

Linnet Lee
yeah, it’s not surprised to see from tea from the top 20 became the top 30%. The Squeeze Then came is the painful part is the middle income is now only 20%.

Gwen Lazarito
So as big as the rest, the 10% went to, Oh, okay.

Linnet Lee
That was that move down. 10% moved up.

Gwen Lazarito
So definitely interesting numbers. So what does like what would be the best course of action for financial planners, viewing that kind of data 420 Like course of action for financial planners in 2022. The year to come. This is not

Linnet Lee
just financial planners, I think, because the government has put in a lot of efforts to help the those who have fallen into the below income group, the lower income group, so they’re working very hard to help them planners role is to help the M 42. Stay and grow. And perhaps those on the upper of the lower income group to move up to move back up and climb back up, put them back into the medium income group level, this will be something that we will need to do moving forward. As jobs, job purchases open, people start getting jobs and this this is something which I have seen. And I think perhaps you might have seen and so does the financial planners, for the hardcore poor, if you want to help them get out of poverty, is not giving them money or teaching them financial literacy, you need to first tweak their mindset about money first, then only you give them financial literacy then, whereas if you get people who come from the medium income group, and they drop into the lower income group, is it easier to help them to move up because they’ve been there? They know. And if they and if they want to move back up again, they will, they will take every opportunity that you can offer them in terms of financial literacy, in terms of financial aid, any help to move back up again. And it’s easier. We’ve seen it during normal time before pandemic and I think with the pandemic, I see people making a lot of effort to see how they can get back on to on track again. And this is where planners play a role.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, yes. So how can like I guess, because it’s very interesting to see that the financial planners are getting more recognized for the work that they do and for the opportunities that they can give for their clients. So I guess before we end the show, Lynette what would be your what would be your advice for financial planners who are listening, especially the finance financial planners in Malaysia who are listening right now to the show?

Linnet Lee
Well, my my message my whole message for the end of the week, as well as for these podcasts will be stay true to yourself. Integrity, as well as best practices is what you need to arm yourself to help your clients and they need you more now than ever is a sunrise industry staple and get more people to join you to become financial planners.

Gwen Lazarito
Alright, thanks so much Lynette that yes, definitely I agree with your message. And I love that you always instill professionalism and ethics to financial planners because it is important for more people to believe in the industry as well. So thank you so much for coming into the show and for giving your good news and very hopeful news to the industry and helping more people become financially illiterate and get their money together so that we can all succeed. So thank you so much. And oh, before we end, where can people reach you if they want to get to know you more if they want to have a conversation with you?

Linnet Lee
I have a Facebook. Just type in Lin vest, Li N V E SD one word, Li invest Lin li double N et.

Gwen Lazarito
Alright, wonderful. I will add that to the description of this podcast or the show notes. And yes, so if you want to reach Lynette if you have a question for her, especially on the financial planning side in Malaysia, please get in touch with her. And again then I thank you so much for coming into the show. Have a good one.

Linnet Lee
Thank you. Wonderful weekend to all and thank you Gwen. Bye

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