I’ve attended a training session by iFast Capital Sdn. Bhd last week. Frankly speaking, I would say that it is the future of unit trust investing in Malaysia.
Who is iFast Capital Sdn. Bhd
iFAST Financial Pte Ltd is Singapore’s leading online distributor of unit trusts as well as the leading operator of an investment platform for financial advisers and financial institutions. They are operating the successful platform of Fundsupermart.com in Singapore.
Now, they had come to Malaysia and launched the Fundsupermart.com.my which distributes about 70 unit trust funds from eight different unit trust companies.
Find out more about them here.
After the training session, I’ve taken a picture with the CEO and Chairman of iFast Capital, Mr. Lim Chung Chun. He stays in Singapore but in fact he is a Malaysian, a very successful entrepreneur.
The old way of investing in unit trust
If you have invested in unit trust locally, you’ll probably familiar with the charges and process here. Let me remind you about some details
- You will be charged an upfront service fee before your fund is invested. That’s to pay for the agent’s sales commission and administration fees. Normally it is within 5.0% to 6.5% for equity funds.
- When you need to do switching, you will have to sign a switching form to instruct the company to do so. Some unit trust companies provide you a pin number to be used for transaction via telephone. That will be more convenient.
Somehow, I don’t see this as a win-win situation. As an investor, you have to pay for the service charge regardless of the performance of the fund. As a unit trust agent, I earn the commission from new sales, which is the new money I brought in from my customer to invest.
With the new iFast platform, I think it is going to revolutionize the unit trust industry. We need a win-win business model and I think we got it now. I win, only if you win.
How iFast platform will revolutionize the unit trust industry?
With the introduction of the iFast platform, unit trust agent will be able to change the business model. For instant, I would opt not to charge any upfront service fees for my client who invest in unit trust via my service. You heard it right, ZERO CHARGES!
This means if you are going to fork out RM10,000 initial capital for investment, it is going to be invested in full. But what do I get if I do this? Instead of charging an upfront service fee, I can opt to charge a “wrap fee” which is recurring every year. In Singapore, the “wrap fee” is normally within the range of 0.75% to 1.00%.
A win-win situation is created via this business model. The planner depends on the asset under his administration to earn a living. His main priority would be to grow his clients’ investment funds. While the fund grows, he earns more.
As for the investor, it is good for you because there is no more service fees, and you won’t mind to pay the 1% “wrap fee” to your planner if he can consistently help you to gain an absolute return. Overall, that’s lower charges involved.
What’s in it for you as a unit trust investor?
Through the platform of iFAST Financial Pte Ltd, customers will be able to do a free switching of funds from different fund houses. With the introduction of iPASS, you will be able to do all these paperless via Straight Through Processing (STP). Unit trusts transaction orders can be carried out via secured log-in over in the internet.
1. You win, I win.
The Wrap Account investment service provides an important way that aligns the interests of the unit trust investors, the CUTAs, advisors, the iFAST platform and the fund management companies. The common interest is to grow the investment portfolio value of the client by proper investment advisory and investing.
2. Convenient “Wrap Account”
The Wrap Account enables the adviser to charge their client a lower front end load, ranging between 0% to 5% and an annual advisory or wrap fee, of up to 1.5% p.a. on the investment value of the portfolio. ThisÂ Account â€œwrapâ€ all the customersâ€™ unit trust investments in one account and customers are not charged a fee for switching of unit trusts within and among fund houses. This makes portfolio rebalancing very cost efficient.
3. Online Transaction Features – iPASS
iPASS allows advisors to create transactions online and upon completion, customers can login to review and authorize the transaction orders. It allows transaction to be completed online using passwords. iPASS removes the need for the physical presence of either their adviser or client for verification and authorizations. This enables transactions to be processed even when advisors and customers are at different
iPASS is a very useful module for rebalancing exercises, reaching overseas customers and executing urgent transactions.
I am glad to inform you that I will be involved in the iFast platform to bring you this exciting features, via Lion Wealth Advisors Sdn. Bhd.
Lion Wealth Advisors Sdn. Bhd. – Company Background
Wealth Advisors Sdn Bhd (LWA) is a company holding the Capital Market Service License (CMSL) for financial planning and the registered CUTA license status represent this â€œone-stop shopâ€ that meets consumersâ€™ demands for holistic financial planning and investing in wide range of unit trust products by Securities Commission (SC) and Federation of Malaysian Unit Trust Managers (FMUTM) respectively. Thus far, there are only two licensed financial planning companies in Malaysia being awarded by the FMUTM with CUTA license; LWA being the only one of the companies and the sole representative in the northern region Malaysia.
What is CUTA?
CUTA stands for Corporate Unit Trust Adviser. The financial planning industry in Malaysia has been long dominated by banks, insurance companies and tied-UTMCs (Unit Trust Manufacturing Company). Since the recent regulatory enactment of the Capital Market Services Act (CMSA), it signifies a dawn of a new era for financial planning practitioners. The recent enactment relates to the introduction of the CUTA scheme by
FMUTM, in the nutshell, it allows for CUTA to represent various UTMCs and sell their unit trust products. This provides for unprecedented chances for many financial planning practitioners to go independent and
not restricted to a single UTMC representation.
In various countries, where the independent financial advisory business model is available, many who decided to turn independent were drawn to the clear advantages that the CUTA model offers.
There advantages are:
- The ability to provide holistic financial planning
- The freedom to place clientsâ€™ interest first
Please stay in my mailing list to get the most recent news.