Word of cau­tion from man on Asian mission

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUO WEIT­ENG in Hong Kong sophia@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

An in­ter­est­ing co­in­ci­dence kicked off the ca­reer of James Sun, Charles Sch­wab Hong Kong man­ag­ing direc­tor and a cel­e­brated name in the bro­ker­age uni­verse.

Sun, then fresh out of grad school in the US, sim­ply an­swered an ad for a job posted on­line. That saw him land his first job, which also re­quired him to go on­line.

He joined as fi­nan­cial con­sul­tant in the Man­hat­tan of­fices of Charles Sch­wab — an es­tab­lished mar­ket player in on­line in­vest­ing.

But what has made him serve the bro­ker­age firm ever since is the way cor­po­rate be­liefs at Charles Sch­wab res­onated with his own.

“As Chuck Sch­wab, chair­man and founder of Charles Sch­wab, said, it’s not money you are man­ag­ing. It is peo­ple’s money that you are man­ag­ing,” noted Sun.

What lies be­hind a sum of money or an in­vest­ment ac­count is a per­son or a fam­ily that counts on you to build up a suc­cess­ful fi­nan­cial life for them, he added.

That re­quires wealth man­agers to take re­spon­si­bil­ity and get the whole pic­ture of clients’ needs be­fore help­ing them trans­late the in­vest­ment plan into re­al­ity.

Sun has seen many young peo­ple open their ac­counts while still at uni­ver­sity, some of whom turned out to be re­sound­ing suc­cesses in Sil­i­con Val­ley years later.

Sun noted it is more than ex­cit­ing to go along with clients to man­age their wealth in their life­time and watch them come up from ob­scu­rity and make their mark, rather than pop up be­fore them when they are house­hold names.

But such long-term com­mit­ment may not yield re­sults with­out a com­par­a­tively low thresh­old. Charles Sch­wab tar­gets clients with in­vestable as­sets of more than $10,000, a bench­mark that makes a so­phis­ti­cated in­vest­ment so­lu­tion more ac­ces­si­ble to a wider au­di­ence on a global scale.

Like­wise, af­ter the past eco­nomic boom on the main­land, we have good rea­son to ex­pect this huge groundswell of mil­len­nial in­vestors — who are go­ing on­line to in­vest but may not be cash­flush enough to avail of so­phis­ti­cated money man­age­ment for the mo­ment — to be­come most sought-af­ter clients just a few years later, ob­served Sun.

That de­fines the am­bi­tion of the world-lead­ing bro­ker­age firm — to aim for broader cov­er­age of cus­tomers with di­verse needs.

Some self-di­rected clients who come up to Charles Sch­wab with their know-how ask for a plat­form to carry out their grand plans, whereas other clients ar­rive with an idea of what they want but still hope fi­nan­cial con­sul­tants can of­fer some guid­ance and val­i­da­tion, and hold their hands in mak­ing in­vest­ment de­ci­sions, Sun said.

And there are oth­ers, clients who gave Charles Sch­wab a free hand in man­ag­ing their wealth.

To­gether, they rep­re­sent the di­ver­si­fied na­ture of Charles Sch­wab’s huge client base, which de­mands a moun­tain of tai­lor­made so­lu­tions.

As an ar­dent golfer, Sun finds his beloved game and the busi­ness of in­vest­ing have much in com­mon.“Both are emo­tional games, re­quir­ing a good com­mand of emo­tion man­age­ment, and both call for long-term com­mit­ment, with­out any short-cuts to take ad­van­tage of,” ob­served Sun. “And you have to cal­cu­late risk and be re­spon­si­ble for your de­ci­sions no mat­ter whether it is play­ing golf or mak­ing an in­vest­ment.”

He also views in­vest­ing as a com­bi­na­tion of art and science.

“In­vest­ing presents it­self as an art be­cause we hu­man be­ings are swayed by per­sonal emo­tions. Mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions al­ways make us sway be­tween greed and fear,” said Sun. “It is a science be­cause our de­ci­sions come from our so­phis­ti­cated risk cal­cu­la­tion and thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of the fun­da­men­tals of com­pa­nies, in­dus­tries and as­set classes.

“Still, the hu­man el­e­ments and our psy­chol­ogy, which play a piv­otal role in in­vest­ing, should never be ne­glected,” Sun ad­vised.

The re­cent bull run in the Hong Kong stock mar­ket has seen in­di­vid­ual in­vestors flock to open ac­counts. How­ever, for re­spon­si­ble in­vestors, the long-term com­mit­ment to a glob­ally di­ver­si­fied port­fo­lio should al­ways count above the pur­suit of fleet­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties amid fluc­tu­at­ing mar­ket prices, cau­tioned Sun.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.