From The CEO's Desk

The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis afflicted me with a mid-life crisis that redirected my finance and banking experience to help individuals secure their financial future.

Two decades later, the need for objective personal financial planning advice has become even more dire.  The finance industry has become even more dominated by ambitious MBA graduates seeking personal success working for organisations whose shareholders demand maximum profit.  The result is fodder for movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Big Short”.

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But beyond the moral conundrum is the inherent complexity of finance and the human condition.  To navigate and survive the financial jungle requires one adept at finance and human behavior.  Enter the financial planner.

While larger industry players will always shape the narrative, it pays to know that a more diverse range of financial advisers exist (see How We are Different).

Large vs Niche

Because our human nature invokes a false sense of security and comfort in large numbers, gravitating towards larger and familiar institutions for your financial needs is the default modus operandi.  Regrettably, the advice received is rarely holistic nor personalized.  Invariably, it is stock-standard driven by internal targets for products currently on promotion.

In contrast, niche organizations like LPA recognize that no two financial plans can be the same because no two individuals are the same.  As underdogs, “our ticket to advice” is a higher level of competency and care to meet your long term goals.

Penny-Wise Pound-Foolish

When it comes to making choices, we tend to place disproportionate weight on the financial cost of any endeavor.  While this can occasionally be an effective way of making decisions, in the world of financial advice, it is especially unreliable.  Make no mistake: as cost trends towards zero, you become the product.  You are somehow being sold to a buyer – e.g. your “clicks”.  And since that is the primary source of their revenue, the sustainability of sound of financial advice becomes questionable.

Financial advisers who are not tied to product manufacturers have the liberity to be objective about your options advising instead on what best suits you.  Indeed, isn’t this the more valuable metric?

Given time, value is always superior to cheap.        

Shrewd vs Wise

There is a certain pleasure to the bragging-rights that accompany making a good call in life.  This fuels a desire to beat the market.  This desire to be shrewd – making winning decisions after considering the lay-of-the-land, economy, social trends, etc. – is innate to us all and differs only in degree.

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Experience however, testifies that it is not possible to beat the market all the time.  Eventually, a loss so large is suffered, wiping out all your gains to-date.  It’s a natural consequence of pride and over-confidence in a fallen world.

At LPA, we believe that financial markets and economies work in a particular way that will yield growth and positive returns in the long run. 

By keeping to time-tested principles, we steer our way through the twists and turns of life.   We cannot spare you the tests and trials, but by focusing on what is controllable we strive towards achieving your goals.  We plan for the certainty of uncertainty.

Working with you, we abide to the following time tested principles of financial planning:

  • Spend less than you earn
  • Minimise the use of debt
  • Set aside reserves for emergencies
  • Think long term
  • Give to the needy.

If you are serious about financial planning, check us out with an obligation-free consultation.  Because in LPA, fulfilling your life plans are important to us. 

Winston Chong

The human skills we need in an unpredictable world

Margaret Heffernan

The human skills we need in an unpredictable world