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Money Matters: Orphans Need More!

A failure to look after your investments could leave you failing to get decent returns.

by / Published: 15 Feb 2017

Money Matters: Orphans Need More!
Photo: iStockphoto

Tom Henson is a senior consultant with Infinity Financial Solutions and one of KL's most sought after financial planners. Married with a young son Tom enjoys family life and is an ace on the golf course.

Picture the scene: a bonneted matron with a severe expression and drab clothing stands next to a portly, pompous-looking man suited and booted in a blue tunic and Napoleonic style hat and brandishing a silver staff. His grandeur and evidently well-fed belly contrast starkly with the scruffy and ravenous appearance of the rows of under-nourished boys in front of him, dressed in rags and sat before their empty bowls. A bedraggled, hungry-looking boy approaches this formidable pair proffering his tin bowl and, voice wavering, asks for more. The man is outraged. “WHAT?... MORE?” he bellows as the boy realises his mistake in being so bold, drops his bowl and takes flight. After a chase around the room the terrified escapee is caught, delivered to the incensed man and dragged away by the ear to receive his punishment.

I’m sure many of you will recognise this scene from the 1960s musical, Oliver, a firm family favourite in our house which follows the plight of the unfortunate orphan boy. The film got me thinking about the orphans of the financial world—a phenomenon which is particularly common among expatriates.

If the phrase is unfamiliar to you, an orphaned investor is one that has, for one reason or another, become detached from the financial adviser who originally set up their savings or investment plan. They may be estranged because they have lost faith with the advice that they were given or because they are disappointed with the returns they are seeing, or they may have lost contact entirely if their adviser has moved company or left the country.

Whatever the reason, the result is that the investor’s money is no longer being actively managed, the original investments are left in limbo and money is stagnating in poorly performing investments which no longer meet the original needs of the investor.

The fact is that ongoing portfolio management is vital to ensure that your investments are working hard for you to achieve your financial goals. A neglected portfolio is more than likely to lead to poor returns at best, and in the worst cases to losses.

If you have investments, it is worth regularly reviewing how they are being managed. If they are not then you may well be an orphaned investor without realising it.

If that is the case, action is required. Let’s not forget that your investments represent your future savings and wealth. Just as Oliver’s lack of nourishment leaves him hungry and wanting, so a failure to look after your investments could leave you failing to get decent returns and falling short of your investment goals. Let’s face it, you work hard enough for your money and when you have earned it, it is your money’s turn to work hard for you.

Oliver’s audacity in asking for more got him into trouble but his troubled story finally ends well when he finds his forever home with his kindly great uncle at the end of the film. If you want an equally happy ending for your orphaned investments, you need to demand more too. If you feel your investments are not receiving the attention they deserve, look at switching adviser or seek a second opinion on your investments and get your finances back on track.


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