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Financial Reflections 2014
Many begin their new year reflecting on the year past and setting goals for the new one. Reflections give us insight into the lessons we can learn and useful feedback to help us form new goals and strategies for the year ahead.1
Alongside your personal and professional goals, we hope you include your financial reflections and goals as well. In fact, research has shown that among those who made a financial resolution last year, 51% reported feeling better about their money at the end of the year, in contrast to only 38% of those who did not make a money resolution and said they felt better.2
Start by Looking Back
A financial reflection is to look back at your financial past and consider the financial lessons you can learn from your habits and behaviour. Take this checklist of 10 questions to guide you in your probe into your financial behaviour and habits for 2014.3
Looking back at your spending habits, were there any purchases that you did not need and were completely out of your budget but you went ahead anyway? How did that happen and what measures can you set up now to flag such future purchases? (Eg. Discuss with a family member or your spouse if the purchase is above a certain threshold.)
In 2014 how did you prioritize your financial expenses? What were the top 3 commitments? Paying off debt? Investing in your children’s future? Saving for a new house? List the next top 3 commitments for 2015.
In 2014, how did your investments fare? Did they perform as expected, against your goals? Which investment worked and which did not? Do you need to realign your portfolio to your goals?
In the last 12 months, did you review the interest rates that you are paying on outstanding balance on your credit cards, personal loans and home loans?
In 2014, have you saved money on financial services by getting a better deal from your banking partner or insurance provider? (Eg. balance transfer of outstanding credit card balances at lower interest rates.)
Did you meet with HSBC’s Relationship Manager to review your financial goals and receive latest information on how you can manage your finances more effectively?
End by looking forward
Is “STRESS” written all over your financial management for 2014? Do you wish for easier ways to manage your wealth that would free you from having to run from one place to another to pay bills, transfer funds etc. Do you wish to spend less time tracking your spending, staying on top of your investments and more time to do the things you enjoy like spending time with your loved ones? You may want to add the following to your financial resolutions for 2015.
Incorporate technology into day-to-day banking
You may want to explore financial tools on the Internet and banking apps for smartphones. Technology has brought many benefits to banking customers – ranging from banking-on-the-go to banking anytime. More and more people are relying on their smartphones to get things done.
For your financial needs, you can rely on technology like HSBC’s website at www.hsbc.com.my to provide Personal Internet Banking (PIB) services to execute financial transactions such as credit card and bill payments, fund transfers, standing instructions and a host of other services.
On HSBC’s website you can also browse current and previous copies of Liquid Magazine and Market Outlook for more financial information.
You may also download HSBC Mobile Banking application to enable you to check your account status, transfer funds and more, all from your smartphone.
Let us help you with investment research
If you are an investor, you may be interested to use the Wealth Dashboard to manage your portfolio and grow your wealth. The Wealth Dashboard consolidates all your holdings with HSBC into one easy-to-use platform, which means you only need a single log-on to access and monitor unit trusts, structured investments, bonds, insurance and deposits. You can view foreign currency holdings in Malaysian Ringgit to check potential returns too.4
In the Wealth Dashboard, you will also be able to keep abreast with news and updates on your investments from reliable sources.5
Schedule a complimentary portfolio review with your Relationship Manager
You may bring along your financial reflections checklist to your Relationship Manager and get assistance in your setting of your financial plan for 2015.
Your Relationship Manager may also help to review your wealth management portfolio so that you can make informed choices consistent with your goals and attitudes to risk.
Your Relationship Manager may also provide you with regular updates on global and local markets’ performances so you are better equipped to make informed choices.
With the right technology and HSBC’s personal touch, we believe that the chore of running financial errands can be minimized. Hopefully, at the end of 2015 as you reflect on the year, you would have spent less time on financial management and more time on other things that matter most to you, be it spending time with your loved ones or pursuing other priorities in life.
Sources: 1 Interface, Employee Financial Solutions, “Reflection on your personal finances”, January 2014. 2 Time.com, “Why a New Year’s Resolution to Save More May Actually Work”, December 8, 2014. 3 Checklist adapted from Interface, Employee Financial Solutions, “Reflection on your personal finances”, January 2014. 4 Rates used for conversion of foreign currencies to Malaysian Ringgit are indicative only and may differ from rates applied at time of any transactions. It does not take into account any actual foreign exchange transactions that occur during and after settlement. 5 Unit Trust Data (including prices) – Morningstar Asia Limited, Unit Trust & Bonds (market updates) – Thomson Reuters, Bonds Data – Thomson Reuters, Insurance data – Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad.