Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Asia Investment Education Overview

Asia Investment Education - Trends
Investors in Asia and Asia Pacific are getting increasingly sophisticated in the knowledge of investment know-how, strategies and stay up to date with financial instruments. However, it is still the US and UK which begins innovating and coming up with new financial products. For example, Asia only recently introduced CFDs and carbon trading, replicating their western counterparts. Likewise, the general Asian population tends to educate themselves based on the investment instruments available to them.
Asia Investment Education - Corporate vs. Retail
Very broadly, there are 2 groups of investors - Corporate and Retail. Most financial institutions conduct their own in-house training, hold conference calls and send email updates to educate their employees. They also have access to research reports of investment analysts, senior employees who share their experiences as well as other corporate expensed services. For the Retail investors, they are usually left on their own to read books, or search the internet for resources to learn and guide their investment decisions. Many of them have left the finance industry and thus are not able to "feel" the market as well.
Asia Investment Education - Seminars
One other channel which is increasingly popular in Asia is the attending of Investment Seminars. There are numerous vendors in the cities of Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Japan who teach retail investors how to invest. Topics cover a wide range from stocks, funds, options, futures, warrants, forex, and even alternative investments such as property and wine. The downside is that such seminars are often very expensive, averaging US$2k for a 3-day seminar. Many retails investors also fall prey to get rich quick vendors as the industry is highly unregulated.
Asia Investment Education - Effectiveness
The learning curve to investing is steep for a newbie investor and one will need to do his research to seek out the best trainers. A cheaper alternative to physical seminars will be online seminars or webinars, which are often only a fraction of the price. Many online vendors also sell their products in digital form, where you can download audio, videos and e-books for your investment journey. All these resources and training are just tools; it is up to the individual investor to hone his understanding to leverage on these tools for maximum returns.
Asia Investment Education -Conclusion
Global financial markets are evolving rapidly every day; while Asia still lags behind the Western Nations in investment sophistication, the gap is also closing quickly.


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