How Inflation Threatens to Burn Through My Retirement Money [feat OCBC FWI 2023]

Financial Planning Insights From The Pro

Despite talk of potentially slowing economic conditions, Aaron Chwee, Head of Wealth Advisory at OCBC Bank, offer time-tested strategies for long-term financial success based on OCBC’s latest Financial Wellness Index findings.

Aaron has over 15 years of experience helping clients achieve their goals. Aaron’s expertise ranges from macro market analysis to financial literacy, enabling him to provide comprehensive guidance for individuals in achieving their financial goals.

In this candid conversation, the expert broke down key takeaways from the report and offered professional insight for navigating uncertainty. He also shared valuable insights into the bank’s wealth advisory services and the innovative AI-powered stock ideas program. The conversation delved into the broad scope of wealth advisory, the role of digital wealth, and the significance of personalized financial planning. Let’s take a closer look at the key points discussed during the podcast.

Here are the top discussions:

Market Insights and Financial Literacy:
Aaron highlighted the comprehensive nature of OCBC’s wealth advisory, which encompasses a wide range of areas, including market insights and financial literacy. With a keen focus on macro markets, the team constantly analyzes the ever-changing market conditions to develop effective portfolio strategies. Aaron emphasized the importance of understanding individual financial goals and providing guidance on positioning and posturing to achieve those goals successfully.

Digital Wealth and Differentiated Products:
The conversation also touched upon the bank’s involvement in digital wealth and the introduction of differentiated products. OCBC offers digital wealth services, such as RoboInvest and the White Wolf Variety, which aim to provide convenient and tailored investment solutions. While the RoboInvest platform is not directly under Aaron’s purview, his team actively contributes by identifying market trends and promoting suitable portfolios within the platform.

AI-Powered Stock Ideas:
A notable addition to the wealth advisory team is a group of experts from OCBC Securities, specializing in equity trading. This team has developed an impressive AI-powered program that utilises machine learning to identify trends and potential investment opportunities within specific stocks. The program runs numerous iterations to evaluate various criteria and provide clients with personalised stock recommendations. Each recommendation is carefully tailored to the individual’s preferences and trading patterns, resulting in a hyper-personalised experience.

Financial Wellness Index:
Apart from discussing wealth advisory, Aaron shed light on OCBC’s Financial Wellness Index (FWI). The FWI, a long-running index, assesses the attributes and principles of successful investing and achieving financial wellness. Aaron emphasized the collaborative effort between the market research team and wealth advisory in evaluating the 16 key characteristics contributing to financial success. Two less positive attributes were identified, including regretting financial decisions and succumbing to temptations. These insights help create personalized financial personas and encourage individuals to make informed choices.

Aaron’s Financial Persona:
When asked about his own financial persona, Aaron shared that he identifies himself as the “planner.” However, he mentioned that this persona developed over time, and he might not have always been a meticulous planner. Like many individuals, he started as an enthusiast and gradually transitioned into a planner as he gained more financial experience and maturity.

Financial Persona: From Enthusiast to Planner:
Originally dreaming of travel and purchases, marriage and kids meant “living with parents started feeling overcrowded.” This motivated a planning mindset. “I started small, watching expenses and monthly contributions. Tracking opened my eyes to needs versus wants.” Now with two decades of discipline, Aaron endorses the same habits for others.

Aaron emphasized the significance of understanding one’s financial persona, which is determined by the Financial Wellness Index (FWI) assessment. Each individual has unique characteristics and preferences that shape their investment choices. By identifying these personas, OCBC can provide personalised recommendations tailored to your needs and beliefs. The conversation encourages readers (and listeners of the podcast) to explore their financial personas and leverage the insights gained.

Time-Tested Strategies for Uncertain Times:
Aaron outlined approaches for remaining invested despite volatility. “Have a long-term view focusing on quality assets. Contribute consistently through costs and gains. Stay informed on the broader market environment.”

He also emphasized the benefits of diversification. “Don’t put everything into just one or two ideas in case you’re wrong. Having various asset types and fund managers provides balance.”

The expert agreed on prioritising an emergency fund too. As Aaron warned, “Not having cash access during job loss or medical costs can really sour experiences. But don’t let the funds just rot – consider low-risk options like fixed deposits or T-bills.”

Staying the Course Pays Off:
Aaron shared his rotating strategy of choosing either bonds or equities each month based on market movements. He’s found success taking a disciplined, long-term view rather than chasing short-term winds.

Overall, the financial pros stressed patience and good habits will serve individuals well, even in tough economic periods. By embracing small, consistent steps and a diversified approach, listeners can feel empowered taking control of their financial futures. By understanding their financial personas and making informed decisions, individuals can take charge of their financial journeys with confidence.

Retirement Planning Takes a Backseat:
OCBC’s index found 60% of Singaporeans are now planning for retirement, down from 68% in 2022. Aaron noted “inflation has definitely put savings under pressure.” adding “Interest rates rising also significantly increases mortgages, a major expense.”

According to Aaron, respondents in their 20s to 40s are postponing retirement by an average of 8 years. However, he clarified “this seems more like firefighting than a logical choice – people are just caught up trying to keep up with costs.”

You can check their full interview on Chills with TFC, Episode 151 on Spotify, YouTube, or Apple podcast for valuable insights into OCBC’s wealth advisory services, digital wealth offerings, and the exciting AI-powered stock ideas program. By leveraging market insights, personalized recommendations, and a focus on financial wellness, OCBC strives to empower individuals to make informed investment decisions and achieve their financial goals. The integration of technology and expert guidance ensures a tailored and effective approach to wealth management.

What you can expect from the full episode:
1. OCBC’s wealth advisory covers a wide range of areas, including market insights and financial literacy.
2. Digital wealth offerings like RoboInvest and the White Wolf Variety provide convenient and tailored investment solutions.
3. OCBC’s AI-powered stock ideas program utilizes machine learning to identify trends and personalized investment opportunities.
4. The Financial Wellness Index assesses key attributes for financial success and helps create personalized financial personas.
5. Aaron’s financial persona evolved from an enthusiast to a planner over time.

You would want to catch our episode on the Financial Personas according to the Financial Wellness Index.
You can also take a quick 1-min quiz to find out what’s your financial persona.

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