What made you enrol in the CFA® Program and what were your first thoughts of it?
When I was handling investment matters as part of my job scope, I was looking for a body of knowledge that could really assist me in my investment functions. A friend introduced me to CFA Institute, and upon further assessment, I didn't hesitate to enrol in the programme. This was in the year 2000.
How have you leveraged your network and knowledge from CFA Institute and CFA Society® membership for career growth?
Certain current knowledge and insights cannot be obtained by simply browsing through articles and books. Networks and knowledge from CFA Institute and Society membership provide that "speed to market" advantage, especially when analysing a key event or theme. That helps in career growth as it has given me a competitive advantage in improving my work quality and delivery.
What is your definition of success? Has your definition of success changed over the years?
Success is when you attain that sense of satisfaction and gratitude over your achievement. It remains the same over the years, just as happiness and humility levels are elevated when you gain more recognition from you own achievements.
What are your investment principles and philosophy?
Stay true to the mandate given to you, and hold firm to the values of integrity, humility, and continuous learning. Be brave in trying new things, and learn from mistakes along the way.
Can you identify key decisions you made along the way in your career?
Changing my mindset from focusing too much on realized return to total return. Such a decision was really effective as the result was amazing and sustainable. This is not an easy call as interested parties are always favouring quick win.
What have you learned, or wish you'd known earlier, in your career?
I wished I had earned my CFA® charter first before my MBA. CFA Institute gives me the "speed to market" advantage where investment decision can be made fast and effectively. The MBA would augment such advantage by making it more structured and organized.
Thinking About Your Next Career Step?
A CFA charter can help boost your finance credentials. The CFA Program is designed to equip you with the kind of expertise and real-world skills in investment analysis that will help you advance your career. Once you complete all three exam levels and demonstrate the required experience, you can apply to become a charterholder.
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What are the most important skills to excel in the current finance industry?
Being analytical in thinking and firm in decision making. The prelude to that is the ability to listen to those with relevant knowledge and experience and to synthesize the input to suit your current mandate and situation.
What are your outside interests? How do you prioritise them with your work? What do you think is the key for finding a successful work-life balance?
I'm an outdoor person. I like travelling and cycling. I'll find time to do what I like, and it is best if I have the opportunity to do it with my family. Work-life balance is an art of prioritisation depending on situation. I may prioritise work over life during a critical period like reporting season, but would easily switch to leisure soon after completion (i.e., don't get too carried away with work).
What is your opinion on the importance of social profiling (i.e., LinkedIn), especially for young professionals these days? What is your suggestion to increase visibility of network?
During this age where information travels fast and wide reaching, take advantage of the tools to showcase your work experiences, achievements, and even hobbies. This will enhance your visibility to increase your chances of employability from a future employer.
What opportunities do you foresee for young aspirants in the investment industry in Malaysia?
The investment fraternity is still nascent in Malaysia. We haven't reached the breadth and depth of the developed market. For that, we need to broaden our reach beyond the Malaysian market to learn from the global market the new skills and competency needed to capitalize on the opportunities accorded from this growing market.
Disclaimer: The content was written in July 2021 and the video was taken in April 2021. Information, views, opinions, and recommendations expressed belong to the interviewees thereof. They do not necessarily reflect the views of CFA Society Malaysia. In no event shall CFA Society Malaysia be liable for any damages resulting from their opinions.