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FMA publishes new and improved online resources for investors

 

Media Release
MR No. 2016 - 01
10 February 2016

You’re in KiwiSaver and now you’re willing and able to invest in something else. But you’re not sure in what, and with who? Knowing where to find useful, independent information is half the battle and the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has updated the consumer section of its website to help out. 

New resources have been added that focus on some of the more complex and potentially riskier products increasingly being seen on the market, for example foreign exchange trading and hybrid bonds. Existing content on getting financial advice, and general do’s and don’ts, has been updated.

Paul Gregory, director investor capability at the FMA, said “we have made it clear that assisting investor decision making is a strategic priority for the FMA. Improving the quality and depth of information on our website, to help consumers build their knowledge, is an important part of that.”

FMA research shows that the majority of consumers and potential investors have never spoken to a financial adviser, but they are hungry for information that will help them make more informed decisions. “We know that people want access to free and independent resources that will help them become more confident about deciding what to do with their money,” Mr Gregory said.

The resources are designed to give people a quick, digestible summary of each topic, then help people understand the essential further information they’ll need to seek out. 

The FMA encourages investors to take the time to understand why they are investing and their goals; know how fees and risks affect their ability to achieve those goals; be alert to the warning signs of potential scams; and to keep engaged with their investments once they’ve made them, to ensure they’re on track.

“Equipping customers with the tools they need to ask the right questions when they talk to a provider is an important focus for the FMA. But it is only half the job of customers getting the results they expect. As regulator for New Zealand’s capital markets and financial services, the FMA is working with financial service providers to ensure they provide concise, easy-to-navigate product information. We also want them to place their customers’ interests at the centre of what they do, and meet the standards of the regulations.”

Tools to be a smart investor are available online at fma.govt.nz/consumers and include guides to:

  • Getting financial advice – services to expect and how to find an adviser
  • Warnings, alerts and scams – including an A-Z list of all current warnings
  • Property syndicates -  a mid to long-term investment  that can be riskier than other forms of property investment
  • Product disclosure statements (PDS) – explaining new, concise information that replaces investment statements
  • Selected Financial Information – in a new share offer or PDS
  • Hybrid (capital) notes – often issued by banks, may not be suitable for many investors
  • Foreign exchange (Forex) trading  - highlighting the significant risks of forex trading for profit 

ENDS 

Contact:
Andrea Birtwistle
Senior Media Adviser
09 300 0­465
021 847 192
andrea.birtwistle@fma.govt.nz

 

Notes:  The FMA will be publishing further resources on investment products and principles. Resources available on the FMA website complement other consumer information available on the Commission for Financial Capability’s (CFFC) site, sorted.org.nz