MR No. 2015 – 028
3 July 2015
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today released its Investor Capability Strategy, which aims to build knowledge, understanding and confidence about making investment decisions.
The FMA’s strategy supports the principles behind the Government Statement on Building Financial Capability in New Zealand, released by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs today.
“We welcome the minister’s statement and the collaborative approach across government agencies, business and communities to achieve the national vision of helping New Zealanders get ahead financially,” says the FMA’s Director of Primary Markets and Investor Resources, Simone Robbers.
The FMA Investor Capability Strategy aligns with the national strategy for financial capability. The FMA will work closely with the Commission, other government agencies and industry to implement its strategy.
Ms Robbers said investor capability is a fundamental part of well-functioning financial markets. “There is a body of research showing that New Zealanders do not have a good understanding of basic investment concepts such as risk versus return, and diversification.
While the FMA is focused at the investment end of the spectrum of financial capability, we will be part of a more coordinated approach from all the agencies involved in financial capability.”
The FMA strategy focuses on two key groups of people – identified through research as ‘limited’ and ‘moderate’ investors – who make up approximately 60-80% of New Zealand’s adult population.
“Our strategy focuses specifically on people who are likely to have KiwiSaver, but probably do not use a financial adviser. We aim to develop resources and create effective partnerships with the CFFC, industry and other stakeholders to help these people make more informed judgments and effective decisions about their investments,” said Ms Robbers.
The FMA will also focus on improving the information available to consumers about financial products that pose the greatest risk. Another key focus area is improving access to advice and investor resources for those at the point of retirement.
“As a risk-based regulator we need to focus on the areas that pose the greatest risk to investors. Through analysis of local and international research, trends, and market data, as well as seeking input from industry, consumer and advisory groups and education providers, we’ve been able to build a good picture of the people, product types and problems we think we should target,” said Ms Robbers.
“In addition to the improvements to regulation brought in through the Financial Markets Conduct Act, such as better quality disclosure and access to information, we are committed to helping these specific groups develop the knowledge and understanding they need to feel more confident about investing.”
The strategy can be viewed here.
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