Frequently asked questions

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Depending on where the Broker / Brokerage is located, there will be a regulated body in the country where the company is registered. If the Broker / Brokerage is not registered, our advice is to proceed with caution. TM Inc. has been registered, under license with the Securities & Futures Commission in Hong Kong since 2004, license number: AAG443.
A dividend is a portion of a company’s profits which can be distributed on a quarterly or annual basis in the form of cash or stock.
Prior to the day of listing, an initial portion of the IPO shares are offered by the underwriting bank(s) to institutional investors, high-net-worth individuals or brokerage companies that have a relationship with the bank(s) or with the IPO Company directly. Shares may be purchased on the stock exchange on or after the initial day of listing. To understand more on this subject, please refer to the IPO content contained in this website.
This is achieved by borrowing the stock from a brokerage, then instantly selling the shares at the prevailing market rate, with the proceeds credited to the short seller’s margin account. At a later date, the short seller will cover the “short position” by purchasing it in the market and repaying the loaned stock to the brokerage. This is an aggressive investment strategy where substantial profits can be achieved, however if your “gamble” is wrong, you will have to replace the lost monies in the margin account.
Common stock

This is the most common stock issued by a company which entitles shareholders (ownership interests) to participate in the growth and profit of the company that they invest in. When purchasing shares in the stock market you are in most cases buying common shares. The income for common stock is derived from the growth of the company paid out as dividends to its shareholders.

Preferred stock

These generally do not have voting rights nor provide the ability to participate in the appreciation value of the company, however in some companies they have features of the common shares, such as voting rights and holding appreciation value. Preferred stock come with certain payment terms that take precedence over common stock such as a set dividend paid monthly, quarterly or annually. In the case of the company becoming insolvent after the creditors have been paid, preferred stock holders will be compensated before common stock shareholders. They may also have set redemption terms, where the preferred stock holder can have them redeemed at a favourable price.

For decades the stock market has realised an average of 10% rate of return, effectively doubling your investment every 10-years. Making any rate higher than what you would earn with a regular cash account is usually considered worthwhile.
You must be an “accredited investor” that meets a certain income criteria in most cases $1M, put simply; hedge funds are not for the novice investor.
An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a “pooled investment” that offers a diversified exposure to a particular area of the market, very similar to a Mutual Fund. It invests in stocks, currencies, bonds, options, commodities or a variety of assets. Investors buy shares representing a portion of the “pooled assets”. Unlike a mutual fund, most ETFs trade on stock indices and constantly move with the market, meaning you can buy and sell them at a specific price.
Generally brokerage companies have a minimum trading amount; $5,000 to $10,000 as they are geared towards significantly large purchases of stock in order to make a certain profit.
A Unit Trust Fund is made up of equal shares which are called “units”; these “units” have a price called a “Net Asset Value (NAV)”. The fund is run by a “Fund Manager” whose objective is to grow the overall value of the fund by purchasing stocks, bonds, or a combination of these securities on the stock exchange. These stocks are referred to as “holdings” which in effect are the fund’s “portfolio”. As an investor, you purchase a portion of shares, which can be described as the portfolio in miniature.
This depends on the type of investment you participated in, so there is no definitive answer to this question. You may have invested in an endowment policy which is designed to pay out in a specific number of years and although some allow you to access your money early, they generally come with stiff penalties for withdrawals prior to the maturity date of the policy. Unit Trusts are generally more flexible; however this depends on how you invested when considering a withdrawal.
Shares

These refer to an ownership stake in a company and are generally issued (sold) by the company as part of a capital raising exercise used for growth.

Bonds

These are basically loans to an institution and are regarded as debt indicated in the balance sheet of a company as liabilities, more commonly issued for-profit.

Summary

When investing in stock, you benefit when the company does well, however, there are many factors which impact a company’s profitability, e.g. consumers’ decisions on spending to incoming new technologies by competitors, and consequently face the risk of the company doing poorly or its stock going down. In return for the risks taken as an investor, you get more reward as opposed to bonds. Investing in stocks is therefore the best option when you want good profits and are in a position to take risks.

The first question to ask yourself is “Are you up for managing your investments on your own?” In most cases this requires many hours of research, and continuously updating yourself on global economies and companies’ stocks and shares movement. Financial planners can assist you to stay disciplined with regards to your financial strategies and manage your finances. Financial Advisors will review their client’s portfolio on a regular basis, taking into account market movements, conditions, legislation etc., to ensure your monies are invested correctly. Ultimately the choice is yours to make.