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Experts provide interesting insights into business and investment during Finance Month at Curtin Sarawak

June 24, 2014 | Campus News

Miri – 23 June 2014 – A series of talks and workshops by financial experts during the recent Finance Month 2014 at Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) gave the participants interesting insights into business and investment.

The month-long event was organised by the Department of Finance and Banking in Curtin Sarawak’s School of Business and the Curtin Financial Intelligence Club (CFIC), a student academic club under the school.   

It began with talk and workshop entitled ‘Discovering Forex’ covering two days was conducted by Jimmy Chan, founder of GMEfx and participant of the 2008 America Interbank Forex Competition.

Forex is the largest market in the world where buyers and sellers conduct foreign exchange transactions, and according to Chan, dealing in Forex is about consistency and persistence, and putting safety as a priority. He said this is because one may turn irrational due to greediness and overconfidence while managing an uncomfortable risk and it may lead to unnecessary loss of money. 

“Forex may seem like gambling in a casino but that is hardly the case. It is just a platform with more unsystematic risks than systematic risks. Risks exist but it is not about the volume of risk, but rather the management and mitigation of risks,” commented Chan.

Third-year commerce banking and finance student Adrian Chin Jia Che said he learned a lot from the talk, especially the value of money where depreciation may occur despite the stability of the economy because a certain degree of volatility and risk cannot be avoided.

“With a saving account compound interest rate of 3 percent, it can take 30 years for RM1 to become RM2. Furthermore, we often face the issue of inequality where salaries remain constant while expenses increase, which is all the more reason to invest for our future,” said Chin.

During the workshop, the participants were given a demo account and trading software and were asked to ‘trade’ based on scenarios given to give them a feel of what it is like to trade in currencies in the real world.

The next talk entitled ‘The Ugly Truth of Money’ was by final-year finance and marketing student Bong Jeen Hao, who is also business development executive at and founder of a gold and silver bullion trading company based in Miri. In addition, he happens to be one of the youngest unit managers in the unit trust industry. 

Jeen Hao highlighted mechanisms in the modern monetary system, including the creation of currency by central banks, as well as inflation. He also gave advice on how to avoid being a victim of inflation and hyperinflation.

According to Charmele, despite Jeen Hao’s engagement in the industry, he performs equally well in his studies at Curtin Sarawak. 

She added that the application of theories learned in the classroom to the practical world is an initiative the Department of Finance and Banking strives for and having talks and workshops such as those during Finance Month are very effective in this regard.

“By bringing in the industry players and involving them in our teaching activities, and exposing our students to industry through field trips and internships, we enrich student learning and prepare them for employment immediately upon graduation,” said Charmele. 

The Finance Month final session was a conference on ‘Breaking the Code of Business and Investment’ which saw presentations by various speakers. 

The opening ceremony was attended by Curtin Sarawak’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Jim Mienczakowski; Deputy Dean of the School of Business Associate Professor Pauline Ho; Head of the Department of Finance and Banking Charmele Ayadurai; and President of the CFIC Bong Jeen Hao.

Also in attendance were staff and students of the university and invited guests consisting of insurance agents, unit trust agents, personal bankers, stock brokers and entrepreneurs. Professor Mienczakowski presented the keynote address.

The speakers included Luke Bong, author, entrepreneur, trainer, public speaker and founder of Great Minds Management Sdn. Bhd.; William Au, equity market trader/investor, financial speaker and founder of Trend Traders Network; and Allen Yap, Head of Agency of TA Investment Management with 17 years of stock investing experience.

Bong shared on his corporate experience and entrepreneurial journey while Au spoke on recent trends in the stock market and emphasised detailed financial analysis to lower the probability and cost of failure. Yap, meanwhile, gave useful tips on stock investment, wealth accumulation and insurance planning.

A third talk was delivered by Terrence Tan, a senior lecturer in first-year engineering at Curtin Sarawak, during which he spoke about public speaking and entrepreneurship, stressing on the importance of thinking outside the box in one’s journey towards success.

Commenting on the talk, second-year finance and management student Quah Suet Li said she attended to learn more about business ventures and investment. 

“I believe there are no shortcuts to wealth. Even the most successful people have had to strive hard to overcome obstacles. Most importantly though, by being passionate in doing the things they do, they have been able to overcome those obstacles,” opined Quah.

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