The recently concluded Philippine Junior Finance and Investment Summit at the SMX Convention Center-Manila was a treasure trove of valuable insights into current trends and future direction of the finance industry as a whole.
One of the more noteworthy insights came from speaker Andrew Stotz, President of CFA Society Thailand. His topic, “Ten Ways Ethics Adds Value to You” gave delegates tips into building one’s competitive edge by engaging in ethical practices.
In the CFA Program, there are financial areas covered where one can build competitive advantage like Financial Accounting, Alternative Investment, Derivatives, Portfolio Management, Corporate Finance, Equity Evaluation, Fixed Income, Asset Allocation and Behavioral Finance. But above all these, according to Stotz, a financial professional must build a high level of competitive advantage in the area of ‘Ethics’. This is a major factor that distinguishes a financial professional from others. “Build this competitive advantage in Ethics, and you’ll be rare,” Stotz said.
Stotz, an award-winning stock market analyst, has twenty years of experience working for various investment banks. He is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research, which helps individuals and institutions build wealth through stock selection and portfolio management.
“I was treated ethically and my family was treated ethically, and I have benefited from it for years; that’s why I wanted to communicate ethics in a simple and positive way,” Stotz said.
As financial professionals, according to Stotz, one must be diligent, loyal, independent, trustworthy, always striving for continuous improvement, must be fair, the objective has a high sense of confidentiality, thorough, and must be able to face and address conflicts head-on.
“We are meant to be independent in our work. We serve our clients. As financial professionals, we should fill the gap of our clients’ financial interest. And you should care for your clients as you would your mother,” he said.
“Build your value through ethics. Spend more time building your ethical advantage than building your technical advantage,” Stotz added.
Ms. Rosalia de Leon, Treasurer of the Philippines (Bureau of Treasury Department of Finance) and also the summit’s keynote speaker shared, “Live a balanced life. Try new things and develop hobbies. Make smart investments today apart from savings.”
She also stressed the importance of PJFIS and its advocacy. “This [PJFIS] is a very useful platform for the students and professionals who really want to pursue a career in finance. I would like to congratulate CFA for hosting this kind of conference that really educates students and young professionals about the finance and investment career and even the problems that may come up,” de Leon said.
PJFIS’ other speakers were Mr. Neil Govier, CFA–Head, Education Asia Pacific (CFA Institute); Ms. April Tan, CFA-Vice President and Head of Research (COL Financial Group, Inc.); Mr. Robert Stammers, CFA-Director of Investor Engagement on the Future of Finance (CFA Institute); Mr. Mark Yu, CFA-President (Retail) and CIO (SEAOIL Philippines Inc.); Mr. Mark Ilao, CFA-Business Development Officer (COL Financial Group Inc.); Mr. Ronilo Balbleran-Vice President for Operation (Research Education and Institutional Development (REID) Foundation); and Mr. Edmund Lee, CFA-President and CEO (Caylum Tracing Institute).
“Being part of the 3rd PJFIS is such a wonderful experience for me as a finance student, because it opened a door for me to know what my craft is all about and broad knowledge that will help me a lot in pursuing my dreams,” Jobelle Balasbas, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Banking and Finance student said. “Upon hearing the speakers, I was left with a question, rather a motivation of, ‘Instead of wasting my time on non-profitable things, why don’t I make my everyday life productive?”
PJFIS is a conference and exhibition catered for students and young professionals who want to advance their personal career and financial wellness. A brainchild of CFA Society Philippines, this project aims to deliver value to the Philippine investment community by providing future investment professionals a clear view of how to properly build a career in finance, an overview of various investment products and tools, and a venue to understand the significance of ethics and professional standards.