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Asian Investment Conference And Exhibition 2010 Review
In the Spotlight | 18 June 2010
By: Louis Kent Lee
Articles (199) Profile

If a person needs a bargain for books, he goes to a book fair. If he needs a car, he goes to a car showroom. For investors’ seeking to understand how the different markets work prior to investing in financial instruments, there’s no better place than the recent investment education fair Asian Investment Conference and Exhibition (AICE) 2010. Besides trying to promote financial literacy among attendees, AICE is also a platform for investors to hear from the experts on the issues affecting their investments.

Held at the Suntec Convention Centre from 5th to 6th June 2010, AICE 2010 kick-started its massive exhibition at hall 601 of the convention centre. Both investors and potential investors were spoilt for choice as 45 featured companies, experts and global experts participating in the fair showcased and offered products ranging from trading platforms, financial products and seminars to visitors of the fair. This is the second time AICE is organised by Securities Investors Association Singapore (SIAS) while being supported by the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

SIAS, a non profit organisation is the largest organised investor lobby group in Asia which comprises of close to 68,000 investors as members. As of today, SIAS is the watchdog for investor rights in Singapore. Committed to investor education, SIAS not only provides numerous physical seminars but also online investor education and information to the much wider audience in and out of Singapore. SIAS Research, created by SIAS to provide investors with independent and professional insights and analysis on publicly listed companies, was also at AICE 2010 together with 6 companies that they considered “top picks” which were featured in the SIAS Research booth. These companies were Sapphire Corporation, Q & M Dental Group, OTTO Marine Ltd, Cheung Woh Technologies, FIRST REIT and Marco Polo Marine.

President & CEO of SIAS, David Gerald, was also one of the speakers at the exhibition, leaving investors with multiple food for thoughts peppered with witty and humorous tag lines. The striking ones that caught my attention were “Silly Investors Always Suffer”, which was a pun that contradicts with its SIAS acronym when he explained what financial illiteracy could do to harm ignorant investors. But he quickly emphasized that through its numerous education programmes, the acronym should stand for “Smart Investors Always Succeed”.

More Than Just Options And Equities

The theme for AICE 2010 was “Learn, Invest, Grow- Deepening Investment Knowledge for Sound Wealth Creation”. Because of the Eurozone crisis, investors all around the world are jaded by the impact the world markets are taking. Although Asia has enough cushions to remain strong in the midst of this adversity, it is necessary for investors to educate themselves and keep up with new financial instruments, products and services that could better enhance their ability to reduce investment risks and increase profits.

In total, there were 4 seminar rooms each lined up with speakers of different specialisations ranging from equities to commodities. Stretched over the course of 2 days, speakers explained enthusiastically via their allocated time slots about what they were presenting on with regards to investment tips, commodities, foreign exchange, exchange traded funds and more. The high turnout rate for the seminars left many interested listeners standing as most of the seats were already taken before any scheduled talk started. Attendees of these talks had to do a little planning before deciding which talks to go for first in order not to have another talk that interests them coincide with the one they are currently sitting in.

Generating Financial Attention

Gold sponsors like World Gold Council has generously sponsored 10 Gold coins which were valued at $194 each for 10 lucky winners who attend at least 5 seminars at AICE. Creative and competitive marketing were also seen in the fair where different companies tried to attract visitors with lucky draws, games and even what some might consider as “over the top” selling. Goodie bags, financial brochures and magazines were issued to visitors to promote awareness and generate “financial interest” amongst attendees.

Shares Investment too had a booth in the exhibition. Visitors were given complimentary magazines of Shares Investment and were introduced to the web site’s basic features and add on privileges that Shares Investment provides to subscribers of the magazine. Fervent readers were also seen visiting the booth as they engaged the staffs and gave them valuable feedback.

Visitors were still seen popping in at 6pm when the fair was scheduled to end by 7pm on the last day of AICE 2010. With market uncertainties tainting the confidence of investors world-wide, it is definitely beneficial for both investors and potential investors to find out more about minimising their investment risks and maximising profits from exhibitions like AICE.

I believe that AICE will continue to be an excellent platform for its attendees to educate themselves on the ever-changing landscape of the financial world. Through the many positive comments I got from exhibitors and attendees, it is obvious that they are looking forward to the next AICE. I know I am too.

Louis is a qualified accountant with the ACCA, and is the Research Editor at Shares Investment magazine.

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