IEC promotes responsible investing attitudes

23 July 2013

The Investor Education Centre (IEC) today launched a multimedia education campaign, including TV and radio, to promote public awareness and understanding of consumer and investor rights and responsibilities in making financial decisions.

With the key message "Know the risks, Understand your responsibilities and Think before you invest", the campaign takes up on the recommendation contained in the Report of the Legislative Council Subcommittee to Study Issues Arising from Lehman Brothers-related Minibonds and Structured Financial Products published in June 2012. The report recommended that investor education initiatives should convey the message that investors should exercise vigilance and due diligence in order to protect themselves, and should not invest in products they do not know or understand. The report also recommended that investor education should make use of TV and radio as they are the main channels through which, inter alia, the less educated and elderly people obtain information.

Mr Miles Larbey, General Manager of the IEC said: "Given increasing complexity of financial products, new product innovation, as well as the high degree of participation of Hong Kong people in financial markets, it is important for people to adopt and apply responsible attitudes towards investing and money management when it comes to making financial decisions."

"We want to encourage people to know the risks of any financial product they may be considering, understand their responsibilities as investors and always think carefully before they invest, including not investing in any financial product they do not know or understand," added Mr Larbey.

The campaign concept is based on the ancient heroic characters from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms with the intellectual chancellor Zhuge Liang promoting the importance of exercising vigilance when making financial decisions. The campaign includes a new short video to be broadcast via a range of channels such as TV, radio, websites, print, mobile phones as well as public transport networks from July 2013.

"As the dedicated financial education body in Hong Kong, we have used a creative and engaging approach for the campaign to enhance the appeal and interest to the general public," Mr Larbey said. "We hope to reach all members of the community with our campaign, including those who may be more vulnerable to making poor investment decisions."

According to the findings of the research Financial Knowledge and Capability in Hong Kong: A Foundation Study, published in June 2013, certain investment and financial concepts are not very well understood by some Hong Kong people, especially concepts which may be considered more advanced or complex.

For example, the research found that when making financial decisions, 52% of respondents would focus primarily on the rate of return, with only one-fifth considering the downside risk as the most important factor. The research also found that 63% of respondents did not understand that different investment products in the same category can have different level of risk. The mature age, lower education and lower income groups consistently demonstrated a lower understanding of financial matters, as compared to the general population.

Members of the public are invited to visit a dedicated sitelet on the IEC website ( for full details of the campaign.

Photos and captions:

  • Photo of the IEC's education campaign which features four heroic characters of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms with the intellectual chancellor Zhuge Liang, Liu Be, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei promoting the importance of exercising vigilance when making financial decisions.