There are many kinds of investment products available in the market, and there is an equally wide range of intermediaries.
You should check to ensure that companies and individuals handling your financial or investment matters have obtained the proper licence or registration. In Hong Kong, no single licence or registration can enable a financial intermediary to provide all types of financial services. So, for example, if your insurance agent intends to sell a fund to you, you should make sure that the Securities and Futures Commission licenses them.
Whether you are dealing with a brick and mortar brokerage, a bank or an online broker, you should in all situations take appropriate measures to protect your own rights and safeguard your personal information.
Never sign an agreement without fully understanding the content and reason for the intermediary requesting it. Read the documentation carefully to understand the services that are being offered, dealing terms, the obligations and the liabilities of each party.
Fees and charges vary between intermediaries and will depend on your transaction amount. Be sure to clarify the level of fees charged by your brokerage to avoid confusion or dispute at a later date.
The huge expansion in online trading offers investors more channels to trade. While these are very accessible and can seem attractive, make sure you understand the nature, terms and conditions, as well as the operation procedures of these online services before you use them.
No matter who you are engaging as an intermediary, you should exercise discretion when giving authorisation over your account to someone else, and don't sign away your rights to make trading decisions.