RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH UNIT TRUST FUNDS ?
Fund Management Risk
The selection of securities which make up the assets of the trust is a subjective process. Securities selected by the investment manager may perform better or worse than the overall stock market, or as compared to portfolios selected by their competitors.
Non-compliance to rules imposed by the Capital Market and Services Act, 2007, the Guidelines on Unit Trust Funds and internal controls and policies may affect the investors' money.
Where the funds invest in bonds, the funds are exposed to liquidity risk given the fact that the Malaysian bond market is not as liquid as the share market. As a result, it may not always be possible to immediately sell or buy fixed income securities at the prevailing market price.In addition, this may affect the ability of the fund to honour request for redemption or to pay back investors money after the trust has been terminated.
Inflation/ Purchasing Power Risk
Inflation is one of the major risks to investors over the long term as it causes uncertainty over the future value of the investments. In an inflationary environment, a return on investment which is lower than the inflation rate will reduce the value of the investment.
Loan Financing Risk
Investing in a unit trust fund using borrowed money is more risky than investing by using your own money. Since unit trust funds invest in equities and other capital market instruments, the value of units will fluctuate accordingly with the underlying portfolio, and investors may find themselves faced with the scenario of being forced to provide additional money to top up on their loan margins when the market falls, or incur a higher financing cost when interest rates trend upwards. The above events increase the potential of capital loss.
Capital Market Risk
Investors should note that unit trust fund is subject to the volatility of the capital market, which includes stock market and other securities market. The capital market is influenced by certain factors such as economic growth, movement in interest rates, overseas capital market performances and fiscal policies of the respective countries. Performance of a unit trust fund, which invests heavily in equities, will be affected by the performance of the economic growth, overseas stock market performances and the respective fiscal policies in these markets. Performance of a unit trust fund which invests heavily in fixed income securities will be affected by the movement of interest rates and fiscal policies.
Specific Risk or Stock Risk
Specific risk or stock risk is the portion of risk which is unique to the company that issues the securities. Specific risk can be associated with management errors, shift in consumer taste, advertising campaign, lawsuits and competitive industry conditions.