What is a Unit Trust?

Unit Trust is a financial vehicle that allows general public to pool their money in a ‘ Trust ‘ fund managed by professional Fund Managers who then invest the funds in a diversity of equities, bonds and other authorised investments.

What does buying a 'unit' means?

Investing in unit trusts means buying the ‘ units ‘ of the trust fund. When you own even just one unit of a trust fund, you become one of the collective owners of the investments made by the Fund Managers. 

Is it safe to invest in a unit trust?

Yes. ‘The Capital Markets and Services Act 2007’ regulates all matters relating to unit trust funds, whilst the ‘Guidelines on Unit Trust Funds’ governs the operations and the administration of unit trust funds. The Guidelines also provides a regulatory environment to protect the interests of the investing public and facilitate the orderly development of the unit trust industry. So, when you invest in a unit trust, you can be sure that your money is safe from theft. The Securities Commission reads and approved each unit trust’s prospectus and annual report, periodically audits unit trusts’ financial records, and generally makes sure everything with the fund is in order. To safeguard your investment, a Trustee is appointed for the fund. The Trustee shall take custody and control of the assets of the fund and ensure that the fund manager adheres to the requirements as set out in the trust deed.

What is a Deed?

A Deed is a set of rules on how the trust is operated, thus, it shows the rights and obligations of the Manager, the rights and duties of the Trustee and the rights of the unit holders.

Why should I invest in unit trusts?

Finding the right stocks to invest takes patience, resources and expertise. The number of listed companies run into hundreds so it is practically impossible for most investors to find the time adequately to make research. By investing through a unit trust, you can enjoy the benefits of having experts working on your behalf. Transaction costs are also reduced through bulk dealing. Finally, unit trusts are liquid because units can be bought or sold on any working day without any lock-in period. In short, the benefits of investing in unit trusts are Diversification, Professional Management, Liquidity and Ease of Transaction.

What are the pros and cons in each type of investment/savings vehicles?

If you are just trading stocks, why can' t I do it myself?

You can do it all by yourself if you have enough knowledge to analyse the market, sufficient time to monitor your investment and to do the administrative work and also a huge sum of money to diversify your investment into various sectors. Of course, to be more secure it requires expert knowledge and indeed, frequent company visits. But if you invest with us, the above mentioned tasks will be our Fund Manager’s responsibility.

Stock markets are not performing, why should I buy now?

We believe superior long term investment performance can be achieved by exploiting inefficiencies in capital markets through vigorous and intensive research within a disciplined investment process. Even if stock markets are not performing, the depressed market presents an opportunity to buy these companies at relatively bargain price. You should understand that the fund manager is the one who needs to worry about tracking economic, political stability and uncertainty. Besides, when considering investing in a unit trust, anytime is a good time to invest, as a regular savings plan is essential to reduce the effect of market fluctuations on the average investment cost (dollar cost averaging principle).

What is Dollar Cost Averaging?

It is a systematic and regular investment of a fixed amount of money irrespective of the price level no matter the market is rising, declining or fluctuating. This approach works on the averaging cost principle of investments; investor will get more units when prices are down and fewer units when prices are up. This method however does not assure profit nor to protect you against loss. Please refer to the illustrated example:



As seen from the illustration above, you can actually capture higher returns if you keep making the contribution at a regular interval no matter at what the price level is. It is essential in unit trust to adopt a discipline saving plan over a long-term period, so that you do not have to worry much on the market volatility.

What if I prefer to manage my own money?

It is fine to manage some of your money but it is also a good idea to put some money into unit trusts for diversification purposes. Your ideal portfolio should consist of equities, fixed income securities, insurance and unit trusts in appropriate weightings to suit your risk appetite.

What if I prefer to put my money into fixed deposit, which is at no risk?

Historically, investment in unit trusts has outperformed fixed deposits over the long term. The interest earned from fixed deposits usually is lower that it can erode capital and depreciate the purchasing power of money in longer term as the interest may not be enough to cover the tax and inflation. Though unit trust investment carries with it a higher risk, the potential for reward should be more than to compensate for it. Of course you should not forget about putting aside some money in fixed deposits for emergencies.

Do I need a lot of money to invest?

Investing in unit trust funds is generally affordable for most people. For example, an initial investment for our Phillip Master First Ethical Fund starts from RM 500 and its subsequent investment is only from RM 100. You may refer to our Master Prospectus to find out more on the initial and subsequent investment for other funds available.

What rate of return can I expect?

The rate of returns depends on the fund’s performance. If the fund makes little or no profit, it may not pay out any distribution. Your unit trust investment return refers to both income and capital growth where:

  1. Capital growth arises from an increase in the value of the shares in the portfolio. Investors who sold the units at a higher price than the amount purchased will realize a profit and similarly investors will experience a loss if the portion of the investment sold is less than the purchase price.
  2. Income return arises from dividends earned on shares and capital gains realized on the sale of shares. The distributions (if any) will be declared at the end of each financial year and will be distributed to investors based on the total units held at the end of the fund’s financial year. The distributions will be paid to investors by cheque or reinvested on the investors’ behalf as per the distribution policy in the prospectus.

Please note that past performance, past earnings or distribution record of the Fund are neither a guarantee nor an indication of the Fund’s future performance, earnings or distributions.

What should I consider before investing in a unit trust?

You should always consider four factors i.e. your investment objectives, risk profile, investment time horizon and your affordability at any one time.

Why some of the funds do not declare distribution?

Different funds place different emphasis on the investment returns. Growth funds for instance, place more emphasis on capital gain while income funds emphasis on distribution. Fund Managers of growth fund would closely observe the objective of the fund and invest monies into selective stocks, which are geared on a long-term growth.

Why there is often little or no price appreciation on unit trust prices compared to its initial offer price even after a substantial period?

Unit trust management companies tend to make cash distributions or issue unit split which cause the per unit price to readjust downward. This is usually done to keep the price of each unit from looking too expensive and thus putting off new investors.

What are unit splits and how do they benefit investors?

Unit split represents the process of creating additional units to existing unit holders by lowering unit prices proportionately. Like bonus issue of normal stocks, it offers no additional value to investors. However, it does, illogically, make most unit-holders feel warm, fuzzy and decidedly happy.

Why do unit trust prices drop after a cash distribution?

Income earned by a fund during the financial year is accrued in its unit’s price until the end of the distribution period. Upon declaration of an income distribution, any interest income and realized capital profits are paid to unit-holders. Consequently, the Fund’s NAV, will tend to fall by approximately the same amount as the income distribution.

Is income received by unit trust funds taxable?

Dividend income received by the fund is subject to tax, but interest income and capital gains, in general, are tax-exempted.

Will the fees and charges affect fund's performance?

Fees and charges vary from fund to fund. There are fees and charges including Service Charge, Repurchase Fee, Annual Management Fee and Annual Trustee Fee . In addition, certain other expenses such as Trustee fees and brokerage expenses are borne by the fund. Usually the two most important fees to be considered are the Initial Service Charge and the Annual Management Fee. For both, all else is being equal, the lower the better. But again, remember to compare apples with apples. Typically bond funds have lower costs than equity funds yet they also usually deliver, over the long term, less spectacular results. You should also consider the Management Expense Ratio (MER) of a fund. MER is the ratio of the total annual management expenses of the fund to the average value of the Fund. It is the best indicators on the cost of investing in a fund and allows investors to compare the cost effectiveness of the other funds within its categories. The lower the MER, the more cost effect the fund is.

How is the performance of a unit trust fund evaluated?

You should evaluate how a fund performs by looking at Fund Performance Tables provides by independent rating companies such as Lipper Fund Table or Morningstar Fund Table. Performance of the funds are evaluated based on the prices movement plus the changes brought about by cash distributions and unit splits within a stipulated time frame with the assumption that all distributions are reinvested. When doing so, you must make sure that you are comparing apples with apples and not apples with durians. Make sure your comparisons are within the same category or sector. Since unit trusts are medium-to-long-term investment instruments, pay more attention to 3-or 5-year performance and compare it to an appropriate benchmark (example: for equity funds – KLCI; for bond funds – the average Malaysian FD rate for the period under consideration) and its peer group performance. You should also look at the consistency performance of a fund.

Should I invest in unit trust funds that are ranked at the top of the Performance Tables?

Buying a fund that ranked top over a given period shall not be used as a sole criterion to invest in any fund. It is not necessarily the case that this fund will continue to be the best in future. For international standard, fund with 3 to 5 years track records can only be used to gauge the consistency of the performance of the fund.

What is the main difference between unit trusts and unit-linked funds?

‘Unit Trusts’ are pure investment vehicles run by unit trust management companies whereby ‘Unit-Linked Funds’ are packaged products that combine unit trust investment with insurance protection. Selected insurance companies offer these hybrid products.

There are many unit trust companies in Malaysia, which one should I choose to manage my money?

Apart from the fund performance and the fund manager’s credibility, you should also look into the reputation and management style of a unit trust management company before making your investment choice.

Why have unit trusts grown so dramatically in terms of numbers and scope in the global market?

Investors are becoming more sophisticated and they recognize their need to diversify their asset allocation strategy to achieve their specific financial goals. Unit trust is one of the effective tools to achieve those needs. In US and UK, there is dramatic growth of unit trust capitalization due to these countries do not have an Employee Provident Fund such in Malaysia, thus their employees have to invest in unit trusts to provide for their retirement and to satisfy other financial needs.

What is Phillip Master Trust Funds?

Phillip MASTER Trust Funds are the house funds managed by Phillip Mutual Berhad. There are 3 funds namely:

  1. Phillip MASTER Money Market Fund
    The fund invests in money market derivatives i.e. Government or Government backed securities, bills of exchange, negotiable certificate of deposits, promissory notes, call deposits and other short-term Government or bank backed securities and money market instruments. It aims for return higher than Ringgit Malaysia (RM) savings deposits while maintaining principal value and high degree of liquidity.
  2. Phillip MASTER Equity Growth Fund
    The fund invests up to 95% in equity and 5% in liquid assets. It is an excellent vehicle for aggressive investors with long term investment outlook.
  3. Phillip MASTER First Ethical Fund
    Phillip Master First Ethical Fund steers towards capital growth over the medium to long term period through investment in undervalued stocks based on Ethical Guidelines. Derived from Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) approach, the guidelines refrain from investments in companies involved in gaming, alcohol, tobacco and armaments.

Why invest in Phillip Master Trust Funds?
  1. Phillip MASTER Money Market Fund
    Phillip MASTER Money Market Fund is your first step towards personal cash management. Generally offers higher returns than cash deposits. There is no initial sales charge. You get a low risk fund with instant liquidity and flexibility. You are able to withdraw money on the same day if you redeem before 9.45am or the next day if after 9.45am. Low management fee – 0.5% per annum. Tax-free returns – interest income from government and private debt securities are exempted from tax.
  2. Phillip MASTER Equity Growth Fund
    The fund is truly affordable, the initial investment is as low as RM500. You will get a fund that gives you up to 95% equity exposure. With active investment policy, the fund strives to maximize your potential capital growth without having you to monitor the market yourself.
  3. Phillip MASTER First Ethical Fund
    The fund strives to deliver competitive return for your investment over medium to long term through investments in undervalued stocks based on Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) approach, the guideline is to generate greater awareness on the impact of abuses involving tobacco, alcohol, gaming and armaments on our society. You now have the alternative to combine your financial objectives with commitment to social concerns. The Investment Committee will conduct a 6 monthly review of stocks in the portfolio to ensure that the holdings are consistent with the principles and criteria set (which you can refer to Phillip Master Trust Funds prospectus for further details). The fund is very affordable, the initial investment is as low as RM500.

Is your investment profiles best suited/compatible with the funds' objectives?

1. Phillip MASTER Money Market Fund 
If you: seek regular income from your investment require capital preservation require a safer and more conservative fund have a low risk tolerance have a short term investment horizon want a money market fund that complements your personal asset allocation strategy

2. Phillip MASTER Equity Growth Fund 
If you: seek medium to long term growth have high tolerance for risk want a growth fund that complements your personal asset allocation strategy

3.Phillip MASTER First Ethical Fund
If you: seek maximum medium to long term growth have a high tolerance for risk want a growth fund that complements your personal asset allocation strategy, and which at the same time, does not go against your religious convictions and/or social concerns.

What is Social Responsibility Investment (SRI)?

Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) combines investors’ financial objectives with their commitment to social concerns such as social justice, economic development, peace or healthy environment. The objectives of SRI can be achieved through the following:

Ethical screening – the inclusion or exclusion of stocks and shares in unit trusts on ethical, social or environment grounds. Ethical screening is usually divided into ‘negative screening’ to exclude unacceptable shares and ‘positive screening’ to select companies with superior social or environmental performance.
Shareholder influence – seeking to improve a company’s ethical, social and environmental behaviour as shareholder through dialogues, pressure or voting at AGMs.
Cause-based investing – supporting a particular cause or activity by financing its investment.

What is rationale for exclusion (Phillip Master First Ethical Fund)?

Gambling addiction is a cost to the society. An US-based study concluded that as many as 10-17 people may be the victims of each compulsive gambler. Spouse, children, parents and relatives of compulsive gamblers are parties injured directly. In the work place, gambling problems lower productivity and cause inefficiency, absenteeism and theft. Two out of three compulsive gamblers will commit illegal activities in order to pay gambling related debts and to continue gambling. One of every compulsive gambler has attempted suicide. Similar study concluded that the estimated 50,000 adult compulsive gamblers cost the state USD 1.5 billion through lost work productivity, monies stolen and embezzled, bad cheques and unpaid taxes. The figure would increase significantly if the cost for social services, health care, bankruptcies, legal and correctional fees were considered. 

Cigarettes are the only freely available consumer goods that kill. Smoking has been proven to have link to cancer and other critical diseases. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that worldwide, smoking kills 11,000 people everyday. The World Bank conducted a cost analysis, weighing the economic benefits of tobacco against the costs of premature death, medical care and sick leave worldwide. The study estimated the net loss to be $200 billion per year. The World Bank concluded, “Tobacco use is globally an economic disaster as well as an enormous economic problem in individual countries”. 

Regular heavy alcohol consumption is known to be associated with a wide range of diseases and is a significant cause of premature death. The Royal College of Physicians report summarizes the impact of alcoholism to include brain damage, cerebrovascular disease, hallucinations, liver cancer, obesity, high blood pressure and fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcoholism is also known to be associated with a wide range of social problems, from crime to absenteeism and inefficiency at work.

Military Production 
While national defense is necessary to maintain sovereignty and recognized in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, it is widely acknowledge that arms proliferation breeds new cycle of violence and fresh demand for weapons. Defense expenditures limit social and economic options in many societies. The money would be better spent on health, education and human development. Over the past decades, wars and internal conflicts have claimed 5 million lives, injured 6 million children and driven 50 million people from their homes.

Will the guidelines/exclusions affect Phillip Master First Ethical Fund's performance?

Performance of equivalent funds in other countries suggests that it is possible to achieve competitive returns from ethically screened shares compared to their conventional counterparts. Socially Responsible Index (DSI 400) outperforms the S&P 500 both during 2002 and on a total returns basis for 10 years for the period ending 31st December 2002 (Source: Fund Performance Update, Social Investment Forum, January 29, 2003). In Malaysia, certain Syariah funds (a close similar investment) have been found to outperform conventional funds. The returns for Syariah based equity funds is 6.24%, whereby for conventional equity funds, concentrated on growth and income stated 5.97% returns over the period of 5 years (23rd March 1998 – 21st March 2003) – source provided by The Edge-Lipper Fund Performance Table (31st March – 6th April 2003). On the other hand, Phillip MASTER First Ethical Fund, which has less stringent guidelines than a typical Syariah fund, therefore is in a better position to provide superior performance.

Why should I invest with Phillip Mutual?

Phillip Mutual provides a variety of Funds that will suit your investment need at different life and economic cycles. The Phillip Master Funds are tailored to fit in the investment puzzle of financial planning. Phillip Capital Management Sdn Bhd is our designated Fund Manager with a combined experience of more than 20 years in fund management industry, are looking after your investment and strive to deliver competitive returns. You will also receive the assurance and backing of a strong and globally successful name in the investment arena – The PhillipCapital Group, whose main aims is to deliver maximum returns to you.

Who is Trustee of the Phillip Master Trust Funds?

BHLB Trustee Berhad.

How do I redeem/repurchase my units?

You may redeem or repurchase all or some of your units held on any business day by completing the transaction form. If you have an online trading account, you may redeem your units online. For Phillip MASTER Equity Growth Fund or Phillip MASTER First Ethical Fund, units will be redeemed at the Net Asset Value per unit of the Fund calculated at the end of the Business Day on which the request is received by the Manager.You can fax or send the form to us before 4pm on the day you wish to redeem. We will process your redemption within 10 days. You will receive your payment via mail or direct bank in to your bank account if you instruct us to do so. For Phillip MASTER Money Market Fund payment will be made on the same day if the request is received before 9.45am and the next day if after 9.45am. For 3rd party funds distributed by Phillip Mutual Bhd, the cut-off time for redemption are as per the respective Prospectus of the Funds..

How do I switch Funds?

Switching provides you the flexibility to move “between” funds as often as your investment situation demands. You may switch all or some of your units held on any business day by completing the transaction form. If you have an online trading account, you may switch your units online. For Phillip Mutual Bhd’s house funds, the Units of the Fund(s) being switched (Original Fund) will be valued at the Net Asset Value of the Units whilst the units of the fund(s) with which the Units are switched (Target Fund) will be acquired at the NAV of those units as calculated in accordance with the prospectuses and deeds governing them subject to a switching fee. If investors switch into a fund with a lower sales charge, there will be no switching fee imposed. However, if investors switch into a fund with a higher sales charge, units switched shall be subject to a fee equal to the difference between the sales charge originally imposed and the sales charge of the new fund. The switching mechanism and the fees are summarised as follows:-

  • PMMMF = Phillip MASTER Money Market Fund
  • PMEGF = Phillip MASTER Equity Growth Fund
  • PMFEF = Phillip MASTER First Ethical Fund

Can I transfer my units holding to another person?

Yes. You may transfer fully of partially of your units in the Fund to another person by completing a Transfer Form. A transfer will be effected subject to the minimum balance of 1,000 units in your account. A transfer fee of RM20.00 will be charged for any request to transfer units. Transfer of units must be conducted via the original signed transfer form. Online transfer is not available.

What is Goods and Services Tax ("GST")?

A Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a consumption tax based on the value-added concept. GST is charged on any taxable supply of goods and services made in the course or furtherance of any business by a taxable person in Malaysia. GST is also charged and levied on the importation of goods and services into Malaysia.

What is the rate of GST that will be imposed effective from 1 April 2015?

The GST rate to be imposed is 6 %.

Do I need to be registered under GST?

Any person who makes a taxable supply for business purposes and the taxable turnover of that supply for a period of 12 months or less exceeds the threshold of RM500,000.00 is required to be registered with GST. However, business with taxable turnover of RM500,000.00 and below may choose to apply for voluntary registration. 

How does GST work?

In Malaysia, a person who is registered under the Goods and Services Tax Act 2014 is known as a ‘registered person’. A registered person is required to charge GST (output tax) on his taxable supply of goods and services made to his customer. He is allowed to claim input tax credit on any GST incurred (input tax) on his purchases which are inputs to his business. Thus, this mechanism would avoid double taxation and only the value added at each stage is taxed.

Is Phillip Mutual Berhad a GST registered person?

Yes, Phillip Mutual Berhad is GST registered person with registration number 001683357696.

Are gains or losses subject to GST?

What will investors receive?

Investors who invest in any of our third party funds will receive a confirmation statement from Phillip Mutual Berhad with GST information incorporated. For investors who invest in any of Phillip Mutual Berhad in-house funds, Phillip Mutual Berhad will issue a tax invoice.

Is buying and selling of units under a unit trust fund subject to GST?

The buying and selling of the units under a unit trust fund is an exempt supply therefore is not subject to GST. However, any fee based charges related to buying/selling/switching of the units such as sales or service charge, redemption fee (if the fee is for a service), switching fee, transfer fee are subject to GST at a standard rate.

What are the GST treatments of fees charged by Phillip Mutual Berhad?

With effect from 1 April 2015, Phillip Mutual Berhad will charge GST at the standard rate of 6 % (where applicable), as governed by the GST Act 2014. The table below are example of fees which may be charged by Phillip Mutual Berhad;