Stefanie Yuen Thio comments in BT: “Motley Fool’s exit a dent to independent research”

In a follow-up article on The Motley Fool’s ending of operations in Singapore published by the Business Times on 11 October 2019, Stefanie Yuen Thio said that what is considered as a financial advisory service is broadly defined as the FAA is meant to protect investors. Such services include advising through publications or writings concerning investment products.

“In the case of websites, it really depends on the nature and extent of the service and information provided,” said Ms Yuen Thio.

For instance, online distributor of investment content Smartkarma is not required to be licensed as a financial adviser. Unlike Motley Fool, Smartkarma is exempted from being regulated as a financial adviser as it operates as a “provider or operator of an online information service”, according to its website’s compliance FAQs.

“Generic information and aggregation of publicly available and verifiable information is unlikely to be seen as providing financial advice,” said Ms Yuen Thio.

However, for websites that collect personal details of subscribers or respond to the subscriber’s queries individually are more likely to be considered financial advisers, she added.


TSMP law corporation