I’ve been in the financial planning industry almost 15 years now. I started out young and after studying business I landed my first role in a financial planning firm as the office junior. Over the years I gained experience from many great mentors, studied for my additional qualifications and quickly climbed the corporate ladder to become a financial planner.
But something had always nagged at me... Something that told me that either this industry wasn’t quite right for me, or perhaps I wasn’t quite right for this industry.
At one stage this feeling was so strong that I was ready to leave the industry altogether so I took a career break and lived and worked overseas. When I returned, I got a new job in the industry but it didn't take long for the same feeling to return. I still didn't know how or what it was that I wanted to do differently.
And then I studied Yoga. I started teaching yoga on the side and began working and engaging with people in a new way. This experience lead to a shift in my perspective. Something seemed to click and I finally discovered the problem…
My problem was my belief that the traditional financial planning model, focusing purely on the left side of the human psyche, is flawed.
My experience in the industry had taught me that when a typical financial planner talks to clients they do so in numbers, strategies and calculations and show projections and tax savings. The financial plan is often a large document providing recommendations in a language that can be difficult to understand at times. Financial planning is often expensive. And people who aren’t rich, think they don’t need it, when in fact every single person could benefit from financial planning advice.
If financial planners are talking purely in these left-brain terms, anyone with the time, energy and access to Google can seek out financial advice. Whether this advice is right for them is another story, but for many DIYers it’s a path they’re willing to pursue.
More importantly though, and what really concerns me is that the typical approach doesn’t take into consideration some very important things and these are the things that I think matter the most and will ultimately result in how successful the financial plan will be for each individual.
This was my problem..the right-brain.
I've always done things differently and financial planning is no exception. I love a challenge and I realized that there was a great opportunity for me to do something different. And that lead me to discover my goal as a financial planner of empowerment – not advice.
Many of us tie money to our sense of self-worth and make financial decisions based on our emotions and feelings. We have unconscious money habits and a money personality that we need to understand and work with.
I believe there’s more to wealth than just money. Our goals aren’t just about money - they’re about life, travel, relationships, our sense of worth, purpose and direction. They are about fun and achieving those things that truly make us happy.
So my work is to empower others to find their flow with money and to define and work towards their own definition of wealth and financial freedom.
Sure, we use online tools and there are some calculations. But there’s also meaningful conversations around what a client wants out of life.
I get to know them and we collaborate to develop a plan that has real, tangible actions that empowers them to achieve the things most important to them. Progress is rewarded and changes are made when necessary.
Together we explore and learn some pretty simple methods to achieve goals and get ahead. Education on financial concepts is important and online resources are shared to make the financial planning process both interactive and engaging.
Our communication is open and often. And best of all we have fun!
But it’s not limited to just that. I believe that everyone should be able to collaborate with someone for one-off advice on big purchases, getting out of debt, getting a new job or other important financial decisions. That’s why I answer those questions too. You don’t have to be a long-term client and I don’t charge the earth to get the answers needed.
I love what I do and I believe in the value that I provide by incorporating both left and right brain in the process, like yin and yang.
When it comes to being a success, happiness is one of my definitions of success and it makes me incredibly happy to empower others to take control and find flow with money and wealth.