By Julia Newbould
People become financial advisers for many reasons - but most do it because they want to be people helping people.
Amanda Wang, is a financial adviser who entered the industry because she wanted to make sure people were aware of where their money is going, and to help them to move towards their best financial futures. Similarly Daniella Elchaar, saw the devastating effects a serious illness had on a friend and their family’s finances, which prompted her to become an adviser.
Amanda’s journey to becoming an adviser
Hailing from Hang Zhou, and three hours from Shanghai, China, Amanda wasn’t used to seeing any financial advisers where she grew up. You could buy some financial products like home and contents and car insurance but you couldn’t buy income protection. And there were no professionals to help take your individual risk profile into account for investments and long term goals.
It was only when she came to Australia at the age of 16, and had a home stay experience with a female financial adviser in Queensland that she learned that the role existed.
“I stayed in touch with that adviser and asked her what kind of things I could do to help become an adviser. She told me I would need skills in maths, analysis, communication and above all, listening,” Amanda says.
Amanda’s family played a part in her decision to become an adviser. One of her aunts was heavily invested in shares when the GFC hit. She saw her aunt lose sleep, become depressed and worried about everything. She realised that no one had advised her on risk tolerance and other options for investments which could have made big difference. Her father was an engineer who felt there were more opportunities for Amanda to help others in financial advice and her mother was also in banking.
Since then she dreamed of becoming an adviser, and just five months ago, she did. “I love it so much. I don’t need an alarm to ring in the morning - I wake up with passion and energy - I know that when I start work there will be more people waiting for me to meet them, to discuss their needs and let me help put them in a better financial position,” Amanda says.
She also enjoys meeting different clients and learning about their lives. “Some people are nervous, they don’t know what to do or what to expect - but when I talk to them they open up and start to share their stories with me,” Amanda says.
Amanda says she has helped several clients and recently did some (portfolio) modelling with a senior adviser for a client who wanted to retire at 62 but had large debt and big spending habits. They showed him that he was unlikely to be able to retire at 62 but with some reduction in spending and restructuring of his super and debt he could retire comfortably at 65. He was happy with the results. No one had previously explained to him or shown him how to achieve his goals.
Advisers helping others
When Daniella Elchaar, senior adviser, BT Advice heard that Amanda’s dream was to become a financial adviser - it was just another case of people helping people.
“I believe in helping people, whether it is setting up a financial plan for a client to meet their financial goals or helping people in my sphere of influence,” says Daniella.
“It’s all about people! Without people we can’t be successful on our own. Amanda is a passionate and motivated woman, and I felt a desire to help her to reach her goal of becoming an adviser.
“I placed myself in her shoes, I thought back to when I was aspiring to be an adviser and what it meant to me having someone there to help me along the way. It prepared me to not only become an adviser but also reach a new level in my career. And it was something I believe was important for Amanda to have.”
Daniella played a big part in mentoring Amanda since meeting her a a personal banker. According to Amanda, Daniella told her what she would have to do to become an adviser - the education she would need and how long it would take.
“She told me about the referrals I had been giving my financial advisers - and said I should sit in with them so I could learn how to talk to the clients,” Amanda says.
After a few months, Daniella called Amanda again to see how she was progressing. “She tested me on what I’d learned and gave me tips to help clients. She supported me and gave me confidence when it was time to start looking for roles as a planning assistant or paraplanner.
“We now have the same manager - and she still checks on me to make sure I’m doing well.”
“I am an adviser today because when I was in my early 20s my best friend was diagnosed with cancer. I saw first-hand the financial impact this had on her family and to this day they are paying off medical bills, and unfortunately because of this, her parents have had to delay their retirement,” says Daniella.
“I wanted to make a difference. I considered what they could have done differently to ease the financial impact this had. I thought about protection and planning for the future. So decided financial advice was the career for me.”
Daniella credits her manager Esther Angrisano for being a mentor to her. “She has challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone to strive at being the best I can be in all aspects of my career,” Daniella says.
“Because of this professional relationship with Esther, I can now be a mentor to others and get the best from them, encourage them to go outside their comfort zone, participate in wider areas of the business to also go on to help others – it’s a little like the ripple effect.”
This Information current as at 23 August 2017.
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