1. Best thing about being a financial adviser?
Knowing that the advice I provide really makes a difference. Being trusted with people’s deepest fears and secret wishes.
2. One thing you would like to see improved or changed in the industry?
ASIC to regulate to separate advice from product ie you can’t be in both businesses.
If not achievable in my lifetime, then all advisers to serve a 2 year mentorship under a senior financial planner before being allowed alone in front of a client or over the phone/internet providing advice to them, even if general advice.
3. The areas on their finances or economy that worry your clients the most?
For younger clients its getting into the property market, for the older ones its market volatility.
4. What's the strangest question a client has ever asked you?
I never repeat to others what clients tell or ask me in confidence. Truth is stranger than fiction.
5. If you could get three things into consumers' heads about what advisers do or don't do what would they be?
a) Interview planners like they were dating one of your kids ie would you want them in the family or hanging around your house?
b) Compare the pair- don’t be afraid to ask about ALL their costs and how they make money, especially if fees seem really low;
c) Trust is earnt not bought or taught.
6. How do you describe your job at BBQs?
As A Professional Nag. I tell people that I see my job as one where I not only mobilise my client into action, but I’m there for every step along the way and to gently nudge when necessary!
7. As a woman what or who inspired you to become a financial planner?
When I started in the financial services industry I only knew one female financial planner and a few in executive roles. Later on I was inspired by a male boss who convinced me that I had the right skills to build a long term career in planning
8. Do you think women make better financial planners? If yes, why, if not, why not?
From everything I have seen in the past 28 years I am convinced female financial planners make better planners. We care more, we follow through more, we remember more of the details that really matter to clients.
On paper we probably haven’t made it as the top salespeople but as financial planning is trying to make it as a profession I believe we need to adopt more caring skills.
Having said that, any planner who can combine skills of empathy and ethics with focus and expertise is a winning combination for any client to have in their adviser.