Why do you want to be a financial planner? It is a common question I get from my loved ones and friends. I hope to share my story and my journey being a financial planner for the past 10 months: on how I’ve embarked on my journey of making a difference with my friends. I thank you for taking your time to read my story and my journey.
When I was young, I’d question my parents why they can’t be like other parents. Why wasn’t I sent for piano classes like the rest of the girls in my church? Why don’t I get to be sent for extra curriculum classes like ballet, which some of my friends were learning? And the farthest we’ve traveled as a family? Malaysia! While my friends were in Disneyland. For my birthdays, there were no fancy parties or magic shows like my friends who had. It would always be a simple birthday cake with a home-cooked meal.
I was failing in school until a point in time, when it dawned upon me that this was the best my parents could provide, and they were trying the best that they could. My dad’s business did not work out well and he had to be declared bankrupt. My mother was a housewife, but she had to come out to work as a sales promoter to help provide for our family. That motivated me to take up the responsibility to care and provide for my parents, my own life and taking charge of my studies. I learned to appreciate everything they could and could not provide for me.
I went from the normal academic stream to junior college and eventually to Nanyang Technological University with the responsibilities I wished to fulfill. Had my parents given me everything I wanted back then, I wouldn’t have everything I can have now. Now, my dad doesn’t have any CPF and my mom had spent most of hers to pay for the roof over our head. As I embark towards starting my own family, I can feel the squeeze in having to provide for both of my parents, as well as for my own family.
So why do I want to be a financial planner? Because I hope to make a difference in my future child’s life and the lives of my friends and their family. To my future child, “I will juggle between spending money on you and getting prepared for my financial independence. But it’s not for me, it’s for you. So, you may focus on the new life that you’d like to take and your new life with your future partner, and most importantly, you’d have a much smoother financial journey than the one I had.”
A few months back, I started doing financial planning for my friend and her husband. I drafted a financial plan for them to help them understand their current finances better, and how their lifestyle would be when they are financially independent in the future. I am glad that I can help them understand their financial situation better and created a system to help them get started preparing for their financial independence. I am delighted to see their relationship becoming closer as they sit down sorting out their differences, setting common goals and working towards them. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing this.
10 months into this practice, I thank every single one of my friends who have placed their trust with me and entrusting their loved ones and friends to me. I strive to improve my practice and to serve each and every one of you better.
Author: Amanda Teo