When Julia Chung left the traditional investment field for a career in financial planning, colleagues waved her off with the words, “you’ll be back”.
That was six years ago and Chung hasn’t looked back.
A charter member of Family Enterprise Advisors, she described herself as one of the “rare birds” who doesn’t manage wealth or insurance, instead focusing on advice-based service.
However, it took a period of introspection during her “previous life” in investment brokerage and investment planning to kick-start the new phase of her career, forming a fee-for-service financial planning firm with an accounting company, with the aim of serving more people in a conflict-free environment.
After taking JYC Financial independent, it later merged with Spring Personal Finance to become Spring Financial Planning, which offers advice to people across Canada. Chung will share her journey when she speaks at the Wealth Professional Leadership and Tech Summit, which takes place on May 30 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.
She said: “I think the real value in what I do personally is in the advice and planning part – and less about whether I can land a sale.
“There’s a bit of a sense of conflict that comes between clients and their advisors, whether it’s intentional or not, and I know advisors do a great job of trying to keep those spaces in between but there is a lack of trust in the industry. Working at an accounting firm, which is where I went first to partner with, I realised just how much trust there is there.
“When everyone is working on the same side, I got more valuable information from my clients. When they knew I wasn’t trying to sell them something, they knew that the only thing that was going to happen was that they were going to tell me stuff and I was going to give them advice, and the only way I was going to get paid was if I did a good job.”
She added: “The service I provide is more robust and useful for clients than the planning I provided in my previous life.”
Chung, who is based in British Columbia, wears many hats. She co-founded Admin Slayer, a virtual business services company, and she is also an advisory board member for Entrepreneur Mom Now, an online network, education and support system for business mothers. Somehow, she has also squeezed in business editor roles at two magazines.
Chung will sit on the Spotlight on Advisors: Success Stories and Best Practices panel at the summit and is looking forward to talking about how technology is crucial to her firm's success, as well as outlining the ethos behind her work. She admits she is a “hardcore nerd” about financial planning.
“I think I might be the only FEA service planner at the conference so I really would like to be able to tell people it is a thing; it is a sustainable business. Because people were definitely saying when I left the traditional field, oh you’ll be back, nobody is going to pay for a financial planning, and six years later that is not true.”
For more details about the Wealth Professional Leadership and Tech Summit on May 30, along with bios on the event speakers and how to buy tickets, go to http://www.wealthprofessionalsummit.ca/buy-ticket/
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