Why I Became a Financial Advisor

It never occurred to me that one day I’d become a financial advisor, I have devoted 20 years of my professional life as an HR practitioner and I thought this is what I am going to do until I retire. My first job in the Philippines was HR Assistant, since then my entire career has been in this field, if I am not in recruitment, I am either handling employee and labor relations, employee benefits or HR management and compliance. Even when I moved to Canada, I was still working in human resources, although I got stuck with one area only, since 2011, I have been doing employee benefits.

When I just came to Canada, I actually had a job offer to become a financial advisor, that is when I first knew about becoming a “financial advisor.” I was really tempted to accept it, but when I learned that the job does not require me to sell insurance but to concentrate on recruiting people to join us, I thought I am not fit to do.  I just came to Canada, I barely know anyone and I don’t have experience in sales, how can I possibly do it? I ended up not doing it.

But then as we always say, “life happens!” After 7 years of living in Canada, un unfortunate thing happened, I had to go through a tough experience. Because of not having proper financial plan in place and maybe because I talked to the wrong insurance agents, I had to learn some important life lessons the hard way.

This journey that I had to go through made me realized that I want to be a Financial Advisor.

If there’s one good trait that I learned by example from my late Lola and my parents, that is to help others even in the simplest way you can. The reason why I enjoyed my job in HR is because while doing my job, I find satisfaction in helping people understand company policies or what benefits they have or how are they able to complete documentary requirements in getting their company benefits. I was motivated to keep writing about coming to Canada and share my immigrant journey in my blog until I became the face of “Welcome Pack Canada” in Manitoba because I find joy in responding to people who reached out to me to ask for tips or advise about their first steps as immigrants. This time, I want to be a Financial Advisor because I want to find a way to be able to share my story to more people especially to immigrants like me, it was a tough experience and if I have my way, I want others to learn from it.

After few years of living in Canada, working full time with good compensation in a good company, own a home with 2 cars, had a chance to travel, I thought we already have a good life. But it is only when my visiting mother had a heart attack and had to undergo angioplasty two times that I realized how CRITICAL it is to be financially healthy and how important it is that the financial advisor that you deal with is working with you and is genuinely looking after you and your family’s financial welfare.  So, I made a decision that I am going to learn how to take care of my self and my family financially and I want to teach others to do the same. 

I want to share to the people I meet that managing your financial health is something that needs to be done intentionally and must be done as early as you can.  That you need to have a personalized financial plan that is growing with you and it must be a breathing document.

I want to teach them how to manage their money properly, so when they encounter an emergency, they have funds to use for it.

I want to let them know that they need to protect their income so that whatever happens to the breadwinner, their family’s finances is taken-cared of.

I want to advise them to start investing a portion of their hard-earned money, so their money gets a higher return rather than just let it sleep in the bank.

I want to tell them that to be able to retire comfortably, you need a good retirement plan, so when they finally stop working, they can enjoy their “golden years.”

According to Simon Sinek, the author of Find your Why when he said, “If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.” This inspired me. My why moment about being in the financial services is what I am sharing in here. I want to take care of my self and my family financially and I want to teach others to do the same. 

If there’s one takeaway that I want you to take after reading this, that is to tend and look after your financial health no matter what stage of life you are in. Work with a financial advisor that will make you feel confident about your financial plan because you know that you have a well thought plan and strategy to get you through life, no matter what situation you will have to deal.

After having the chance to work with different types of clients, I realized that I am more than just as steward of their finances, I am more than that. My job description as a Financial Advisor also includes jobs of other professions, including the job of an Educator, a Therapist, a Sociologist and of course an HR practitioner. It can really be challenging but it is fulfilling to know that what you are doing can impact not just your client’s life but their future generation as well.

How about you, what is your WHY story? What is your reason for being where you are now?  I would love to see you share your “why” in the comment section of this post.

Stay safe and lets be kind to one another.

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Cristina

My family and close friends knew how passionate I am when it comes to writing. I find joy and unexplainable satisfaction in writing. I am able to say what I am thinking or how I feel best when I say it through a letter, a poem and now blog. Through the years, blogging has opened different doors for me. It provided me a space to share my journey and my life lessons, the failures and triumphs that I went through in transitioning to a new life outside my comfort zone and it allowed me to reach out to people outside my circle.

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