Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My 1st Year as an FA Rep

1st July 09 marks my official first year as an FA representative. It was exactly 1 year ago that I took this difficult decision to step out and start fresh in a new place. I was hoping for a job with NTUC Income then but only to be rejected twice by them to understand that I do not have a position in the company. I felt lousy, thinking that I'm no good and thats why I was rejected.

However, a rejection opens up new opportunity for me. I spoke to a few people and they encouraged me to move on to an FA firm. They gave me the confidence that I can make a viable career in this industry. I was very doubtful about myself and my capabilities at that time. I feared that it will be the end of my financial advisory career if I'm not able to survive the new environment. I'll feel that I failed all my clients whom I served over the years.

Over this year, I worked nearly 7 days a week and many days taking the last train at 12:11am or last bus at 12:17am from Bugis. It was stressful financially in the beginning where I do not know when I'll spend my last dollar in my POSB account. I couldn't share when I'm sad and depressed even to my wife, good friends, family, colleagues or even in my blog, fearing that what I shared will adversely affects them. All thanks to God that I manage to stay positive and breakeven in my 1st year. He is probably the only one who listens to me.

In term of knowledge, I had gained tremendously. I'm certainly not the smartest or most knowledgeable adviser but I do believe that I'm a head above most tied agents and probably above average among the FA industry. I'm certainly not in the top 10%, but probably the top 40th Pecentile. I did a lot of financial plans over this 1 year and I keep learning from every fact-find with my clients even till today. I get to understand the needs and concerns of different people. In NTUC Income, I'd never completed one full fact-finding. I always give excuses that client do not have time or do not want to do it.

In term of recogition, I am excited to be invited by one of the insurer recently to be part of their focus group to brain-storm and give feedback for new products. I get to know many industry veterans and to hear from them first hand on their experience in the FA industry.

I'l continue to work hard into my 2nd year but I really need to work smarter because I want to spend more time with my family and to give my wife confidence that I can support a family. I need to get into the right market where people appreciates my work. I was spending far too much time on those who asked hundreds of questions, make tons of comparisons and eventually buy from fundsupermart or from Group Insurance schemes.

I want to take this chance to thank all my clients and those who had encouraged me to move on. Without you, I will not have survived my 1st year. Half of 2009 had passed. I hope all of us will make use of the next half a year to achieve whatever resolutions that you had set in the beginning. May God bless all of you...


Anonymous said...

Your day will come with a new landscape.That day is near. Persevere
and press on. You are well equiped after a year and not only a head but a giant above your peers.You might be among the only few left. The rest might be behind the bars. Continue to do the fact finding until it is second nature.

Anonymous said...

Jia yu, Adrain. Out there is a dog eat dog world. Only the honest and the brave will survive.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work! Thought you've been in the industry for much longer than one year as the information that you posted in your blog is of high standard! Press on ! Pls tell your wife not to worry. You have a bright future!

Anonymous said...

push hard to eliminate the product pushing agents out of market. Report to MAS if you know of any agent malpractising. This channel of complaint is called whistle blowing as provided by new MAS guidelines.
MAS has provided also for internal whistle blowing. It may look like a spy system but this is self regulating mechanism to keep a check on the CEO and any salespeople or senior managers of the insurance company and bank.
MAS cannot get rid of unethical practices on its own. They need your help and cooperation.
All the best in the new model

Anonymous said...

Good for you! My FA don't even know the number of CI definitions in Singapore,so hopeless.