Starting a business from scratch in any industry is difficult. But starting a financial advice business from scratch and seeing it thrive at a time when the industry is going through so much change takes fortitude.
Belinda Rayment shares her experience of finding her niche in the financial advice industry and how her passion for people is helping to build her financial advice practice.
Tell me a little about your client base
Most of my clients are within the band of either five years from retirement or in retirement. I am a single adviser business, and while I do offer a holistic service, my preference and focus are on aged care. By aged care I mean working with people who now need support with their health requirements – whether in home or in a residential facility. I work with them and their family on understanding the financial implications of their options.
How did you get started in financial advice?
Prior to getting into financial advice, I had a career at the Reserve Bank. I took a career break when our sons were born and when I was looking for what to do next, financial planning made sense. The great thing about this industry is that you can stay in finance and work in a way that is more manageable and flexible for your needs. I did a bit of retraining and was able to connect with a practice who wanted to put on a part time adviser and things went from there.
About twelve months after I started there, I bought into the practice and then after nearly ten years I decided to leave and set up on my own.
How did you come to specialise in aged care?
The financial advice business that I worked in offered holistic advice and I became the retirement and aged care specialist so you could say that it happened by chance. Assisting people who need advice for themselves or their aging parents is a space I really love working in.
What makes aged care advice so unique?
With traditional financial planning clients, you go on a journey with them, putting a plan into place and seeing it come to fruition. With aged care advice it’s more immediate, more intense. Clients usually only come to see you in a moment of crisis, and they are looking for immediate answers. At the same time, you are dealing with family members who may have competing views and objectives, so keeping everyone on track and focused can be a challenge. You get an outcome sooner but sometimes you don’t get the chance to develop the relationship.
What are some of the things that give you stress and how do you manage that stress?
The thing that gives me the most stress is the short timeframes for delivering advice to clients. Ensuring that it is compliant and meets expectations and it is timely means that at the moment I am working longer hours. But I know that isn’t a long-term solution. That’s one aspect of building a new business – needing to manage your time.
Another area is the changing compliance requirement. You put in place processes and systems and then the rules are tweaked so you need to change your processes which makes it hard to get on with running your business.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A couple that I draw from are ‘everything will take longer and cost more than you think’ and ‘find something you’re good at and work out how to do it well. Then repeat it’.