Who Am I?
Updated: May 28, 2022
Some of you may have known me for years when our paths crossed - either growing up together, being on the same journey (whether it is in education, finance or on similar paths, etc.). Others, I am pleased to have called you a friend and a client in recent years.
As some of you may have known, Financial Planning is a vocation for me. I am enthralled to begin this next step in my journey, where I hope to share my knowledge, reflections and thoughts with you. There is no better way than to begin with this: Who am I? Why did I leave Education to become a Financial Planner?
Who Am I?
Beyond the roles and titles that I wear, I am a person who is invested in relationships and empowering people. That has never changed throughout my journey. There is a huge sense of fulfillment and excitement when I see people fully alive! The quote, “The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive” was plastered on the walls of my school auditorium, and this had always resonated with me. I want to empower all those I cross paths with, to live a life they love - to live it, and not just to tolerate it or survive it.
From Teacher to Financial Planner
Being a teacher gave me the opportunity to do what I loved. I could help my students to grow, and to guide them to live a good life. I loved being a teacher and believe fully in the wonders of education. Education empowers. Education helps people make better decisions. Education helps people live fully. Education is more than just information download; it is about seeing people get excited about a full life. So why did I leave?
This is an intubation tube. More precisely, it is my intubation tube.
In 2016, a simple breathing tube changed my life.
On 9th August 2016, as others were celebrating our nation’s independence, I learnt the pain of losing total independence as I came down with Guillain Barre Syndrome. It is an autoimmune condition - my immune system attacks my peripheral nervous system. My nerves became unable to transmit signals. I ended up nearly totally paralysed, and unable to breath.
I depended on this tube to feed me air. Day and night, the machine forced air into my lungs through this tube. That tube, among other medical equipment, supported my bleak existence. I was fed nasally. Nurses came in every few hours to turn me from side to side. Every few hours, blood was drawn from me to test my sugar and oxygen levels. I hallucinated. I felt lost. I wasn’t able to even breathe on my own and perform basic functions. In those moments, I didn’t know who I was anymore.
But I survived.
It was during my recovery phase that I met an advisor. You know, I too was skeptical about financial advisors - their reputation isn’t helped by all those who pester potential clients at bus stops, snag some deals and then disappear! However, this advisor who was different.
One thing that I would never forget while struggling with the disease was knowing that I could focus on recovery. I didn’t have to worry about the financial implications of my health scare, and how the bills were chalking up each day I remained in the ICU.
I saw for the first time how financial advisors can help people. I saw that it was truly by chance that I was able to escape the financial implications of my health scare. It was not by design. I was simply lucky that my parents had put in the right insurance policies for me. Had they not done it, I wouldn’t know where I would be today. This solidified my belief that when financial concerns are managed, we are empowered to pursue our purpose and
This changed the course of my career forever. I believe deeply in the importance and power of managing our finances. Doing so can save us from a lifetime of debt, if in the worst case scenario, our health deteriorates in an instant. Managing our finances actively can also help us to learn how to enjoy life at all periods - and not worry about the future.
I believe financial planning is about being empowered and having the courage to pursue dreams. When we manage the mundane, life can really blossom. As a Christian, I recognise that financial planning is a responsibility - we have a duty to take good stewardship of the blessings God gives to us. As an adult, proper financial planning is our responsibility to ensure we are best situated for the next wave in life.
This is who I am, and my life experiences have brought me to where I am here today.
So my dear friend, I am so glad to be on this journey with you. I would like to share a different perspective on financial planning. It really isn’t about just multiplying wealth or securing all the bases to ensure that things don’t fall apart when bad cards are dealt to us.
Financial Planning is about you. It is about giving you the best chance possible to pursue your dreams. It therefore starts by finding out who you are. What do you seek from life?. Why does your life matter? How do you want it to matter?
These questions don’t always have easy answers, but they are important questions to wrestle with. I would love to hear who you are, what you seek from life, and how we can write your story together.
It is time to move from tolerating life, to living it.