Jane is one of our amazing Financial Planners here at Empower Wealth! She holds a Master of Commerce in Banking and Finance (Watch the video to hear the awesome story behind this!) and is a qualified FPA Certified Financial Planner and an FPA Aged Care Specialist.
How did you get started in the financial planning industry?
Hi, my name is Jane and I’m a Financial Advisor for Empower Wealth.
I grew up in a country town in China. In my early childhood, I just discovered that I was very good at mathematics. So I didn’t really need to work or study very hard, but I always got top marks. At that time, I just thought, ‘You know, well in the future, I’ll probably just play with numbers for a living.’
But unfortunately, when I graduated from high school, the year before that a massive student strike happened.
So, you know, some colleges that didn’t attend the strike, were allowed to pick their students, based on their academic merits, so I got an offer from a health school for a nursing degree and that I didn’t apply for.
So many students, when they got their offer, they were very happy, and they celebrated, but I actually cried for three days, because, you know, that wasn’t what I wanted for. [But] there, there was no other option because if I were to reject that offer I would have to repeat another year to attend the entrance exam again in China at that time, you know, many factors could affect the result.
So now I had to reluctantly accept the offer and became a registered nurse. So in 2005, when I moved to Australia, as a registered nurse, I soon found out that in this country, we just have so many opportunities for career and education.
As long as you are passionate and you really know what you are good at, and what you want. So I went back to university and did my Masters in Commerce and I really, really enjoyed that.
In the first semester, most of my subject marks were distinction and a high distinction.
So I just kept going and finished my master’s degree and also finished my honours degree. Then I went to Queensland University for my PhD with two scholarships, at the same time. One was a National Scholarship the other was from a business school.
But after six months, I got a bit sick of it, so I started to rethink whether that’s something I want to do, just sitting in their lab, doing the research, crunching the numbers, or whether I prefer working with people and really making a difference in their lives.
So I just quit my PhD and started working in the Financial Planning industry, and I absolutely loved it.
What’s one of the most rewarding moments as a Financial Planner?
He is in his 50s and he used to be a public servant. As a public servant, he earned a good income but as a public servant you do have to pass the security check every year. So he had some health issues that prevented him from passing that security check. So he wouldn’t be able to go back to work.
He had one child that was about 10 years old that he had to look after and also had a mortgage and repayments to keep making.
So he’d been trying to find a job while he was dealing with his health issues at the same time, so he always thought, ‘well, you know, I can find a job, I can find a job.’ And that put additional pressure on his health conditions.
So after, after struggling for about one year, he decided he was exhausted. So he talked to me, he said, “Well, I feel embarrassed to tell you but it [his financial position] is not that good.”
And I said, “Well, why is that? Can you tell me a little more?”
So he told me this story. I said, “Hang on a second. You are 58, so you should be able to access your government pension.”
Like he worked for the public sector, he definitely had a bit of Super, right? And also because he was sick, and I said, “Are you able to get a disability [check]? You know, the evidence that you have [a disability] from 2 your treating doctors saying, ‘Due to your health condition you won’t be able to go back to work.”
So he said, “Yes, I can get that.” So he got that and then I asked him, “So have you thought about Centrelink support? You probably will be able to get some allowance.”
So he said, “No, I never knew that.”
Because for him, in his life, he’s always been working. He never really thought of any support from the government. So I said, “Okay, the first thing we have to do is apply for Centerlink allowance online, so you can it online from the MyGov website straightaway.”
So that helped him going through it. And they he got an allowance approved within two weeks, so he was really happy. And they also we, you know, helped him to organise all the forms for his disability pension and Super to access that.
After one month, he got another approval as well. So he got a government allowance so his pension would cease.
So overall, he still has over $50,000 a year in income for the rest of his life.
And he said, “Oh, I feel so much better. Now, you know, I don’t need to push myself to find that work, because now the pressure is lifted, and so, if I find something I enjoy, or I can handle it, I will do that. But otherwise, the $50,000 has given me you know, some money to pay for my day-to-day living and a mortgage.”
So guess what, after the pressures were gone after 2 months, he was able to find a job and work that he was really happy with and he was able to go to the doctor for his health condition as well.
So his life completely changed and he could make enough.
What are your thoughts on this, “Should we invest in shares or property?”
I have a very large share portfolio myself now and I also have six investment properties and… I actually bought 8 and sold 2 over the last 12 years.
So to answer this question, I need to find out a little bit more about the user.
So, you know, what are you trying to achieve? What is your risk attitude? So we need to work out what risk level is more appropriate for you. And how much risk can you actually tolerate? And also about your financial health. So, you know, do you have the capacity to take that much risk? Do you have the timeframe to ride the market for this kind of a huge investment, they are long-term investments, you know, not many people profit from just buying today and selling tomorrow, because the transaction costs add up and also, you know, with the tax and all those potential costs, you know, you want to be able to make that much money out of it doing that. So, you should focus on your long-term objectives.
What value would a Financial Planner provide?
It’s quite often you’ll hear people say, “Okay, I want to buy a property, I want to invest in shares.” But you ask them, “Why do you want to do that?” and they don’t know why they want to do that.
And they say, “Okay, I want $200,000 a year for retirement.” So you ask them, “Why do you want $200,000 a year for retirement? Why can’t you spend about $50,000 a year and feel comfortable?”
So they say, “I don’t know. So how much should I have?”
So working with a financial planner helps you to clarify what really matters to you and prioritise your objectives and see you know, life’s about trade-offs.
And for yourself, sometimes there are so many things to think of that it’s hard for you to make a decision, [and know] which one should be your priority and [even] setting time aside.
So, how to effectively utilise your cash flow or manage your tax positions to generate the best result over time.
So, the Financial Planners actually come, look through all those things, work hard to find the best scenario or analyse it to show the different scenarios that could work for you.
You can learn more about Jane Li here. Or if you’d like to book an initial consultation with our Financial Planners, simply fill in the form below and we’ll email you the next steps.