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Interview with Thomas Chiou November 2021

What made you want to become a Financial Adviser? 

Well, this was purely by chance. In 2007, I was looking for a change of career and resigned from my job as an IT Analyst at HSBC. I enrolled at Massey University where I chose to specialise in Personal Financial Planning. At the time, this was purely out of interest.  

One day, I visited a local business which provided investment and risk advice. We discussed our mutual interest in family trusts, and investment in a broad range of assets. They asked if I would be interested in becoming a financial adviser. I thought this was such a great idea and accepted on the sole condition that no sales targets would be set on me. 

This was when I started my Financial Adviser career and since then I have always been satisfied in my work. 

What are the main challenges you encounter in your work? 

Most clients looking for advice have tried investing in the past. Unfortunately, they often have had bad experiences, and these can be quite challenging to overcome as a fresh look from a new perspective may be needed. 

I start with a financial advice overview and here we determine together what direction the client would like their financial life to move towards. I reassure them that the advice will focus on achieving the goals that they set, based on their individual circumstances. Clients maintain full control of their funds throughout the investment journey, and my job is to help them make informed decisions along the way.  

This requires an understanding of the client, and the formation of a professional relationship that is founded on trust. 

So how do you go about competing with the banks for clients looking to create a diversified investment portfolio? 

Competition is not my focus. An investor has the absolute right to work with an adviser with whom they feel most comfortable. 

I offer a transparent and personalised approach to my service, working together to find the best solutions for them. This is ultimately to help clients achieve their financial goals and enjoy their life. 

What’s the best part of your job? 

I gain a lot of satisfaction through helping my clients; seeing them develop knowledge and gain experience. I find that this informed perspective empowers people to take control of their life. 

Everyone’s needs and circumstances are different. My job is to find the best solution based on the client’s situation to help them achieve their individual goals. I also aim to help my clients avoid the common pitfalls when making financial decisions. 

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Financial literacy is becoming more important in the modern world. At times the information available can be conflicting and difficult to make sense of. 

I encourage people to start their journey, with the aid of a financial adviser.