What does a student financial advisor do?

Student financial advisors explain why they decided to enter the industry.  (PHOTO: Getty Creative)

So why do some young adults want to become a student financial advisor? (PHOTO: Getty Creative)

SINGAPORE — Long hours, a bad reputation and stigmatized work. These are just a few of the (negative) associations that come with being a student financial advisor. So why do some young adults want to pursue such a career?

This is part of a series where Yahoo Finance Singapore will focus on different aspects of millennials and finance. In this eighth (final) part, we talk to student financial advisors who explain more about why they decide to enter the industry as well as some of the challenges they face.

Impact lives

While still studying at the polytechnic, Caleb Tay and his friends lost a five-figure amount of money after trying their hand at night trading. Learning the hard way, Tay realized the need to be better equipped financially.

However, there was no one he could talk to about the financial markets despite the many resources available online. Tay also discovered that many other people were facing the same problem as him.

Driven by the need to stand aside, Tay soon found himself in Advisors Alliance Group (AAG) as a student financial advisor.

“Not everyone has the passion and mental capacity to learn how to invest and trade. I want to be the bridge to investing to enable others to leverage my knowledge and passion to achieve their freedom financial,” said Tay, now 24.

“Now I don’t just want to be an ‘insurance agent’, I want to be a fully-fledged financial consultant with a working knowledge of the markets and building lifelong partnerships. My clients are also my partners. If they do better in their career, so do I. It’s a win-win partnership,” Tay added.

For Catherine Seah, an undergraduate student at the National University of Technology (NTU), joining the finance industry was something she had never considered. But that all changed when the 21-year-old joined AAG as an intern during her freshman year at college.

“I never wanted to join this industry because of its negative stereotypes, but as I learned more about it, it opened my eyes to see the work of a financial advisor for what he really is,” said Seah, who joined AAG as a student financial advisor. after his internship.

“Beyond numbers and figures there is this idea of ​​how we should properly manage everything we have. I am happy to be in a position where I can help my friends recognize and plan for this! »

Time management is essential

But it’s not always a bed of roses. Having to juggle the long hours of work and the demands of work in addition to studies can be quite a daunting task.

“Being a student financial advisor means we have to make sacrifices here and there, and that’s when we need to be clear about our priorities,” Seah advised.

A tip is to always have a schedule on time. Start by jotting down non-negotiables like lectures, tutorials, and family time in your calendar, then schedule your other appointments around those times.

“I make it a point to wake up at 6:30 a.m. every day and make sure I go to bed knowing exactly what I’m doing the next day. But since everyone is different, the most important thing is to stay true to your goal,” Seah said.

To stay constantly busy and productive, Seah also adds that it’s important to have a micro-schedule (by hour/day) and a macro-schedule (goal for the week/month/quarter/year) planned.

“I wanted to do something more in my college life than just go play at school or take classes. I wanted to grow as a person and be exposed to the outside world,” Seah added.

Attitude more important than skills

However, Seah admitted that she did not feel equipped when she started out, especially since she is pursuing a degree in sociology, which is very different from finance.

Fortunately, there are many different courses that student financial advisors must complete. This includes insurance, investments, retirement, and estate and estate planning.

“The technical skills of financial planning can be learned along the way as long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn,” Seah said. “What’s more important is having good values, a good heart, good people skills and a learning attitude.”

Echoing a similar tune, student financial advisor Reyna Foo, said, “We must have a desire to seek growth by constantly learning. When we stop growing, we are unable to add value to others and our skills will no longer be relevant. »

The 24-year-old cites the ability to empathize, communicate and speak up as essential soft skills student financial advisors should have. Meanwhile, technical skills would include public speaking, data analysis, and financial planning.

“No one has 10/10 of these qualities. When I first set foot in the industry, I doubted I could succeed given my natural market, school schedule and commitments,” Foo said.

“This career has allowed me to grow as an individual and I am grateful to have given myself the opportunity to do so much more than just be a student in my college life.”

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