I Am a Wealth Adviser, Seeking for a Review of My Own Wealth Plan

Loh Yong Cheng

Recently, my wife and I enlisted the help of my colleagues, Chin Yu and Jin, to review our family’s wealth plan. As a wealth adviser myself, it is something I passionately do day in and day out for my clients.

My own version of my wealth plan is already in motion, presented and reviewed regularly with my wife. Then, why do I need to trouble my busy colleagues? 

First, I need a trusted pair of eyes to check my blind spots and reconcile the differences in thinking and behavioral preferences between my wife and me.

With two young children, aging parents, and myself approaching 40, the stakes are growing higher by the day. We desire a good and balanced life now and in the future. Resources are limited, and there is a need to strike a balance between our own needs and the important stakeholders in our lives. 

I am an optimist, whereas my wife is prudent and thoughtful in making decisions. I am okay with a low cash buffer, whereas my wife is not. She finds security in seeing cash in her bank account, whereas I find security in knowing that our long-term plans are secure and achievable. 

We also needed someone trusted to ask me the difficult questions that I wouldn’t dare to or never ask myself.

For example, rationally, we were planning to provide local tertiary education for our children. We were prepared to inform them that they need to get their own scholarship or funding if they wish to study overseas. Then, Chin Yu asked me to imagine a scenario that immediately tested my resolve. 

“If Claire is 18 today, she asks if she can pursue her education in Australia as this is the only way to access her dream course. Would you be willing to send her, knowing that you will have to work a few more years?” 

Instinctively, my reply was, “How can I say no to my dear daughter?” 

At this moment, the wealth planner in me immediately recognised that the father in me might have undermined all the wealth plans I had previously drafted. This realisation is very important to me and my wife. I can plan objectively today, but I am more likely to act emotionally because they are my children. 

I also wanted to give my wife the peace of mind that we are on track towards meeting our goals, while still being able to live a good life today.

It’s not that she doesn’t trust my ability to manage our finances. We are also not in a dire financial state (if we were, it would be a cause for concern among my clients). Having our wealth plan independently and meticulously stress-tested will offer both of us more assurance. If I were wrong on certain assumptions, we can work together to change gears to arrive at our destination and enjoy the process together as a couple at the same time. 

Finally, we thoroughly enjoyed the Providend “discovery session” and it felt like therapy for us.

For my wife, she felt listened to, and her goals, concerns, and opinions were given equal weightage to mine. As for me, it felt good for once to be on the other side, being asked the questions I ask my clients day in and day out and being listened to. 

We will be heading for our family holiday soon, and we know that our goals and aspirations are now in the capable hands of my competent colleagues.

We eagerly await Chin Yu and Jin’s assessment of whether we can achieve our life goals and what it takes to do so. 

*fingers crossed* 

This is an original article written by Loh Yong Cheng, Lead of Advisory Team at Providend, Southeast Asia’s first fee-only wealth advisory firm

For more related resources, check out:
1. The Change from Dual to Single Income
2. In Tribute to the One That Sacrifices
3. Story of Yong Cheng: The Little Things That Make Him Feel Warm and Fuzzy

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