Financial advice gave Wealth Enhancers’ Rebecca Pritchard a new outlook on life, explains Fiona Harris.
Less than four years ago, Rebecca Pritchard's desire to share the personal value she gained from financial advice inspired her to ask her adviser for a job, launching her financial services career in a new direction.
Today she is the winner of this year's Association of Financial Advisers’ Rising Star of the Year Award, an accolade she is both relieved and excited about.
“Mostly I am relieved and just happy and the announcement was such a joyful moment,” says Pritchard. “It’s also an acknowledgement that I have worked my ass off for the past four years and vindication because when I left corporate finance and moved into financial advice, people questioned it.”
It’s also pride for the organisation she works for and further confirmation she has made the right career choice.
“Time is just flying and that is a good indicator that I am in a good place,” she says. “I think if you can get the intersection right between finding something you like, are good at and get paid for it, that’s amazing.”
From this ‘sweet spot’ Pritchard has found her aim is to help Generation Y become financially independent.
“I think it’s possible because this generation has more money, more opportunity and is more organised and people like me care and enjoy it.”
Pritchard was an early adopter of financial advice driven by her desire to make her financial future more certain than her past. By doing this, when she was aged 23, Pritchard says she was able to plan a more flexible and creative future for her and her husband, beyond security-based goals such as paying off the mortgage.
As such, her financial plan includes renting closer to the city and having a holiday house to visit on weekends. She also likes the idea of changing her work pattern at perhaps 35-years of age instead of 50. Her plans extend to travel, career flexibility and further study.
“When your finances are sorted you can really think bigger, beyond the basic standard-of-living type issues,” she says. “There is a level of comfort that means you can be more creative.”
Being creative and open to new ways, while highly qualified and professional, caught the attention of this year’s Rising Star award judges.
ANZ Wealth head of distribution Don Sillar said while this year’s finalists were a very impressive group of candidates, Pritchard stood out on a professional and personal level.
“Rebecca’s professional experience at KPMG and her strong technical capability has shaped her passion for wealth advice. Add to this her can-do attitude and her purpose as a financial coach to make this generation of Australians the most financially free, and Rebecca shines as a rising star.”
What it takes to be a good financial planner
In her future study plans Pritchard is considering a diploma of life coaching or a master’s in psychology to help her have more ‘impactful’ conversations with clients.
She is currently studying her Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner which she will finish early next year.
Pritchard says a genuine interest in technical advice is one of the most important attributes to becoming a good financial planner. She adds to this, strong coaching skills and a sense of community and purpose.
“I fundamentally believe that I’m really good at what I do on a day-to-day basis in terms of delivering quality advice, caring member service and impactful coaching. But I also think that’s most advisers!”
For new advisers starting out in the industry, Pritchard advises that finding a practice that suits them is a must.
“Find an advice practice that gets you excited to wake up on a Monday. Make sure your vision is aligned and that they give you enough rope that you can create your own path but enough support so you don’t hang yourself.”
Fiona Harris is ANZ Wealth’s marketing and public relations leader.
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