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#247 Amanda Thompson – Transcript

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

business, clients, financial planner, people, financial planning, triathlon, starting, years, day, amanda, run, life, gave, money, westpac, bank, advisor, job, planner, relationship

SPEAKERS

Amanda Thompson, Capital Group, Fraser Jack

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome to the x y advisor podcast, a global community of financial advisors sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. To get involved, go to X Y advisor.com or simply download the x y advisor. What gives

 

Capital Group 

me confidence about investment decisions? rigorous fundamental research with portfolio managers focused on the long term, who look beyond the spreadsheets to understand the companies they invest in from break room to boardroom, who know the only way to get a 360 degree view is to go around the world to get it can I rely on in depth research to give me steadfast confidence with Capital Group I can

 

Fraser Jack 

welcome back to the x y advisor podcast on Fraser Jack and today I’m joined by Amanda Thompson. Hello, Amanda. Hey, Fraser, thank you for joining me today now give it love. Let’s Let’s start with you tell the listeners a quick overview of yourself.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Chase financial planner for going on too many years, I think well over 17 now started off in the major banks, and then slowly went to boutique and then now when my solo show.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. Now you’ve got your own business. Tell us about tell us the name of the business.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yes, insurance financial. And that started three years ago. And it is it’s it’s a small business as it as you would understand being a only financial planner. But it’s got a ride wide array of clients. But the majority of them are small business or self managed super, super funds. So family, family business or self employed people self managed super funds.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. So you pretty much started your business from scratch and grew from nothing. And we’ll get into that sort of story in a second. But before we do that, let’s go back in time, tell us your journey and what got you into financial advice in the first place.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Um, I was starting my own personal training business, believe it or not, and decided that while you’re starting a business like that way back in the day where it wasn’t been thing, most people do that before and after work. So I thought that if I was going to go and start this personal training business, I needed to earn some real money in between and off, I went to a temp agency never worked in an office before in my life. I’ve always been a swimming teacher nipple, all those type of sporty things. And the typical Amanda attitude was I can do anything. So temp agency the next day I got posted, posted out to my first job that happened to be just at the end of financial year at Colonial first state back in the day where people rushed to put the checks in before in the financial year for the Super contributions. So my first first job was Claudio, first date, basically, for two days, collating and reconciling checks and taking applications.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yes. Back in the day was all checks and applications and double checking and signatures and looking at things before you could deposit the money.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yep, yep. So and then just loved it so much that they decided they loved me as well. And after a two day, small temp job, it went into being pa to the business development thing. And then being carried by they’re encouraged by them off to be a financial planner.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, amazing, isn’t it? They going off to get a real job part time has led into something that’s a hell of a lot more.

 

Amanda Thompson 

And I love it. And it’s from the moment I stepped into that office. I absolutely loved it. In fact, I still do.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s always an interesting journey, listening to how people sort of fell into the into the profession, as we all did now, so you started there, and then you went off to work for the bank. So yes,

 

Amanda Thompson 

I did. I Well, I actually took a small job at an accounting firm, after I was quite qualified enough to be a financial planner, and somehow landed a job at Westpac bank back then. And I got offered the job at exactly the same day I found out I was pregnant. So I turned down the job because I didn’t I was very honest and said are you know, I’m going to be having your baby in however many months and who the guy who employed me is still around in financial planning circles and he said we’ll wait. We’ll wait. And Ed Oh, yeah, that’s good. They rang me he rang me and said, Are you ready? You’re thinking Really? Probably two weeks after my first daughter was born. Are you ready to join? Do you ready? So yeah, so newly married new baby and new job in the corporate world all in the one year.

 

Fraser Jack 

took about a whirlwind. Okay, so then so that led you into into financial planning. Tell me tell me about the process from there. What did you go to from

 

Amanda Thompson 

there? So I read a while I was part time, that was part time, three days a week of just a local branch. So retail planner, and you know, it’s funny, I look back on it, and then you hit your home loan manager, retail, financial planner, and just this, the staff, the cashiers, and Amana manager really. And you really worked as a team to get your branch up and going and then things like that. And loved it. In my first year, I qualified for Westpac financial planning conference on part time level. So I went off to conference and then found a whole new love once I got to conferencing came back from conference and said, I want to do business financial plan. And that was my goal for the next three years. So I set my target. My target was middle markets back in the Westpac day, and I got there. Yep, I

 

Fraser Jack 

got there. Fantastic. And how did you get there? Like, what’s your style of financial planning? The bank environment?

 

Amanda Thompson 

You say that already knowing phrase? No, it did not, it did not. The giggle the giggle that you and I had when we first chatted was that Westpac didn’t I’m sure many of the other banks Did, did psychological personality profiling. And I failed dismally from whatever they had as their checklist for a financial planner, I was not a salesperson in any way, shape, or form. And the man who employed me just giggled and said, I, there’s something about you, I’m gonna take a chance. And so he did, but I’m sure it paid off for him as well, because I happen to generate an astronomical amount of money for the bank, but not based on the banking the banking way. It was, I think I saw more clients. So I was one of those I saw so many clients, as opposed to having this big bang for dollar of each client. Yeah, yeah.

 

Fraser Jack 

Certainly spoken to you before. And you would you definitely are a people person, right. You’re a person that loves to have conversations with people and banter and chat and all those sorts of things. And so yeah, definitely, the fit wasn’t quite the product role, or they, or the or the numbers role. It was definitely around the people.

 

Amanda Thompson 

But it was, but it really did as much as the bank and the KPIs and the way that they work didn’t suit me, I learned so much from the vast array of clients. And not just about financial planning strategies, just in general, I think I was 20 or 2526 years old. So you know, the said new Mum, a lot of things were brand new to me. Even the simplest thing of I had this client, and I still remember, it was like it was yesterday, a man called Charlie who had had a really bad experience to the financial planner. And, you know, those someone had put him in a mortgage fund and told him that it was secure and all of those things. And he was so tentative, so I was put in to play to try and save the relationship. And and we did we did we saved that. And then she is beautiful or normal or not remember his last name. I remember where I met him. I remember going back nearly 20 years. And then maybe a few months later, Charlie reg me in a tease, Amanda Amanda, what’s wrong, Charlie said, I won tattslotto

 

Fraser Jack 

Wow, that’s an incredible story, isn’t it?

 

Amanda Thompson 

And and he was I’m gonna lose my pension. What do I do with this money and the absolute fear, new feet found fear of having money that this battling man had had his whole life was this eye opener to me. And then unfortunately, Charlie, passed away a few months later. And then a whole new experience for me pain when estranged family with started ringing wanting to know where Charlie’s money was, and how much he had and what did he do with these tattslotto when he wanted to, would have wanted to get this money and so I learned a lot about estate planning that right then and there as well, without going down that path at that stage? Absolutely. You know,

 

Fraser Jack 

I was I was gonna say to you, then I think a lot of planners know this already, but they to spend a lot of time being a therapist in a sort of way as you just mentioned that with that story there. How much time do you think of other financial planning role is about being a therapist and a coach and those sorts of things that aren’t even financial planning related?

 

Amanda Thompson 

For me, it’s a lot you could probably read any of my clients and our relationship starts with me say that most people say their deferred discovery sessions an hour. But when you’re with me, you’ve always got a double that because it’s talking, it’s talking. And I really, I mean, we obviously have a very heavily regulated industry. So I tick all of those boxes. But at the end of the day, I let people tell me their story. And half of it’s not even money orientated, because I’ve got to figure out who they are to be able to deliver what it is that they want, in a way that they’re going to keep doing that. I tell them that young couples, I’ll say, their, to the wife, sometimes I’ll say, now your financial planner, other than your husband, on the next person, you tell when you’re pregnant, because everything else changes, we have a giggle, like, I’m the person that you’ll bring and tell Absolutely. Everything, too. So yeah, I’ve had a fair few interesting cases through the years that this

 

Fraser Jack 

is not I was talking to somebody the other day, and they were talking about the idea of a secret, you know, like financial advisor, often the people that get to know the secrets about clients.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yep. And if you truly become that, I mean, people throw it around, but there is that trusted adviser, saying if you really do become that, that they do they do they tell you things that you don’t necessarily want to know. But he tell you sometimes, or ask you and, and this is I used to lecture at the ambulance Academy A long time ago. And they used to try and get me to become a paramedic, Amanda, you love your anatomy and things like that. And I just said I can’t leave work at work. I know. I’m that type of person. And 17 years on, I’m so glad I didn’t because I still can’t leave work at work. I’ll be waking up in the middle of the night worried about clients or Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, fair enough. Now, let’s go back to your story. Tell us you know, you learned a lot of real estate planning. Tell us what where would you go from there.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Um, so I worked my my rear end off to become a business planner with Westpac. And so I went up the letter of business planner, and then I was lucky enough to again, match to a lot of people’s I suppose dislike, I worked and worked and worked and made relationships and really got where I I did within Westpac in particular because of the bigger earner here I’m happily I’ll happily say this. My direct manager back in the day was Dan O’Day. So well known in the financial planning industry, and he supported me through absolutely everything he had confidence in me, he mentored me to the point where he made me the planner that I became at Westpac, no, no doubt about it. And I love that. So,

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, this wasn’t a nine to five job, right?

 

Amanda Thompson 

No, no, it definitely wasn’t and try having a child. And, you know, we realities, and you know, people may be scoffing, whistling to this reality is the bank days and the culture in the bank back in those days, it was tough for a woman, it really was tough in that business area for a woman. So I’d have to rush home and pick my daughter up from craciun be The Good Wife and have dinner on the table and barking barking, you know, Bella, my, my daughter, and and then I would start work again. So I may have left before who else in the office? But I was were up working till one two o’clock most mornings.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. And he mentioned back then back then it was it was difficult. I think probably people find it difficult from time to time still now. Although it’s probably changed a little bit. How do you see that?

 

Amanda Thompson 

I think it has changed. And I think that in a way COVID for a lot of advisors, old school, new school advisors, it’s forced different thought processes on people of how things are done work from home type scenarios. Time management, you even and I know it sounds a little bit sexist. But even men who are financial planners that potentially paying stay at home dads over COVID that have to homeschool kids and keep their business going and things like that they probably they probably got an insight into what may be their wives or what I did back. Back in the day. I worked three days a week, but my phone was always on and there’d be times where the phone would ring when the kids were crying or you know, and I’d still take it and most of my clients, you aligned yourself with the client. So all of my clients knew I had children. So if I if they rang me and kids were in the background, they were appreciative that I was answering the phone while I was in mum time. So most of my clients were very, very understanding It’s still tough.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah exactly in your head that you’re exactly right. It’s very authentic and human being to speak to people and heavy kids in the background and I think you’re right about the COVID scenario then and I guess I permitted from my point of view I guess the more we can just talk about it make it a normal conversation the more it becomes in anybody that picks up on those sorts of things when they don’t realize they’re doing it. So tell me Yeah, so let’s go back to your story. Tell me about the the as you grew and you’re in through that, you know that period in your life and then tell me also about the injured introduction of your your athlete side.

 

Amanda Thompson 

So again, things in Amanda’s life happened in interesting way I unfortunately, my marriage broke down What does nutrition say unfortunately, because people grow and my my ex husband’s gone on to be married and have another child and I’m happy happy with my two girls so but but but back in second that day, unfortunately, without an EIGHT and a four year old when your marriage disintegrates and you’re working like a machine to support your family and grow, I shrug I struggled a fair bit so I decided to leave the banks I couldn’t keep up I could not physically and mentally keep keep up with looking after two children practically full time. And I went off and worked for someone else. And unfortunately, again, for me, I got melanoma, I got melanoma and decided that I would just tackle it head on by becoming an Ironman and starting my own business at the same time.

 

Fraser Jack 

So, extreme determination to make a decision to fight for your family fight for you fight for your girls and fight for all these other things. Talk us through that time.

 

Amanda Thompson 

It’s all a bit of a blur to tell you the truth training for an Ironman is tough, but it takes a certain mindset and, and again, you know, people will either agree understand or be shaking their head at me right now. But that mindset gave me the strength that challenged to do something gave me the strength to do other things that weren’t in my control. So often say I’m in trainings in my control, cancer was out of my control. So while I was working on my business and, and training for annoying men, that the thing that wasn’t in my control still had all my strength without it knowing.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, so. So health, raising a family working, trying to run a business, or work at least full time and and the training that goes into that sort of things that doesn’t fit in a day, right?

 

Amanda Thompson 

No, it doesn’t. And, and there’s a little giggle that goes around triathlon circles. It’s called the law of two and a half. And it’s three important things in your life work, family and triathlon. But there’s only room for two and a half, so that you make it work. So what gave with me, I don’t know, the balance would swing from week to week. So was there a balance? No, I don’t necessarily believe that life is balanced. If you’re balanced, and you feel your life’s valid, so my taken sorry, if I insult anyone is that it must be quite boring.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s a really interesting opinion of yours, because I’ve heard this before. So the word balanced to you, as you mentioned, that equals boring. So you actually embrace the in balance,

 

Amanda Thompson 

I do, I do, I embrace the imbalance. And I I liken it my life to the seesaw. And when you’re a kid and you go to the playground, and you if you’ve got if you’re a family of three, or you’re with three people, there’s only one room for a room for one on each end of the seesaw, you never wanted to be that person in the middle of the sea. So that was boring, you wanted to be the one going up and down. And the only thing about being in the middle of the face or is that you could actually control it a little bit by stomping on one side or taking, taking turns. But I think that when you’re passionate about something, whether it’s work, whether it’s family, whether it’s triathlon, or an extracurricular type activity, if you have got that mindset and you want that mindset, you have to give your role. So how can everything be balanced? With maybe triathlons tend to be chosen strategically in a year, so that I can have that time. So you 12 for my daughter last year, there was no triathlons in amongst that because my caught my focus was unfortunately, you 12 going through COVID and you 12 so that had to be my focus and work at that periods of times would drop off. So not as many client appointments, not as many reviews, all of those type of things. So I’m still very organ No, I saw it’s not a disorganized imbalanced it’s an organized imbalance.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, it has to be. Now it’s not just triathlons, a quarter to elite triathlons, it’s Ironman distance, triathlons to talk us through that. Yeah, interpret that as in what a detail is or don’t realize the distance. Let’s quickly just cover that.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yep, it’s a 3.8 kilometer swim. It’s 180k walk ride. And then you chuck in a marathon at the end of that, which is 42.2 kilometers.

 

Fraser Jack 

That’s incredible. That is incredible. Now, how long does that take you?

 

Amanda Thompson 

So at the moment, I haven’t broken 11 hours. So my best time is 1121. And I have entered one in December issue. So I’m hoping to become a part of the 10 hour club. Even if it’s 1059, with the 10 in front of it, I’ll be happy. Well, actually, I probably won’t be happy. It’ll you always want to compete against yourself. So whatever I get, if I do get a personal best in December, next time, we’ll always want to go quicker.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. So it’s an extreme endurance sport. And of course, as as I think you mentioned to me before, it’s not a it’s not a run or a ride. It’s a race.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yes, it definitely is a race. So I am, I do harp on men as well. And and now I’m becoming quite competitive in my age group in that so I’ve qualified for wheelchair pin chips a couple of times in my age group. So which is pretty exciting. Got to take my daughter to nice France a couple of years or years ago. But when I’m in Australia, there’s I’m knocking on that podium door and it’s killing me. So I’ve definitely got a fire in my belly for that podium at that distance.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Yeah. How does this do you have a coach, by the way for that?

 

Amanda Thompson 

I do. I do. His name’s Matt and he, we have been together for eight years now. So nearly longer than my marriage. I tell him he knows me probably better than anyone. And then he calls me Thompson. So I don’t even have a name. It’s just Thompson.

 

Fraser Jack 

And and tell us about that. So obviously, you know, you want to compete in a lady or you have a coach, how, how much does that coaching that he does in the sporting arena carry over to business?

 

Amanda Thompson 

It’s probably not, it doesn’t carry over in the sense that we work as a team. So he’s very much a team. He’s on my team, he has to understand. And he does because he runs his own business. So he understands the constraints of having children, parenting and working as well. So it’s more a team. It’s teamwork. So if I say to him, I’ve had a shocker of a day. So I actually didn’t train yesterday and he just happened to ring because he noticed that there were no figures. And the first thing is work with kids. That’s what that was his question to me. We’re called kids Why haven’t we tried today work with kids? And and we adjust the program. So he he has to be adaptable. I have to be adaptable. And that’s how that works. So

 

Fraser Jack 

it’s a fairly staunch accountability relationship. And oh, yeah, it’s always a no, it’s always on my it’s always on me. Yeah. How much is such in that same line of thinking? How much is it that is what you bring to your clients

 

Amanda Thompson 

are completely completely I’m I run as you’ve said, it’s a people type relationship with me. I will, I will take phone calls at any time. I will be adaptable at any time. I’ll unlike the mother that doesn’t say no, though. So for most of my clients, I never say no.

 

Fraser Jack 

But But are you keeping them accountable for their for their actions and behaviors?

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yeah, always, always I an in really difficult ways as well. So most recently, one of my clients passed away, and two and a half years ago, and I have been at this point in time having conversations with his wife saying, you know, Paul would want this, you know, that Paul needs you to do this. We’ve spoken about it. I know Paul would want me to push you. So I actually it’s, and I’ll be honest with you. If even if it’s on the phone, this there’s tears coming down my cheek when I say this is not easy for me to say I miss Paul as well. But I know that the day before Paul passed away, he he told me he wanted me to do this with his family. So I’m a woman of my word. And so I keep doing it. But it’s not. It’s not It’s not easy having to tell her that her late husband wanted her to do this. She’s still missing him every day. And so that that’s an example of you know, how many have been getting emotional talking to you about it. It’s not a fun thing to do, but it’s what I promised that I would do and it’s why. At the end of the day, Paul chose me as the financial planner for his family because He believed that I would do that for him. wonderful,

 

Fraser Jack 

amazing story. Let’s go back, starting your business, starting a business from scratch deciding to you know, open, open up your own business and go out there. Obviously, it’s a difficult and strange and weird and wonderful time. And there’s a lot of mixed ideas, emotions Tell us about your decision making process that led to you selling your business.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Believe it or not, what is the coin I just talking about? Paul was the catalyst for it. I was working for someone when I first met them. And the owner of the business, we all within his rights wanted me to take a different path with them. And I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. And then it just it’s not a one incident thing is this. People that I haven’t found, I have not found a business that runs how I want to run. So I went home that night and called my old boss, who I said to him, I am thinking of doing this and he went about time tamo How can I help you? And I was just like, wow, you know, he said, when you left us, you didn’t take a client, we sat down and said, we know these clients will follow you. You are a stand up person. And I will back you I’ll go into business with you. He actually offered to go into business with me. And I said, No, no, I’m doing it on my own. And so the very next day, I gave notice that so without even a business plan. When I make my mind up, I make my mind up. And so the very next day I gave notice, and then frantically spent that weekend doing a business plan and a very good business plan. I believe in them, I do them every single year, I do them for triathlon, and I do them for my business, and sat down and figured out exactly what I needed to earn. And it’s the first time I might ever really thought about how much I needed to earn. But I had two children to support and bills to pay. So I sat down and worked out well. This is what I need. This is how many clients I need. Because I know I’m going to charge X amount per client per annual type review fee, which is how I run my business on a annual fee basis. And then worked that out and then said, Okay, well, this is what I need. I’m giving myself six months. So I gave myself a time limit, gave myself six months to get up and running and had a pocket of cash to make sure that I could financially survive with the girls. And the good news story for me is I didn’t spend a cent of it. So what happened was that clients who chose to seek me out and follow me or clients that hadn’t gone with me in the past, were so excited that I was out on my own doing my own thing that I was quite lucky if that’s the word that I had an influx of clients almost immediately, I

 

Fraser Jack 

think it’s the power of relationships, right?

 

Amanda Thompson 

I think so. I think so. When I told one of my clients, that was someone that I’d been talking to that I couldn’t help her any more because I was moving on. And she hadn’t signed up with anyone. And she said, Have you thought of names she was so excited to have you thought of nines, I said back to my mom’s come up with one. It was my mum would come up with insurance financial one. And this particular client was friends with and having coffee at the next table was john Bertrand from the john Dee Dee, john Bertram. And she said, Oh, john, listen to this girl’s business name that she wants. And he went, I love it. And then the next day, that particular client said, I’m with you, and can I introduce you to expose it? So not only? Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

that’s an amazing and I do I do think the name Absolutely. I think your mom knows you better than anybody then the name. Absolutely. So doesn’t it? It’s the fact that you, you know, you wanted to run your own race and you and you It’s a long race. Yeah. Yeah, so I was gonna say cool slides, people that don’t know john Bertram was involved in the Americas Cup Challenge many years ago. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Dragging the Americas kind of away from the Americans after 130 something years. So So going back to the name, obviously, then it’s about setting up and getting some clients. As you mentioned, some clients followed you in and six months in. It’s a lot of work though, isn’t it setting up a business and also trying to provide advice?

 

Amanda Thompson 

It is and because I’d always been an advisor under a different vendor, even even that process trying to find out who you are going to be licensed through. I was lucky enough as I’ve been very loyal with employment in the past, I actually reached out to a couple of mediums to say Who do you think I should Go to and one in particular said go to Dover, of which I did. So within five months of me starting my business I was also mixed up in the the Dover debacle,

 

Fraser Jack 

demise debacle. Tell us about that moment when you found that out and then you had to find something else. And you cried.

 

Amanda Thompson 

I cried. I was just like my luck. What is how is this your what what happens now I actually cried. Because, again, for me, it was a learning curve as you put so much trust in your my, I chose Dover because how they sold themselves to me not because someone told me to go there. And, and they seem to believe in my FIFA service and how I ran and what I did, and how I wanted to do it. And then all of a sudden to be scrambling trying to find a new dealer group. But more so than that. Being tainted by someone else’s brush was really difficult for me, I found that really difficult than it was hard to find. I’d never experienced anything like that. As soon as you said, You’re from Dover, they didn’t want to know you. Or there are other companies trying to grab us basically and make money office. That’s how I felt. So it’s like, oh, we’re going to be your Savior, but it’s going to cost you to be your Savior. So that that was that was difficult. I actually, with my financial planning career, that would be my biggest struggle is being tainted by someone else’s brush.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, they’re just at the bottom of the sea. So

 

Amanda Thompson 

yep, yep, very much so. But yeah, my clients pulled me through in that not them in particular, but that I start, go ahead to go back and remember why I did this and why I was doing that. And at the end of the day, the advisor is still may, and I still give the advice. It doesn’t matter who I’m with that. My advice is still my advice, I just needed to go and find another dealer group that let me do what I wanted to do how I wanted to do it, obviously, within the laws of financial

 

Fraser Jack 

planning. Exactly right. And in obviously, there was a lot of other, you know, people in that boat as well. Try and scramble that. So it was a very busy and hectic time. Let’s fast forward a little bit to Now tell us about the business now and how it’s evolved.

 

Amanda Thompson 

And so the business, it’s strange, so my life is evolving at a rate of knots in that so the business is evolving in that I still have not advertised in three years, I have not had to advertise for clients, I I get referrals from clients and other people that I’ve come across. I still pride myself on only my mother and my uncle being my only pensioners. I do not sit in a in a space where I don’t have the capacity. So being on my own, I just do not have the capacity to deal with Centrelink, and pensions and the you know, the ever evolving rules. So I always tell my mom, she’s so lucky that she is on my books.

 

Fraser Jack 

So your all your clients are pre retirees?

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yeah, they look very similar to myself, most of them. So how old? I’m 45. So I think that the end the owl, the people we’re going from about maybe 40s to 55 would be the majority of my client base. And and businesses, business young, young business owners, or self employed people that are, you know, just recently we changed someone from a sole trader to business structure. So that that if, if he can see me my eyes wide open when I talk about business instructor, I love it. I love it. So and not just that I love educating. So it’s not just the figures do this. I like educating people as to the long term benefits of war Heian Yep.

 

Fraser Jack 

And so you, as you mentioned, a lot of your clients are just like you because you probably spend a lot of time telling them about your life at the same time as helping them with their life. You see that synergy?

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yeah, I’m never ever afraid to share my wins and losses. So obviously being single and working in a in a relationship that had two incomes to all of a sudden one. I’m quite a lot of ideas and beliefs in how I bring my children up and what I want to do with the girls and how to protect them from losing their money or having to put themselves at risk. And so I’ll talk about the good bad and ugly of decisions I’ve made in life or people I know that have made in life but I will advise as if you were my family, no matter who you are, I will never ever an end but that’s how I that’s how I figure out what I want to do for someone as if this was my brother, if this was my mom, if this was whoever, what would I really be telling them and and that’s When

 

Fraser Jack 

I go, this is a really key point because sometimes urine in advice relationship with a client and you, you just want to tell them the nice stuff or what they want to hear, you know what they want to hear. And you don’t want to go to that level where you’re saying to them No, you know, you know, if it’s your brother or sister, you might tell them straight, you know, between the eyes, you know, you know that, that relationship strong enough to endure something like that?

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yeah, no, I, I won’t hold back. Because if you’re going to be my client, you need to know who I am. And I need to know who you are from the outset. Otherwise, it won’t be a long term relationship. So I don’t don’t get me wrong telling the bad stuff or telling they’re not so great stuff. I really, really struggle with it. But I it’s not fair. If I don’t,

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, it’s a it’s a really important piece of the financial advisor journey to be able to have those horrible and difficult conversations, but to not shy away from them.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yeah. And, and, but I also I run my life on being a role model for my my children. So I also have a purpose. Another reason I left the banks, I wanted to go home every night comfortable with what I’d done, and comfortable with who I was, and be able to sleep without any guilt, of doing something I didn’t believe in. And that’s, that’s what I do every single day. Now I go home and the perils of running your own business on your own is you can’t necessarily share some of the not so great things with people. When I found out Paul passed away, I was in the car with my daughter. And I had to tell her, so I had no choice but to share some of work with one of my children. And that was hard in itself. so

 

Fraser Jack 

incredible. Now, some of what you’re doing with your clients, you mentioned businesses and you love working with businesses. Are you working with their business plan, with the end joining the financial plan with a business plan?

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yes, yep. So a lot of us said, I work with businesses that are either just past the growth phase, or just, you know, starting out. I’m very, very big on financial planning, sorry, on business planning. So I’ll do both. I know, I’ll do everything. So I, on several occasions have found myself working in a business in their offices for weeks on end. So I get to know how the business actually runs, where things can change all of that as well. So it can really be a business advisor to what’s going on as well. I’ve had years of experiences with businesses that have both succeeded. And I’ve seen ones that bio, so you can see the telltale signs, sometimes especially inherited businesses, you can tell which kids are going to run their dad, mom and dad’s businesses into the ground and which ones aren’t. So yeah, the ones that get

 

Fraser Jack 

it and the ones that don’t, you know, so tell me about that, from a point of view of running a financial planning business, are you able to charge as a business planner as well as a financial planner? Or do you just charge for one,

 

Amanda Thompson 

I just charged financial planning, and they’ll often be project fees, that’s the benefit of being able to charge flat Flat fees that aren’t commissioned based is that it’ll be a financial planning fee based on the project and always give a, an invoice or I I’m very structured in what I do. So I’ll give a letter of engagement that basically breaks down the areas that I’d love to look at. So then they can break that down and say, No, we don’t want that at this time. We don’t want that at this time. So everything’s costed to what they want. And then more often than not that actually, now we’ll come back and we will do that, that will do so. In that’s have done it all of the time. So so that way people don’t miss out on what they really need, and then know what they also should have and come back to it.

 

Fraser Jack 

So it makes sense. You work out what they need. You mean you at all out of all the things you can help them with put a price on each one and and they can choose off that.

 

Amanda Thompson 

Yeah, especially businesses. So businesses in their own right, will often be partnerships. So it’s not it’s not always husband and wife or brothers or it’s often to three families, essentially, that are running the businesses that I come across. So as well as looking at the business. It’s, it’s not the same on both sides of the shareholder equation either. So often I’ll branch out into personal on each side as well. So it’s always very, very detailed. And that way each individual can choose their personal part of it, as well as the business part of it.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. And it’s it’s wonderful that you’ve built that all on referrals to Yes. So tell us where to from here. What is the next sort of, you know, six months 12 months, couple of years look like for you.

 

Amanda Thompson 

So, I have just bought on thank goodness a personal assistant lovely lady named Lee, who is going to be my savior because as well as financial planning. I have been barked. On keynote speaking. So a bit of bit of the story that you’re heard goes a goes a long way, much deeper than we’ve discussed. And I really am in the business of helping people. And, and there is a lot of my story that people tell me really could help other people, whether they’re in financial planning or not. So it’s not necessarily a financial planning bias. And so I’m trying to, you know, in COVID, typical Amanda nature, you can’t pick the best times to do anything, but in COVID have embarked upon some personal stories like keynote speeches, for a couple of places are always open to looking for more and starting to work on how to, to do that, and I’m writing a book.

 

Fraser Jack 

Wow, fantastic. We look forward to reading that too, when it comes out. So you don’t you recently do like to run your own race. And as you mentioned, it’s usually an endurance racer. As an elite triathlon triathlete, I should say. Thanks for coming and sharing your story. If someone wanted to find you or get hold of you, what’s the best way for them to continue the conversation?

 

Amanda Thompson 

So they can email me, Amanda at insurance financial com.au or my website is Amanda thompson.com.au.

 

Fraser Jack 

Wonderful, thank you so much for coming and sharing your story. Really appreciate it. Thank you.

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