October 19, 2021

#260 Cara Williams – Transcript

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, clients, advisor, business, sufficient funds, bit, important, bank, advice, loved, goals, year, financial advice, feel, sufficient, spending, session, thinking, process, part

SPEAKERS

Fraser Jack, Cara Williams

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back to the Expert Advisor podcast. I’m Fraser Jack, I’m joined by Cara Williams.

 

Cara Williams 

Hey, Fraser. How are you?

 

Fraser Jack 

Very good. Thanks for hanging out with me. Now we’re in real life. We’re in person, we’re hanging out in the same room? Because? Because we can do that here in Queensland.

 

Cara Williams 

Very lucky to be able to see someone live, isn’t it? Yeah.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it is. It is. Certainly don’t take it for granted. Now let’s start with a bit of a quick overview of you and where are you working at the moment?

 

Cara Williams 

So I’m a financial advisor at an amazing business called sufficient funds. Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

well, fantastic. In a business, we probably know fully Well, thanks to thanks to James and it knowing about that business for some time. Give us a quick overview of the business itself. What size is it? How many how many advisors?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, so we have myself and James as advisors. We also have Pat who’s down in Melbourne as a as an advisor as well. We have about 10 to 15 employees and we also do mortgage broking as well. So great team, we’re all work remotely from home or from wherever that makes us happy. And really focusing millennials so that’s our space. That’s what we specialize in. We know who we work with. We know what we do. We do well,

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic. Yeah, I like to I like to hear that a great target market and a great time and we’ll get into this but a great way of finding finding new clients and growing the business obviously the business has grown quite a lot in the last few years. Like you said 1010 odd staffed in 15 staff. It’s a massive growth from you know, James sort of standing out by himself. So kudos to James, let’s go back in time. Tell us about your story. How did you get into advice?

 

Cara Williams 

My accident? I actually had no idea what financial advice was I think a lot of people I speak to a lot of people fall into financial advice one way or another and so yeah, I was a very confused school leaver about what I wanted to do. I thought I was going to be a lawyer didn’t get the Opie score which is the Queensland score for that decided to start a degree in social work and did a year of that and figured out that wasn’t for me Wait

 

Fraser Jack 

lawyer to social work how does this work? Because clearly other to me they’re the opposite sides of the coin.

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, yeah, I was confused I had to pick something out of out of a catalogue when I was leaving school pretty much I had no idea I thought I’d give that a go and just got maybe six months into that degree and realize that it just wasn’t me. And then I decided to take the year off after that because I didn’t want to be one of those people that continuously changes degrees and then racks up you know $100,000 of hex debt and yeah, so I thought I’d take the year off and figure out life and even in that year, I still had no idea

 

Fraser Jack 

so that your year of growing up if you put it that way Yeah, did you grow up?

 

Cara Williams 

I hope so. To think so. Does anyone ever grow gotta be a kid at heart right? Yeah, yeah.

 

Fraser Jack 

So tell us about where to from there How did you fall into this?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, so I was working at Fitness first the gym part time during uni and then I decided I’ll just work full time in that year off and try and figure out life and got to a point where I just felt like I wasn’t mentally stimulated anymore and I had at that stage middle of the year figured out or I’ll enroll in a business degree at least it’s kind of broaden I’ll figure the rest out from there and got to the point where I had a friend who had been working couple days a week as an assistant to a financial planner who had just come out of a bank and started his own thing and she said look, I’ve got a grad job in Melbourne so I’m gonna move and do you want the gig you know you were looking for something and at the time I thought, Oh, I don’t really know what financial planning is and I think it’s budgeting I’m not sure how hard can this be? Oh, yeah, sure. I’ll do it and loved it and so fell into it and and progressed from there. And that business I was in it wasn’t until the first year when we did a an annual review like a performance review I guess at that year mark that they said look we can see a lot of talent and Is this a career that you’d be interested in? And I yeah at that moment I kind of realized I loved what those those guys were doing and I could say it was a career for me and yeah accidentally sort of fell into it like that

 

Fraser Jack 

antastic and then and then that realization that you’re a grown up now so weird to me how did you get your first sort of start?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, well so it was an interesting I feel like the journey from there well the conversation was around our at well what do I need to do to become an advisor and the conversation was around study. At the time, you only needed a diploma of financial planning. So what I was doing was I was like, Alright, well I’m halfway through this business degree I want to finish this for personal reasons it was a big goal of mine to finish my degree. So at that stage, what I was doing was three subjects that you need two or three days a week at work and then in the uni holidays I was trying to do one subject of the DFP and then so from there I was looking at right progressing into an advice role and at that stage at that business, there was a lot of opportunity for me to be able to sit with the advisor learn what they do, which was which was heaps of growth for me at that stage. And then an opportunity arose at one of the big four banks and I was chatting with someone for about eight months and I said you know, this is the ideal essentially what the professional year actually didn’t exist then but I said this is what I want. If we can make that happen I’ll take the job and they made it happen and I made the move after two and a half years in that first business into the bank and yeah, it was there for five years as an associate advisor

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, the banks pretty attractive for you know, somebody who’s young and recently qualified, they offer a fairly good salary and obviously some you know, an endless supply of new clients coming in the door you know, obviously you know that we like to dish this on the banks and say, you know, what I’ve done wrong, but essentially it’s a pretty good training ground I guess. Yeah,

 

Cara Williams 

definitely. I loved my time at the bank, I think I got so much out of that. A couple of things. I think you know, you comment about this endless supply of clients, I think you get out what you put in I spent a lot of my time building relationships with the branches that I worked in. And I feel like I’m proud to sell I felt like I was quite successful at that because I think a lot of those people that are speaking to so many, you know, bank customers, they need to understand the value of what you’re offering and the service you can provide in the on the goals that you’re able to help clients meet. So I spend a lot of time with those branch staff getting them to understand what I do and spending that time to be able to get that outcome from them. So that was that was really good from building relationships side of things which taught me a lot and then also, I think from a growth perspective, so every associate advisor was always matched with the senior advisor so I always felt supported as such. I mean, I gave my first piece of advice when I was 21. That’s incredibly young Tell me

 

Fraser Jack 

took me through that moment when you’re in line with a class terrified

 

Cara Williams 

but the thing was like I felt ready I felt like inexperienced but I felt ready because I had that year at at the bank leading up to that moment of shadowing a senior adviser saying what he did say in the conversation so it’s almost like I was in a position where as Joe was doing the job without doing it myself yet so I had a lot of experience and training which I felt like very grateful for and that’s something I always tell young grads now is like don’t rush just enjoy it like learn as much as you can from everyone else who’s done it for so much longer than you and then when you when you get to that position you feel ready. So

 

Fraser Jack 

it’s an interesting time isn’t it for people when they first kick kick that off? And I will say to people the same thing you know, like you don’t know everything you know, a bit yet don’t tell you don’t tell me, it tells me everything you know, but as long as you know more than they do, then you’re helpful. It’s being helpful.

 

Cara Williams 

And it’s such a scary moment when you’re sitting down with clients who have children older than you and you’re like, oh, they’re getting financial advice for me and in my mind, I think at the start I was probably doubting myself a little bit and thinking you know, are they thinking that I’m too young and you get the occasional person who can you can just tell from their you know, body language that they’re like, well, this person is a bit young, but when you start having that conversation with them, you can tell that they’re thinking yeah, okay, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. It’s okay, and that I mean, that didn’t last too long. I think just with time and experience that becomes a little bit easier and more comfortable.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it certainly does always does like riding a bike, I guess. So five years of the bank, it’s quite well and I want to go into this a little bit deeper how you were building the relationships with the tellers because it’s important for I think, for any advisor that you know, whether it’s the accountant or any other means of referral source, it’s important to get that information time, energy effort, like as in what were you saying to these tellers to give them understand the value of advice

 

Cara Williams 

yeah so I did a couple of different ways so as a group of one on ones I did a weekly huddle so we talked about I bring a case study or a client example that I just worked through the previous week or any of those sorts of examples, talk them through what I do ask them questions get them engaged so it’s not just me standing at the front of a room lecturing people I do little quizzes little competitions like you knowledge things like okay What does what does life insurance mean all those sorts of things so you can tell and get them engaged with their understanding and figure out you know, where do I need to kind of focus my time and energy on building their knowledge as well? I’d also do I was a bit of a weekly email I’d say where I’d say Alright, this is what we’ve done for the week this is how I’ve helped them so it wasn’t so much stats and figures of you know, this is how many people I helped or we helped as a team it was this is you know, I saw Jim and Jerry or whatever and Yeah, yep. So they could see the outcome of what they were doing and the benefits to those clients. So all those good news stories showing them examples of how we were able to help was I think was definitely beneficial.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, this this sounds like it’s not just a one off that right? You can’t just go and say to somebody I help this person do one thing and they’re gonna get great I’ll just send all my clients it’s it’s that regularity of your weekly emails plus your regular catch ups your pods those things Yeah, yeah, definitely. So that’s a that’s an interesting learning don’t just don’t just do once and you know, expect that it’s going to work

 

Cara Williams 

and I could always tell to be honest like when I got busy and sometimes you know a couple of weeks here in there perhaps dropped off an email or two and you could tell that you could say them not really it’s not the forefront of their mind and I think as a banking consultant there’s so many things for them to think about it’s a tough gig for them there’s so many different areas of what they do day to day that if you know sometimes if it’s not at the forefront of their mind they’ve got so many other competing priorities so yeah, it’s consistency and you got to work hard at it to get what you what you need out of it and to be able to help people

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah exactly competing priorities in front of mine I imagined that if I’m a bank teller there’s going to be in the next person in the queues kind of a priority rather than me stopping and asking a person whether they need to speak to a financial advisor

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, and I think the big thing as well as I did a lot around like you know behavioral finance and psychology around you know, Simon Sinek is a great example so I did a lot a lot of work with them on the start with why idea around you know, if you go to someone go Hey, you can see car about your super your insurance, your retirement planning this or that, they’ll be like, why I don’t understand what like, why is that important to me, I’m literally here to get a home loan or do this, but if they have those quality of conversations with them, they can be like, you know, get a bit more deeper and talk to those people about the why not just the what, and you speak in their language and you speak into the emotional part of their, you know, their thought process and decision making.

 

Fraser Jack 

Love it. So you’ve Um, so I’ve done a bit of that, too, or watching a bit of Simon Sinek. And just ripping that off, and, and using it to your advantage. Love it. So so the bank journey for you was a five year what sort of drew you towards leaving the bank and then wanting to get into sort of a private practice?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, so I got to the point where I was kind of looking for my new challenge. What you figure out when you speak to a lot of other advisors that there’s so many businesses out there doing different things and specializing in different areas, and I think the turning point for me, honestly, was when I did the Kokoda track with the IFA in 2018. You spent a lot of time in your own thoughts and thinking as you’re walking through a jungle and assessing or reassessing, I guess where you’re at in life and what’s important to you. And I was lucky enough to be able to track that with a bunch of amazing people who were in the AFL or the financial planning profession who are, you know, years and years more experienced than me. So you have a lot of deeper meaning meaningful conversations, not just about work, but about life. So I think for me, at that point, I was thinking, you know, reassessing my priorities and my values. And once I left Jakarta, I came back home, I was like, right, okay, I think now’s the time, I need to step outside my comfort zone, try something new, have a bit of a challenge and start talking to people. And I took from about September till May to figure out my next move. I didn’t want to rush. The main thing I always said to myself is I don’t want to run away from something I want to run towards something. And I want to make sure that that move is right. And just want to take a job for the sake of leaving and trying something new.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So you wasn’t that you were motivated to take the next thing you wanted to have a look around? Talk to me about that transition out of the bank.

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, it was interesting, because I think that moment, I’d realized that there were so many businesses out there who did do different things specialize in different areas. The way through everything was structured, but not to the extent that when I started talking to businesses and people, I was like, Oh, actually, there’s a lot more happening out in the non bank land than I kind of expected. And so I spoke to, I would say about 12 to 16 different businesses. Just not so much job interviews. But you know, what do you guys do? Who do you specialize in working with? And what do you do? Well, what doesn’t work quite well. You know, what are your regrets? What would you do differently all of those questions and gave me a really good insight and understanding of what I didn’t want and what I what I perhaps was looking for. So getting that clarity, so it took some time. And then yeah, I came across a business who was introduced to me that was multi disciplinary. So they did they do accounting, financial advice, mortgage broking and general insurance. And I thought, this is great, because I’ve never had really experienced in the accounting world. So being able to work in a business so I’ve got your there’s people to be able to learn off and work with. And all of that kind of was a Yeah, it was a good opportunity that came up. Yep. It’s not easy

 

Fraser Jack 

to choose. Choose a place to go. And sometimes there’s definitely places you don’t want to go. Or there’s horror stories, a

 

Cara Williams 

couple of false starts, I think just understanding people’s you know, businesses and then realizing maybe it’s not the right fit. But yeah, so it is hard. It is a hard choice. But yeah, I think I made that really good decision, which I yeah, loved.

 

Fraser Jack 

So where did you go,

 

Cara Williams 

I went to a I went to a business school, Perry Ryan, great, great business based in East Brisbane and very successful, well structured. They’ve been around for 20 odd years and really experienced guys, I loved working there. And I learned so much especially like I said on the accounting side and same sort of qualities, I guess, taking out of the bank with working with other people in different roles and different professions and experiences and using those skills to be able to work with other people in the business to go Yeah, this is what we do. This is the value we add. This is how we can work together. Also, you know, how can I help you? So what what do I need to look for in my clients to be able to best support you as well, so that you can also help them from a different aspect?

 

Fraser Jack 

What was the demographic, the age demographic, all the clients in that business?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, so I mean, we didn’t really have a specialized niche, it was a lot of, you know, a lot of business clients being the accounting firm, a lot of business clients, but your mom’s and your dad’s pre retirees, retirees. So fairly, fairly spread. I also helped a lot of existing clients, children. So getting into that millennial space, a lot of the clients kids have, you know, just graduated from uni or starting to buy their first time and all those sorts of things. So yeah, did did really well in a range of different client demographics.

 

Fraser Jack 

Is that what led you to want to help millennials? Yeah.

 

Cara Williams 

And And the funny thing is, when I was talking about this to someone else the other day, if you asked me five years ago, would I be working with millennials? I would have said, No, I think the space I was in at the time, just the service offering and the structure and the processes wasn’t the right place for that kind of client. And at the time, I was thinking, or how would I be able to add value to this client where I am and I didn’t ever think I was going to be I loved I loved the retirees I love, you know, the, the stories and the relationship and that sort of stage of life. And so I didn’t ever really think about it. But yeah, I fell in love with the millennials and knows clients in that stage of life

 

Fraser Jack 

quite quickly. And then tell us about your latest move. Yeah, sufficient

 

Cara Williams 

funds. So I always feel like these jobs just kind of come up, across. And I’ve always felt very lucky. And it was one of those decisions where I loved where I was. And however, I got to the point where when this came across me, I was like, Oh, this is actually a really cool opportunity that I feel really aligned with where I was, where I was wanting to go. And also the demographic of the millennials, they do it really, really well. I think a lot of people last year as well with COVID realized, working from home and that work life balance was perhaps, you know, everyone kind of re realigned what they wanted out of, you know, that work life balance situation for me, I realized quite quickly, maybe the eight to five wasn’t, wasn’t me. So that was a very attractive part of moving to sufficient funds, as well as the lifestyle. And yeah, like having that lifestyle for us. But also making sure that we are showing that to our clients, as well as saying, you know, we are leading by example, we want to make this as human as possible. We don’t know, we’re not certain ties with laptops and T shirts, essentially. So

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? Yeah. And you resonate with that, like you said, the what you’re doing is what your clients want to do. And that authenticity comes across, as opposed to working in a more of a traditional firm, where you go into the office, and you and you sewed up. Yeah, yeah, that’s it. So tell us about that, that move then, because that part of that was obviously being able to be location independent.

 

Cara Williams 

It’s an interesting one. It’s interesting being in a team now where I’ve only met James have never met anyone face to face. So we have team members all over Australia and an amazing team in the Philippines as well. And yeah, it’s strange that you’ve actually never met people face to face but we speak every day. We see each other on zoom every day. So yeah, that transitions. It’s an interesting one. I did meet James face to face before and we had some multiple conversations before I made that move I met some of the team over zoom just have a just a casual chat with them make sure we were vibing right and all that sort of thing because I think the team is a very very important part to making a successful business and I’d felt like straightaway I fit right in which was good so that transition was I felt was a really easy one for me personally.

 

Fraser Jack 

So tell us about the business itself you’re helping millennials What are you helping them with

 

Cara Williams 

anything they want everything creating the life that they want to live so we’re very much lifestyle focused really the name and the business making sure that they have the sufficient funds to do what they want to make them happy so we’ve got a very clear process of what we what we do how we define that so one of the biggest parts of the first process is defining what’s important to them I don’t it doesn’t matter if that means it’s a you know a six month long holiday or buying a house or you know whatever they want with their work lifestyle personal goals. There’s no right and wrong and we just help them clarify that so defining what’s important to them is that is the biggest part of that so yeah, the goals are endless I’ve had fun the other day actually. He said he wants four kids because David Beckham wants four kids so you get you get all I love that it was I was that made me laugh so you get all these different goals that they feel like they can open and even if they think it sounds silly or whatever doesn’t matter it’s their goal that’s what’s important to them so that’s what’s important to me at the end of the day

 

Fraser Jack 

very much goals and lifestyle based on I love the name to sufficient funds and I believe that that the word serve in sufficient was was an important factor for James so you’ve got location dependent you you help with people all over the country.

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, everywhere Yeah. And I have had a few people that you know might listen to a podcast and and reach out to us and they might be in Europe and say oh, I’m coming back in six months permanently back to Australia. I want to kind of get my ducks in a row and make sure I’m all set up because I realize I’ve been overseas for a few years so all over Australia but the person that some that’s traveling abroad at the moment

 

Fraser Jack 

you mentioned it really good point here that the way that that your business will get clients in a lot is through media channels. And you mentioned podcast just then So tell us about tell us about how that works for the business because obviously you know you guys are out there talking on different podcasts on different media channels to be able to then generate a number of interesting leads in coming to your website

 

Cara Williams 

yeah so just taking that back a step and I had I had a chat to you actually before I decided to take this role and one of the things we spoke about was how do you create that comfortability and that rapport with clients when you you’re literally over a camera and a screen I think having that presence on your podcasts and you know zoom sessions and recordings and getting yourself out there in terms of media and social media and networking like that creates that sort of breaks the barrier of people feeling like they know you feeling like they know the business and what you’re all about. So that creates I guess like just a natural interest in Oregon I’m gonna reach out to that person and get some advice because they sound like they’re gonna get me and they’re you know, they’re just humans at the end of the day I’m not gonna sit there and show them a graph and make it all boring and things like that yeah, I think it’s a very natural it’s

 

Fraser Jack 

really important that it will this authenticity comes across as I’m a human being and this is how I behave and act and those things come across and then people will resonate towards you

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, yeah so I mean trying to try to do that give examples get on podcasts get on videos get get on lives and get out get our name out there as such creates that sort of interest in people reaching out so I know

 

Fraser Jack 

James spends a bit of time on on you know, different podcasts and things like my millennial money or she’s on the money

 

Cara Williams 

yeah, yeah, yeah. So I mean they’re exactly the kind of clients we’re looking for and that’s who we know we work well with and who we can definitely help and add value to so you know, James even did a live with my millennial money showing them or showing the listeners what that first defining sufficient session looks like so the amount of people I talked to and they’re like, Hey, I saw James on that podcast the live with that young couple and that’s exactly what we want. So you know, can you help us and we talk through that process exactly what that looks like so they already know and they know what to expect from that first session that we have together.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s a really important part is that I’m breaking down the barrier the expectations of their understanding is very difficult to walk into a financial planning office for the first time as a millennial if you’ve never done it before, and you don’t know what to expect.

 

Cara Williams 

Exactly. And so we actually have a first sort of 15 minute call with them first and it’s all about I say I always say to people like this is about making sure that I understand your situation I talk through the process, make sure that’s the right fit. I’m massive on amin, auto auto mon who people go and see for their advisor. I think the most important part for me is that a client find someone that they gel well with, that they trust that they feel like they can open up because it can Such an intimate relationship? Were you finding out stuff about people that, you know, they don’t even tell their closest friends or family? Like I had a client yesterday? Who’s having a, you know, Sarah, next Monday, and they told me the name and they’re like, Oh, we don’t know, like, we haven’t told anyone else can we tell you and all that sort of thing. So clients open up, and I think you gotta have that trust and rapport. So making sure the right fit is there first, before they decide to engage in that process,

 

Fraser Jack 

exactly that type of take us through this process. So 15 minute, they might reach out to you on the website, which again, is an important part of the media strategy. They ever book a 15 minute call, what happens after that?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, so talk them through the process and make sure that you know, we can add value, we have our defining moments are defining sufficient session is the first step. So we do focus on holistic advice. And what I always say is, you know, some people might have had a financial plan in the past, right? So they’re kind of sometimes I’ve heard people get to the point where they go, look, this plan is kind of ticking along, but we kind of forget why we’re doing it. We don’t really know like, we can see the numbers and the figures, but we’re just not exciting. It’s not motivating. There’s no going back to their goals based advice, sort of conversation, it doesn’t really resonate with us. So that defining sufficient session is really, really important because we go through what’s important to you, what are you working towards? What what are your values? What are your goals, and may acting as a bit of a sounding board to people who aren’t sure about their options or thinking, Oh, yeah, it’d be really cool to do this, or this. And we just talked about it get as much down on paper as possible. Create a bit of a timeline, like a map of everything that’s important to people, so that they can see that and it really defines what sufficient means to them. And even you know, if they’ve got goals around things that aren’t even financial, that’s, you know, if that’s important to them, let’s let’s write it down, let’s talk about it. So at the end of that session, we can be really clear and going well, this is what’s important to you, we’re not getting stuck into strategy, modal solution mode, really getting those golden pieces of information down. So that when we do go to put a financial plan together, it’s entirely tailored towards what they’re wanting to achieve.

 

Fraser Jack 

Exactly. Love defining sufficient because it means so many things, not just the money, but that happiness factor as well. What you know, what would you be happy with? What’s sufficient for you? How long is that session? Go for?

 

Cara Williams 

It’s a 90 minute session. Yep.

 

Fraser Jack 

So 15 minute, pretty cool, 90 minute session. At that point. They, they’re aware of, obviously, the process and the fees and those sorts of things. When do they sign on.

 

Cara Williams 

So after that, I mean that we say the defining sufficient session is a completely separate service. That’s something that adds a lot of value to people, regardless of if they’re getting financial advice or not. Getting that clarity, given that lifestyle map, they can see everything down on paper. After that session, that’s when they decide if they’d like to proceed with a financial plan. And then we walk through the process from there. So after that appointment is when we start to gather all the fact fine details of that assets, liabilities, all those sorts of things, and then start to gather that from there and start the process.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Now we talked about gathering how you’re doing that in an efficient, efficient way and effective way.

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah. So I mean, a lot of people talk about their tech stack, I think being efficient processes and knowing you know, who’s doing what, what are we gathering, we’re using Basecamp is our sort of, I guess, task thread management. Way, it’s fairly flexible in terms of editing. I know a lot of people use x plan I, I find myself like explains, like it’s great, but it’s a big, it’s a big based, and it’s hard to navigate. I think for some people, we use Basecamp, which has a client side as well. So fairly simple for them to go, yep, here’s my third party authority, who is this and they can just upload it to the into into their clients eye, and we can see that they can message us they can comment on things. So it’s fairly client friendly. With that process of gathering data.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So Basecamp is a standard CRM that you can purchase out of the box pretty much and it’s and it’s fairly fairly economical. So you’ve been through that if you’ve got them on you then say, here is your your sufficient. substation, here is the goals needs, here’s your here’s your, here’s what you want to achieve. The reason why, and then and then you can start the planning process. what’s what’s the meeting process after that?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, so once we’ve gathered all that a few weeks pass, once we’ve got the information is super, and all of that sort of thing and start to gather all that. We have a progress meeting. So that’s usually about an hour. And what we do is we sit back down over zoom virtually, and then go through their goals go all right, well, let’s Is there anything we need to get more clear on so you know, you said you wanted to buy a new car? Is that is that three years away? Or is that five years away? How much do you want to spend? So really getting clear of what’s in the plan, what’s out of the plan, pasting things together, going over their risk profile. So getting more of those specific, sort of nitty gritty details, making sure that you know, they’re happy with everything. Is there anything that’s changed since we last spoke confirming sort of the direction from there?

 

Fraser Jack 

No, so that rails or prioritization session a little bit better Gathering everything you need and in the survey, so we’ve got for a 15 minute, 90 minute an hour. Yes. Well, it’s good. It’s good. It’s a decent process. Yeah. And then there’s the, I guess the plain presentation.

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah. So a few weeks after that, we’ll through that time, that’s when we’re doing the numbers during the scenarios, projections of financial modeling, crunching all those numbers and putting the plan together, coming back and presenting their plan to them, which is to our money plan, presentation meeting, going through everything, looking at all the projections, all the moving pieces, what’s going on, what’s coming in what’s going out, and they can see it and they can feel it. So that’s the delivery piece of where we go you know, you said you want to your kid or a car or travel or this or that, and I can say year on year what’s coming in what’s going out and they can they can feel it and they can that’s that’s the time that they can see everything. Oh, like, that’s, that is possible. That’s so exciting.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So to our plane presentation. And so I mean that that there’s obviously because it’s holistic, there’s a fear of, you know, strategies, bits pieces to get through as people go with two hour of two hours of power.

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, it is a bit of a chunky meeting. After that progress, maybe I do say to them, Look, we’re gonna book in that financial plan meeting, it is two hours, it is a bit chunky. So we do set aside two hours we might not need at all, but it’s there if we need it. I usually just you can kind of gauge when people are feeling a little bit glazed over

 

Fraser Jack 

a break halfway through or something. Most people are fine.

 

Cara Williams 

But I think when they get really stuck into it, yeah, they’re just you can tell they’re really attentive and they’re interested. And you know, I always say about the hour mark, do you guys need to get a drink or have a little bit of a break? Most people like, that’s fine. So I’m, like, run up and get a glass of water or something. But everyone’s everyone’s great with it. Everyone loves it. And I think at that point, they were really excited because they like, this is the moment where we see it all coming together. And we can see what’s possible, we can see our goals aren’t every single year, what’s actually being achieved, what can be achieved? Pretty exciting

 

Fraser Jack 

moment for you, too, as well.

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, I get so excited. Yeah, most near I was meeting with a young couple who had their first child the other day, and I even started the appointments. I’m so excited about this play, and guys, and they were laughing because I’m like, I’m so sorry, it sounds like massive nerd moment. But I was just I was stoked, because a lot of their questions that they had of like, we don’t know if we can do this, or that were answered. And I’m like, this is totally possible. And now we’re over the moon. And I think that’s the coolest moment where the clients feel like a massive, like cyber leaf because they can say, and they can feel it. And they’re like, Okay, this is awesome. we’re on the right track.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. And then obviously, you get into the implementation after that. Tell me about it there any other follow up meetings after that to sort of go through stuff? So yeah,

 

Cara Williams 

I mean, if we need to touch base, and as part of the implementation process or confirm details, I mean, there are a few weeks between the progress and the meeting. So if there are a couple of things that have changed, we can just, you know, touch base and see what that does. If we need to make any alterations to the advice. It’s at that point, it’s a separate decision decision point, if they do decide or if I see value, or they see value in an ongoing advice relationship, that’s when we make the decision of proceeding from there.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So the first, it’s really about spending that first, you know, few months or whatever, getting an in place set up and sorted, it’s a five or six hour process. What sort of fees that you’re charging, what’s the average sort of client fee? sighs?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, so very structured in this. So the the 15 minute call is complimentary to have a chat, make sure it’s the right fit. The defining sufficient session is 440. And that covers the cost of the time for that session. From there, it depends on or is it a single person? Is it a couple because couples, you know, there is a bit more work involved with that. And it depends if they have something like a spending plan in there, because there’s a lot of heavy lifting with a spending plan. It’s a really important part of a foundation of a financial plan. So some clients have that sorted and they’re really they really well set up in that sort of department. So I mean, for a single person, it’s either 3300 or 4400 for a couple 4400 5500. Again, you know, there could be a situation where maybe there’s a little bit more complexity there and we would discuss that before they wish to proceed. If that was the case, yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic. And tell me about the ongoing side of it because you know, having having an advisor on your side is obviously beneficial. How do you how do you talk to clients about having an ongoing relationship fee paying relationship? And if so, what sort of it the most clients take that on?

 

Cara Williams 

So I mean, I’ve been at sufficient funds for five months now. So still early days and still sort of building out myself there. And you know, my client base but I think there’s a lot of value you can add to a millennial and that stage of life there’s a lot of moving pieces, whether that be kids or no kids or house or work and all these different moving parts. So I think there’s definitely value in ongoing advice for a lot of clients. It’s not for everyone. I sometimes say to people look this is once we’ve set it up, it’s like planting a seed and waiting for it to grow. If there’s not a whole load of moving parts, then it’s probably best for you To come back when things change, or once were set up, just keep going as is. But it is very common for a lot of people to look at that plan and go, we can see those projections year on year, and say that there are so many things that are changing in our life that we’re wanting to aim towards. And that’s where they’re going to get the value that we were a sounding board, they can pick up the phone, if they want to have questions. And you know, as things change throughout the year, we can alter the advice and there’s a lot of value that they get, especially on the spending plan side of things, if they are unsure about their you know, their expenses, and they go, we need someone to kind of hold our hand or to hold us accountable for the next 612 months, or however long it takes to get out that foundation, right? Then that’s what we’re there with, therefore, to be able to help them through that and then be able to, you know, guide them as things change as they’re meeting goals. And what’s the next biggest thing and that’s what I had a client actually asked me yesterday when we’re talking about ongoing advice. They said, you know, we have these massive goals for the next three to five years is that the point where we can go right, we’ve achieved them what’s next? And that’s where the benefit of Yeah, of ongoing advice is to have that person there to help you.

 

Fraser Jack 

Exactly. And if if they’re not going to keep stay focused on their goals, then that’s the that accountability buddies really important?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, yeah. It’s just like a personal trainer, right? Like, I mean, the times that I’ve had a gym membership, and yeah, I’ll go and you know, no one’s watching. Skip, skip a squat here and there. But you know, if you’ve got to pay to like, you’re not missing that squat, you’re getting down.

 

Fraser Jack 

Apparently, that doesn’t work unless you’re actually doing your sets and reps. So Exactly. So I’ve heard. So that’s amazing. Thank you for sharing that process. Tell me about all the work that you’ve been doing with the associations because I mean, we we skipped over to the time, but you were at the bank or a bank teller. You were put you’re participating in a lot of the Association, in as you mentioned the encoder with with the different associations. And you spend a lot of time then actually going outside your comfort zone, meeting new people and becoming an Ende, volunteering and working with associations and a lot of volunteer roles to give back to the community. Yeah,

 

Cara Williams 

I guess from a very early age, I got comfortable with being uncomfortable. And my first conference was an FPA conference down in Adelaide, and that was in 2014. I was four weeks into being an associate advisor, the bank, no idea what I was talking about. I didn’t know anyone that was going I saw how it actually came up was that I was a student member of the FPA. And I saw this email come through and I’d never been to a conference before it always sounded cool. I was like, What’s this about? I think the ticket was about 200 bucks for the conference. So you know, in, in comparison to a full blown ticket, which are usually you know, anywhere from 500 to a grand boom, have whatever conference you going to, I was like, well, this is this is good. All I need to do is pay for flights and accommodation and saved up for that. And I was like, I’m just gonna do it. I’m terrified because I don’t know anyone I don’t know. I people might look at me and be like, oh, who’s this kid was this kid during the conference. But from that point, I realized that it’s so important to get yourself out there and network and talk to people. So kind of Yeah, just kept getting involved to that day, with both the FPA and the IFA. And so I’ve always in going back to that point around talking to so many businesses in the transition out of the bank, I think I was always grateful. The fact that I spent a lot of my own time building those networks and being able to touch base with people I’ve met and ask questions without feeling like, Oh, you don’t know me? But can I ask you everything about your business. So having those connections already set up? And I mean, I spent a lot of my own money, like going down and doing conferences and networking events, and all those things. And that’s tough as a student, and not everyone can do that. But I think for me, like, I don’t regret that at all. And I’m glad I did all the networking from a very young age that’s really

 

Fraser Jack 

interesting is that you can separate that between what you’re doing for work as a work expense or work. You know, this is a work conference, yeah, to the fact that you’re getting your own personal development out of these

 

Cara Williams 

definitely. And I’ve had so many Pete, like so many existing advisors who have been in the profession for years, always pick up the phone, and I ask them questions and any sort of big decisions. I’m like, I just need someone to talk to this about I don’t like I don’t know, what do I need to ask, what do I need to think about? and having that sort of experience getting involved outside of work into those associations? I think it’s important for anyone at any point in their career,

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, amazing. I think within a community, whether it’s associations or like an x, y type community, or even a volunteer community of a surf club, or whatever it might be that you get more out of it. Yeah, if you’re putting more in So tell me about your commitment to then joining committees and being parts of parts of the actual, you know, the working groups. Yes,

 

Cara Williams 

so with IFA more so I am currently part of the Gen X which is the next generation of advisor committee, and also the Inspire committee which is for supporting financial women and financial advice or people are aspiring to be in financial advice, no matter the role, and also supporting women in the community as well. So I recently stepped down from the chair of inspire, which was an amazing experience and still on the committee. So being involved with those sorts of groups, I think, being a part of a team. Everyone’s sort of, you know, always bouncing ideas off each other. And we’re always doing different events and coming up with ideas and doing webinars and all those sorts of things. Getting involved, and having your people around you, I think is really important. So getting involved in that sort of aspect. Yep.

 

Fraser Jack 

And how have you How have you found the your own mentorship around, you know, great people in roles, virsh. net, nationally, and around the country, getting to know those people that are running committees another, another state?

 

Cara Williams 

Yeah, interesting. And everyone’s got their own perspective on, you know, how they do things, what their experiences and whether like, you know, you’ve got a problem or just need to get advice, I think listening to a it’s sort of like an ethical dilemma, right? You go and you go, what’s your thoughts on this? Like, what’s your personal experience on this? And how have you dealt with this? And all those sorts of questions, knowing people in different positions all around the country? And their personal experiences? I think, for me is Yeah, it’s really helped. Definitely,

 

Fraser Jack 

what what are some of the highlights of that been for you with on being on some of those committees and meeting people? Oh,

 

Cara Williams 

I definitely just the relationship side of things. Like I’m a people’s person. I think a lot of most advisors, you’d say, Are people people, because they are working with people all the time. So just the personal friendships and the growth in myself as a professional as well. It’s definitely been the highlight.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. And so whether you’ve mentioned you’ve been at five months now, at your new position, what does the future hold?

 

Cara Williams 

Oh, I, I hope, years and years and years that sufficient funds, I’m loving it, I’ve never, I’ve never been happier. I said to my partner the other day, I was like, I’ve never worked harder. But I’ve also never had as much work life balance, which is a weird thing to say. So I think it fits in with my life. I can see there’s so much growth still in the business. There’s so many clients that we can help. So yeah, I see it growing. I see myself being a part of the business for a very, very long time.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic, Kara, thanks for coming and sharing your your journey, your story. How can people get hold of you if they want to continue the conversation?

 

Cara Williams 

Definitely. So I’m on LinkedIn, and we’ve got our Instagram Facebook page, you can reach out sufficient funds and we’ve also got LinkedIn page as well. Wonderful.

 

Fraser Jack 

Thank you for sharing.

 

Cara Williams 

Thank you so much for having me.

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