December 13, 2022

#368 Rebecca Pritchard – Transcript

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Ben Nash
Hey guys, Ben Nash from the XY visor team. And today I’m pumped to be here with Rebecca Pritchard. Rebecca is senior financial planner at rising tide financial down in Melbourne just had a great chat on the pod with, with Maddie hail from that group as well. And keen to pick Beck’s brain about her advice journey, some of the things that she’s learned from focusing on younger clients and lessons learned. Rebecca, thanks for joining us. Thank you very much for having me. Look, I know that you’re sort of, you know, got quite a profile in the industry, you know, regularly listed on the FS power 50, etc. But for anyone that hasn’t heard of you, can you maybe give us a short version of your advice journey and how you’ve ended up where you are today?

Rebecca Pritchard
Yeah, definitely. So I think I’ve got a great background and advice. So I started as a client. I got advice when I was 23. I think it was 22-23 with my then boyfriend, now husband, and I was working in corporate finance at the time. And I knew that that wasn’t my forever job. But I wasn’t sure what was next for me. And through the advice process, I was able to articulate my values, my goals and identified that I loved advice. I love going through it. I was like the most obsessive client I’ve ever seen. And eventually, within sort of a couple of years, I retrained from corporate finance into personal finance, and caught up my adviser and said, Can you create a job for me? So then transitioned into that role. So I was in a small self license business for five ish years, and then went through another transition, similar similar time to starting a family as well, where I joined the rising tide practice. And I’ve been there for just over three years now.

Ben Nash
Was that were you a client of wealth enhancers? Is that when you started? Yeah, I feel like wealth enhancers are responsible for a few new entrants into advisors. Obviously, they’re doing a lot of things right over there. I know. Jess Brady, one of the hosts of the X Y podcast, was a client of theirs that sparked a passion for her in financial advice ended up becoming a financial advisor. So yeah, it’s it’s awesome. To see I want to have any more they can take credit for.

Rebecca Pritchard
Yeah, it’s a it was a great breeding ground. And, you know, I think it really shaped how I think about advice and has made me a fundamentally better advisor because I live and breathe this myself personally, as well as practicing with clients.

Ben Nash
Absolutely. And it’s certainly relatability for clients, like I know that we’ve got, we hired one of our clients as a relationship manager in the business and her speaking from personal experience for people that were considering getting financial advice was a huge help because you could talk about all of the ins and outs and I think that as advisors, sometimes you can get a bit blinded so the things that you deal with day in and day out, having that different perspective can be super valuable for for someone, you know, going on that journey as well.

Rebecca Pritchard
Yeah, absolutely.

Ben Nash
I so your wealth enhances you’re there for like five years kicked a whole bunch of goals there, then we merge with rising tide. Can you talk us through like how you went about establishing yourself in a in an established business in rising tide and finding your feet there? Yeah, well,

Rebecca Pritchard
it was sort of two step process. So I actually joined rising tide. And with just a clean, like, clean break. So I had to start from scratch in terms of establishing my client base there. I was, I had a four and a half month old baby, I was coming back from maternity leave. And it was it was really daunting. Also, two weeks into starting that job, we ran into our first lockdown back in 2020. So that was there was just a whole lot, a whole lot going on. Back then it was really hard to go from being really successful in a previous practice to starting from square one and feel like you’re failing. Because you’re also trying to talk a different language from a different licensee and different systems and just learning in a slightly different way of doing advice. So it was, it was daunting and overwhelming a lot of the time, but I also felt incredibly supported by Matt and the team at rising tide have. We also brought you in here because we don’t want you to do things exactly the way we do things. And we’re all back you into sort of break a few things and find your feet as you go. I don’t think well, no one anticipated that we were all going to be doing that remotely. We sort of thought we were belly to belly a bit along that way. So I suspect that that did drag some of that transition out a bit. But, you know, for me, I certainly having the confidence in building that up in the previous organization. Like I knew I could do it here and And it was just a matter of just putting one foot in front of the other to know that like, in time, you will deliver what you want.

Ben Nash
And how did you balance that? Because it’s I imagined it would be hard enough making that transition. And like, you know, when you’re just in regular career mode, but with you coming off the back of Matt leave with the with four and a half month old Bob, how do you how did you tackle that? And how did you find balance?

Rebecca Pritchard
Yeah, it was, it was pretty brutal. Like of you know, I was working three days a week, I was taking, you know, two expressing breaks during the day, as well as lunch breaks to make sure I could keep breastfeeding. The it was, it was really hard to find a rhythm. I it took me a little while probably a good couple of months before I accepted that that was the river. And then it was just vastly different to what I expected it and what I had had in a previous life. And so there was there was definitely some adjustments of my expectations, it was managing expectations of the business as well. But then also having faith that again, once time rolls out, like it will wash out. And Matt like Matt and the team, like they hired me when I was like 100 weeks pregnant. So they everyone knew what we were getting into to some degree. And, and so we were all playing the long game. You it was probably a little bit clunkier than we had hoped at the start. And to be fair as well, five months into joining rising tide I was I had to tell Matt, I was pregnant again. So, but again, that was that was sort of a strategic career decision to you know, punch the kids up so that, then we can get that done and crack on. chaos.

Ben Nash
Chaos is the new normal, I think it’ll

Rebecca Pritchard
go down in a blaze of glory.

Ben Nash
That’s it. Yeah, my wife and I had else pretty close together. And it’s, it’s intense, but it does get you through that period. And in slightly shorter, shorter amount.

Rebecca Pritchard
I feel like I’m largely on the other side of it now. So I’ve been I came back to, to work October of last year after my daughter was born. And And sorry, sort of was that 1515 months ago, and like, is actually a really great rhythm now. And I’m really happy with that sequencing decision as much as you can control it, you can always do it that way. But I also was a lot kinder and myself. In terms of expectations this time around.

Ben Nash
Yeah, it’s a little bit easier when you have some sort of idea of what to expect exactly. What does an average client look like for you? And where do they come from?

Rebecca Pritchard
I’m really pleased that most of my clients are referrals. And so that’s, that’s incredibly rewarding. So my average client would be a mid 30s professional woman or a early 30s, early to mid 30s. couple who are either have young children or thinking about starting a family. You probably laugh and be like, That’s just you looking in the mirror record. But yeah, that’s exactly who I love to work with. And it is really great. And to be talking about that stuff every day when you’re going through it every day as well.

Ben Nash
Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of advisors tend to you work with people like you can relate. Yeah. Is the opportunities you’re going through. Yeah, absolutely. And I know that you do a lot of work with no equity in superannuation. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?

Rebecca Pritchard
Yeah, definitely. It’s something that I’m incredibly passionate about. Because, you know, we know that there is a gender pay gap, we know that there is a gender superannuation gap. And, you know, I think I’m incredibly privileged to be actually in a position to do something about that. And so I love having conversations with my clients to actually address you know, I guess moving away from the anchoring of you know, the traditional woman or mom takes 12 months off parental leave dad takes one to two weeks off. When no one talks about superannuation, mum works part time and then we compound the implications of that for the next 2030 years. So having more active conversations with clients to address that parental leave period, making sure it’s based off what people actually want. But then also looking at the superannuation side of things to make sure that women because it is overarching ly women are not financially penalized for Pretty incredible and substantial role of, you know, caring, birthing and caring for for children. It’s been fascinating, actually, in the last couple of years that haven’t had a single man or partner dad, say, oh, no, I don’t like that idea. Everyone actually jumps going, Oh, I didn’t know that was an option, like when you look at something like contribution splitting, but they’re like, Oh, that’s fantastic. That’s like, let’s do that. And they’re so excited that there is an avenue that they can use, that, that balances the scale. And they’re just, they’re pumped at it

Ben Nash
thoroughly. I know, some of the stats out there pretty scary around around some of those gaps and shortfalls, but particularly for women, I have to admit, and I said this to you offline as well, that we, we tend to not do a lot of contribution splitting. And I had the thought around that, that, you know, in the event of a relationship breakdown that typically assets are divided, you know, as per whatever the whatever the court’s decision is, or whatever the agreement is around that with superannuation included as, as one of those assets that’s as part of the pie. What are some of the things that people may not have thought about, though, around the the practical implications there.

Rebecca Pritchard
From a really practical or an execution perspective, we see that that simply doesn’t actually happen when it comes to superannuation, in reality, so the division of assets tends to be often anchored around the family home. And again, if you’ve got a woman who has a primary caring responsibility, that tends to be lumped in together, but I also like I think that’s logical when you when you start to explore it. But I also like to unpack the couple of really behavioral or emotional components of this as well around, you know, the value of that people have financial security when they log in, or they check in their superannuation account, and just simply seeing that there is money there. Because, again, let’s let’s hope that no one actually does get divorced. Even though we know that that is simply not the case. So particularly when you’ve got let alone people who are working part time, but you’ve got people who aren’t in the workforce or aren’t in the paid workforce at all, to say that they’re still funds going into their superannuation account provides an enormous amount of financial security, it also validates the role that they’re playing in their household, which is twofold. It gives them that sense of value, but it also illustrates to the working partner that they are performing a role that is incredibly valuable. I mean, you could easily expand this conversation into talking about the underinsurance of women or homemakers in Australia, and not adequately quantifying the value of that role.

Ben Nash
Absolutely. And I think we we know a lot about the the intangible benefits of financial advice for that peace of mind and confidence. But don’t I know, I’m certainly guilty of not always applying it in that, you know, with that particular lens. So, I think that that makes a ton of sense.

Rebecca Pritchard
Even if I may just build on that a little bit further. One of the the, I guess, conversations, the spirited conversations that we’ve had even a rising tide is, you know, potentially around a tax deductions of additional contributions, and how it makes sense often to be putting out in the higher income earners name because you get a bigger tax deduction, which absolutely makes sense. But then potentially, a strategy like contribution smoothing can give you the benefit of that tax deduction, but then the equity at the end of the day, or even going, sometimes tax deductions aren’t the be all and end all like, do we just place less of an emphasis on that and more of an emphasis on the feeling of security and the feeling of equity?

Ben Nash
Absolutely, yeah. And I think we apply that with savings strategies. And sometimes, like, I know, for us we talk about with clients, sometimes it’s obviously it’s optimal to have all of your money in an offset account. But sometimes having all your money in one big pile doesn’t give you the same benefits of motivation of seeing your savings growing or the clarity on, you know, where your spending is coming from and those sorts of things. So I think that absolutely translates and the motivation psychology piece, we know feeds into then better results and more overtime and better habits and those sorts of things. So yeah, I think it’s certainly something that I’m going to reconsider off the off the back of this chat. So no doubt. There’ll be a few today. Totally. Back what what have been you’ve been had it for a while, what have been some of the biggest shifts in in what you do, or, or how you do it as an advisor.

Rebecca Pritchard
I’ve loved sort of seeing hearing, watching the how commonplace like goals and values lead advice is now. I feel like when I, when I came into the industry, the way that we were operating felt a little bit woowoo. And that, sort of like a bit of the, the black sheep of the family. And so I love as you know, if you think about the benefit of the Australian community, I love how common that is now. I love that, like there’s genuine competition and a thriving marketplace for advice. I know that the number of advisors is dwindling, but I think good advice businesses are flourishing. Third, and that, I think it’s really, really encouraging. I think one of the challenges to sort of look a little bit further down the track is feeling like the talent pipeline, the draft coming through out of out of universities, and even something as simple as like, my pathway, you know, I had done my my Commerce degree, I decided I was going to change careers, I did a my IG 146 of a nighttime whilst working full time, and then I walked straight into a job like that, that that pathway doesn’t exist anymore. And, you know, there’s a whole lot of positive, that have come from the changes of education standards, but I do also I am conscious of making sure the hurdles are not too high to encourage people to take creative pathways into the industry, as well as the more conventional, you know, coming up from university or straight out of school.

Ben Nash
Yeah, totally, it definitely does play some restrictions, particularly for career changes, like I know, we’ve been, we’ve been growing and hiring through the last few years and spoken to a few people and they come from, you know, sort of aligned broadly aligned, you know, maybe somewhere in finance or someone senior in another career path and looking at coming to the industry, they’re bringing a lot of skills that would allow them to become an advisor, you know, really reasonably quickly from a, you know, understanding the technicals understanding the client management side and then doing that delivery. But when you look at well, what do they need to do to then you know, meet the meet the current standards, which are overall, I think, a great but it does become difficult. And then also, from a from a ramp perspective, like people have got anyone that’s more established, you got commitments and things that you need to deal with. So it does, it does add another dimension to figuring out how you can make it work. And I think we’re fortunate that we’re probably as a business, we’re a little bit more built for that, then then some others that I’m aware of. And I know that there’s a lot of out there that are but there’s also a lot of businesses that really aren’t like they’re not, they don’t have the internal sort of capabilities or the growth that’s allowing them to bring in people get them the exposure without sort of pigeonholing them into into a admin role or a CSO role for an extended period of time. So it does, it’s definitely something that needs to be addressed. So I’m quite sort of heartened by seeing some of the changes the things that are coming out there. I know that tell we’ve got a thing around this. I know xy, we’ve been talking a lot about this, and the you know, the pathways and how do we get more people in there because there’s, there’s a definite gap, as you say, Good advice. Businesses are flourishing, people are wanting more advice. We’re also seeing more advisors for younger people. And there’s more people, you know, like growing cohort of people that are getting advice or looking for advice, quality of advice is increasing. So that that sort of feeds the beast even more, you got more demand. So it’s definitely something that we need to need to address to make sure that we can deliver, good to see some positive things. But I think there’s probably still a little bit more work to be done. Absolutely.

Rebecca Pritchard
But I think the technology side of things is always encouraging as well. If it I don’t think it ever moves as fast as you think it’s going to. But But I certainly I can reflect on what things look like eight years ago or 10 years ago compared to today and in the right direction.

Ben Nash
Absolutely. BiC you You’ve mentioned a few things already but what have been some of the biggest challenges for you on your advice journey.

Rebecca Pritchard
Most recently, like switching licenses or going from self license the license was was a challenge that I did not give appropriate emphasis to beforehand If I felt like I had to learn a different language, I’m really pleased that I am fluent in that new language now or close to that, that was probably more of a time and an energy investment than I was expecting. I know, I think I’m a reasonably confident person, which has served me very well through a few transitions. And that that sort of is, I guess, I mean, internally encouraged through through through the adversity. But But I also recognize that the people that I work with on my client base have been so much sheltered from like some of the large financial market events, probably the closest that I’ve come in is in the last six months of, of seeing clients under stress with rising interest rates. Because historically, like, market movements hasn’t really bothered my clients because they’re investing for years and years down the track. Whereas yet it’s shifting in straightens in the sense of uncertainty is a completely different equation. Because again, like I guess, the cohort of people I work with got through the pandemic reasonably unscathed as well, if not, were able to even accelerate. So this is yeah, I’m, I’m enjoying the challenge. And I guess it helps as well to be personally experiencing it, you know, I’ve got a mortgage as well to go okay, what is what is this look like? I just got off a call with a client this morning, who told me that it was simply impossible to get a grocery shop below $240 a week, sorry, below 300. Awake for a family of four. And, like, it’s it’s funny how often financial planning comes down to conversations about groceries and meal planning? Yeah, I mean, yeah, having conversations about that. It’s like, alright, like, let’s roll up the sleeves, like, let’s, let’s talk about this. What are we what are we eating this week?

Ben Nash
Yeah, it’s funny when you end up in conversations like that. And it’s like, it seems like it’s a world away from, you know, markets and technical financial advice. But these are the things that do. The dial. Yeah, exactly. And I think we you like me, like I’ve been, I’ve been registered for a bit over 10 years, through last 10 years, it’s like, we’ve just seen interest rates going down, and like massive run up in equities markets and not seen inflation and not seen, you know, these, these sorts of pressures. And I think, you, you know, you’re working with younger clients like we are as well that a lot of them haven’t seen it, either. They’re just starting to sort of hit their straps from a wealth building perspective, taking on more financial commitments, and nowadays, sort of changing the game. So like you it’s a, it’s a, it’s a new challenge, I think, for a lot of younger advisors to be dealing with.

Rebecca Pritchard
Yeah, and specifically, specifically dealing with a lot of young families as well, like, it’s at a time where you’re financially the most vulnerable, because you’ve got probably the highest expenses if you’ve got kids in childcare, and possibly someone not working or working less than full time. And you know, I’m really grateful for the coaching and education I’ve had in, in both rising tide, and we to help people work through their values and articulate what’s important because we’re making trade offs today that we just didn’t think we were going to have to make. And it’s been really interesting, actually, for the first couple of months where we were seeing interest rates rise, and clients were far more inclined to reduce their savings or investments than they were to actually change their behavior. Where, you know, you fast forward another few months. And either they’ve got no more room to move with the savings or investments or they’re realizing the flow and implications of doing that for too long. And again, like this, this generation, like we’ve lived a pretty good life. We, you know, we think about during pandemic times, it’s like, the less we you got your really fancy takeaway, because you can, okay, and so actually going, well, you know, maybe, maybe we can only get two payments of strawberries this week instead of three or what, where, where are we prepared to make trade offs? And it’s like, it’s just a different it’s a different type of fitness that or different muscle that we haven’t got a fitness or a strength in yet. But the more we flex it, the more we train it, I know that we will.

Ben Nash
That’s right. Yeah. And things will get easier again, it’s so it’s like when you work with a client and they’re They might even run into something unexpected financially, or run up a bunch of debt that they need to deal with sometimes flexing that muscle and getting used to, you know, spending less, or we’re making them more money work means that when you do get into a stronger position, it makes everything else a lot easier, you can take a little bit, but still, you know, be doing what to build and, and actually grow. So,

Rebecca Pritchard
I think, at a social level, I think this is actually really healthy for the community. You know, I completely appreciate there is a lot of people who are under genuine financial stress at the moment. So I’m not talking about those people. But for those who are, you know, have had high discretionary income to learn how to develop this sort of strength or this sort of fitness is, will be a great, you know, thing to to carry into the future.

Ben Nash
Absolutely. Back. Well, I could I can chat about this all day, but I won’t. My last question for you is, is that if you could, if you could wind back the clock to you know, your bright eyed, bushy tailed self coming into advice and do one thing differently? What would it be for

Rebecca Pritchard
you? No, I feel pretty pleased with how I’ve gotten to this point. I probably would encourage myself to just keep keep doing what I’m doing. I think about perhaps things like social media or publishing content or articles. And I remember listening to Gary Vee like a number of years ago of just telling people to get out of their own way, like everyone’s super self conscious at the start. And I reckon I probably wasted or spun my wheels for a couple of years, just been too nervous or self conscious to take action there. And I think about the value that being being social and being sort of loud in in financial health and wellness has served me as well as serving the community and people who consume the content that I create. You know, I, it’d be nice to know that I hadn’t passed away a couple of years. fretting. But yeah, so that would probably be the one thing to stay, like, encourage courage myself to, like, Get out of my own way and just do things as well.

Ben Nash
Yeah, I love that I, I think it’s, I think it is sort of part of the journey. Like obviously, I do a lot of content as well. And I know that the early days, I still remember Phil Thompson, who was big on video, you know, one of the first younger advisors that I saw that was really crushing it in that space and doing he was kind enough to lend a hand and went down to his office down in Melbourne. And like I had all these things scripted out, and it was like literally recording stuff, sentence by sentence, and then spending hours chopping things together. And it still looked atrocious. That, you know, soon enough, you’ve come to realize that that you want to be who you are. And it probably doesn’t matter if you stuffed the old thing up or you you know, you mince your words a little bit that sometimes that’s probably a better thing because people can see that your people and then that makes them actually connect more than you know some awesome robot that’s like spouting off or whatever it is, but I think it’s it’s definitely good advice. It is leaning into that journey sooner and get there and obviously it has an impact as well.

Rebecca Pritchard
In your initial video were you wearing like a muscle tank top or were you over the more confident in my own skin?

Ben Nash
Totally. Yeah, I ended impress probably the good shirt with buttons on it as well. I don’t think I own too many of those these days. And yeah, I have been known to do to do a little tick tock from the beach in my in my bucket hat. So yeah, I think it’s funny how much emphasis you place on things and then you come to realize that then probably not as important as

Rebecca Pritchard
Well, they might actually be detracting from what you’re trying to say.

Ben Nash
Absolutely. Beck, thank you so much for sharing your insights. It’s great to see ya. Great to see you keeping those goals and look forward to watching on from the sidelines.

Rebecca Pritchard
Thanks for the support and loved having the chat today.

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