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#6 Gugu Sidaki – Transcript

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

clients, people, business, financial planner, industry, financial planning, women, feel, individuals, dealing, retirement annuity, conversation, financial, life, money, south africa, bigger, client base, financial literacy, manage

SPEAKERS

Louis van der Merwe, Gugu Sidaki

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Welcome to the financial planners South Africa podcast, a show dedicated to driving the positive evolution of financial advice, specifically in South Africa to join a global community of financial advisors, sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. Head to x y advisor.com. volumetrics is thrilled to bring you this podcast in support of our common passion, people and the evolution of wealth management. A Global Business links precision investment management to expert financial advice through partnerships and technology portfolio matrix is an authorized financial services provider visual, interactive, meaningful, productive for values underpinning acid map, a financial planning platform loved by advisors and their clients. This episode is proudly brought to you by Alan gray. They say it’s important to live for today. Although that might be true. We can’t forget to plan for tomorrow. There’s a lot of left of all, Alan gray is an authorized financial services provider. Visit w w w dot Ellen gray.co today to learn how we build long term wealth for clients. Welcome to yet another episode of the financial planners South Africa podcast. Today I’m fortunate to have gusa darky with me. Google is a financial planner and a certified financial planner based in Johannesburg, and runs a company called the wealth greed guru. It’s awesome to have you here. I’m looking forward to having a conversation about your history, how you ended up in financial planning. But please give us a brief intro of who he is and how you got into this industry.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

So hi, Louie, really awesome to be joining you on this platform. Thank you so much for the invite. I shot where do I begin? I’m from Pretoria originally or to the capital city here in South Africa. I was meant to be a policymaker I decided to study economics for my son. But somewhere along the line the plans changed. I was introduced to the world of stock broking by very exciting movie. You may or may not have heard of it or watched it but it’s called boiler room. And that’s that’s when my my excitement for the world of investment management sort of started. But I did a few random things. I joined a joint to financial institutions to banks. Initially, when I started working and just learn the ropes around the South African banking system, also found my way to London. At some point I worked for Citigroup in London, in the fixed income division there traveled really enjoyed myself and I think I sort of found myself during that time made my way back to South Africa. And I landed my stock broking my dream job as a stockbroker. And I absolutely loved it. It was everything that I thought it would be. But somewhere along the line, the excitement sort of tapered off. And during that time, I was introduced to the world of wealth management by my main boss, she saw something in me, I think that that that I didn’t see at the time and I didn’t know much about the industry as the wealth management side of things. But I gave it a chance. I joined her business a couple of years later and and became a junior wealth manager for the business. And I have not looked back since I decided to study my CFP during that time. And it’s been an absolute joy. Obviously, in the beginning, teething problems, trying to find my feet being quite young and advising all the clients of the business was a little bit difficult. But yeah, that’s that’s how I was introduced to the world of financial planning and financial advisory.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Thank you for that Google. Can we maybe touch on that? starting out as a young financial planner, now having to deal with someone that comes to you with a retirement savings? What are the challenges maybe specifically as a woman but also as a as a young lady, you know, having to deal with these clients? Like what are the things that you experienced? And how did you overcome them?

 

Gugu Sidaki 

It’s obviously very difficult because I was I was in my mid 20s at the time advising a you know, 5060 year old individual about retirement, you’re obviously not believable. You don’t know you? I don’t think you have enough. I suppose what you call life experiences to be talking to a client of that age, about their retirement and about what retirement is because it’s something that’s foreign from from your personal experience. So it was very challenging. I I felt like Plus that for the longest of time, because I was talking to them about theory, you know, stuff that I was studying stuff that I was reading about in my textbooks, and you know, doing calculations for them was all theoretical. But there was no real bond or connection with those clients. Because Firstly, I was brand new in the industry I knew very little about, I didn’t have the experience. And secondly, I was so young. So it was hard in the beginning. And at the time, when when the business that I was working for at the time to stop working business with a wealth management league to it, the bulk of the clients in that business were male, so that there was also that added layer of complexity as one that I was young, female and inexperienced, trying to advise older individual older males, about their their retirement savings. And it was very, very challenging. I think it’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do right at the beginning.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Yeah, that imposter syndrome is something that creeps up. So often, I think with all of us, you know, saying, oh, should I be here? Am I the right person to give to give advice? Yeah.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

And do you think it’s more women than it does? men?

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Yeah, it’s it’s true. If you look at the research, I think it says that it, it affects both. But definitely, I think women might just be more aware of it than traditionally male dominated industry. But slowly, but surely that’s starting to change, I want to talk about that leap that you took to start your own firm, because not just giving advice, but actually saying, Hey, I’m going to do this on my own, with with a business partner, tell us tell us how that decision happened.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

The bulk of the work that I had to do in the beginning was was predominantly wealth management as opposed to financial planning. So I was meeting clients sort of, you know, at their peak, you know, once they’ve made their money, and they’ve accumulated everything that they have, and then there were a lot older. And so I wanted to get into the financial planning aspect of things, that that’s the first thing. And secondly, as I mentioned earlier, the bulk of the clients that I was I was dealing with were older males. And I wondered for the longest time what younger women were doing with their money, you know, because those were not the people that I was I was meeting at the time. And coincidentally, I met my business partner along the way along while I was having those conversations with myself. And she and I were speaking about exactly that she was having similar challenges or similar thoughts around, you know, starting to work with individuals that looks slightly different to the ones that we were dealing with at the time. And I’d also had my second child or what I just had my first and I was about to have my second child. And life for me was looking very different. I knew that I didn’t want to be in that private banking environment, where we were chasing sales, you know, targets. And it’s a very different discussion, a very different interaction that we were having with clients, I wanted a deeper sort of connection with clients, I wanted a different connection with clients. And I wanted to choose, I wanted to pick and choose the the people that I wanted to work with for a number of reasons. And I knew that the space that I was occupying at the time was was not going to be that space for me if that was the thinking. And so, To cut a long story short, I decided to quit, we were going to form this business. We applied for a license and recorded, I think just under a year after that. And that’s that’s when we that’s when the scary work started. But that’s when the exciting work started as all because we’re then able to really sit down and to you know, write down all the important things that we wanted all the things that we want to achieve and the business and the way that we wanted to achievement and what the people that we wanted to achieve it for. And with incentive. That’s That’s how Wolf Creek came to be

 

Louis van der Merwe 

our Guru for people listening, thinking about, Hey, what do I need to get in place? Before I start that business? You just mentioned that it took a really long time for that license to get there. But obviously getting applying for your license, you have to have certain things right, you have to have a key individual, you have to have your experience in place. What are the things that you had to have in place before you and your business partner said, Okay, we’re going to take this leap? Are there things that you can share with us?

 

Gugu Sidaki 

Yeah, Shawn, you mentioned that you need to be a while you need to be appointed as a key individual and the business if you’ve got a bit of a technical experience for that, and unfortunately, neither of us had that experience. So in the beginning, we actually contracted an external because you can do that we contracted an external key individuals or somebody who had the relevant experience to run a practice. And we sort of shadowed that person or a year and if it’s the last event, we We shattered that person for a year. And so they were in our documentation. So we applied for the license with that person’s details as our key individual. You need obviously, the basics, you need a registered business. With the local registration, company registration insurance on Africa, you need, you know, bank accounts, you need the relevant experience. So there’s a certain level of experience that you need to have, as a financial adviser or we were appointed representatives, when we applied, you need certain qualifications. And Dr, then you just need to go through the entire process of applying for the license. And I’m telling you, it’s quite onerous. It’s a very thick, wide array of documents that you that you need to complete. They need your business plan, they need your your projected financials, they need to understand that what you are applying for what you are trying to build is going to be something sustainable for the long term. And so yeah, that’s that’s what we submitted. And as I said, it took it took us just just under a year, about six, seven months or so, before that that license was granted to us. Sounds like

 

Louis van der Merwe 

there’s so much work actually behind the scene. And people often just say, Oh, you started a business. I was speaking to someone earlier this week. He’s based in America, and his job fell away. He just finished university and it was going to apply for a job, which he couldn’t get into, he decided, oh, he’ll just start his own financial planning business. And, you know, two months later, he was up and running. So I think part of it allows us to build better quality businesses in South Africa, we often complain about the compliance. Yeah. You know, but there is a good side to it as well.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

Yeah, I agree with that. 100%. And I think that that is the whole point was with this onerous process that we engaged and they really are trying to make sure that Firstly, you know what you’re doing. And thinking that it’s going to be as I said, it’s going to be sustainable long term. And they’re trying to sift out all the people who are potentially taking chances. And and the people who think that they’re going to make a quick buck and in this industry, so I, as painful as it was, I get the logic and I supported fully.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

So now you’ve got a little bit more experience, you started this business, was it easier to then onboard clients or deal with clients.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

So, you know, in the beginning phase of a business, it’s always difficult, because for two reasons, firstly, because you’re dealing with people’s money, it’s very difficult to try and convince people to give you their hard earned cash, you know, under any circumstances, and even more so. When, when you’re a brand new outfit, nobody knew who wild creed was we literally created our drew pictures of our the brand that we want to have that the way the name was the logo, the way it was going to look, nobody knew of that business at all, you know, so we went out into the market, and we tried to coax people into, into giving us their money, it’s difficult and understandably. So if I didn’t know who I was, I’d have a very hard time handing over my money. So I I fully understand why people struggled with this in the beginning. And and also, just to remind you that I didn’t take any clients from my previous from my previous employer, because, as I said, I wanted to deal with a completely different look completely different client base compared to the one that I was dealing with. So I literally started from scratch with people and didn’t know, you know, I was introduced to people, by by friends and family. And that’s, and that’s how it’s gotten to this point. So it hasn’t been easy, particularly in the beginning. But I think we’re slowly starting to see some traction, and we slowly you know, with a lot of work, business development work that we’re doing, we’re slowly starting to get some brand brand awareness from from the public.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Yeah, I think that that transition into your own business. A lot of people rely on building up a client base, but what you’re saying is that you wanted to have a different type of client base, the women that you’d love to serve, what is the response been this client market that was previously lit? Let’s call it underserved, one tapped response been from your clients?

 

Gugu Sidaki 

It’s been fabulous. You know, I I think there’s there’s a there’s quite a there’s a quote, I think by Rumi, it’s, I think it goes what you’re seeking is also seeking you something along those lines. And I found that to be true. In the work that we’re doing at the moment the women that we are, are looking to bring onto onto our box and into our business are looking for us as well. And every time it’s confirmed every time you know we sit down and have conversations with them. Oh my gosh, you know, the, the comments are always with you been this whole time because you know, they I get goosebumps every time I think about it action every time I have those interactions because women, the women that we meet or happen Looking for this kind of business have been looking for us as well. So it’s been great.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

It’s great to hear that match between the two and like, what are the services that you offer them? Would this be full on financial planning? And if so, was that part of the market not previously served?

 

Gugu Sidaki 

So yeah, we do, we do everything we do investments pre and post retirement investments, we do risk management. So things like your life covers disability benefits, funeral policies, and a and we do some estate planning. And a very big part of our offering is financial literacy and education. There hasn’t the feedback that we keep getting is that there hasn’t been a lot of emphasis in the financial education bit. So there’s, I don’t know what it is, but there seems to be quite a lot of I don’t know if it’s shame, or embarrassment from from some of the people that we meet. So so these are professionals by the Witcher two, just to give you a picture. These are highly educated, highly experienced, individuals who earn really great salaries, and are doing really well in their respective careers. But when it comes to, to, to financial, manage personal financial management, there’s there’s like a bit of a gap. And, and they always feel a lot of them feel embarrassed or ashamed that they don’t know much about personal finance. And I think that that sometimes is a hang up that that’s what stops them from engaging with financial advisors, because the comment is always I’m so sorry, I haven’t done much with my personal finances, or I’m really, really sorry, I don’t know much about my personal finances, and it’s always, you know, hang on, we’re not here to judge you, we’re here to give you the information that you need. We’re here to educate and we had to partner with you. And and i think i think that’s that’s the letdown from from the industry, and that there isn’t a massive focus on financial literacy and financial education. And and women. I don’t know, I think I think we tend to be very hard on ourselves. And we feel like we need to know everything. And they’re the ones who struggle the women seem to struggle the most, with that aspect of personal finance. Funny enough, whenever I meet male clients, they, they on the opposite end of that of that spectrum, they seem to think that they know more than than the average financial advisor when it comes to matters of personal finance. So I think i think i think financial education is the big driver, you have

 

Louis van der Merwe 

is that expectation that, you know, just like you would go to a doctor, that your medic, that your health is in perfect form, wondering why people feel that when they go to financial planner, everything has to be perfect. If everything was perfect, he would need to go to a financial planner. And slowly but surely starting to break those preconceived notions of everything has to be perfect. And you know, I can’t start yet. What are you What have you done in your communication to start kind of lowering those barriers,

 

Gugu Sidaki 

so it’s in our marketing as well. So whenever we send an email, or whenever we put our communication wherever, wherever and on our website, as well, we put out a very big focus on on the financial educational financial literacy aspect of what we do. So in other words, we, so we go out there and we say to clients, you don’t need to know everything you know everything about about the industry that you work in. And that’s perfectly fine. That’s what should be going on in your life. And that’s why we are here, we are here to educate, we’re here to partner, we’re here to assist you, with this particular aspect of your life that we that we understand, you know, very little about. And we find that that that often breaks down the the the barrier, or the embarrassment or the shame that comes with with the lack of knowledge when it comes to personal finances. So we lead with it, we say I’m here to help. I’m here to educate. So let’s have a conversation works really well. Just normalizing.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

I guess, that fact that this is the way we do business, and this is why we started the business and I can see that golden thread running through everything that that you’re doing and what you’re talking about. Yeah,

 

Gugu Sidaki 

absolutely. And it’s so gratifying when, whenever we engage clients, you know, whenever so a lot of the time it’s not a formal, you know, lesson or session, financial literacy session or the clients it’s as and when we’re interacting with the clients. I mean, what I always say to clients when I meet them for the first time and once I’ve, once they become clients once we’ve managed to convert them into clients, then I’m available on WhatsApp. I’m available on email and on call. So if ever there’s anything that you encounter, whether it’s on social media, whether somebody tells you this whatever, wherever you encounter this information if ever you’re unsure, or whatever, you feel pressured To get into a financial product or service, just give me a call first or send me a WhatsApp, you know, I’m always available always willing to share information. So let’s just touch base on that, on that on that, on that basis, before you make any any crazy decisions, and that works really well. So I do get a lot of WhatsApp, I do get a lot of emails and phone calls when people are just just want to pick my brain very quickly about something that they read or something that they heard about. And I think it really is, I think it’s a nice way to bond with our clients. so

 

Louis van der Merwe 

valuable, someone that says, hey, I’ve got your back, you know, you don’t have to make these decisions on your own. I was talking to Michelle hoskin yesterday about financial abuse, and how they’ve been seeing that on the rise, you know, people controlling someone else, through the use of their money, not having access to that, is that something that you see in your client base that people are struggling with, you know, especially in the financial literacy, how often do these things pop up.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

So the bulk of our client base is black and female. And what we find with them is that a lot of them are looking after extended family members, in one way or another, whether it’s siblings, or whether it’s parents or sometimes even cousins. And in South Africa, it’s it’s got, it’s got a term that that I think, has some negative connotations to it, but it’s called black text. So and then there’s a bit of a history with that. But essentially, what what we find our clients struggle with the most is trying to sort of manage their personal finances and and sort of meet their financial aspirations while looking after extended family members. And oftentimes, we find that they struggle to strike the balance between the two, because as you can imagine, looking after another adult, or two or three can can really set you back financially. And often, when we meet the clients, there’s there’s always the struggle of, you know, I need to accumulate funds, whether it’s in my retirement annuity or elsewhere. But also, I need to put my two siblings through school, I need to help my mother both at home or family home, or whatever the case is. And that’s what we see quite a lot with, we see a lot of our clients struggling to strike the balance between their personal finances and looking after family members. And I think, to a certain extent, you can, you can look at that, depending on the family dynamics can be quite difficult. I mean, there’s one particular client that I’m thinking of at the moment, she’s literally putting two of her younger siblings through school, she’s helping to helping her mother build a home. I mean, that’s a lot. That’s a lot for somebody to carry. And it seems to me that, that her, her family members are viewing her as an unlimited, you know, resource, and that I think that’s a form of abuse, because there’s a lot of guilt that comes with that as well. You know, you’ve been educated by your very, your poor parents, they’ve sacrificed a lot to put you through school, and whatever the case is, and now it’s your turn to give back. And, and there’s always the struggle between, you know, as I say, personal financial aspirations, and then having to give back and having to look after them as I think if you if you if you, if you were to scrutinize that with with a lot more more detail, it could be considered as a form of abuse to a certain extent, because some family members can be, we do find that they can be very unreasonable. So I think the dynamics are slightly different in South Africa. But I definitely think that there are various forms of financial abuse that that we do detect.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Sure, I mean, that obligation and expectation sounds like it could be really heavy on someone. What are the skills that a financial planner needs to have to have these type of conversations? Because it sounds like you’re not only helping your clients, with the kind of technical budgeting and cash flow and obviously, also financial planning, but you’re teaching them the skills to have Converse better conversations around money?

 

Gugu Sidaki 

Absolutely, sure. I, there’s one thing I’m I’ve had to learn, I’m still learning, I haven’t perfected the art, but the art of listening and really listening, what I learned from that the lady who introduced me to the world of wealth management many, many years ago, you know, when we’re dealing with client queries and client complaints, she used to say quite often, you know, often when when clients are complaining, what they’re complaining about isn’t the actual issue this there’s something deeper or underlying that’s, that’s, that’s resulting in this complaint. And that’s what you really need to look out for or listen out for. And, and over the years, it’s something that I’ve learned to pick up to listen beyond the words that are spoken. It’s hard because sometimes I miss it, you know, sometimes, I don’t know it’s a personality thing, but often, I’m in solution mode when talking to clients because that’s my job. There. The expectation the clients have asked me to solve their problems. So when I’m sitting in front of a client, and I’m having a conversation with a client, I’m really thinking, How can I fix your problem. And then sometimes it happens that you miss, you know what the person is actually saying, because a lot of the times not in what they say it’s, it’s just behind what they say, you know, so the skill that that really is necessary in the work that we do, is to really listen, and to listen beyond what the person is actually saying. That’s, that’s the first thing. The second I think, is to learn to be empathetic, to learn to put yourself in somebody else’s situation, and to really feel what they feeling, you know, beyond the solution beyond trying to solve the problems, just understand what they’re going through and to feel to sit then feel that with them. And I think once once you’ve managed to do those two, once you’ve managed to, to listen. And once you’ve managed to feel, you know, to sit in your clients and new clients walk in your clients shoes, I think that’s when you really create a bond with a client. And then from there, they’ll they’ll give you the world, you know, they’ll open up and you literally will be able to manage everything of his. But yeah, those those things don’t come naturally to most people. But it’s it’s I think it’s definitely things that you can learn.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Absolutely. And you know, what you’re saying is that, that deeper listening, or not just to listen to what’s being said, but what’s not being said? I think they often refer to it as a second level, listening and picking up on these things and what’s going on in their lives. I can, no I can, I can imagine why someone would be a lifelong client, if you have someone in your back and that you’ve got access to, they listen to you, and they help you deal with your emotions around money by showing empathy. And just wondering if there’s enough training out there for financial planners, I think there is a bit of a rise now with more coaching orientated skills that financial planners are being taught, but it’s still not being done on ground level. You know, it’s not a requirement when you write your CFP board exam.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

Yeah, we probably should have said that. We should definitely because that’s that’s ultimately how you get to unlock everything about a client. But also it’s such a difficult, I imagine it’ll be a very difficult skill to teach. Because I mean, if you think about it, we’re here to solve people’s problems, right? We’re here to help. We’re here to find solutions. So that’s, that’s, that’s top of mind always, you know, when engaging with clients when meeting with clients, but so the coaching aspect of it and dealing with the psyche, and, and the emotions, that I think that will always be secondary. But yes, I agree with you, I think I think there needs to be a bigger focus and a bigger emphasis, particularly that CFP level, when it comes to the softer skills regarding this industry, I think I think well, and I think also there needs to be a bigger education. Firstly, for advisors, and secondly, for clients as well, to let them know that actually, this is what we do, you know, we as we are here to help put financial plans together for you and all of those things, but to educate clients to let them know that actually what I’m here to do is to manage your behavior. I’m here to help you navigate, you know, the complexities of your emotions, when while you’re invested, while managing your your your family dynamics when it comes to money, all of those things, and I think that’s, I think, would need a whole different curriculum. You know, not just CFP, but something something additional to that,

 

Louis van der Merwe 

I think if we if we wanted to do it properly. Absolutely, absolutely. Fortunately, it sounds like Long gone are the days where to kind of product focus, it’s now misguide you through your life. And I think there are school, you know, some firms that have a product distribution strategy and say we have to implement product, but people are definitely hungry for something deeper, having meaningful conversations

 

Gugu Sidaki 

locally. And I found, I don’t know. So now that we’ve, you know, we’ve started embarking on this journey, and we were starting to incorporate life planning, a bit of life planning into into our engagements with clients, I always find clients are surprised, you know, when we start talking to them on a slightly deeper level, about the aspirations about their family, their lives. So there’s, I think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on on that front, as I said, to educate both advisor and client, about the kind of work that we should be doing with, with our clients and helping them manage their money.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

I’d love to unpack that a little bit the life planning that you mentioned, what would the conversation typically look like? with the client? How would you phrase what, what they’re jumping into and what the purpose is of that conversation.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

And when, whenever for clients find find my details on various platforms. You know, Google searches and things like that are often We get emails from clients. And the first question always is, hi, I find I found your details wherever I need a retirement annuity, or I need a tax free savings account, or can you help me with this unit trust, I need to invest always, you know, it’s always with the product request. And and whenever we, whenever I schedule our first, you know, our first meet and greet, and and introduce the concept of, you know, setting goals of talking about life transitions. I think it also depends on the client, but a lot of time, it’s it’s always, you know, always see the, the look of shock on their faces, like, oh, okay, we do that as well. She’s I only wanted a retirement annuity. And, and, and I’ll be honest with you, there are a couple of clients who have walked away from this process, because that’s not that was not the expectation, that’s not what they came to me for, you know, they, they wanted a specific product. And now I want to delve into their money history. And now I want to talk about their family dynamics. And a lot of people don’t want to do that work, you know, so those conversations I find, particularly in the beginning, when you’re introducing it to them, it’s always with surprise, and it’s always, and it doesn’t always sit well with people because it’s the difficult work that people don’t necessarily want to do. But essentially, when when I introduce the topic of life planning, I mean, I’m no expert in life planning something that I’m also trying to sort of figure out and learn, while advising clients, but whenever I talk to clients about it, I always say to them, you know, very easy for me to sell you a product. In fact, you don’t even need me for that product, you can self manage, you can go on these various platforms, and you can get a retirement annuity, you can get a tax free savings account, it’s really not that difficult. But why do you want that product? Have you actually thought about that? You know, and do you know how much needs to be committed towards that product? And ultimately, what’s the bigger vision? What’s the plan? What What are you trying to solve? You know, so let’s take a few steps back, let’s let’s first understand what the bigger vision is what, and then we’ll get to the product, the product is really the last. It’s just implementation that then that, as I said, you can do on your own. And it’s always Oh, okay. Let’s have a conversation. As I said, there are a few clients. And I often think about those clients, you know, long after the interaction, but there are a few clients who’ve walked away from from, from, you know, the conversation that they they really don’t want to engage in that way. But as I said, it’s something that I’m also trying to introduce to clients, and it’s sometimes it works really well. And sometimes it just, it’s just confusing for certain clients, because that’s not the expectation. That’s not what they think we do. I think your approach and your demeanor is spot on for this type of work, you just have that sense of being able to calm someone and talk them through the thinking, which is brilliant. I know what to do on that. The clients that have left, you know, obviously, we feel bad when a client leaves, but you’ve made it sounds like you’ve made peace with that saying,

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Hey, this is not a person that’s right for our business.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

It’s difficult, because obviously, we’re running a business. And the more clients we get on our books, the better. But I’m also quite adamant, and I’ve mentioned this to my business partner, as well as like, I don’t want to work with just anybody. You know, there’s a particular there’s a particular person in mind that I want to engage. And I think it’s sustainable long term. Those are the kinds of people that we’ll be able to maintain relationships with. And not just that, but enjoy, you know, enjoy the process of working with those individuals. And it works both ways. I think people who buy into, into our processes who buy into our business who buy into us have to have to enjoy have to have a great experience and vice versa. We need to enjoy our interactions with them as well. It’s not just about the money, yes, the money would be great. You know, if if I mean I have if I had a magic wand would solve all our financial constraints overnight will be quite easy. But that i think that’s that’s a short. That’s the short view. I think the long term view is working with people who want to work with you working with clients who buy into the kind of work that you that you do the kind of practice that you are building and have a long term vision, similar long term vision, as you do and that’s tied. Like I think I feel it in my gut that I think it’s the right approach

 

Louis van der Merwe 

definitely has to be mutually beneficial. I can’t just be all the benefit for the financial planner or all the benefit for the client. It has to be what is the vision for wealth creed, like where do you see this business 10 years from now,

 

Gugu Sidaki 

we we definitely want to create a far bigger platform than then what we’re currently running at the moment, both from a client perspective, but also from an advisor perspective. As you know, there aren’t a lot of women in this industry. And there aren’t a lot of black women doing what we do. So our bigger vision, and our bigger mission really is to, is to create a platform where will will train will mentor will teach sort of younger financial advisors, financial planners, in sort of the right ways of managing clients, or constructing portfolios of having deeper conversations with clients. And really creating a and sort of changing the the narrative when it comes to the world of financial advisory, because at the moment, we actually have a very bad rap the industry in general, because because of all the bad apples that people keep encountering out there, I mean, I’m on social media quite a bit. And the way that our industry is spoken about is actually scary. It’s sad. And it’s, it’s largely due to the people who have very little to do with our industry, you know, the fly by night, the ones who aren’t properly registered, we’re not doing the right things for for, for clients. And I think our vision for for wealth, creed is to help change that narrative. And to help to show people who look like us that financial planning from a client perspective is for them. And certainly as a career, it’s a viable, you know, career a long term sustainable career for for women, for black women who look like us, and not just just just black women, but I think I think women in general, we have a particular passion for for, for the education, the emancipation of women financially, both as clients, I think and as advisors, and it’s something that we that we see, you know, we see our business doing in the long term. So we definitely want a much bigger practice that incorporates a very long list of, of very high caliber, highly skilled, highly educated, female financial advisors.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

That’s a lovely vision, Google, and I can see how that will play out. And it’s starting to play out already. For the for the younger googoo that had that, that fear and anxiety around the future career, what would you say to her looking back now?

 

Gugu Sidaki 

Sure, I’m not the most patient of people, things need to happen yesterday for me. And so when I started out in the industry, I just, I just didn’t understand why I had to do admin, you know, for for having, I thought of myself as quite educated, quite accomplished. And I was stuck, you know, updating reports and throwing statements and things like that. But I now see how necessary. All of that was that that entire process that was method to the madness there. If I had the opportunity to talk to myself, then I would tell myself to just relax, you’re never going to have the right kind of experience overnight. This is this, this industry requires patience, and it requires you to have a very long term view. I mean, it’s going on 14 years for me now. And never in a million years that I think that I would land in this position. And never did, I think that it would take this long for me to start feeling comfortable about sitting in front of clients about advising clients. And you know, having the right kind of conversations with clients, all of the last 13 ideas have been necessary to get me to this point. And me 13 years ago, I never ever would have envisaged this path, so I would definitely tell myself to relax. And just to enjoy the ride,

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Seth Godin talks about it takes 10 years to become an overnight success. So for people looking in from the outside, just sees the success they don’t see the odd grind, going through the administration. You know,

 

Gugu Sidaki 

absolutely disappointed client and you see it compensation you see it a lot. You see it a lot with these young individuals. I mean, not just for my industry, but but from across the board. You know, these young individuals who are superstars, they, they, they they’ve gotten really high marks in school, and they’ve gotten their first jobs and they they really think they should be CEOs and, you know, running businesses and and I think the attitudes correct, but I think I think experience that nothing buyers experience, you can have a bad experience. And it’s just one of those things that you just have to go through. You know, it’s it’s the long and slow road but it’s necessary.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

I’m wondering how the mentors in your life has helped you to shape that vision.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

Yeah. I so I have been, I’ve been really inspired by the women who and quite interestingly, they both they both women, so the lady who introduced me to wealth management and investor now, she had a particular way of dealing with clients, she she very feminine. And you know, in a very male dominated environment, and as I said, we started out in the stock broking business and the bulk of the clients were male, but she, she was never had, you know, never never abrasive, you know, not, not what you would expect in a very male dominated environment. And, and it’s something that I’ve always, always taken put particular note of watching her have conversations with clients watching her being soft and gentle. And for that being okay, you know, because it’s by no means a sign of weakness in any way. But she arrived, as, as she was, and was very successful in managing client relationships. And I’ve learned, actually the bulk of of my, my skill set, the experience that I’ve had, I’ve learned a lot, most of it from her. And it’s something that I carry with me today, and that I don’t have to transform myself in order to be acceptable to the clients that I’m dealing with. It is what it is. My other mentor is Kim, who’s also quite also quite a feminine individual. You know, she also has quite a colorful personality. And both both women have have a way of engaging people of having really, really interesting they have, they both want to get, you know, into the minds and the hearts of the clients that they deal with. And it’s really quite, quite interesting to watch both women, you know, interact with individuals, and it’s definitely shaped and made me comfortable as as a financial adviser as showing up as who I am, you know, I because I said sometimes we do deal with people who who look very different to us. And the inclination, or the temptation is to, is to assimilate right is so that you are acceptable to those people. And that’s what I struggled with, for the longest time, in my previous in my previous job is that it felt very forced. And I felt like I had to assimilate. And I felt that I had to be like those people. And I’ve actually come to a point and actually realized that that’s not necessarily the case. And I don’t think it would that realization ultimately would not have come had it not been my exposure, or my exposure to these two women. And I think I think mentorship is is is necessary for that. It’s necessary for the perspective, it’s necessary for the guidance, it’s necessary for for so many things, there’s so many things that I think I would have missed, and there’s so many things that would not have happened, had it not been for for for being mentored by these two women. So it’s something that I feel very passionate about, and which is why which is why we want to do the same in our business for, for other women to show them that you know, you don’t have to, you don’t have to be something that you’re not in order to be successful in this business, you really just need to learn what you need to learn, be experienced, do your best and show up as you are. And and it’s very possible for you to to make it work.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

While Gregor it strikes me that that sense of being authentic, and how you’ve aligned your clients to who you are, instead of saying, Oh, I’m going to weigh all these multiple hats and almost be like a chameleon to serve any possible client. Because we know we trained to actually do that. I think people coming into a sales, any sales training tries to say, oh, but you need to change to meet your client, instead of saying, Is this the right time for me? And for my business? Yeah.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

Yeah. And, you know, the beginning at heart, you know, when you’re when you’re learning and Well, as I said, when there’s the pressure to, to to make targets and to bring on sales, naturally, you will end up doing that because there is that pressure, but I think I think that’s why it was so necessary for us to to craft a business and to have the space the and the autonomy to do that. Because then, you know, then you’re able to say, you know what you’re comfortable doing what you’re not comfortable doing who you comfortable dealing with, it becomes a lot easier from that perspective. But when you’re working in an environment where there’s a lot of pressure I it’s kind of hard not not to fall into that trap. And so I think I think we also need to be gentle with ourselves and with newcomers who are stuck in not stuck. But individuals who are introduced to businesses where they have to assimilate sometimes it really is. It’s a means of survival. And unfortunately, we have to go through that sometimes.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Yeah, that’s so valuable this framing that correctly. saying this is a learning opportunity. And it gets you ready for when you can put your own signature and your own footprint on the financial planning world.

 

Gugu Sidaki 

And, you know, there are certain practices, you know, big corporates that are flexible enough that do give their employees the autonomy to to do that there aren’t many. So that doesn’t necessarily mean that, you know, everybody needs to be an independent financial advisor, I don’t think that’s the route for everybody. And I think that needs to be said, and in fact, I’ve had this conversation with with another female counterpart to contemporary eesh, who, who works for a big bank. And she’s often said to me, that she feels the pressure, you know, to go out on her own because everybody’s doing it. And unless it you know, you know, if, if the space that you’re in allows you, you know, to a certain extent to to have that freedom to have the flexibility to be you to be able to craft a practice, you know, a business that that suits you on a number of fronts, then then by all means, stay back, you know, but if, if really you’re, you’re at the point, I think that I was at a few a few years ago, where there is no other way, but to go the independent route, then, you know, then that’s, that’s what you need to do that. But there definitely isn’t a requirement for all of us to be independent to craft our own our own practices, I don’t think I don’t think that’s the point.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

You’re independent. Sounds like it’s this easy fix. If only I’m independent, then everything else will be fine. But actually, I agree with you that independence in some scenarios is important. But you can still make a massive impact in someone’s life. Yeah, through being an IRA agent, or sitting with a corporate. Absolutely agree with that. I’ll give you this shows all about the positive evolution of financial advice. And I can see how that shining through in everything that you’re doing and the passion that you have, I want to thank you so much for sharing your story with us. If anyone wants to reach out, you know, colleagues or potential clients, what’s the best way to get hold of Google?

 

Gugu Sidaki 

I think email is best. But I’m also on social media. So I’m on LinkedIn, Google see donkey, I’m on Twitter, Google citigate, and I’m on email, Google dot c tacky at wealth creed.com. And if you forget any of those details, you can just go to our website, which is wealth created.com. And you’ll find my details in the contact picked.

 

Louis van der Merwe 

Thank you so much for your time today. It was brilliant to have you on the show. I’m sure we’ll have another session in the future. I want to wrap it up. Thank you so much. Do we thank you for the invitation was lovely chatting to you. Thank you

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