Q: Tell us about your journey to becoming a trainee paraplanner.
A: I started working in financial services before graduating from the University of Economics back in Romania, in 2007. I wasn’t really the analytical type and I remember hating maths at school, but I wanted to pursue a practical career, rather than chasing my creative drive. After a while, maths at university didn’t seem that challenging and I started to enjoy subjects like marketing, statistics and micro and macroeconomics. Once I began working, I soon realised a banking role wouldn’t fulfil my needs, so I studied towards a Mortgage Certificate, which I achieved in 2017.
Back then I didn’t really know what paraplanning was, but it gives me the opportunity to build something and feed my creative nature too. Developing a financial review from start to finish, coming up with the most efficient income projection, that’s what makes it tick for me.
Q: What attracted you to Wealth Matters?
A: I was attracted by their reputation and experience. I told myself that if I got through the interviews, it must mean I’m worth the trouble and that gave me so much confidence when I got the job. I’m proud to say I’m now part of the team, especially as we’ve been voted one of New Model Adviser’s top 100 Financial Planning Firms. I’m also in the process of attaining my Financial Planning Diploma with two more exams left, so fingers crossed!
Q: We know you’re a trainee paraplanner but what does that mean from day to day?
A: There are many different stages to developing a financial plan for a client. First, we gather financial reports and records from the client along with details of their personal circumstances. But the most important part is finding out what their dreams and ambitions are. What made them come to us? We start creating and modelling different possible financial scenarios. We determine how assets should be allocated and we use this information to make recommendations. We regularly review the client’s financial situation to make sure it stays on track with their goals.
Q: What do you find interesting about the work that you do?
A: I’m now more focused on objectives rather than products. Working in a bank, you’re constantly being told you need to focus on customer ambitions, but there’s always an element of sales targets. My favourite thing about this role is the cash flow modelling. You don’t just get sucked into the detail of retirement planning or managing an investment portfolio. You get to the heart of what the client is all about.
Q: What are you saving for?
A: I wish I could skip this question. I’m trying to save towards my daughter’s future first and secondly, towards my retirement goals.
Q: When you’re not at Wealth Matters, what keeps you busy?
A: I’m a self-taught artist and I’ll work with anything I can put my hands on, any medium. It might seem odd to be analytical and disciplined during the first part of the day, then imaginative and wild during the second, but it works for me.
Q: If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: “Don't be so worried about what others think of you and don't determine your path based on what you think others expect." That and “Don’t waste your time working in a jobyou don’t enjoy. Life is short and the possibilities are endless.”
Q: What’s your proudest achievement in life so far?
A: Having my daughter is my proudest achievement. What could be more exciting in life than having a mini-person around doing all kinds of naughty things?
Q: What does financial freedom mean to you?
A: For me, financial freedom means you’re not tied to a certain job or location for financial reasons, but you’re working there because you enjoy it. Having no outstanding debt would help a lot though.