Tell us about yourself! 

Hello! My name is Ben and my ultimate goal is to improve financial literacy in Singapore! It is a big goal for sure, but I love to talk about finance, especially personal finance. 

With that in mind, I decided to leave my corporate job in 2018 and join my family in the financial planning business as a financial consultant. 

As a finance graduate from both Polytechnic and University, it’s difficult to escape the stigma that financial consultants have and sometimes, it is incredibly challenging to find ways to meet people even though I have the best of intentions to give them maximum value. 

But being a financial consultant has taught me plenty of life skills such as building rapport, being patient yet persistent, being creative in the business and many more. Everyday is a learning journey that continuously refines my character to be a better version of myself.

Apart from finance, I love bouldering (yup, the sport that involves a short wall with colorful rocks). Bouldering is a good way to build a balanced physique and it also trains your mind to think of different creative ways to clear the same route. It is also a fun social activity because it subconsciously encourages you to do better so that you are not the worst in the group.

Apart from that, I enjoy traveling and occasionally being a slob as well. Reading manga (Japanese comics) and chilling with Netflix is how I like to unwind after a long day of work.


How did you learn of Kalpha?

I cannot remember! But I think I was browsing around the Google Playstore and one thing led to another. 

Stumbled upon the app and immediately loved the concept of a sharing community for consumers. 

I saw it as an opportunity to be able to share with open-minded individuals who are hungry to learn in a safe and controlled environment.


What are you sharing about Kalpha?

My listings are mostly finance-related because there is so much to share about personal finance. 

Insurance, investments, budgeting etc. are so relevant and personal to consumers whether they are financially savvy or not.

As someone who has paid the price for making mistakes in managing my own finances, I do not wish to see others make the same mistakes.


What motivated you to learn or continue learning about what you are sharing about on Kalpha?

As a financial consultant, I learn new things every day either through my own research or from my clients. 

I learn about different investment opportunities, how different individuals manage their personal finance in their own way, how to structure solutions that are most effective and cost-efficient for a specific age group and so on. 

I love meeting new people as well because I will never know when I might learn something new again!


Why is personal finance something that you feel people should learn about?

Everyone should take charge of their own finances and be their own financial planner. 

Don’t get me wrong, people should still have a trusted adviser that can guide them and keep them accountable along the way. 

However, a financial adviser does not have the capacity to manage daily habits like effective budgeting, which can make a huge difference in wealth accumulation. 

Furthermore, people will always be approached by other advisers or relationship managers who may try to sell them certain products. While not all of them are out to earn a quick buck, there are some in the industry who may not have your best interest in mind. 

Being your own financial planner means taking ownership of your finances and learning to be financially savvy. 

Most importantly, it means not committing to unsuitable products that do not benefit you.


What is the best thing that learning this skill or getting into this hobby has done for you?

I am a financial consultant, but I am also my own client. 

Having a solid portfolio for myself is the best testimonial that I can show others with. 

Thus, learning all the tips and tricks that are relevant for consumers to deal with their personal finance has helped me improve my financial position as well. 

It has given me a healthy bank balance and strong investments that are well protected with insurance.


What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when learning this yourself?

I am a very stubborn individual. I have to experience things firsthand before I am convinced of a certain logic. 

So, even though my family is in the financial planning business, I’ve actually made some mistakes regarding my own investments.

I started choosing my first investments from 17 years old and did a lot of experimenting. 

I made a big investment mistake with the capital that my father gave me for my 21st birthday present, which I am still paying for now. 

Throughout my time in university, I dabbled in trading, lump sum investing, digital marketing, MLMs, considered property investing etc. 

Most of these things I had to pay a ‘tuition fee’. 

While I have people to guide me in some aspects, it is a lot of motivation on my own part to take risks and learn. I would say the biggest challenge in this learning journey is being able to pick myself up after every failure.


What is the one misconception/stereotype about this skill that people always assume?

You can achieve a comfortable, fuss-free retirement without putting in any effort.

To what extent is it actually true?

While it does not take up much physical effort with proper budgeting and systems in place, it still requires mental effort.


Sharing on Kalpha

I have completed 2 sharing sessions so far and both learners were keen to learn more about improving their financial position. 

It makes me feel valued about my work as most people who I meet in my business tend to take this information for granted. 

I definitely enjoyed the sessions as the concept of Kalpha has already established a learning mindset/environment for both sharers and learners.


Is there anything you have always wanted to say about yourself or your job but nobody has ever asked?

Being in this job is crazy exhausting. The truth about the industry is that consultants are only paid upon sales, as advisory fees are already factored into the product costs. 

The actual sales part is often the least time-consuming part of our business because getting to that point actually takes up most of the time. 

I find myself constantly upgrading my skill set when it comes to prospecting and servicing clients. I find myself becoming a social media campaign manager, a content creator, a customer service personnel and a financial consultant all rolled into one! 

If you do meet a successful financial consultant, congratulate them! It is not easy getting to where they are, each of them has a different story to tell.


Final shout-outs!

Shoutout to my family, my girlfriend, and my clients for the awesome support in this business! They are the ones that bring me joy in this career.


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