Wellness: A Key Foundation for the Practice of the Future #1 – Transcript
Wellness: A Key Foundation for the Practice of the Future 17 October 2023
Proudly sponsored by MLC Life Insurance
Ryan Watson 0:00
Good morning, Amy. How are you?
Aime Baker 0:02
I’m great. Right? How are you?
Ryan Watson 0:04
Really good. Thanks, Amy. Excited to get this conversation underway today?
Aime Baker 0:08
Absolutely. I’ve been looking forward to this.
Ryan Watson 0:10
So I think a good place to start is to give our listeners some background in terms of your financial advice journey to this point. Sure, well,
Aime Baker 0:18
I am a financial advisor, and like many of us are going through, study all over again. But I came into this profession initially, not really sure what I wanted to do with myself, I was actually trained singer and, you know, studied acting and performing arts and worked in hospitality for what felt like a lifetime. And when I had my first son, I actually ended up working at St. George bank, he was 12 weeks old when I started there working the evening, sort of, in the call center and in collections. And basically, I was hopeless at that job, because I was supposed to get a promise to pay for every 15 seconds core drop through that every time I listened to a situation in excuse for why they were in arrears. I was wanting to help, it was really clear to me that they this was always a fixable situation, I would be asking them, well, how’s your cash flow? And how much she What are your fixed expenses? And what did we got leftover. And it was really clear that I mean, most of these cases were preventable with, with advice or income protection. And I had started looking at something like financial advice and then decided that’s it. That’s what I’m going to do. And I went to RMIT, to do that remotely. And then St. George bank got wind of it. And I was nixing in the wealth team doing insurance and doing my Tribeca studies. So it was sort of once you know, once that started, it was the rest is history, really.
Ryan Watson 1:42
So it sounds like your work, starting in a call center really lit your fire in terms of financial advice, and your passion for the profession.
Aime Baker 1:50
It felt like that absolutely. became incredibly passionate about wanting to learn or wanting to help people. At first I was a bit, you know, I guess, daunted by the concept that I’d have to start in insurance. But then I didn’t, I was just learning, right? So I was just starting to study, and then realize, well, this is actually a foundation to the financial planning process. Because, as I pointed out, if someone didn’t have income protection, and then all of a sudden, they’re ill, and they’re unable to work. If you know, that’s when they end up in a situation where collections are calling them, because they’re not paying their credit card or their personal loan or their mortgage. In most cases, we were getting a lot of mortgage repayment issues. So you know, it was really that one was the first, I guess, insight to the importance of income, you know, like insurance and income protection. But it’s sort of expanded there, you know, thereafter,
Ryan Watson 2:40
there’s a lot of noise around these days around financial well being, what does financial wellbeing mean to you?
Aime Baker 2:46
I think financial well being or having your finances and having a sense of being in control of your finances should be part of that wellness wheel when we consider our wellness. And we always are looking at being fit and eating well. And you know, maybe it’s a bit of what we’re doing in their community, their spirituality. And I really think that we’ve got to start being focusing on if we’ve got our finances, out of whack, we’re usually in a lot of stress, we’ve got other things, we’re losing sleep, there’s other issues that actually affect our mental health state, we look at the divorce rates, we look at relationships that break down offer because of money. And then you’ve got people who are just feeling like they’re living, you know, hand to mouth, week to week, because they haven’t got this sense of control, and they don’t know where to get started. So my big thing about financial wellness is actually having a good look at where you’re at and your relationship with money. It sounds like a weird, a weird thing to say. But we all have our programming, we all have this sort of self talk or limiting beliefs around money. And some people have been raised, that money is a taboo subject, some people being raised to, you know, certain cultures will have you know, young girls being raised, that they’re going to be looked after you get married, you get looked after. Now I see that a lot with my older clients, old female clients, that even though they’ve come there, you know, in Australian culture, they’ve still got in the back of their heads that they’ve got to be there got to be looked after, you know, I’ve got these women in their 40s are fantastic career women. But they still confess that, you know, I’ve always thought that I was going to get married, I would have to worry about this stuff. It sounds like you’ve
Ryan Watson 4:23
done a lot of work to understand people’s mindsets and their relationship with money. How did this journey stop for you?
Aime Baker 4:29
Well, initially, I became a bit obsessed by the concept of behavioral economics because I didn’t really fully understand that that was more of a, you know, more of a macro point of view, looking at why the markets were moving, why people were making these decisions. But when you started looking at individuals and I would question why would a client come to me excited about their financial plan, sign that SOA get ready to get implemented and then it review time, the things that they were supposed to do, like, for example, contribute to their super org Put more on a mortgage or maybe start a savings plan, whatever the case would be, hadn’t done it and always think, what am I? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get these guys engaged. And so I became a bit obsessed with the psychology of money and came across money coaching. And from that, you can see, I’ve got millions of books behind me, I’m, you know, I think I’ve read almost every self help book ever printed, because I was wanting to know how our brains worked. And it really comes down to neuroscience. And once I got that, I sort of, it’s just all started to make sense. So that’s how I kind of got to this point in my career with the money mindset coaching that I now offer as a service I implemented and weave it through my financial planning process. And I also teach it
Ryan Watson 5:50
that we’ve touched on the piece around neuroscience and the way that Brian is wired. Tell us more about what you’ve learned.
Aime Baker 5:58
Well, yeah, look, it’s it’s, uh, we could really go down the rabbit hole here. But in the ways that of the neuroscience piece of it is our brains are really operating on 95% Being subconscious and only 5% conscious. So right now we’re sitting here, and I’m consciously aware of what I’m saying that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes and subsequent the subconscious brain is also in charge of, you know, just me digesting my lunch, for example. But there’s also the programming in which we have experienced through our lives, mostly in our early years. And then there’s also traumas, trauma experience, that kind of can create more of that programming. And we see this even with this, you know, with cultural bias, for example, that’s why I ask, why are we here with women in a situation where there’s a gender wealth gap that’s caused by bias that’s caused by our individual programming, and how we treat one another in our communities and cultures? So when we think about our own relationship with money, we’ve got to look back at our childhood and see was money used as an issue was discussed? Was it something that I understood around my family? Or were my parents by him over it? Was there a divorce, perhaps, you know, and those kind of things really can give you insight to maybe what’s created the relationship you’ve got with money now. And then once we understand that, or it could have been that you were in a business and then ripped off and now all of a sudden you attitude with money is a very different one to how it used to be. So you know, we see people who’ve gone through the GFC are very now gun shy about investing, for example, because they sold out, and then they realized they were at a loss. So they weren’t given the right guidance, and understood how the markets worked. And out of that, then oh, my gosh, I can’t be investing. I don’t, I don’t want to lose money ever again. That’s a trigger. That’s a trauma, basically. And there’s now this belief that money investing is dangerous. Another example and I use this when I was doing the if AAA roadshow was a client of mine had had a parents fight about money all of her life. And they divorced late when she was in her teens. So she got to see this all through growing up. Now she was great with money, she actually saved for a car. When before she finished high school, she was independently traveling overseas in her 20s. But in her mind, she thought money was gross. Now, that was her own language, her own words. And she struggled to have a relationship and talk openly about money or have an open relationship about money, shall I say. Now, once we understood the stories that was going going on in a head, we looked at the evidence that she was great with money. And we started seeing money as a positive tool. And we started, use just tools like being grateful, using gratitude and looking at your statement and saying, Wow, that dinner with my friends was fantastic and not feeling buyer’s remorse. But actually looking at your bank statement, like it’s a photo album, looking at the fact that you’ve got the roof over your head because you just pay the mortgage or pay the rent and sightseeing that more in a gratitude point of view, then money is this negative and evil. So that’s sort of the process in a nutshell, I guess. And the importance of really understanding what you know, our subconscious programming is to unlock that and have an awareness. And then we rewire that. That’s neuroplasticity. That’s fantastic.
Ryan Watson 9:13
How do you go about weaving the intricate parts of financial planning and financial well being?
Aime Baker 9:19
I think this kind of process actually helps manage the compliance and knowing our client. I think we start we’re already going down that avenue with understanding this fact finding process of discovering meaning. We’re gathering information, financial information about the client, but it’s having a deeper conversation with a client. How did they get here? What triggered them to come to you in the first place? And sometimes it’s even worth asking, how long did it take you to actually bite the bullet and come and see me because you’ll be surprised at sometimes people have taken they’ve thought about getting advice for 15 months or you know, two years I know that they’ve got to do with it. It’s always there’s a fear or there’s they’re worried that they They don’t have enough money or that they’re going to be charged. Or then all the other other reason why people would come is because a trigger event has just occurred in their life. And all of a sudden, they’re like, Oh my God, I’ve got to do something now, and having that conversation about where they feel about money, how do they feel? What excites them about money? What scares them? What do you want to change when you’re thinking about your financial position right now, and allow people to just open up and be real about it? Because I always say, money’s very tied with emotions. And most people don’t explore that until you know it. They’re seriously triggered, or they’re in a situation where it’s always too late.
Ryan Watson 10:40
How do you find a balance with your clients in terms of where they are at their journey, pacing and leading the key elements around? Financial Planning? So cash flow, investment and contingency? Then also furniture Welby, security, and freedom of choice?
Aime Baker 10:56
Absolutely. Some client was you get clients that just know that you’re a financial advisor, and they want to get advice. So they’re not expecting me to turn around and start having conversation around their relationship with money? And what was it like with mom, you know, growing up and work? How did you feel when were the against your peers with at school? Well, you know, Were you bullied, where, you know, those kind of conversations don’t happen immediately, you warm into that it’s really reading the room, I had a client, who recently saw me, and it was going through the discovery process, but I have a critical questionnaire where it does not ask more about how they feel around their current financial situation. So when if they’re really starting to open about up about their motion, then I can, that gives me a window of opportunity in that respect, to start exploring that a bit more out of that, I will then share one of the services I offer. And I start talking about what money mindset coaching was, and I give an example, and I often talk, share my story, and just say, Well, I’ve been self employed I was, I was going through this feast and famine process. In fact, if you look down all through my life, it always felt like, one minute were flush. Next minute, I’m sort of freaking out wondering how the bill is gonna get paid. And I think being authentic and honest about that, and say how I shifted that was by actually seeing where that came from. And in my case, it came from my parents, my dad had a business, and then he was, you know, listing it with as a holding company under Colgate. And that was in 1986. And, of course, what happens to holding companies in a crash, like we saw in 9686, sorry, and so that company that was going, like, everywhere, we went any any supermarket on, you know, around the country, I would say my dad’s shampoo and conditioner, and the Winslow products, and all of a sudden that just disappeared, you know, so that and then mom was there may got divorced in Monza, single parent, I know, this is very deep in terms of my story, but understanding people’s backstory, I’m a bit of a nerd, when I think about backstories and Star Wars, you know, understand the backstory, helps you understand how they got here, why they have those attitudes, why they have those beliefs, why maybe they think they just don’t want to look at this statements, they don’t want to deal with it, where they might never have been engaged in a super why they’ve actually been worried and being driven by worry all of our lives,
Ryan Watson 13:19
ah, vulnerability, it sounds like this is a very important part of your advice, journey with your clients and leading by example,
Aime Baker 13:27
absolutely, no, I encourage all advisors to do that. Because soon as they see you’re human, and they have that connection with you, the relationship is going to be so much easier. And the fact is, I say this is a friendship, this is long term, we advisors do not want to go into this process of onboarding a client to have them go in 12 months, this is an ongoing arrangement, we, especially when you’ve got somebody in that accumulating phase, and we want to get them from there to when they retire, or they’ve got their kids coming up, you know, they’re now they’re having their great grandkids, and they’re worried about their adult children. And they want to introduce their adult children to you, because they know that you have actually helped them get to their destination. So it’s important that we actually do take off the mask and, and be really real and connect. And that level.
Ryan Watson 14:14
It sounds like there’s a real lead and pace approach to your advice. And you in particular terms of the clients that you take on, there’s the people that you know that you can help and serve. And then the others or some other people who might just not want to come on the journey with you.
Aime Baker 14:29
Yeah, not every client has actually taken on sometimes I’m bit subtle with it. And I’ll sort of wave in things and get them to think about things differently. And other clients are just going, Oh, can we make an appointment to do a bit of a tapping session? I really, I’m feeling quite anxious and I just know that that just calms me down a bit when it comes to me looking at my finances and other clients. So I’ll get them on board. We get that process of just having an awareness of how they got here and awareness of their self talk. And sometimes it’s as simple as that. Do you realize that you keep saying you’re terrible with money, when, look how how well you’ve done, let’s just change that. And just deal with subtle things. You know, the gratitude piece I always talk about. So clients are taking it on board. Sometimes they don’t realize I’m doing mindset coaching with them through the advice process, though. And then there are clients that just want to see me for that. So the ones that aren’t ready to come on board, as you know, as a client and get a full strategy, they just, they just want to improve the relationship they’ve got with their money and get somewhat get started. And just kind of go right, I kind of need to work on this. First,
Ryan Watson 15:36
how do you know what type of financial journey a new client is willing to go on?
Aime Baker 15:41
Again, it comes down to being really open, like so yeah, I spoke with a whole bunch of women at a Mother’s Day event for Tresillian has about 170 Women in it. And I, again, went from a place of Yeah, I’m a financial advisor. And these are the things we’ve got to consider. And most of these women had just given up their careers to have their babies. And the focus was more around their emotions, because my experience, you know, the data, I’ve read, the books I read, the clients I’ve seen, there’s a lot of guilt around, you know, being a stay at home parent for a period of time, that you’re not contributing financially. So I went straight to the heart of the emotion first, so that they felt Oh, my gosh, she gets me, that’s how I feel. Because if we understand someone who has someone’s feeling, they then can connect. So sometimes numbers mean nothing to some people, it’s actually just feeling like they’re being seen. So I found myself being referred clients, because they say, you see us you get it. versus you know, I’ve got accountants that love referring business, to me, we’ve got a private wealth firm, and some of my private wealth clients, I don’t have these conversations with, they just want us to manage their money. And that’s all good. But there’s this core part of my business, which is really having those relationships. And I want to see people thrive, I want to see them actually shift from being worried and feeling like that haven’t got any control and feeling like they’ll be falling behind. That was one of the recent conversations I had with a new clients. So the prospecting process was a phone call. And I said, What, what’s concerning you the most, because I feel like I’m falling behind. I’ve got nothing to show for the money I’m earning. And I look around at all my friends, and they all seem to be doing so well. And that’s the other thing I always point out. How do we really know how people what people are really doing? Because we’re in our society? You know, I in the course I call you Keeping Up With The Kardashians, back in the day, it was keeping up with the Joneses. are we really seeing the true picture when we’re looking at a friend who’s turned up for dinner? And they’ve got maybe a new watch? Or, you know, she’s wearing she’s got a Chanel handbag? First of all, how do we know that super real Second of all, what’s going on? What kind of are they in huge amount of debt? Maybe? And if they’re not, and they’re doing really well? Well, you know, that’s fantastic. I’d be asking, what’s what’s going on with you looking fantastic. You’re doing well, what’s happening in your world, ask the questions, make money and normal conversation is no longer taboo conversation. We need to make it normal.
Ryan Watson 18:19
I love that you make money conversations. normal conversations
Aime Baker 18:24
are there’s gosh, there’s there’s a lot there is so much because we’re in a society where we’ve got instant gratification in every way. Like even my watch tells me something straight away, we’re basically addicted to this dopamine, which isn’t a bad thing, we’ve got to definitely work on where and why are we getting? So where are we getting from? Why are we getting it. And we’ve got to train our brains to get it in a healthy manner. But we’ve been with it marketing and advertising everywhere. And that is programming, and it’s subconscious programming. So our brain has this thing called a reticular, reticular activating system, it’s a little filter. So we will get I can’t even tell you the actual number right now. But trillions of data comes in, and then that breaks it down to about 128 bytes per second. So we get so much more than what will filter as important. So these advertising companies will actually create a sense that that’s important to us. And all of a sudden, we’re starting to see things that appeal to us. For example, when the Kardashians were quite famous and doing their reality TV show, all of a sudden, you would be walking around and seeing women dressed in a similar way, even getting their lips filled and all sorts of changing the way they look. Because they saw that as a sense of being important. And fitting in that’s the other thing is we’ve all got. We’re our brains are designed to keep us alive and safe. So one of the things we have to consider when we’re thinking about purchasing is is this actually fulfilling me is it keeping me alive or in terms of that? What programming has created me wanting this? Is it to fit into society because fitting in is a cockpit of being alive. And you know, back in the day, and you know, tribal times, if you were shunned from your tribe, that’s death, that would not be surviving. So you needed to be included. So in society now we’ve inherited this programming. And in society now we want to feel like we’re accepted and included. So you know, that that can actually play out with how people spend their money and make financial decisions massively.
Ryan Watson 20:26
Where do you sit on it being about delayed gratification, versus the here and now, so some today, in some for tomorrow, absolutely. But
Aime Baker 20:35
at the same time, I’m, I’m a big believer of money’s a great tool for us to enjoy our lives back to that wellness pieces. Look at it like this is keeping us alive. So we’ve got to enjoy it, we’ve got to see it. As always the gift that keeps on coming, you know, if we get a salary comes in every single week, we’ve got to, you know, enjoy that we’ve got to enjoy our lives, and, you know, have our social life and have things that we like, but the key thing here is to cut back down to what their values are, we understand that they’ve got a goal to say, I want to save money to travel, or I want to save money for my first home. Once we understand what that goal is, we’ve got to make sure that they those goals are in line with their true values, their core values, because when we understand our values effect is everything in life has got to have a compromise. So if it’s in line with your values, and that goal, plus will firstly be more achievable if it’s in line with your values. But when you’ve got a situation where you’ve got to make a decision around a financial, you know, financial transaction, he’s got to be sitting there consciously aware, having a moment of going, okay, is this in line with my values is in line with my goals. And when we start programming ourselves with that way, kind of now going, Okay, I’ve just made that decision. And now we celebrate that moment. That’s where we go, awesome, fantastic, do a little happy dance, do something, celebrate in one way or another put a fun debt a song on and allow that dopamine hit?
Ryan Watson 22:03
How important is it for you, Amy, to understand your clients money story, their relationship with money, and how they’ve grown to build on that relationship with money,
Aime Baker 22:12
depending on everybody is different. So depending on the client, they’re where they’re at, and what they’re open to explore. So first tour would be going down that rabbit hole of understanding what was life like growing up, let’s have a look at what you experienced as a child or what trigger events occurred. So going through that, sort of what we call the emotional fact find. So once we go through that emotional fact find depends on what doozies we could get what comes up, you know, it really, it’s a minefield in that respect. Sometimes it’s, it can be just a self talk. And that can be really easy to overcome, because it’s like you’re touching yourself. And I always say you know, things like affirmations and gratitude, it sounds really woowoo. But it is actually shifting a perspective and creating a new habit and release.
Ryan Watson 23:03
It sounds like EQ or awareness is a key part of the advice process for you.
Aime Baker 23:08
The key thing is awareness. And one thing I do do that’s on the more technical side of it, being an advisor, no matter how much a client earns, I will ask, How could have How do they do manage their cash flow and their finances? And are they do they feel like they’re in control? Do they have an idea of what their surplus is? What their wiggle room is? Most cases people are a bit embarrassed and really don’t have an idea. Some clients have had some new dislike Goldstar or some. That’s fantastic. You’re good. You’re good to go. Yeah, and usually they’re not. They’re the ones that have got fear around investing or something else. But it’s what I do is I get 90 days, I look at 90 days in a CSV file from the bank. They’ve got multiple bank accounts, we’ve got a quick system, we just scan through we sought so it’s all alphabetical order. And we can basically pull that apart very quickly and worked out work out well. They’re fixed. They’re you know, they’re TriCity bills, that’s mortgage, the school phase. But then there’s this sort of gray area as what we’d say variable and discretionary I call variable being that each week you petrol in your shopping. That does change. So we’ve got to work out well what would be the comfortable amount that we would put as our variable living costs. And then there’s the discretionary and sometimes it’s a bit of an eye opener to say this is what you’ve been spending on whatever that they’re, you know, tickles your fancy engineer something. I’m not about saying don’t, it’s about being aware. And so some people are spending blindly because of the programming because of advertising because they are keeping up with the Joneses or the Kardashians and they are catching up with their friends and spending more than they probably like to to spend. And once we can go Alright, now we’ve got to look at no no these numbers. Is there anything you want to change? That’s back on them, not me, not me saying you can’t spend that anymore. What is it that you feel that you need to change here, if there is anything you need to change, and going back to your goals, and back to values, we can always tell money tells a story, the values are right there with what they spend it, where they’re spending their money, you know, I always find it hilarious. When someone comes to me, I’m really thinking I should get an investment property, that’s what, or buy a house, whatever. That’s what everyone my parents are selling me to do. That’s what my friends are saying I should do. And all they want to do is they’re saving for the next trip to Europe for the summer, and, and then they want to go and do a ski trip in in January. And you kind of thinking me, the your values are not aligned with the whole idea of actually buying property. Maybe we look at another investment approach. So you can live this life and have the liquidity as you need. It
Ryan Watson 25:56
is just so valuable getting to know your clients at such a deeper level, helping them understand what is truly important to them, removing more of society’s values, not worrying about keeping up with the Joneses or the Kardashians, and just focusing on what’s really important to them in a family unit.
Aime Baker 26:13
Absolutely, absolutely. Because I mean, we’ve got to get to know our clients in most detailed way. Numbers were already tell us a story. And I think every advisor would be nodding their head with that. And once we want to know what their goals are. And I’m a big believer in short term goals as well as the big picture. So they might be worried that they’re not going to have enough to retire with. But that’s not going to keep them engaged if they’re retiring in 10 years time. So we’ve got to look at is okay, what are we going to focus on this year? How much are we going to contribute perhaps. And so again, going back to the cash flow piece, and that how that’s sort of like opens a can of worms in conversation anyway, then we kind of work out, perhaps they actually are struggling with that clarity, in terms, just even defining what their needs are. Okay, now we’ve got to go back and discuss more around their relationship with money, because they are feeling a bit overwhelmed by even committing to something so it’s really being guided, every single case is different. It’s it’s that soft skill, which I don’t believe we should ever call soft, because it’s a hard skill. It’s a difficult, but you’ve got to read those clients. And I believe there’s no such thing as a dumb question. You and you warn your clients that you’re going to ask a lot of questions, you’re going to understand them in such detail. And I always want them relation ships with money varies from one person to another. So couples are also fascinating. Because, one, you know, one party will cut ties, completely different background to another different upbringings different beliefs. And yet, all of a sudden, they think they’re going to come together and be in synergy with a financial plan. Now I want I remember sitting with a couple and she was like, I don’t like being told if I’ve got a budget, I just want to spend, right. And he’s come to me with a big spreadsheet. And that’s, you know, and I was like, Okay, well, let’s just break this up a bit. Again, you can’t spend the fixed, because they’re committed, you’ve got a contract with all of these companies, you have to pay them. So what we work on is, then you’ve got your own money. And that’s where you get to play and do what you want that, you know, in line with who you are as an individual, and he’s got his OB aren’t a big believer in having that autonomy, and also having your, your joint goals. So I haven’t really answered any of your questions directly because it is a case by case situation, then in terms of say, a mind map or matrix. The key part is that discovery process, asking these questions, and really getting an idea of, I guess, where they’re at. And then also is a great place to have those conversations around risk profiling to,
Ryan Watson 28:53
for those advisors listening out there, what is the best way to bring some of these ideas into their daily practice with their clients.
Aime Baker 29:00
That’s the key thing. I launched a online sorry, this is a bit of a shameless plug. But I launched, I launched an online course with my business partner called money mindset coaching for financial advisors. And we are any student who goes through that they go through having to bring on at least two practice clients. And a lot of our students are advisors because they want to actually bring this kind of service in. And it’s great because they can do it as a standalone service add on to bring in revenue, or they can bring it into their practice. And I use my experience because I bring it into my practice more so than just do one on ones. But the point being is that you must be just willing to jump in and, you know, tell the clients look, I’m trying, I’m trying something different. Bear with me here. And I would love your feedback. By the way. I sort of did a book I did a beta launch last year for it was an online financial literacy course which I included mindset coaching concepts in it I went to a recruiting company and I did a presentation and I got a good 10 Class A 10 students out of that. I said, guys, it’s the beta launch. So bear with me, we had tech problems, you know, we had little hurdles, but it wasn’t expecting. They loved it, though, because they knew you manage your expectations, manage your clients, expectations. And as soon as people actually are aware, they’re all good with it, because you communicated that. So if you’re gonna bring something in, you tell them, what does
Ryan Watson 30:29
your ongoing service proposition look like, with your clients,
Aime Baker 30:33
I find that my clients engagement in their finances has increased. You know, I also have a rule that we meet twice a year, the first, if you can’t do actual face to face, it’s at least a phone call with me just to touch base, how you going. And then I do short, those short term goals as well. But the engagement piece has definitely accelerated because I am having these more deeper conversations with people. And we’ve had a very interesting, you know, 16 months, right with the markets, volatility, interest rate rises, inflation issues, cost of living is soaring. There’s a lot of nervousness out there. And I think the key thing that we’ve done in the businesses actually kept this, you know, communication going and open and checking in with people. Because although we can be very technical with the strategy, which I love to I love getting into my spreadsheets and create strategies, and I love looking at research, and I get excited when we get nice positive return for our clients in in their portfolios that we construct, but they’re, you know, they’re not too fussed about that. That’s actually the roadmap, you know, they don’t, and then it’s not about how I built that road for them. They just want to know that they’re on the road, and they’re on the right track. I think we all understand, I think from a client’s point of view, that actually all works very well, in that communication piece.
Ryan Watson 31:57
How far do you push into financial well being with your clients?
Aime Baker 32:01
Absolutely. Will I actually take it a bit further than that with my clients? Once we understand how brains are constantly being programmed, we’ve got to be aware of what programming were allowing to actually occur with ourselves, our minds. So I, if negative news is really stressing people out, don’t watch it, don’t get involved, don’t buy into it. How are you going as an individual how’s your household going? How you tracking versus what we’re told, should be happy how we seal? So it could be if we realign that thought of, I’m actually sure I’ve got my mortgage, and I’m on track. And I know that I’m actually paying bit more into my offset, knowing that there’s going to be another interest rate rise, but I’m prepared. Because I’ve already got that sorted out with my cash flow. I’m tracking good, I’m celebrating my wins, I’m, you know, I’m in a space of being grateful for where I’m at, then that noise goes away. So I’m always I did a podcast on that. Not that long ago, because there was just so much noise, so much negativity. And yeah, it’s really, really important to know, the news and financial news more. So I sort of go this stuff out there that is absolutely horrible and horrific. And I don’t really want to be exposed to that I just want to, you know, be in my bubble right now and enjoy the life I’ve got. And I know that sounds a bit like something, it’s a very Pollyanna approach to life, but it works for me and it works for some people that I work with. So if the if the news is overwhelming and causing you anxiety, maybe you need to limit what you’re taking in. But I also want to encourage people read the AFR understand exactly what’s going on, or, you know, sitting on here at all other, you know, the money management magazine, whatever it is that you are enjoying, I would encourage you to educate yourself and be financially literate and understand why the markets are doing what they’re doing, understand why the RBA are increasing our rates, all those things, but also look at the flip side of what’s going on. Why are they doing that? What’s the positive out of that? You know, there is a positive out about our cash rates going up. I mean, great, we actually making money, when we put money in a bank, yay, for the first time in a long time. You know, also, the fact is, this is a correction of what was a very bullish market, where people go, Oh, gosh, I’ve lost 10% of my portfolio in the last 12 months as I have a we look at the year before and see that you’re sitting maybe at 25% or 30%, what we’ve done is we’re just giving back, and we’ll just focus on the ongoing rolling average return over a period of time, not the last two years, because that’s causing anxiety, and it’s unnecessary. And it’s not the real picture given you’re going to be invested for another 10 or 15 years. And I think that’s what the job is really, I guess that’s the mindset piece is shifting that perspective and to giving the tools to remind them themselves, to be conscious about what thoughts in mind, the present the past or the future. And if you’re in the future, freaking out about a potential outcome that hasn’t even happened. You’ve got to rein it back in and go now I’ve got to be present and there could be infinite possibilities, all very positive, infinite possibilities. But why am I focusing on the negative outcome? And asking those questions, questions, questions, questions, really the is the king?
Ryan Watson 35:10
Would you mind telling us about a few success stories that you’ve had with your clients? Whether you really got traction in this financial wellbeing space?
Aime Baker 35:20
Yeah, there’s been a few, I actually want to get a couple more on my podcast to interview. And I’ve had two that have come on, I think people are a bit shy with that stuff. One actually has come on Chelsea, she, in six months of doing mindset coaching with me, ended up being debt free, engaged, bought a house, and has a really positive relationship with her finances and positive talk, and celebrates her wins. Another client of mine felt completely overwhelmed with where she was heading in life. She thought she was being left behind. That’s I get that a lot with women who think that they’re then not doing well. And she didn’t think that she could manage she wasn’t managing her finances like she was a hub hopeless with money, this self talk. I don’t know. I know what I’m doing. I can’t do that she was I can’t do this without you. And I’m like, hang on a minute. And this divorced mother, who actually set up her own business, financially successful paying down a mortgage. And I’m like, Are you serious? Let’s have a look at the evidence first, you actually can do this, you’ve done a lot without me. Now we’re gonna get you some more direction. So that what you’ve created and what you’ve built, now we’re going to direct it Seville do something more, you know, and go further. So she sort of shifted her perspective as well, because she had built a business. And she didn’t think she could actually get to a point where she could feel like she was on top of things financially, and that she was even going to be able to retire or pay down a mortgage.
Ryan Watson 36:50
What an inspirational story. I love hearing real life advice, success stories, really where the rubber hits the road with clients.
Aime Baker 36:59
Our brains are, you know, trainable. So that’s the neuroplasticity piece. So it’s simply about rewiring those beliefs. So we’ve got this belief, oh, I’m hopeless with money. She, you know, she told me she was hopeless with money, because that’s what her ex husband used to say to her, you know? And then she started to see the evidence of actually, I created this. Yeah. I mean, she had to have somebody like myself say, Okay, so who started the business, who’s paying the bills in the household, who covers the cost of groceries, of course, it’s obvious it was her. But in her mind, she just had no confidence and awareness of how good she was tracking
Ryan Watson 37:35
power, or growth versus fixed mindset. I don’t Tribeca financial or big one for understating, that inherit can affect change. And as we know, growth versus the fixed mindset are often competing against, you know, that caveman or cave woman brain,
Aime Baker 37:52
because our brains are designed to keep us alive, but the bear is not going to come out of the cave. So we’ve got a lot of, we’ve got a lot of programming here, that is actually out of date. And we’ve got to have an awareness of okay, my body functions. It’s doing what it’s doing. My subconscious is actually keeping me physically alive. But the brain functions, the thoughts, the beliefs, you know, this sensationalizing stories, is not actually serving me. And you’ve got to catch yourself. Is this serving me? Is this thought serving me? Is that self talk serving me? Is that keeping me on track with where I want to be? Who I want to be? I mean, that’s the other thing I talk about the future self, like, our subconscious doesn’t know timespace or reality. So why not start being that person? Now that might right now, in the moment that is wealthy? That is a good decision maker? What kind of what kind of self talk do they have when they’re looking at, you know, their finances? Or when they make a financial decision, that wealthy person? What kind of decisions are they making? Because if we can start thinking, I’m already that person, I’m already there. I’m already earning X amount, or I already got that retirement saving. It shifts a lot that’s going on in the background that we don’t even know stare. That report,
Ryan Watson 39:07
is it? Do you think for an advisor to practice what they preach?
Aime Baker 39:11
I think they start with yourself. And that’s something we do with the course we put the adviser through the process. So actually go through your own money story, which I’ll put in the links is actually a downloadable document, you can actually go through the questions and everything. But I think the first step first thing is you start with yourself, you you go down that rabbit hole yourself and go, What is my what is my relationship like with money, and you’d be really honest with yourself, and you look at your fears around finances, you look at where you are situated right now what you want to improve, what scares you the most, what excites you the most, go through that process? And then start capturing some of those beliefs and start seeing it for yourself and then all of a sudden you’re it’s mind blowing, honestly, it’s quite a good experience,
Ryan Watson 40:00
what did you learn by going through this process yourself?
Aime Baker 40:04
Well, I had an awareness for the first time that I’d ever had, I didn’t, I didn’t realize how much baggage I was carrying around my relationship with money. And why I kept getting this getting stuck, actually was stunting my growth as an advisor, in fact, because there was this limiting belief that I was like, life was always going to have to be challenging financial, my financial situation, because I was a single parent, that’s going to always be really hard. And I was constantly creating that reality. That’s basically what we do is we recreate our reality with because of our thoughts, our thoughts create our reality. So if we can shift those thoughts, we shift our reality.
Ryan Watson 40:43
So how do you help your clients create that mindset shift?
Aime Baker 40:47
It’s, again, a question, if I don’t do anything now about this situation, where will I be next year? Where will I be in five years? Where will I be in 10 years? And if we’re really honest with ourselves about that, if we’re in a situation where we’re not that great, we’re not very happy with our financial position, or our financial well being? What’s that going to look like in 10 years time if you do nothing about it? So it’s about going well, I’ve got the responsibility now to take action. If I want my situation to change in 1212 months time, and 10 years time, I’ve got to do something about that now. And I think we’ve got to ask ourselves, those honest questions. If I don’t do it today, where will I be in 12 months? And how will I feel about myself, then?
Ryan Watson 41:28
I love the saying, if nothing changes, nothing changes. But
Aime Baker 41:34
if you want something in life to change, you have to change something in your life. Jeez, it
Ryan Watson 41:39
seems like we have covered a lot today. I mean, in a short amount of time,
Aime Baker 41:43
no, I think we’ve covered so much. Well, I guess, I think if we all started taking more of a proactive approach to all looking within to how we got here as individuals, and shifting our perspective around things, we’d also start seeing and asking those questions about how we got here as a society, and where this set, you know, cultural bias has come from, because if we are all prepared to change and grow as individuals, that’ll make a big rippling effect and shift in the world that we live in, in a real positive way. I believe it’ll actually fix a lot of issues that we’re seeing with the fact that 53% of women worry daily about money. That’s not a great statistic, that, you know, we’re seeing, still the gender pay gap is sitting at 22% from last year, which creates a a gender wealth gap, on average is about 30%. We’ve got to shift all this. And the only way we’re going to do that is actually changing now, our beliefs around how we treat money in our with money. It starts within it starts in our households assessed as an individual, then in our relationships. And then it goes further than that.
Ryan Watson 42:48
A bit of a loaded question here. But who do you think can lead the change? With everyday Australians?
Aime Baker 42:55
I think advisors really, and I said this on the roadshow. So if anyone’s been there, probably hear me repeat myself. But I think we all as advisors have a responsibility to share these stories about our clients and obviously protect their identities, but share their wins share their experiences, because if people see the human approach we have, and what we do, and the great work we do as advisors, more people might actually be prepared to come and see us sooner than later. And not be waiting for some severe trigger event or to the point where they are losing sleep over it, but actually go for a positive experience and want to take more control over their, their financial well being and their finances. I think we’ve all got to share those stories. And also, when we’re talking to clients or talking to prospects, it’s a matter of saying, Look, everybody is in a similar situation. We’re all most people are embarrassed about their finances. Most people avoid it. If you know, depending on of course, what their situation is. Read the room has a soft skills. Listen, that once you kind of get an idea, if they’re nervous about something, make sure that they understand that you’re there to help them and you understand them. And you see them and you’re listening, the power of empathy,
Ryan Watson 44:07
in an advice relationship. What about advisors starting out on this journey? Where do you think they should start?
Aime Baker 44:14
get mentors, find lots of mentors and use your mentors experiences, or their clients outcomes and say, I personally haven’t been through a divorce. However, my mentor, so and so. And that’s this is the work that we’ve done in the business to help these clients. You know, so getting a mentor is imperative, I believe, you know, that’s where we’re at. We’ve got our professional years they’ve been mentored, they’ve been coached being. We’re going through that year of, I guess, onboarding into being a financial advisor, but I don’t just say don’t stop there. Keep learning and if you haven’t come across a case and you’ve just come across you know, had a conversation or a discovery meeting and you go, Whoa, I’ve never been in situation or I’ve never bought a piece So I’ve never, I’ve never done this at all the other goal and speak to your other advisors, we’ve got these great communities like this one here. And then some All right, so we’ve got them. So why not actually get on the chat and say, is anyone ever come across this? There’s nothing wrong with asking. In fact, I think that’s where we’ve got to be really brave and ask for help.
Ryan Watson 45:20
I love this piece around the advice, industry and advice, professions, being collegiate, helping each other to generate great client outcomes, all about wins and learnings. There’s not a problem with a group of advisers together that they can solve together.
Aime Baker 45:36
Absolutely. I don’t believe there’s any competition between us. We’ve got to work. We’re all here to help each other. Now. If we there’s not enough of us to get around. There’s so many Australians that need advice. They don’t understand what we do. You know, I quote Jenny pierce a lot. Because she said once, we’re an industry that talks to itself, and it was so it was so true. When I heard that I was like, That’s so true. And a lot of it is negative stuff, or updated, or, you know, updates on policies. And what about let’s talk about what we do, and share stories, if we’re going to talk to ourselves, and start talking to our communities as well. So and sharing a client stories and get our clients to maybe come on a podcast or to, you know, be interviewed to eat and write up a blog post or whatever you’re into. But I think we all have a responsibility to get out there and make that kind of noise for each other and cheer each other on. Again, no competition whatsoever. You know, there’s too much work out there. It’s crazy.
Ryan Watson 46:38
Well, it’s been great having you on the podcast today, Amy, I can’t thank you enough.
Aime Baker 46:43
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
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