#PeopleofTheFinancialists - Ruth Ng, Confessions of a Millennial Financial Planner

One of the biggest myths about Millennials is that they like to job hop. Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation could also pose a potential "threat" to employers. After all, Millennials form the largest talent group in the workforce today. With these factors and more, such as one's passion and purpose, it is not uncommon to see Millennials embarking on alternative career paths.

Yet, while Financial Planning is a long-established industry offering essential services, and veterans like the Founder of The Financialists have been helping his clients in their insurance needs for decades, a career path as a Financial Planner is not necessarily 1st choice for millennials and Gen Z.

We speak to our very own Millennial Financial Planner Ruth Ng, aged 28 years old and who has a degree in Communications and New Media, to understand her career journey including her motivation to be a financial advisor, her achievements, and what she finds more rewarding for the younger generation like her to join her organisation.

Ruth, you have joined this industry for over 5 years now. What made you decide to embark on a career as a Financial Planner at such a young age after University?

I was inspired by my father, Harold Ng, who has been in the industry for 32 years and counting. I’ve seen the passion in his work and the impact he was making on others, and was intrigued to do the same. In fact, the most important value I learnt from him and one which I can apply not just in this line but in life as well, is Empathy.

What were some challenges you faced along the way as someone so young and new to the industry?

There were moments of self-doubt and the fear of rejection initially because some people have a negative perception of the insurance industry and insurance agents based on old stereotypes, but over time, I’ve learnt to see these challenges as opportunities to improve and this has helped me to build greater confidence to value-add to my clients’ financial journeys.

2022 is a huge year, everyone is hoping to "turn a corner" after the pandemic. As a Financial Planner, you are probably more well-versed than most in personal finances. What is the top financial goal that you wish to accomplish this year and how have you already been working towards your #financialgoals?

My mantra is to work hard and make my money work harder. This is something I can share as advice, and of course I need to remind myself and practise what I preach. To that end, I’ve started to diversify my savings across different wealth accumulation instruments.

Millennials are perhaps quite savvy because of readily available information on the internet. A quick observation from online forums shows that many have financial goals and concerns at the same time. Based on your perspective, is this younger generation keen to get started on investing for their future or seek instant gratification more?

Many of my peers, who are millennials, are mostly concerned about their short-term, immediate goals such as funding for a wedding or buying a house. It is not necessarily instant gratification, but there is a sense of "living in the moment" depending on the phase of their lives. However, I’m seeing more millennials being interested in financial planning (for the future) nowadays and are looking at longer-term goals including retirement. I do see that many are also starting to invest at an earlier age and are savvy in their wealth accumulation choices.

Do you agree that "if we fail to plan, we plan to fail"? How can the younger generation save enough to retire while living the lifestyle that they want?

There is a general rule of thumb that would be helpful to many, myself included when I first started out my career...Start by setting aside small savings regularly and being disciplined about it. Next, diversify into different instruments and types of savings that will allow their money to work most effectively, eg. endowment plans, annuity plans, investments.

Let's "unpack" that. In your opinion, what needs to go into the ‘financial suitcase’ of millennials?

To elaborate on the above, while wealth accumulation is important, millennials should also look into getting sufficient protection coverage for any unexpected events (eg. hospitalisation and whole life policies). When it comes to such plans, it’s beneficial to put them in place early when one is younger and in good health. Once proper protection planning is done, one can then go on to save for other goals and take on riskier wealth accumulation methods such as investment.

Thank you for the financial tips! We hope to get some tips on career development too in your industry. What is the biggest satisfaction that you derive from your job? Are there any instances/experiences that stand out that you could share with us?

What I enjoy most is the personal connection with clients. A large number of my clients come from my personal network as well as referrals from family and friends, and this role has allowed me to have many enriching conversations and build meaningful relationships with them. I guess this career tip is interwoven with my financial tip also, because I have a strong conviction to help my clients to have the right coverage and plans, and find it fulfilling to be able to work with them towards their financial and life goals.

Learning more about your journey, we can safely say that you are the right person to answer this question - Would a career in Financial Planning be one that you would encourage millennials to embark on?

Yes! This industry is both challenging and rewarding, and will provide millennials with a great platform to achieve beyond their potential. I know I am on my way there, and I invite you to join me!

And what are the perks of being a Financial Planner that would attract millennials into this field?

From my first-hand experience, being a Financial Advisor provides flexibility and independence in terms of time and finances. The insurance industry is becoming more digital, which I believe millennials are well equipped to take full advantage of in terms of prospecting, advisory and service through digital means, and I definitely see my fellow millennials being able to thrive in this field.

Thank You so much Ruth!

"Customers are at the heart of our business."
- Ruth Ng is a Great Eastern Life Achiever and MDRT Qualifier.
#PeopleofTheFinancialists is a series that brings you behind the scenes of the insurance industry to get to know the people that have made The Financialists a success and in turn grown with the organisation.

The Financialists™ was established as Harold Ng & Associates back in 2002. Harold Ng & Associates has earned the trust of clients through the years of assisting them in building financial security and providing peace of mind to them and their families.
In 2019, Harold Ng & Associates rebranded to The Financialists™. The name change corresponds with the vision to lead the industry in providing dynamic and comprehensive financial planning in Singapore. Harold also created The Financialists™ consulting methodology, which he deploys to actively coach The Financialists™ Planners and in so doing, equipping them with the necessary soft and hard skills for their own successful careers.
Our agency boasts a proven portfolio consistently maintained over the last decade. To date, a significant number from the team belong to the Million Dollar Round Table and Court of the Table, prestigious international trade associations. Being one of the top agency groups in Great Eastern Life Assurance Co Ltd Singapore, the agency also produces the highest concentration of MDRT producers, like Ruth.

We are looking for Millennial and Gen Z talents to be part of The Financialists Way, check out our openings!

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