Why Your Financial Advisor, Lawyer, and Doctor, Will Not Be A Robot In This Lifetime.

Medical and law students undergo a series of prolonged academic studies to achieve recognition of their capabilities and earn the respect of their peers and clients. Doctors and lawyers invest heavily in academics and education for the benefit of their clients and their work for their clients, in spite of the apparent threat from technology and, specifically, artificial intelligence.

What is law and medicine but a series of algorithms? Codified instructions, systematic procedures and diagnoses – ifs and thens. Sounds like a lot of computer programming, doesn’t it? It is no wonder then, to most people with little experience in the field of technology, that this should seem like a career-crushing monster looming in the corner of their minds.

However, in reality, we know nothing is ever the ideal situation. The medical and legal systems are just not as straightforward as coding. Just consider for a second the complicated state of justice and add the human factor into the mix, whether it be problems stemming from backlogged courts, overburdened doctors and swathes of disproportionately defendants (in the medical field, so seems the trend in 2019) accused of negligence or crime. It gets pretty ugly and complicated, because humans are involved.

The same applies to financial planning – the current state of technology is insufficient in providing quality advice that works for each distinct and unique human life. I concede that routine work can be taken on by machines. Many of the tasks that traditionally involved routine and process-based tasks, that do not call for judgement, creativity or empathy, will undoubtedly be replaced by technology.

The Human Aspect

I’m sure, by now, that we have all recognised that humans are outgunned by a combination of brute processing power, data, and unparalleled algorithms – things which a simple human mind and body cannot replicate.

We are witnessing the work of high-performing machines, beating the best humans at difficult games and predicting the decisions of court or a medical diagnosis or in identifying a financial gap.

These are remarkable systems and innovations, but they are also unthinking and unfeeling machines. These systems do not replicate human reasoning and thinking, critical in the legal, medical, and financial planning fields.

I am certain that human experts will always be needed for the tricky stuff that calls for judgment, creativity, and empathy.
Technology will replace a lot of doctors, lawyers, and financial planners, who’ve never done more than their routine work and who fail to embrace tailoring customised solutions that fit a client’s peculiar and unique needs (that are so necessary and so essential).

There is a distinct value in working with a professional financial advisor than simply counting on the robots we have today to handle our financial plans and financial journeys.
Yes, the argument could be made that robots will “eventually take over our jobs” as financial advisors, akin to the threats made to doctors and lawyers, but the real professionals in these fields would embrace technological advancements as a tool which complements and supports our work. Such technology will serve to remove the mundane processes and work systems that has traditionally curbed the time we have for our clients and value we can add to our clients.

Our inclination to believe that technology is going to “take over” our jobs is nothing but a brand positioning and marketing technique that leverages on the bubble and hype of the advances we are making as a human species.

This belief so easily persuades the millennial generation who are born into the era of technological advancements. This belief, as organised and as hyped as they are, is creaking.

Humans, without technology?

As humans working without technology, we are unaffordable and incredibly inefficient, and we often fail to deliver value evenly across our communities. Increased costs of healthcare, lack of access to justice, inadequacy of current personal financial planners and the failure of auditors to recognise and stop financial scandals from spiralling deeper are real problems, problems where technology can come in to aid and resolve.

Technology: An Enabler

By taking away imminent and real impediments in our systems, technology acts more as an enabler than the aforementioned looming giant in the corner, waiting to take over our jobs. It allows experienced and creative professionals to go one step further for their clients.

So in this lifetime, I’m pretty sure that your doctor, your lawyer, and your financial planner, are still going to be very much human and very heavily invested in their profession.

They will simply be a new breed of professionals who leverages on technology in order to give you more accurate results and detailed analyses in the most efficient manner possible.

The Value Of a CFP Certified Planner

I’m an advocate for on-going professional education and lifelong learning. As such, I’ve made it a point to dedicate a good part of my week investing in my education as a certified financial planner (CFP):

“CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP) professionals are trusted financial professionals who work with individuals and families to review all aspects of their financial affairs and recommend practical, easy-to-understand solutions for every life stage. FPSB’s research with more than 19,000 consumers worldwide showed:

  • Those who work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional feel more strongly confident about their financial situation than those managing their own finances or working with a different type of financial adviser.
  • Consumers who have a written, comprehensive plan are nearly three times more likely to feel strongly confident about achieving their life goals.”

More about the CFP: https://fpas.org.sg/cfp-certification/value-cfp-certification/

As a trained professional financial planner since 2018, every prospect I’ve met has had their financial portfolio successfully reviewed and restructured. I’ve busted many myths that insurance sales people, who have little to no professional training in financial education, share with them under the guise of a caring and competent advisor.

If you wish to speak about your financial plans, you may book your appointment with me via this calendar (click here). I look forward to meeting you.

Young women in tech are alarmingly ignorant of their finances

I trudged up the stairs and into the next conference room, with a panel of women set to speak about their tech founder experience and journey. I groaned inwardly, knowing exactly how the entire panel experience will be conducted like some sort of banal, insipid script for a play that by now seems trite and almost clichéd.

The entrance to the conference room was left wide open. Women of all walks of life filled the space with laughter and ebullience. The women founders in the room, women who’ve founded some sort of movement, charity, company, or their long-lost cat, were flushed with excitement, chattering away with eager attendees who’d stop at nothing to snap and upload wefies onto their Instagram stories and feed, and race their fingers across the screen of their smartphones, ferociously typing out captions and hashtags with such ardor.

“Cherieeeee,” screeched a familiar voice from behind. A slightly inebriated woman the host of this conference— teetered towards me with a microphone in her hands. She clearly was in need of assistance, also, flat shoes. As the host of the conference, she probably felt obligated to be decked out in an arresting outfit – the striking contrast between mandarin orange and ivory complimented her apparent zeal.  “You can’t imagine how glad I am to have you here. You need to be up on stage! You need to promise me that you will speak at my events again, especially since you’ve taken such a unique path in your work!”

The breathiness of her voice made it sightly difficult to discern the level of seriousness she had in her tone. I returned a quick nod and flashed a smile, knowing exactly how things would play out from here. It was like clockwork, with everything pre-planned to the minute: I got to speak with women who attended the conference, shared my work and purpose.

I talked to a lot of women under thirty who, when they found out I was a financial planner, said things like, “Oh, I should talk to you” or more alarmingly, “Oh, yes I know, I need to plan. I’m so bad finances. I’ll think about it”

Needless to say, I felt nauseated.

Now, of course, this is an observation that likely only I would have made at this conference, as I was the only financial planner there (that I know of), who rose from an intensive background in software and business. Perhaps my experience transitioning from a software business into the world of financial planning was the answer to addressing this alarming lack of financial knowledge in the world of tech, particularly so for women.

The specific questions I got from these women were about stock investments, or “investments”, and crypto. Which, frankly, scared me a bit. Surely these investments are interesting, but on the priority list of “What You Need to Focus on to Strengthen Your Financial Health and Wealth”, they’re so freakin’ far down they could almost fall off the bottom.

Here are these young, promising women who in just a couple of years were propelled into a career that was financially rewarding and purposeful, which could give them so much power and choice in their life in a mere 10 years down the line..and they’re too distracted and intimidated to see further than what media and society has painted out for them.

Imagine if all the women in tech, all the people in tech, started learning about personal finance: how they could control their finances, and taking full advantage of the financial opportunities they had going for them. What could happen if all of these women had the financial muscle to make decisions they needed to make, decisions they wanted to make, and not just decisions that were unfairly and disproportionally influenced by the likes of media and society? I have a good feeling it would change things for the better — for women, for the industry, for our society.

Who runs the world? Uh, clearly not girls. Yet.

Book your appointment for a financial review: https://calendly.com/cherietanjy

The Sense of Cents

It can be difficult to accurately imagine and feel what life is going to be like when we retire. Variable factors, risks and associated (possible) returns, and the “what-if’s” tend to make it even more difficult to articulate or express what life in the next decade or two would be like in the most realistic sense. Sometimes, we refuse to grasp the difference between our ideal future and the (often bleak) reality that stands before us. Planning for our financial future can also be overwhelming. Our day-to-day lives consume so much of our time and energy. Taking on the additional burden of planning for a future that’s “so far away” seems quite unnecessary.

So most of us kind of just default to dealing with it later. Or, we make irrational assumptions of what our financial future will look like while we allow our bank accounts to go down on us every day.

How much longer can you wait though? How much risks are you willing to stomach for the potential returns it can realise, if it does at all? From mismanaging our savings in the good times to indulging in materials and experiences that bring instant gratification, we’re reducing our abilities to provide for the rest of our lives, especially in our silver years.

No, it’s not difficult. But it does require some getting used to, especially if you have to stay within a spending budget lower than what you’re currently used to. No, it doesn’t always mean you have to give up your wants and desires. We all want to have our cake and eat it too.

Start with small, baby steps. I like to spend an hour or so of my weekends looking through my expenses for the week and how it falls into my personal budget. A small tweak like that can help you make sense of the money that goes in and out of your accounts on a weekly basis. If anything at all, you’ll gain comfort by understanding the inflow and outflow of your money. Trust me, it helps you start the new week on a good note.

Book your appointment for a financial review: https://calendly.com/cherietanjy