Financial Planning for Young Professionals with Anglia Advisors' Simon Brady
Financial planning might well be rocket science for many young professionals and non-professionals alike. It's necessary and confusing at once. Enter Simon Brady! As CEO of Anglia Advisors, Simon offers personal finance advisory investment management services for young professionals between 20 and 40. It's interesting to discover how Simon's past has led him down this unlikely path.
From Trading Pits to Personal Finance
As of 2015, Simon Brady was a twenty-year veteran currency and equities trader operating in London and Wall Street. He also was a financial advisor with the United Nations. Despite such a stellar resumé, Simon turned away to forge a new path as a personal finance consulting and investment management. It's been a stored ride in the heart of New York.
While on Wall Street, Simon experienced a structured but intense work environment as a broker for clients such as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and UBS. As that business model tanked (c. 2008), burnout became pretty much the norm. It prompted Simon to crave working with individuals.
Wall Street for Simon meant plenty of money to make and social interactions with society's finest elite. Top management expected staff to spend money entertaining clients at restaurants, sports events, and other social outfits that provided the network and credence only money can buy. Yet, the constant burnout made such a fun job only mean less and less for Simon Brady.
Simon's motivation led him to create a paid financial service catering to under-served sections of the society. These youthful professionals experience more impactful life events generating a slew of personal finance advice needs than pre-retirees and baby boomers who are nearing retirement or have arrived there already.
A Lightbulb Moment
Wall Street came with plenty of positives for Simon Brady; only a few jobs allowed one to spend three late nights a week socializing with clients. Many times he only had one hour of sleep before leaving for work in the morning.
As his time suffered, so did his family life. As a father of two, the enjoyment took a numbing toll on his long-term effectiveness. Once the reality hit, though, he took the leap to work directly with consumers.
Going in Blind
To make the transition, Simon became a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) after three years of study at New York University (NYU). Nights were no longer for hanging out with classy clientele; classes had taken over. The ever-increasing workload led him to quit the job go all-in for the CFP designation eventually.
A one-year stint at the United Nations (UN) would soon follow. Simon served as a financial advisor with the Credit Union sitting within the UN Plaza. He learned to engage with foreign nationals on financial matters. This priceless experience has served him well in his practice.
Getting Anglia Advisors’ First Clients and Going On
Being in the trading pits on Wall Street and at the UN credit union helped Simon build up a decent stream of connections. Foreign national clients comprising of British and European citizens living in New York were among his first clients. They already trusted the man based on his past work. It only made sense to try out his new service offering – an essential lesson for would-be entrepreneurs.
Simon took things into his own hands and started to advertise himself using WeWork. He also niched out early, targeting clients and younger folks in their twenties, thirties, and forties. They were the ones more likely to use the WeWork facility, and this got Simon's practice going.
This seed client base prepared the path for continuing referrals from existing clients. It’s impossible to discount the fact that only Simon’s excellent work could have made this possible.
One of the pillars of Simon's strategy is to leverage his networks effectively. He belongs to a networking group that gives him access to several good professionals. So, when his job as a CFP requires legal services, he can identify at least one lawyer to handle that. If it's estate planning, he engages a CPA to provide tax advice.
Similarly, if it's an insurance need, he shakes his network like a kaleidoscope, and voila! There's someone – a professional – to handle that. Simon Brady deliberately doesn't have an insurance license.
Deliberate networking has been key to Simon’s success.
Ask For Clients When You Can; Ask Often!
Simon often takes his drive for clients one notch higher than the average professional. Once he’s got a good flow with a client, he asks for a referral. An entrepreneur's network can work really well here. It's a simple script. It says, “If there’s anyone in your personal or professional circle that my service can benefit, feel free to give me the chance to help them.”
Asking is all it takes. However, Simon says you can’t afford to betray your desperation or appear needy. That almost never works. So, what does?
Simon illustrates with a group of four or five clients in one union. It's easy to move forward with one person from the group. You can apply this same tactic at companies by getting through HR to top management. You can basically say, “You’ve got ten people who are like those I serve. I will make a presentation to them if you let me.” As long as there’s no obligation and it costs them nothing, they could give you a chance to score your shot. One possible result is that you walk away with four or five prospects.
Managing Your Schedule
As Simon Brady came to find out, signing up for entrepreneurship is a ticket to an unusually heavy schedule. He points out that [for beginning entrepreneurs, especially] things aren't precisely within a structure. It's easy to wake up and discover there's a whole day ahead of you. Now, with several things to do, it's important to sort things to avoid over-booking yourself. Technology can help entrepreneurs save a few minutes here and there each month.
Use strict to-do lists, calendars, a CRM, and anything else that helps you stay organized and disciplined. It’s helped Simon grow his practice to a thriving one.
Another way to deal with a loaded schedule is to learn that there's wisdom in saying “No.” It's an incredibly powerful word when your gut doesn't agree with a potential client.
Up Your Finance Game, Now!
Anglia Advisors is doing great under Simon's leadership. He understands business can be a slippery slope, and more so since COVID-19 hit the planet. His one piece of advice to clients is to hoard as much cash as possible in a high-yield savings account, considering the uncertainty of the times.
Simon also says having an emergency fund is the way to go. It’s advisable to stay off investments unless they offer a tax advantage like solo 401Ks and anything with a high stock allocation.
Simon also has some wisdom for planners: they need to look beyond the traditional wealthy clients. Be sure you know what you're doing, and you can find niche clients to deal with as a financial advisor.
For more inspiring stories like Simon Brady’s, you can visit the UpMyInfluence website today.
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