Meet Sandy Lui, Financial Adviser
Sandy Lui joined Alteris Financial Group in 2019 as a Financial Adviser and describes herself as a multi-faceted person: “I’m a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and Financial Adviser,” she laughs. She is currently working a 4-day week so that she can enjoy raising her young son.
As most women are, Sandy is a master of multi-tasking and uses a strategy of determining which balls are glass and which are plastic to help determine which task will have her undivided attention at different times. She also sensibly outsources what functions are able to be outsourced to help manage the load.
Sandy studied at the University of Technology, Sydney in finance and banking. At that time, financial planning wasn’t available as a Major but she says this is an area in which she had always had an interest. Her instincts told her that a significant portion of the population needed help understanding finance and financial matters, particularly when it came to the foundations for financial success.
A stint with Westpac following university introduced Sandy to the world of financial planning and she admits to finding the subject fascinating. She then became a Relationship Manager in the insurance industry looking after a team of financial advisers. This strengthened her interest in the field so she started a Diploma of Financial Planning Services course and then moved into a position as an all-rounder in a financial planning firm.
This was an excellent grounding in the industry. In a small firm, Sandy’s position allowed her to contribute at every stage of the financial planning process, acting as a client services manager, paraplanner and adviser.
Sandy’s years in the industry has allowed her to develop her own approach when working with clients to help plan their financial affairs. “This industry is so complex and constantly evolving,” she explains. “There are so many strategies that may be suitable, so you have to be able to break it down to digestible options so you can present meaningful possibilities to the client”. She feels strongly that this approach helps clients feel that the process is not as stressful, and the financial adviser can take on that burden, making the financial planning experience as enjoyable as possible for the client.
Listening is the key to Sandy’s success and her personal philosophy is that her role is to find out about her clients’ stories. By understanding their backgrounds and previous experiences, she can seek to create a plan that meets their individual needs, helps them understand their options and make an informed decision.
“Listening is so important because no two people are the same and everyone has a different story. It’s so important to understand their past experiences, what they have been taught about money, how they feel about money and so many other factors before I can even begin to try to help them.”
It’s this personal approach that has made Sandy a favourite among her clients. Understanding that what is right for one person may not be right for another allows her to capably walk her clients through the decision-making process and understand the implications of any strategy as there are pros and cons for all strategies.
“Our relationship with our clients is very personal,” she adds. “When we ask about their financial lives and how they live, we are asking them to be vulnerable and trust us with that information. So, we take that seriously – it’s their money and their financial path so they must feel that they are in control. It’s my job to make them feel comfortable and confident in making financial decisions”.
As with most busy women, Sandy doesn’t really have a “typical” day but, as the mother of a young child, she is super-efficient and organised to maximise her time. Her day is usually jam-packed from start to finish but she finds being disciplined and planning are the keys to managing her time. Having a support structure in place at Alteris allows Sandy to do what she does best such as speaking with clients, project management and preparation for client meetings; and delegating other aspects to other team members so they can do what they do best, like administration and paperwork.
Sandy enthuses about her four years with Alteris, citing the remarkable people, talented team and great management as key areas that support staff. “We are so lucky to have really capable managers that put in the time to mentor and guide the team. At Alteris, I can collaborate with people who have different experiences or insights which helps me to become a more rounded adviser,” Sandy says.
Sandy was involved with the Alteris Women set up from the start and she feels blessed to have been able to provide input and help set the direction of the organisation. What resonated with Sandy most was helping to create a safe place for women to come and seek advice, that provides credible and reliable information to empower women’s financial growth. “What we are trying to do is connect more women in different ways, at the right time and in the right place, in a way that is accessible and understandable,” she explains. “We’re at the early stages but I see limitless potential in this idea and I can’t wait to see how it evolves”.
As someone with a clear focus on family, Sandy sees her role as a financial adviser as not just looking after a single client, but acting in a way that benefits the whole family unit. She knows first-hand how difficult financial decisions can be when there are also other crisis points such as medical issues. Her goal is to help families think about what needs to be put into place now and how to structure your financial affairs so money concerns aren’t adding unnecessary stress in the future. In a time of crisis, Sandy has become the person her clients can rely on for financial guidance. This provides them with the comfort knowing that their finances are taken care of and they can put their energies into looking after and supporting their loved one.
When she is not working, Sandy enjoys swimming and spending time with her extended family – as a close-knit group they see each other on a regular basis.
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