What I learned chatting to a Malaysian CFP in the middle of the night

I was lucky enough to be part of the presenting team for the first event of this week’s “Go Big and Stay Home” 2020 Nextgen Planners conference week. A series of 25 half-hour shows running at 8.30am in every time zone around the world, the Global Commute sought to bring the entire financial planning community together in a celebration of all that we have in common.

The show welcomed guests and presenters from the UK, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil, the United States, Ghana, South Africa, New Zealand among many others.

The realisation that struck me at 2.45 this morning as I found myself chatting to the energetic and articulate Kevin Neoh, an award-winning financial planner based in Kuala Lumpur, was that, no matter where we are from, we are all here for the same reason – to serve.

Kevin described how he has worked to serve both the profession and the wider community in Malaysia over the 12 years since he made the switch into financial services after a degree in biochemistry.

He got his start working for the only firm he could find that would enable him to get the experience he needed to pass the CFP – a life insurance company who came to his university careers fair.

Kevin talked of the journey he’s been on since joining that firm and how he’s working to drive the profession forwards in Malaysia. Thanks in part to his work, the number of CFPs in Malaysia is on the up and new graduates have a much wider variety of employers to look to as they try to find that all important first job.

Finally, Kevin spoke of the work he’s doing to help educate the general public about the importance of really understanding their financial situation. Writing a personal finance column in a local newspaper and regularly contributing articles to magazines he spoke of the way that he has built his brand whilst helping the community to recognise the role that financial planners can play.

The issues we’re battling and the journeys we’re on as UK based planners are being repeated all around the world. We truly are part of a global community.

For me, the shows served as an incredible reminder that we all have so much in common and that there is so much shared purpose driving us all forwards.

Long may that continue.

Marcus Farnfield – Expert Wealth Management