Helping advisers to engage Gen Y: Q&A with Wealth Enhancers' Finn Kelly February 2018
'Serial entrepreneur', Finn Kelly, has a goal to make Gen Y the most “financially free” generation in Australia’s history. Co-founding Wealth Enhancers (WE) with his wife Sarah in 2012 was the first step and now Finn is sharing his findings with other advisers through the WE Coaching Academy. He tells us what makes WE's workshops different, touches on his years as an Army Officer and about his time spent in Bulgaria as an “undercover angel.”
- Wealth Enhancers (WE) was one of the first players in the game to focus solely on Gen Y clientele. We are starting to see a rise in firm’s targeting this age group, what do you think has prompted this?
I'd say there are a couple of reasons. Firstly, Gen Y are now not so young, and they're the largest percentage of the workforce, they contribute over 50% of discretionary spending, and are also potentially going to be beneficiaries of the largest transfer of wealth we've ever seen. Secondly, we're seeing a large number of Gen Y entering the advice profession, naturally they are often more interested in advising and helping their own generation instead of the traditional retiree / pre-retiree market. We're very happy this shift is happening as it means more of our generation will be getting the guidance and advice that they need to become financially secure.
- What will advisers gain from attending your WE Coaching Academy workshops that they couldn’t find elsewhere?
We haven't come across any education targeted purely at helping advisers advise and coach Gen Y. Predominantly the existing education available to financial advisers is very focused on retirement planning for those close to ceasing their working life, these clients have very different needs from a typical Gen Y client. The strategies and advice are completely different, and so we're sharing all the knowledge that has taken us years to build, essentially what we wish we could have had access to when we started working with Gen Y.
- Will these workshops be face-to-face or online?
Face-to-face, as we want to create a really collaborative learning environment.
- What prompted you to provide this extra service to advisers on top of your existing offering to WE members?
Our purpose is to enable Gen Y to become the most financially free generation in Australia's history. We're constantly trying to find ways to edge closer to fulfilling this mission. We speak, write books and articles and provide as much free information as we can generate (we're also about to launch a completely free 4 week course), however we know that we simply cannot reach this entire market. We realised we needed to pass on our knowledge and experience to other advisers who will then be able to then pass it on to their clients.
- You started out as an Army Officer in the Australian Defence Force. What was the impetus for you to move into the finance/entrepreneurial space?
I was very lucky to receive some of the best leadership training in the world, and hands on experience through my years as an Army Officer. I realised this knowledge and experience could be transferred into an entrepreneurial space where I had the added benefit of working toward a vision I was passionate about. I chose to focus on the personal finance space as I saw money so often being an inhibitor for so many people. I'm passionate about shifting people's mindsets into viewing money as an enabler instead. Showing them how to have it work for them and how to use it to create the life they want.
- You worked as an ‘undercover angel’ for a documentary series that saw you assisting a charity to help the Roma Community in Bulgaria. Can you tell us what you learnt from this experience?
I learnt that regardless of our race, affluence, education or geographical location, at our core we are all very similar and have the same needs and desires. Most people want to improve their personal situation and their community, they just often don't know how to. I also saw how important hope and leadership are. I funded the purchase of a house in their community and then the resources required to set up a family learning centre.
- You’ve been described as a “serial entrepreneur.” What has been the most interesting project you have worked on so far?
I regularly run retreats for YPO and EO members. I gain so much pleasure from this as I get to be surrounded by amazing entrepreneurs and help them to become better people and leaders. I believe this is the greatest way to leverage my talents as these people each have a lot of influence in their communities.
"Be intentional with how you spend your time and live your life."
- What has been one of your most memorable investments? (for either positive or negative reasons?)
A memorable investment that was positive would be during my currency trading days during the GFC when I picked the turn of the US dollar and enjoyed a great long ride.
A memorable investment that was negative would be in a start-up that we set up and raised capital for and then we shut down because I suffered burnout. Due to my ethics and loyalty to the investors I paid back all of their investment out of my own funds which was an expensive lesson.
- What advice have you been offered that has influenced your life/career in some way?
Be intentional with how you spend your time and live your life. Work out your top five priorities and then make sure you allocate your attention, time and resources toward these.
- What’s something that most people wouldn’t know about you?
I'm more of an introvert than an extrovert, and spend countless hours alone and in nature. This recharges me and truly makes me happy.