John Hou’s Testimonial
20 years ago, I managed to pick up Robert Kiyosaki’s book at the age of 18 (1997), my first year into college. That really brought a paradigm shift in my mental model and what it meant to be financially free. From that point, I focused my utmost attention to wealth creation and accumulation, building my “house of cards”. I read widely on investments as I started out in my career, diligently attending conferences and seminars on investing as I knew being an employee wasn’t going to cut it to being financially free. Indeed, I was well on my way, and so I thought.
2009, with my wife heavily pregnant with my first child, I was struck with simple appendicitis surgery that turned for the worst. As I lay in my hospital bed for a month, it struck me that while my Company’s Medical insurance was superior in covering all my medical expenses, was it not important for me to cover myself personally as well if my Company decided to stop loving me or remove the medical coverage due to unsustainable cost in the future?
While I had sufficient funds invested to grow my wealth, I was poorly equipped with the knowledge to protect it. Then I met Aaron, and my “house of cards” was “virtually” tumbled by him. Prior to this, I never understood how to use insurance as a tool to safeguard my financial wealth even though I was pretty savy at investing. I was not leveraging on insurance as a tool for wealth protection which I took so hard to accumulate.
In 2015, a slew of unrelated events forced me to re-think the path I was on. I was at a cross-road, heading towards quite a promising career with the world’s 2nd largest oil major or start out afresh in a financial services field that holds something very dear to me with my growing knowledge of investing. As a servant of God, I asked myself what better way to put food on the table for my family and serve society with a purpose on something I was so passionate about. I spend hours and a good amount of money accumulating this knowledge about financial planning, why not share my mistakes and corrections in my financial journey so others can benefit.
As a part timer, one of my first client came to see me after listening to a colleague that I helped clients do insurance planning. He wanted to insure his child, a son of 4 months. I asked him if he or his spouse was insured. Both didn’t have any coverage at all. After educating him about the importance of insuring the breadwinner as a priority, he agreed and said he would discuss with the wife, who was not present. The next day he said his wife still insisted on insuring the son. I politely told him that I might not be a suitable agent for him and recommended him to look for another agent. He was really taken aback as he was surprised why I didn’t want to “sell” him a plan for his son. I told him that my value system of ensuring I dispense my fiduciary duties to the best of my client’s interest was not aligned as the breadwinners were not protected. I asked him if his wife would be able to spare me the time for me to educate them about insurance planning. I was thankful after spending 2 hours with the wife, I managed to convinced both of them to start on a plan for themselves first as their budget were constrained. This was my first moral victory in what I know will be long but fulfilling vocation.
Needless to say being a full time agent now has been very liberating, more for the fact that I know as long as I keep to my values, and am passionate about what I do, I can secure a better future for my family and my clients.
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