An impending new year tends to put you in a reflective mood. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how my past experiences have impacted the course of my life, particularly in relation to my business. Setting up my own financial planning firm in 2015 was a big milestone and one that I’m incredibly proud of. Jurson Advisory is the culmination of not only my professional ambitions but the life-affirming experiences that have etched my ethos.
I believe that in order to truly financially empower clients, expertise needs to coexist with empathy and understanding. That’s why I don’t just teach people to manage money. I teach them to manage change, the one constant in life.
How did I develop these beliefs? And why was I so determined to do more meaningful work? My evolution comes down to a lot of little things and two big life events – one tragic, one joyous.
Years ago I was working with a couple, Adam and Vanessa, who lived on the Gold Coast. Even after I moved to Melbourne, I would travel to Queensland to see them. They were really good people doing great work to support others. Adam was a business coach and Vanessa was involved in children’s education. They shared my interest in psychology and philosophy and I loved talking with them, not only about financial empowerment but about life, change and everything in between. Over the years our professional relationship grew into a friendship.
Adam and Vanessa had quite a significant age gap and after five years of my working with them, Adam got sick. I was on their list of close contacts so I would get updated about Adam’s deteriorating health. Then the news came that none of us wanted, Adam had passed away. Vanessa had been married before and this was the second husband of hers to pass away. She really struggled. At 55, she was once again alone having to grieve the loss of a husband she loved.
In terms of finances, there were a few bits and pieces we needed to get done with regards to Adam’s estate and Vanessa’s future. I tried not to push Vanessa too much, only presenting her with the most urgent paperwork and trying to hold off the rest until she felt able to deal with it. She kept saying, “I just can’t deal with all this right now.” I could tell from the communication she was sending to her inner circle that she was in a lot of pain.
I was in the bank when my phone rang and I heard Vanessa’s sister on the line. She told me that Vanessa had taken her own life. I burst into tears. I couldn’t believe that my client and my friend had reached a point where she was devoid of hope. I knew she was struggling with Adam’s loss. I knew she was struggling with the prospect of managing their debt on her own. But she was so in tune with psychology and mindfulness, I thought she would be ok.
I started reflecting on what Vanessa had been through. I started thinking about what a lot of people go through when they suddenly find themselves alone, grieving and having to make big decisions about their future. I knew I wanted to play some part in making the experience more manageable for them. Something had shifted for me. I wanted to do more meaningful work. I wanted to be able to ring Vanessa’s family and tell them how her life and her loss had led to something good.
If you’re a parent you’ll understand that kids have a way of making you reflect on your career, your relationships and your life as a whole. While I applaud the stay at home mums and dads, everyone is different. And I know that the fulfillment my career provides makes me a better mum. While the birth of my kids didn’t spark an immediate career epiphany, nearly two years into motherhood I knew that something had to change.
My first child was still crawling and I was eight months pregnant with my second child. I was working insane hours as a director at a wealth management firm and I was faced with a big decision. My business partners wanted to ramp up their focus on growing the business. I knew it would mean more hours, more pressure and less time with my young kids. I didn’t want to feel like I was letting them down but I couldn’t help thinking, What the hell am I doing?
I loved working in finance but I wanted the time away from my kids to be focused on doing more meaningful and important work. I wanted more flexibility to work from home and spend less time commuting. At the time I was listening to a lot of podcasts and reading a lot of books. That’s when I came across a course in the United States that pioneered the concept of financial transitions. The stars must have aligned because the next day they were hosting a two-hour seminar about the course. I immediately signed up for the 6am session.
At the seminar the presenter talked about the concept of financial transitions – not just helping people to manage their finances but helping them to manage change. As she talked about the psychological impact of change and the need to provide not just expertise but empathy and understanding, it all just clicked for me. I thought, This is what I want to do. This is what I’ve been looking for. Completing the course was a big commitment of both time and finances but it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career.
As a result of my new approach to financial planning, I started to work with more and more people who were going through a divorce. Instead of focusing on just their finances, I used the unique tools and insights I had learned to give them the support, skills and mindset to manage their transition with clarity and confidence. Together, we planned for their future and made smart, rational decisions based on knowledge rather than emotion. Not only was I helping people redesign a new chapter in their lives, my sense of purpose and career fulfillment skyrocketed. I had found the meaningful work I had been searching for. Work that combined my financial expertise with my interest and passion for psychology and genuine human connection.
Jurson Advisory represents who I am and everything I have learned along the way. It is a divorce financial planning firm where professionalism is enhanced by a personal approach. An approach that gives our work real purpose. An approach that supports our clients to come out other side of divorce feeling safe, strong and excited about the future. I am so proud of what I’ve created. I know that Vanessa would be proud. I know that my family are proud. And that, is the best feeling of all.
If you’re looking for an inspiring speaker for an upcoming event, let’s chat about how I can tailor a talk to your specific needs. For more information on my keynote speaking, head to my personal website to download a speaking kit.
While I have decades of experience in financial services, I believe in leading with compassion rather than a calculator. As the Managing Director of Jurson Advisory, I empower busy professionals to make smart decisions before, during and after divorce. With the support of an expert team, I resolve any complex money matters so you can take charge of your finances and grow more hopeful and excited about the future.
Prior to setting up Jurson Advisory in 2015, I enjoyed a successful career as a Director at Goldman Sachs JBWere and a Senior Investment Adviser at Macquarie Bank. My desire to combine expertise with empathy, led to me qualifying as a Certified Financial Transitionist® and pioneering a new approach to divorce financial planning in Australia.
When I’m not financially empowering people through their divorce, you’ll find me gardening and spending time with my family in the idyllic Macedon Ranges.
Aynsley Jurson and her company, Jurson Advisory Pty Ltd (ABN 53 605 826560) are authorised representatives of Fitzpatricks Private Wealth Pty Ltd (ABN33 093 667 595), holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL No.247 429).
The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. Before acting on the information, investors should consider its appropriateness having regard to their own objectives, financial situation and needs and obtain professional advice.
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