Jana Human, CFP®| Financial Planner Profile

Blue Chip speaks to Jana Human CFP®, JWR Group, about her journey as a Certified Financial Planner®.

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Jana Human, CFP®
Jana Human, CFP®
My path to becoming a Financial Planner has been an enriching journey, fuelled by a genuine passion for figuring out the world of personal finance. I started my career in 2017 as the receptionist at JWR Financial Services and today I am one of four Certified Financial Planners in our company. I am grateful for the opportunity to share a bit about my journey and offer my perspective on our wonderful profession. If anything I mentioned sparks your interest, please reach out to me and let’s make this an opportunity to connect and share experiences and insights.

What inspired you to become a financial planner?

My journey into the world of finance began with a straightforward driver: Money. Growing up I was very aware of the impact money had on people’s lives and curious about the financial disparities among people around me. For context, I came from a middle-class family and went to high school with mostly upper-class kids. In my mind, this was more of a personal interest than an inspiration or a possible career path. In fact, I always planned on doing something creative and starting my own business.

In my second year of studying part-time, I got a job as a receptionist at JWR Financial Services. Working at JWR exposed me to a community of affluent and financially savvy people. Intrigued by their financial know-how, I saw an opportunity to unravel the mysteries of finance for myself. Looking back, this is probably where it all started.

What inspired me to become a financial planner was a desire to understand the secrets of financial success that seemed so out of reach for so many people. At the start, it was more about seeking financial stability and freedom for myself than any deep-seated passion for the job or a love for numbers.

Today, my venture into financial planning has evolved from the pursuit of financial freedom to a genuine passion for helping others navigate their unique financial landscapes. The fulfilment and purpose I find in my career today reaffirm that life sometimes guides us towards our true calling, even in ways we couldn’t have anticipated.

What prompts clients to come to you? Do you have a niche or distinctive value offering?

People tend to seek out financial guidance at critical turning points in their lives, be it positive or negative. Money is intertwined into every aspect of our daily lives, and so when we are faced with a big financial challenge or decision that will have a significant impact on our lives, it is really valuable to have someone who can help you understand the financial impact of your decisions to gain clarity.

At this point in my career, I really enjoy working with young professionals to help them build a solid financial foundation for future success.

What do you believe is the most important thing you do for clients?

Tying in with my previous answer, the most important thing we can do for our clients is to try our best to understand them before we give advice. I believe that financial planning is a two-way street. My role is not to make decisions for my clients but rather to be their thinking partner. For me, building a collaborative relationship with my clients is the key to a successful financial plan.

What are the biggest mistakes that you see clients make?

Two of the biggest mistakes I see people make all the time are; not starting to invest early enough and working without a clear financial plan.

Most people underestimate the significance of starting to save early and neglect the value that compounding interest adds over time. R500pm over 20 years is worth more than R1 000pm over 10 years – that is the power of time and compound interest. Starting small is better than not starting at all.

Secondly, working without a clear financial plan can cost you dearly. Too often I see clients working against themselves because they end up with financial products and investments that they don’t understand, and lose money because of it. Having a plan and being consistent beats jumping to “the next best thing”, every time.

How do you charge for your services?

In our practice, we’ve adopted a tailored fee structure that combines both initial financial planning fees and ongoing fees, based on a client’s financial needs and the complexity of their financial plan.

What role does technology play in your practice?

We use technology in every aspect of our business. It allows us to operate more efficiently, be more client-centric in our processes, and provides valuable insights into our business on a practice level. Overall it helps us to be better financial planners. Our main focus is always to improve and personalise the experience for our clients.

What do you enjoy most about being a financial planner?

Ah, answering this question “sommer” makes me EXCITED to go to work in the morning! Meeting new people, forming meaningful connections and being a part of their financial journey is incredibly rewarding. I get to work with people to connect their money to their life goals and ultimately help them live a more meaningful life. I love my job.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a financial planner?

In our small independent practice, keeping up with the ever-changing compliance regulations and increased requirements is quite challenging. We constantly try to integrate these requirements into our client processes without overwhelming our clients with paperwork. Sometimes it feels like we spend more time dealing with regulations than actually helping people with their finances.

What is the biggest change you have seen in financial planning during your career?

I fully recognize that I am still very young in this role compared to my colleagues and peers, and I have been very grateful to start my career in a much better landscape than many before me. What I have experienced, is that our industry is constantly changing and evolving and being adaptable is a must-have quality for sustainable success.

What’s your one wish for the future of the financial planning profession?

When done with honest intentions, financial planning has the power to change people’s lives. Only when we start to operate and conduct ourselves as professionals will others recognize us as such. We set the scene for the future of financial planning by what we do in our daily practice, and it is up to us to ensure that we lift our profession to the highest standards.


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