Danielle is the Financial Planner of Hall and Costello Wealth Management Ltd. In this blog, Danielle talks through her career Female empowerment, financial education, next-generation investing and what inspires her every day.
I graduated from university in 2012 with a first-class Law Degree. Shortly after this I started a role within a pension software company and spent the majority of my role advising on technical aspects in relation to analyzing clients options alongside comparing funds and platforms forming the basis of the advice of many Financial Advisers. During this period I became to realise that my passion for financial planning and putting clients’ needs first, strongly outweighed that of many of their own IFAs, and it was at this point that I realised that to make a difference to the industry, I needed to be client-facing and at the forefront of such change.
I started my own education to take my Diploma exams and became employed as an inhouse paraplanner / technical consultant at a St. James's Place Partner Practice. I then progressed through the St. James's Place Next Generation Academy, from which I have since become a fully-fledged Diploma Qualified Financial Planner, specialising in investment, protection, and retirement planning. I am a qualified pension transfer specialist and am close to achieving Chartered status.
I am hugely passionate about educating my clients, speaking their language, empowering them to believe in their goals and manifest them by putting in place strategies to achieve them. Ultimately, I provide high level holistic financial planning advice to both individuals and businesses, with a view for protecting and preserving their existing assets, in conjunction with creating and growing their wealth to enable them to meet their goals and aspirations for the future. I help people to get from A to B, in the most tax-efficient manner possible, giving them the power to understand, manage and control both their finances and their destiny.
Every day in my job is so varied and why I love it. Typically on a client-focused day, I can meet up to 3 clients, which involves a high-level data-gathering exercise, getting to know the client and their family circumstances, reviewing their existing provisions and helping them strategize for the future, building a tailored and bespoke route map to achieving their goals, which we can monitor over future years.
Fundamentally the reason I chose this industry is simply because I love it. I believe everyone needs to understand and achieve financial literacy, independence and empowerment. I believe this comes from having the confidence to understand and manage their finances to enable them control and power to be self-reliant and make decisions with the knowledge needed to do so.
Of course, throughout my career, I have faced many challenges. From being bought up by a single-parent family, having little financial help as a child, being determined to make and carve a career off the back of a strong moral compass in an industry that is wholly male-dominated. I believe in educating my clients, especially females and the younger generation to take control of their financial destiny, their future goals, options and aspirations for the benefit of themselves and their children.
My gender has brought unnecessary challenges to my career as the industry is hugely male-dominated and I have had to prove myself time and time again that I am technically and professionally capable of managing my role and also my private life as a wife and a female, alongside that of running a household.
“Be genuine and treat others how you would like to be treated."
"Time is one of life’s greatest commodity… Always give your time to those who want or need it, it is worth more than you know.”
Being from a single-parent family really gave me the drive and determination to succeed. My mum is my biggest inspiration, being a single mum and waitress with two children, she has put herself through adult education and night school, with no government help or financial help from anyone else.
30 years later she is now a Finance Director of a Secondary School, mortgage-free, and looking forward to a comfortable retirement in c3 years’ time. It certainly wasn’t easy and emotionally very hard, but she had determination, a strong financial sense of responsibility and moral ethics to achieve all of the above. Seeing how hard it was for her, I have promised myself that I am blessed enough to be in a position to be able to help and educate other females to take control of their finances early, so as to protect and preserve their future options and that of their children. This has been something that has driven me every step of the way.
The financial industry is such a hugely male-dominated industry, I love breaking the mould, attracting both male and female clients by being genuine, trustworthy, knowledgeable and professional. I build relationships for the longer term and love that I have 25 plus years ahead of me to advise my clients and help both them and their future generations through their life journeys. Waking up every day knowing my clients put their complete trust in me gives me the biggest passion and sense of achievement. I think the right steps are being taken to address the gender imbalance in the workplace, although we are decades behind where we should be compared to the advances of other topics/issues.
“Work hard, take opportunities and always give your time where possible. Say yes and take opportunities – invest in the long term relationship with anyone you meet.”