Welcome back to the 321st episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today's podcast is Danqin Fang. Danqin is a Lead Advisor for Austin Asset, an independent RIA based in Austin, Texas that oversees more than $1.3 billion in assets under management for nearly 400 client households.
What's unique about Danqin, though, is how she planned and executed a very intentional career path in the financial services industry that involved her leaving her homeland China, embracing a new language and culture in the United States while achieving her Master’s degree in Financial Planning, and proactively creating opportunities for herself by getting involved with industry associations and networking to advance in her career.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how after a few mentors in China suggested that Danqin look into private banking and wealth management (as they felt it better suited her than her initial accounting major), she began Googling potential career paths in China but instead came across the CFP Board website and immediately connected with the description of a CFP professional, how Danqin realized that to get her CFP marks, she would need to leave China and pursue her education at an accredited institution in the U.S. but saw it as an opportunity to satisfy her desire to explore other cities and different cultures, and to follow a clearer career path (as in China, career paths in finance are much more ambiguous), and how Danqin ultimately navigated the complexities of relocating to another country and acclimating to a new culture and language so that she could take advantage of better opportunities to marry together her love of math and talking to people to become a financial planner.
We also talk about how, to maximize her time and the number of opportunities she could gain in her education and career in the US, Danqin created a plan that worked backwards from her ultimate goal of becoming a lead financial advisor and was intentional about everything from the school she selected to the internships she took to eventually achieve that goal, how Danqin proactively looked for opportunities to network, attend industry conferences, and be involved in local chapters of industry organizations, so that she could increase her probability of making connections with the right people in the industry to find better jobs (and those that would be willing to sponsor her work visa), and how, even though Danqin was already somewhat familiar with the English language, she took advantage of every chance to immerse herself in American culture and better her English with the intention that she could improve her relatability and communication, giving her greater success with future clients.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Danqin shares how she was surprised that despite feeling like she needed to blend into American culture, it was in embracing her authentic self that allowed her to truly connect and cross-cultural barriers with her clients, why, even though Danqin admits that she would have benefitted from more confidence earlier in her career journey, she is appreciative for the experiences she gained as without them, she would not have attained the knowledge she has and gotten to where she is in life and her career, and why Danqin feels it’s important for younger, newer advisors to get clear on their vision of where they see themselves in the future… so that they can figure out what they can control between here and there and work backwards to find the next step forward.
So, whether you’re interested in learning about why Danqin was so adamant about becoming a financial advisor that she uprooted her life to move to a foreign country, how being intentional about what steps to take in her career helped Danqin achieve her goal of becoming a financial advisor, or how, through professional and social groups, Danqin found a sense of community and never truly felt like an outsider, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Danqin Fang.