Financial Standard - Answering the Call
Cover Story : Amie Baker
Forging a career in financial advice wasn’t a simple path for Rekab Advice director and financial adviser Amie Baker. Cassandra Baldini writes.
Her journey toward financial advice and owning her own business was fraught with obstacles and in the early days, there was a lot to overcome.
At the time of starting her firm, she was a single mum of three and admits there were moments she wanted to give up. However, it was her fierce passion for advice and desire to watch clients go from strength to strength that meant defeat wasn’t an option.
Fast forward a decade, this year’s recipient of the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) Female Excellence in Advice Award (FEIA) explains that if you want something bad enough, you’ll get it.
“Growing up I pursued performing arts, I started out singing jazz and acting,” she smiles.
“I took part in musicals; I went to NIDA and Euroa College and underwent courses. I stuck at it for about 12 years, but there was a point that I shifted gears and started heading towards a career in the workforce.”
In 2001 Baker started managing the accounts for an interior design firm. It was at this point she realised her passion for problem-solving.
“I don’t know how I fell into accounts, but I found myself obsessed with numbers, reconciling, questioning, and wondering why people make certain decisions,” she says.
“It wasn’t my business, but I couldn’t help reviewing finances and asking; ‘what’s this about?’ Or suggesting, ‘wouldn’t you do it this way?’
In 2004, just 12 weeks after her first son was born, she joined the collections department at St George bank.
“I had to go back to work pretty quickly. But I was terrible at that job,” she laughs.
At that time Baker worked in a call centre, handling customers in arrears. True to its environment, speed was of the essence.
“I would sort of go, ‘hang on, how much are you earning and what are your expenses?’ We received one call every 15 seconds, so I spent way too long on the phone,” she says.
It was clear to her that every client she assisted could have avoided a financial crisis with just a bit of financial literacy.