Victoria Devine used to talk about finance with her friends over brunch, without skimping on smashed avocado. Now she is paving the way to the future of financial advice by starting these same conversations amongst a much larger audience.
Devine is just 28. She is the co-founder and director of wealth advisory firm Zella and founder of the popular She’s on the Money podcast, a personal finance podcast directed at millennial women.
The podcast originated after she found herself having productive meetings with her clients but needed to re-explain basic financial concepts.
Devine says: “I imagined how I could bring that to life and give it even more energy, more stories and have someone that is similar to a client asking those questions, so that my listeners don’t feel as though I’m just barking into their ears saying ‘this is what you should be doing I’m an advisor, I know best’.”
Her idea is working. She’s on the Money has over one million downloads and a dedicated Facebook group boasting 50,000 members at last count.
The podcast has blown up her business. She has gone from having a team of accountants, financial advisors and mortgage brokers to now having four people dedicated to She’s on the Money clients.
When starting her advice business, Devine didn’t want to be in a position where she was taking over someone else’s client book; she wanted to have full relationships with the clients.
She says: “I had pretty clear values, and an ethos when starting my business that I wanted everything to be organic and in hindsight that was actually absolutely crazy.”
The podcast has taught her a lot about advice. Especially the misconception in the industry of what financial advice is and what financial advisers do.
She says: “People are either worried about what a financial advisor does, or they think that we are not affordable for them. But then, the thing that people are craving the most seems to be around budgeting and cash flow and actually understanding their money.”
Devine is calling on the industry to go back to basics and start their work with clients on cash flow and budgeting to get them to a point where they can invest.
She says: “That means that we need to start early before they actually get into bad habits or commit to massive debts that then stop them from having the cash flow that they need.”
The podcast covers a range of topics from the basics of investing and working out personal money goals, to eliminating bad debt.
“I started it for young women who just wanted to get a hold of their finances and that’s absolutely what’s happened.”
The main difference in the advice offering for younger women compared with older Australians is that they don’t necessarily need advice on lump sums.
She says: “It’s different because we have the power to create the lifestyle, they want not just to use the money they have to create the lifestyle that they need. There’s so much power in young women getting advice right now.”
Prior to becoming a financial adviser, Devine was working in organisational psychology as a culture and engagement consultant.
Psychology is what she leans on the most as an adviser and it has shaped the way she runs her business.
She says: “Money is psychology, the way people spend, the decisions they make the values they hold or come back to their thought behaviours and experience. Their money stories and if you can connect with someone and truly understand them, you’ll have a client for life.”
Her focus with her employees is for them to empower and understand clients and make them feel safe.
In fact, that is how her key performance indicators are driven as there are no financial targets for her staff.
She says: “I want my advisers to create the relationship with the client so that they are stoked with the advice. It’s up to me to ensure its profitable. I don’t want my clients to feel like they are financial targets.”
Devine still makes time for her brunch dates and encourages her clients and listeners to have the financial freedom to never skimp on brunch again.
She says: “I don’t believe I know best. I have my way. I think everything, regardless of whether it’s said by me or not, needs to be taken with a grain of salt because everybody’s situation is different. I needed that to shine through as well.”