As an orthopedic surgeon, Amy Gibbens can replace a hip, fix a knee or sure up a spine.
Give her a scalpel – or a bone saw – and Amy can work magic with the human body, but managing finances? Well, even Amy would admit that’s not her strong point.
Or, at least, it wasn’t.
Amy has been a much-loved client of Endorphin Wealth since early 2018.
Fast forward two years and Amy has kicked some major financial goals.
She has enjoyed some fantastic returns from her investments and she has used those funds to tick off one of her major short-term aspirations; buying her first home.
She even managed to survive breast cancer.
In our first edition of Endorphin Zen series, Amy shares her story of health, wealth and how fun and friendship has been a central part of her financial management experience with Endorphin.
Financial Seeds Are Sewn
Like most surgeons, Amy got into medicine to help people.
“We’re like a carpenter for the human body,” Amy said through her trademark smile.
“I guess, getting into medicine, I was always interested in doing something that helped people.
“I’ve always had this fascination with the human body and as a junior doctor working within an orthopedic team and seeing how orthopedics can make a real difference in treating and helping people make a big difference in their lives.”
But even those who dedicate their lives to making a difference for others need some support of their own.
“I’m a bit naive when it comes to this financial world,” Amy said.
“I’d been wanting to get someone to help me manage that side of things for me. I’d always just had my savings sitting in a bank account and I wasn’t doing anything with it.”
So, like most people looking for a helping hand with their financials, Amy got talking to her colleagues and friends.
One name just kept popping up.
“One of my friends had just commenced working with Rob Rich from Endorphin Wealth and he was recommended to her by another friend and they were both impressed and happy with Rob after their first couple of meetings,” she said.
“I was working at the Royal Melbourne Hospital at the time and it’s pretty hard to find time outside of a busy schedule in orthopedics.
“But Rob was more than happy to come to me so our first meeting was actually in the hospital cafeteria after work one evening.”
Rob’s eyes light up when he recalls his first meeting with Amy.
“We got along like a house on fire!
“She’s always smiling, she’s a really optimistic and beautiful person. She’s just got a caring nature.
“It’s funny, but she’s this lovely, quite petite girl and I was sort of sitting there imagining her in surgery cracking bones or using a saw and grinder, basically using power tools on the human body.
“In our first meeting I was really just wanting to learn a bit more about her and her work and what makes her tick and we hit it off straight away.
“I knew from that meeting that she was exactly the sort of person and client I would love to work with, too.”
First Things First: Setting The Goals
Like all of Rob’s engagements, this one started with a blank canvas.
“It’s a real discovery session,” he said.
“For me, it’s really about understanding the person, what they’re excited about, what they’re fearful of and there’s always a lot of talk about their emotions surrounding and relationship with money.
“With Amy, obviously she knew that as a surgeon she was earning a solid income, but what is she doing with that money? Is it being put to a good purpose that builds her wealth over time instead of just sitting in a bank account?
“We wanted to make the most of a good situation.”
For Amy, being able to build an instant connection with Rob was crucial to her feeling comfortable in trusting him with her finances.
“Rob was able to outline everything for me in a really easy and clear way to understand,” Amy said.
“We set some goals after assessing my current financial status and set out goals for finances as well as for life, both in the near future and down the track.
“And then he handled everything from there. Before long he came to me with a proposal on where to invest my money and how to do it.”
More than that, Rob provided some great options for Amy’s super and personal insurances.
“Just by doing that, the savings I made basically covered Rob’s fee,” Amy said.
“It just automatically gave me confidence in him. He’s a really lovely, approachable, warm friendly person and he goes above and beyond.”
As it would turn out, Rob’s initial advice for personal insurance cover for Amy’s income would become particularly crucial with what was to come next.
Amy’s Battle with Cancer
Six months after signing up with Rob and Endorphin Wealth, Amy was dealt with some terrible news.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I get goosebumps thinking about that call,” Rob said.
“We’d become good friends pretty much straight away. She just called me and told me she’d been diagnosed and would be getting surgery straight away.
“My heart just went out to her on a human level first … but immediately it was about making sure we swung into action and started liaising with the insurance company and informing them there would be a claim and getting everything in motion straight away.”
Amy said that being able to rely on Rob as a friend and as a financial adviser was crucial to her financial health, which in turn gave her one less thing to worry about as she focused on her recovery.
“The income protection insurance covered my salary and the trauma insurance provided a payout of a lump-sum payment. Together they helped cover the lost income because I couldn’t work but also helped cover extra costs of medical bills,” she said.
“I was super grateful I’d signed up with Endorphin and taken up that cover. It meant I came out of a terrible situation on top financially.
“Rob handled everything with the claims. Knowing that was looked after was a massive burden off my shoulders.”
And it wasn’t just Rob’s quick financial thinking that made a difference, it was his personal care factor that set him apart for Amy.
“He was so supportive of me. That first two months when I was unwell and undergoing chemotherapy, he was contacting me almost every second or third day just to touch base and see how I was,” she said.
“He’d always put a smile on my face. It meant a lot to me.”
Moving on Up: Kicking Goals
With Amy’s cancer battle in the rearview mirror and thanks to the forward-thinking advice of Rob and the team at Endorphin Wealth, our surgeon hero could continue to stride forward to her financial and personal goals.
While a cancer battle is financially debilitating for many, Amy’s insurance cover and the ongoing performance of her investments with Rob meant that the reality of owning her own home was a real prospect for her short-term future.
It was a goal Rob was only too happy to assist with.
“With Amy’s investments and her savings we had enough for a deposit,” he said.
“But the important thing was finding the right property. Amy had never bought a property before, and I was happy to lend some experience in that respect.
“I mentored Amy and took her under my wing. I got her to tell me what sort of property she wanted, what areas she was looking in and she would send me the listings she was interested in, I’d then ask her for three comparable properties so we could determine what we should pay for it.”
Amy was once again blown away by the efforts Rob went to in supporting her in her journey towards property ownership.
“He owns several properties himself and his wife is in real estate as well, so he was a big help,” she said.
“It’s not in his job description, but he was looking at properties with me. I’d send him an email and we would talk through the pros and cons of the property.”
Eventually, they found Amy’s first property and in December 2019, she signed the papers and paid a deposit on a new townhouse in Coburg.
“It’s exciting. You always want your own place and be able to hang things on the wall without having to worry about your landlord,” Amy said.
And she’s not stopping at one…
“I’ve already spoken to Rob about the future game plan. This is the first, but after this we’ll be looking to expand our property portfolio and start looking at a second and maybe a third.”
As the game plan evolves, Rob is only too happy to be able to count Amy as one of his loyal, happy clients.
“She’s just so awesome,” Rob said.
“I just love that she’s met my wife and kids, Amy and her partner even bake me a loaf of bread each Christmas.
“I just love being able to help her and my other clients. I feel like I’ve known her for 10 years, but it’s only been two years.
“I can’t wait to see what we can do for her by the time it’s actually been 10 years.”
Robert Rich is a Director and Financial Advisor with Endorphin Wealth and has helped clients from many walks of life to make the most of their financial situation.
Want to learn more about how Robert and the team can make an impact in your life? He can be contacted via the following means:
Mobile: 0466 554 234
If you have further questions about financial advice or wealth management, please get in contact with an advisor here at Endorphin Wealth.