Qayrul Haqim

Financial Services Consultant

Contact: haqim@aia.com.sg

I was always known as the video guy by my friends.

I started freelancing straight after my university graduation and it picked off.

The ‘education’ aspect of my career was free; I learnt everything off YouTube.

I committed to learning new skills daily and incorporated them into my portfolio, soon my videography skills started to grab the attention of others.

It felt great.

On the surface, it seemed like I had the next chapter of my life figured out.

No regimentation of a typical 9 to 5 job. I was the master of my own time and best of all I could travel whenever and wherever I wanted.

It had its challenges of course. Oddly to say, my life was bouncing back and forth between being abundantly simple and maddeningly complex.

I was content but I didn’t feel fulfilled.

Life became routinely comfortable. I knew what I had to do and I trudged through everything else.

But, little did I know that I had been living only for myself and I had not been giving back to my family.

In terms of “allowance” and spending time with them, I was falling short in the duties of a son. Not just in my responsibilities but even the basic definition of the word itself.

There were even times where I felt there wasn’t a need to even join them for family dinner. Family dinner was a deep-rooted tradition and part of the family culture…

But I had no part in it.

One day, my mother started complaining that something didn’t feel right about her body and fell very ill.

Heeding this as a sign, we quickly had it checked out by the doctor.

To our horror, the doctor said that there was a lump in her chest and surgery was needed.

The whole family felt shattered by the news; we did not know what to expect.

Fear creeped onto me but I knew I had to stay strong for her. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how my mum must have felt.

We rallied together as a family and went ahead with the surgery.

To our blessing, the surgery was a success. She started to recover.

I was relieved. But it also dawned on me at how fragile life was. I knew the universe was trying to tell me something.

The experience truly opened my eyes and I knew I had to do something about it…but what?

I figured out what was important:

-Family

-A back up plan so that we would be ready if such an occurrence ever happened again

If I wanted my parents to live through their golden years happily, I had to have a plan.

The goal was to make sure that I could comfortably support myself and my parents in the next 3 years while their retirement draws near.

By chance and fate, I had a meet up with Leonard (an old buddy of mine and also a financial consultant with Odyssey) to discuss my own financial planning.

It was then I realised the depth and importance of a structured and comprehensive financial plan.

Suddenly it clicked.

This was a problem that had been troubling myself and my community for many years, but I never realised how much financial literacy deficit we were in.

After my personal family experience, I knew I had to do something and this was the answer.

I knew my goal was to ensure that I could reach out and help as many people as possible to raise awareness on the importance of financial planning.

We had to break this chain.

I immediately began my journey with the team that was the most vibrant, dynamic, and had the resources and capacity to propel me to become a top-tier financial consultant.

It was none other than Odyssey.

The experience of this new professional role took a little bit of adjusting from my initial freelance habits and not to mention that I had a team backing me up now.

I am no longer alone.

For the first time in my life, I am empowered with a mission and a strong drive to better the lives of others and protect their future.

I’m growing exponentially as a person and in my career and I couldn’t be more thankful for this.

I look back at myself in the past years and in a way, I’m finally coming out of my cocoon.

I’m ready to make a difference.