For Christian Beddoe, spending much of his childhood growing up in different cities and countries not only opened his eyes to the world but has also made him adaptable to changing environments. And in the fast-paced and constantly evolving financial services industry, that ability to constantly adapt and think on his feet have been serving him well.
Christian has been enjoying putting those skills and many others to the test in his graduate role as Associate with the E&P Financial Group. Here he takes us through a typical day:
Feeding the body to fuel the mind
For Christian, his day usually starts at 5.30am when his alarm sounds. He says: “Once I’m awake I browse my phone for 10 minutes and have a quick flick through the AFR app. Then I’m out the door and off to the gym.
After a good workout I head back home, shower, pack my bag and grab my food from the fridge. The last job before I start walking to work is making a protein shake to have during my journey.”
Christian says: “I’m lucky enough to live about 15 minutes’ walk from work. I spend most of my walk thinking about what I want to achieve that day and what order I want to do my tasks in. I kick off the day by checking my calendar and emails. I like to plan out my day although my intentions often get interrupted as tasks such as market orders from clients pop up throughout the day.”
“Around 8.00am I jump on the morning call with the research team,” says Christian. He says these calls are critical as the team runs through their sector views and the latest market news. The whole investments team will listen in on the call and asks questions to the various speakers.
Now the morning call has ended, Christian gets started on his first tasks for the day. He says it’s typical to have a client meeting at 11:00am so he’ll talk to the Investment Adviser who is his manager and discuss the material needed for the meeting.
At 10.00am the ASX opens.
Christian says: “This is our first opportunity to have market orders executed for clients. I collect the orders that have come through and ensure the order instructions are explicit and clearly understandable. If I have any uncertainty, I always get in contact with the client right away to confirm their instructions.”
Before the 11.00am client meeting Christian will then make sure all the client portfolio information is ready and spends time answering client emails.
Christian says the primary focus during the meeting is recording notes, particularly focusing on changes to the client’s financial circumstances, investment preferences, questions about investments and points of action to follow up after the meeting.
This might include doing a trade, sending a research report or updating account details. Then there’s time to check through the emails received during the meeting and get back to any missed calls.
“At this point in time I’m rather hungry so I head to the kitchen and heat up my food. I have a chat with my co-workers while I do this and catch up on what they’ve been doing during the morning.,” Christian explains.
Markets, meetings and managers
“After a busy morning I now have some time to focus. I often have a few different administrative tasks on the go at once. I check through the progress of each of my tasks through the client management portal. This is how I speak with different divisions of the business and keep track of work. I respond to the comments left on each workflow, actioning any tasks that come up as I go,” he adds.
Christian says: “It’s common for a fund manager or CEO to host a call to discuss the prospects of their investment. The investment team gets on the call and listens as the host discusses strategy, performance and their outlook on markets. Members of the team ask questions.
After the call I chat with the people around me about their thoughts on the call and if we think the investment is worth looking into further.”
Christian then spends time with his manager to discuss a piece of advice the firm is looking to prepare for a client. Once all the information is together, Christian starts working on the advice document which outlines the client’s goals, objectives, risk tolerance, experience with volatility and our investment strategy, including details about specific recommendations.
The ASX begins to roll closed for the day at 4:00pm after which Christian checks the unfilled orders report and reaches out to clients who still have orders on the market to check what they’d like to do.
He then looks though the next day’s calendar and ensures all the necessary documents are ready for the following days engagements.
Around 6.00pm after a busy day it’s time to shut the computer down and head home. Christian says he likes walking home as it gives him a chance to wind down and think about the day, then he’ll usually whip together a nice dinner and sit down in front of the TV to relax.
Enjoying downtime is important and Christian puts his well-honed organisational skills to good use. He says: “In my spare time I enjoy going four-wheel driving and camping so it’s nice to plan the next trip I can look forward to with mates. I feel like I have the best of both worlds.”
What the firm offers
According to Christian: “Above all else, E&P offers the chance to learn. The firm allows graduates to get in front of clients, building their skills and knowledge in a practical sense.”
“The Graduate Program rewards people who are self-motivated and willing to challenge themselves. The nature of the financial services industry demands that you adapt to change quickly. E&P offers the tools and guidance to do this effectively.”
What tips or advice do you have for future applicants?
As you engage with a wide range of people about intellectually and sometimes emotionally challenging subjects, a key skill is being able to understand and synthesise complex information, particularly in the context of investments, so strong interpersonal skills are important.
I would also offer two key tips for new graduates to take with them into their role. Firstly, that effort and perseverance are always rewarded and secondly, to embrace feedback and use it to help you improve.