Sally Ng was just beginning her career in the financial services industry in 1989 when her mother became gravely sick. Sally knew “just enough” about estate planning, so she scrambled to help her parents set up a trust.
“My mom died a year later, but I know that, financially, the trust helped our entire family,” said Sally, a longtime LPL Financial advisor based in Walnut Creek, Calif. “That’s what I love about my job so much. We actually change lives. We help our clients with lifelong decisions that impact when they can retire—when they can spend more time with their grandkids—or how they provide for generations to come. It’s so satisfying.”
What makes her job equally satisfying is working with her daughter, Jeanette Ng, who joined Sally’s practice in 2013 and made partner last year. “My family is everything,” Sally said. “It’s so rewarding and fun to work with my daughter.” Jeanette agreed, adding that Sally “planted the seed about joining her business” as early as high school. Because they work so closely together, Jeanette has absorbed a tremendous reservoir of experience and knowledge in both financial planning and business management.
The mother/daughter team are independent financial planners affiliated with The Wealth Consulting Group, supported by LPL Financial. They focus on developing individualized financial plans, with the majority of their clients preparing for retirement.
As familial wealth is distributed, Jeanette also creates plans and training for many millennial children of Sally’s clients. “There’s typically a knowledge gap there, so I work with them on making good financial decisions early and teach methods to save and how to take advantage of work benefits such as 401Ks, long term disability, flex pay, etc..,” Jeanette said.
Living the “American dream”
A child of Chinese immigrants, Sally developed her entrepreneurial spirit and strong work ethic while working for her family-owned grocery store. “My mother didn’t speak English, but she ran the family store and worked hard to give us a better life.” Her parents couldn’t afford employees, so Sally and her siblings stocked the shelves during the day and went to paying jobs at night.
After college, Sally worked in the banking industry for 10 years before shifting to financial services in 1990, coming in through the insurance arm. Wanting more independence and to gain control of her career, Sally joined LPL Financial in 2002. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help and support of LPL. The independent platform empowers us with tools and resources to serve our clients, and the freedom allows us to operate on our own terms as we guide our clients toward a more financially secure future.”
Both Sally and Jeanette love the flexibility of their job and believe a career in financial services is suited for women. They appreciate how the independent model provides a quality work/life balance. “We control our own time,” said Jeanette, who was a financial analyst for five years before joining her mother in financial planning.
The two acknowledge that their practice uniquely positions them to work with female clients, especially widows or divorcees, who may be more comfortable sharing financial information with women advisors. “We’re relatable, and we have empathy for other women,” Sally said.
Although Sally has no immediate plans to retire, she’ll eventually transition her business to Jeanette. A succession plan has been in the works for seven years, with mother and daughter both on salary with shared profits. As Jeanette gains more experience, she’ll earn more ownership of the business.
Sally is proud of the practice she’s built from the ground up. She loves seeing her daughter grow from an assistant to a licensed advisor—someone who shares her passion and desire to impart financial wisdom to their clients. Jeanette looks forward to continuing the team’s vision of helping people work toward achieving their dreams.
Although humbled by the practice’s success, Sally firmly believes that she is proof that goals can be achieved with sound financial planning. “When I was stocking shelves for my parents, I never could imagine where I’d be today. How lucky and blessed we are to be able to live the American dream.”
The Wealth Consulting Group offers investment advice through WCG Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor. The Wealth Consulting Group and WCG Wealth Advisors, LLC are separate entities from LPL Financial.