THOMAS SWEENY - FINANCIAL PLANNER AFP®
Growing up I was always a 'why' person. I learnt quite early on that it was important to not just accept information at face value and always try to question and understand things.
Those around me always did the best they could to provide the appropriate answers to questions I raised, however, money questions were never answered with a straight face, I remember responses along the lines of “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “you’ll understand better one day.” I did my best to understand the complexities of money. All that I do remember is constantly seeing money as the cause of so many problems.
I remember the common question asked at family gatherings when I was quite young being “what’s your favourite school subject” to which I would usually reply “maths”- it just made sense to me. As the years went on I began to enjoy working with numbers less and less and joked that when the alphabet was brought into the classroom my enjoyment for maths disappeared. Maths had lost its meaning and I couldn’t see the value in trying to calculate a derivative for the sake of answering question 39c) of the third of ten chapters – I needed more meaning than “practice makes perfect”.
In high school, I fell in love with economics – this was the first time someone or something could explain financial markets to me, it was so intriguing, all the complexities and finally a way of using mathematics but with a purpose. Again, in my studies there was evidence of people making financial mistakes, whether it be fundamentals such as spending more than they earn and getting themselves into credit card debt or working a part-time job and noticing all these people not interested in their superannuation from such a young age. Economics became my focus – it just made sense, there was someone for once talking about financial issues in a logical way that inspired me to follow the commerce pathway into university.
I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to spend my university years in an administration role in a small financial planning firm, grasping the basics and learning both at work and at university. I also worked in both hospitality and retail roles during this time – making the most of semester breaks earning extra money where I could and enjoying connecting with customers on a more personal level.
Skip a few years and now I am fortunate enough to work with HPH Solutions where we help our clients along their journey to a better financial life. It’s hard to explain why I enjoy what I do however I guess working with numbers with a purpose does make it more enjoyable than just to get to the end of a mathematics exercise book.
Thomas has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Economics) degree and Diploma of Financial Planning. Thomas is also a member of the Financial Advice Association Australia (FAAA).
Thomas is an employee Representative of TFG Australia Pty Ltd, AFS Licence No. 337755.
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