We are in the 2nd week of “circuit breaker” in Singapore.
Although I have to work from home, I’m blessed because I still have a job that makes me excited everyday. 🙂
Alhamdulillah…I am thankful to NTUC Income for acknowledging and recognising my hard work by having my name mentioned in Straits Times.
I would like to thank my wife, Shikah Anuar for being my pillar of strength and believing in what I do.
My manager, Irene Ho for your continuous guidance to keep me focused on my goals.
I would like to thank my clients for your trust and support over the years in engaging my expertise to help you plan your finances, the shariah compliant way in Singapore.🙂
There are a lot of ups and downs. Moments where I just feel like giving up. Yet your tremendous support and encouragement continue to spur me forward.
Thank you all once again! 🙂
Many have asked me on the story of my “overnight success”.
Being an Islamic Finance practitioner in Singapore since year 2007 is a dream come true for me.
It is my 1st job after ORD from the army.
Yet, my story began long before that.
My ambition when I was young was to become a school teacher.
I love interacting with kids. And I love teaching, sharing my knowledge with others.
So after my O’Levels, I applied for Diploma in Teaching of Malay Language with Ministry Of Education.
I was called for an interview but unfortunately did not make the cut.
I was doing OKAY with my Malay language but I think my “peribahasa terabur” at that point of time because I was too nervous!
That was my 1st interview in my entire life!:p
So my second option, was to go for my Diploma in Accountancy.
My logic back then is that every company in Singapore needs an accountant.
To my mind at that point of time is that an accounting job is the most sheltered and safest job one can have.
The job will be irreplaceable and very secure!
So I applied for NP.
I was living with my parents at Marsiling.
(My family and I celebrating Hari Raya a few years ago)
(Beautiful and spacious Marsiling before the BTO flats sprung up like mushrooms over the years)
I thought studying in Nanyang Polytechnic – which is just next to the MRT – would be very convenient.
When I got the results of my posting., I got the shock of my life.
I found out that NP stands for Ngee Ann Polytechnic!
and not Nanyang Polytechnic!
There is hikmah to be rejected for my interview to be trained as a school teacher
and hikmah for me to accidentally choose to study in Ngee Ann Polytechnic,
because that choice CHANGED the course of my entire life!
In Ngee Ann Polytechnic was where I was exposed and trained to love and understand numbers.
Not numbers without meaning. 🙁
Practical numbers that will determine the life of a business. 🙂
Will the business succeed? 🙂
Or the business fail? 🙁
Can the stock make money? 🙂
Or the stock lose money? 🙁
We learnt how to create company’s annual report.
Trading, Profit and Loss Statement
Statement in Changes of Equities
ALL FROM SCRATCH!
We computed Financial Ratios.
Analysed them. Interpreted them.
And presented them in front of our “clients’.
Alhamdulillah. That was my first exposure to public speaking
and someway, somewhat, somehow, I enjoyed it…. 🙂
(My first experience presenting details of a financial statement in front of our “clients” 15 years ago)
And in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, I joined the business club.
Me and my business partner were 18 years old at that point of time.
We went for a business plan competition and Alhamdulillah was awarded with a funding of $3000. (that was a lot of money when you were students)
As we were below the legal age to set up a company, we used our fathers’ names to register a private limited.
The business failed.
Yet I learnt many important lessons from that episode that shapes me to who I am today! 🙂
(My business while I was still studying in Ngee Ann Polytechnic)
(While waiting for my enlistment in the army, I did a sales job promoting credit cards for a marketing company.
Alhamdulillah. I topped the whole company for 3 months before my enlistment.)
(Myself in the middle after POP from BMT)
Whilst serving my national service, i did my research.
I knew back then after ORD,
I wanted a job that allows me to have freedom of time.
I don’t want a desk bound job. I want to be my own boss.
I don’t want to stick myself to the 8-5 routine (just thinking about the morning peak rush hour makes my head spin)
And at the same time allows me to share my knowledge on finance with the common people on the streets.
That is where a career as a financial consultant looks appealing to me.
I did my research.
1 thing that I want to be assured is that my job must be Halal.
I emailed MUIS and was directed to the fatwa on permissibility of cooperative insurance in Singapore.
(My email to MUIS 10 years ago)
Updated fatwa link on cooperative insurance
Alhamdulillah. We know the Hukum of getting cooperative insurance in Singapore is Harus (neutral).
Yet, I know financial planning is beyond insurance.
What about savings for child’s education? Retirement?
And I discovered NTUC Income has numerous shariah compliant funds at that point of time.
NTUC Takaful fund (which now follows the Dow Jones Shariah compliant screening methodology)
NTUC Amanah Equity fund
NTUC Amanah Bond (Sukuk) fund
To me, having shariah compliant funds closely monitored by Islamic Finance scholars 24/7 is important.
Thus, that’s where I began my journey as an Islamic financial consultant in a cooperative insurer in Singapore.
(Picture with Alvin Soong’s team, my 1st mentor who brought me in to the financial planning industry a decade ago)
When you first start out in the financial planning industry.
It was not easy. It was not a bed of roses.
If you think just by joining the financial planning industry, can immediately drive flashy cars.
Buy a yatch. Relax by the beach everyday.
No. Its far from it.
Many times, I felt like giving up.
In fact, I felt like giving up everyday.
To me giving up is easier than persevering.
When we first started, we earned based on commissions.
(My first month commission when I first started my career as a financial consultant in year 2007)
We don’t have the luxury of immediately earning a stable basic salary $2-$3k/month.
Not only that. We have costs to pay.
If you see financial consultants doing roadshows at Malls or exhibitions, on average they need to pay $300/person for rental of space.
So imagine. My $700 commission minus off $300.
I am only left with $400 to survive.
Not only that. Year 2008, 2009.
Was the subprime mortgage crisis which lead to the global economic crisis.
That was the period of Lehman Brothers Minibonds Saga.
Many people were reluctant to part away with their money. People were very afraid of financial consultants.
I remember doing roadshows, and was told
“Young man. I just lost $100,000 in XXX scheme. And you want me to invest with you?”
It was a difficult phase of my life.
I remember at that point of time……
Not even having enough money to top up my EZ Link card because minimum top up is $10. I only had $5 in my wallet.
I remember at that point of time,
having to turn down invitations by friends to eat buffet for lunch at the restaurant because I didn’t have enough money.
I remember at that point of time,
the nikmat of sharing briyani on a dulang at Wak Tanjong mosque when I broke my fast during the month of Ramadan.
That briyani was a luxury to me because I only had single digit $ in my bank.
These memories evoke deep sad bitter sweet emotions within me that I can feel even till now.
I felt like a total failure.
But as Muslims, I always remember this. We are not alone.
We have Allah S.W.T.
I make a lot of doa to Allah S.W.T.
As Muslims, I remember the words of Allah S.W.T.
Alhamdulillah. Allah’s promise is true.
With strong support from my family and clients, I persevered. (eternally grateful for them because I have nothing to showcase at that time.)
After hustling for a while, things got better.
Once things stabilised, I then subsequently upgraded myself by taking my degree, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Banking and Wealth Management with University of Wales (UK).
My favourite module back then was Islamic Banking and Finance.
Alhamdulillah, with the guidance of our beloved teacher , Professor Asam, I aced the module.
(Testimonial from Islamic Finance Professor during my undergraduate days)
And Alhamdulillah, what came as a surprise for me at that point of time was when I was informed that I was amongst the top 3 students in my whole cohort upon my graduation.
You have to understand this.
All my classmates were financial consultants, bankers and seasoned practitioners (some with decades of experience).
And to become amongst the top 3 students never came across my mind.
(My proud moment receiving an award on stage)
That gives me the determination and direction..
Allah gives me the rezeki.
Puts me in a very favourable position.
For a REASON. (if you know me on a personal level, I rasa betul2 tak layak. There are many others who are way better than me)
I find that this is part of fardu kifayah.
And I have the responsibility to shoulder this tanggungjawab to share with our community the pragmatic aspects of Islamic Financial Planning in Singapore.
I have to prove and make it work in Singapore.
For me success in Islamic Finance is not just me, myself clearing my own riba based loans and growing my own money the shariah compliant way in Singapore.
Success in Islamic Finance is helping others plan their finance, without riba, maysir and gharar in Singapore.
Why I continue to stay in this line after so many years is
because I believe I will be able to HELP many more Muslim families plan their finance,
the shariah compliant way in Singapore.
After I die, in the hereafter, at yaumul mashar, I need to present my deeds in front of Allah S.W.T.
I want to be certain.
Ya Allah. On this earth, you bless me with the rezeki to learn about Islamic Finance.
and I, Helmi Hakim had done my utmost best to educate and share with as many people on how they can plan their finance, the shariah compliant way in Singapore.
My mouth. My hand. My legs. My head. My heart.
All as one will testify that I have done my utmost best, to educate and share with as many people on how they can plan their finance, the shariah compliant way in Singapore.
And all, be it you are my clients. Or just anyone who has benefited from my sharing.
You will be my witness.
You will be my lawyers on judgement day, that Islamic Financial Consultant, Helmi Hakim when he was on earth, he had done his utmost best, to educate and share with as many people on how they can plan their finance, the shariah compliant way in Singapore.
Please send him to Jannah. Ya Allah. Amin. Amin…. Insya’Allah. 🙂
Now… I hope you have benefited from my sharing on the Story of Islamic Financial Consultant, Helmi Hakim.
If you are seeking a mentor, coach, consultant to share with you practical aspects on how you can plan your finance, the shariah compliant way in Singapore, I am always ready to help you.
You can always whatsapp/sms me at 96520134 to schedule a FREE consultation.
Or perhaps click here to schedule an appointment.
You will want to schedule it asap because I can only accommodate 5 slots for the following month.
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