David & Jacquie Baillie
David and Jacquie have kindly written the article below on their family, working life and their experience as clients of GFM Wealth Advisory. We much appreciate David and Jacquie’s contribution to Trade Secrets.
We were lucky to meet late last century (it seems a long time ago!) when we were both students at university. David was in his final year of a Law/Commerce double degree and Jacquie second year of Social Science. Our relationship flourished, and things moved quickly. We had big plans for our future and were married in 2000, at which stage David was an articled clerk at a city law firm and Jacquie still finishing off her studies.
We were happily settling into married life while many of our friends were embarking on adventures travelling across the world. At this point, we were focussed on our respective careers and saving for a home but realised that we too were keen to see the world, ideally before we embarked on another of our plans, to start a family.
In 2003 we purchased our first home, a two-bedroom semi- detached in Hawthorn East. At the time, our mortgage seemed insurmountable. The house was in original condition which presented us with further priority plans to renovate the kitchen and bathroom and landscape the garden.
Two important things happened in September 2004. We finally went on a European holiday and had our first meeting with Paul at GFM after being referred to him by a trusted friend. We connected well with Paul and the rest of the GFM team from the outset. We were of a similar age to Paul and seemed to have aligned interests and plans for life. Although we had done quite well ticking off some of our goals to date, at the time we felt the advice and guidance of an expert was an essential step to achieving our financial and life goals. We were impressed that Paul took great interest in understanding our goals and structuring his advice accordingly, rather than rolling out a template financial plan.
2005 proved to be a busy year. Our first child, Charlie, was born in August albeit two months premature. Our home renovation was also completed late that year. In January 2007, we had a second son, Thomas. With only 16 months between our boys, life was hectic but great fun all the same. By this stage David had left working in law and was working as a Commercial Manager with Jacquie’s hands well and truly full with two active boys.
Later in 2007, we purchased another house, in Armadale (which we still live in today). With everything going on, we were quite bold in buying before selling. Despite a few sleepless nights things worked out well. Similar to our previous home, our new place was in original condition, meaning further plans to renovate and create a family home.
By December 2007, we had moved to Sydney, where we stayed for three wonderful years. During that time, we had our third child (daughter Eve in August 2009). Importantly we maintained our relationship with Paul, who continued to prove adept in guiding us as our priorities and plans changed as life evolved. We moved back (into our newly renovated home) in Melbourne at the beginning of 2011 to enable Charlie to start primary school. At this point a significant focus of our discussions with Paul was planning for the education of our three children.
Life continued in a fairly conventional manner for the next few years with the focus being on family and raising our children. We have still managed to keep Paul busy in helping us achieve our plans, such as new cars, swimming pools and Jacquie’s start-up granola business. In 2018 we bought a small farm on the Murray River. With farming on both sides of our families, it seemed like a good thing to do at the time. We have since learnt that the vagaries of farming make investment markets look quite calm; we are lucky we have day jobs! That said, we enjoy our family time up on the farm (when sport, school and other commitments enable it).
We see ourselves as very lucky. We are very proud of what we have achieved, particularly our children. We have just returned from a family holiday in Europe, which will no doubt be an enduring memory for all of us. Again this life milestone was achieved as a result of our planning with Paul’s input and guidance.
We now move onto the next phase of our planning which is focused on accumulating wealth for retirement. Over the journey, we have referred many family and friends to GFM confident that they too will achieve personalised service from skilled financial experts who will take a real interest in helping their clients achieve their financial goals. It is clear to us from writing this piece that life has many twists and turns. One of the constants for us has been our 15-year relationship with GFM.