“I empower my clients to trust their own choices.”

Jo Wall is a Chartered Financial Planner, Fellow of the Personal Finance Society and recently certified Financial Coach with more than nine years of experience in Financial Services. She recently launched Joyful Wealth, where her aim is to help enable clients financial planning journey to be a gentle journey of curiosity and self-discovery. Jo supports her clients to create future financial success and security, by ensuring their decisions become an opportunity to find harmony between their personal happiness, living life today and achieving their dreams. “I do this using personal financial planning principles and joyful coaching practices that focus on financial wellbeing.”

How would you summarise your passions, both in and out of work?

At work my passions are helping people to enjoy their lives both financially and otherwise – enabling people to realise there is so much potential at their fingertips and all it takes is a bit of adjustment – and then seeing the happiness that creates!

My personal passion is living in the moment, spending quality time with my other half (who is in the army so our time is often cut short or fleeting), and being outside in nature.

What’s your happiest memory?

I try not to dwell in the past, and try my best to live in the moment, so I don’t know that I have a happiest memory. However, I would say some of the happiest memories I have looking back are of when I was a child, running around and playing on my grandparents’ farm in south Africa. They had a lot of land and so we could just go and explore, as well as help out with some of the farming tasks such as sheep shearing etc. I just remember it being a time of not having a care in the world and just being allowed to ‘be’.

What one thing do you wish you’d been told about finance when you were 15?

To save a bit as well as spend! And if you have saved up a bit, what to do with it, i.e invest (once old enough…) and to set yourself up well financially for the future.

What made you want to work in finance?

I didn’t go to uni as I was the first year of the £9k fees and didn’t want to do anything enough to go into debt for it, so I took a year to think about it. During that year I realised I needed something to keep my brain engaged, as I spent most of the year working in hospitality and events. I loved the people element of hospitality but felt like I wasn’t utilising all of my strengths and specifically Maths, which I had done at A-Level. I decided to get a job doing customer service at Barclays to dip my toe in the water of financial services.

How did this lead to you becoming a financial planner, and develop into your interest in financial coaching?

My godfather is a wealth manager. Growing up there were lots of conversations around his job and how he helped people. I worked my way through the customer service roles within Barclays, eventually moving to being a mortgage broker and then realising there was so much more I wanted to do for my clients. I moved to financial planning and immediately fell in love with it but felt there was something missing. I have always been fascinated by people’s relationship to money, especially people’s assumptions of other people based on money and wealth. I was keen to understand more about that, which is how I found financial coaching.

What prompted you to join the Institute for Financial Wellbeing?

I was fortunate enough to be able to complete the Financial Wellbeing Certificate through my previous employed role and it was a big eye opener for me that the thing I was passionate about had a name and a body, the IFW, that actively worked towards it!

What drew you to financial wellbeing in the first place?

I think I have always been drawn towards it, but not being able to put my finger on how to describe it. Learning about financial wellbeing through the Certificate was a big ‘Aha!!’ moment for me. I grew up with parents who were both doctors and had a comfortable income but were both low on the financial wellbeing spectrum for various different reasons. Since being an adult, I have found it fascinating how people assume that as I had a financially comfortable upbringing there couldn’t possibly any reason for stress from a financial perspective, which was not the case! The idea you can use your finances to increase your wellbeing and vice versa was something that just made so much sense to me.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about financial wellbeing since joining?

That there are 5 elements of wellbeing and within financial wellbeing there are 5 separate pillars. Once you have a balance of those, your financial wellbeing will increase. It is simple, but effective.

How has the way you work with clients changed since you joined?

I am more focused on the wellbeing and the happiness that can be found through financial wellbeing. My conversations are now much more open and varied. I have always felt that money is the facilitator rather than the point. Since joining the IFW, I’ve been able to develop my skills to have more meaningful conversations with clients. I empower my clients to feel confident and trust their own choices.

How did you come to launch Joyful Wealth in March 2023? 

After working for an employer for over 10 years, I realised that no matter where I worked, I always felt I had more to offer than I was in a position to. By becoming self-employed I knew I’d be able to do things on my terms. I had also been able to do a lot of reflection on my own meaning and purpose through the Financial Wellbeing Certificate, both personally and professionally, and it became clear to me that the types of clients I wanted to work with were not the standard market in the industry. I created Joyful Wealth to try and help younger people, who are given such conflicting advice or information about how to manage their finances and how to set themselves up for future.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to make a similar leap?

I sort of did it by accident out of frustration, so if anyone else has a niggling feeling that they could do something more or better than they are doing now they should just try it. What would you regret more, the chance you did take or the one you didn’t?

Who or what is your favourite wellbeing guru, podcast or book?

I don’t know if I really have anyone from a wellbeing perspective that I follow or would class as a guru but what I would say is that after reading Happy, Sexy, Millionaire by Steven Bartlett is that a lot of what his book is about is striving for individuality and creating your own happiness rather than following the crowd.

What are you doing to advance your own financial wellbeing?

Finding the real meaning and purpose that I would like to live my life by, and to create a company that advocates that to as many people as possible.