For many, 1999 was a time of uncertainty with concerns about what our computers may do after midnight on 31st December (the Y2K disaster that never was) and people wondered what changes the new millennium would bring. But for Steve Sewell, 1999 was a time of wonderful new beginnings.
At just 23, Steve was presented with a great business opportunity and became one of the founding partners of Invest Blue. 19 years on, Steve remains an integral part of the organisation that now employs over 70 staff across 14 offices in New South Wales and Queensland. Steve is delighted by the many changes that have unfolded since those humble beginnings and looks forward to a rosy future for everyone associated with Invest Blue.
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Spend time with Steve Sewell and a few things soon becomes very clear; he’s a family man through and through and loves being a Dad to his four sons. He’s also proud to be born and bred in Armidale and to be involved in a business comprised of ‘dynamic’ people all absolutely aligned in their goal to grow the business and deliver great results for their valued clientele.
Steve’s one of our senior planners in the business and looks after 200 clients across the New England area. His clientele are loyal and long-term and he takes on only a handful of new clients each year. This ensures that his existing clients are getting the best from him. He sees himself as a financial ‘personal trainer’ to those whom he advises and is focussed on delivering the goals and dreams they strive for.
Steve recognises that many of us have similar goals in seeking financial guidance; paying off our mortgages, educating our children or planning for retirement but he also knows the importance of assessing each and every person individually. He enjoys hearing and telling personal stories, learning from and developing relationships with his clients and together, ascertaining clear goals.
Steve says, “We need to flesh out what’s important and determine whether specific goals are achievable. Part of my skill set as an adviser is to work out what’s attainable and if need be, adjust financial matters accordingly. We then follow a course with the view to coming out the other side with great results. Be it from my own life experiences or from the diverse experiences of my clients, I’m proud to be in a position to help people.”
Steve believes anyone can put strategies in front of clients – even computer programs can do it these days but sitting down, talking and opening up the conversation to learn what matters most to each individual is his key strength.
One of Steve’s early success stories was for someone with a burning desire to travel to India but who was held back by her concerns about her weight and her ability to travel comfortably as a result. Rather than focusing on insurance, banking or superannuation, Steve and his client, Bernadene put their energy into planning the trip and setting aside part of her income for three personal training sessions per week. Great results came about and in time, flights were booked and travel plans made. Years on, the photo of Bernadene sitting before the Taj Mahal takes pride of place in Steve’s office.
Of course, Steve has changed a little from that young man just learning the ropes and so too has the business. A few years ago, Invest Blue had 600 clients and the team set about planning for the longer-term with the view to grow the business and service 6000 elated clients. It’s the very same goal that Steve has described as “big, hairy and audacious.” And yet, it is now within reach and achievable in the next five years.
Initially based in Armidale only and owned by two individuals (Steve being one of them) Invest Blue now has bases across two states and is its own strong and identifiable brand – a brand that will continue long after Steve’s moved on. He firmly believes that nothing but the imagination restricts what Invest Blue can become or what it can deliver to its many owners and shareholders.
Steve with his brood of boys Jack, Sam, Tom, Joe and his lovely wife, Jen.
And what does Steve like to do when he’s not busy in the business? Having a work-life balance is crucial and he’ll be often be found supporting his children at important events and enjoying family time during school holidays – with two of his four sons still at school.
Steve and Jen Sewell and their brood of boys love getting away to sunny Sawtell on the Coffs Coast and feel blessed to have access to the best of both worlds. In Armidale, Steve’s one to don the lycra and get on his bike and when coast side, he’s all about trying to master those bodyboarding skills. Learning to surf is next on his agenda. And it’s fair to say, figuratively at least, that with his passion for Invest Blue and dedication to his family, Steve’s standing tall on the crest of the wave, ready to ride it all the way into the beach….
What you need to know
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