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Ex-designer is perfectly cut for finance services

Published on Thursday, 29 Mar 2012
Stella Lee Wai-fun
Photo: May Tse

Stella Lee Wai-fun, president of Success Futures and Foreign Exchange, was a fashion designer before she joined the finance industry. She says she started with zero financial knowledge, but given her willingness to learn and share investment insights, Lee has become a respected name in the industry, giving investment tips on talk shows and publishing investment columns. She shares some tips with Wong Yat-hei

What’s your academic background?
I graduated with a bachelor of business administration from Queen’s University of Brighton [in the UK].

How do you start your day? 
Every Monday, I have a 10am meeting with colleagues to review the previous week’s news and economic data, and analyse the market situation. I speak on webTV and Chinese Radio in Hong Kong and overseas, including San Francisco and Toronto every Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

What does your job entail?
I follow the news and do market analysis. I appear in talk shows and write newspaper columns about investment. I am also in charge of training newcomers.

What are the major challenges you have encountered so far?
As my company focuses on Hong Kong and the mainland, how to build our brand in both markets with reasonable resources is a major challenge. Our sector is very competitive so we have to work very hard to expand our market share.
What have you learned about your chosen career and what are your plans?
It takes tenacity and determination to be successful. Starting out as a fashion designer who knew nothing about investment, I became the president of the company within 10 years. When I first started, many clients were more experienced than me. I was not able to provide them with much help. Instead, they taught me a lot. I feel really grateful for their support and they have given me the confidence to continue to share my knowledge and learn from others.

Although the Chinese economy is booming, investors still lag behind in investment knowledge. I hope to educate more people to manage risk and invest the right way.

Any advice for those who plan to enter your industry?
To enter the industry, you must be passionate about it. Set a goal for yourself and work towards it. I always tell young people that if they work hard and are confident, they can achieve a lot of things.  

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