Dr. Reuben K. Chen is a recognized Financial Advisor. He was the winner of the 2007 World Outstanding Chinese Award, has been listed in the National Who's Who list of famous people, has received the Million Dollar Round Table Award for the highest honor (MDRT Top of the Table) multiple times, and has received the Universal Chinese Life Insurance Council's highest International Dragon Award, just to name a few. Behind his successes, what ups and downs has he experienced in life? How does God bring him out from the abyss?
Chen was born from a big family of 12. His father passed away when he was 17 years old, and this incident early in his life had led to his independent personality. He migrated to the United States of America in 1981. After receiving a Bachelor of Finance undergraduate degree, he was facing the crossroads of career choices, and he chose the then rarely chosen profession of Financial Planning. In the interview with The Gospel Herald, Chen sincerely shared his life's story, in hopes to give the readers some inspiration.
C: Dr. Reuben Chen
R: How did you choose to be in this profession in the beginning? Have you faced many challenges since entering this profession?
C: This has a lot to do with my background and personality. I am very observant, and I can see what people need. Because I was poor when I was young, I did not have much material things. There was a lot of time to be spent, so I spent it on observing people and things around me. In this process of observation, I gained much insight into life.
When I entered university, I have thought about entering professions such as computers, accounting, or psychology. But eventually, I have discovered that I was not interested in computers, and accounting was too structured and boring. In contrast, I liked interpersonal interactions, and thus hoped to choose a career that combined accounting, marketing, and psychology.
At that time, the professions related to Finance and Economics included real estate, loans, investments, insurance, retirement funds, etc. But I was thinking, why couldn't we provide our clients a one-stop style service that combined investments and financial planning all in one? Our lives need planning, we have jobs and income, and we need to save, pay taxes, re-pay loans, deal with inflation, etc. How can we grow our wealth in time? I wished to help people make sound plans to ensure stability in the family, create something to fall back on as one ages, and live life more fully.
After graduation, I chose to work in the Lincoln group of financial planning companies. Financial planning companies were not widespread at that time, and there were very few Chinese people who had an understanding and connections in this field. When I first started, my family had not been supportive, and since my sister was an insurance broker, the family's insurance plans were already handled by her. As for me, a new graduate who had not developed my own interpersonal network, it was hard to find clients. These were some of the challenges that I faced at that time.
R: When did you start believing in God? What was the biggest change that you experienced after believing in God?
C: I started believing in God in 1990. After believing, my biggest change was gaining a stronger sense of trust in both God and man. Since I was the youngest in the family, and that my father passed away when I was 17, I felt helpless and lost. When I was looking for work in the society, and when I did not fit in with my partners at that time, I found it hard to trust people. But God taught me how to forgive, and I trusted that my every step was guided by God. It is not an easy thing for people to meet at different places or times, and I trust that God has His purpose in every occurrence.
Looking back now, my life is full of footprints of God's guidance. Past experiences are what make me today. Now, the Wellspring Consulting Group has become a well-known financial planning company in the Bay area. I trust that this process is led by God.
R: When man is faced with failures or hurts, it is easy for one to give up. What has made you persist onwards during times of trial?
C: On the topic of career planning, I did not use wealth to determine my goals. During the first five years of my business, I could not say that we gained much revenue, but I was sure that I loved this job, and thus entered into it wholeheartedly, and spent time enriching myself in knowledge of this field to become more professional. Thus, I strived to obtain recognitions such as CFP, CLU, and RFC (Registered Financial Consultant).
Besides, I like challenges and learning new things and continually creating new ideas, and these are some of the things that kept me going forward. The thing that I like most about this job is to be able to re-write people’s lives for the better, and thus I see my job as a form of entertainment, for I love what I do.
R: The road is not easy from the beginning to now. Can you share with us the keys to your success?
C: I think that sincerity is the first and foremost. No matter what age or status, you must interact with people sincerely, and think in their shoes. If you cannot rationalize certain sales to clients, do not make them purely for wealth. I try to simplify complex situations when facing my clients, and on the other hand, also know how to complicate simple issues.
I think the young university graduates should use their 20s as an exploratory phase; they should be able to define their paths somewhat in their 30s; they can then enjoy the benefits during their 40s, and use their 50s to express their leadership skills, and their 60s to express their influence.
I founded the Wellspring Consultant Group and believe that this company belongs to God. I am only the CEO. Many awards I received were not a result of my fighting for them, but a result of opportunities that God had given me and I was able to grasp, in order to shine for God. As a Christian, I firmly believe that when you yearn for God's Kingdom and God's values, these things will be granted to us.
Dr. Reuben Chen said that he liked to work and research with young people. The reporter thought that one of the reasons that he was able to continually push forward is because he has youthfulness and humor in his heart, and he strives to continually learn and live life. Hopefully, this message can encourage the new generation of young professionals to grasp onto their dreams, and put trust in God's guidance no matter if you are new or experienced in your fields, so that you may create a new world for your lives.