How the shift from oil work paid off for Northeast Financial Advisor


Troy Bruce was increasingly frustrated with the oil and gas industry and with a new baby on how he made a “leap of faith” towards a new career.

Mr Bruce, who is now a financial planner at VT Wealth, was facing a layoff in his oil and gas job when he decided it was time to move away from the “soulless” rotations of offshore work he was in. used to.

In November 2020, after a rigorous three-month application process, he was accepted to St James’s Place Academy, a training program for financial advisers.

The Mechanical Engineer had reaped the rewards of a booming oil and gas industry with various engineering roles taking him across Europe and Africa.

The major slowdown in 2015 had serious repercussions on jobs like Mr. Bruce’s, and layoffs were rife.

He found himself looking for a job and accepted a sales position at a local Mercedes car dealership in Aberdeen to keep his head above water, biding his time for when things would pick up.

And when the industry did start to show signs of recovery with job opportunities re-opening, Mr. Bruce, from Banff, held more engineering-related positions for the next few years.

Yet deep in the mind of this 29-year-old was the underlying fear of job insecurity amid a volatile oil industry.

Is there more to life than this?

He also couldn’t change the nagging feeling that there was more to life than platforms and that there was more to offer.

A natural planner with a strong grasp of his personal finances, Mr. Bruce began to prepare in the background for what he considered to be that inevitable day he would be laid off.

However, by February 2020, just before the pandemic hit, he had landed a rewarding corporate job and was working from home during the lockdown trying to make the most of his new role. A few months later, his worst fears came true again.

He said: “I received my notice of potential layoff in July 2020, just five months after starting my new job – I felt completely deflated.

“We had just heard that my wife was having a baby and I couldn’t imagine how I was going to support a family – I didn’t know what I was going to do.

“Should I persist in the volatile energy sector or commit to a career change? “

Redundancy “catalyst for change”

Still, the dismissal letter landing on his desk proved to be the catalyst he needed to take the plunge.

“I knew I wanted a change, but it’s not always easy to make that change when you’re stuck in a certain role and feeling too comfortable,” he said.

“I didn’t know how to break with the industry because it was all I had known since I left university when I accepted my first role as a drilling engineer intern.

“I had chosen it as a career and I didn’t think I had any other realistic options.”

With a young family to support, he knew he had to act fast. Growing up with his father as an accountant, numbers seemed to be in his blood and he had always been interested in investing and financial planning.

“I knew I had to take charge of my future. I wanted to do something that really interested me, and now was or never.

“My life had changed in that I had a family to support and didn’t want to go back to work overseas or travel overseas, so I reassessed my priorities and made a plan.

Planning pays

After some research and discussing his plans with his wife Robyn, Mr Bruce applied for the academy program with wealth manager St James’s Place to train as a financial advisor.

“Considering a six month program with minimal income while studying full time was a big step that I would never have taken without the support of my wife and family,” he said. “Their encouragement and self-confidence, combined with my forward-looking financial planning, made change possible. “

During his studies, Mr Bruce was assigned a mentor to help guide and advise him – his mentor is now his director, Vee Thom, owner and director of VT Wealth, a family business based in Aberdeen and Fraserburgh.

It’s not how much you have it’s what you do with it that matters

“I am incredibly grateful to Vee for giving me the chance to show what I can bring to the VT Wealth family,” said Mr. Bruce.

“Each of our clients’ financial situations are different and people need different financial advice depending on their stage of life and career.

“Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having lots of options and it’s my job to present those options to my clients in a way that benefits them the most, no matter where they are in their financial journey.

Mr. Bruce now works with clients of VT Wealth to develop financial plans, including retirement plans and mortgages to savings and investment plans.

He said: “It’s amazing to do something that I really love.

“My daughter is about to turn a year old and at this time last year I had no idea my life was going to change course so quickly.

“I managed to transform what seemed like a terrible situation into a positive one and if the last year has taught me anything, it is that it is never too late to take the plunge and seek new opportunities.

Some tips? Protect your finances against inflation

For people living in the UK, managing personal finances is entering a new difficult phase, with predictions that rising inflation, along with rising costs of borrowing, energy and food will cause “real pain” to citizens.

He said: “Inflation is a risk that is often overlooked, however, higher inflation means that you need your money to work harder for you, so that you don’t lose purchasing power.

“Combined with low interest rates, rising inflation could pose a problem for those with large amounts of money.

“Therefore, my biggest tip is to speak with a trusted advisor who will help you build a solid financial plan based on informed decisions and ensure that the plan remains tailored to your needs as you and your needs grow. world around you are changing over time. “

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