Former Attorney From Taiwan Helps Advise $1.8 billion For Silicon Valley Clients With New York Life

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Name: Julia Hsiao

Firm: New York Life

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Location: Cupertino, California

Total Value of Policies: $1.8 billion

Forbes Rankings: America’s Top Financial Security Professionals, America’s Top Financial Security Professionals Best-In-State

Background: Hsiao was introduced to New York Life 25 years ago after working as an attorney with a specialization in estate planning. As an intern at a law firm she worked with New York Life and developed relationships with the company.

Originally from Taiwan, she came to the United States 35 years ago. Initially building her book of business from those she knew, she has worked with the first generation to immigrate and now works with second generation clients that are born in America.

Investment Philosophy/Strategy: In order to formulate an investment strategy for clients, Hsiao looks at their risk tolerance, time horizons and their purpose for using the money to understand the client.

Some of her clients have strong risk resilience and a long term approach that allow her to be more aggressive. Other clients are conservative and worry about losing money with a low risk tolerance. Those clients need to be in safer products such as annuities.

Competitive Edge: Being located in Silicon Valley, Hsiao is used to working with the tech industry for clients that are very highly educated, meaning she has to answer lots of complex questions.

With Covid-19 ushering in a proliferation of remote work and communication, she has seen her book of business expand geographically, in some cases to second generation clients that have moved to other states.

Best Advice: The best advice she has received is that a financial services career is a marathon so a long term focus is important when cultivating relationships and trust with clients.

Biggest Challenge: With the market always facing ups and downs, Hsiao looks to stay focused on the best opportunities for clients based on the current environment. Having been in the business during the dot com bubble and the Great Recession, she always expects their to be challenges just needs to give clients extra attention during those times.

Hsiao is also struggling with succession planning as she looks to be prepare for her own retirement. At 61 years old she hopes to work until at least 80, inspired by her father who worked until 82 years old. She is looking for younger agents that she can help cultivate to work with her clients and her.

Mentors: She has had several significant mentors, namely Joe Lau, an advisor in Arizona for New York Life. Hsiao also mentions her study group which was formed 13 years ago and consists of advisors that have been in the business at least 25 years.

Lessons Learned: Hsiao has learned that no matter how bad the market gets their are always opportunities.

Biggest Client Misunderstanding: Clients don’t have a full understanding of insurance, according to Hsiao, thinking that it is just about the products and not seeing how it fits into a more complete financial plan.

Investment Outlook: While the market is experiencing short term volatility, Hsiao remains optimistic about the fundamentals.

“Even though we are in a correction for reasons such as the supply chain and Covid-19, clients need to focus on their financial plan and should not panic. They have to keep thinking long term and maybe make some minor adjustments as things change,” Hsiao adds.

Favorite Book/Movie: Hsiao is a fan of Taiwanese businessman Stanley Yen’s books about business.


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