“It is my passion as a financial educator to share what I have learnt and encourage others to create wealth by investing simply and successfully in the stock market. Not for the money itself, but for the freedom and choice it gives us to live the life we want.”
HOW I STARTED
I spent a long time studying hard to be an architect only to find that it wasn’t something I wanted to do. It was neither financially rewarding or enjoyable. With long days working under fluorescent lights behind a computer screen I craved to be outside. I remember so clearly reading an article in an architectural magazine about the good design work a couple (both architects) were doing and how little money they were earning. And my quest started to create a living and the life I wanted rather than being a wage slave.
LEARNING ABOUT MONEY AS A WAY TO COMMUNICATE
I decided it might be good idea to ask my Dad to teach me what he had learnt about investing in the stock market. As an engineer with no financial training he invested and lost $1000 in his twenties while living in the States. Later as a university academic he got really annoyed with the poor investment products he had been sold and decided he could do better. He started the second time around at the age of 58.
He described how surprised he was returning from a holiday to see how his investments had increased during this time to cover the cost of the trip. And then later the equivalent of his annual salary! For much less time he put into his job. He was always very clear to never to invest money I couldn’t afford to lose. And to have a strategy and stick to it. He never told me what to buy or sell, only how to go about it. By investing he has been able to provide for his family generously over the years and be secure that he has resources to take care of himself and my Mum as they become older. Sharing this interest has also brought us much closer together.
BECOMING AN INVESTOR
I started investing by learning the principles and practicing with ‘paper trading’. Once I had saved enough money I made my first investment in 2006 during lunch at work. I was terrified! But I pressed the button, did not die and soon investing became much more familiar. Fortunately I was far too busy with the rest of my life to worry (or even look) at how my investments were doing. Like my Dad I experienced creating wealth in far less time than I was putting into my job. Once (and only once!) seeing their value increase twice the value of my annual salary in four months. And not so long ago coming down the same amount in less time! I didn’t take it personally or panic. I left them alone to grow with time while I went dancing. I experienced what it means to have assets working for me, something wealthy people have understood and been doing for a long time.
10 YEARS LATER
Ten years later I realised I had created the financial resources to leave my job and start working for myself. For the first time ever in my life I had time and space. It felt very unfamiliar and a bit strange to start. Now I really had to work out what do to with my life! Part of this was rediscovering my creative side, suppressed for so long by too many emails and spreadsheets.
AND HERE I AM
I had already started running investing classes about how to go about becoming and being an investor. And I discovered along the way that women are absent from the investing picture. This isn’t because women don’t want to know or aren’t any good at investing. It’s because women want to understand how investing works before getting involved and this is difficult when few of us have any financial education. The way it’s presented is all so dry, dull bamboozling and overwhelming.
I believe financial education and literacy are a vital life skill. And we can all learn to manage, control and invest money to protect and provide for our financial future. I now give others the knowledge and confidence to start investing in the stock market themselves, get their money working for them and take charge of their financial future. Simply, successfully, jargon free and full of sparkle!