I was recently asked where can we go to learn our money lessons?
So today I thought I'd share with you the what's and how's I've learnt along the way.
Why do I do what I do?
Because I want to choose how I live my life
My wealth self education journey covers all the bases from novice through to Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
I was 25 at the time (1/4 century life crisis), studied (to be a teacher), worked and traveled for 7 years after finishing high school and looking at my bank account I had $>$300 and was living week to week.
It startled me to realize how fast 25 years had passed and I still knew not much about money, after 7 years of working I had so little.
I also acknowledged to myself (that day) the next 40 years would probably go past just as fast or even faster (regardless of what path I took in life) and at 65 years old my opportunities to generate employed income would be low to nil.
I had a choice to make. I could choose to continue living life as I had (comfortable) and accept a limited life of age pension and some superannuation, a debt free home (after a 30 year mortgage) etc... which is what 95% of people do. Or I could start to learn about money, how to manage it, invest it, spend it wisely and leverage it and protect it.
So I started to learn via books. My first book The Complete Idiots Guide to Getting Rich by Stuart Welch, 2nd book Making Money Made Simple by Noel Whittaker. 3rd book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Many others have since followed.
Most importantly I learnt from these books that creating wealth is a habit.
I gave myself weekly/monthly/yearly savings goals, a lifestyle budget and stretch targets that at the end of the year if I had created more wealth that I had projected. I would spend the excess on indulgent treats i.e. holiday overseas
After achieving my first year of savings I meet with a financial adviser. It was a bit daunting and scary and I can't really remember much more than he had a nice office, seemed like a nice person but didn’t want much to do with me because I was more an accumulator (regular saver) rather than lump sum investor.
Two years later (27yo) I applied for a career change and successfully attained a position as a bank teller. Part of the bank teller internship was to meet with a bank adviser.
Up until this meeting I was still lost as to my true career path.
However post this meeting I remember thinking that my professional calling is to be a financial adviser.
I can learn about money, I can help have more choice and certainty in their own lives and I'm paid to help them.
What a fantastic career.
From there I enrolled to the Securities Institute (SIA), applied for all internal training, joined professional associations, and applied all I was learning into my own financial situation.
In 2001 I resigned from the bank and worked with an independent advice business whilst continuing further studies and obtaining my Certified Financial Planning in 2004.
Since then I have operated my own business, continued to educate myself via trusted adviser mentors, having financial adviser and surrounding myself with a team of best in class specialists across the different areas of money i.e. legal, tax, borrowing, insurance, age care, government etc...
The bottom line:
We are fortunate that in this great country of Australia "The lucky country" all of us have many opportunities.
Learning about money is only one of the ingredients required to become wealthy. The other essential ingredients are making regular savings, allowing time and ensuring risk management is maintained.
My journey of a 1000 miles began with a single step on my 25th birthday. 17 years later (20,000+ hours of studies & professional experience) I still continue to learn and invest, however now it's with far greater clarity and certainty.
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