A series by
Chief Operating Officer, MA Asset Management
With leaps in modern science, women are living longer and the need for women to provide for their future is more important than ever. In recent years, I attended a seminar run by Dr. Stephanie Burns. Dr. Burns talked of the need to have a second career as she herself found that motor cycling around the country is an inadequate way to live post retirement. Her advice is that we are likely to have strong mental capacity into our 80s and we need to consider what we do post our current corporate career. How will you fund your lifestyle and what do you want to achieve post your current career?
Given we are all in the finance industry, we have less of an excuse not to focus on the need to build financial security and our own financial future. Yet, it is precisely the busyness of life that distracts us from fully controlling our finances. I ask you to ponder – what advice would you give to your best friend or your daughter?
Some further reminders of the need to consider your own financial well-being. Having a financial nest egg affords you the power to leave a job. To pursue opportunities which may be riskier. Personally, I have invested in assets which are outside of the listed market as it reduces the need for active management or managing holding periods. Focusing on my investments have allowed me to take sabbaticals as I changed roles and moved countries. To have the luxury of looking for a role and a team that I really want to work with. Ultimately, an additional, passive income source gives you the power to choose. As we head into turbulent market conditions, having a diversified income source is more important than ever.
What have I invested in to achieve this passive income? Firstly, investing in my own skills and experience in formal or continuous learning. In recent years, I have worked on projects where the company’s Client Relationship Management and websites have been updated and I have taken an interest in automated marketing /SEO marketing and which companies are performing well in this area. Given the recent turmoil in the markets, our understanding of bonds and credit investments are helpful for our roles as well as our own investments.
As financially literate women, do you have your own P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement? A set that you review regularly and with specific targets and goals. Eight years ago, I was challenged to reduce my spending by 20%, which I thought was laughable at the time. I exceeded this target within three months, and this allowed me to re-deploy the funds into my investments. Even if you don’t reinvest, cash and cash flow reign supreme in today’s market.
It is a long game to get to our financial goals and I am often reminded of the need to be patient. My own goal is to replace my base salary with passive income. What is your goal and how will you achieve this? There are investment strategies in the market but the one thing that holds true is the powers of compounding interest. I have created this simple, but powerful fable illustrating this:
Lastly, making investment decisions is a power that you have. Invest in assets and companies that you believe in – be it a passionate ESG cause, assets which support your long-term goals or businesses that you rave about. Closely related to the goal of 100 Women in Finance – consider investing in funds being managed by the very many female fund managers. Again, you have the power to choose.
Ultimately, the more you invest in yourself, the greater your earning potential will be in the long run.
Calls to action:
- Think about your goals in life and the role of investments have in achieving what you want out of your life
- Talk to your friends – bring them along on your investing journey
- Book recommendation: 100 year life by Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott
In the last installment of this Investing in Yourself series, we will speak to several very talented fund managers and their perspectives on investing in a range of asset classes, globally.