As a woman, you’re going to come across a bunch of people offering free financial advice, but how do you pick the right money manager?
Your folks want you to buy property. Some bloke at work wants to mansplain to you about why you should invest in shares.
Some blogger wants to tell you to stop getting eyelash extensions.
Some of it will sound legit, some of it will make perfect sense, and some of it won’t sit well with you at all.
One of the best ways to increase the sensitivity of your filter is to find your own information, read widely, get a feel for different viewpoints, and then..
Pay attention to the numbers
I work with a wide range of fund managers and they all have a different approach.
But it’s their numbers that tell the real story.
Numbers don’t lie, always look at performance figures.
And not just the last year, but the last three and five years – and longer if possible.
Everything we do is a calculated risk
Like every decision in life, you have some things you know and some things you just hope for the best on.
You should run the numbers on an investment, but you also have to accept there is no perfect answer and no guaranteed outcome.
Should you use a financial planner?
Like colouring your hair or getting a spray tan, you can do an ok job yourself, but you will probably get a better result with a professional.
You can do some basics on your own, learn some stuff, read a book or two, get your budget and savings sorted.
But if you want to get serious, you need a coach. In this case, a money coach.
How do you find one? Asking people is a good start.
But if you don’t have any recommendations to go on, take a look at the FPA website.
Most planners will be attached to a bank, a big financial institution or something called a ‘dealer group’.
So the person you deal with has some sort of network behind them, and that institution may or may not want to sell you some of their products.
Now, these may be right for you, or there could be something better out there.
Luckily, there is a law that says financial planners have to keep your best interests at heart.
The important thing is that you do something
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s all too hard.
That’s how you miss out on building wealth.
If you’re a bit scared about getting started in finance, here are five tips:
1. Do some basic research, Google is your friend.
2. Speak to a few people you trust, who have money, and get their input.
3. Ask around and find a professional you like and trust. If you don’t click, find someone else.
4. Use the process to think about your goals, priorities and plans, then map your finances accordingly.
5. Ask questions, don’t be afraid to be annoying. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.