BECOME YOUR OWN FINANCIAL ADVISOR
by Warren Ingram
Confession: I spent 67 years of my life shying away from anything financial. No amount of rational thinking and advice got through to me and I have paid the price.
Even when I ran my own business I often let my heart overrule my head: I ran a training college and could not bear to ask students whose parents no longer paid fees, to leave. Needless to say it is not something the bank manager understood!
But I have a fundamental belief that every seven years we are given a chance to reinvent ourselves and it is never too late! So 2016 is my year to get financially literate.
My guide is a book by Warren Ingram called ‘Become your own Financial Advisor’ He is an award-winning financial planner and co-founder of Galileo Capital but one of the things that endears me to him is that all the money earned from his book goes to the Serendipity Trust, to fund education – a soft spot in my heart too. The only difference is that Warren wisely, put first things first: make the money, then spend it!
He also believes that ‘longevity is making the concept of a traditional retirement obsolete’ which is exactly our perception of the world right now.
What would Warren say?
What would Warren say about someone starting her financial education at this ‘retirement’ stage of life? I doubt he has ever advised someone like me.
But in his Introduction he says: ‘Most people live their lives being controlled by their money problems. Taking control of the way you spend, save and invest your money is critical if you want to be financially independent.’ Surely that is as true at 20 as it is at 40 or 80!
So 2016 is about getting myself educated. I will work through the book and let you dear reader, know how I go.
First things first.
Rule # 1: Be free of bad debt at all times.
I was so dreading this self-imposed financial discipline, so I am relieved to find that I passed rule #1! I have no bad debt!
Bad debt is buying consumables on credit – food, clothes, appliances, holidays etc., and I know people over the age of 50 who are still doing this. So reading this advice and why it is so noxious to your plan of becoming financially free, would be really worth your while.
What is next on our horizon?
In the book Warren covers a range of topics, from saving, investing, debt management, buying a house to blunders to avoid, and provides people of all ages and levels of wealth with practical information on how to improve their finances. Although it references South African situations, most of the advice for anyone, anywhere.
On your way to financial freedom, you can afford to invest in this book: It is available from most bookshops, online booksellers and comes in paperback as well as various digital versions.
Warren is a regular guest on 702 Radio and Cape Talk’s The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield. In addition, he writes a monthly article for The Sunday Times and Moneyweb, as well as periodical articles for a range of other publications. He also has a number of Youtube videos online.