Tackling the money side of life can be stressful and confusing. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Finding the confidence to take control of your finances and make real traction in your money goals is right within your reach.
Cluttered with jargon and (unnecessarily) complex conversations, the world of finance feels like an intimidating space to navigate for many. Unsure of how, when and where to invest money. Seeing financial stability and success as a hard feat. Or constantly trapped in what seems like a never-ending money in, money out cycle.
Here finance industry expert and co-founder of The Curve, Victoria Harris, shares her top tips for getting investment-savvy. Whether you want to learn more about your money or to build financial autonomy, Victoria is leading the fold. Making it simple for you to start your journey towards financial independence for the future you want to have.
How to make your start
The best place to start is right at home. Look around you, investing opportunities are all around. You don’t have to be an expert to spot them. The first investing book I ever read was by famed investor, Peter Lynch. There is one quote which still resonates for me today, and that’s “invest in what you know.”
It means to invest in what you use, what you’re passionate about, what you like and what you understand. If you’re consuming a product from a company, you are doing research on that company without knowing it. We can spot trends and themes just as well as the experts.
Flip the money narrative
One of the most common issues is that women have been conditioned to reduce their spending, not grow their wealth. A lot of media and advertising is directed at us to spend less or that we, as women, have bad spending habits.
I want women to focus on growing their wealth through investing. To embrace wanting to take control of their finances and to not be ashamed of wanting more.
Investing shouldn’t be perceived as a male dominated landscape. Studies show that women spend more time researching their investment choices and take a more level-headed approach to investing. And when it comes down to it, women are more likely to play the long game, rather than chasing trends and constantly trading shares. Historically, these make for better investing outcomes.
Make self-education your best friend
Obviously Raising the Curve is my all time favourite podcast. Every episode is an educational lesson around finance and investing, peppered with some terrible jokes. We try to make investing feel less overwhelming and intimidating while stressing the importance of why all women should be investing. If reading is more your thing, Your Money, Your Future by Frances Cook and Investing with She’s on the Money by Victoria Devine are also great starting places.
It’s better late than never
The biggest mistake is not investing at all. Many people find it too confusing, overwhelming or scary. But every day you don’t invest is literally costing you money. Money sitting in the bank is decreasing in value due to inflation. The sooner you start investing, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits of compound interest.
Compound interest is interest on interest on interest. The longer you invest (or the earlier you start), the greater the impact of compound interest - and the more your wealth will grow!
Even if you’re 90 years old, you can still invest. You just adjust what you invest in. If you have a short-term investing goal or timeframe, you would adjust your investments to be more in lower risk assets - like term deposits. This is due to the volatility of the market. Over the long-term, the market volatility does smooth out.
People like to sound like they know what they’re talking about when it comes to money. Even if your Uber driver, hairdresser or neighbour tells you about all the money they’ve made and makes you think you’ve missed out, you haven’t. There are over 20,000 listed companies globally and the market is constantly changing - there are plenty of opportunities to go around.
Invest in future you
Contributing consistently and regularly to your investments can make such a difference over the long-term. Whether it’s investing for retirement, a wedding or holiday, visualise that investment goal and regularly contribute to it. Try your best to ignore if the stock market is up or down. Set up an automatic payment to pay ‘future you’, then sit back and watch it grow.
As the famous investor Warren Buffet said, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” Prioritise your investments first. Investing shouldn’t be what’s ‘left over’ from your paycheck at the end of the month. Pay ‘future you’ first, then ‘current you’. Trust me, it will be worth it.
Understanding how to grow our money can be so empowering. Not only does it improve your confidence, it leads to financial independence, flexibility and choice. It gives women more control over their lives. It gives them freedom.