Using financial advice to change your direction

3 min read

Financial decisions and behaviour can shape the direction of a person’s life, but it’s not too late to adapt and change.

BT met with Vanessa Stoykov, Founder of No More Practice Education and Evolution Media Group, to discuss the premise of her new novel – The Breakfast Club for 40-somethings.

A group of 40-somethings are about to meet for their 25-year school reunion. Naturally, each wants to put their best foot forward and make themselves appear their best for their old classmates. At 40-something each has baggage they are somewhat embarrassed about – failed marriages, debt, no house of their own. At some point during the reunion, they let their hair down and talk about what in their life is bothering them most – and one person steps in to offer help. It’s a financial adviser.

There are issues about cash flow - one of the highest earners in the group has over leveraged and as she is getting older she seems to be working hard over long hours for very little result. It is only through re-evaluating her investments and making some changes that she begins to feel the weight lift from her hectic life.

Another couple feel that they are growing apart - not able to spend the time together as a family that they want - the man of the house is out working in a job he doesn’t enjoy but feels responsible for earning more to keep the family afloat. The woman of the house is bored, feels the drudgery of everyday life and the pressures her husband is feeling. With some counsel and encouragement from the financial adviser, who is able to see the situation from an impartial viewpoint, the woman is able to start working, bringing money into the house and at the same time, feel her personal value increase and the family come together in a more involved way.

The five lessons of money

This book is written to show more Australians the true value of financial advice, says Ms Stoykov, and focuses on five big lessons around money that she believes hold people back from financial freedom - focus, belief, time, action and desire. You can find more information on these five at www.evolutionmediagroup.com.au.

In short, these lessons are knowing what you really want and how to reach it, your mindsets which influence your behaviours, recognition of the impact of time, your options and strategies, and managing your desires with your income.

“In Australia, only around 20 per cent of the population have a financial adviser. Research shows that those people who have financial planners are extremely happy with them. However, 80 per cent of the population is missing out,” Ms Stoykov says.

“Further, up to 90 per cent of Australians don’t know what they need to retire and up to 80 per cent Gen X won’t retire comfortably.”

In The 40-something breakfast club, the financial adviser shows how people can do this.

There are not a lot of people who really know what a financial adviser can do for you.

The value of advice

While some may feel intimated by the prospect of a financial adviser – or see it as purely the domain of the wealthy - there are a number of money matters a financial adviser can help with.

Some examples are listed below.

  1. Setting financial and lifestyle goals and time frames to achieve these
  2. Managing your budget and growing your savings and assets
  3. Financial plans for life events, such as retirement, having a family or career gaps
  4. Protecting your family, assets and income
  5. Building an investment portfolio
  6. Strategies for effectively managing debts, such as mortgages 

Having an outside perspective on your finances can also give you validation for your approach, or help you with tweaks to move in the direction you want.

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