Updated: Feb 7
When I was 26, I moved to Toronto for my first Bay Street job with TD Bank. In this job, I worked on a personal finance television show called MoneyTalk. We had a guest who came on the show regularly - and she left an impression on me. She specialized in credit counseling and talked about strategies to reduce debt and get on track financially. More importantly, she talked about the importance of financial literacy, and how so many people really didn’t know enough about managing their finances. It got me thinking about how a little financial knowledge could change someone’s life.
That thought stayed with me over the next 20 years as I developed a satisfying career at the bank. Although I pursued investment management and loved it, that belief in financial literacy never left me.
In my 40s, financial literacy came back front and center. Now approaching mid-life, people around me were paying down big mortgages, staring university funding in the face, re-evaluating their jobs, getting divorced, and feeling a little overwhelmed. They were looking at their money and wondering if they were on track. They worried that they weren’t being smart with their money. Some were downright embarrassed or ashamed about their lack of money knowledge.
These people needed to talk to someone about their money. They had a ton of questions and didn’t know who to ask. Money was on their mind, taking up brain space, causing stress, and weighing on their happiness. And I was quite sure they weren't the only ones.
Clarity is born
I started thinking about whether helping people with their money was a viable way to make a living. It’s not a lucrative business, and I was carrying a mortgage on my own and raising two young boys. But this idea of helping people with their money was germinating in my mind and wouldn’t leave me alone. So I doubled up my mortgage payments, applied all I could to the principle, figured out how much money I needed to fund my daily life, calculated my retirement savings needs, and pumped funds into our RESPs. I had started investing my savings right from the beginning of my career and benefitted from a good run in the stock market. As my mortgage balance dropped and my savings grew, I calculated exactly when I could make the switch. And then I did.
Clarity was born. Financial coaching is the perfect way for me to work with people, moving them from financial anxiety to financial confidence. There is no blueprint for being a financial coach and I don’t want one. I want to address all kinds of financial conundrums and leave myself open to whatever is needed.
One of the many great things about financial coaching is the flexibility in the process. You might not need a full review of your financial situation. You might just want to learn how to manage your own investments to save on fees. You might be thinking about doing a big renovation and you’re not sure what that would mean for your future. Or, you need to put two kids through university, save for retirement, and make a laundry list of repairs and improvement to your aging house, and you don’t know how to manage it all.
It's all about trust
When you think about who you can trust with your financial questions, you want someone who is in it for the love of the work. That's me. I want to make a difference in people’s lives and I can tell you that getting your financial life in order can be life-changing. I am also unbiased since I am not tied to any financial institution and I don't sell any products. I only have your best interests at heart.
Is now the time for you to get your finances in order and gain financial confidence?