Points to Remember

Theresa's New Attitude

Theresa Chandler

Age: 31
Occupation: Customer Service Representative.

“Female. Early thirties. No tertiary education. No children but one dependent. Middle bracket income earner. Moderate to aggressive risk-taker.

This is my investment profile.

It will only seem atypical if you’re still bogged down by stereotypes, if you’re still thinking you need lots of money and lots of education to be an investor – let alone a slightly aggressive one.

First myth to smash: you need lots of money. I can smash that myth based on personal experience. I started investing in my early twenties when I made less than TTD 3000 a month. I didn’t invest much and it was in one popular mutual fund, but I did invest regularly.

Second myth to smash: you need lots of education. I won’t smash this one – I’ll finesse it. You don’t need lots of institutionalised education to be an investor but you do need to educate yourself. And the information is out there, at your disposal and free. It’s in the newspapers, on t.v. and most definitely, in massive quantities, online. The help you need is also out there in financial literacy training courses, seminars and through financial advisors like Firstline.

I am proof that investing is for everyone. It’s not a secret shared only by the MBAs and the CFAs of this world. There’s no exclusive club with a million dollar minimum net worth entrance requirement.
Here’s some tough love: stop using your monthly income or your lack of knowledge as reasons to not invest. If you’re in the lower income bracket, all the more reason for you to twist and turn and shake up that money that you do have, to work harder for you. If you’re ignorant about the financial world – pick up something and start reading. Easy as 1-2-3.”

FIRSTLINE POINTS TO REMEMBER

EDUCATE YOURSELF

Financial education is for everyone. It is not only for the wealthy or well educated. In fact, for those individuals, financial education may be of comparatively less importance than for the Average Jane. Why?

Much in the same way that women earn less and so need to save more than men, if you’re in a stressful or stagnant financial position, regular not irregular investments will help you; more savings not less will see you through; and seeing to it that you learn ‘how money works’ will be imperative to your eventual success.

BE PROACTIVE

  • Go online and search through the web’s innumerable finance-related sites – many of them of top-quality.
  • Read financial publications inc. Business sections of the newspapers.
  • Watch financial programs on TV.
  • Enrol for financial literacy seminars.
  • Approach a financial advisor and jump-start your investment program.

PRIORITISE

The biggest mistake people make is when they assume they don’t have enough money to save and based on this assumption don’t even attempt a savings or investment plan.
This belief is self-delusion. If you earn income, you have money to save. You need to re-prioritise your life expenses and in so doing, place ‘paying yourself’ as the number one priority. This means putting your family’s future ahead of the bank, the landlord, the utilities company and all other demands on your funds.
The rules for investing are simple – be dedicated, be patient, be clear, hold strong – yet they can be difficult to follow. Telling loved ones of your plans may give you the support needed to start and maintain your investment plan.