Category Archives: Finance Chats

A little on making or saving money

2015 Women in Focus Conference

I was incredibly excited and honoured recently to be invited to the sixth annual CBA Women in Focus conference held in the beautiful Sheraton Resort in Hastings Street, Noosa.  To whomever was unable to make the event, and prompt the lovely Katie Mihell to include me in the guest list – I am eternally grateful to!

Due to prior commitments, I was unable to make the opening dinner, and so I hit the road at 4.30 am on the Thursday, arriving in time to quickly check-in and kick off with the first sessions at 8.15 am – and we didn’t stop for two full days.  I’d also lost my voice by this stage, thanks to the kindness of my daughter sharing her winter lurgies with me and this isn’t a good place to be with 180 amazing women cranking the decibel level at every opportunity.

The opening session kicked us off with Dr Fiona Kerr followed by Doc Jordy Nguyen and my brain was fried from inception.  Hearing about artificial intelligence, mind controlled wheelchairs and the hope of robotics for the future for those with disabilities hit close to home for me with an intellectually impaired and autistic nephew.  Cracking into his little brain and being able to communicate with this non-verbal little man now sounds like something that may just be possible in this lifetime rather than a pipe dream.

The breaks were a brilliant opportunity to meet up with some old friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen since our trip to Uganda with The Hunger Project in May and connect with some new and amazing ladies.

Panel discussions allowed various agricultural businesses to showcase their stories and their wares and I’m now a passionate convert to the Myrtleford Butter Factory.  I’ve devoured books by Cathy Burke, CEO of the Hunger Project and the fabulous Anita Heiss, a prolific indigenous author and all round great gal.

It was a blessing to watch new friendships and business relationships being forged and hear from inspirational women such as the passionate Rosie Batty, Australian of The Year and tired (not tireless) campaigner against Domestic Violence.  The story of the Allanah and Madeline Foundation was told and bra-burning passionate women such as Wendy McCarthy who has been paving the way for women everywhere since the 70’s were featured.

It was hard not to be overwhelmed with every presenter as brilliant and passionate as the last and all with a fabulous story to tell.  It didn’t just feel like I was among greatness, I actually was!

Andy Lark shared his fantastic adventures with Xero, another shared her ups and downs in building a billion dollar business Christina Re dazzled us with her spectacularly beautiful home-ware lines.  Mandy Gunsberger of Babyology told us all about her journey and her future adventures as she heads off to join the next Business Chicks Leadership and Immersion Program in Mexico.  I managed to score Beauty From the Inside Out by Doctor Libby Weaver and didn’t cease absorbing my entire two days.

An evening of country glamour had us up dancing at Yandina Station, and we boogied the night away to finish the conference in a fabulous marquee in the Noosa National Park.

The hashtag #disruption15 trended Australia wide as we cheered on our speakers and supported each other in the virtual and physical world.

It was an honour and privilege to be a part of this event.  I hope I take a long time to come down from Cloud 9 after this and will enjoy reviewing my notes for some time to come.

Build Your Confidence Around Money

Most of us have some insecurities… it could be about how we look, how to act in certain circumstances,  or where to invest.

Usually when we don’t understand something, like why people act a certain way, how to put a great meal together or direct shares, superannuation, our mortgage, taxes or insurance, we can also feel insecure.

People who are good with money often use a particular trait to get past the insecurity… they ask for help.  Understand that you don’t know what you don’t know… and ask an expert.

No shame in that!  All of us excel in certain areas, and just aren’t that hot in others… or even interesting in becoming so!

Do you have a friend who keeps their finger on the pulse with finances, studied accounting or has a finance degree?  Or someone who just really has it together financially with low debt and good income producing assets?  And I don’t mean the cabbie with the hot tip for the races!

Not everyone wants to know, or needs to know how managed funds work, the intricacies of Self-Managed Superannuation or the tax advantages of the Transition to Retirement Strategy.  No shame in that!

So, what do you try and conceal about money that you feel you should know?  Are there areas that you’d like to know more about?  Do you know someone who could help you with this? And you then feel you’d make more informed decisions? Or are you happy ‘outsourcing’ to the professionals?  Often the best option of all!

Build up your own confidence around money with education – read some books, take some online courses or ask someone who’s pretty savvy how they manage.

Education is a great healer for all insecurities!  Try it today.

The Travels Begin

 

So my year of tripping is about to commence.

Our Marketing Discovery sessions with clients and colleagues wrapped up last week.  The family then kicked back with friends over a BBQ, I took off to a movie (The Book Thief!) and rested up over the Australia Day long weekend and tomorrow marks the start of my travels for 2014.  A full month or more at home is a bit out of the ordinary for me!

I’m off to Newcastle to see a potential client, then drive to Sydney the following day for the branding review, have lunch with a colleague and meet with lots more clients over the course of the Friday evening and Saturday, before returning to the Gold Coast.

I’ve also been busy prepping for our big trip next Thursday to Bali for the first Wealth Planning Partners offshore retreat.  Our sessions on Marketing, Social Media and Business Planning are covered off.  I’ve a bit more work to do on our Client Value Proposition and Service Level Agreements and the Client Experience but am looking forward to everything that we’ll uncover whilst there.  I’ve booked in a cooking class and Spa Treatment while we’re there and the boys are hoping for new tailor made suits too!

After that, we’re off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to join other delegates from around the world at one of the premier events for financial advisers, The Million Dollar Round Table Experience.  Should be good!  Might even try for another Food Tour when we’re there.  I’ve done them before and they’re great!

I’ve also had another first this week.  I’ve always wanted to be a published author, so have started small and contributed an article to a book called Financial Freedom Explained by Mithra Publishing.  I’ve ordered a few copies of that and am looking to turning over the pages to see how it all turned out!

Busy times!

More soon on my adventures!

A Rebranding Journey…

Many years ago when I formed my first company with my long term senior partner, Wealth Planning Partners (WPP) was born.  It was an easy birth.  A friend did a ‘love job’ logo which cost us nil and it was business as usual – with a new name…

Well, that no longer works for where WPP is today, and we’re taking an incredibly different journey this time. It’s almost time for my senior partner to exit the business (in his 70’s! – great effort!) and re-brand for the new talent (all in their 40’s and younger…)

I’ve engaged a marketing consultant,  the lovely Aranka Nolan of Einstein Marketing, who is interviewing my support team,  advisers, and potential talent who’d like to join; she’s chatting with a cross-selection of clients, referral partners and long term business associates.  She’s going to get to the bottom of who Wealth Planning Partners is, uncover the value our clients perceive that we give them, how others see us, and give lots of feedback to incorporate into our new brand – which is obviously a lot more than a logo this time around.  I’m expecting a longer labor and trickier delivery!

This is a journey I’ve never been on before and it looks like it’ll be an interesting ride!  I’m sure there’ll be some lovely feedback, and possibly some serious challenges will be uncovered that we’ll really need to work on.  But, overall, I’m sure it’ll be a great experience, a good discovery lesson for ourselves and our clients and leave us in a really great place going forward!

Part of the team retreat in Bali (only 19 sleeps away!) will be all about discovering what we’ve learned in the process, digesting the feedback and incorporating those insights into what we do going forward.  Building a great culture around our brand.

If you’ve got a financial planner who you’d like more from, I’d love to hear what you’d like to get back?  What’s important to you?  How could they do things differently and leave a bigger smile on your dial?