Following on from my last post about my top 3 personal finance book recommendations, I thought it would be fitting to dedicate this week’s blog post to Gill Fielding, a wealth expert and CEO of Fielding Financial. Just like me, Gill Fielding heavily believes in the importance of financial education which lead her to the creation of Fielding Financial. This interview is full of financial tips and advice so make sure you read on!
1. Tell us about yourself and Fielding Financial
Well, I am a rags to riches story having been born into poverty in the East End of London. I had no financial or emotional support but over the course of my life I have made myself and my family financially free. I no longer need to work for money and I can spend my time doing what I choose. I know that, using myself as an example, that everyone can make a difference with their money whether they are starting from poverty, or are on benefits, or already have accumulated some funds. Wealth is a choice and how far you travel along that journey is up to you.
Fielding Financial is an award-winning financial education business. It is also the only accredited property education organisation in the UK and that means that they are monitored and audited by an independent external body.
2. What inspired you to set up Fielding Financial?
I wanted to set up Fielding Financial to provide the financial education that most people lack. I believe that anyone can become wealthy if they choose to, but for most people they just don’t know how to do it. Having done it myself, I know that the journey can be a fairly simple one as long as you have some basic principles and some decent knowledge. Fielding Financial provides that knowledge and those principles for anyone. There is no age or class barrier to sorting out your money.
3. Why do you think financial education is important?
Financial education is important because it enables people to live a better life of choice. As soon as people have got their money stuff sorted and they can pay their bills every month, then they turn their time and attention to things that are more important to them such as the environment or their church. Financial education is liberating but conversely the lack of financial education is one of the perils of our society. It creates stress, causes divorce and can contribute to mental illness.
4. What do you believe are the key principles of financial education?
There are five key principles to all financial education whether that’s just sorting out your personal finances or whether that’s creating a multi-million pound property portfolio or business. They are:
- Understanding your financial flows and knowing exactly what comes in and what goes out every month.
- Understanding how to make any amount of money last until you next receive your salary, benefits or pension.
- Understanding and controlling debt. Taking out the wrong debt can be enough to keep people in poverty their entire working lives
- Understanding that money has a future value if it is saved or invested
- Understanding that ‘if it’s to be, it’s up to me’! You have to take responsibility for your financial affairs because nobody else will.
5. What is your best piece of advice for someone starting their financial literacy journey?
My best piece of advice for people is to get aware and get educated. Too many people have their head in the sand over their financial affairs and consequently go nowhere. There is lots of great knowledge and education out there for people to take the appropriate steps towards their own financial goals but abdicating responsibility and awareness won’t get them anywhere
6. There are lots of different investment and money-making opportunities out there – how do you go about choosing one?
It is important to choose an investment strategy that is suitable for you, your current financial situation and your attitude to risk. Your investments have to fit in with your other financial flows and time available. Far too many people choose riskier investments such as crypto currencies when they could choose something more appropriate such as property, for their circumstances. I would suggest that people choose something that they are familiar with, such as property rather than something that is outside their normal information base.
7. A lot of people think that property is an easy way to make money. Do you have any tips for people who are interested in getting started?
Property isn’t necessarily an easy way to make money and far too many people think that property investing is the quick way to riches, but it isn’t. There is much to learn about identifying the correct strategy and knowing all the steps you can take that can reduce your risk or exposure. My overall guidance for anyone starting out in property investing is to:
- Start with something small, and
- Start with income generation
8. What is the biggest challenge people face when taking control of their personal finances and how can they overcome this?
The biggest challenge that people face by far is themselves! People are often fearful about money and are ridiculed by their friends and family for even trying to improve themselves. There is a general stigma in Western cultures that people who want money are in some way ’bad’ which of course isn’t true. Overcoming existing beliefs both from yourself and from your circle of acquaintances is a huge challenge because in many cases you are trying to overcome a lifetime of behaviours. People can overcome this by connecting with people who have already taken control of their finances and who can support them on their journey.
At Fielding Financial we put an equal amount of effort into providing support and connections as we do with providing the knowledge. If you are working alone it is easy to believe that you will fail but if you are what working, and connecting with hundreds of people who are successfully changing their financial life on a daily basis then your own personal change becomes much easier.
If you would like to learn more about Fielding Financial and the range of online courses they provide, then click here!
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