The world of finances is expansive and action-packed, and while this is exhilarating to some, it can be downright confusing to others.
There are money-wise “moguls” of the financial world that have dove in and navigated the waters to find streams of success; others may only dip a toe in, or choose to stay on the shoreline altogether.
Most people’s apprehension about financial matters comes from a lack of information and understanding, or simply not knowing where to start. Fortunately, some of the great “moguls” are happy to share tips and tricks they’ve picked up over the years.
Read on to discover tips from some successful business women and men!
1. Manjit Minhas
You may know Manjit from the newest seasons of “Dragon’s Den”, but before then, Manjit used her financial flair to become the CEO of Minhas Breweries & Distillery. While we aren’t all CEO’s of hugely successful businesses, even for those who live paycheque to paycheque, Manjit has advice for avoiding heavy financial distress. In one word, the key is discipline.
Pro Tip: Stop impulse buying. Manjit highlights that your spending today determines how you live in the future, so it’s important to resist those temptations. She suggests that you plan your purchases, and only buy what you can afford now – this means no credit cards!
Understand the difference between your wants and needs, and save up for those special purchases instead of using plastic; the interest charges aren’t worth it.
2. Preet Banerjee
Preet hosts Mostly Money, Mostly Canadian, a podcast that discusses personal finance for the average Canadian. The title states “mostly”, due to Preet’s tendency to go off-topic and discuss whatever might pop into his head (but that just makes it so much more fun than you might expect an investing podcast to be.)
Pro Tip: One tool that Preet recommends using is automated savings. Having a set amount of money automatically transfer into a saving or investment account every payday is a way to save without really thinking about it.
But, you can’t forget about it completely! Preet suggests you review, and make small increases to your contribution amount with each new year. Even an increase of 5% each year can make a huge difference long-term.
3. Gail Vaz-Oxlade
The budget guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade has been dishing out financial advice for over a decade through her writing, and television shows “Til Debt Do Us Part”, “Princess”, and “Money Moron”. Gail has made a career out of helping people with their financial woes with her "reality-check" approach and she certainly knows how to lay down the law.
Pro Tip: Even the idea of spending less isn’t quite enough according to Gail, who says “you’re just pretending to save!”. Gail wants people to realize that you’re only really saving money if you’re putting it into an account where it remains untouched, such as an RRSP.
Gail suggests a registered retirement savings plan as a good investment choice for your future in general, and because you can defer the tax payable–bonus! We could write pages and pages if we were to cover all of Gail’s tips, but the core concept to remember is to not be a “money moron” (and put money away for the long-term.)
4. Kevin O’Leary
This Canadian businessman is hard to miss. But while he may have gained notoriety for his sharp tongue on “Shark Tank” or, more recently, for his political aspirations, Kevin O’Leary is without a doubt a pro with money. Plus, it has to be advice worth taking when it comes from a man nicknamed Mr. Wonderful, right?
Pro Tip: Kevin suggests you invest 10% of your total income into stocks and bonds. His favourite type of investment is an exchange-traded fund (ETF). ETFs are like bundles of multiple stocks and bonds, but the advantage is you’re able to buy as little as one share, and trade as if it were one stock. Kevin explains that the appeal is diversification and low trading costs; you can even invest in ETFs that only pay out in dividends.
This makes it easier for you to adhere to Kevin’s other important tip, which is to never spend your original investment dollars, only the interest. This would mean you don’t withdraw any of your principal investments, but you can spend what you are paid in dividends. Kevin gives this advice saying, “just like my mom taught me” – and we all know it’s always best to listen to mother!
Each of these successful entrepreneurs has their own tricks up their sleeves that have gotten them to where they are now. But they also seem to agree on some underlying rules of thumb: to save, start investing early and increase your contributions over time; and to deal with debt, make payments early and often, and stay disciplined.
Finally, all the pros agree that before anything else, become financially literate. It’s important to learn all that you can about saving and growing your money. Even the pros had to start somewhere!
Are you ready to invest now? Our previous post, Money Talks: The Lowdown on Investing Your Money, can help get you started.