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New Year, New Direction

Hello and a very Happy New Year. If you’ve visited my website before, you’ll notice some big changes over the coming months. For the last five years, I’ve been scampering around the country, running workshops and retreats for PhD students. One of the many enjoyable elements of this business has been 1-2-1 coaching. I’ve worked with some remarkable individuals who’ve overcome significant challenges to reach their goals. Although the sessions were ostensibly about academic achievement, often the discussion would turn to what happened next. How would my client tackle the next challenge? And those challenges were nearly always characterised by one issue: money.

In my early adulthood, I made some pretty poor decisions around employment and relationships. Fortunately, though, I made several sensible choices with my finances. That early wisdom in one area allowed me to extricate myself from a few pickles, and also pursue various dreams. Essentially, financial security has given me choices and independence. Having experienced this for myself, I’d like everyone else to have that freedom, too. I’ve always been interested in finance and learned lots about it when I worked for Interactive Investor back in the late 1990s (indeed, I learned enough to not invest in dotcom companies). Since then, my idea of fun has been to read books about pensions and to experiment with different investment strategies.

Last year I was delighted to discover the world of financial coaching. A financial coach works with clients to understand their behaviours and attitudes around money. This includes addressing the emotional nature of money and how this can impact our ability to develop good habits and achieve important life goals, such as saving for retirement. Unlike a financial advisor, a financial coach doesn’t sell any products. Instead, a coach’s role is to empower the client to make better decisions by understanding their needs and clearly explaining the options.

Photo of coaching area

The coaching area in my office.

Arguably, the founder of financial coaching is Simonne Gnessen of Wise Monkey Financial Coaching. She has nearly 30 years’ experience in financial advice, planning, and coaching. I completed her training course in October and have now established myself as a financial coach, based at my office in Brighton. I’m still running workshops and writing retreats for the time being, but am dedicating three days each week (and this blog) to my financial coaching practice. My mission is to improve everyone’s financial wellbeing. Of course, I can’t coach all of you, so I’ll be blogging on areas such as investment, self-employment, and pensions. If you’d prefer a cup of tea and chat, please do get in touch.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2019.