Talking is something I do VERY well, so being able to talk money with Melissa Meagher, Founder of ‘Talking Money‘ was just the best. I think I might even have a little female crush on her – not only is she a beautiful soul inside and out, she is also one of the best financial coaches in Brisbane. If you ask me, she IS the best!
What was supposed to be a ‘meet-and-greet’, ended up being multiple coffees, a walk to the dog park and a burgeoning friendship (Well it was in my eyes). She’s humble, down to earth, and here she is on the FFT blog…
Coffee or Tea?
Both – I am a complete coffee snob and only drink barista made coffee usually once a day and then tea at home.
Favourite holiday destination? Why?
My favourite holiday destination is Mooloolaba with my kids. We are very fortunate that my family owns a unit there, and we usually get up there each school holidays. We have a very simple beach holiday existence, doing the same thing but not much each day. I love having this down time with my two children and it also allows me to stop, recharge, and reset the path that I am on. It is definitely my happy place – I always feel calm and peaceful there irrespective of what is going on in my life (and I get to read some books!)
If the world was ending hollywood style, what 3 things would you save first?
My children, my children, and my children. Nothing else matters.
Financial Planners, Financial Advisors and Financial Experts can sometimes (read: all the time) be intimidating – what makes your approach different and not so scary?
I guess the reason why my approach is different is that I am coming from a coaching perspective with clients – I am not going to tell them what they should and shouldn’t do, or what is right and what is wrong. What I do provide is a structure and framework for them to be able to stop and have a look at their current financial situation, in a supportive and non-judgemental environment. I also include an aspect of accountability and holding them firm on what they have told me they want to achieve. One other aspect that stands me apart is that I don’t use financial jargon with clients – I explain concepts in a way that they can easily understand and feel comfortable with.
‘Talking Money’ – where did it all begin?
When I left paid employment nearly 2 years ago, I reflected on the aspects I really loved about financial planning – empowering people about their financial situation through knowledge and education, both through one consultation and seminars. As far as I could determine no one was offering this type of service to individuals and couples so I thought I would start a business. I had actually always had a hankering to have my own business but there is always the question of what!
Where does your passion and ‘Talking Money’ meet?
I have always read about how you need to ‘find your passion’. I never really understood what they were talking about until I started Talking Money. Now when I am driving home from seeing clients and feel like I have had a shot of adrenaline because I am making such a positive difference and potentially changing people’s lives, I get it now….
You talk about having ‘aspirations’ because let’s be honest, ‘goals’ are for your end of year performance review! Why do we need financial aspirations and not financial goals?
I just feel financial goals are too restrictive and limiting, that they have to be specific and defined. There are always time frames attached to them and I feel if you don’t achieve them in the allotted time frame then you feel as if you have failed. Whereas with financial aspiration the world is you oyster! You are able to think big, and think outside the box. There are no limitations to what you want to achieve or aspire to. The irony is that looking at your financial aspirations will ultimately determine your financial goals!
Us mere mortals like to know that we’re not the only ones going through something and anthropologists tell us that when we have an issue we consider all-consuming, 90% of people are too embarrassed to share, especially when it is related to our finances. So what are the common challenges that your clients face and what advice can you share?
Common challenges I find that my clients face are not feeling in control of financial situation and living way beyond their means. They are living pay cycle to pay cycle or not even making it and having to rely on credit to meet basic daily living costs. They are reactive to bills and ongoing financial commitments. My suggestions are do not spend more than you earn, stop taking on debt that you can’t afford to pay off, and stop the “I have to have it now” mentality that society seems to be so caught up in.
Being financially confident is what we’re all about at FFT, in fact, that’s where we started! Why do you think it’s so important to be financially confident?
Knowledge is power. Understanding where you are now, where you want to go, and how you are going to get there is what financial confidence and freedom is all about. Someone very wise once said to me “the best map in the world is no good if you don’t know where you are going.” Feeling in control of your financial situation and understanding the fundamentals; understanding the importance of having the financial foundations in place. If you feel confident about your financial situation, you are the master of your own destiny and in the driver’s seat! That, my friends, is a very, very good place to be.
If there’s one thing that our readers could do today to start their journey to becoming financially free, financially confident and financially fearless, what should it be?
Stop and take a look at where you are financially; understand what makes up your ‘financial pot’ at the end of each month or pay period. I have found this process to be extremely empowering for clients and it enables them to feel more in control of their financial situation. This then allows then to move forward and implement some very clear goals and aspirations around what they want to achieve for their future.
FFT loves promoting our Tall Poppies and we think you’re brilliant – what do you think Talking Money does better than any other financial advisor in Brisbane?
Well the first point of difference is that I am not actually a Financial Advisor, I am a Financial Coach. This essentially means I do not provide product advice or personal financial advice to clients. I am all about equipping people with knowledge and education to provide them with the tools they require to feel financially confident about their own situation. The other vitally important area is that I listen and really get to know my clients. This can lead to solving issues that clients didn’t even know they had!
House or shares?
A bit of both – diversification is the key to any sound investment strategy – don’t put all your eggs in the one basket!
Finally, champagne or shiraz?!
All of the above! Champagne at the beginning of the night, and then finish on a gutsy shiraz. I cannot however promise I always do it in that order…..
p.s. the Jetty is a MUST for all Brisbane-ites, but I’m sure you already know that…
Fearless Female Traders
Melissa Meagher has over 18 years experience in financial services, working as a financial planner, seminar delivery specialist and stockbroker across large financial institutions like Sunsuper, Suncorp and Westpac. Melissa also holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and is a Certified Financial Planner®.
With a passion for finance and making a difference in peoples lives, Melissa was naturally drawn into financial planning. But while working in the industry, she began to identify that most people want and need financial education and coaching before financial planning action is taken.
Contact Melissa (go on, you know you want to):
Ph: 0417 614 854
Email: [email protected].au