Forward Ladies CEO Griselda Togobo spoke to Gill Fielding about money, the five principles to follow to achieve financial freedom and how her rags to riches story can inspire others.
Not knowing about money can condemn someone to a lifetime of debt and limit their choices, while understanding money can bring freedom.
Those are the views of Gill Fielding, self-made millionaire and owner of property investing training company Fielding Financial, who is on a mission to educate the nation about our finances.
In conversation with Forward Ladies CEO Griselda Togobo, Gill said that we’re failing to pass on vital knowledge to our young people.
“Unfortunately, financial education isn’t something we do very well as a nation… It’s not something we do very well in schools and we tend, as parents, not to be very good at it.
“What happens is that children grow up with no financial education at all and make a succession of very poor decisions early on, which can be enough to keep them in poverty for the rest of their lives.”
She said not teaching teenagers about money could leave them in debt for decades.
“What it does is it restricts life choice: if you don’t get the money thing sorted you’re limited in what you can do in your life. So really, my mission and passion is not about money, it’s about freedom.”
The Five Principles
Gill said there is a formula for wealth creation that can be applied to most situations and summarised in five principles.
- Be aware of your income and outgoings, which means you immediately have a choice about how to spend your money.
2. Budgeting or understanding that what comes in has to last until the next salary, benefit or pension payment.
3. Understanding and managing debt. ‘Shiny shoes’ debt, which people take on to buy a bigger TV or pay for a holiday, is bad for our finances but Gill said that debt can be good because we need to borrow money to make money.
4. Understand that money has a future value. Simply put, it means that if you’re saving money and earning one per cent interest and inflation is at three per cent, your money will always be worthless in the future than it is today. But if by investing the money we can get a higher return, then as long as that rate of return is higher than the rate of inflation, money is always worth more in the future.
“But it takes a big mind shift to go from money saving to money-making,” said Gill. “Women are much better at saving, men are much better at making. Don’t know why don’t understand it myself but that is my experience over 40-odd years in the game.”
5. Understand that you have responsibility for your own money and that managing your finances is down to you.
If you want your situation to change, you have to do something
Gill told the Forward Ladies audience that women face particular financial challenges. When women start work, their pension pots are worth 17 per cent less than men’s on average but by the time they reach retirement, that gap has widened to 56 per cent, because of career breaks, starting a family and lower earnings.
Gill advised women to take the situation in hand and start investing their money. Land and property, shares and trading and business are three investments which will all provide a 10 per cent return over the long term.
It’s never too late to start
Gill said that it was 20 years before she made her first million but it was possible to achieve financial freedom much more quickly by following the correct steps.
It was never too late to start, she said and added that older people have experience, plus organisational and project management skills which can be a big help.
Focus on the things that only you can do
In addition to getting up early – something she’s noticed a lot of wealthy people do – when planning her diary Gill uses the word ‘only’ as a focus.
“My tip is the word ‘only’ and my time management system looks like this: I only do only the things that only I can do.
“That’s about my life purpose and mission and so if my mission is to light the spark of financial possibility, I only do that. Somebody else can do the ironing for heaven’s sake.”
Here’s what Gill had to say about money…
[2:07] How her own rags to riches story took her from the East End of London and an outside loo to a seven-bedroom mansion.
[7:31] How her isolated background meant there was no one around to tell her how ‘bad’ money was and how that fuelled her interest in saving.
[9:07] The moment she realised that she’d been following a formula of wealth creation and was able to quit her corporate career to become a full-time educator and entrepreneur.
[10:48] How she proved to herself that her formula for wealth creation still worked when she appeared on The Secret Millionaire.
[23:44] Why now is a good time to borrow money if you understand debt and how it works.
[27:37] How she doesn’t think she looks like a millionaire and why that led to village gossip.
[29:15] What Gill thinks about Credit Unions and why women shouldn’t save too much.
[32:08] Why having little or no money shouldn’t stop you investing in property and shares.
[33:31] Gill’s recommendations for getting out of student debt and how her own children are paying off their loans.
[34:44] What company directors can do to raise money for property investment.
[36:51] How parents can make money exciting for children and how she helped her own children to learn about money.
[40:22] Her views on cryptocurrency and why property is a safer bet.
[45:19] Advice for women who are already wealthy and finding our purpose.
ABOUT GILL FIELDING:
Gill Fielding is a self-made millionaire who is on a personal mission to educate the nation in managing and improving their financial position.
Gill is a qualified chartered accountant, runs several businesses and has held high-profile roles in the City.
She is known for her appearance on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire when she gave away nearly £250,000 to good causes and for other TV roles. She is a financial expert for a monthly phone-in show on BBC Radio and is a regular media commentator on financial issues.
In 2009 Gill co-founded and now owns Fielding Financial, which she set up to help people achieve what she describes as ‘financial freedom’. She has also written a number of practical, hands-on guides to wealth creation.
ABOUT GRISELDA TOGOBO:
The Forward Ladies CEO, Griselda Togobo MPhil, ACA, is an international corporate consultant and trainer. She is also a multi-faceted entrepreneur, engineer and chartered accountant. Also, she is a commercially focused business consultant but her experience as a black woman in the corporate world drives her. She now uses her international experience to help progressive global companies create inclusive workplaces. Griselda gives keynotes, talks and workshops to businesses interested in improving the gender and racial diversity of their teams.
Griselda is passionate about supporting female leaders through the professional women’s network forwardladies.com.
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