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BY ANGELINA YAO

Why do some people effortlessly achieve financial freedom while others have to hustle for side gigs and work extra hours just to make ends meet—even if they have an investment plan or an investment advisor?

Early in my career, I desperately wanted to learn the answer.

I was working 100-hour weeks as an investment banker. I had no time to create a well-thought-out investment plan, although I knew I needed one. If I kept working 100-hour weeks I would burn out before I turned 30!

I met with a few financial planners but I didn’t like the products they recommended. I didn’t want to buy the latest and greatest mutual funds. I also realized that financial and investment advisors might not know what I want in my life. They might not understand that my goal is to achieve financial freedom in my 40s, rather than working in finance until the usual retirement age of 65 or 70. Many investment advisors also don’t cater to the rhythms of a woman’s life, with the career breaks that come from motherhood and caregiving for elderly family members.

So I started doing financial research myself.

If I had invested in the “product-of-the-year” on the advice of the financial advisors, I would have lost money during the market downturn in 2005. Instead, I vowed to learn what it takes to build and manage an investment plan that can help me achieve financial freedom earlier.

And, over the past decade, I have.

I invested in things I truly understood—and came out ahead. And through my work with friends and clients, I discovered five key steps in creating a financial plan to achieve holistic wealth.

1. Develop clarity about what holistic wealth means to you

Your vision of wealth doesn’t have to match what other people think—for example, the ability to retire at 65 with a nest egg. It does need to align with your values and be true to your perspective on life and money. You don’t want a cookie-cutter template. Discovering your values comes from understanding your unique needs and desires and where you want to go in life. And there’s often trial and error involved. It’s okay for your goals to change.

2. Build an investment plan that helps you achieve your financial goals

Once you’re clear about your vision of holistic wealth, your next step is to write down the things that matter to you in a financial goal planner. Seeing all your goals on one piece of paper lets you prioritize what you want to accomplish in your next two life stages. From there, you’ll build the investment plan you need to achieve your goals.

3. Overcome your fear

Next, you need to overcome the obstacles to success, which can be either internal or external.

Many women get hung up at this point because they succumb to the internal voice of self-doubt and stop trying. Or they find it difficult to stay focused on what will get them the greatest return. You have to move past both these obstacles. The next two steps can really help with this!

4. Build your network of support

When the time comes to build your network of support, it’s essential to connect with people you like, respect, and trust.

Surrounding yourself with friends and a trusted financial team helps in several ways. A financial team provides technical know-how and answers to your questions—because we don’t have all the answers ourselves. Team members can become critical early supporters of your journey, helping you move forward or gain traction. This is different from handing over responsibility to a financial planner. Your team can include investment advisors and other experts, but they’re people you pick because they align with your vision and are dedicated to supporting your financial goals rather than profiting from your need.

5. Share your experiences with your loved ones

The last step involves sharing your ideas about holistic wealth with your family and friends. Discussing your financial situation or going on “money dates” with your significant other can help build momentum around your financial goals by making others aware of them—and making you accountable to someone other than yourself.

These steps may sound challenging. But they’re all doable.  

Today, I live the life I want because I decided to put in the effort to become holistically wealthy. I started talking about money in my 20s with my friends and family. When I got engaged in my 30s, my fiancé and I began going on money dates, which have continued into our marriage. I know from experience that it’s possible to create holistic wealth, even if you’re not sure initially what your financial goals are or if you’re worried about finding time to make it happen.

If you can be efficient—if you can learn from someone who’s already done it, rather than fumbling around and reinventing the wheel, like I did—then you can advance faster and make serious progress toward your most important goals.

The Heels & Yield workshops distill everything I’ve learned about how to become holistically wealthy. We make this knowledge available in a way that’s easy to digest and efficient to learn so you can get on the road to financial freedom sooner rather than later. Find out more and sign up!

About Heels & Yield

 

Heels & Yield empowers women to manage their finances and to nourish their health and their wealth through its proprietary holistic wealth management practices. To help clients achieve holistic wealth with guidance and accountability, Heels & Yield offers services including group workshops and private wealth mentoring that combines financial education with personal financial coaching.

Disclaimer

 

This blog and its contents were created by Heels & Yield Limited. Our blog and its contents are for general guidance and informational purposes only and should not be treated as legal, accounting, financial, investment or tax advice. For specific questions related to your financial, legal or tax situation, please consult your own attorney, accountant, and/or independent financial advisor for expert advice and carefully consider all relevant risk factors. Heels & Yield Limited is a financial education company and not a financial advisory firm or a law firm or a certified public accounting firm. Please visit our website for full terms of our disclaimer and terms conditions of use. Please read our full disclaimer here.

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