We are fortunate to have so much information readily available.

Below is content that I have found useful. Note that I don’t have any preferred source, I am not biased in any way. I am not making any statement on any organisation. I am just sharing information as and when I come across something interesting.

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days”

Zig Ziglar

Important Pension Information

Below are very important considerations that will impact the value of your pension upon retirement.

1. Starting early does really matters. This is due to the ability to compound your saving more often. However, now is better than later and it’s not too late to improve your pension plan. The more money you can put up early on, the better your chances of growing your retirement pot.

2. You must understand your pension fund. Most funds don’t outperform the general stock index. In the majority of cases, passively investing in the index results in more money. Note, you are essentially paying for a service that actively manages your pension investments, but fund managers have proven not to have a superior ability to beat market performance. You are then in turn charged transaction fees for getting in and out of many trades. This results in significantly eroding the growth of your savings.

3. Know what fees you are being charged. The fund fees on your pension is most likely robbing you blindly. They may seem small and some are even hidden from sight, but these fund management fees are taking huge chunks out of your retirement money. In addition, when you compound these fees it means that at the end of retirement your have lost out a large proportion of your investment.

Understandable a lot of people don’t choose their pension plans as their employers are in charge of selecting the best options. However, not many companies are in a position to select the best plan. Take initiative to understand your plan better and discuss this with your colleagues. Collectively you can influence the procurement process of your company or at minimum make contingency plans outside of that plan.

Surprising Truths about Trading

This is one of the best videos I have watched, that gives an insider perspective of our banking system. Watch this video from Anton Kreil and it’s likely that you won’t view trading in the same way again.

Cryptocurrency Developments

There is a lot going on the Cryptocurrency space. Things are still very uncertain and volatile. I am confident to say, that the industry will continue to develop and be incorporated more mainstream in the near future. This is because there is a lot of value to be gained from a more efficient payment system. This is not suggesting, in anyway, that there is money to be made here, just that it might be a good idea to have some knowledge on it.

Here is an interesting article that just came out today and I enjoyed reading.

Digital Transformation in Finance

It is about time to get up-to-speed with technological changes. This is not to scare anyone, it’s just to get in the habit of continuously learning. Everyone will learn to adapt in good time, just as we have always done. If we can start developing ourselves now, then as things start to change, we will find it that bit easier to adjust.

Female Success in Finance and Trading

I have recently been interested in exploring the journeys of successful individuals in investment and trading There are numerous examples of success, however finding a genuine and honest role model is difficult.

I started to do some research to find female traders to determine what sets them apart in order to enhance my own development. This led me onto a new journey of exploration, looking at what it would take for me to succeed. I then got a little side tracked and started to explore high performing females in Finance.

As much as I would like it not to be a factor, the truth is that I can relate better to the experience of a female role model. I want to see what is possible and how they have had to navigate through their challenges. I think that they can inspire me to do better. Through these role models, I am able to have conviction to set and achieve higher goals. If you see that someone is like you and they have “made it”, you are more likely to believe that the only person that is stopping your from success is you.

This exact same way of thinking has also led me onto an interesting observation that can cause a negative impact in working with others. Personal bias can show it’s ugly face in the workplace and hinder the progression of some very high potential individuals. Although we might be able to relate to a certain person better, we must also be conscious to act in a way that is more fair. We must hire based on the best person to achieve the collective goals of the organisation. Unfortunately here within lies the problem of diversity in the workplace. No one person has proven to be able to effectively establish the best person for the job. Nevertheless, I challenge all to continuously try to evaluate improved ways to achieve this.

I have have experienced mixed messages as a female professional in finance. I have seen environments where gender didn’t matter and it has no significant impact on the likelihood of success. The best of these environments have a strong track record of producing high ranking females. Actually, they have a strong track record, in producing highly successful individuals from all backgrounds. These tend to be open minded places where there is a higher emphasis on formal programs of development, goals setting and regular performance assessments.

I have had some unforgettable role models, that have always backed me and pushed me forward, especially in the early days of my career when confidence was very much needed. Having received this treatment and it having such a profound impact on me, I strongly want to offer the same to others. We must make more of an effort in generating a more inspiring work place where young people are supported and engaged, especially those with different backgrounds to ourselves. Being a manager and leaders is not about feeling above others, it’s about enhancing others. This attitude can generate a domino effect and accelerate a more positive experience across the board.

I have also been in environments where females are regularly overlooked due to the inherited old school style of operating. These are environments where ego rules. Those that gain a little bit of power are overly excited to exert their new ranking and proof their worth. They are naturally more likely to value their worth in comparison to others that are more similar. Hence their focus being on those most like them.

They only value those that exert traits like themselves and they tend to have a more narrow view of competition. They are unconsciously making decisions based on their personal biases, such as hiring and backing individuals that are like themselves. Or, it is also a possibility they hire a female on the basis that they think they are inferior in the workplace and therefore won’t represent a threat. It quickly becomes clear in their treatment of that person that they are insecure and it allows them to feel better about themselves by exerting their superiority over this person. This can generate animosity and is most likely to result in inferior performance.

This then reiterates and fuels the environment even further and prevents progression. These tend to be places that hire people that are similar in background and often these are environments where there are blurred boundaries of professional and personal lives. Ego and competition starts to extend to outside the workplace and it starts to fuel resentment of those that are being excluded.

Although many set aside their personal feelings and accept that ideal situations are difficult to achieve. It does become harder to stay authentic when others rely on you and you have a team. This includes having to navigate through questions of equal opportunities and not being able to fully justify decisions. Would the right answer be honesty ? To explain that sometimes people are overlooked and it is just the way things operate. That you must try to find a way to stand out, become respected and cater to the system, so that you too have a fair chance to progress? In reality this is how most of the world works, however if we just accept the issues at hand and say nothing, how will we ever improve?

I operate my best to believe that most of us have good intentions. Many professionals are positive towards achieving progression and diversity, however some are just finding it hard to demonstrate. They don’t know how to go about relating to those that are not like themselves. When they try to make an effort in showing gender diversity, they often focus on the loudest individuals around. Approaching females that are louder and therefore more visible, just is easier. These are not always the best females to back and in some instances some of these individuals are more interested in getting attention than achieving the job at hand.

All those involved, females and males a like, must be prepared to feel uncomfortable and have difficult conversations in order for those environments to move towards a more inspiring place for everyone to be able to demonstrate their best performance. This includes females trying harder to have the confidence to show that they matter. Having greater awareness of your surroundings and having open conversations with more people that are different to you, can generate greater personal growth.

I will continuing my search in finding female role models, so as to inspire me. However, I will certainty not overlook anyone else that has demonstrated favorable traits that would help me to greater success. If we all try to relate to others, we generate greater positivity all around us and we will live in a happier and more inclusive society.

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