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Five fabulous women in finance

5 August 2022
9 minute read

Women are great investors, financial planners and advisers. Whether it’s writing a budget or an investment, or drawing up a financial plan, women are helping other women learn more about money so they can achieve financial independence and build generational wealth.

We’ve highlighted these five fabulous women who are sharing their stories and ideas.

Reeona Chetty is the Unit Manager of Life and Wealth Channel at 1Life.

My journey in financial services began 21 years ago as a trainee teller at one of the leading banks.
I made it my mission to learn as much as I could as quickly as possible and continue to live by that credo. After securing a permanent position, my career took off on an upward trajectory. I fell in love with leadership and was headhunted into management positions, finally leading to my role at 1Life where I oversee our affluent broker channel nationwide.

I always challenge myself and those around me to achieve excellence. I even managed to complete my postgrad in financial planning in 2020 while in lockdown.

Although I love challenges, they can be daunting! Relocating from my hometown during the pandemic and basically turning my family’s entire lives upside down was scary and exciting for me. It has been a great adventure; my family has adapted to the change really quickly and their resilience has inspired me. We are all settled now. I am also quite the change enabler, so that helped!

My life is testimony to the life-changing roles financial advisers play in the lives of their clients. When I was younger, I remember financial advisers visiting our home, often after hours and on weekends, to assist my dad with his financial planning. When I was a young teenager, my father passed away, and my two younger sisters and I would have been left homeless and destitute if there had been no life cover in place. I am eternally grateful to those advisers, because although it may not have been enough, that life cover honestly saved our lives. I truly believe financial advisers are the heroes of the industry.

Women have the balance of empathy, drive and leadership that this industry needs to really empower, grow and shake up the financial services landscape globally. Women are often the warriors who, day after day, keep their homes afloat and families together. They are the ones who often lead the financial planning narrative within their homes. They change lives and they can change our industry.

Mulalo Nemataheni is a Certified Financial Planner passionate about financial literacy. She is a CEO of consulting and training company ImPowerX.

I bumped into financial planning when I was on a graduate programme at one of the leading banks.
I was offered an opportunity to study financial planning, which I did not know about at the time, and fell in love. It was through client engagements when I practiced as a financial planner that I realised the importance and difference this makes to people’s lives.

I started ImPowerd Woman Book Club, an in-person and virtual book club, to celebrate and empower women in July 2019. We have grown from a group of three to a network of 150 women all over the country, with a few in our neighbouring countries. We read one book a month and review the book the last weekend of the month. We focus on a wide range of books, such as “The 5 AM Club”, “Shoe Dog” and “Eat Pray Love”. In National Savings month, we read “You’re not broke, You’re pre-rich” by Mapalo Makhu.

‘Make it simple’ is one of my money mantras. We make money complicated by the beliefs we hold about money, and what we have been told. People hold negative beliefs, and we are even scared to admit that we have money. This influences the choices we make. We can uncomplicate it by speaking positively and building confidence when it comes to managing money.

My relationships with clients are my most memorable moments. Years ago, at a bank, I had a client who would visit me and simply talk about what was happening in his life, the relationship he had with his son, and the trust he had in my abilities as a professional. He would still connect five years later!

Charmaine Dali is the Managing Director at 32 Lemons Financial Services.

My financial services journey started at O’Keeffe & Swartz as a young naive girl, trying to make a mark in this insurance world.
We were selling multiple insurance bank products and it was extremely challenging. You either sunk or swam. We received world-class training and I was grateful to rise up the ranks in that environment and win a few awards in the process. It is said that "you don’t choose insurance, insurance chooses you”. I knew I was destined to make a difference in the insurance industry. Educating clients about insurance products became the centre of what my business stands for.

A big misconception is that advisers are all about sales and don’t care about the after sales. This isn’t true. Most financial advisers are really about providing the very best products for clients.

The very best experience for me this year has been receiving the 1 Life Enterprise Development Programme funding that allowed me to open my very first office. This has been a dream come true for me. I can truly say that my office is my happy place, my very own haven where I can realise all I have ever dreamt of. As a woman it is important that you hold up space and are able to self-sustain and take care of family and community. This has been my greatest achievement this year.

At the same time, I think the scariest thing for me this year has been going at this alone. I have always had a team, people I could bounce off ideas with and lean on. Now, it is just me in charge of my own business. I have had to reach really deep within and know that I’ve got this and that all my experiences have equipped me for this moment and opportunity. I had to tell myself, “Hey, you got this” every single day. It’s an affirmation I still use.

The only advice I can give to other women is that the future of financial services is FEMALE! You are a unicorn, you are special! You’ve got this, we are waiting for you.

Jean Archary is a Certified Financial Planner, Coach and Author and runs financial education and wellness company Money Messages.

My actual plan in life was to become a psychologist.
I worked full time to pay for my studies and ended up working in financial services by default. I loved the corporate world and so decided to pursue my career in financial planning. It was only much later in my career that I realised the link between psychology and money – psychology helps me understand how my clients’ past experiences and early childhood memories of money affect their present behaviour and mindset, while my coaching qualification helps me to move my clients forward towards their future goals quicker.

I am a cautious spender – sometimes too cautious! My family went from abundance to scarcity very early on in my life. This affected my mindset and self-worth. My best and worst financial habits can be attributed to this experience. Being a cautious spender has allowed me to save enough so that I could leave a secure income as a single mom amid a pandemic to focus on my passion, which is to empower others about money. But when I spend, my scarcity mindset kicks in, and I often feel guilty. I am shifting my mindset slowly and also exploring new ways of overcoming this.

I get frustrated when people don’t see how crucial financial wellness is to their overall wellbeing. Many people ignore the problem because they think it will go away or that they aren’t able to deal with the issue financially or emotionally – “Ignorance is definitely not bliss!” The problem just festers and snowballs into something bigger the longer we leave it. People need to realise that they have the power to change their money stories, they just need a plan and guidance on how.

I wrote a book to help me talk to my child and so that she could learn good money management skills. Our biggest desire as parents is to know that our kids are going to be okay. One way of ensuring this is to teach them to be financially independent. We must instil healthy money habits from a young age to enable our kids to make wise money decisions in the future. My book helps parents relay four essential money lessons to young children about earning, saving, spending, and giving money. I have also designed an online course for teens as well as everyone in the household that builds on these concepts.

Lisa Linfield is a Certified Financial Planner and Author behind the podcast and website Working Women’s Wealth.

Nothing in my career has gone in a straight line!
I qualified as a physio and practiced for a year before going into banking. At the age of 40, I studied a BCom (Hons) in financial planning to have a business qualification. From the first semester I knew financial planning was for me. After every lecture I would share what I had learnt to help someone else with a particular money problem or concern. What I loved about physio was the ability to connect with humans one on one and help them. It’s the same for financial planning.

We need to get our minds right to manage our money well. The number of times I hear people say “I am so bad with money!” You are never going to be good unless you get on top of it. Money is an expression of yourself. You prioritise and live according to your values – and that is how you will spend money. Work out what you value and live those values. And make sure you know your numbers, don’t leave it to a husband or partner. Know what you spend as a family and how much you need to continue living the way you do so you know how much to save each month.

Start small! Start investing just a few hundred rand a month, and then in six months increase that by another R100. You won’t miss it. And every time you get a little extra – a windfall, bonus or salary increase, put half of that towards your savings and investments.

I started podcasting in 2017 to help me reach my goal of teaching 1 million women about money. Money is not that complicated. To build wealth you just need to spend less than you earn. I interview amazing women and teach people about money in a way they will understand, and if they don’t they let me know!

1Life is proud of all the fantastic women in financial services who do amazing work and help clients and their families create, protect and preserve their wealth.

1Life Insurance Ltd (Reg No. 2005/027193/06) is a Licensed Life Insurer and Financial Services Provider (FSP No. 24769)

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