Emma started out at a Big 4 accountancy firm, with over 15 years of accountancy experience. Like a lot of the women we wanted to profile, Emma’s site The Money Whisperer began as a hobby to share her professional insights. She initially wrote advice on basic money matters aimed at parents and adults, groups who often struggle to find time to educate themselves on good financial practices.
Since becoming a mum, Emma saw her spending habits change significantly. Through family lifestyle pieces, Emma was able to teach more women about the experiences we can share with our families, with a healthy approach to the financial side of those occasions. As a parent, she aims to pass on good money habits to her children, as well as her readers., so she frequently discusses how she is teaching her own children about spending habits. After taking the big decision to leave her job in 2018 and focus on her site, Emma’s popularity has skyrocketed thanks to a down-to-earth tone and jargon-free advice, designed to help others create a financial foundation to live their best lives.
What do you see as your main financial life goal?
Our long-term financial goal is to have multiple income streams, from investments in different asset classes and businesses, that will enable us to step down from paid work at the time in life that we choose to, and live the life that we want to from that point on. We have a short term financial plan that feeds into the bigger picture and we track how we are doing fairly regularly as a couple.
What does financial independence mean to you?
Financial independence means having sufficient income from the assets which we have been actively investing in for the last decade to enable us to step away from paid work and live comfortably on the passive income from our investments.
What is the best thing investing can do for someone in the long term?
Leaving money in a bank to earn interest at today's rates is not going to grow your wealth significantly, especially when you factor in inflation. Investing is so powerful in the long term because of the power of compound growth; it enables real wealth generation.
What do you think is the biggest mistake first-time investors make?
First-time investors tend to get spooked by market movements, especially in a world where we can now check the value of our investments at the touch of a button. People jump on the bandwagon and buy shares at the top of the market, only for the market to pull back. Others sell at the bottom of the market when they fear a further decline, only for the market to recover. To achieve results, investing for the long-term needs to be void of any short-term, emotional reactions.
What would be your best piece of advice to a first-time investor?
Short-term fluctuations in investments are normal. Set up a monthly or quarterly direct debit to contribute to your investments, and then ignore the market news. And do not check your investments every day!
What do you see as the biggest issue in the investing world at this time?
Getting more women interested in investing and taking action. There is a huge discrepancy in the language which is used to talk to women and men about money. I would love to see more women engaged with the industry and motivated to get involved with investing, leading to a reduction in the gap between investments held by men and women.
If you could change one thing about the investment world what would it be?
I'd like to see more easy to understand language replacing the jargon which puts so many people off at the outset. One of the things that I know discourages people right at the start of their investing journey is the typically very blunt disclaimer messaging that the value of their investments may fall. Whilst I appreciate the regulatory requirements and that investors need to be told upfront, I do believe that the language and tone of this message influences how people engage, or don't, with investing. Kill the fear factor and get people to embrace the positives of investing, and I think we would see a lot more people, especially women, investing.
Check out Emma's site here: The Money Whisperer