Olivia Sibony

"I want to know that no matter what happens, I can always survive on my own."

Olivia is doing amazing work to empower the investing potential of women, while also fighting the good fight in supporting ethical and environmentally friendly businesses through the investing platform she heads up; Seedtribe. Women have been found to share many of the attributes we see in typically cautious investors, however, it seems more accurate to say that women want to be more risk-aware. In essence, they want to know what they are investing in.

Olivia understood people’s need to know where they invest, and the impact it has. She wanted Seedtribe to be affordable and accessible to anyone and so keeps the minimum investment low, with a rigorous process for selecting businesses who make it to the platform. This means anyone investing can afford to get involved and knows their money is going into organisations who have proven track records in performance, with ethically and environmentally responsible motivations. IWD 2019 is all about promoting greater gender balance, so we love Olivia’s approach to equality in a wider sense; why shouldn’t our investments do the world some good too, regardless of our gender?

Q & A

What would you see as your main financial life goal?

Having enough money saved up that would enable to me feel I'll be ok in case I become too ill to work, even though my plan is to never really stop working: if you feel fulfilled in what you are doing, the boundaries between work and pleasure are blissfully blurred and I don't see a need to have to stop. Having said that, you never know what the future holds in store, and I'd like a security blanket in case it all goes wrong.

What does financial independence: mean to you?

Although I'm blessed to be in a happy marriage with a man I've been with for 20 years, I never want to feel I'm dependent on anyone. I want to know that no matter what happens, I can always survive on my own. A lot of this for me is having the skills to be able to work flexibly, so I can always gain a source of income. Financial independence is about being confident in being able to provide for yourself, not necessarily having the money immediately at hand.

Do you invest already?

For the moment, only via my pension contributions and ISAs. As soon as I have the disposable income to do so, I'd love to invest in impactful start-ups.

What do you see as the biggest issue in the investing world at this time?

I want to see more businesses as a force for good. At the moment, investment is 100% tied to the idea of only caring about a financial return. I wish we could see a paradigm shift where we feel more engaged in investing in our/our children's future, so that we can make more long-term, sustainable decisions that don't just revolve around our personal financial returns. If everyone were encouraged to see investment as the "triple bottom line", companies would be incentivised to act in the interest of people and planet, we would see less short-termism, and I also think it might engage more people in the world of investing, as they'd see how it relates to their own values and future, not just a return in the next 12 months.