Sylvia Walker is highly skilled and experienced in the financial services industry, having spent a large part of her career as a marketing manager for a blue-chip company. During this time, she worked closely with the media, conducting hundreds of presentations, doing radio and TV interviews and writing many articles for publications such as O, the Oprah magazine, Good Housekeeping / Goeie Huishouding, Sarie, The Mercury, Plus 50 and many others. She left the corporate world at the end of 2014 to pursue her interests further afield. She is also a published author. She contributed chapters on financial planning in Mary Ann Shearer’s Take Control the Natural Way and Nadia Bilchik and Lori Milner’s Own Your Space. She authored Dealing in Death – Ellen Pakkies and a Community’s Struggle with Tik and co-authored Steeped in Blood, the memoirs of Dr David Klatzow, which was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Award in 2011. She also co-authored and published Reflections for Old Mutual in 2013. Sylvia is currently a financial planner, writes articles, and conducts workshops on various aspects of financial literacy and planning. She is also the resident financial guru on the Cape Talk Early Breakfast Show, and is on air every Friday morning. Her latest book, SmartWoman, has just been published, and is a culmination of many years of experience in advising women on how to gain financial freedom and grow their wealth.
No one likes to think about dying, let’s face it, but it is one of those life certainties, like taxes, that’s impossible to avoid! And while you can’t dodge the tax man, many people neglect to draw up a will, either because they have more pressing priorities, or because they want to avoid thoughts around death. As a woman once said to me, “If I draw up a will, I will die!”
Stuck in a financial rut? Maybe too much debt, too much retail therapy, too much of a people pleaser, too little money, or just not sure how to take control of it all? Financial freedom is within your grasp. By changing your outlook, you can change your life.
New year, new ideas, new goals, blah blah blah! There is always so much hype around each new year and how this year things will be different. It’s interesting, though, that a calendar year is man-made – there is no difference between 31 December and 1 January, except perhaps that it’s a milestone. And this I think is key – for many of us it’s a way of measuring ourselves and the progress we have made in life – a way of benchmarking our situation and comparing where we were and how far we have come.
Every now and then I come across someone who has a burning desire to write a book. Whether it’s to see their name in print, or to achieve some kind of status that goes along with being a published author, it’s a serious bucket list item for many. This always takes me back to my own situation and how I fell into the world of writing books. I use the word “fell”, because it was never a burning desire of mine to write a book. Although I had written a fair amount of material in my professional career, I had never considered the idea that I might be an author at some point. I had not even studied languages at university.
You have worked hard to get to where you are and it feels good to be reaching your goals. However, you might not be alone in enjoying your success – many young professionals today feel pressurised to ‘pay back’ and support extended family members who may not be as fortunate.
It’s always easy to start something new, but not always easy to stay the course. Starting a new project, a new business or even an investment plan, for that matter, is exciting - you have a vision of where you are headed and you are fired up, motivated and focused.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you are bestowed with brains, you will make great investment decisions. In fact, it could be quite the opposite - many a clever person has made some really bad decisions over time.
I have yet to meet an investor who hands over their hard-earned money and says, “Invest it in a high risk investment, I love to take chances.” Unless one is talking about cryptocurrencies, but that’s a whole different story.
Did you invest in Bitcoin and have you made some good money? Or is your investment worth less than what you put in? Either way, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general have taken the market by storm, despite warnings from some of the world’s oldest and most reputable financial institutions.
I am not a great believer in New Year’s resolutions, as they generally tend to be forgotten within a week or so! But what each new year does bring us, is a time of reflection, and from a financial point of view, a desire to perhaps improve ourselves over the next twelve months.