The Festive Season 2019 is here and Matoyana Media, who are always interested in finance and planning, caught up with Andi Tooke, the Head of Marketing at LifeCheq, to get some insights on how to plan more effectively for a bespoke financial future.
Hi Andi, many thanks for your time. LifeCheq gives financial advice aligned to values and personal goals – how do you go about doing this?
LifeCheq is an independent financial consultancy that helps individuals plan and achieve their most important life goals by providing highly personalised advice. Every LifeCheq client has a consultant who helps them develop an actionable roadmap to take them from where they are now to where they want to be. As things unfold, our consultants are available to help our clients make the big decisions and revise their plans when necessary. We also have a team of specialists who can assist with deeper engagement around an important career or business decision, from taxes and accounting to business strategy.
Do you see personalised service becoming more important in finance in general?
Absolutely. In the past there has been something of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to financial advice, but as more and more people are moving away from the traditional 9-5, single employer career model there is definitely a greater need for services that can accommodate diverse lifestyles and priorities. For example, it is becoming more prevalent for individuals to have a side hustle in addition to their main income, or to have more than one job (known as “slashing,” e.g. consultant/author).
That’s so insightful, so people have quite different goals to the previous generation?
Yes, personal priorities are also changing, as more people are electing not to get married or have children, or are doing this at a later stage in life once they have established their careers. In addition, we have found that while many of our clients value having financial freedom later in life, they are not interested in stopping work altogether. Rather, they want to have the freedom to choose the work they do, and have a safety net in place that allows them to take some risks that they couldn’t afford to take earlier in their careers.
This is why at LifeCheq, we always start by having our clients envisage the lifestyle they want for themselves, and then work backwards to help them figure out how they need to structure their finances in order to give themselves the best chance of getting there.
Do you have any financial advice for entrepreneurs over the Festive Season?
The festive season is traditionally a time of giving and showing our loved ones how much they mean to us. Unfortunately this can also be a time of financial stress, as people can feel pressured to show their appreciation through expensive gifts and lavish gatherings.
Part of the work we do at LifeCheq involves researching and hosting talks about issues that affect our clients. One such talk deals with the phenomenon of black tax, which is the feeling of expectation or responsibility for providing financial support to relatives. This is an issue which affects millions of South Africans year-round (not only people of colour, although this is by far the most affected group, hence the name), but which can be especially burdensome over the festive period. This is a complex issue, fraught with many conflicting emotions, and there is no “right way” to deal with it. We always encourage our clients to speak to their consultants about issues like this, so they can develop a plan for handling their responsibilities while still remaining financially sound themselves. In particular, budgeting ahead of time and having someone who can help you remain disciplined can be very powerful tools for keeping yourself on track over the holiday season.
Many thanks Andi and all the best for 2020 and beyond.