5 Business Executives Share Their Best Piece of Personal Finance Advice

Written by Mike

Topics: Investing

Personal finance advice is usually doled out by personal finance experts. (Surprise!
Surprise!) So, I thought it would be fun to shake things up and ask some corporate financial
experts to take their business experience and apply it to personal situations.
So, here are five hot shot business executives with their best piece of personal finance
advice.

Kate Ryan — Analyst at TIAA

Kate Ryan works at the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), advising on how to maximise value from annuities and other financial instruments.

The number one most common mistake I see young people make is that they think they don't need to start saving until they get older. This is completely wrong.

Getting an early start on savings can pay off in a big way. The gift of time and compound interest is one of the greatest you can give yourself.

Compounding happens when earnings on your contributions get reinvested to generate their own earnings, which also get reinvested to create more earnings, and so on.

Over time, compounding can add a lot of fuel to the growth of your savings. For example, if you invest just $100 a month, over 40 years you will have put aside $48,000, but it will actually be worth about $186,000 (assuming about 6% annual return). If you can save $125 a month, after 40 years, you’ll have $232,000!

Bily Xiao — Principal at Mobius Wealth

Bily Xiao is a qualified engineer who spent four years tinkering with semiconductors before
moving into the business world. A talented financial planner, Bily is the Principal at Mobius
Wealth and helps his clients get the most out of their money.

Too many adults do not have an accurate view of their income and expenses. But if you measure it, you can improve it. So start tracking, take stock of how much you’re saving, identify low-hanging fruit of expenses you can cut, and start setting some incremental goals to increase your saving. Make use of great tools like Mint.com (syncs with your financial accounts) or YouNeedABudget.com (more manual and private) for tracking.

Warren Buffett — CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Prolific investor and businessman Warren Buffett is worth a cool $90 billion, making him the
third richest person in the world. Despite his immense wealth, Buffett is known for his careful
and frugal lifestyle.

If people get to my age and they have the people love them that they want to have love them, they’re successful. It doesn’t make any difference if they’ve got a thousand dollars in the bank or a billion dollars in the bank… Success is really doing what you love and doing it well. It’s as simple as that. I’ve never met anyone doing that who doesn’t feel like a success. And I’ve met plenty of people who have not achieved that and whose lives are miserable.

Stephen Hart — CEO of Cardswitcher

Stephen Hart was the CFO of payment services giant Worldpay before leaving to found his own fintech startup, Cardswitcher. Nowadays he dedicates his time to helping small businesses compare merchant services and save money on their payment processing. Cardswitcher helps businesses save around £23 million every year.

In the business world, we spend a lot of time looking at cash flow. (In case you don’t know, cash flow is simply the flow of money into and out of an organisation.)

Cash flow is important because a profitable business can get into serious trouble if its debts fall at the wrong time.

The same is true for individual people like you and me… but we almost never speak about our own personal cash flow and I think that’s a huge mistake.

Imagine you’re working two different part-time jobs and you’re paid at different times in the month. If all your bills were to fall in between the two incomes, you might struggle to pay them despite earning enough money overall.

This is why cash flow is important.

Unfortunately, running out of money mid-month can result in people turning to short-term lenders like payday loan companies and credit cards. Resorting to this form of borrowing is obviously not sustainable in the long-term and can result in people accruing huge debts which take years or decades to pay off.

I think we should all track our own personal cash flow, looking at when our debts come out and when our salaries and other incomes come in. If you understand your own personal cash flow, you can make much smarter buying decisions and avoid short-term cash issues like I mentioned above.

Jamie Pomeroy — Director at Radisson Hotel Group

Jamie’s background is in personal finance advice and he has held positions at several leading advice firms. In 2017, he made the switch to the corporate world and now heads up the Franchise Sales and Development division at the Radisson Hotel Group.

Once you have established a budget and have clear short- and long-term goals, one easy way to get in the habit of saving money toward those goals, is to simply automate it. Set up regular and automatic deposits into your investment and savings accounts, either directly from your paycheck or from your checking account. This is such a simple practice that will pay tremendous dividends in the future. To help you with this, you may also want to check out technology tools that might just make your savings life a little easier. Tech tools like Digit will determine how much you can afford to save each week or month based on your personal income and spending, then it will actually send those amounts to a savings account for you!

About the Author

Tom Butcher is a freelance writer, covering a wide range of topics, including finance, business and motoring. You can follow his (new) Twitter feed here.

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