I started the site to try to make it easier for people to get a grip on their own attitudes and behaviour towards money and to help them understand that you – the reader – are the important and complex element. The money is really pretty simple and is only there as a tool for you to have a good life
So I hope you enjoy the site, and get something out of it that helps you to be happy.
To give you a bit of background about me, when I left school I went into finance, starting with an insurance company. At the time, there weren’t any qualifications for financial planning, so I did the insurance exams. Then I did the pensions ones. In the meantime I moved through different jobs, insurance broker, Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) specialising in professional clients (dentists, accountants, solicitors etc.), the High Net Worth and Private Banking sides of a bank and finally, the job I had wanted for about 10 years, a fee based IFA. And by then, the first set of financial planning exams had come out, so I got the highest qualification available at the time (Diploma in Personal Financial Services) in the first sitting of examinations.
And I discovered I didn’t actually like doing financial planning! Well, I liked the people, and solving their money issues, but the technical side that I’d trained for was always the same. Most problems were boringly simple, there was only the occasional really interesting puzzle, apart from that it was only finding out about the clients that was interesting.
So, I studied to become an Occupational Psychologist (there’s a bit more to that story, seven years of work for a start, but you don’t need all that!)
Occupational Psychology is a Doctoral level qualification but you don’t do an academic Doctorate. You do a a logbook of practical work after your MSc, like a Chartered Engineer, so you have to know how all the theory you’ve spent years learning actually applies to real people, working in real organisations.
It doesn’t involve reading people’s minds or analysing dreams or anything like that. Most of what I learned was business connected. For example, finding out what somebody needs to be like and how they need to behave to be good at a particular job and how to select people to do that job well. I learned how to train and teach adults to understand complex ideas and how to help them change their behaviour, how to use various tools to help find out how people prefer to think, solve problems and act and how people tend to behave in groups and teams and how to help the groups to be more effective. And I learned how to coach people effectively and to guide others so they could coach more effectively too.
Then, about 25 years after I started work and 5 years after I qualified as a psychologist, I started to get more requests to:
- Speak to the media about the psychology of money and explain to their audience why people did some of the daft things they did with their money.
- Help clients determine how they might change their behaviour with money so they would be happier, and how to make those changes.
- Train and coach some IFAs who wanted to understand and help their clients better.
And gradually I realised that most people think money is really complicated.
I know that compared to people, money is dead simple, it is people who are complicated. But I’m the only person in the world who is actually qualified, and who has worked full time, as both a psychologist and a financial advisor – so nobody else is in a good position to be able to judge. Most authors can only see one side, so most people still believe that money is complicated and important and, by comparison people are simple and insignificant.
The site is here to try to help you get a more realistic view of how important you are, and how relatively simple money is.
I hope that you enjoy it and find it useful.