Today on the pod I interview Nicole Martin, owner of Martin & Fortuin. Nicole began her career as an accountant in South Africa, and having settled in Coffs Harbour, Australia, now runs coaching and workshops, teaching financial literacy to children and adults.
On the pod today I interviewed Nicole Martin, owner of Martin & Fortuin, teaching Financial Literacy Australia. Nicole began her career as an accountant in Cape Town, South Africa. After 4 years of training, she made the move into finance, working firstly for a Listed Investment Company, and then as the assistant accountant to the financial director in a manufacturing business.
When Nicole and her family moved to Australia, they settled in Coffs Harbour and she worked as a financial accountant for a company in the seafood industry. With a growing passion for education, she really wanted to work with people and so she launched her business Martin & Fortuin, an organisation teaching financial literacy where she works as an educator with both children and adults doing one on one coaching and also running workshops.
Nicole now also trains other bookkeepers and accountants and has made it her mission to spread and teach financial literacy in Australia.
“No matter how you earn your money, Martin & Fortuin can teach you to manage it so that your money grows with your lifestyle. Whether you’re just starting to earn money or you’ve been earning money for decades, our online personal finance course can help you to understand your finances and increase your wealth. And for young people who haven’t started working yet, Martin & Fortuin want to give you a headstart on your personal finance journey.”martinandfortuin.com
Episode 57 – Nicole Martin – Martin & Fortuin
- You can visit Nicole’s website MartinandFortuin.com HERE
- You can find Nicole on LinkedIn HERE
- You can follow Martin & Fortuin on Facebook HERE
- You can email Nicole at [email protected]
- Nicole’s recommended reading:
Episode 57 – Nicole Martin – Martin & Fortuin
Captain Fi: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. Welcome aboard the Financial Independence Podcast.
Gday and welcome to another episode of Captain Fire, the Financial Independence Podcast, where I open the cockpit to some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who have reached or are on their way to financial independence. Before we get started, remember nothing said here is financial advice, and you should always do your own independent research before making any financial choices.
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On board today is Nicole Martin, owner of Martin and Fortune, teaching Financial Literacy Australia. Nicole began her career as an accountant in Cape Town, South Africa. After four years of training, she made the move into finance, working firstly for a listed investment company, and then as the assistant accountant to the financial director in a manufacturing business.
When Nicole and her husband moved to Australia, they settled in Coffs Harbor and she worked as a financial accountant for a company in the seafood industry. However, with growing passion for education, she really wanted to work with people rather than for a corporation. So in 2016, Nicole launched her business, Martin and Fortune, an organization teaching financial literacy named in honor of her family name, where she works as an educator with both children and adults doing one-on-one coaching and [00:03:00] even running free workshops.
She recently completed her cert four in workplace training and assessment, and now she even trains other bookkeepers and accountants and has made it her mission to spread financial literacy in Australia. Nicole, thanks so much for your time today. Welcome to the pod. How are you going?
Nicole: Thank you so much for having me, captain Fi.
It’s great to be here. Oh,
Captain Fi: my pleasure. So look, before we get stuck in, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Nicole: Yeah. So I’m from Cape Town originally and moved to Australia 15 years ago. I’m married with two teenage children and we just love our life in Australia. I don’t do much other than what I’d love to do is read lots of books particularly around finance, personal finance but I do love going for walks and sometimes getting in a game of golf and tennis.
Captain Fi: And you live in such a beautiful part of Australia to do that as well. In fact, I was just lamenting at how cold and rainy it is here in Adelaide, and meanwhile you’re in sunny Coffs Harbor. [00:04:00] Coffs
Nicole: Harbor. Yes. The winters are wonderful. because like in summer it’s tropical weather, so it gets kind of humid, but in the winters are just perfect.
Captain Fi: Yeah. Well, it’s all part of that lifestyle design, isn’t it? And hey, good to know. You’re a bit of a bookworm. I am too. And I’m definitely gonna pick your brains later on what some of your favorite reads are. In fact, I’m just looking over at my desk and I have. At least two dozen books that I’ve bought that I need to read.
It’s a bit of a bad habit. I need to get back into using my library card. now, Nicole, so you’ve been working in finance for a while and teaching personal finance for a long time. And you would’ve seen like this explosion in the fire community and all these different acronyms and, passions have emerged.
And I guess fire can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. And a lot of people, they’re not really interested in the re they’re retired early and they’re more interested in the financial independence. So, Nicole , with that being said, what does financial independence mean [00:05:00] to you?
Nicole: So yeah, I think it’s wonderful that there is this explosion of interest in financial independence because traditionally people would just accept that, you go to school then study, or maybe not study and just work for 40 years and then retire for at 65 or something, and then you only experience about five, 10 years of freedom or unrest from work and then you’re done.
So this is wonderful that people are thinking about this from an early age that this is an option. So to me, financial independence is when my money can support my independent living. And actually, I don’t think of independence as just me and my own because I have my husband and we plan to be together forever.
So we’ve designed our financial independence around us being together and what we see as independent living. So what we see is that we wanna make sure that we don’t depend on anybody else to provide our money, to provide money to live our [00:06:00] lifestyle. So we want to be able to go out and make our own money, and we make joint decisions about how we spend our money.
We don’t have to ask anybody else’s permission. To what we wanna spend our money on or where we want to invest our money. And the way that I understand financial independence is, I like to think of its opposite as in what is financial dependence. And financial dependence would mean depending on someone like our parents or family or friends or the government to make.
Decisions about , where we live and or how what we can afford to buy and to support our healthcare and needs and perhaps repairs for a car. And that’s not the path that we wanna follow. We don’t wanna be dependent on anybody else because we like the idea of being independent.
Also financial independence means that you don’t get to blame anybody else for your circumstances. You take full responsibility for all of your financial outcomes.
Captain Fi: Yeah, I love it. I [00:07:00] think that last bit’s super important to the the self responsibility
somebody recently said, when you give up responsibility, you give up your ability to respond. So responsibility, response, able, it’s really about you having autonomy. And I guess that leads into what you said earlier you want to be able to make decisions about your life. You don’t wanna be dependent on, a government pension, the whims of the politicians in the government of the day.
You don’t wanna be responsible to, parents or a job. That’s awesome. You definitely sound like a very independent person. You like things your way.
Nicole: Yes I do. I’ve always been like that, but I also, it’s great being in a partnership with somebody because you learn that it’s not just about only what you want.
You have to take into consideration what they want and what they need. And so it’s a great learning skill, a life skill to learn. And I just wanna say that, for people who are on government pensions we don’t all start with the same path and we don’t all have the same circumstances.
Opportunities. And so [00:08:00] I wouldn’t wanna derive anybody who’s on government pension. It’s just that for those of us who are in a position to. Make decisions for ourselves or want to make decisions for ourselves, and then be in control of our finances and our lives and the outcomes, then there is something you can do.
You can chase financial independence, which is a great journey to follow because it can give you the outcomes that you’re looking for.
Captain Fi: Absolutely. I mean, I can relate to that. I mean, , growing up below the poverty line mom she worked as much as she could, but Yeah.
Also, we received welfare which was, really important, helping us keep the lights on and keep food on the table. Yeah. One thing that I absolutely love about my mom she was always working. Better, always finding ways to just improve, even if it was just like 1%.
If you just focus on doing the basics as mum always said, keep a little more coming in, Than’s coming out. Then you’re improving and, yeah. It’s tricky. And, sometimes people that are on pensions, they’re not gonna really be able to save 80% of [00:09:00] their income.
But, you can do other things. You can read, you can slowly work towards building some of those other skills. Like one of the things that I love is gardening. I think it really compliments financial skills. And maybe we could get into this later when we talk about your role as a financial educator.
I just think it’s a beautiful metaphor and learning how to garden is very similar skills. But there’s lots of things Yeah. That you can be doing to improve your financial literacy. Yes. Regardless of where you are in life. And I guess that leads me into my next question is you mentioned financial journey, so I’d love to hear a little bit about I guess your financial journey and how you became educated, who some of your role models were and how the journey’s going.
Nicole: So yeah, it did start with I think with my mother having worked in a bank since, from the time I was born now until, I think I was about 15. So that influence of, her talking about money and just being. Aware of, the systems of banks and she opened [00:10:00] up my first savings account and gave me my first debit card when I was 10.
And back then most kids my age were getting pocket money in cash and they didn’t have a debit card. So I felt pretty grown up, putting my debit card outta my wallet and going to the ATM and withdrawing cash. So that really gave me an experience of that firstly money was intangible, not only tangible.
So it helped me develop an understanding of that concept, which is very relevant today. And then also it gave me a sense of control of my money because I didn’t have to ask somebody, can I have, $5 or whatever it was just there. And I had to manage the balance and then, I was also responsible for my a t m card.
If I lost it or was stolen, I would no longer have that money. So just taught me those sort of things. So that was a great start. And then having seen my mother and father independently follow their individual paths to business ownership and I just [00:11:00] saw how wealth as an abstract concept can be created by using money and using your knowledge and skills and a lot of self-belief.
So yeah that’s my background and I’m trying to instill that. And I have been sending that into my kids as well.
Captain Fi: That’s interesting. So did you set them up with a debit card when they turned 10 as well?
Nicole: Absolutely. Yes. It might have even been before then, but no.
Oh, wow. No, I think I set up a high interest savings account and then I had their debit card with me, and whenever they want to spend, I would do it with them. But yeah, I think since about yeah, about 10, I think it was that they could use it themselves, but they would just tap it at school canteen.
I mean, they weren’t out and about on their own at that stage. . But now that they’re teenagers, they’re certainly, they’re walking around the shops and tapping their own money and you Yeah, it’s
Captain Fi: great. I recently read the Barefoot Kids Scott Paps latest book, now, I don’t have kids yet, but that’s the goal for hopefully not the two distant future. [00:12:00] Yeah. And I thought it was a really cool book. I’m interested to hear though, as a financial educator, what kind of things do you do to teach your kids about money?
Nicole: So certainly whenever something pops up , in our life okay, it’s certainly the day-to-day things like grocery shopping.
And, they don’t come along with me grocery shopping anymore, now the teenagers, but when they were younger, I would explain why I’m choosing that product over a different product. Based on first of all preference. I don’t need the expensive product when there’s a similar comparable product that is.
Cheaper priced, it’s still good enough. And then as they got older, I showed them how to compare the, cost per kilogram, for example. So, is that really on special? Is that really special price? Because look at that cost per kilogram versus that cost per kilogram, for example.
So yes, the grocery shopping Also with having studied accounting, you’d learn about marketing as well. So you learn about, how the grocery stores place the products that they [00:13:00] want you to buy. They place it, at eye level as opposed to low down or high up. So teaching in those sort of things.
And then even, driving we go to the server and putting in petrol, pointing out the price the comparative price between diesel and unleaded petrol. And so just everyday things, everyday decisions that I’m making or that we are making together my husband and myself, and.
What’s also good is watching things on television seeing what they’re exposed to and just sharing the decisions that people are making on tv. Even if it’s fictional characters just saying, oh, pointing out is that house too big for them? Or do you think that house is suitable for them because there are only two people in the household, but it’s a 10 bedroom home, for example.
And how the impact of that, that they’d have to employ cleaners to clean the house or a cleaner and gardeners for the expansive lawn. So all the financial implications of everyday decisions, whether we are making it ourselves or whether other people are making it, just pointing [00:14:00] it out and try not to be judgmental.
Cause I don’t want to set them up to play small, and to be too conservative. I want them to dream big and that they can have the 10 bedroom house if they like. But just to consider that. Yeah, great. Have the 10 bedroom house, and also make sure that you factor in the cost of employing the cleaners and the gardeners and the furniture that you’re gonna have to buy to fill up the rooms.
So yeah, everyday things.
Captain Fi: Yeah, I love it. So basically everything can become a teaching opportunity, whether that’s, getting petrol for the car right through doing your grocery shopping, and even just entertainment, like watching TV shows or streaming. You can really point out the decisions that people are making and why.
Yeah, and absolutely. Yeah, it’s interesting cuz I guess money, when it comes down to it, it’s all about priorities, isn’t it? It’s all about what you want out of life. And I think once people start to become a little bit more mindful about the decisions they’re making, it’s kind of natural that your [00:15:00] finances fall into line, isn’t it?
Nicole: Yeah, I would agree with that for sure. , so it is important to then figure out for yourself what am I trying to achieve here? Or am I just following the herd? Am I just doing what’s popular? Am I just doing what everybody else is doing? So certainly getting to know yourself and not just what are you trying to achieve today or within the next week, but ,
what I wanna achieve in the next month or the next 12 months, and what can I do today every single day to get toward that outcome that I desire.
Captain Fi: Yeah, , like we were mentioning earlier, just that 1% gradual improvement each day. It can have a remarkable compounding effect.
And, it’s not just compound interest in your bank that compounds experiences and knowledge compounds as well. And, just yeah, if you work to be a little bit better every day, a little bit of reading, little bit of fitness saving and investing a little bit of money, yeah, over the long term you can have some pretty amazing impacts on your life.
Nicole: Correct. Yes. And you said your mom taught you that the 1% improvement every day?
Captain Fi: Yeah. Well, she [00:16:00] always just said, keep a little bit more coming in than you have going out. And, she was very patient, she was very gentle. She was never really strict or extreme in that regard.
She was always very gentle and nurturing and yeah, it definitely fostered that improvement and that passion, self-development, but there was no urgency. There was no rush to it, which was really nice. I mean, she was early childhood teacher. So she specialized in, 3, 4, 5 year olds.
As a kindy teacher. And so I think that sort of gentle encouragement approach was definitely a big part of her career and a big part of her personality.
Nicole: It’s wonderful. Sounds like she set you up very well with good life skills. I mean, and that attitude that, yeah, as you said, 1% improvement every day.
You’re working towards something rather than just accepting where you are and then looking to others to solve your problem for you. You actually, just doing a little bit every day. So you, that comes from having an element of hope and future forward thinking. So [00:17:00] it’s really good.
Captain Fi: Yeah, sometimes I need to remind myself as well that, it’s okay to slow down and enjoy the journey a bit more.
I can tend to become very goal oriented or very outcome fixated. So yeah, for me as well, it’s just deep breath and enjoy the journey. , so speaking of the journey and moves you moved from accounting, so obviously very big into numbers and you understood finance and tax and how companies work.
And you moved into financial literacy, running financial education platforms. Can you tell us a little bit about the move from accounting into financial literacy and , what has changed for you?
Nicole: Yeah. So I would say that my move has been more from being a full-time accountant into a part-time accountant because I still provide accounting services, but on a very small scale to limited number of people and or businesses.
Because truly what I enjoy doing, what I feel I’m called [00:18:00] to do is to connect with people on a personal level to help them improve their personal lives. So, I still, enjoy accounting or I really appreciate that skill that I’m still trying to, continue to maintain that.
, but I just remember that when I worked, started off my career 24 years ago and work as an auditor and you’d go visit . Audit clients, companies, and just speaking to management, the owners, the staff, and just seeing, so you’re talking about work , the business, but you can see elements of, whether they’re struggling.
Sometimes some of the staff members would tell you, they’ve got financial struggles or whatever, or , the audit result in discovery, you’d find out that there was fraud occurring or maybe somebody had a gambling problem and that’s why they committed fraud. They’re seeking money from the company.
So all those sort of things, it just used to bother me and I used to think to myself, why are some people doing well with their [00:19:00] money and others are not? And, look at the outcomes of when you are doing well versus the outcomes of when you’re not doing well with money. Perhaps you don’t understand it, or you’re just making the wrong decisions, harmful decisions.
So that’s what pulled me into. Teaching financial literacy because I felt that I was in control. I had the knowledge, I had the skills, I knew what to do, and I was continuing to learn more to make good decisions. So, that pushed me into really teaching financial literacy. But as I said, I still got my foot in the counting world.
Captain Fi: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think even for me, with aviation it’s something that I never want to give up. And I think for a lot of people as well, if they’re pursuing fire really think about, your career is an awesome way also to make money and there’s probably a reason you chose that career.
So, giving it up full time and as they, we talk about in this fire movement, like jumping off the cliff into early retirement can be really unsettling and [00:20:00] destabilizing and even it can lead to a little existential crisis. So, definitely scaling down gradually reducing your work hours.
It can be really. Beneficial can have a lot of awesome, psychological benefits for your wellbeing. So maintaining it is important. And I mean, Nicole, for you, those skill sets are perfectly complimentary, right? So I mean, accounting and financial literacy is very similar.
Yes. Yeah. Having said that, what do you do now as a financial educator?
Nicole: So as a financial educator, what I’m focusing on, so what I did was I sourced teaching curriculum that teachers, children, all the way from preschool every year, all the way through to year 12, as well as a separate adult teaching curriculum. So teaching all these people from all these different age groups, financial capability, skills, capability to.
Deal with money, which you would use in your everyday life. So[00:21:00] I mean, for children it would be using pocket money perhaps to buy lollies or toys or donate gift money to, charity of their choice. So those are decisions that they’re having to make and also teaching them how to earn money, so they’ve gotta be able to develop some skills.
So even if it’s car washing or dog walking or clean the house at home, for a little bit of pocket money. So you’ve gotta be able to sell yourself, you’ve gotta be able to be creative and think how can I make money? You’ve gotta be able to deliver. If your parents ask you, can you do something, do it with a good attitude because those are skills that carry through into adulthood.
If your boss asks you to do something, do it with a good attitude. Cause you’re likely to get. Better work because they, can see that you’re somebody who has a great attitude. And then, for adults it would be teaching them about well, financial capability skills to afford , your rent or your mortgage.
So choosing the right properties[00:22:00] , so that you can afford the rent and or the mortgage of not, overextending yourself so that you’re under financial stress and budgeting. So you can buy your food, pay for electricity, clothing, transport costs investing as well because you gotta have some forward planning for how can you continue to make your money grow so that you don’t have to stress about every dollar that you earn today is just enough to service your current day needs. You need to think about the future when, what if you can’t work because you’re sick or you’re injured, or perhaps you just don’t wanna work anymore. Like the financial independence path, you just don’t wanna work anymore. So, yeah it’s financial capability skills, that’s the all-encompassing curriculum and the whole idea behind what financial educators do.
Captain Fi: and how do you deliver this? Do you go into schools or it’s like a coaching sort of service. How do you actually teach.
Nicole: So I have tried to get into some, [00:23:00] state schools, but they’re quite chock a block with their other curriculums, which I understand, the other government issued curriculums.
Private schools have a bit more flexibility although their timetables they have a lot of demands on them. So what I find is that as an extracurricular activity that’s been more successful parents have enrolled their children in for after school lessons with me and I’ve run holiday workshops for children as well.
And then when it comes to adults, I have run after work hours, workshops for adults and sometimes some adults have done one-on-one coaching like an hour during their workday, so that has helped as well. So it’s spread over all sorts of areas.
Captain Fi: Oh, awesome. And so you do this one-on-one face-to-face, and do you run online training as well?
Nicole: Yes. So what I’ve done is I’ve purchased a financial [00:24:00] education package online course from the National Financial Educators Counselor in America.
And I found that this package, this course, has been really great because it is designed by teachers, people with education background, in collaboration with financial professionals. So taking those two skills they have combined, developed this curriculum, which has been. Really great because it targets and understands how to target teaching children from all ages, all the way from preschool all the way to year 12, as well as adult education.
And so what I’ve got is access to their online financial capability course. And so on my website what you can do is go select a course. So you can either select to have access to the full online course, which is lifetime access so you can run to the lessons. There are videos, [00:25:00] there’s reading to do their workshops and worksheets, , and activities.
So it’s beautifully set up and it’s a great learning management system. And then in my offering, I also offer you support, so one-on-one support or group support. So I’m actually offering you some lessons as well. So, in addition to the to the online course access,
Captain Fi: Yeah, it’s helpful sometimes, like having that one-on-one access can be, or like coaching can be really helpful for people.
Because I mean, I know I remember making the jump from high school to university, and in high school it was very much you obviously had your curriculum and your coursework but you had this teacher who was, helping to guide and coach and mentor you through the syllabus and then going to university.
Boy, wasn’t that a shock? I don’t know if the university just don’t care or they just don’t have the resources really to be able to do that. And so yeah, you’re thrown into that big, bad world of self-directed education. Yeah. I guess, you still [00:26:00] have like shoots and stuff and they do kind of point you in the right direction.
But yeah, it’s a bit tricky. So, yeah, I guess having that one-on-one help is definitely helpful for a lot of people. It is. So, Nicole obviously your parents were business owners, right? And they taught you about this, but how have you found now running your own business as opposed to your previous job as a professional employee?
Nicole: Oh yeah. It’s a vast difference and it’s something that I chose fortunately because I really just felt like I wanted to give this a go because I am independent by nature and I just felt like I could do well on my own, managing my own time and managing my own projects.
So I personally have found it very satisfying working for myself. And I feel that my productivity hasn’t decreased because I am self-motivated. So yeah, I love the freedom to work on days that I choose to work and at times that I choose to work that suit my lifestyle with , [00:27:00] my husband and my kids, and living in this beautiful Coffs Harbor City.
And I get to work on projects that I choose to work on and with people I choose to work with. And I have the freedom to reject projects I don’t like and reject people I don’t wanna work with. Obviously there are consequences whether that’s accepting or rejecting. There are consequences, whether it’s financial consequences or it’s networking consequences.
But all in all, I just found that it’s been a great experience for me and I think that everyone, if you have the opportunity, should try it at least once in their lifetime.
Captain Fi: Yeah I mean, I think as well, another thing is a lot of people that are interested in financial independence, when you talk about business ownership,
it’s very similar, the outcome is kind of similar. I mean, except for you, like you die hard, passive income people that wanna just sit on a beach and sit a pina colada out of a coconut. But I mean, that’s not really, realistically, that’s not most people no one’s gonna sit on a beach for decades.
No, you could [00:28:00] do it. I guarantee after a couple of weeks maybe a couple of months you’ll get. I think people need some kind of passion or some kind of purpose, identity, connection. And it’s ironic a lot of people in the fire movement and they retire well, they start a business because you’ve got this safety net, you do have these dividends or you’ve got this rental income or these other sources of income that really do free you up to take more risks with your time.
And yeah starting a business can be a lot of fun. But I mean I’ve learned this the hard way as well. It’s not all beer and Skittles, like there are some challenges to becoming a business owner. Would you be able to speak to, I guess, some of the challenges you’ve faced and maybe what are some of the negative aspects of being a business owner?
Nicole: I would say so you have to get your own insurances. So you’ve gotta know what insurance you need, for , whatever you’re doing, whatever goods or services you’re providing, the applicable of insurances you’ve gotta get your administration. I mean , I guess that all falls under administration,[00:29:00] you are responsible for, if you think of a large corporation, there’s human resources.
If you were employing people, even just one person, you’d have to make sure that you understand your superannuation obligations, you follow the fair work. Well in New South Wales, the Fair Work, fair Trading rules so you gotta get familiar with those acts. So you’ve gotta pay people according to their award rate, for example.
Yeah, you’ve gotta understand your company insurance and also, another thing that a lot of people don’t think about is they so focused on the business that they forget to account for their personal life finances, such as their personal life insurance and their total T p d, their total and permanent disability insurance and income protection insurance, and making personal contributions to their superannuation fund because you’re no longer obligated.
Because now you’re in control of your own money. You’re not employed, you’re not an employee, so nobody’s making those contributions to your behalf. But [00:30:00] it’s quite tempting when you have this money coming in and you’ve gotta be able to separate, how much of this am I directing toward making sure that I am covering my personal life ensuring my personal life and also need to cover the business and sustain the business.
It’s like having two babies or, you’ve gotta look after the equally, don’t neglect one.
Captain Fi: Yeah. No, I can definitely relate to that. There is a lot. So I guess the big one then, my big takeaway from that is there’s a lot of uncertainties that you have to now manage as a business owner and a lot of distractions.
So it’s not as straightforward as, just rock up and work on . Your jobs or I mean, having said that, some professionals, they can be quite challenging, but , I guess you’ve got that neat kind of boundary as an employee, whereas as a business owner, you really have to start thinking about a lot of stuff and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.
So yeah, there’s a lot to it. Managing that admin, all the insurances. And then again, at the end of the day, you have to be [00:31:00] producing a product that generates value and makes income.
Nicole: Correct. Yeah,
Captain Fi: We will get back to the show in a moment, but for now, I wanna ask you a question. Do you have a side hustle? And if you do, is it scalable? My side hustle is building and running websites a form of digital real estate. Now, it might sound tricky to make money online, but really they’re just small online businesses that have low overheads, high margins, and which you can easily scale by outsourcing.
If you’ve ever read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, then you’re on the right track. What I love about websites is just like my investments, they’re working 24 7 to make me richer and I can put as much or as little effort into running them as I like. I can pay a writer to produce a piece of evergreen content, which is then edited and posted by virtual assistant.
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so look, Nicole, it’s been awesome , to chat a bit about I guess your journey and business ownership and in financial education, [00:33:00] but this wouldn’t be a personal finance podcast without asking a few personal finance questions.
So I’d be keen to ask a bit about your personal finances if you’re open to it.
Nicole: Yeah, sure. So, I’ve always started with the basics of you just start with a high interest savings account because that is where it’s the safest place. You’re gonna get your money.
It’s not gonna be lost to stock market movements or any market volatility. And that is where I save. Our emergency fund money, money that , you need that you can’t afford to risk in losing, lowering in value because that money is there to to cover you, I use it to cover our insurance excesses. If any things should happen, to cover, car insurance access home insurance access, medical insurance access, and also making sure that we have at least three months of living expenses covered. So yeah, that’s all in the [00:34:00] emergency fund, which is in the high interest savings card.
And then property investing. We haven’t really had the stomach for it because we are just not comfortable with the high level of debt that’s required. That we have to take on. I mean, we already have a mortgage debt and Not quite comfortable with property investing, but what we do is real estate investment trusts.
So that’s buying units, of a real estate investment of a trust which buys properties or managers properties. So that’s as close as we get to real estate investing. But the main thing we do is stock market investing. And that’s because I feel comfortable and I understand the stock markets because I worked at a company that was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and that company invested in other companies.
So my job responsibilities were directly related to investment deals, mergers, takeovers, share [00:35:00] acquisitions, and dealing with the share registry. We have a little bit of investment in cryptocurrency. And I have read up about it. So I do know what it is.
I’m not just following the crowd, but I’m not too comfortable with it. So , we don’t have a lot in there.
Captain Fi: Interesting. Yeah. I mean, when you’ve already got a, a mortgage on a primary place of residency, it can be really a stretch to then go and get an investment property.
I think as you mentioned as well, it’s not really diversified as well. So if you get a, the real estate investment trust, you’ve got that property exposure with huge diversification. But, people often go, oh, should I, get an investment property or should I invest in shares?
Or if you’ve already got a primary place of residence, I mean, that’s a huge, you investment in the property market as well. So maybe shares is a good way to spread out your investments. Yeah. Yeah I like it. Keeping it simple. We know REITs shares, index funds,
it’s not super sexy investment. I mean, investing should be boring. You shouldn’t be getting adrenaline from it. Right. Boring [00:36:00] investing is what makes you wealthy. Yes. So backing up a bit, so you mentioned emergency funds, so how big of an emergency fund do you keep and how did you choose that number?
Nicole: Yeah, so that stems from having created a budget definitely because you don’t know how much you need until you see how much you are actually using. So, having created a budget first to see how are we spending our money day to day and for each month. And then also looking at it over a 12 month spread and seeing what are those annual costs as well that we are paying well you pay rates quarterly and perhaps you pay your insurances.
Annually. So all of those you just need to basically look at your 12 months and then just break it down into, okay, this is how much I need per month in order to sustain ourselves per month, for 12 months. And then what I do is, yeah, take that monthly figure and say, okay, fine.
We want $10,000 a month. Oh, [00:37:00] another thing even though we don’t need superannuation funding, like personal contributions, I like to throw that in there as well, so that if an emergency through a job loss, for example we have job loss, don’t have any income coming in, but we have our emergency fund to draw on.
I still wanna make sure that we continue to. Contribute to superannuation fund or investments continue to contribute to that because I don’t wanna feel like we’re just living on the brink of poverty, just because we’ve just said enough just to get us by per month. So yeah, the budget helps you calculate your emergency fund what you need per month to cover your lifestyle to make yourself feel comfortable and not stressed.
And then the general advice is that save three months at least, but I’ll actually like to say up to six months so that if we need to depend on no income for six months and we have our emergency fund for six months, then during that six month period, hopefully one or both of us is [00:38:00] able to secure employment within the time.
And then we’ll be back to where we were before. Yeah,
Captain Fi: , I think that, three to six months is a good starting point, especially if you are in an accumulation phase. Now that I’ve semi-retired I do keep a bit more cash now, so I’m between one and two years worth of cash savings.
But I guess I also have pretty low expenses, so it’s not a huge part of my net worth.
Nicole: Yeah. And another thing, I mean, when it comes to building up that three or six months worth of emergency funding, it’s can be such a long journey. You think that you’re never gonna get there because realistically, a lot of us can’t afford to save 50% of our our income and then put it toward an emergency fund savings account.
So generally people are saving perhaps maybe 10% of their monthly income and setting it aside in that high interest savings account. Emergency fund. So 10%. Every month 10% of your monthly income, your take home pay [00:39:00] times 10 months is gonna get you to 100% of your monthly take home pay.
So that’s just one month. So 10 months will get you, 10 months of saving, will just get you one month of take on pay. But now you’ve gotta actually get up to maybe, yeah, six months. So that’s gonna take you 60 months, which is five years. And so people get discouraged. They think oh, what’s the point?
Because it’s happening so slowly so they just end up probably neglecting their emergency savings account or spending the money. But the whole idea is that you don’t know, you may never need it for the next five years, but after five years, something could happen and then you’re gonna be so grateful to suddenly have this $60,000 or, whatever it is in your emergency savings as opposed to not having it.
And then you’re gonna have to borrow the money from family or friends or on your credit card, or if something should, maybe something happens only what, like one month into when you started savings. So now you’ve only got a [00:40:00] thousand dollars, but that $1,000 is gonna make you feel so good that you’ve, at least you’ve got something rather than absolutely nothing.
Captain Fi: Yeah. And look, I guess the other aspect to this other than the insurance fund, which is a form of self insurance the other aspect is you can buy insurances. So, I mean, with that being said, what kind of personal insurances do you use?
Nicole: Oh, for sure. Income protection insurance, that’s a big one as well.
And they’re all big because there’s life insurance in the event of you’re dying and then you wanna take care of your dependent, whether it’s your spouse or your children. So if you are a young person with no spouse or children or no dependents you don’t really need life, or I’m not giving advice, but you may want to consider how much life maybe you don’t need a lot or you maybe you want to buy life insurance because you can make your parents a beneficiary.
So it’s not just only for people who have. True dependence. So anyway, there’s [00:41:00] life insurance, there’s income protection insurance to protect you in the event of you being unable to work. It doesn’t cover job loss. And then there’s TT p d total and permanent disability insurance, which is very important in the event that you are injured and you may be permanently disabled or may just be temporarily disabled, and that’ll help cover your living costs.
So all these things really, it’s just a little bit of money or sometimes it can accumulate to quite a bit of your take home pay every month. But at least you’re doing something to support yourself and then you don’t feel so stressed if something should happen you’ve got a safety net.
Captain Fi: Yeah, absolutely. And then as you, I guess, become more financially savvy and you have more investments, your net wealth figure grows. So you’ve got that emergency fund, you’ve got those investments. Maybe you’ve started to pay off a huge chunk of your mortgage. You have equity. I think, your need for insurances can kind of drop back.
So I think it’s [00:42:00] important every year when you do your financial health check actually have a look. What insurances do you need? I mean, sometimes it’ll go up, like you mentioned, if you’ve got kids, if it’s just you can have kids and now you’ve started a young family, , well, maybe now you do need to buy more insurance.
Maybe your property has gone up. The cost to rebuild the property has gone up. And that’s what I found myself in that position. The cost of the builds doubled. And so yeah, I was significantly underinsured on my investment property, ,
Nicole: that’s where
it would help to speak to an insurance broker or a financial planner. A financial planner would look at your overall, your whole financial life. But an insurance broker could tell you whether you are over-insured or under-insured on any of these insurances, because you don’t wanna be over-insured.
You’re paying too much per month and you don’t actually need all that cover. But you certainly also don’t wanna be underinsured. So it’s not trying to do it all on your own. It’s really helpful to speak to professionals because they’ve got a wealth of knowledge. And you can just tap into that just in a moment in time.
But for that moment in time, you [00:43:00] get the advice, you apply it, and it just sets you up for comfort and assurance.
Captain Fi: Sets itself up for success, doesn’t it? Correct. So a really good person to listen to. With that is Catherine Hayes. So I interviewed Catherine Hayes about insurance last year.
She’s brilliant. She has a podcast, the Money Madams. Definitely worth checking the money madams pod out. And then yeah, check the interview out Did with Catherine. Yeah, she’s really smart person and yeah, she’s exactly that.
She’s an insurance broker, she’s a personal insurance expert. So, yeah, you kind of don’t know what you don’t know. So it’s worth just having that conversation and even once you’ve done some more reading into it, I’m not saying you have to use an insurance broker, but at least have that conversation cuz then, like I said, you don’t know what you don’t know.
You might be shocked what you’re doing. Yes. Yeah. So, I guess backing up a bit, I should have asked this at the start, right? Because I guess the foundation of any good budget is income, incomings and outgoings, right? That’s gotta be two of your favorite terms as an accountant.
So what are your inflows? What’s your income [00:44:00] look like these days especially having transitioned to business ownership.
Nicole: So I operate under my own business name, and I do accounting work, so I’ve got that business income coming in.
And then well under the same business name, I’m also teaching lessons. So that’s just another business activity under the same name. and then I’ve got investment income coming in from, share dividends from in what high interest savings account income what else? And so yeah, I don’t earn any rental income but I earned the real estate investment trust, dividend income, and I’ve got my, well in, included in my net asset value calculation is the capital gains or the capital value increase on my share investments, my cryptocurrency investments.
Captain Fi: Yeah. Wow. So just off the top of my head, that’s eight different streams of income, or really,
Nicole: is it? Yeah, it doesn’t seem that many.
Captain Fi: [00:45:00] No, that’s great. And then does your husband run the seafood business or is that your,
Nicole: sorry. He’s an employee Okay. Of that business. so he’s got that income, so yes.
If we look at our family budget Yes. Then that’s his employment income coming in. Yes. Oh, wow. I’m the one with more complicated yeah, not complicated, but I have more streams of income because that’s what I’m interested in doing.
Captain Fi: .And I think that once people start to become more financially savvy, and obviously you’ve, been an expert in this industry for decades they tend to have multiple sources of income.
And so hint, for anyone listening if you want to get better at your money and grow wealth and maybe consider increasing streams of income, as well as increasing the amount of income from those streams. So, if you’re an employee, no one’s shaming you.
If you are just working as an employee, that’s a very valuable way to reach fire. And that’s how I made the majority of my wealth is through working as a pilot and just saving and investing. It’s a very powerful tool. And if you’re able to [00:46:00] negotiate high salaries, job hop, anything you can to increase your income trouble like that has a massive tangible.
Impact on the amount that you can save and how quickly you can reach financial independence. But having said that, if you can make additional streams of income through, side hustles, which you might develop into full on businesses, then hey, give it a go. That income is providing security for you.
Nicole: Yeah. And I think it was Robert Kiyosaki who said it’s not how much you earn that matters, it’s what you do with it that matters. So, if you are an employee just because you’re earning money and you don’t have control over, the, how much it increases buyers, you, you’ve gotta ask for a pay rise. What you do with your money, as in I’m going to save some of it. I’m going to invest some of it. I’m going to buy insurances to cover myself so that I don’t get into debt. Those are very important strategies to [00:47:00] implement as opposed to the flashy lifestyle that as a parent from people who live the fire lifestyle, for example, maybe it looks very appealing and flashy because nobody’s really sitting posting pictures on, or videos on TikTok or Instagram or them sitting at their desk doing their job Monday to Friday 95.
Cause it doesn’t look as thrilling. But the whole thing is if you doing. What you do with your dollars is so, impactful rather than how much you’re actually getting in. So don’t compare yourself, to somebody who’s, if you’re earning $5,000 a month and somebody’s earning $20,000 a month, if they’re spending $19,000, they only have $1,000 left.
But if you who’s earning 5,000, you’re only spending 3000. You have $2,000 more. I mean, you have $2,000 compared to their $1,000. But then what do you do with that if you’re investing it? Then, and they’re investing it, you’re gonna come out better than what they are off 12 months, for example.
Captain Fi: Yeah. Yeah.
That’s [00:48:00] right. And typically, these high earners do tend to be high spenders. And I guess that’s the flip side to the income is if you do inflate your lifestyle with your wage, it’s really, it’s a trap. It is. And you, to get ahead, you really need to be saving and investing.
And look, like I said earlier, , you don’t need to go crazy with this. Ultimately it comes down to your values, what you’re trying to achieve and what you want outta life.
Nicole, do you have a target savings rate that you try and
Nicole: aim for?
It’s based on the budget that I designed and for our family. And the rate for our savings account is 10% of our take home pay. So that’s where we start. And then a further 10% is. Directed toward investments. So that’s a total of 20% of our take on pay so far.
And then 5% we direct toward things like more immediate goals. So, 12 month [00:49:00] goals wanting to achieve, whereas those other ones are long-term goals. So yeah, 25% roundabout there. Sometimes we don’t always hit it because we don’t wanna stress ourselves out. I mean, because these are nice to haves.
, but the 10% emergency savings, that’s non-negotiable. Of course. And
Captain Fi: do you include your partner’s superannuation as well in that, or is this is your just take home pays?
Nicole: This is our combined take home pay, and that includes , personal super contributions as well, which is in that 10% investment.
So investing in yeah. Super contributions and investing in shares and cryptocurrency.
Captain Fi: Yeah. And so we talked a little bit briefly about what you invest in and why not. So I guess that leads me to my next question. It’s, do you have a fine number or a passive income that you are trying to achieve and how far away are you?
Nicole: Far away. I don’t look at it too often. Because I just have this general idea that as long as we’re living comfortably, we are not stressed. We are working [00:50:00] toward our goal. And our goal is Having this budget, which is forecasted for into the future where it tells us how much we need to invest every month in order to deliver a monthly income, a passive monthly income which can sustain us for the rest of our lives.
But I don’t see myself ever giving up on active work because I’ve found something that I really enjoy doing and I don’t wanna stop learning and I don’t wanna stop sharing and teaching. So I think there’ll always be an element of active income from my side at least. But passive income definitely has to deliver a lot more for us in order for us to feel like we are totally free from.
Work obligations? Well, for my husband mostly, yeah. Work obligations. Just doing things that you don’t really want to do. You wanna spend more time doing things you wanna do?
Captain Fi: Yeah. Okay. Personally when I was talking about Lean Fire, , my initial goal it was only a couple of [00:51:00] thousand, I think it was like $2,700 a month.
And that’s, being single on a quite a tight budget. But my projected goal is I want to build $7,000 a month after tax. And that’s a, I guess a fat fire or a family fire goal for me. I mean, there’s probably a few people listening that would say, oh, that’s not a fat enough goal.
There is some very wealthy people in the community so how about yourself? , you said earlier you’d mentioned 10,000. Is that the number that you are trying to build?
Nicole: 10,000 a month. Yeah, , that’s includes I guess children, well, you know what?
That, that is why it’s that high. It’s because it’s not just in today’s rate, even though it’s, it excludes having to account for, children’s education because by then the children would be out of the house and on their own. But what it is you’ve gotta account for inflation. So you know that number’s gonna increase even though the money that will be invested and it will be increasing in value[00:52:00] with the appreciation of the market.
But, Still, once you take into account inflation that just brings with everything else going up in price, you’re just gonna need more money.
Captain Fi: Yeah. It’s definitely been a thing lately. It’s good to hear that inflation figures are coming down.
But it’s a bit of a painful process. I know this isn’t it. Yes.
Nicole: So, I mean, even I tell kids these days, you gotta aim for a million. And I don’t mean it as a retirement number necessarily, because that’s not gonna be enough to sustain yourself, to live off when you are in 20, 30 years time, a million’s just not gonna be enough.
A million’s gonna be equivalent to $300,000 today. So, you gotta keep tabs on inflation rate, use inflation calculators to help you project. What is the value. If I think $7,000 today is a good number. Let me project that 20 years out or 10 years out and see, okay, that’s probably only gonna be worth 5,000.
So, am I prepared for that? And [00:53:00] yeah, maybe you’re comfortable with that, but it’s just being aware of all the factors that influence the numbers.
Captain Fi: Yeah. And so one of the ways that I factor inflation to my calculations is I like to think of the real rate of return of my investments after inflation.
So I typically take two to 3% off of the long term. Oh, brilliant. Average of share returns. So, o over the long term, very good. We can expect shares to return somewhere around 10% on average. And so by reducing that to a real rate of return of seven to 8% for your compound interest calculations that’s a great way that you can few proof for inflation.
So you consider your spend in today’s dollars, you use real returns, and then that makes, I guess, retirement planning a bit easier. A great shortcut to this is the 4% rule coming outta the Trinity study, which looked at the performance of portfolios long term. And the 4% rule basically says, if You can withdraw 4% of your portfolio and it should [00:54:00] theoretically last forever.
There are some big caveats to that in that when we talk about like early retirement, we’re now talking about very long, longer periods of time. As you mentioned earlier, active income or flex rate is important as well, that makes the portfolio chance of success higher. But having said that, some people do like to.
Choose a smaller withdrawal rate, like a 3.5 or a three? Yes. In fact, some people actually tie their withdrawal rate to what the market’s actually doing. So there are some interesting ratios and calculations that you can do regarding like a market’s PE ratio and that you can actually change that withdrawal rate.
And there’s some awesome stuff online on early retirement now with with Castin. Yeah. But, God, this is a long way of saying I’m interested to hear about, I guess your retirement planning. I mean, are you comfortable with the 4% rule or would you choose a different withdrawal rate from your
Yeah, I think the 4% rule would be, is based on [00:55:00] 25 years of, well, at least 25 years of return, and then anything above that well, if you wanna. See yourself living off the money for longer. You are gonna be relying on the increase in value of the investment. So, I’d be a bit more conservative and I even go 3% withdrawal rate because I am conservative by nature.
So I would like my projection as you, done yourself. You mentioned that you’ve also taken into account inflation. You factor that in, into your projections. And so what that means is that you’re being conservative in your expectations. So yeah, so that’s what I would do. And then I’d be pleasantly surprised if I have more than what I expect and then perhaps there are some years where I want to spend.
Might be a few years where I wanna spend 5% because something exciting is happening like this, I wanna go on this overseas trip and I wanna withdraw 5% for [00:56:00] that year. Then I have the freedom to do that.
Captain Fi: Yeah, it’s good. It’s not about being stuck in, I guess, dogma, but instead being flexible and mindful with your money.
Nicole: right. And so using the theory and the discipline, but using it to accommodate your desires and not being so stuck and rigid as you said.
Captain Fi: Now you mentioned before you have got a primary place of residence and when it comes to housing, so are you prioritizing paying off your mortgage or are you prioritizing investing or is it a combination of both?
Nicole: I would say I’m leaning toward investing rather than prioritizing paying off the mortgage because well, I guess it depends on, , the interest rates. And if my return on investment is less or the same as my mortgage, then I’m probably gonna lean toward paying off my mortgage for that interim, for that period until maybe the mortgage lending rates come down or I can refinance my [00:57:00] mortgage.
But certainly, yeah I, investments to me have a bigger potential for growth, exponential growth, compounded growth, versus paying off my mortgage. My mortgage, I can see is a fixed balance. It’s coming down gradually. My interest rate is manageable as long as it’s less than what I can earn through investments.
So, My mortgage is something , that seems to stay more constant than the potential for investment earnings.
Captain Fi: Yeah, and I think, we do see this as a lot with, I guess, people that are a bit more financially savvy as they’ve run the numbers, and you consider the grossed up mortgage rate, interest rate that you’re paying.
You compare that to what you’d be getting for investments. And of course you do need to gross that up as well to consider the fact that if you’re paying off your housing, well that’s, like a guaranteed return. And that’s also like a tax free return if you gotta think about it. Yes.
If you were gonna be Getting an investment return, you are paying tax on your investment return, if say, [00:58:00] like a dividend. So a little rule of thumb is you just gross up your mortgage interest rate. So there’s little calculators that you can do it. You basically just, it depends on your marginal rate of tax.
Yeah. So essentially you just increase that rate By your marginal tax rate or there’s little calculators that can show you how to do it online. It’s not something that I can do off the top of my head. I need a piece of paper cause of the whole dividing by fractions. Yeah. But yeah, it, we see when people are a bit more savvy, they tend to shop around a bit and they’re more happy to use that leverage.
Cuz essentially that’s what you’re kind of doing, right? If you are that money that you would’ve spent on paying down your mortgage, you’re actually, you are taking that to go and invest. So in a roundabout way, you’re actually kind of borrowing to invest. And that can be a powerful tool.
Nicole: yeah, it is a powerful tool if you think of it that way. But, people operate from different mindsets and it’s well justified because if you can’t sleep at night because you’re so worried about your mortgage and it gives you absolutely no comfort to know that your money’s being [00:59:00] invested, then you should probably focus on your mortgage or increase your knowledge about investing.
Because I mean, you can just Google, comparing should I pay off my mortgage early versus should I invest it? And it often depends on your age as well, how many more years of working life you have, because if you like, I don’t know, 55 60 you might be better off and, you only have five years of of work.
That you want to do. You might be better off paying off your mortgage because in that interim it’s just not worth risking a default perhaps because you might lose your job, you might get sick. It’s just not worth you. You wanna secure a roof over your head. But certainly when you’re younger, you have so many decades of compounded investment returns ahead of you that paying off something like a mortgage debt which with, if the interest rate is lower than the returns you would earn after tax from your investment returns, then [01:00:00] you’d be so much better off investing it.
Captain Fi: Yeah, actually that’s an interesting consideration as well. Cause I, I’ve often heard that question, I think, like Vince says, it’s one of the most frequent. Questions he gets over at Life Sherpa. And that’s, should people pay off the mortgage, invest in super, or invest in shares.
And it’s not like a one size fits all question. It really does depend on the person. And I guess that’s another factor is your age. Especially if you are wanting to retire early Having a paid off house is like a huge benefit as well in terms of lowering your cost of living,
So Nicole, you mentioned it before, you said you always want to be working and that’s the, I guess the benefit of when you find a passion and you do what drives you. But certainly, it’s not something you want to be doing a hundred percent of the time. But with that being said, what would an early retirement quote unquote or maybe that’s a semi-retirement, what would that look like for you?
Nicole: Early retirement, I think that would encompass a lifestyle of my husband where he would probably be fully [01:01:00] retired and we’d probably be doing more things together during the daytime when he would traditionally be working. But for me I think it would be, yeah, certainly not being bound to work on any projects every single day, Monday to Friday or, I went into the weekend.
I think it would just be skirting back maybe 50%, maybe three days a week. Adopting the four day work week and Yeah, I think that’s what early retirement would look like to me, but certainly having the income that matches the current income that we have to sustain ourselves because otherwise you just working less and earning less and that’s not our goal, not to work with.
Captain Fi: Not to earn less, yeah, definitely. So, keeping engaged but essentially wanting to gradually reduce your working hours supplemented by the passive income returns from your investments.
Nicole: Yeah, that combination of passive income to active income, but more, let’s say it could be 70% [01:02:00] passive income 30% active income, something like that.
It might be 50 50, I’m not sure.
Captain Fi: Ah, cool. Hey We talked about this before and it’s reading, right? So one of the best things we can do on our journey to fire and self-education is looking at what successful people are doing and what smart people are doing in the industry.
And so we can copy them, right? Yeah. And I think this is especially true when it comes to self-education and finance. So with that in mind, do you have any personal favorite learning resources that you’ve used? Whether that’s books, blogs, podcasts, websites, where do you go to get your information?
Nicole: Yeah, so, I am a traditional book reader and so I’ve been very slow to adopt. Podcast listening. So when it comes to books, where do I get my books? I go to the library, try to use their resources first. But then otherwise I often buy order books online and buy those books.
I try to read practically every [01:03:00] classic personal finance book. And then also the modern ones that come out. So Australian authors and American authors. Those are generally the ones that are popularized. So I read those and But I would have to say my favorite book is not a personal finance book.
It’s a a self-development book. It’s called Mind Power into the 21st Century by John Kehoe. I think he’s a New Zealander. And this book was given to me as a gift of my 21st birthday by my mom’s friend. And I’ve just found that so, so what it is, it teaches you practical techniques for achieving goals by harnessing the power within.
And the power within is your mind power. And it was a bit heavy reading for me when I was 21, but I mean, I’ve, I read it every few years or so just to remind myself, oh, this is what I can do. I can achieve my goals in my life by harnessing my mind power. And since money is such an abstract [01:04:00] concept and your mind power is an abstract concept, I’ve just found that it just works so well together.
It’s already helped me design the life that I want to live and I can see how it’s gonna continue to help me achieve my goals of being financially free.
Captain Fi: Awesome. I think achieving your goals and looking at your mindset, super important. I actually haven’t read that book, so I’m gonna have a look after we get off the call and see if I can source a copy.
But you’re right, I do need to get it from the library. I’ve been developing a bad habit of where I just go on to Amazon and I buy them cause it’s so bloody easy. They just turn up at my door. But yeah, so I’m gonna check out the library cuz even these days you can get eBooks. My partner actually just bought me a I guess it’s like a Kindle.
It’s it’s a different brand, but it’s really cool. It actually links to the South Australian libraries. So apparently we can just. Transfer them onto this e-reader. So I’m looking forward to doing that.
Nicole: I still love , my handheld books, my traditional books so I haven’t actually adopted those, but I’ve [01:05:00] seen those e-readers at the library.
, any way that you can get knowledge in, whether it’s through podcasts or books or Kindles, whatever, eBooks, just as long as you, getting knowledge in. That’s really good.
Captain Fi: So look it’s been awesome chatting to you today, Nicole. And this is the last question that everyone hates.
If you could summarize your knowledge down into, I guess your top three points or piece of advice for someone who’s pursuing financial independence or wanting to improve their financial literacy, what would they be?
Nicole: I would say that firstly, Know who you are. Secondly, know your why, and thirdly, know your what.
So basically, knowing who you are is going within really doing a deep dive into where do you come from or what influenced you? Who influenced you and what and who do you want to be? Like, do you wanna be a giver? Do you want to be somebody with a lot of knowledge to help people?
Do you wanna develop [01:06:00] yourself in this area? And just envisioning who you wanna be in the future. So that’s step one. Step two, I would say know your why. Like, why do I wanna do these things? Why do I envision myself living like that and associating with those people? And so, and then why do I want money to support that lifestyle?
Maybe I don’t need to go for the high flying job because I don’t actually want those outcomes. , that it’s gonna produce, I want to buy a tiny house on set it up on a block of land and have chickens running around, whatever. So , that’s why I work. That’s why I earn so that I can live that lifestyle.
And then thirdly, know your what, know what you have to do. What do I have to do every step of the way? As you said that 1% improvement every single day, what do I have to do in order to achieve those goals? To see the vision of who I am going to be and why I’m doing the things I’m doing.
Captain Fi: Oh, [01:07:00] yeah. I love it. I I think the three step approach to going forward is really important. And it reminds me of a really awesome book by Simon Sinek. Start With Why and I guess he said you should know why you’re doing something. Because then you can kind of figure out the how and the what kind of in that order, if that makes sense.
Think it’s important, as you said, starting even before the why with who you are because oh, any good pilot will tell you this. If you wanna get somewhere, you’ve gotta know where you are, right? Yes. It’s just like a gps when you’re in your car.
If you want to get somewhere, you’ve gotta know where you are to know which turns you have to take. So, starting with who you are and where you are and knowing what you want or why, I think the really powerful ways to move forward with your financial education. It’s absolutely brilliant.
Look thanks so much for coming on the show today, Nicole. I guess before we finish up, is there anything else you’d like to mention to the listeners today? And also where can we find out more about you and contact you? Where’s your website and are you on social media? [01:08:00] Okay.
Nicole: Yeah. I am on LinkedIn.
My profile name is Nicole K. Martin. I am on Facebook under the business name, Martin and Fortune. I have a website, www.martinandfortune.com. And I’m available on email as well. Nicole Martin fortune.com. And then to take you up on your offer. Anything else I’d like to mention today?
I take a holistic approach to life and money is just a tool and a very important and useful tool to deliver the vision that I have for my life. So I would just like to share this with your listeners that thoughts become things. If you want nice things, then you need to think nice thoughts and thoughts, words, and actions.
Become the things that we see in our life. So whatever you see in your life today is a result of your past thoughts, your past words, and your past actions, [01:09:00] and whatever you wanna see in your future life will be created by today’s thoughts, today’s words, and today’s actions. So I implore you to choose wisely, the people you hang out with, the people you listen to, the people you follow, and choose wisely the thoughts that you think and the words that you speak, and the actions that you take.
And I hope that you get to live the wonderful life that you dream of because you deserve it.
Captain Fi: What a wonderful way to finish up. I really love that. Thanks so much for sharing, Nicole.
Nicole: Thank you for having me, captain Fi.
It’s great to be here.
Captain Fi: , my pleasure. It’s been an absolute blast. And hey, I’m sure we’ll be chatting to each other around the traps, but I’m looking forward to seeing how your financial education company grows.
Nicole: Thank you so much, and I look forward to following your podcast to hear more great people that you’re interviewing.
So thanks for setting it up and you’re doing some great work there in the world. Thank
Captain Fi: you. Thanks very much. My pleasure. All right. I’ll catch you later.
Nicole: Okay. Thank you. Have a good day.[01:10:00]
Captain Fi: Thanks for listening to another episode of the Captain Fire Financial Independence Podcast. To read the transcripts or check out the show notes, head over to www.captainfire.com for all the details. If you have a question for the captain, make sure to get in touch. You might even make it on the airwaves.
You can reach me online through the Captain Fire contact form or get in touch through the socials. I’m activeon Facebook and Instagram, as well as a number of online finance and investing forums. And finally, remember the information presented on the show and the links provided are for general information purposes only.
They should not be taken as constituting professional financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal [01:11:00] circumstance.