You’re the VP of Residential Sales and Partner Relations at Equitable Bank, so you’ve seen a lot when it comes to finance. What do you think is missing from financial literacy resources?
Financial literacy can lead to becoming a better leader and entrepreneur and there’s a number of initiatives out there that support that goal but I think they’re overlooking the importance of confidence. It’s the difference between wanting to do something and actually following it through. I think standing up (so to speak) and telling yourself you can do something is the biggest hurdle, and therefore a substantial accomplishment. Confidence is something you gain from doing. Just like public speaking or starting a new project, you get better at it with time, practice, and saying yes to learning new things.
That makes sense, it seems like working on your confidence can have a ripple effect in your life.
Yes, exactly. I think financial confidence is important because once you become confident in one thing, it opens doors for you to become confident in others. It motivates you to talk to your friends and colleagues. It inspires you to teach your children. You’re more willing to grow and take on new challenges once you’ve accomplished something and pushed yourself further than you thought you could go. And it doesn’t have to relate to finance, it could be anything in your life.
If someone were to ask you, how should I approach personal finance, what would you say?
We need to take accountability for our finances so we don’t end up in a position where we’re relying on other people to make financial decisions for us. Nor do we want to completely rely on others to explain or make sure we understand our own finances. (What if we were to find ourselves in an unfortunate circumstance? Knock on wood.) Learning and teaching yourself can go a long way, so that even if you do need help, you have a foundation to understand what’s going on. Just remember that anything can be taught at any level. Whether you’re young and just starting out or more mature and taking ownership for the first time, I’ve found that there are a lot of different programs and resources out there; it’s not as intimidating as it seems.
As told to Cara Lau exclusively for Stnce. We make taking financial ownership approachable and relatable.