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Moneygirl Answers for Shesaid.com.au

1. Can you tell our readers what this book is about?

Money Makeover is a step-by-step guide to taking stock of your finances and creating the life you’ve always dreamed of. It starts by looking at goal setting, budgeting and saving (with tips on getting out of debt) and then ramps up to cover investing in shares, managed funds, superannuation and property. We also cover relationships, babies and career changes. There are loads of case studies written by real-life women throughout and plenty of nifty tips.

2. What inspired you to want to write a book to educate women about their finances?

When we started on our own financial missions we discovered that there was very little information out there that related to us or that wasn’t diabolically boring! We also found that we often finished reading financial books feeling inspired but with little idea as to where to start. So we wanted to write a book that was not only inspiring and fun but also practical and covered everything a new investor needed to know step-by-step.

3. What is the most common question asked by your readers?

Interestingly, the questions that we receive are generally not from young women starting out but from older women in their late 40s and 50s who’ve realised that they won’t have enough in their superannuation to support their lifestyles. This makes us even more determined to encourage women to start setting up good savings strategies as early as possible.

4. What do you think women have the most trouble with when trying to save their money?

We actually think that women are comfortable with the idea of budgeting and saving but where we lack confidence is when it comes to investing (so taking on investments in shares or property, rather than just leaving money in a bank account). The great thing is that plenty of studies have shown that women are biologically geared to make great investors – we research, ask questions and don’t act on ‘tips’ from Uncle Bob (which men are much more likely to do).

5. Do your friends still hold an investment club? What are your tips for starting one?

We held our investment club, MALICE (Most Ace Ladies Investment Club of Excellence) for two years and it changed all of our lives in one way or another. But since then the original members have moved away overseas, interstate, etc., but we all stay in touch and are still investing.

When you’re setting up your own investment club keep it simple. Get a small group of friends together and keep a regular date (e.g. the first Monday of every month) so it can’t be forgotten. Choose topics that you find interesting and share the workload – we elected one person to present to the group each month on a financial topic they loved. If you decide to invest money together check out the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) website for good tips.

6. Which great entrepreneur would you like to invite to your investment club and why?

Without a doubt it would have to be the financial-woman’s crumpet, Warren Buffett. Not only is he considered the greatest investor of our time but he looks like your wily-old grandpa with cheeky one-liners and a great sense of humour.