| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth

Several weeks back I was approached by representatives of TD Direct Investing with an offer to co-produce some content. The e-mail mentioned the results of a survey carried out for TD Direct Investing that showed some interesting results. Naturally I assumed…well, I don’t know what I assumed but I remember sending a message back saying that I would like to know more about the study and that some differences may not be as large as they look.

Next thing, I was invited to London to take part in a debate. Right, I thought, it is summer, I have not been feeling like writing another academic article that ten people may read (and I do write them interesting, you know) and I have never done anything like that. So, I accepted!

A week later, on a sunny and hot Monday morning I got on the train and to London I went. What I expected was to take part in a focus group discussing the results of the study; what I saw when I got to the venue were large cameras and strong lights. My blood ran cold! I have never done video in my life and my last public attempt at broadcasting was when I was ten: I completely froze, forgot what I meant to say and still carry the shame (thank goodness, I am in a different country and have no contact with anyone who knew me back then).

But let me get back to that sunny Monday morning in London. I looked at the questions, took stock of the cameras and said:

‘I can cope with the questions; but I’ve never done video before. Don’t concern yourselves yet, though; I may turn out to be a natural!’

I had a wonderfully exciting day and it was a great pleasure to meet the other two participants in the debate: David Prosser and Dan Barnes. Here is the link to the YouTube video of the ‘investor confidence debate’ where the three of us discuss the main findings of the study and the new challenges to investing more generally.

For the ones who have limited patience (it is a bit long though very entertaining and illuminating) the take away in a nutshell:

  • Men and women are different when it comes to investing but not necessarily better or worse;
  • Our economies and societies have changed rather dramatically and we ought to change our notions about investing correspondingly;
  • House ownership at a young(er) age may need to give way to other financial priorities;
  • It is time to go beyond stock and shares when thinking about investment and be creative;
  • Appropriate sources of information about investments will be different depending on the type of investment we have in mind – from mainstream media to the local coffee shop;
  • Increasing costs of investment are likely to lead to increased numbers of people who self-invest.

Author: Maria Nedeva