Follow Friday – Financially Blonde

Have you ever tried to lose weight and struggled? Have you ever struggled in the same way to getting financially fit? Wait a second, did I just say financially fit?
The term financially fit is inspired by today’s blogger Shannon Mclay. I relate to Shannon in so many ways that it’s a little surprising it took me so much time to discover her and her wonderful blog – Financially Blonde, for the fact that she is blonde and attempting to break the stereotype about blondes and financial acumen (or the lack of). Inspired by one of my all-time favourite movies “Legally Blonde”, she had me at “Financially blonde”
Shannon is someone who in her former life was at the trading floor of an investment firm and has spent 15 years in the throes of the financial services industry. After spending all that time, she had a eureka moment and realised of the hypocrisy of the industry and her job. In an attempt to change it, she saved up, quit and started two truly wonderful ventures – Next gen Finance and Financial Gym.

What I love about it

While now most of the posts are derived from Shannon’s podcast – “Martinis and your money”, Financially Blonde is still really relatable. Shannon constantly writes about the similarities in one’s journey to lose weight and in becoming financially fit. To a fellow struggler at weight loss, her posts make a lot of sense.

financially-blonde-financial-fitness
A number of posts talk about the similarities in the journey towards financial and physical fitness

I also loved her posts where she talks about her client stories (anonymously, of course) and the progress that they make. Her passion for her job comes out clearly through her words. It is ironic that I should find those posts at a time when I have just become a Certified Financial Planner and really a bit at odds as to how to progress.
Another long-going section of hers which is often fun is Music Mondays where she essentially picks up a song from popular culture and turns it around to find a great money lesson in it. If anyone has trouble getting advice through to someone, can’t think of a better way to do it.

One big post

I went through my usual process of reading most of her posts and listing down the ones I liked in an excel sheet. There were a few here and there that I was marking in yellow as a shortlist of sorts. Then, one post made me stop short and really sit up.

financially-blonde-no-prejudice
In this post, Shannon talks about the urgent need to make financial planning accessible to everyone, irrespective of their asset magnitude

The post I am talking about? Financial planning should not be prejudice. In this post, Shannon highlights how most of the financial services industry is built to service the people with wealth. She talks about how in her previous job, a client could be considered only if they had a minimum asset value of $250,000. While they sure need assistance managing their wealth considering the magnitude, the real people who might benefit from it all are left ignored. I quite liked her line of – “Financial planning is not for everyone; however, I believe that it should be available to anyone, especially in the format that they want to receive it and not just through apps and websites.”

As I read the post, my eyes kept getting wider in approval and it was like she had read my mind. I still remember when I told one of my ex-bosses that I was studying for financial planning and she was like – yeah, we don’t have enough money for that service. In India, financial planning = wealth management = impossible without wealth. It might sound lofty coming from me but I intend to make financial planning accessible for everyone in India (who wants it and is willing to work towards it). And I know I will make it happen.

Other 2 personal favourite posts from Financially Blonde:
1. Life Lessons from Starbucks
2. Are you financially sexy?
You can contact Shannon through her email, Twitter, Facebook and blog.

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