It was through observing her father in action that award-winning entrepreneur Sarah Riegelhuth discovered her passion for finance.
She has since enjoyed the successful launch of her business Wealth Enhancers, which caters to the needs of young high-income earners moving fast in their wealth creation journey.
Following in the footsteps of her father, who owned a financial planning business, wealth expert Sarah Riegelhuth’s main drive for starting Wealth Enhancers with her partner Finn Kelly, was to help young Australians understand and learn to manage their finances while they’re still in the early stages of their life.
“It’s important to get on top of your finances while you’re young. A lot of people are actually afraid to address it because they don’t understand a lot of the jargon that comes with the subject. And that’s why we’re in business. We aim to make finance easy to understand,” said Riegelhuth.
It is through her dedication to helping Australians achieve financial freedom that has earned her title as one of Melbourne’s Top 100 most influential, inspiring and creative citizens by The Age in 2011.
While Wealth Enhancers has experienced steady growth over the past three years, there have been challenges to overcome.
Riegelhuth explained that one of the biggest challenges she has faced was building her credibility as a financial advisor despite her young age.
While she’s had over 10 years of experience in the field, it was difficult at first to convince her target market of her expertise, given she was only in her late 20s when she launched Wealth Enhancers while other financial advisors in Australia are generally much older.
“Our young age was hindering our credibility, but it’s one of our greatest advantages as well. While people may think they want someone with a lifetime of experience, a lot of financial advisors in Australia are over 60 and there’s a good chance they’ll be retiring in the next few years,” said Riegelhuth.
“Older financial advisors are not going to be able to look after young people for the next 30 or 40 years. And what [young people] want is to establish a long-term professional relationship with their financial advisor,” she added.
When asked about whether Australia’s current economic climate should be a motivation for people to be extra cautious about spending their money, Riegelhuth explained that finance management is not something that needs to be aligned with the health of the economy.
She said that there will always be fluctuations in the economy, and that people should always be vigilant about how they manage their money.
“What’s happening at the moment is that it feels as though there is a lot of uncertainty and change, but the more you learn about Australia’s economy history, you’ll realise that there are always going to be periods where the economy is experiencing change,” said Riegelhuth.
“I think the key is to build some kind of wealth as early as possible and continue in that path. There’s no use in getting caught in the highs and lows of what’s going on in the economy. Just think about yourself and what you want to achieve, not the economy.”
Riegelhuth’s top financial tips:
1. Segregate your bank accounts
Have a separate savings account and spending account. As soon as you get your paycheck, put some money into your savings account – before you pay your bills, your rent or mortgage, or start spending money for other purposes. A separate bank account in a separate institution also helps make it more difficult to move money into the other account, and therefore keeps you disciplined.
2. Make extra repayments on your loans while the interest rates are low
A timely tip is to make extra repayments if you have a mortgage or loan of any kind, as the interest rates are low. This is a great opportunity to get ahead, as you will not be charged as much interest as you normally would.
3. Set your goal amount
Set your goal, put a dollar amount on it and a timeframe for achieving it. If you have a goal that you’re saving towards, you’re far less likely to deviate from that plan than if you’re saving for the sake of it. The whole ‘put 20 percent away for a rainy day’ isn’t motivating, whereas if there’s a holiday you want to go on, or you want to buy a house, or even change careers and start a business, you’re a lot more inclined to stick to your budget.
More tips are available in Riegelhuth’s book, Get Rich Slow, which can be purchased from Wealth Enhancers’ company website.
Every month Wealth Enhancers runs a free educational evening for professional women to learn about money, approaching it from a new angle each time. For more information visit: www.wealthenhancers.com.au
Riegelhuth is also one of the 22 delegates representing Australia at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit in Moscow, this June. For more information visit: www.g20yea.com