Tell us about your background? Professional & personal
I have been in financial services for 14 years and am both a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society and a Chartered Financial Planner. I am passionate about life planning and understanding people’s true goals and desires and helping them to achieve them.
I had always worked in very male dominated environments, which is of course the way of the world of financial services and had been very successful but felt that I had lost my authenticity as a woman along the way.
A very challenging couple of years, which included the death of my father and two bouts of breast cancer made me re-evaluate my life and what I really wanted to achieve. I realised that I had fallen out of love with what I did and that I was sick of being in the rat race. Very few of my clients were women and I wondered who was servicing their financial planning needs so I decided to get out there and find out. The answer to the question was no one (or nearly no one!). I found that many women don’t want to speak to a middle aged guy about their financial planning needs and that most found them patronising and had not had a positive experience and so they were not doing anything.
I decided that I wanted to build a strong brand, delivering exceptional financial advice for women. I am on a mission to redefine the way that women feel about receiving financial advice. I want to be known for transforming women’s futures and leaving them feeling confident, secure and liberated.
So, just 10 days after finishing cancer treatment, I quit my job and set up my business as The Women’s Wealth Expert. I bring compassion, empathy, passion and experience to the clients that I work with.
What is your proudest achievement?
There have been many in the last year but beating cancer, starting a business from scratch with no clients and writing my first book are all major milestones.
My book The Wealthy Divorcee is a guide to navigating the finances during and after divorce for women. It is packed full of practical advice from the most basic to the more advanced areas of finance.
Who is your female inspiration?
I have many women who I find inspirational and it’s hard to single any one particular person out, so here are a few of the women who have touched me. Victoria Beckham for her tenacity and determination. She has never given up and that woman has taken some real criticism and abuse from the media. She has successfully managed to keep a loving and happy marriage where many others have failed, she has a family and has built a successful fashion brand among many other achievements. Oprah Winfrey for being a strong woman who has never sold out on her beliefs and commitments. Karren Brady for taking on the men and successfully running a football club at such a young age and for being consistently successful in business. Finally, it has to be the lovely Vanessa Vallely for showing that hard work and amazing networking skills will get you to the top.
What are your thoughts on the Gender Equality act and the financial consequences for women?
I think that insurance wise, women are the biggest losers of this Act. We currently enjoy cheaper car insurance as well as life and critical illness cover. As of the 21st of December, we will have to pay much higher premiums.
What first inspired you to go into Finance?
I can’t say that I was inspired to go into finance, I kind of fell into it by accident! However, I found that I had a talent for it and enjoyed financial planning. I have a strong desire to help others and I enjoy sorting out people’s finances and helping them to see that they can achieve their goals and dreams with a bit of help and tweaking here and there.
I now specialise in helping women who are facing divorce to become less fearful around the financial side. I help them from the outset to clear on the finances, coaching them through understanding their relationship with money and the practical side too. I then help them to feel confident and secure with money in their new life, which liberates them financially.
What sort of advice can we expect to find in your blog?
You will find down to earth, practical advice, which will aim to dispel some of the myths around finance and financial planning. I will blog about financial knowledge as well as information that is more financial planning specific.
What would you like to achieve over the next 12 months?
My business is my baby at the moment and I want to concentrate on getting everything running smoothly so that I can start to expand.
I have just developed a financial coaching programme for women, which takes them through a five-step process over 8 sessions. It focuses on improving their relationship with money as well as goal setting, financial knowledge and loads of practical help to transform their future. My focus will be on getting this launched and running regularly. The response has been very positive and I want to have the first programme starting in mid June 2013.
I have started doing some crazy challenges to raise money for charity and to challenge myself. I took part in the Tough Guy challenge in January and I am doing Tough Mudder in June to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer who I am an ambassador for, Help for Heroes and Feed the Children. If you would like to sponsor me, please follow this link http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=HannahFoxley