Anyone searching for ways to better manage their money and improve their financial outlook now have a step-by-step guide they can turn to from a Nanaimo-based financial advisor.
Greg Tomkins, a chartered financial analyst with Assante Capital Management in Nanaimo, spent the extra time during the COVID-19 pandemic he’d normally use meeting clients face-to-face to finish his book, Simple Money: Turn Your Dreams Into Reality.
Tomkins has focused his career as a financial advisor on teaching his clients how to make the most of the money they earn to gain a firm financial footing and financial security.
Simple Money was written for people who don’t have a lot of money, but need practical advice to improve their financial health and future.
“If you have money, you can get somebody qualified like myself who can help you and you can get great advice, great lawyers, great accountants, great financial advisors and you’ll be well taken care of,” Tomkins said.
But for people who don’t have a lot of money, including some in the middle class, the only people in the financial advice industry they can afford to talk to are people often looking to do little more than sell a product.
Much, if not all, of the information in Simple Money is already available online, Tomkins said, but for every question posed online, there will also be 100 different opinions from advisors who, again, in many cases are really just looking to sell their products.
“So it becomes very difficult for people who don’t have a lot of money to decide what advice is correct and so they rely on friends, family, for what they think is correct or what they read online from somebody who may not have their best interests at heart,” Tomkins said.
Financial pitfalls often originate from making emotionally based or poorly informed financial decisions, he said, but people can take knowledge from past mistakes and use that to consciously act improve their finances, which is especially important at a time when prices of practically everything – from food and fuel to real estate – are rapidly on the rise.
In his book, Tomkins shares his knowledge about managing money wisely, budgeting, investing, taking on debt, purchasing real estate, getting informed about mortgages, choosing a financial advisor and more.
Simple Money took about nine months to write and another year of edits and adding charts and illustrations.
“I’ve read it probably 25 times myself,” he said. “I’ve banged my head against the wall sometimes when I’m doing it because a comma’s in the wrong spot. You have editors, but everything that goes through it, it’s your name on it. I’ve revised things, pulled things out … with COVID there’s been not much else to do, so why not?”
Tomkins said he thinks his book’s most important point is that people tend to make financial decisions based on guesswork without really understanding the impacts of their choices.
“If you can make informed choices, understand the impact paying down your debt is going to make or saving more money or investing a little more aggressively or lowering your fees, it’s going to have a really big difference on your financial future,” he said.
For more information about the book, visit www.simplemoneycanada.com.