With almost two decades of experience in financial services working for some of the UK and the world’s largest financial institutions, Sophia was able to build up a unique set of skills and experience that gave her an in depth look at how financial institutions adapted to an ever more online, less face-to-face world, and why some didn’t. She took up a position within the Umbrella of St. James’ place, starting Wimbledon Wealth Management at the tail end of the fallout from the 2008 financial Crisis, understanding that a lot of damage had been done to the reputation of both the big banks, and people’s faith in the financial services sector in general. After speaking to many people who had lost everything at the fault of a large corporation, they had only received a letter in the post every now and then. Following this, it was no surprise that she encountered a “better in the mattress than the bank” attitude more and more.
That’s when Sophia realized that Financial Services, and financial advice in particular should be done better. Starting Wimbledon Wealth, she set out with the goal to do things right, prioritizing the individual needs of clients, and their families, aiming to set a new industry standard to do her part in restoring faith in the system and setting an example for others to follow. To have a great start, she expanded her network, helped clients across the world and later moved to more entrepreneur supportive city of Dubai.
Speaking more about her business, Sophia says, “At the moment, I am continuing to expand my business across the world, aiming to bring on clients in the right way, prioritizing service and value with the aim of setting a new industry standard for financial advice here in the GCC as well”.
“Financial Stability in an old-fashioned sense of the word, is the ability to match your
income and expenditure over a longer period to ensure a comfortable life and a happy retirement. However, in the present times Financial Stability is becoming less about finding that specific balance and more about meeting the demands in an ever-changing world. The last two years have shown that even the best prepared can be caught out; be that with high inflation, mass layoffs, banks collapsing or interest rates making people’s mortgages unaffordable. I feel that financial stability has now come to mean an ability to be able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle, whilst also being able to have a capacity to absorb the shocks that the world today keeps throwing our way.
A solid financial position is Important for any business, but I feel when women have a clear understanding of their business’s finances, they can make better decisions about where to invest resources and how to manage cash flow. This can help them avoid costly mistakes and make strategic decisions that position their business for long-term success. A better financial position can give women business owners a competitive advantage in the marketplace that is often male dominated. It allows them to offer better products or services, invest in marketing and advertising, and stay ahead of their competition”.
Sophia states, “A financial Advisor is so Important for people of all backgrounds, a commonly held belief is that Financial Advice is for the super wealthy, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For all the big and even a few of the small financial decisions in your life, you could actually use professional advice. A financial advisor’s job is to use their connections and experience to get the best outcome for you. Be that in choosing the right mortgage provider to get the right life insurance policy is in place to ensure that if the unthinkable happens your family you have the right levels of protection. These services are often provided at low or no cost to the client and can make all the difference in the life of an individual. But the real strength of an advisor are the connections and experience they may bring to the table; in this respect, A financial advisor is the Swiss army knife to the modern businesswoman”.
“It entirely depends on the woman and their risk profile and situation. Some people are into more vanilla long dated government bonds, and others like the rollercoaster ride that is cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The best advice I could give is to do your research, start as early as you can, and save regularly in a diverse portfolio.
Many people can take the tax-free status in the UAE for granted and put very little aside, saving that extra money you would have paid in tax in any kind of investment is really the best way to take advantage of the tax system out here. Even modest amounts over a long enough period can surprise you”.
“Over the years, I have won many awards for service and professionalism; however, I’d have to say my main achievements are starting my own business and my children, at the end of the day I have come a long way in the last two decades and am proud of where I am”.
“At the moment, I hope to continue with the work I am doing now, setting a new standard here in the UAE. Hopefully, I am providing a positive role model for younger women considering a career in financial services or even starting their own business”.
“Firstly, make sure you have saved an emergency fund, which is approximately three months’ worth of expenditure. Then I would say start saving monthly even if it is a small amount to start with. The earlier you start the better. Get into a habit of setting up a monthly set amount which
automatically transfers out of your bank account, so you don’t have to make the decision it happens automatically. I would advise investing a diversified portfolio but start low risk if it’s your first investment”.
“The best plan for spending and saving is setting a budget and sticking to it, Whenever I feel like an impulse buy, I wait 24 hours and see if I still feel the same about a purchase, which more often than not, I don’t, that’s not to say you should never treat yourself, but a little bit of discipline goes a long way, and ultimately it allows for me to be more ready when opportunities come up.
Saving on the other hand is the complete opposite, putting off what could be done now for later means that interest can be missed or potential growth on investment squandered, saving small amounts regularly really adds up, often some apps can round up your purchases and put the extra into a savings account or invest it automatically, so even when you’re buying your coffee in the morning, you’re saving a little bit for you in the future”.
Readers can get in contact with me by connecting with me on LinkedIn, filling in a contact us request on the Wimbledon Wealth website or by contacting me directly at Sophia@wimbledonwealth.com
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