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HomeJob RetirementMichele Romanow on how to manage your money like it’s your business

Michele Romanow on how to manage your money like it’s your business

“You have to laugh at black swans.”

How it applies to business: Black swans are rare and completely unpredictable disruptive events that can negatively affect the markets.

How it applies to your money: “When you invest, you just have to be willing to understand that any one of the things that you could invest in could potentially go to zero. A lot of people don’t ever think about that. They’re like, I made this money; it’s mine forever. When you buy a house, crazy things have happened in markets before. Housing markets have gone down by 50% to 60%. That is possible. You could buy a house with hundreds of thousands of dollars of structural damage you didn’t know about. Or you could have a very negative divorce. You could have a disease in the family. So many things can happen. 

“And, so, think about saving for a rainy day and trying to structure your life in a really creative way. I hear from a lot of people that things are just so expensive and so hard. When that happens, you have to be more creative, or you have to think about other ways to supplement your income. It’s good to be willing to bet on yourself and have enough diversification of income that you can hopefully rely on. You could have a black swan financial event, and that’s why you want to be diversified.”

“Don’t let people put you in a box.”

How it applies to business: People can underestimate you, but you should never underperform. Romanow says she has been underestimated in both business and investing.

How it applies to your money: “People have underestimated me my whole life. Like, I’m a four-foot-five blonde woman who’s very bubbly. And I actually get very energized when people underestimate me. Well, I think what’s worse is being overestimated. I think about someone like Elon Musk as someone that’s overestimated and how hard his life might be. He’s running three companies, and he launches a rocket, and people are like, that’s not good enough. That, to me, is a far worse fate than being underestimated. 

“But when it comes to investing, there’s a wide range of things you can do with your money. You can put it into a GIC when interest rates are 5%. That is not difficult to figure out. Investing is so much simpler than launching a business, because as an entrepreneur, you’re going to do 90% of the work, relative to an investor. Investors just write a cheque and just wait.”

“No one just gives you money.”

How it applies to business: You’ll have to work for that money to grow your business. It’s not free, even if it’s a gift. And there are no fast routes to success, as it can take 10 years to build a valuable business.

How it applies to your money: “Everyone has to fight for the dollar. Anything that’s like, ‘I’m going to give you something without you doing anything or without some sort of exchange of real value’ doesn’t make sense. There has to be a value exchange.


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