Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My career in money ... what I've learned.

This post was inspired by Cassie of Tales from the Trenches comment on my Getting to Know Me post.

I mentioned that since graduating from University almost all of my jobs involved money. Here's a list:
  • bank teller at a major bank (part-time)
  • bank teller and back office admin at a Credit Union
  • mortage promotions telephone rep and then telephone banking rep at a different major bank
  • customer service for self-directed brokerage for yet another major bank
  • back office admin at an independant mutual fund boutique (also started selling mutual funds)
  • investment rep assistant
  • pension fund admin then pension analyst for a major Ontario pension plan
I would say though that since most of my career involves sales I think that I didn't learn very much about finance from any of these jobs. Sounds strange, right?

In the early portion of my career, I had to push credit cards, loans, and mortages down everyone throats. Except at RSP time (around now) then it was pushing RRSPs down everyone's throats ;P But most people told me they had nothing left to save because of all that debt that we had pushed on them. I never once helped someone budget or had a conversation about lowering expenses (I had the ocassional desicsion about bank fees, of course) the rest wasn't part of my job.

I was never in the role of giving advice until I worked at the mutual fund boutique (and even then it wasn't my major role). I asked some friends and family if I could work on an investment profile for them, with the end goal of getting them to invest with me (so I could make commissions). If I helped anyone make decisions with what they do with their money (budgeting, cutting expenses, etc) it came more from the influence of Gail Vaz-Oxlade than my job.

It wasn't until I was 27 (and already had worked at 3 different banks) that I started looking at my money seriously. I was still quite deep in student loan debt (about $10K) had credit card debt (about $5K) and no savings. One of the fringe benefits of getting my mutual fund license is that any commissions earned from my own investments I get 100% of them. This is what actually triggered me to start saving in a RRSP. Not looking towards the future, not wanting to save for a house (I just started dating T at that time, I had no idea we'd be where we are now), I did it for the commissions :)

If anything, I learned more about finance from Gail and the Wealthy Barber (which I read in high school) than any of my jobs. Yes, I know quite a bit about investing and once we buy the house I look forward to purchasing some ETFs, but budgeting and saving, no I didn't get that from my career.

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have.

Where did you learn about finance?



  1. Budgeting and Saving only popped up on my radar once I realized I had debt to pay back. Then I decided to figure out what it all meant.... then it started a whole PF love fest!

  2. I had the debt but no plan to pay it off or to save until I "met" Gail.