How to Become Financially Free in 2022

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1.    Could you briefly introduce 360 Capital? What is it that makes your company different from the rest?

360 Capital is an award-winning global brokerage, offering CFDs in forex, energies, indices, and precious metals. Founded in 2017, we provide services through regulated trading partners across Africa. We ensure uninterrupted market access via the most advanced technologies, like the popular MT4 and FIX compliant trading platforms.

What makes us stand apart is our friendly and inclusive approach. Our aim is to make trading accessible for everyone. Today, millennials and Gen Z are leading the retail trading scene. They are young, diverse, tech-savvy, and believe in responsible investing to reduce the wealth gap. We support such traders with sophisticated trading tools, advanced fund security, and extensive educational resources.

2.    What does financial freedom mean to you? Why is it important?

Financial freedom means different things to different people. For some, it might mean not needing a 9-5 job. For others their job is just to pay the bills while pursuing a career they love. Not many can afford such freedom. Millennials represent a huge portion of the global workforce, and they value work-life balance. Yet, 26% of them work in more than 2 jobs because they have responsibilities and debt.

Only when you’re debt-free, can you think about future financial goals and build a plan to achieve it.

3.    How do you think one can achieve financial freedom?

The key is control over your finances and the independence to do what you really want to. To achieve this we need to look at a few aspects:

#1 Don’t fall prey to misconceptions

Many believe that you need money to make money. The truth is that everyone can have access to the same tools to build wealth. Another assumption is that women aren’t good at investing. But women are breaking the glass ceiling in all sectors. In Africa, women entrepreneurship is on the rise. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of entrepreneurship globally, with a majority of entrepreneurs being women.

Text Box: In August 2020, the US Fed announced that it won’t raise interest rates till unemployment declines, even tolerating inflation above 2%. The US interest rate is important since many economies decide their monetary policies according to it.What you need is a plan and the right support.

#2 It’s all about the plan

What is your primary goal? Is it buying a home? Funding kids’ college tuition? Saving for retirement? Next, take a look at the capital you have for investment. Money in savings accounts can’t provide much cushion, since central banks worldwide are keeping interest rates low to drive economic recovery. While that may make borrowing cheaper, it doesn’t boost savings. So, make a plan and write it down.

#3 Look at money in a positive way

There’s an excellent book, You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, by Jen Sincero, which throws light on an interesting aspect. Many feel guilty about wanting to make money, especially those who don’t have a lot of it. But money improves our standard of living, so why look at it negatively? To have financial freedom, think of it as a way to achieve your dreams (in an honest way, obviously). If money is seen negatively, it can stop you from making and keeping it. So, be a part-time blogger, start a YouTube channel, teach online or try your hand at the financial markets.

#4 Use your networks

If you’re already trading, check out forex referral programs. This could be an option if you run a blog or a website too. Affiliate marketing, where you refer your followers or friends to a reputed broker, can help you earn commissions. For instance, 360 Capital runs a Business Referrer program, where participants can earn up to $1,250 per acquisition. This is also a great way to help others achieve financial freedom.

#5 Don’t be scared to trade

When interest rates are kept low for a long time, inflation takes centre stage, eroding your purchasing power. To invest wisely, build a manageable yet diversified portfolio of assets.

You could start by contributing 10% of your monthly gross income to your investment capital. You could then trade CFDs, where leverage allows you to trade with minimal funds.

Don’t be afraid of market volatility. If you trade responsibly, long-term success can be achievable. At 360 Capital, we provide extensive resources in the form of articles, webinars, videos and more, to help traders learn proper risk management.

#6 Financial literacy is crucial

At the risk of sounding pessimistic, we have to accept that Covid-19 could stay a while. Financial literacy is very important right now. Know your expenditures, credit score, earnings, and long-term financial needs. I was surprised to learn that only one-third of US adults could answer basic financial literacy questions in a recent survey. Or that only 24% of millennials have basic financial literacy. Lack of literacy can lead to missing out on financial opportunities.

Image Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/06/financial-education-would-have-helped-people-manage-money-during-covid.html

#7 Save for a rainy day

I don’t preach a frugal lifestyle. In my opinion, a minimalist lifestyle is very tough. But it’s important to not spend more than you earn. Warren Buffett still lives in a 5-bedroom house in Omaha he purchased in the 1950s, despite his $100 billion net worth, as of 2021. On the other hand, Kanye West had to ask Mark Zuckerberg for $1 billion on Twitter, because he was $53 million in debt.

4.     What are the challenges to attaining financial freedom?

The fact that 1.7 billion adults globally remain unbanked is a huge challenge. Then there’s the gender gap in access to financial services in many regions. Even before the pandemic, 65% of women had access to financial accounts, compared to 72% of men. Thirdly, the pandemic has led to a rise in unemployment globally. About 205 million people are expected to remain jobless in 2022, from 187 million in 2019.

Image Source: https://unctad.org/news/covid-19-shows-need-close-financial-inclusion-gender-gap

5.    You have talked about the prevalence of gender stereotyping and lack of financial services for women before. As a female CEO in the financial services industry, what are your thoughts on women in top management? Has the world made progress in that regard?

Yes, there’s been progress, although not to the level I’d like to see. The number of women holding C-suite positions in the finance sector has seen an uptick of 10% between 2016 and 2021. In 2021, the gender ratio in top management positions in the top 20 companies stood at 23% female and 77% male. While this is welcome progress from the 18% female to 82% male in 2018, we still have a long way to go.

Leading a financial services firm can be challenging, but it provides huge opportunities for personal and professional growth. I think women have specific traits that help them drive results, such as resilience, team spirit, courage, and the ability to manage ambiguity.

6.    What is your future vision for 360 Capital?

Innovation is critical to remaining relevant and competitive in the forex industry. With state-of-the-art technology, the fintech sector is maturing and expanding rapidly worldwide. It is important for fintech firms to not only provide a secure trading environment but also variation, depth, and convenience of payments. AI and blockchain are some technologies we see ourselves delving into to take security and customer experience to the next level. Our aim is to become a multi-asset fintech group over the next 3-5 years.

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