Financial role model advice

from Louise Donegan

You mentioned when we met that you trade stocks in your free time. How did you learn how to do that?

My father used to play oil stocks via teletext and over the phone so that was an influence. When I first began working with my financial advisor, we agreed that he would invest a certain percentage of my money into a very conservative portfolio of stocks and shares. It wasn’t until a few years later that I was looking at Apple stock and realized that I owned stock in Apple.  I wanted to know what price I had bought them at. That’s when I started looking at all the companies I had stocks in properly. And I began to find out about each one and how they looked now from when I originally bought them.  And why. That’s when I began to be much more discerning about it all. Now I just do my own internet-based research on companies and I check the stock market at various points in the trading day.  It’s much more fun than shopping! I also rather enjoy gambling so it’s kind of like that as well.

What advice would you give to someone that is interested in learning how to trade?

Decide how much money you’re willing to lose and only invest that. No more.  If you want to buy, I’d advise to buy into a company that you are familiar with and that you like, so if you hate coffee, don’t buy Starbucks. The most rewarding stock growth comes from companies you are personally behind and want to see succeed. So, Tesla for me is a perfect example, because I really care about the environment and I want to see electric cars become more commonplace.

How did you find a financial advisor? How important would you say it is to have one as a model?

My financial advisor was recommended to me when I first began making real money here in NYC. It was a thoughtful booker at my agency at the time who said, “You should meet this guy.” So we met. He set up a great and simple system for me, (and for other models) whereby every time I do a job, I would email him the fee, the client, and which agency it was booked through. Three months after the job date, he would then call that agency and ask for the money from that job for me. [Editor’s note: Tycoon offers this service for freelancers. Click here if you are interested in learning more.]

Do you have any regrets on how you managed your money throughout your career? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

Yes. I think that I justified poor choices because I was miserable at times. I think I justified a lot of flight purchases to be with loved ones for a weekend. I have also definitely bought overpriced handbags too (don’t do that).

What financial advice do you wish someone had told you when you first started modeling?

I wish that I had started to understand that money sat in the bank does nothing. Once you can comfortably pay your rent and your bills, learn how to make your money work for you. Also, a great piece of advice is: Start a pension fund. However old you are when you start it, that is the percentage of your earnings each year that you should put away. So if you start your pension fund when you are 18 years old, put away 18% of your money every year from then on. If, however, you are 65 years old when you start it, you should be looking to put 65% of your annual earnings into your pension fund every year until you retire.

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