Today I have this week’s installment of our segment: Interviews with Money Experts. I talk with Karsten from Boost Your Finances.
Without further ado, here’s the interview.
Could you give a little background about who you are and how you came to start your blog?
Marianne and I have been together for more than 35 years. Our daughter lives at home while studying and taking care of her two jobs.
We live by the coast in a small harbor north of Copenhagen.
Some time ago I decided to quit work and write a book about personal finance.
Personal finance has to an extent been my life. I’ve created IT systems for banking, trading, investing, finance and life insurance for most of my career.
My basis for this work has been 3 degrees from Copenhagen Business School and expertise and education from more than 35 years IT development mostly in Scandinavia’s largest bank.
I have found no books that cover all aspects of personal finance. For that reason, my ambition has been to write a complete guide, which covers all areas, and has something to offer anyone. This has required extensive research and quite some work.
Blogging is creating awareness of the ideas covered in my new book.
What are some key lessons you’ve learned through your 35-year career?
You should manage Risk on both your assets as well as your liabilities.
Seek knowledge in everything you do: Imagine how fantastic it is that you by a small investment in time can tap into centuries of knowledge.
Don’t waste your time on things someone else can do better e.g. the amateur investor loses to the professional.
Know how to make a decent bargain.
I could go on for hours, but that would be a book spoiler.
Any details you could give of the book?
Boost Your Finances is no happy go lucky fast lane to wealth book, nor does it preach wealth in a wheelchair and it doesn’t preach baby steps.
It is nothing like the standard personal finance bestsellers, but it will probably be the most complete personal finance book you will ever find.
It involves mindful planning to help you reach your goals, whether it is maximizing your retirement investments, building wealth like crazy, or reaching your dreams.
All major financial decisions in life are covered from choosing the smartest study, nesting, marrying, maintaining financial autonomy, raising economically responsible children, to planning and choosing the smartest pension options.
In addition, it identifies how to surf the waves of the economy when making life-changing decisions or investments.
Assets and liabilities are used as an offset for discussing investments and risks. In addition, budgeting act as an offset for improving income and “Don’t work harder – spend your money smarter” ideas that might reduce your expenses by 30% or more.
I’m very excited to read your book, do you have a release date yet?
The eBook is released on Amazon.
A paper edition awaits some rearranging improving the start of the book.
I’ve heard writing a book is more a labor of love than anything. Is this true?
Definitely, and it has to be. You will most surely not get your times worth unless you make a bestseller.
My reason for writing “Boost Your Finances” was that I felt that a complete guide didn’t exist and needed to be made. We find it natural to give our children or anyone who needs inspiration in a kitchen a cookbook in present.
The intention was to create a personal finance “cookbook” fulfilling a similar need.
Fortunately one of my friend’s father, a university professor, author of several finance books decided that he would help me.
What are some lessons you were taught growing up that you appreciate now?
I wasn’t taught that much except by example. One important lesson being that when your income is unstable as is the case with farming investing for borrowed money is a no go.
However, raised under poor conditions on a farm in rural Denmark, I learned how to live on limited means. The lesson learned from my childhood was that there are numerous ways to adapt, save money, and survive anyway.
In addition, and more important, I learned that happiness has nothing to do with money or earthly possessions. It is a state of mind.
What are some ways your family learned to make their dollar go farther?
In my childhood we as a family took care of everything; grew everything, tailored clothes, learned how important it was to take care of your things i.e. if something broke or needed fixing you would probably have to fix it yourselves.
As a consequence I can do, build or fix most everything – not because I can, but because I will check out any possibility for fixing whatever needs fixing; dishwasher, mobile, new bathroom, new flooring, change doors, windows etc.
Sometimes I decide to let an expert take care of it, but then I will be well prepared and I will know exactly if an offer is worth accepting.
We practice financial autonomy. That has made an immense difference for the family’s financial situation and it has eliminated financial quarrels.
Otherwise, almost all preached in my book is practiced in our everyday life.
Could you elaborate on happiness is a state of mind?
In my childhood, it may have been a consequence of not being wealthy on worldly thing: It kind of forces you to focusing on the things that truly make you happy.
Maybe it is a consequence of not tasting the sweet taste of having something that no one else had.
But somewhere down the road we should all consider what truly makes us happy, is it possessions or is it something completely different; parental love, finding your path in life, friendship, sharing, experiencing flow in what you do or work with (what the Buddhist call nirvana) or something different.
For me, these speculations led to the realization that happiness is actually a state of mind, a state you might be capable of recalling and feeling whenever you need it.
A state that gives you strength to do whatever you need to do no matter which back up there might be.
What are some lessons you hope to pass onto the next generation?
You should focus on happiness, on your dreams. See money as means not an end and don’t fall for the temptation to spend your money on unnecessary status symbols. Don’t work harder, spend your money smarter.
How do you do that?
- Know how to identify the best career options and what that means for your lifetime income.
- Budget and keep track of your net value with a focus on your main priorities: what you fail to follow up on will be out of your control!
- It is the nature of the wise to resist temptations, but the foolish to be a slave to them. Be aware of your spending and make sure you always go for the smartest options.
- Manage your financial risk. Watch over your hard earned money. Know how to make solid and sound investments and know the pitfalls. Remember: if an investment seems to be too good to be true, it generally is.
- Be aware of the general financial conditions and exploit the waves in the economy.
All these aspects and much more are covered in my book.
What general financial conditions or waves should people be aware of?
The economy moves in waves. It makes an immense difference if you invest at bottoms and sell at tops. If you master this discipline anyone can make killer investments.
Most people will probably think stocks, but it will apply to any kind of investment; housing, new job, starting a new business, a summer cottage, antiques, the vintage car etc.
Any tips on picking a trusted advisor?
Do like you always should do, whenever you buy any form of service.
Seek references, ask around, but do your own research too.
Be sure to ask for proper documentation of their performance and compare alternatives.
Get a precise and complete overview of cost for their services and make sure they offer all their services on competitive terms.
And when you have found the best alternative, try to get an even better deal.
What’s an app, book, and blog/podcast you’d recommend to someone that wants to improve their financial situation?
Of course, I would recommend anyone to read my book, in fact, consider reading enough books and blogs on personal finance and money for you to feel confident, that you actually get the most out of your money.
It will hardly cost you anything except time and it will save you a tremendous amount of time and money in the end – and if you work hard, it will most certainly guarantee that you end up financially independent.
If you are uncertain about any financial decision seek advice and always seek advice from more than one source! Be grateful for any advice others give you with the best intentions, but stay careful, critical, and do your own research.
The more you know, the better decisions you will make.
How do you manage your financial life? (budgeting, saving, investing, etc.)
I feel I’ve learned a lot while doing my research so my answer must be: I manage my financial life pretty much as described in my book.
Is there anything else you would like to add that would benefit the reader?
Most of all; Read, seek inspiration, tap into centuries of financial knowledge, and build wealth. It will pay off: luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
Where can people go to learn more about you and your work?
The best starting point is buying my book at Amazon.
Otherwise, I’m active on Twitter and anyone can reach me. I might start blogging on Twitter at a later point.
That concludes my interview with Karsten. I hope you gained some new insights into how to improve your Financial Health and grow your Wealth.
Come back next week for my interview with Eiman from Dads, Dollars, Debts.
So readers, what was your favorite point made here? Any questions for him?