Vivi Friedgut is quite a woman. Still in her early thirties she has left the world of private banking where she could make easy money advising the super-rich. She has chosen to invest her private capital in educating students and those at the start of their working lives, in how to organise their finances. She helps them to live well now and have an eye for the future.
You can read about this in her own words here . The big idea is a simple one, saving money is as much about spending it wisely as investing in financial products, she talks about frugal cooking, getting the most from your petrol tank and buying the right kind of debt.
She’s got some straightforward advice for parents and if you’ve got a second or two to spare after reading this, make sure you read this article http://www.blackbullion.co.uk/blog/?m=201204
We met on Thursday, she arrived with an aubergine, a tomato with a number of bananas and a huge smile.
We talked for an hour about her career , her business Black Bullion and its business model. Hers is a commercial enterprise, she competes for scarce resources to get higher education authorities to sponsor her to speak with students about financial prudence. Her edge is that she is talking as a young person unashamedly using herself as a role model.
Talking to her, I realise that people like me , in our fifties, can encourage but we have neither the image, energy or empathy to do what Vivi does.
My student days are still fresh in my mind – I could take advice from my peers but not from my parents.
Britain is filled with well-meaning educational groups – usually sponsored by financial institutions. Promoting financial education in schools and colleges is an essential step on the way to a knighthood for a senior business person.
I suspect that why most of these groups have proved ineffective is that they are patronising and pathetic to the people who are being subjected to well-intentioned lecturing.
Talking to Viv and reading her blogs, I reckon she has answers that resonate with young people. Here she is on Citywire explaining her personal motivation http://www.cityam.com/forum/former-banker-says-saving-must-begin-school
Will those who talk the talk on financial education be prepared to employ her edgy, sexy and challenging approach to financial management for the under thirties?
I intend my firm to be at the front of the queue. I reckon there will be a few Human Resources Managers joining us.