Makala Green is an expert on all things finance. She’s Britain’s first black female Chartered Financial Planner, founder of Green Wealth Planning and runs her Instagram account @TheWealthCheck to help people manage their money better. She's also passionate about opening up the world of finance as an attractive career to people of all backgrounds.
Q: Who was your childhood hero, and why?
Beyonce! I just loved the strength and confidence she possesses as a female. In a world dominated by men, it was refreshing to have a woman to look up to who encompassed many of the qualities I strived to embody myself. She showed me that you could be strong and feminine simultaneously; one doesn't cancel out the other. I also love her music; there's not one song I don't enjoy listening to. My favourite one has to be Independent Woman (Destiny's Child).
Q: What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
"Get comfortable being uncomfortable."
I know it is one we have all heard before, but when you are outside your comfort zone, that's when you begin to grow and learn about the world around you and yourself. It's important to become more familiar with uneasiness because it helps you become more in tune with your instincts and know which feelings to trust and action.
Q: What was the last book you read - and how long ago did you read it?
Unshakeable by Anthony Robbins, which I read last week. This book has practical information on how to invest your money and reach financial freedom. It's a great read for anyone wondering what the best thing is to do with their savings.
Q: Name one piece of technology you couldn't live without and tell us why (excluding your mobile phone)
My phone is everything to me, but excluding that, I would say my AirPods (earphones). I love listening to music; it helps keep me motivated. When they first came out, I wasn't that convinced, but honestly, it really has made life easier since having them. Over-the-head phones are fantastic for music, but they are bulky and take up a lot of room in my bag. So AirPods are a real game-changer, in my opinion!
Q: Who do you look up to in terms of leadership and mentorship?
I have a group of women that I absolutely admire who do amazing things, and I take advice from them at every opportunity. I also look to myself for leadership and mentorship by looking back at past actions and experiences. I often ask myself, "What could I have done better?" or "If I had another opportunity, what would I do differently?". I think having the ability to reflect and analyse your decisions is a skill you have to practice, and it's valuable to do so. It's also important to remember that your decisions are often borne out of circumstance, so don't beat yourself up too much if you make a mistake. Keep moving forward!
Q: Which activity are you most looking forward to doing when the pandemic is over?
I am most looking forward to going on holiday; it would be great to relax and unwind on a beach. I adore the sunshine, and so to be able to enjoy it all day long would be a great gift – especially after the lack of it this summer.
Q: Is there a personal achievement from the past 12 months of which you are particularly proud?
Being shortlisted out of over 2,000 nominations as a finalist for two Professional Adviser Women in Financial Advice Awards was amazing. It was such a great feeling. These were in the Financial Adviser of The Year and Woman of the Year- Investment categories.
Q: What inspires you in FinTech today?
I recently attended an evening event celebrating fintech, and it was so refreshing to see young and female founders. Fintech is changing the face of finance, and it is so inspiring to see the shift. It's more accessible, more diverse, appeals to a much younger audience, and it's more affordable than traditional finance routes.
I look forward to more progressive change and a world where we all embrace fintech.