Money talk

Abdul Asks: Galina, our in-house Investment Manager

28 August 2020 | Posted by Abdul Rashidi

“Abdul Asks” is an Instagram Live series that looks at sharing personal finance stories to showcase an individual’s financial journeys but also to have honest and open conversations about money. This first episode features our own Galina, our in-house Investment Manager, talking about her current goals and timelines for her personal finance. 

Abdul: Hey everyone! Hope you’re all keeping well and safe. I’m Abdul. I’m the Community Manager here at Claro. Today, we have the first in our Abdul Asks series where we’ll be talking to people at different points in their financial journey, but also varying degrees of financial knowledge. So our guest today is our very own Invest Manager Galina, but I’ll let her introduce herself. And we’ll get straight into the questions.

Galina: Hello, my name is Galina. And I’m the Investment Manager here Claro.  A little bit about myself…  I moved to London just recently. So I feel like this is definitely an interesting journey for me. And it’s something that I’m also learning myself. I have a very deep knowledge of finance, financial products and finances because I have a financial education. And I’m also a CFA, which looks at portfolio management designations. I spent a lot of time learning all of that and feel quite comfortable about it. And my previous experience in banking, again, and I have quite a wide geographical exposure and lived in Eastern Europe and North America, in Asia and across Europe before moving to London. So that’s a little bit about me. 

Abdul: Amazing. Well, as an Investment Manager, you clearly have a lot of financial experience, but what are your current financial goals?

Galina: So as I mentioned earlier, I just moved to the UK and I just completed a very costly MBA programme. So the two things that I really want to achieve in the next couple of years will be one, to pay off my student loan. And I was fortunate that my family was able to help me but I also have outstanding, like a larger funding loan, for my MBA. And the other thing is, I would love to save up for a house. Again, starting my new life here are definitely two goals that I’m looking to achieve.

 Abdul: That sounds good. And then with those goals, what is your timeline to reach them?

Galina: I think it’s more of a medium-term goal. So within five years, I’m planning to do that. And then start thinking about family and you know, my future kids’ education, but I don’t have them yet. So I think I want to take a staged approach where I first want to pay off my debt, get a house, and then think about my future family.

Abdul: Yeah, that’s exciting. And now with these timelines, obviously, this is sometimes hard to gauge when you are just in your financial career or journey, but how have you allocated your savings to these goals?

Galina: So I took quite a simple approach. And I think I’m testing it right now. Because again, I just moved in summer. So I feel how I approach it. I did some budgeting in terms of you know, what my place is going to cost, what the expenses are going to be required for me when I’m in the UK. And my allocation is one-third of my living expenses. One third goes to my savings, and then one third going to pay off my existing loan. So I do want to pay it off faster than the term that I have. But yeah.

Abdul: Nice. And then have you decided, or when you are deciding, how you invest your money? How do you decide where you save and where you invest?

Galina: And I think investment return is the most important thing for me because I’m quite knowledgeable in terms of the structure of the product, given my experience as an Investment Manager. That’s definitely my main goal and the convenience of managing the funds from one platform. I personally don’t like to have a million different accounts and managing one asset from one side, and then the other asset on the other side. So that’s why it’s the second important factor and third is the user experience. I want something easy to understand. fast and convenient.

Abdul: No, that makes sense. And then do you look at risk and potential return? Does that affect the way you invest your money?

Galina: Absolutely. Yes. So I have a pretty high-risk tolerance. Because I’m still quite young and I don’t have any dependents. So it definitely does affect where I allocate my funds.

 Abdul: Nice and then are the particular values that you have that influence your decision.

Galina: Yes, so I do like thematic investments. And I like to pick certain asset classes. So for example, if I believe in pharma with a new drug development or a new product in the market, pharmaceuticals tend to really shoot up in price, but quite a lot. So I like to allocate a portion of my portfolio there. And the other side is like the asset class on the day, if I feel a bit more conservative about the economy, I would allocate a portion of my funds in gold or I’m a strong believer in cryptocurrency. Personally, it’s not a company statement, but I personally am investing in crypto. So I definitely have a case of a significant portfolio of my funds in that asset class as well. 

Abdul: That sounds great. And then one of the questions we get asked a lot is, how do you keep up to date? Or is there anything that you find in terms of resources that have helped you?

Galina: Yes, so I feel like reading news definitely helps me to stay up to date. I’m very interested in geopolitics and what’s happening in the world, and it does affect the value of the stock market quite a lot. And that’s why I am looking into a lot of market research and news and following that, I have my favourite sources. So that really helps me to understand where to locate that part of my portfolio. The others are the Financial Times and the New York Times. As an Investment Manager, I’m an economist at heart. Obviously, resources like that give you a very brief overview of what’s happening, and you can make your decision based on what’s happening in the market.

Abdul: Amazing. And finally, what are the current projects that you’re working on? We know we can find you at @Claro_money, but also any last words of encouragement?

 Galina: Yeah, you can find me at Claro Money. And that’s exactly where I am pretty much 24 hours a day. Last words of encouragement,  well I feel like a lot of people in the uncertain stage of their life where they have gone through big changes or anything like that, tend to be a little bit worried about their financial situation. So I feel like seeking help in this particular state where you’re going to transition. And if you’re not quite certain about your choices and whether you manage your financials correctly, it’s definitely important to take financial matters in your own hands and do something about it. Be more conscious and more serious about it.

 Abdul: Seriously, amazing advice. So thank you for your time. Thank you for anyone tuning in. You can tune in next week. Well, we’ll have another guest and going through these Abdul Asks series. Thank you, Galina!

Galina: Thank you, bye

This information is for illustrative purposes only and it should not be construed as financial advice. When investing, your capital is at risk.


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