Confessions Of A Wet Rag


Pfff! Urrggh!

I wimped out and it’s pissing me off.  Thrilled to be invited by CNBC as an expert on a personal finance TV panel discussion I arrived dolled up and ready to share my Wealth Chef stuff.

Propped on my chair next to the fabulous host Bruce Whitfield , mic wired up, green screen behind us, camera’s rolling I was ready to dazzle…

Then it all went soggy…

Unlike at live speaking gigs like in the photo and in my training programmes, I was a complete, bland wimp – as challenging and thought provoking as a wet rag!


I gave predictable dull answers to great questions from Bruce. Answers that I don’t even believe. Answers that on my own journey to financial freedom were the kind that confirmed to me that investing and being great with my money is boring. Answers that were patronising and told me personal finance is for losers.

Perhaps I’m over stating just how bad it was, but reflecting on the interview I am irritated at the missed opportunity to share what I really believe about becoming financially free and the financial planning industry. Why I believe financial literacy isn’t taught at schools, why most people remain financially illiterate all their lives never to experience the power of money working for them, why 95% of people never achieve financial freedom irrespective of what they earn and why I am so passionate about teaching people these skills.

I can only assume that dazzled by the TV cameras, Bruce’s pink tie and charm, and never having met the “nice” financial planner sitting next to me, my “nice girls are polite and don’t rock the boat” persona took over, gagging the rest of me in the hope that we could just be liked. UURRRRGGGGG!!

Well that “nice girl” doesn’t change the world and that “nice girl” isn’t all of me, so…

Here’s the version the risk taking, independent, challenging, powerful woman within me wished she had said. The part of me that created my own financial freedom and helps thousands of others do the same. Without her I would still be following the crappy advice of financial planners, believing this stuff was all way too complicated and scary for the likes of the little “nice polite Ann” and that I couldn’t really have it all and should just accept that my dreams should stay locked in that bottom drawer.

Question: Why is financial literacy not taught in schools?

It’s not in the interest of the financial industry to have people financially savvy.

If people understood how money worked, if they realised how straight forward it is to invest and get their money working for them they would have no need for the crappy TV diner investment products dished up by the financial industry. Products wrapped up with endless management fees, hidden costs, and trailing commissions. Products that are fantastic for the person who sells them to you but pretty disastrous if you actually want your money working for you.

If people were taught these skills a whole industry would have to change and actually add massive value to exist rather than feed off ignorance and fear. Never again would someone fall for an Insurance/ Investment product all wrapped in one!

Never again would someone fall for a Whole Life Insurance policy!

Never again would a funeral policy be bought!

Never again would a person accept a product with cancelation penalties and as transparent as a brick with no idea what the underlying assets are or how they are performing!

If people really understood money they would never enter so readily into modern day slavery – in the form of consumer debt. Selling their future and freedom for a quick fix because they have no idea what the real cost actually is.

Question: Why do people find investing and managing their money boring?

Because 90% of the books, programmes and information out there are damn boring.

The “motherhood and apple pie” advice of tighten your belt, put a little away in a safe pre-packaged investment product, deprive yourself now and think only about the long term, play it safe and small and plan for your retirement when maybe you can have some fun ….Blah, Blah, Blah…It’s dull and more importantly WRONG!

It was only when I connected the dots for myself and realised I could actually live a seriously cool life now and make my personal wealth grow exponentially by understanding how badly money wanted to work for me if I just gave it a chance. By learning how to convert money into proper assets (not hideous retirement products and insurances). By investing in the stock market, creating an investment property portfolio and passive income businesses. By realising just how powerful and valuable each Rand, Pound, Dollar and Euro is and how I could get way more juice from my money by getting very clear on what actually juiced me, negotiating hard, and that I could have what I wanted for way less by being creative.

In response to the nicefinancial planner stating that it was the role of financial planners to construct a safe financial plan for people

BS!!! I am sure there are some really great financial planners out there and yes, I believe they can have a useful role to play in some aspects of your financial plan, but to believe they are the ones that can construct your financial freedom strategy for you and teach you all you need to know it crazy thinking.

I have never yet met a financial planner that explained all the asset classes to me in an empowering way or helped me understand the power of leverage and it’s role in accelerating my wealth pot growth.

If the financial industry and government gave a damn about peoples financial wellbeing and really wanted people financially empowered, we would be required to pass financial literacy tests before being allowed to enter into any credit agreements. We would be taught about net worth and how to create assets. We would be incentivised to invest rather than consume.

90% of the investment products out there should come with huge warning labels like those on cigarette packets – SERIOUSLY BAD FOR YOUR WEALTH!

I am fed up with all this “play it safe” talk. That investing is risky!!!

The biggest risk is people never getting their money working for them. Never living their dreams and the lives they really want. Staying stuck in jobs and relationships they hate because they don’t believe they have any other option. Ending up at the end of a life spent working really hard only to discover there isn’t enough to even survive let alone live the life they had hoped to finally experience.

At the risk of opening a huge can of worms, I’d love to know your answers to the questions I was asked. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



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  • glenn says:

    Ann it was not that bad, short time to get your point accross. After reading your book and doing courses and your videos it does make total sense. My mind feels like it wants to explode with all the ideas and concepts. There was no way to get the magic accross in just a few minutes.

  • Louis Faasen says:

    Everything you have typed in this article is so true! I believe the same as you Ann, about all of this.
    I have many times stated the above to other people, just to have people shaking their heads, like I’m some fool, or they just do not get what I’m trying to say to them.

    So do not feel to angry, I think you saved your pearls for a more appreciating crowd!
    On the forum you mentioned in this article, the proverbial pigs would have jumped up and trampled on them.

    So to complete, you are completely correct (your personal financial position proofs it!)
    But your position on these matters, is NOT welcome in the greater economic society, where keeping masses of people stupid and ignorant, is very important to keep a handful of people very rich!

  • Madeleine says:


    I’m honored to be part of the group that got the juicy answers!!!

    I just heard a day or two ago that sometimes people aren’t ready to hear the advice/answer/solution and maybe that’s what happened here. Maybe the world was just not ready to hear your great advice – I’m so glad that I am 🙂

  • Rawden says:

    Dear Ann, my sympathies. I know exactly what you are referring to. I put my foot into it royally when I attended the FFU live event this November. Being tired uncertain and thinking you have it together does not work, Also there is a definite element of being ‘nice’ to other beautiful people.. So it dims your own light. However if there is one thing I have learnt and was reinforced by yourself is that tomorrow is a new day , no mistakes, and and we have the opportunity to get the message out. Next time it will be even better. You will shine with your light and message. This failure will also bring gifts to those who listened, as well as return to you. One day you will hear there was one person who needed to hear what you said in that exact manner. Nothing is for naught, as your intention was good. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for sharing your wisdom. I have benefitted enormously, but have far to go…. The key is to remain motivated as money talk is seriously frowned upon in my community.
    Ease and Grace be yours today.

  • Sharon says:

    Hi Ann, you mentioned in this ‘article’ about not falling for whole life insurance – it seems to me that in South Africa it is not possible to purchase Term Life insurance. I have been looking. Can you refer a company that does sell Term Life Insurance? Do not be so hard on yourself. You are doing great things. You have great courage….keep on doing what you are doing. It is helping me to reach my financial goals. Sharon

  • Caroline says:

    Hi Ann, no answers from me but a question – what are you going to do to make sure the ‘ “nice girls are polite and don’t rock the boat” persona’ doesnt get an invite to the next show? We are all a sum of many parts and problems usually stem from the wrong part driving the bus on that stage of the journey!

  • Lerato says:

    I am so blessed to know better today because of You. This is kind of information that I will make sure that my Kids have. Today I understand better, what financial advisers are all about. Previous I came back confused from financial advisers because they made Me feel that I must have lots of money to even start joining anything. Few hundreds Rands seemed useless based on the calculations or analysis done. I’m very thankful for people like You.

    • Ann says:

      Yes wonderful Lerato – every Rand, Pound and Dollar is a powerful seed if we just discover how to plant them. Keep focusing on your financial freedom vision, keep taking those steps and let your money support you more and more.

  • Jane Bennett says:

    Oh Ann – how is it that the seemingly innocuous “nice girl” inside us is so powerful. I bet everyone reading your email has had some kind of similar experience.

    Just a thought – have you sent the email to Bruce Whitfield? You know that amount of passion makes great radio. The “nice girl” inside us is also why people buy into what “nice” financial planners have to say. I reckon you can spin this! Don’t write his show off your list. Send him a clip of when you’re on fire! Then get yourself in this same passionate state for the next interview.

    (You may want to check with a PR specialist but I’m basing this on the training I’ve had and what I’ve learned from my PR friends.)

    • Ann says:

      Thanks Jane – that’s a great suggestion. We salut the “nice Girl” but it’s time for the empowered women in all of us to take back the reigns.

  • Avril says:

    Well said, Ann! Sorry you got caught on the back foot, but I’m sure that you’ll have plenty of other TV panel invitations – and, boy, will you give it to them then! See this one as a dress rehearsal, LOL!

    I believe I made one of the best decisions of my life signing up at your Financial Freedom University 2 months ago. I already feel empowered with the knowledge gained, I have got all my financial ducks in a row, I love using the Excel spreadsheets you’ve shared with us, and I am excited about learning how to get my money working for me – not handing everything over to someone I hardly know.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart – I’m one of the ‘lucky’ ones on the road to Financial Freedom!

    • Ann says:

      Avril – you are a rock star and how congrats for taking massive action – that is the mark of a winner. I’m thrilled to hear we have another spreadsheet “geek” – isn’t is fantastic how much clarity they give us.

      • Debbie says:

        Oh I love the spreadsheets too, very useful and I try to keep mine up to date (once a week or month).
        Another spreadsheet geek here!

  • Cheryl says:

    Hi Ann

    I often have come away from a ‘session’ being upset with myself for not, well…. being myself. So eager to keep the peace and please others. It is the way we were brought up, so don’t be so hard on yourself. The truth is that very few people who are truly eager to be financially free ever watch those kinds of shows. It’s probably because, just like the books, they are so damn boring and make little sense. People who are earnestly seeking financial freedom will find it, and the real you, just by doing a few hours research on the internet like I did. So please be encouraged and next time, step on those toes, after all, no one will remember you for a boring speech!


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