We all dream of achieving financial freedom. This looks different to everyone. The common factor is that we all want to have the financial means to live the life we want. Financial freedom begins with knowledge and understanding how money works and how to make it work for you. This month’s Alison Publisher Spotlight is on SFA (Stewardship Finance Academy). Continue reading and learn how you can use your finances and investing to achieve your financial goals.
Please share with our learners a bit about your background.
I am from Malaysia but now live in Australia. I received my engineering degree from the University of Queensland. I quit my job as a project engineer after 5 years to learn trading and investing. My passion for teaching and entrepreneurship drove me to establish the Stewardship Finance Academy. This came with the goal of instilling financial confidence in people’s lives.
How did you get into the finance and investing space?
I’ve always had an interest in stock investing. I read books, watched YouTube videos, and researched stock investments. The defining moment, however, was when I met my mentor, John Yii, who guided me and taught me how to apply the knowledge.
Why finance, trading and investing?
Everyone wishes to be independent. There is only one way to free yourself from the obligation to work for a living. That is to put your money to work for you. To do so, we must understand how to manage our finances and invest our money.
You’ve been a self-publisher with Alison for several years. What do you enjoy most about publishing on this platform?
Alison is one of the few platforms in the world that offers free and high-quality education. I am grateful to be a part of the cause and to be able to help more people who I would not have known otherwise.
Please tell us more about the Stewardship Finance Academy.
Stewardship Finance Academy is an online financial education provider. We specialise in turning beginners to competent investors. Our mission is to instill financial confidence throughout the world.
What are the three main things people need to take note of when it comes to their finances and investing?
- Invest as early as you can – Over 90% of successful investors start investing early. Many people underestimate the value of time in investment.
- Focus on application. We live in the digital age, where you can get information for free. But, we must not deceive ourselves and stop at the stage of gathering information. Learning does not produce results; rather, application does. We must put what we have learned into practice.
- Take action. The worst excuse is a good excuse.
What lessons or takeaways have you learned as a self-publisher on Alison?
Although Alison provides the information for free, the quality of the content is not compromised. Instead, Alison assigns a dedicated publishing manager to review each course to ensure its quality. It reminds me of the significance of course delivery.
How has being a self-publisher on Alison changed or changed your life?
Seeing thousands of students register for the courses brightens my day. I hope that the information will make a difference in someone’s life. If you found the course useful, please let us know at [email protected] Please contact us if you need any help.
Who should take SFA courses?
In SFA, we specialise in turning beginners to competent investors. People come to us and take our course when they want a complete start-to-finish investment education, a mentor to guide them step by step, and to build self-confidence in deciding which stocks to invest in.
Crypto and bitcoin are becoming popular trading activities. What are your thoughts on these as investment strategies?
If you want to trade cryptocurrencies for short-term profit, I recommend that you learn technical analysis, conduct fundamental research, understand how cryptocurrencies work, control your emotions, and practice risk and money management.
If you want to invest in cryptocurrencies and keep them for a long time, treat them as assets. Diversifying our investments is always a good idea. Cryptocurrencies serve as insurance, a potential hedge against the current fragile monetary system.
What common mistakes do people make when it comes to their finances?
In our course at Alison “Think Like the Great Investors,” we reveal the 12 most common mistakes people make when it comes to investing. These errors arise from bad habits, resulting in investment losses. Following the herd mentality, looking for a hot tip, and ignoring the risk are a few examples.
Please share with our readers about your courses on Alison.
We develop our courses from our full 12-month Online Class Program. This covers all aspects of stock investing from zero to hero. SFA plans and structures every course to guide our students from novice to competent investor. We focus on technical and fundamental analysis, and on habit and mindset development.
What feedback have you received from learners about your course? What do people enjoy most about your courses?
This is some of the feedback we received from our students:
- Emily Li, “The SFA course encompasses both theoretical and practical elements which consolidate my investment knowledge and help me apply the knowledge into practice to increase my confidence for investment in a real setting.”
- Linda Lam, “The courses are detailed and provide indepth knowledge, strategies, examples and teachings for long-term investing.”
The global economy is not stable. What is the best approach people should take about their finances?
Despite the fact that global economic news is fraught with uncertainty, do not ignore it. Putting our heads in the sand will not save us from doomsday. Throughout history, no wealth has ever left the planet, even during recessions or the Great Depression.
Money is transferred. Wealth is moved from one place to another. The reason we should pay attention to macroeconomics is to detect the flow of wealth and position our finances to enjoy it. That is why some people believe that in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.
How will SFA courses help enrich the lives of those who take them?
Our courses, in conjunction with the mentoring programme, lay a solid foundation in our students. This allows them to invest with confidence.
For individuals interested in taking SFA courses, what can they expect to get from it?
We update our lessons based on feedback from our students. We focus on improving quality while keeping each course within 2-3 hours in length. Based on our practical experience, we only include relevant content. Our instructors put them to the test before teaching the students. At the end of the course, SFA gives you an action plan so that you can immediately apply what you have learned.
What words of advice would you give someone who would like to become a publisher on Alison?
With the help of their dedicated publishing manager, Alison provides the best support. There are many publishing criteria that may appear daunting. These are necessary to ensure the quality of the course for the students.
What has been your most important lesson or discovery when it comes to online education programmes about money and investing?
Check to see if there is a person behind the online programmes with whom you can speak. Organise a face-to-face online meeting if necessary to better observe the instructor.
What are the biggest misconceptions about money/finances and investing?
Underestimate the impact of inflation to your money and the power of compounding to your investment.
When is the best time for people to begin investing or taking charge of their finances?
Warren Buffett purchased his first stock when he was 11 years old. You can begin investing as soon as you make the decision to do so.
Students learn from their teachers/tutors. Any lessons you have learned from your students?
My students have taught me a lot. To name a few:
- They can achieve anything they set their minds to.
- They can achieve anything they set their minds to. I should not rule out any possibilities.
- Pay attention to the students.
- It is acceptable to say “I don’t know.”
- Keep it lighthearted and value the relationship
What lessons have you learned from your mentor, John Yii?
The five most important lessons I’ve learned from my mentors:
- Take responsibility. Being held accountable prevents me from procrastinating.
- Learning from one’s mistakes. Learning from my mentor’s mistakes keeps me from making the same ones. This is priceless because it would have cost me money and wasted a lot of time.
- Inspiration. The trading and investing journey is fraught with ups and downs. When I falter, my mentor encourages me to stay the course.
- Consult with others before acting. Before taking action, talk to the other students in the group to increase my chances of success.
- Receptive to feedback. My mentor provides me with direct, constructive feedback. He had high expectations of me.
What can Alison and its learners look forward to from SFA in the coming year to two?
SFA would like to expand in two areas. We want to create a community where everyone can share and learn from one another’s investing strategies. Second, we’d like to find more investment projects for our students. As a result, we are seeking business partners for investment opportunities.
Any last words you’d like to share with our learners?
You don’t have to do this alone like the Lone Ranger. If you would like to be a part of the SFA community or establish a business partnership with us, please contact us at [email protected]
Money is not about being able to buy things, but is a means to afford you choices in how you want to live. Changing money habits and how you think about money does this for you. When you are independent, you can make your money work for you, and retire early.