The future of personal finance
Here is a transcript of the speech I gave at the first edition of SuperWebinar on Saturday 3rd November 2018. It was an introduction to the whole online conference, which is devoted to the future of personal finance.
Links to presentations and to video recordings of the webinars can be found in the text.
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the first edition of the SuperWebinar, an online conference devoted to the future of personal finance. Both the first edition and the second, which we are launching on 18th May 2019, are entitled “The future of personal finance and how to benefit from developing trends.”
It’s very convenient to spend this time at home in London. It is a surprisingly sunny, very warm day in London! The second edition of this conference will be a bit more offline or more rooted in real life, if you prefer, because we are going to organize an event in central London as a part of SuperWebinar.
My name is Andrzej Manka. I am founder of ‘The Financial Manifesto’ and organizer of today’s conference. I am a financial blogger; I also write about AI, sales management and mass communication. The majority of my career has been devoted to sales & marketing, film and media. I live with my wife and two kids in north London. Together with my wife we regularly run meetups and workshops devoted to personal finance management.
I would like to thank ClickMeeting, a fantastic webinar platform for its great help in organizing this online event.
I will now make an introduction to the conference.
Why are we having this conference? Because everything passes through finance!
Perhaps one of the most fascinating concepts of the contemporary world is the concept of money. With the various schools of thought, if I may put it in this way, that exist around money, you sometimes might think that we are living in parallel universes.
The old school of thinking on money is that of tangible goods (banknotes, coins and precious metals). In this world, money is akin to a treasure that you can hide next to a tree in your garden. You might even forget about it, and then a long time after you have died, somebody else will unearth this treasure.
There is a second school of thinking. The modern school of money believes in the power of electronic devices, credit cards and online transactions. Often the people who treat money in this way are aware that money has more in common with mathematical and computer simulation – than it has with ‘physical reality’. However, they still hold the hope that money is a treasure that you can either hide in your own garden – or discover in somebody else’s garden.
The postmodern school of money, or ‘post-money school’ is one that understands that money is first of all a concept, an idea and the way we communicate. As a concept, this means that everyone can be a producer of money, not just a consumer. The postmodern money-thinkers already have their bitcoins and their local currencies. The list of ‘community currencies’ is a long and growing one, from Arizona Dollars in the US and the Bristol Pound in the UK, to Balatoni Korona in Hungary and Saber in Brazil, to name just a few.
Money is no longer a mysterious power or a phenomenon that we cannot control or even fully understand. Money is now something that you can fully comprehend, earn, save and invest – and you can create it, too.
There is also a school which would love to see all these things from a completely different perspective. This school values social development and social prosperity over all else. The symbol of this school of money is Universal Basic Income – also called a basic income or basic income guarantee.
Supporters of Universal Basic Income see their thinking as the only way to give mankind a chance to pursue its dreams – in a world where robots, smart software and artificial intelligence will radically transform the job market as we know it today.
In June 2016, a referendum was held in Switzerland to decide whether every Swiss citizen should receive a guaranteed monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs for adults and 625 for each child. The idea was rejected, but the Universal Basic Income movement is very strong and popular in developed countries.
Providing a minimum income for everyone is not a new idea in human history. The first attempts to popularise the concept in modern times were made in the 16th century by Thomas Moore and the Dutch Johannes Ludovicus Vives. I think the first of these kind of ideas we can also find in ancient times, in Rome and Greece.
We want to help you understand all these ‘schools of money’ and to choose the best option for you. A deep understanding of the concept of money is the first step to real success.
The Eureka effect (also known as the ‘Aha! moment’ refers to the common human experience of suddenly understanding something that was previously difficult to understand.
Our world is nothing more or less than our own perception. This means that your financial reality – your abundance or your poor return – depends on your own perspective, the mindset that you develop, and the attitude that you apply.
As you will see, all the various schools make sense. However, they often do this in a totally different way.
And that’s why we have created our project The Financial Manifesto. Please, visit our website, read The Financial Manifesto, then sign it, comment on it, and share it with your network.
Here we carefully examine all aspects of money and recommend the best choices and ideas.
What do we do? Our project is based on two pillars.
2. E-Financial Consultant, AI-based app
+ Financial Advisors Network
Money has always been linked to our emotions and ambitions. That’s why financial markets often behave in such an irrational way. Ambitions and emotions can make our thinking full of biases and inconsistencies.
However, money can be perfectly explained by mathematics, too. This is why money seems to be a great tool for both economics and social structure.
In my opinion, it is the tensions between predictability and clarity and irrationality and biases that make money such an ambiguous and challenging topic.
It’s very easy to learn how money works and how you can manage it. In fact, it’s so easy that we are led to believe that not everybody should be allowed to hold such knowledge.
Does this sound a bit like a conspiracy theory……? …Perhaps.
Financial institutions and business use marketing to build our specific mindset about money; Our main purpose is to buy things, to spend money. We shouldn’t think too much and we shouldn’t ask too many questions.
What we aim to do is to encourage you to take responsibility and to make excellent decisions about your future. When you do that, your life will change dramatically for the better.
An interesting thing about money is that whenever you think about finance, you must first of all think about something other than money.
Power, innovation, intention, greed and generosity, justice, social relationships and social control – this is what comes to mind when we evoke the concept of money.
That’s why we have a quite diverse programme today. Because money is such a diverse topic. Talking about the future of money is to talk about the future of work, of society, of communication, of lifestyle, and actually the future of civilization.
Today will be talking about new trends in personal finance management, social aspects of money, coaching, economic perspective, creativity, principles of professional financial planning.
The awesome thing about Super Webinar is the international perspective our speakers bring to these discussions.
To understand the future we need to be conscious of what’s going on now and what trends are beginning to emerge.
So the first edition of SuperWebinar, today’s meeting on the future of finance, will be like a very smooth transition from the present to the future.
At the edition of SW on Saturday 18th May 2019, we will be in the future of personal finance all the time!
The challenging aspect of the future is that we are not able to predict it. We don’t know any algorithms or methods that enable us to determine what the future will certainly bring. In the 21st century, we can’t guess what the future will look like much better than our ancestors in ancient times.
That’s why it makes sense to follow a provocative and at the same time very rational assertion made by Peter Drucker, that the best way to predict the future is to create it.
And this what our project is about; it is more about creating and less about predicting.
There are a few visible tendencies that will have an impact on the future of money.
The Euro is an example of the tendency to centralise finance, to replace national currencies with one general currency.
The problem with centralised currencies is that they are very susceptible to abuse of power and can become the means by which governments and only the biggest corporations achieve their goals.
Which is why a second strong tendency has arisen, the tendency to decentralise money. Local currencies and blockchain technology reflect this more interesting tendency in finance at the moment.
Of course, centralising or decentralising tendencies are not the only point of view on the future of money.
Frequent financial crises brings about utopian ideas of a world without money.The money system could be replaced by bartering.
Although it is easy to understand the disappointment caused by money, the idea of money elimination doesn’t make sense, because it is our intentions behind money that produce corruption. Not money itself!
However, a very specific system of money can be a trigger for moral or immoral decisions and behaviours, and fruitful or disastrous consequences. An example of this is usury or extremely risky, speculative transactions (that are, in fact, the same in nature as trivial gambling).
The only thing that counts is how money can help to improve the multidimensional nature of our lives, stimulate growth and accelerate positive changes. Everything else seems to be futile.
Finances are deeply rooted in everything we do. They affect everything we pursue.
You can read a new book on personal finance management every week, you can attend a new financial workshop every weekend, you can download every financial app you encounter, and you can watch videos and participate in webinars regularly. However, unless you make that decision to change your heart and to transform your life on a very deep level, you will never improve your financial performance.
On the other hand, your lifestyle depends on your financial standing. The challenge we have with modern life is that it has been dominated by brands, marketing and banks. We were persuaded that our lives should be governed by the products we buy and the experiences we gain through buying them.
Lifestyle is a very serious matter. It relates to the way we think, the way we perceive the world, perceive other people, and ourselves.
You can read more about this in my article “Why I am not surprised that 70% of the British are broke”. It’s published on our blog. And this is not about the 70% of British only, it’s about all of us!
In our project, we believe that only through the transformation of people’s lifestyles can we run our businesses.
Lifestyle determines who we are. We can think and live in a certain way without even knowing that. It’s like the character from a famous play by Moliere, “Le Bourgeois gentilhomme,” who didn’t know he was speaking prose!
This funny dialogue says something very important about our financial decisions as well. We think about money, we earn and we spend it in a way that seems to be objective, yet we don’t even know how to name it or how to understand it.
And this is a room both for coaching and for AI technologies that can help us understand our behaviour and improve our performance.
The gap between what we know and what we do is very often impossible to overcome without external help. There are a lot of superb financial advisors who have serious problems with their own personal money management. There are a lot of talented accountants who perfectly manage their clients’ finances, but often struggle with their own.
The gap between what we know and what we do is sometimes so difficult to overcome.
It’s because the topic of money management is relatively easy to consider and to talk about, but very tricky to tackle.
And it’s because lifestyle is like the air we breathe every day. It’s transparent.
Only when something is going wrong, or it’s very different or unusual from the norm can we see the bigger picture. If you are not able to recognize the fabric of your reality, you are not able to make the necessary changes to move forward.
But I am deeply convinced that we do not have to improve our lives only through dramatic circumstances. First of all, we must do it through rational decisions and action.
View our speaker profiles.
View video recordings.
Secure your spot for the second edition of the SuperWebinar on the future of personal finance. Register here.