A FORMER Gunnedah girl’s book hits the shelves today with the aim of helping people “crack the code of the secrets of money”.
Vanessa Stoykov’s book, The Breakfast Club for 40-Somethings, is the fictional story of six midlife characters and their quest for financial freedom.
The entrepreneur and financial educator said she created the fable to help people “unlearn” the lessons about money that may just leave them short of a comfortable retirement.
“Many people have limiting behaviours and need to know certain things about themselves before they can start growing wealth,” Ms Stoykov said.
“The characters go through the process of what they need to change … which, a lot of the time, is their beliefs.”
The young Vanessa grew up on Stock Rd and went to St Mary’s then Gunnedah High School.
She did work experience at the Namoi Valley Independent under then-editor Ron McLean, which left her “focused and passionate about becoming a journalist and telling stories that mattered”.
Her first job out of journalism school was Investor Weekly Magazine and she has since grown businesses in finance education and media, and created the Channel Nine program Learn from the Money Masters: The Investment Series.
Ms Stoykov said that, like the famed Game of Thrones quote, “Winter is coming”.
“Up to 80 per cent of people are going to fall short of a comfortable retirement – and there won’t be the pension system there is today, because there will be only 2.7 people working for every five retired people,” she said.
“I don’t want to be the voice of doom, but people have got to prepare now.
“This book’s about sparking the idea that you’ve got time to change things.
“It doesn't have to be you in that 80 per cent.”
The novel-style book explores how the different financial decisions and behaviours of each character have led to their current situations.
Publisher Wiley – the company also behind the bestseller The Barefoot Investor – describes it as not a traditional self-help or finance book but “a new and entertaining way to change your long-term financial behaviours for the better”.
Ms Stoykov said there was a wealth of knowledge in the financial industry; it just needed the right storyteller.
“I learnt pretty early on the value of money and how to grow it, but what I think the financial industry has not been good at is communicating how to do it in plainspeak,” she said.
“I’ve spent my career trying to teach about it in a simple and entertaining way.”
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