Shauna shares her thoughts on how she manages her money and some of the lessons she’s learned.
LYNN: Hello, and welcome to the Cherry Blossom Café podcast. I’m your host Lynn Williams, owner of The Lifestyle Protector. This show is all about uncovering life’s mysteries about money. If you’ve ever wondered about how other people manage their money or the money mistakes they’ve made, well, that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about. We’ll uncover these mysteries and more.
LYNN: On this episode, we talk to Shauna Gold. Shauna is a driven real estate professional with a strong reputation for integrity and work ethic. She’s solutions-oriented and detail-oriented and is recognized for her ability to forge lasting relationships and strategic partnerships.
LYNN: Today, she’s going to share with us how she looks at money, and we’re excited to have her on the show. Welcome, Shauna.
LYNN: I’m so excited to have you here today, Shauna. Thanks for taking the time to share a little bit about you and your finances.
SHAUNA: Thank you for having me.
LYNN: How we like to get started is asking you what was your first job?
SHAUNA: My first job, my first unofficial job, I was about 12 years old, and I had worked in a café, a restaurant that friends of mine, the parents owned. Then my first official job, on the books, I was a chambermaid working, cleaning rooms at a ski hill in Kimberley.
SHAUNA: It was very grueling.
LYNN: Grueling, and you would have learned a lot about personal, people’s habits.
SHAUNA: Yes, it was very eye-opening the things that we would discover.
LYNN: Yes. Yes, definitely. You went from working in a café and being a chambermaid, to being a realtor. How did you get started in your profession?
SHAUNA: Well I, prior to doing what I’m doing now, I spent 14 years in the music industry, eventually moving my way up to Senior Vice President of a management company. Eventually, I burned out from that career, and I was making a lot of money but I had no time to do anything with that money, and so I decided I wanted to have a fresh start. I was lucky that I got to take some time off and got married, and traveled, and then I decided when it was time to go back to work, real estate was really appealing to me.
SHAUNA: I went and got my license, initially, to look after my own investments. I had been investing in real estate at that point. By the time I got my license, I had been investing for about seven years personally. I didn’t always love the advice I’d been given, so I wanted to take control of my own investments. I quickly realized that I actually really enjoyed the job. I loved working with people and helping them find a home. The momentum of getting sales awards every year was really inspiring, just keet doing more and more, and I’ve never looked back.
LYNN: Congratulations. That’s great. To be able to merge your interest and your work, I’m sure is very rewarding.
SHAUNA: Very much so.
LYNN: I’m sure it shows through for your clients too. Then once you started getting the momentum in your career, then how did you start handling your money and your wealth for you personally?
SHAUNA: I was lucky. My mom used to work at The Royal Bank. She was wise and had me start investing in an RRSP very early. I had that going for me, but, once I started making money in the music industry, and I was traveling over 300 days a year.
LYNN: Wow, that’s a lot.
SHAUNA: I was making money. I didn’t have any idea of what to do with it, but I thought it was good to invest in real estate. Having a place that I could come home to, it seemed like a good idea, and quite frankly, that investment in real estate has been really beneficial to myself and my family now.
LYNN: Excellent. Were there any big money mistakes over the years? It sounds like with a mom at RBC, you might have had a helping hand, but were there any big money mistakes that you made?
SHAUNA: Yes. I’ve made many, which they’re all learning experiences. But one of things that I learned the hard way was I was so busy traveling around, looking after my artists, their careers, and actually their personal lifestyle, making sure they had the right people looking after their finances, that I wasn’t looking after my own. I had a financial advisor that I didn’t really look into. I just trusted him and he continued to make money and we would sit down once or twice a year.
SHAUNA: I wouldn’t really understand what was happening and I just kept losing money, and eventually, when I stopped the music career and had time on my hands, I reevaluated what was going on and looked to find people, like yourself, who to connect with and to trust and know that you were really looking after your client’s interest. So yes, the mistake was I wasn’t looking after my own investments properly,. I didn’t have the right people surrounding me to help me out.
LYNN: I think that’s a really, really important point. It’s good to get professional help, the way you help clients from a real estate perspective, and the way I help clients financially, but if there isn’t a fit, we tend to maybe rely on them thinking that this is the only solution.
SHAUNA: Yes, you just trust someone, “You take care of it and you do that for me and I don’t have to worry about it,” But just because you have someone looking after your finances doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be paying attention.
LYNN: Very good point.
SHAUNA: And making sure that you understand, so actually we would sit down twice a year, and I would leave those meetings still not understanding anything that was happening for me, and it was terrible. I actually went and did my Canadian Securities course.
SHAUNA: Just so that I can have better informed discussions with my financial advisor at the time.
LYNN: That is a very extreme step, but well done.
SHAUNA: It was. I was the only person in the course who was not working in the financial industry.
LYNN: Wow. Now, having taken your Canadian Securities course, and being a realtor, do you have an investing philosophy now?
SHAUNA: Well, first and foremost, find someone that you trust and connect with, and that you’re comfortable asking questions. Making sure you understand, someone who can articulate everything that’s happening and walk you through. Finances can be very complicated, but someone who’s really good at their job, they make it simple and just help you and your family plan. So for me, it’s just finding good people who are in your corner and looking out for your best interest. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure that you pay attention, pay attention, pay attention.
LYNN: I think that’s a really good point. If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions, then you’re likely not with the right person.
SHAUNA: That’s a red flag for sure. Find someone that makes you feel comfortable, doesn’t make you feel small for not understanding it. It’s their job to be there for you, and support you, and make sure you feel good about planning for the future.
LYNN: For sure. I agree. With your investment philosophy, do you include giving or philanthropy? What’s your take on giving and philanthropy?
SHAUNA: Philanthropy is huge in my life. I was raised to always give. I mean, I grew up in a very simple lifestyle. We didn’t have a lot, but my family still always gave, supported all kinds of charities financially and in time, volunteering. I personally give a large percentage of everything I make to a handful of different charities. Charities that are important to my family. If I get referrals from clients, I also, that end up in transactions, ask them what their charities of choice are, so that I can give back to them as a thank you. Because giving back is very important to me, and I know have a son, who’s four years old, and I want him to see that it’s not all about us, it’s about giving back and the greater good.
LYNN: That’s awesome. That’s a really great insight too, in that it’s often with an introduction we’re giving back to the person to say, “Thank you,” but by asking them what their charity of choice is and then giving to that charity, you’re helping yourself say thank you, but you’re also helping them do good as well, which is really interesting.
SHAUNA: Yes, it feels good for me.
LYNN: I love it.
SHAUNA: Something I really feel strongly about, even when I worked in the music industry, one of the greatest things that I enjoyed most was giving back and having the artist go and do all kinds of charity work. It was always my favorite part of it.
LYNN: We are so fortunate in Canada and where we live, and we sometimes forget that with the pressures of day-to-day living, and having that giving philosophy is a really great anchor to remember that we are really blessed.
SHAUNA: We are so fortunate, in where we live and have all that we have.
LYNN: Yeah, that’s awesome. Well done. You mentioned that you have a son.
SHAUNA: I do.
LYNN: So, how do children factor into your financial planning and what advice are you giving your child when it comes to financial planning. You’ve mentioned giving, but are there any other things that you think about?
SHAUNA: I mean, when I … It’s funny, we used to go and eat out all the time, and travel, we spend lots of money in a different way. As soon as our son, Levi, came into the picture, it pushed us to go and make sure that we got our wills in order, that we got life insurance policies for us, we got a life insurance policy for our son, wanting to make sure that he’s set up, the [RASPs 00:10:02]. It seems like our whole focus now, since he came around, is for him and his future.
SHAUNA: Doing what we can to financially set him up, but also not at the expense of working so much that we’re not around for being there to spend time with him today, because you never know what the future is gonna hold, so work hard, plan smart, make sure you’re working with someone like yourself to make sure you’re making the right choices for him in maximizing the income we’re making now for him.
LYNN: That’s great. Fantastic. He’s still four years old, so talking-
SHAUNA: He just turned four last week.
LYNN: Just turned four. Neat. What a great age, so it’s still a bit young to be talking specifically about money tips, but to him specifically-
SHAUNA: Once he’s a little bit older though, we’ll definitely be … I want to do for him what my mom did for me, which was start investing early, be smart with your money, and somebody, was it Carla Wood?
SHAUNA: Carla Wood talked about the piggy banks, so when Levi has one piggy bank, and probably if he’s a year away from the ideas that she articulated at that very first financial success café, maybe I should say Cherry Blossom Café?
LYNN: That’s fine. Yeah, Cherry Blossom’s better, yeah.
SHAUNA: From that first Cherry Blossom Café that I attended with Carla Wood and she talked about the three piggy banks to teach her kids at a young age, so one is for saving, one is for giving, and then one is for spending. Getting those concepts early on, was something I thought was a brilliant, simple way to convey all those ideas and something we’re planning on doing for Levi.
LYNN: Yeah, that’s a very good point. Good memory. That’s great.
LYNN: What is the one piece of advice you’d give your younger self about money, if you could do it all over again, what would you go back and say to her?
SHAUNA: You know what, in terms of the real estate investing that I’ve done, I’ve sold a number of properties that I now look back in hindsight and go, “Oh, why didn’t I hang onto that,” and panicking, thinking that we would need to have that money in an emergency, and if it had just sat, and kept the property, we would have been much farther ahead, but hindsight is 20/20.
LYNN: Yes, it is.
SHAUNA: I always tell my clients, often I have people come to me and ask me to sell their homes, and it would be great for me, I would benefit from that, but I have, more often than not, encouraged people to find a way if they want to buy something else, not to sell their property because it’s in their best interest. If you can find a way to keep it and hold it and still do the other things that you want to with your finances, always hang on to your real estate, long-term if you can.
LYNN: That’s so true, because real estate is a long-term investment and it appreciates definitely over the long-term-
SHAUNA: [crosstalk 00:13:21]-
LYNN: You need the years.
SHAUNA: You do. If you can afford to hold onto it and withstand, it will always go up and down, but if you’re physically living in it and can afford it, or somebody else is in it paying your mortgage, vacancy rates are low, so you’ve got that stable income that the up and down doesn’t matter until you go to sell it, so yeah, if you can afford to hold the property, do it. Don’t sell.
LYNN: In a slightly different twist on that, would you say that’s patience, was that impatience, was that fear, was that worry, was that uncertainty?
SHAUNA: Yeah, uncertainty, because no one knows what the market’s going to do, and yeah, a lot of that fear and acting out on emotion, which we always tell our clients not to do, but I know what it feels like, being a real estate owner/investor, it’s easier said than done to not get emotional. Especially when having, I made those decisions when my wife got pregnant and this new chapter of our lives, having a child come into the world you panic a bit in thinking what’s gonna happen, especially being self-employed.
LYNN: Yes, and that’s a big responsibility having children. You can’t muck around once you’ve got another little person to take care of.
SHAUNA: In hindsight, hanging onto it would have been a smart decision for his future, so now I’m looking at trying to buy an investment property that he can have long-term, so [inaudible] it’s gonna either be part of his retirement plan or a space that he can live in himself if he doesn’t want to live at home.
LYNN: Yeah, that’s very neat. You’re thinking not just your lifetime, but beyond your lifetime, which is part of your, really a part of your giving philosophy as well, is that you’re looking beyond you and your lifetime. Yeah, that’s very cool.
LYNN: What one piece of advice would you give your older self about money?
SHAUNA: Wow. Sit down with Lynn, and figure out cashflow and make a proper budget. I’ve been talking about doing a budget for ever, and it’s part of being more responsible for myself and my son, and just getting a proper working budget, and a full financial plan, so that’s something that I need to do a bit more thoughtfully this year.
LYNN: Map out the future goals that are medium and longer term, as opposed to yearly? Which is good advice to yourself, I highly recommend it. But yeah, I would. That’s awesome. Thank you so much Shauna for your time. Really loved having a chat, and thank you for sharing your thoughts on money.
SHAUNA: Thank you.
LYNN: Well, that’s it for today. Thank you for listening to the Cherry Blossom Café podcast. You can check out the notes below for links related to this podcast. If there is someone you’d like us to interview, we’d love to hear from you. Visit our website LifestyleProtector.ca for contact information and more episodes.