Kindi 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 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. On this episode, we talk to Kindi Gill. Kindi is the founder of Spark Expansion. Kindi thrives on challenging lives as a professional speaker and transformational coach. Once a CEO, responsible for 3,000 people, with over 25 years experience in the corporate world and not to mention that she’s chartered accountant, Kindi is now a facilitator of Self Healing Dalian Method, showing leaders in the home how to lead with ease. She also helps corporations with the missing link in their culture. The link that aids productivity and achieves sustainable loyalty and creativity. Welcome, Kindi.

LYNN:    I’m so excited that we’re talking this morning, Kindi. Thank you so much for taking the time. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

KINDI:   I’m so happy to be here, Lynn.

LYNN:    Awesome. So what we’re gonna do is just go through a few questions to help unfold the mysteries of money in your world.

KINDI:   Okay.

LYNN:    And the first question I always like to ask is what was your first job?

KINDI:   Paid or unpaid?

LYNN:    I guess, what was your first paid job?

KINDI:   My first paid job was as a child and I would, in the summer, go to a farm and pick peas.

LYNN:    Oh, wow. Did you like picking peas.

KINDI:   No.

LYNN:    How long did that job last?

KINDI:   I think it went on for a couple of summers. My mom would actually dress up her hair and everything and set it all in place so when we had to wake up early to go to the farm the following morning, that we didn’t have all the hassle of having to get ready and we’d go off.

LYNN:    That’s fun. It’s a nice memory, though still.

KINDI:   It’s an interesting memory because it connects me with where my parents started because in India they were farmers and so when they came to England, a lot of the people that were still trying to make a living out of manual work, would go and be the workforce at the local farms. And so it was the thing that they knew and I guess it was the natural place to start.

LYNN:    For sure. So how did you get started in your profession and your business?

KINDI:   So, clearly from that experience, I’m just sharing with you, hard manual work is going to be a tough, tough life and I knew that I wanted to be educated so at the age of about 14 years old, I decided that I was going to become a chartered accountant. I had this sort of targeted thing; this is where I’m heading. I really wanted to be a teacher, but I’d been told I couldn’t go to university so this chartered accountancy thing I could do by not going to university. So I worked during the day as an apprentice and then I would study in the evenings for four or five hours.

LYNN:    Good for you.

KINDI:   Every day, until I got the exams.

LYNN:    That’s awesome. Hard work.

KINDI:   Hard work.

LYNN:    So once you started gaining some momentum in your career and you had a bit of money, how did you start handling your money and then your wealth?

KINDI:   It was a bizarre thing to have this sort of wealth that I was beginning to generate. At the early stages, it was just to be in a career and to take responsibility for doing something meaningful and I really wanted to do a very, very good job for the person that I was working for. So aspirationally, I just used to have a tiny little target, oh I’d think I’d like to, I remember the very first time with my colleagues I remember saying, my vision is to earn $35,000 and people looked at me googled eye as to why is your limit so low. But that felt like a huge amount of money because of the background that we came from. That was a lot of money.

KINDI:   So at the initial stages when I started to receive more and more money, it was a bit of a shock because I really wasn’t expecting it and I had an attitude from young, from the way my parents were, to save. So as the money showed up, there was this sort of sense of oh, I’ll put a lot of it away for a raining day. So there was this very structured approach. As money comes in, then I’ll actually put a lot of it away and then eventually I started to sort of step into okay, I can buy something a little bit more expensive than I’m used to. Then the stretch started to arise in terms of spending more.

LYNN:    So once you started to spend more, have more money, did you make any big money mistakes?

KINDI:   The biggest money mistake I made was with the stock market. Because I had the chartered accountancy background, I had this silly sense that I knew what I was doing when it came to the stock market and it’s easy putting the money in and it’s lovely making the profits, but it’s pretty, you put your head into the sand as soon as the stock goes the other way and then you don’t know how to pull your money out or the discretion to actually go I’m actually taking a loss. I’m getting out now. My biggest mistakes were definitely made with the stock market.

LYNN:    So when you say getting out, waiting too long because the stock was actually tanking or?

KINDI:   The stock was already plummeting from the purchase price and that’s whatever that small loss was at the outset, something in me would say I can’t pull my money out because I’ve lost money on this. And yet, then staying in there meant that I lost even more. So it was that, that was the silliest mistakes that I’ve made.

LYNN:    And did you try to do it on your own, or were you getting advice?

KINDI:   I went on a course, I thought I’d become an expert and learned all about the graphing and the points to get out, etcetera, but of course you’re not a professional and that I think has to be my biggest mistake.

LYNN:    Thank you for sharing that. So do you have a take on investing? Like what is your investing philosophy now?

KINDI:   Well from young, it’s always been put something aside and so interestingly, every January, January 1st, I would go put some money in the bank as sort of an intention for the year that I would be saving. So I’ve done that all my life and then when I was earning a lot of money, a big percentage of it just went straight into savings. And so that would then be spread. There’d be things that were done sort of like for the children, for their education into the future. I would invest in sort of, they’re called ISA’s, the equivalent of TFSA’s and those type of things.

LYNN:    Tax sheltered?

KINDI:   Tax shelters and unit trusts and those types of things I would do progressively and it was just spread out. Some in the bank, some in to certain investments, some on the stock market, some into the pension. It would just be evenly spread out and I’m so grateful that I did because now, theoretically, the pension is being built up strong enough that I really don’t need to work. And when I pull that out, there’s that comfort that I’m already provided for and I’m glad I started that at a very young age.

LYNN:    That’s fantastic advice. So key things in there. One, you diversify. Two, you started young, so you’re benefiting now and still at a very young age and three, it’s patience.

KINDI:   A lot of patience. More or less you put the money away. It’s no longer yours. So there’s that mentality that says if it’s not mine, I’m not going to touch it. And another thing I had right from the outset, was other than the mortgage, which was a debt, outside of that, I didn’t believe in debts. So even though I use a credit card, I would pay the credit card off every month in full and never incur interest cost with the organizations. It’s just become a principle to live by so that you don’t go into too deep.

LYNN:    I think that’s really so true. It’s what is our belief around using credit or around using debt or what is our belief around our investing, has such an influence on us today as well as how it impacts us down the track.

KINDI:   Absolutely because things can catch up with you. If you believe that you can live off of a credit card and then you’ve maxed them out, and then you look for another credit card, before you know it, you’ve accumulated so much around you that you don’t know what you’re actually, how you’re going to rescue yourself out of that. So if at the beginning you have a discipline that says I’m not spending something that isn’t mine, then you’re covered and rainy days do arise. There was a period of time where my husband got laid off and therefore we needed to basically rely on our reserves and those things don’t become a panic thing for you when you’ve been smart about making sure you’ve been putting money aside. You don’t have to be destabilized, because life will always bring curve balls at some point in time.

LYNN:    That’s so true. How do your kids factor into your financial planning?

KINDI:   The schooling was very important to me so that was part of the financial planning to make sure that I covered their private education and the university fees and then the second degrees are their responsibility. The first one I felt was mine. In terms of them having access to the money, it’s been, I don’t believe in giving money too young to children because it can all be misused and it can give you the wrong type of power and that wrong type of power gives you wrong confidence and then silly things begin to happen.

KINDI:   So in our Will, we’ve got it structured so that they get access to it at a certain age and preferably by that age, they will have used their own creative resources to become sound in their own lives anyway. But I did want them to get an understanding as to the flow, the back and forth of money. Money comes in and money goes out. So I planned at early age they had their own bank accounts and they were putting money in it so they understood how they were accumulating and then it came to a point where they were getting their own credit cards and then they had the responsibility of them fending for their own credit cards. So they managing their own bank balances in that way so that that became something that was an education alongside what school was doing. So that all that new [inaudible] they’re getting in the classroom, it turned into something realistic and meaningful in real life for them.

LYNN:    That’s fantastic. What is your take on philanthropy?

KINDI:   That is an interesting concept because a lot of people have an idea that if we are philanthropic then because we are becoming philanthropic that comically that’s going to come back to us in some way. I think if people are philanthropic for those reasons, those are the wrong reasons, cause there’s still a vested interest about wanting something back for yourself. So I tend to look at things where I can empower people. So if there’s something I can do or facilitate that helps to empower somebody, and cash is required to make that happen, then I’m very happy to do that but it’s about making sure that somebody’s lot becomes a little bit more. So I sponsor a child in India, that type of thing. I’ll do things here locally that are about giving people tools and education that they can become more.

LYNN:    That’s a fantastic way of looking at it. It’s not just about giving cash and hand out, it’s about how do I help lead that situation in a better…so I can see them grow as well.

KINDI:   And in the early days, I did simple things like I would go to India and have a house built, remember we built a room in an orphanage and put lighting in there, various things for people that were underprivileged. I’ve helped to fund women that didn’t have an education so that they could be taught how to be seamstresses and then as they became taught in that skill, they were able to provide for themselves. It’s always about helping them to become more than they already are.

LYNN:    That’s fantastic. What a great philosophy. So what is one piece of advice you would give your kids about money?

KINDI:   Not to chase it. That would be one important advice. It comes and it goes and so therefore, to try to understand the flow of money and because it comes and goes, the emphasis shouldn’t be on money itself. It should be more about how you’re contributing? What are you doing on the planet? How is your soul being nurtured? Do you feel fulfilled? Are you doing something you enjoy? And then as a result of all of that, the byproduct can be the exchange and the money. So my kids constantly hear, spend it if you made it. Enjoy your life while you can cause I think that’s really, really important. So you don’t become a hoarder and you’re not attempting to be miserly with it because money’s the same as any other energy flow. If you hold on to it too tight, it will disappear. But if you put it into the society and into the economy, there’s a flow around it and constantly you can create. So if you run out, you can create more cause there’s enough resources in all of us to get it great.

LYNN:    I couldn’t agree more. I often say, you can always make more money but you can’t make more time.

KINDI:   Absolutely.

LYNN:    Very true. So looking back on your life is there one piece of advice you would give your younger self about money?

KINDI:   The biggest piece would be how I fell into the rat race and did believe that money had a lot of value and that it denoted my self worth. So my younger self definitely needed to be educated on the fact that I, as an individual, had value and the money was not where the money lay.

KINDI:   Also, my younger self did become, at a point, thinking that money equated power and that also isn’t true. Even though people do misuse their power when they have wealth, so I would like to guide my younger self to snap out of that as well.

LYNN:    That’s a very, very good point. We tend to get caught up in the making of money as opposed to who do we want to be as people.

KINDI:   Absolutely. And part of it is the educational system. The society and everything around, and about our environment is very much success driven and so we’re automated to be success seekers and with it we become very competitive, etcetera, and we don’t actually understand why we’ve fallen into that rat race. So it does take a little bit of wisdom to understand that that is not the game. So I guess my younger child version of me didn’t understand that at the time.

LYNN:    And still we’re learning that because often our society is saying you’ll be happy when. You’ll be successful when. As opposed to the journey, becoming successful or becoming a master at something that you’re loving to do or a master at your career or a master at even creating a family. Values[crosstalk 00:16:33] other than…

KINDI:   And creating a family, you’re not going to get paid for it. It is a 24/7 post that you have for basically the rest of your life. You’re not going to get paid for it but it’s one of the most rewarding things that you can ever be engaged in. So these are the values that people need to understand at a younger age.

LYNN:    Very good point. And then finally, do you have one piece of advice that you would give your older self about money?

KINDI:   My older self, the advice would really be around trust. That there is no need to worry about your survival because in the middle part of my career, there came a point where once the money was there, there was an anxiety about how do I look after it and what do I do with it and that element of anxiety and worry that is associated with money, is self defeating. So I think my older self needs to understand the concept of trust and trust all will be well. Because it always is.

LYNN:    And when you say trust, can that can mean a lot of different things to different people, is it trusting yourself? Is it trusting that you have the confidence or the insight in order to take care of your money? Or is it a combination or variety of things?

KINDI:   It’s a combination. Part of it is about trusting that you will always be taken care of. The fact that you’re on this planet as a human being, you are here to have an experience and everything that shows up in your life is always going to serve you in one way or another. And so even if you have an experience where there is a shortage of money for awhile, even that experience, you need to trust, is helping you to become more resourceful and more creative. And then it comes down to your own ability to trust yourself with the decisions that you’re making around it. Because if you begin to trust life, you trust yourself more and as you trust yourself more, you will even trust the people that are the specialists that manage money and you’ll be able to part company with your money easier as they then look after it. So that concept of trust is really, really important.

LYNN:    And I think that’s very well said. So thank you.

KINDI:   My pleasure.

LYNN:    We’re out of time.

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.

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