For many young adults, financial literacy and investing for the future are often overlooked, with most fixated on the present. One possible reason for this is just that there isn’t much interest among younger adults in following financial experts who by and large are much older than them. For Zoe Abbott, a financial influencer and millennial woman, stemming this generational gap is a big part of the brand she is trying to build.
“A lot of the major financial influencers are in their 60s and 70s, and that’s not to say that they don’t have a lot to offer and give good advice, but a lot of the tactics that they discuss simply don’t mesh well with the mindset of most young adults,” Abbott said. “I’ve almost universally found that financial planning is not going to work unless you set up a realistic plan that someone will follow, and oftentimes getting young people to cut back substantially is not going to work well. In other words, a plan is meaningless unless there is good execution.”
What Abbott aims to accomplish is to reimagine what financial planning is in the eyes of millennials and Gen Zers and teach them that living in the moment and securing your future are not incompatible goals.
“Our approach to financial planning is goals and dream-based. We’re not going to tell people to cut back on what they do, we’re going to show them how they can expand their reality to fit their dreams,” Abbott said. “We really focus on the mental and spiritual factor, you cannot undervalue that. A very small percentage of what we do is mathematics.”
For Abbott, this road to financial success was one that did not come easy, but the lessons that she was able to learn along the way is what inspired her to get in the field. She went from living in a tiny one-bedroom studio apartment and riddled with credit card debt to living her ideal lifestyle with a secure future. With her help, many have taken a similar path to her because of her assistance. She has accomplished that through her innate ability to connect with and understand people, which stems from lots of time spent doing non-profit work in her younger years.
“I did pastoral counseling for just over a decade, putting in tens of thousands of hours with all races and ages, and I was able to connect very well with lots of people,” Abbott said. “I’ve always had a good understanding of human nature and unique love for people. What is most important to me is my ability to connect to others and see what works with them. It was taking that background and bringing it to finance which brought me to the unique position I am in today.”
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