There’s much to be said about achieving financial freedom. But one successful way to making that step is investing in yourself and your goals.
Peter Thompson, group client investment manager at Jamaica Money Market Brokers prides himself on guiding and providing sound investment options for his hard-working team and, of course, his clients. Flair visited his office where we engaged in an open yet exciting discussion about finances and the stock market.
Before he was qualified to assist others in accomplishing their dreams, a young Thompson would give his mother financial advice. Although she would eventually follow her heart’s desires, she listened and appreciated his strong recommendations. These days, armed with knowledge, understanding, and success in his field, she trusts her son’s budgeting talks.
Coming from a large family, he revealed that his upbringing wasn’t as smooth as it is now, but he believed that this route aided in building character. He always saw himself being actively involved in finance and liked the concept of money, along with things being exchanged for value.
He initially thought about making the natural progression of becoming an accountant. But he found the area of expertise to be boring and monotonous.
“My first exposure to accounting, I asked them how they did this every day. With finance, you have to know about accounts but it isn’t the end-all. It’s so much more than that.”
He’s more involved in the process, rather than just calculating numbers.
At JMMB, Thompson is currently responsible for managing the money of every client who comes in and says he or she has a goal and a dream and wants to achieve X or Y by a certain point in time. He oversees the entire process, the what, when, and how clients go about buying and investing. But he is not alone: he also oversees a series of people, portfolio managers to be exact, who execute the process. He is responsible for the science and the numbers behind it, managing along the way. Job hunting, fresh out of graduate school, he realised that JMMB had a good brand, so he applied. He didn’t get through right away, but according to him, good things come to those who wait.
Before investment, the finance expert served as the company’s business development manager and client insight analyst. “I have worked in marketing, risk research, product development, and now, portfolio management and investment. I saw these roles as stepping stones, since they were instrumental in my understanding of how companies make money. I have a good appreciation for the creation of the product down to actual positioning and selling of the product. And now, I’m on the end of doing the work to get a return on the product. It’s as if some divine hand decided I needed to get enough cross-training,” he said with gratitude.
Since we were on the matter of money, I couldn’t help but ask about his biggest obstacle with this industry. His answer: preventing the ignition of panic mode prompted by fluctuations in the market. Persons, he said, are quick to pull their funds when a stock is down, rather than ride the waves to a ‘shore’ thing. Be assured that there is money to be made: you just have to be patient. He is motivated by the simple joys of educating the public on all they need to know and seeing them reap their rewards.
He encourages those who are interested in stocks and investment to learn all they can. Information is right at their fingertips. But if you find that it is too much to handle, you can leave it up to the reputable financial and investment institutions who can help in making your money work for you. “It’s a lot easier to invest now, but the risk factor is much greater. This makes it a bit harder to convince clients that this is the right decision for them. Just be prepared and be practical in your approach. Don’t take a chance on your rent money. Work within your means and your budget. Ensure that your expenses don’t outweigh your earnings.” This gives new meaning to taking stock of your life.
He learned over time that balance is critical to a happy life, so he ends his day early and starts the morning even earlier, just to stay ahead of the game. With a loving and understanding support system, he carves out special quality time for his family, particularly over the weekend when his schedule clears. When he isn’t in the office, he enjoys a game of dominoes with friends. One financial advice that he still uses today is paying yourself first. “I can’t recall who said it, but I never forget to pay myself first. You work hard so set aside something just for you. I invest my share in stocks,” he said with a smile.
Story by Krysta Anderson
Photos by Kenyon Hemans