Mulalo Nemataheni CFP®

Mulalo Nemataheni, CFP®, Founder and CEO,ImPowerX Advisory Services

Please provide a brief career history to this point.

My current role is founder and CEO of ImPowerX Advisory Services, a financial services provider with the mission of taking financial literacy education to communities. I started my career in private banking, where I got the opportunity to study financial planning and go further to practice as a financial planner. After passing the professional competency exams with the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI), I went back to private banking and then business banking, where I gathered a wealth of knowledge on banking products and credit applications. This allows me to assist clients to make better money decisions.

What prompts clients to come to you? Do you have a niche or distinctive value offering?

At ImPowerX Advisory Services, we believe in our clients’ ability to manage their finances and we walk the financial journey with them. Our focus is on the client, and we ensure that we empower them with financial education before they make any financial decision. Empowerment through education is our core focus, because financial planning is a journey. This is why clients do business with us.

What are the biggest mistakes that you see clients make?

The biggest mistakes clients make when it comes to their finances is not thinking ahead when making financial decisions. Instant gratification and “vhathu vha dori mini” [what will people say] syndrome also play a major role in making people do things that only serve them now and not in the future, and not for the benefit of future generations. It is for this reason that we pride ourselves on being advocates for financial literacy, so that our people can make informed financial decisions.

How do you charge for your services?

We offer flexible financial planning, and work on a consultation fee basis. Our fees are in line with the needs of the client.

What role does technology play in your practice?

We live in a digital world, and technology allows us to be able to better serve our clients. These tools help our clients make informed financial decisions. Technology also allows us to reach new markets by advertising our offerings to a larger audience. The role technology plays is that of a partner, who brings with simplicity and convenience to the relationship.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a financial planner?

Some people do not value financial advice, or they have had previous bad experience with advisors in the industry. Some clients are too busy to make time to plan their finances, some fear managing their finances, while others have been burnt before. It becomes a challenge to position oneself as a financial planning professional who is for the needs of the clients, when dealing with a community that has dealt with those that wanted to serve their own needs at the expense of clients.

What is the biggest change you have seen in financial planning during your career?

The biggest change that I am seeing in financial planning is that our people are seeking financial wellness for themselves, and companies are also doing their part to address concerns they have when it comes to the financial wellbeing of their employees. We must continue to share the knowledge, build the skills and confidence when it comes to money matters, as this allows for a generation that is not ashamed of having money conversations.

What advice would you give a young graduate considering entering the profession?

I believe that every decision is a financial decision. There will always be a need for financial planning as it is part of our everyday life decisions. Financial planning is a rewarding profession which allows you to change people’s financial destinies. Take time to find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and hear their story and what they like the most about the profession. Most people will say that it is all about the client, and I say, “It is about everything.” There is no limit in terms of who you can work with, where you can work, and it is a perfect opportunity for you to craft the kind of future you want.

What’s your one wish for the future of the financial planning profession?

My one wish for the future of the financial planning profession is for financial planning professionals and financial institutions to put communities at the centre of what they do. Our “big crazy idea”, as Phil Knight calls it on Shoe Dog, is to teach financial literacy education to one-million people. I am a literacy activist who runs ImPower’d Woman Book Club, and financial literacy is the answer to empowering our people economically.