Ray of financialhighway.com, is a personal finance enthusiast based in Toronto. He believes that financial education is an essential part of life. Through his blog, he wants to share with the readers as to how one should be financially independent. His blog covers topic such as debt elimination, credit card usage, savings and investing, consumer protection and other personal finance topics.
Let us have a look at what Ray has to say about his blogging and personal finance experiences.
Sarah : From where did you get the idea of blogging?
Ray : I have always spent a lot of time online reading news and blogs, in 2007 I started to follow a few personal finance blogs as I found them very different then mainstream media.
Sarah :What is the significance of “Financial Highway”?
Ray : Good question! I used to work as a financial adviser before I started blogging, during that time I spent most of my time doing group presentations to educate people about the importance of early financial planning. of group presentation on the importance of having a financial plan. During the presentations I used driving on the highway as a metaphor for financial planning.
Imagine you are going from Toronto to Montreal, about a 6 hour drive on the highway, and you have to be there by a certain time. If you leave early you can drive on the first lane and chances of you getting there in one piece and on time are very good. However the longer you wait and later you leave the faster and more reckless you'll have to drive to make it there on time and chances of collision and injury are higher.
Now think of your financial goal (retirement in most cases) as your final destination (Montreal). The earlier you start planning the less risk you need to take to reach them, the later you started the more risk you'll need to take and decrease your chances of reaching your financial goals.
A financial plan is your map on your financial highway!
Sarah : What do you do in real life and how’d you get started?
Ray : I can't tell you exactly what I do and where I work, but I am in the financial industry currently and completing the CFA program.
Sarah : Do you think blogging has changed your life in some way or the other?
Ray : Not sure if it has changed my life, but it definitely has impacted my life. I have met some great people from all over the world (Australia, US, Europe and Canada), over time we have become good friends and on regular basis share ideas and collaborate.
Sarah : Where do you see yourself in 10 years down the lane?
Ray : 10 years is a long time! In the past when I have made plans for long term future things have always turned out different. 5 years ago I never thought I'd be blogging leave alone running a successful blog and expanding it. I have had two successful businesses and have ended up selling both and ended in the financial industry, now I am building a good online presence through our blog and social media. I have no idea where I'll be in 10 years from now. I hope whatever it is that I'll be doing I'll be enjoying it as much as I enjoy Financial Highway.
Sarah : What are the three biggest finance mistakes you have ever made in your life?
Ray : To be honest I have not made too many financial mistakes, when I was younger my parents have made some serious financial mistakes which has taught me to be more responsible with money. Having said that my worst mistake was signing up for credit cards while in University. I had about 5 different credit cards and probably about $5000 in debt with minimum wage job and sky-high tuition it was impossible to pay them back. Everything ended up in collection agency and ruined my credit for many years.
Sarah : There’s A Million Money Blogs Out There; Why Should I Read Yours?
Ray : There are many finance blogs out there and everyday more and more pop up, it is hard to be different and stand out. We mainly thrive to educate our readers in their financial planning process, we also try to promote DIY investing to avoid the cruel and expensive mutual fund industry.
Sarah : So can you tell our readers about some of your Famous Followers?
Ray : Most of our followers are either journalists or finance bloggers a few famous ones are: Mighty Bargain Blogger, Million Dollar Journey, MSN Smart Spending, Wisebread, Wallet Pop Canada, Rob Carrick from Globe and Mail and Larry MacDonald.
Sarah : Please advice our readers how to pay off their debts from your past experiences?
Ray : First of all don't get in debt! If you already are and truly want to get out of debt, you'll need to make some sacrifices. Have a written plan in place and start following it, no excuses no if's, but's and why's just do it! Forgo some of your luxuries, pick up a part time job, stop using credit cards basically live a more frugal life. When you see the large amount of debt decreasing and your networth increasing you will not stop until it's all over. Then NEVER DO IT AGAIN!
Sarah : How do feel by becoming a part of world’s largest debt consolidation community now?
Ray : I feel very honored to be part of such great community.