Natalie Pringle, CMO of financial education platform The New Savvy, is helping thousands of women across Asia achieve financial literacy through education, media and conferences.
Are you intimidated by the thought of investing? You’re not alone. Learning how to budget can be a daunting prospect, let alone delving deeper into ETFs, derivative options or investment securities. This is where The New Savvy comes in, a passionate initiative that’s helping women in Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, India and Vietnam access the financial resources they need through education, media and conferences. Featured already by CNBC, Forbes, Fast Company, Business Insider and Inc., The New Savvy’s vision is to empower 100 million women to achieve financial happiness, focusing on the three pillars of finance, investment and career. “As women, we’re more likely to be caregivers for our children, elderly relatives and parents, to take time out of work and have career breaks. We tend to be paid less; there’s still the gender pay gap. So we have to be smart with how we’re managing our money,” says Chief Marketing Officer Natalie Pringle of the pressing issue at hand.
As the Hong Kong Chief Ambassador at The New Savvy, Natalie founded the Hong Kong branch of the initiative in January 2018 while simultaneously launching her own property management business, AvenueThreeSixty Limited. Offering wide-ranging advice covering everything from female-specific concerns such as preventive pap smears and prenuptial agreements to comprehensive free ebooks on equity investments, preparing financially for marriage, and factors to consider before taking out a mortgage loan, The New Savvy caters to women across demographics, locations and industries, covering the basics all the way up to advanced investing on their website. Natalie became The New Savvy’s CMO a few months after the Hong Kong launch, going on to drive the platform’s remarkable growth, coordinating events across Asia, reaching out to financial experts and specialists, running workshops with corporates and international schools to pass on valuable knowledge, and empowering thousands of women to take a more active role in managing their personal finances.
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“How can I create a better life for myself through the financial decisions I’m making now?” This is the question The New Savvy wants its members to ask. Tackling it, Natalie has spoken to women across Asia from women in finance to domestic helpers, providing a safe space for them to ask questions, explore different topics, and take control of their financial lives. She believes financial freedom will have wider ramifications, allowing individuals to pursue more fulfilling careers and relationships with a safety net to fall back on: “If I know what I’m doing with my money, I’ve got an emergency fund, I’m investing every month, I’ve got some passive income, and then I’m doing my job, I can feel a lot more secure. I can bring all of my passion and energy to my job and be a better employee, but also have that comfort that if I’ve got a horrible boss or an awful relationship, I can leave. So, I think that has far-reaching benefits for employers, companies and individuals to actually make the decision to do the things they really want to do, rather than staying in a job because they have to.”
Having struggled with her own finances in the past, Natalie relates to how important it is to establish clear goals to work towards, whether it’s to invest, save up to buy a house, or a car, to motivate yourself to start saving. Opening up about her own experiences, she shares, “I got to a stage a couple of years into being in Hong Kong where I realised I’ve got all these savings in the UK just sat there doing nothing. And in the end, I just ended up spending everything because I didn’t really know what I was saving it for.”
Slowly but surely, The New Savvy is working to revolutionise the “very male-orientated” finance industry, which is littered with dry technical jargon and overly complex terminology, by “breaking it down and putting it in very normal terms so that everyone can feel included in this conversation.” Hosting monthly events tailored to local audiences, the platform is spotlighting up-and-coming topics such as how to use FinTech apps to better manage your money and female perspectives on breaking into traditionally male-dominated career paths. Up next, Natalie explains, “India is the next big market for us. With so many incredible female-led businesses emerging, there is enormous potential for us to work with them and help them make informed financial decisions. We have a division in Bangalore, but we’re also looking to launch in Delhi and Mumbai.” The New Savvy also has exciting plans to engage on a deeper level with the community, such as via their recent initiative “Savvy Up Together” held last year in Singapore, which paired six women with six financial experts in a mentorship scheme.
Although women in developing countries such as India still remain more at risk since they’re less likely to be involved in making household financial decisions, Natalie believes the future looks promising: “I think tech is really helping people to actually take control and say, ‘Okay, I can manage this on my own without having to rely on someone else.’ But, there still needs to be more education on what we’re doing with our money. And I think that needs to be the next step in places like Hong Kong and Singapore where women are starting to have more earning power. Organisations like Moxie Future are doing a lot of work around impact investing and how women have real power to shape the landscape we want.” The bottom line? “We’re empowering not just people working in professional environments, but the underprivileged communities and low-income families. We’re just trying to reach as many different communities as possible to make this a normal conversation.”