Nola Rae, author of Money Wit, started her career in marketing, but was exposed to finances through her job in a company that sold customised financial software to corporate clients.
Fascinated by the logic and power of financial information, Nola decided to shift the focus of her career to finance. She spent 15 years following a corporate career path, with roles ranging from accountant to financial director of one of the country’s largest PR firms. “My years with these companies gave me experience in managing all aspects of a business, from setting up a company, to crafting business strategies, to taking responsibility for the full spectrum of financial management,” she says.
In 2007, Nola left the corporate world to start her own company, Capstan Financial Solutions. She wanted to work with SMMEs, and envisaged her company as something more than a service provider. Instead, she wanted to partner with clients, working closely with them to implement systems and strategies that would help them grow and sustain their businesses. Capstan Financial Solutions has grown significantly during a time of economic turmoil.
Nola’s inspiration for writing Money Wit stemmed from 26 years of acquired industry experience and took her just one month to pen the book. She found her motivation after research into the corporate wellness sector revealed to her the enormous need for debt counselling. Nola realised that the best way to address the need for this service is by equipping people – especially the youth – with a better understanding of money and how to manage it proactively, rather than reactively.
Money Wit is based on a no-nonsense approach that aims to make an understanding of finances and money management accessible to everyone. Simple terminology helps to create a practical, user-friendly guide to getting the basics right; important because, as Nola says, “If we make more informed decisions, perhaps we can make better decisions.”
Although Nola eschews the stereotype of the “grey accountant”, she lives by her philosophy of sound money management. Her best tip for managing finances? “I budget every month, as this allows me to know where my money is going, and I force myself to save money every month. Planning is the most important part of managing your money.”
Nola is currently writing the follow-up to Money Wit, which focuses on guiding entrepreneurs on the fundamental money management facets of their businesses, which they so often hand over to financial experts to manage on their behalf.