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'WHAT WEALTH MEANS TO ME' - Mandi Prager

Value Hunting / Markets

Mar 01 2019

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To me, wealth means feeling emotionally vibrant, empowered, healthy, happy; having time to spend freely doing things that fill me up emotionally, having strong relationships with friends and family and the people I love; being challenged, having a sense of achievement; giving back to the community, having a positive impact; having good hair and great shoes (!) and leaving a legacy. 

To me, a legacy is some sort of meaningful and positive impact or a reminder that is left behind as evidence of your life and your presence here on this earth, long after you are gone. It could be a business, an investment portfolio, a school, some sort of creative work, children, grandchildren, or it could be as simple as a piece of jewelry, a story, or sentimental item that’s left behind.

My grandmother on my mother’s side was Ukrainian and came to Australia as an orphaned refugee during the war. In one of the camps, when she was about 20 years old, there was an older man who was of high station and tried to get his way with her. As my granny refused his advances he became more aggressive in his approach. Moving forward, having a tenacious spirit and fiery personality, when she walked about the camp doing her daily errands, she started to carry a small, but a very heavy cast iron frying pan around with her. The next time the man approached with his uninvited advances, she hit him with the frying pan! Needless to say, he left her alone after that.

My granny gave this frying pan to my mother and would often re-tell that story to us as if she was watching it happen to another person, her face full of emotion as she relayed her David and Goliath story in her thick Ukrainian accent. Her lesson to us was to always stand your ground and be proud of who you are.

When I am at my mums' place, we still to this day use that frying pan to cook my grandmothers pancake recipe and when we do, it reminds us of our granny and her tenacity and fierce spirit that shone through in very difficult circumstances. 

That little cast iron frying pan is a valuable part of my grandmother’s legacy and has such meaning to our family's history. That frying pan represents the wealth of life experience that my granny accumulated in her lifetime, the lessons and who she was as a person, which has impacted all of us, her grandchildren. Having this legacy and her stories and lessons handed to us binds us together as a family and makes our lives richer.

Practically speaking, one of the most interesting things that I think about when I think about the essence of wealth is having a sense of empowerment, having time and having a choice. Most of us trade our time for money because that is what we have been taught and conditioned to do and what most of us do whilst we build up a nest egg. One of my goals as an investor is to have enough capital invested so that my capital works for me and so that I have control and choice over how I spend my time. 

Spend less earn more invest wisely and value yourself.

My personal goal for 2019 and over the next few years is to create an investment portfolio that will generate enough income to cover my living expenses with enough surplus to re-invest.

I think for women who want to have a family, specifically, this is incredibly important to focus on early in life because having a family, and dependent children can mean that there is less time in the workforce and a diminished earning capacity as a result. 

I think its also really important for men, because before you know it, primary carer or not, life consists of mortgages, school fees and and a whole bunch of financial obligations that if not planned for, can tie you into a life that doesn't look like the one you envisioned growing up.

For me, ultimate financial independence is having the income from your investments cover all of your comfortable living expenses and costs with a surplus.

When I think about wealth, time is the most valuable currency we have and how we spend that time, our habits and attitudes is ultimately what creates rich experiences, fulfilling relationships and enriched life experience. 

Being financially independent is a major factor of what wealth means to me because it enables choice over how you spend your time, and from a practical perspective having choice is an empowered position to be in. It also enables you to give back and have an impact, which is really important to me.

At the end of last year, we were incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to make a significant donation to the Glenn Family Foundation in India. It was such an amazing feeling and added a new dimension to what wealth means to me, personally. Having the ability to positively impact a community like this makes me feel so grateful for what I have in my life and very grateful for the opportunities that we have in our amazing country. I really look forward to having the opportunity to do more in this space as the MP Group of companies grows. 

Mandi Prager is the principal of MP Funds Management. MP Funds Management has provided investment funding for over $1.1bn of real estate based investments across 22 transactions and produced an average annualised investment return of 21-22% (IRR).

Find out more about co-investing with MP Funds Management Here.

Visit MP Funds Management HERE.

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