We recently connected with Margaret Montague and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Margaret, thanks for joining us today. So, let’s start with a hypothetical – what would you change about the educational system?
As an individual who loves every and anything related to finances, I feel as though the educational system on a whole doesn’t setup young adults for this area of life. While we are taught how to read, write and count as early as kindergarten – our financial education stops there. The actual concepts surrounding finances are neglected. Most seniors of high school graduate not knowing the slightest thing about different banking institutions, credit, taxes and the like. All of these topics are pertinent to coming of age and can even help society on a whole. My home state, Florida, recently took action on this and I am very proud, As of this year, Florida is officially the largest state to mandate a financial literacy course for high school graduation. This mandate includes revising the required credits for a standard high school diploma to include one-half credit of instruction in personal financial literacy and money management for young adults that will be graduating in 2024 and beyond.
This by itself, though isn’t the only thing we can do to better prepare our youth for a fulfilling life and career. Increasing this mandate to a whole credit instead of a half will allow the appropriate amount of time needed to grasp these important concepts. Even allowing their parents to sit in on these classes and bringing in professionals like myself to help educate are another way to further this and provide the education needed to break generational curses.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
At the tender age of 14, after helping my sister plan her wedding, I decided to open my own event planning business. Although I got a lot of business and enjoyed what I was doing, it was hard to keep it open as I needed to hire employees and didn’t know how to do so, especially at such a young age. When I turned 17 and was looking to decide on a career before going to college, I decided I wanted to be a CPA and was able to intern at two different accounting firms that taught me much of what I know today. When “life” hit me, I dropped out of college and eventually gave up on being a CPA. My desire to be an entrepreneur didn’t die, though. Since I was traveling frequently at the time (I’ve been to 18 different countries!) I decided I would turn my passion of traveling into a travel agency. I did that for 3 years and learnt a lot including that I love to travel but don’t necessarily like booking travel for others. After I got married and found out I was pregnant with my son, I closed the agency and decided to go back and finish what I started – my degree to become a CPA. While still currently enrolled in school, I opened my practice Secured Financials, LLC. My tax and accounting firm specializes in powerful tax planning techniques that only a Business Tax Strategist can deliver. These highly effective strategies save my clients tens of thousands of dollars in taxes each year. I take pride in saving my clients money. When you turn to me, for your tax prep needs, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that a qualified Business Tax Strategist is overseeing your finances so you avoid costly mistakes. I do my best to be proactive about protecting your wealth by keeping in touch with you throughout the year to manage your tax burden.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
In the past ten years, the field in which I have worked in has changed drastically and I’ve had to pivot as a business owner many times to adjust. When I tell people my story, they always look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I went from event planning to owning a travel agency and now a tax and accounting firm. Although they all seem so vastly different, they’re really not. It took me a while to dive deep and understand this, but each business confirmed my biggest asset in life – organization. While the context in which I’ve had to organize things has changed with each business, the core skill remains. All the changes and jumps from one field to another, was all necessary to be where I am today. The event planning business showed me that despite demographics (I was 14!) you can build something out of nothing if you truly enjoy what you’re doing. The travel agency confirmed this for me as I was making decent money, but didn’t really love what I was doing, Now, as the Account Executive for Secured Financials, I can whole heartedly say that I love what I do and make good money doing it!
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
My honesty and trustworthiness is what I credit to my reputation within my market. In the finance world, there’s two types of people: the ones who do things by the book and the ones who try to find all the loopholes possible. I’ve always been (and cater to), the first set of people. I spend hours and hours every week educating myself on tax and accounting principles and laws, so that I can be sure the advice and any planning I do with my clients not only help them get the best results, but legally! It’s sad to say, but it’s easy to defraud the government and other institutions to get what you want in the short-term, but you never get away with it. Because I know this, I always do things the right way from the beginning so that my clients can have the peace of mind knowing their tax and accounting professional is always working hard to be sure things are done in their best interest with no repercussions later on.
- Website: www.securedfinancials.net
- Instagram: @securedfinancials
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SecuredFinancials/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/margaret-montague-20
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtLPcvDx8u5YQj0sXThbF9g
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