An interview with Clare Payne

Clare Payne on personal economic empowerment

What does it take to complete 28.5 mile marathon swim around Manhattan Island in icy conditions and have the economic security to work flexibly in a diverse portfolio of roles about which you are passionate? It takes discipline.

Clare Payne specialises in the field of ethics in banking and finance and is a true endurance athlete. She has eschewed the traditional career path and has prioritized parenthood over short term financial gains. She has received numerous awards, including the Industry Advocacy Award for Women in Financial Services from Money Management. Clare and colleague Dr Bronwyn King have reshaped Australian superannuation practice with their work on Tobacco Free Portfolios and has encouraged some of the biggest names in corporate Australia to pledge an oath to do the right thing. Clare shares why following ethics are important and diversity is about more than just gender.

Clare Payne and Catherine Robson

Clare Payne and Catherine Robson

Pay attention to your super

Clare is risk adverse but when she set up her superannuation investments initially, she hadn’t realised her portfolio was “absolutely risky” in terms of the way it was structured. Paying attention to your superannuation and understanding what you are actually investing in plays an important role in carving out a secure financial future for retirement. Clare is working with Dr Bronwyn King to eliminate tobacco investment in superannuation and highlights the social, as well as economic, impact of understanding how your money is invested in your super portfolio.

Financial discipline

Clare knows building a strong financial foundation lies in the ability to save and take a habitually disciplined approach to personal finance. At 24 years old, shortly after entering her first finance role on around $57,000 a year, Clare immediately began saving for a deposit on her first apartment. She believes the advice her father gave her that “the discipline of a mortgage is a good thing” is absolutely true. Having spent periods of her life with and without a mortgage repayment she can see the benefits of having to set aside money to pay off a home loan. Whether it is saving, paying down a mortgage or investing, having a disciplined approach to finance is crucial when it comes to building a secure financial future.

 Financial independence and love

Financial empowerment also plays a role in romantic relationships. This decision to purchase her own home at a young age has provided her with immense security and financial independence says Clare, particularly now she is a single mother. Having always had complete control of her finances and capability to earn money, she doesn’t feel reliant on anyone and “would purely have a relationship for companionship and love, I don’t need anyone to come into my life for a financial reason,” says Clare.

Get your insurance sorted

One of the most important steps Clare has taken in her journey to financial empowerment is investing in comprehensive insurance across every part of her and her daughter’s life. As a single parent, investing in insurance and a plan for her daughter, should something happen to Clare, has brought her peace of mind and security. When it comes to investing, comprehensive insurance and her earlier investment in education, Clare believes, are the best decisions she has made.