Even though crunching the numbers is of utmost importance, when it comes to balancing the books, many of us would prefer to do anything else but spend time on our finances.
Not so for Aaron Crotty.
The financially savvy 30-year-old fell in love with numbers at an early age. He cherished that love affair and built it into a career that took him from the financial Mecca of London to the booming financial sector of Dubai.
Aaron grew up in Liverpool in the UK. After studying higher-level Mathematics, he nabbed an internship at Natwest Bank. He enjoyed five years there during which he drew much inspiration from helping others to plan and achieve their financial goals.
London offered Aaron a vibrant and nurturing career, yet he made the decision to delve into expatriate living as an offshore financial consultant in Dubai.
Like most expats, he was lulled by the idea of tax-free earnings and year round sunshine. Added to this, he found the prospect of working with people in more diverse areas of financial planning exciting.
He is in his 4th year working in Dubai. His job offers him fruitful opportunities to work with expatriates from all industries with different backgrounds.
Aaron is an experienced financial consultant, financial writer and a firm believer in his craft. He takes pleasure in nurturing the wonderful contacts that he has made over the years.
How has being a financial planner helped you?
Being a part of the finance sector allows you to work with people who are all at different stages of their ‘financial cycle’. Whether it is a school child opening his first bank account, a young couple taking out their first mortgage or even an elderly couple making their last mortgage payment. Growing up, I was very reserved around people. However, when you meet with different people every day who benefit from the advice you give, it instantly brings out a confidence you may never thought existed. I quickly developed an ability to communicate well with people of all ages.
Your Teach UAE Magazine articles provide educators with many useful and smart ideas. why are these things crucial to teachers?
As expatriates, the majority of us come from a very secure and structured financial system were financial benefits are provided as common law. Here in the UAE, unfortunately this is not the case. We have to ensure we replicate the same important factors. This isn’t just crucial for teachers; it is crucial for all of us.
What are three common mistakes that most expats make when it comes to finances here in the UAE?
The biggest mistake expats tend to make is lack of planning. Planning is the key to all areas of finance and achieving financial goals. People can make mistakes. Whether it is acquiring debt, spending too much or delaying important financial decisions. It all comes back to a lack of planning. I cannot stress enough the importance of planning.
Do you have any advice for expats who may be facing financial problems but are afraid to tackle them?
I find that the people who are in need of help the most are the ones who are afraid to ask for it. Maybe this is pride? Or maybe they are scared of learning something else that could add to the stress of not having their finances in order.
My advice is to ask for help. Each person has their own skill set, which others can benefit from. Parents put their trust in teachers to educate their children as they are qualified to do so. It is the same in my sector. Sometimes people have a perception of their financial affairs that are not always as accurate as they seem, whether this is positive or negative.
Finally, review your finances on a regular basis. This helps in highlighting any concerns early. Alternatively, you can enjoy the ‘feel good’ factor of knowing your affairs are on track.
To connect with Aaron, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Carolyn Lee
Carolyn is the editor of Teach UAE Magazine.