The Personal Story
To understand why I work in financial planning, we need to travel back to Mumbai where I moved after graduating. I worked there for 6 years in financial services while studying part-time for an MBA – it was quite exhausting, taught me some great lessons and now, I never complain about London Tubes! I came across possibilities for further studies in England; it sounded easy to study full-time and work part-time. I applied for and won an international scholarship for an MBA in Leeds, England – so off I went.
Flash-forward a few years, I worked in a large global bank, based in Canary Wharf, offering financial advice to high network clients. It was an interesting time in financial services, working through the global recession years and the aftermath of it, with financially savvy clients. I enjoyed great success, however eventually I felt very despondent. I didn’t really believe in 'restricted' advice and decided to make a change. I am grateful for the exposure I had to work with clients who were well versed in finance & money. And yet, as much as I enjoyed the high-pressure environment with extra shots of coffee to get me through the day and beautiful, glistening towers, there was something huge missing.
After a 3 months sabbatical, followed many hours of deep introspection. I decided to set up on my own – bringing together my passions of Psychology and Money work. Now, I have a deeper purpose in my work – I help people get more conscious of their relationship with money-how they spend, earn, save, and invest rather than be driven by unconscious beliefs or cultural conditioning. I care deeply about inspiring people to have more freedom and integrity with money choices. I also spent time getting my Chartered Financial Planner qualification and slowly but surely built up a successful financial advisory business. I built up skills around social media and blogging; I also teach workshops on ‘Conscious Money’ which are a lot of fun.
Other passions include:
- Travelling – I especially love food markets and soaking in new cultures.
- Yoga – I am a fan of Iyengar Yoga and really any kind of yoga. I detest going to the gym and would rather enjoy a hike in nature,
- Meditation – I try and do a 10-day silent retreat every year.
- Books – I read a lot – mainly about psychology, investing, nonviolent communication, exploring a relationship with money where everyone’s needs matter.
- Minimalism – I try to follow a ‘zero waste’ lifestyle, reducing my use of plastic. I compost all food waste in a Wormery placed on my balcony. I try to shop local and do not own a car – which is easy in London.
- Food – I am a huge foodie and love a good cup of ‘chai’.
- I can talk non stop about Nonviolent Communication. Don't try me on that last one.
About Cleona Lira
Cleona Lira, a Chartered IFA based in London, has been working to help people with their financial goals since 2001. Ethical financial advice to her means placing her client’s interests first, maintaining a high level of integrity in client interactions.
Keen to help clients build confidence into their financial planning, she makes the financial advice process an engaging one for clients. This means avoiding technical jargon, asking questions that uncover deeper values behind financial goals and helping clients relate more consciously to money. She specialises in investments and retirement planning advice including a focus on ethical investments, where this is important to a client. Her client testimonials demonstrate their confidence in her unbiased financial advice.
“My personal mission is to ensure that I bring heart, honesty and wholeheartedness into my work. I really enjoy what I do; I am grateful that this is the way I get to make a living”. She said, “Money can be a heavy topic. I try to make my meetings interesting and engaging to clients. I prefer to collaborate with clients, encouraging and helping them to understand financial concepts, if they want to. "
In addition to her extensive professional experience, her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She is also a Chartered Financial Planner and a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute.