“Tough times make you into a better person” – Michaela Strachan on battling financial adversity

On the latest episode of Bestinvest’s ‘Give Us Your Goals’, Michaela reveals how her career goals have often changed, but her underlying goal is to always be financially independent– this comes as Bestinvest finds almost a quarter of Brits are planning for early retirement but less than one in five are currently saving for it

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Published: 16 Nov 2022 Updated: 18 Nov 2022

Most will know Michaela Strachan as a national television treasure, forever associated with children’s TV and various wildlife programmes, but few will have heard about the challenging teenage years she endured, which she credits as the catalyst for her success.

Michaela reveals all on Bestinvest’s brand new podcast, Give Us Your Goals, joining TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher to reflect on her upbringing, her career, and to talk about her ambitions and achievements.

After her family went bankrupt when she was 16, Michaela quickly learnt the pain of financial instability and vowed to never experience it again. Working multiple jobs alongside studying, all while suffering from anorexia, Michaela struggled but reveals she started “putting money away” early in life, to safeguard her future.

Yet as only a fifth of 18–24-year-olds in Britain consider ‘investing for a rainy a day’ as a top life goal, according to research from online investment and coaching platform, Bestinvest, and even fewer (17.6%) are investing money for their retirement, it would appear Michaela’s preoccupation with financial independence from an early age, is somewhat of an anomaly.

The 56-year-old reflects that her teenage son fortunately hasn’t had the kind of struggles that she had to go through. However, she admits that just like everyone, he may benefit from facing adversity at some point in life to help build resilience.  As she says, “it’s those tough times that make you into a better person”.

Michaela was once a workaholic – particularly during what she describes as the “absolutely bonkers” ‘90s. She says that one of her top goals today is to enjoy family time as she pursues a healthier work-life balance, something the Bestinvest study finds resonates with more than half (50.6%) of surveyed 55–64 year-olds.

She also wants “to inspire people to appreciate and protect wildlife and get involved in conservation”, putting her in a unique position within her age bracket which sees only one in five (19.9%) Brits considering that ‘help save the planet’ is a top life goal.

For anyone inspired by Michaela’s story to achieve their own unique life goals, , Bestinvest is offering a chance to win exclusive financial support to reach a lifelong ambition. Whether it’s travelling the world to help with wildlife conservation or saving for retirement, Bestinvest is offering to help four people realise a lifelong goal.

Bestinvest’s Give Us Your Goals Fund consists of £20,000, giving four people the chance to win £5,000 each alongside a consultation with a Bestinvest Financial Coach. They will help the winner not only identify their goals but also how they might save and invest for them. To apply candidates simply need to tell Bestinvest about their goals and what it would mean to achieve them (T&Cs apply).

Michaela’s podcast episode is one of a brand new six-part series from Bestinvest titled Give Us Your Goals, hosted by broadcaster Kirsty Gallacher and produced in collaboration with former BBC Radio 5 Live producer Guy Kilty.

The series features six celebrity guests, including Paula Radcliffe, Mark Foster, Terry Waite, Babatúndé Aléshé and Billy Billingham, and discusses the importance of goals in everyday life. https://www.bestinvest.co.uk/give-us-your-goals  

*Bestinvest’s Give Us Your Goals Study surveyed 2,000 people across the UK between the ages of 18 to 65+. The survey was carried out by global market research firm 3Gem between May 13 to May 18, 2022.

If you would like help achieving your financial goals, Bestinvest offers a wide range of investments, free financial coaching, low-cost bite-sized advice packages, smart digital risk assessment and planning tools and competitive pricing. Visit Bestinvest.co.uk to learn more.

About Bestinvest

Bestinvest is a multi-award-winning, digital investment platform and coaching service for people who choose to make their own investment decisions but with the support of tools, insights and qualified professionals. It offers access to thousands of funds, investment trusts, ETFs and shares through a range of account types, including an Individual Savings Account, a Junior ISA for children, a Self-Invested Personal Pension and General Investment Account.

Alongside providing investors access to an extensive choice of investments, Bestinvest also offers a wide range of ready-made portfolios for people seeking a managed approach that suits their risk profile, saving them the need to select and monitor their funds themselves. These include a highly competitively priced ‘Smart’ range that invests through low-cost passive funds, as well as an ‘Expert’ range that invests with ‘best-of-breed' managers.

Bestinvest provides investors with a unique range of new features to help people better manage their long-term savings, including free investment coaching from qualified financial planners, low-cost fixed fee advice packages and advanced tools to help people plan goals and monitor progress towards achieving them.

Bestinvest is part of Evelyn Partners, the UK’s leading wealth management and professional services group created by the merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson in 2020. Evelyn Partners is trusted with the management of £59.1 billion of assets (as of 31 December 2023) by its clients, who are private investors, family trusts, entrepreneurs, businesses, charities, financial advisers and other professional intermediaries.

Bestinvest is a trading name of Evelyn Partners Investment Management Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

For more information, please visit www.bestinvest.co.uk