Interview: Anissa Brinkhoff about women & finance

Anissa Brinkhoff is a finance podcaster from Hamburg. She’s in the middle of a professional change, with the goal of continuing to work on the topics of female finance, financial education, and female leadership. In the last few years, she job-shared and led the BRIGITTE Academy and invited the listeners of her finance podcast “What The Finance?” along on her very personal learning journey from a financial novice to an active investor. As a freelance author and speaker, she writes for various media and motivates women in workshops to deal with their finances and retirement planning. Anissa Brinkhoff studied communications and journalism in Münster and Hamburg and has now lived in the Hanseatic city for almost a decade.

We talked to her about her finance podcast for women, about financial equality and how it is still something we have to fight for.

Your podcast “What the Finance” is the finance podcast for women—why did you choose this angle?

Because this podcast is about my own financial journey. What The Finance? isn’t a podcast by a financial expert who tells her audience what they should do. It’s the podcast of a finance beginner who has no prior knowledge and is learning about the topic, episode by episode. My guests are some of the greatest financial experts. Me as the host and my listeners are learning together at the same time.

Do you think there’s a connection between finances and mental health for women?

Definitely, on so many levels. Financial dependence on partners, friends, or family can be really stressful and completely limits your ability to make your own decisions. For example, it’s terrible if I can’t freely separate from my partner because I’m financially dependent on them. Of course, a lack of income, debt pressure, and poverty can all lead to or exacerbate mental health issues. That’s why it’s so important for women, in particular, to know how to handle money, how to protect themselves, and how to plan for retirement. 

It is still the case that women have statistically less socioeconomic power than men.  What do you think needs to change to correct this imbalance?

In theory, it’s very simple: Patriarchy must be abolished. But because that’s easier said than done, we need to be intentional about addressing all the areas where inequality bites: We need to eliminate the gender pay gap, we need to fight structural discrimination, quotas have to be introduced and implemented. For me, I find things like paying for childcare and reducing the working week to 32 hours super exciting. 

You started your podcast in 2020. What was the biggest challenge?

The podcasting itself. I don’t have a background in audio so I had to teach myself as I went along. I had really negative opinions about money and finance, so during the research, I had to deal with my own beliefs and my financial future, which didn’t look rosy at the time!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given by another woman?

Talk to other women about money! The very questions you’re asking yourself are the ones everyone else is asking and that’s why we’re so good at supporting each other. Whether it’s salary negotiations, retirement planning, insurance, or investments, start asking “How do you actually do it?”

What advice would you give to women in the working world?

Talk to as many people as possible about as many financial topics as you can. If you find out, for example, that a colleague earns much more than you—use this to your advantage! Now you know what kind of salaries are achievable and you can go into your next pay negotiation better prepared. 

My other tip also comes from a great woman: The second best investment is still better than not investing at all. When we put off making decisions because of perfectionism, we lose months or even years of financial preparedness. And it’s really true: Once you’ve started retirement planning, the most difficult step is done!

Foto credit: Sarah Buth

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