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Financial Educator, Speaker, Author, Founder and Chemical Engineer

Financial independence means getting to choose how you spend your time.

Lacey Filipich helps people become financially independent and time rich.

She founded financial education business Money School in 2010 and continues to run it today.

Money School is also the title of her non-fiction book with Penguin. Lacey is a regular media commentator on all things money and her TEDx talk on the FIRE movement and mini-retirements is approaching one million views.

Lacey didn’t start out looking for a career in personal finance or education. She graduated as valedictorian from the University of Queensland with an Honours degree in Chemical Engineering. She then moved to Australia’s ‘wild west’ to begin her career in resources, rising quickly through the ranks on site.

Current Work:

In her mid 20’s, life threw Lacey a series of curveballs that made her question how she wanted to spend her time. Thanks to a solid financial education from her mum, Lacey had been saving half of every dollar earned since she was 10, started investing at 19 and was well on her way to financial independence when those curve balls inspired Lacey to redesign her life. She started taking mini-retirements, bringing part of her ‘end of life’ retirement into her youth in chunks of three to six months each. When friends asked how she could afford these big breaks from work, she learned they hadn’t been saving and investing - they’d been getting car loans and credit cards. Money School was born.
Lacey continued to invest in property and shares throughout her career, reaching the official point of financial independence - when income from your assets covers your living costs - at 31. Her passive income allows her to work as and when she wants - and helping people learn the skills they’ll need to become financially independent is top of her priority list.

Talking Points

Get FITR: Financially Independent, Time Rich (FITR)

‘Time poor’ is the catch-cry of our era, yet end-of-life retirement means we have an average of two decades of feeling time rich to look forward to . . . when we’re old.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative to working your butt off for decades and retiring when you’re worn out. It’s called financial independence (FI). Once you get to FI, you get to choose how you spend your time; you become time rich (TR).

Lacey will inspire your audience to understand how FITR is achievable for them, and three simple strategies that will get them there.

Anti-financial advice: The Perils of Assumptions

‘Buy and pay off your own home first.’

‘Make extra superannuation contributions.’

‘Use negative gearing to pay less tax.’

In this hard-hitting talk, Lacey will explain how one-size-fits-all financial advice …isn’t. She’ll unwrap the underlying assumptions behind common advice and show why the maths doesn’t add up if you’re interested in early financial independence. In the process, Lacey will help your audience improve their finance BS detectors so they can sense-check any advice they get in the future - wherever it comes from!

Money for Nerds: How to Engineer Financial Independence

There’s a reason so many Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) bloggers are engineers: it’s a topic nerds LOVE.

No doubt about it, Lacey speaks geek. As if representing Australia in the International Young Physicists Tournament - a competition that combines physics and debating - wasn’t enough, she’s also a chemical engineer with two decades of experience in resources.

Watching Lacey use typical operations tools like process flow sheets, decision trees and Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOPs) to explain personal finance is some of the most satisfying fun your nerdy audience will ever have.
You spoke at my school when I was in Grade 12 in 2016. I went home and told my mum ‘My life changed today’. Two years on, I want to thank you for your words. Now I am in my second year of a Commerce/IT degree with over $15,000 in shares and I am so proud of the investments I have made, not to mention travelling to Europe twice since finishing high school. I love watching my money make its own money. It is so satisfying to watch dividends come in for not working at all. I would not have thought that was possible two years ago. Thank you. Past student, Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Thank you to Lacey and Fran at Money School for delivering the Department’s series of Women and Superannuation workshops. The presentations were great - packed full of information delivered in a way that was easy to understand. The women who attended the workshops loved the engaging and motivating style of the presentations and the personal stories. The practical examples highlighted how important it is to take control of your super and the activities made it clear how easy it can be to make a difference. Lacey and Fran made it very easy for me to run this series of workshops to help women make the most of their super.

WA Department of Communities

Lacey’s presentation to our Year 12 students was practical, personal and beneficial. Her examples resonated with the 12s immediately and, from the steady flow of questions at the end, it was clear they were engaged by the topic. I loved the advice Lacey shared - save ambitiously and use those savings to buy assets. I wish I had received advice like that when I was in Year 12!

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

It’s a joy to host a guest speaker that is 100% spot on the brief, with all the right inspiring messages for the audience, with humour to boot.

University of Western Australia (UWA)

We invited Lacey to speak to young engineers, both students and graduates, about personal finance and the outcome was extremely positive. Lacey is funny and keeps the audience engaged throughout the talk. The audience was very interested and highly interactive during the time allocated for questions, and even afterwards! They were asking Lacey questions as she was literally walking out the door. It just showed how much students and graduates are needing financial guidance, but probably don’t know where to look for it. After Lacey’s talk, I came home motivated and reorganised my finances with my partner during the whole weekend and automated things as much as possible. I highly recommend Lacey and Money School as they were extremely motivating and organised!

Young Engineers Australia WA
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