In three years, Jeana Deal went from working as an administrator at a post-secondary institution to quitting her job to trade stocks full-time, making enough money to live off her investments and even holding a semi-retirement party.
“I needed something a bit more spectacular, a bit more exciting, and something that gave me the freedom I was looking for in terms of making my own decisions instead of being bound by a budget,” she said.
Instead of working a 9 to 5 job, Deal sets her own schedule, balancing investing with book marketing and developing content for her website. She has the freedom to decide how much she wants to work and when, but to get to that point took a lot of education and dedication.
Deal and her spouse dreamt of opening a bar together and in 2007, they began taking business and accounting courses. But they didn’t have enough capital to start a business so they added on investing courses and workshops.
The defining moment came at a conference when they stumbled upon a live trading show and watched the speaker make a $1,000 right before their eyes. They forgot about the bar, and decided to focus their efforts on learning everything they could about the world of stocks.
Deal even took the Canadian securities course to learn more about investing and finance. The course is required to be licensed to sell and trade mutual funds, ETFs and stocks.
In 2010, Deal and her partner were making enough money trading stocks and were able to quit their jobs to focus on investing full-time. That’s when she held her semi-retirement party.
“It was a hoot,” she said. “We didn’t know anyone who traded, and we didn’t know anyone else who was living off their investments unless they were retired.”
Family, friends and acquaintances started approaching the couple for advice on what stocks to buy. She found most people she spoke with knew very little about investing, but they thought they could make quick cash by choosing the right stocks.
“I felt there was so much more to investing than fast money because although it can mean quick profits, it can also mean quick losses and I felt people needed to be better informed.”
At first she searched for a book she could recommend that would be comprehensive yet simple, but couldn’t find anything that fit the bill.
That’s when she decided to write her own financial book. Loonie to Toonie: Financial Basics for Canadians is the nuts and bolts of what you need to know to feel knowledgeable before making financial decisions.
“By the time you finish, you should be able to hold down a conversation with an advisor or with anyone at a party.”
The Tellwell author said she stripped the book down to the very basics, and unlike other investment books, avoided filling it up with anecdotes or analogies.
Canadian investment blogger Mark Seed reviewed Deal’s book on his popular blog. He calls it a “nice introduction to financial basics.”
“I consider this book a good prerequisite upon which other financial books, blogs and journal articles can help support what Jeana Deal has started,” he wrote.
Book sales are strong, largely due to Deal’s marketing efforts. She received some publicity after the launch of her book and has been building a following on social media.
“My advice is, if you want to sell books, don’t discount the social media aspect of it. That is the storefront for your business,” said Deal.
She was successful in pitching her book to Chapters and it’s now stocked on shelves in British Columbia and Ontario. She said a solid marketing plan with a focus on publicity, a confident pitch and a good book helped seal the deal.
Canada Book Awards also recognized Loonie to Toonie for its contribution to the publishing world earlier this year.
Now, Deal spends only a few hours a week trading stocks focusing most of her efforts on book marketing and developing content for her website and blog to reach a larger investing community. She also works as a chef’s assistant on the weekends, which she said is a nice way to get away from a desk job.
She lives a dynamic, non-traditional life, one that makes her happy, but also cautions that it’s not for everyone.
“I work really hard to live like this, so I wouldn’t say it’s living the dream. I live very much in the present moment, not knowing what the next year is going to hold for me, but for many others that is risky and would be a nightmare,” she added.
The dream to own a bar is still alive, but her passion now is to inspire people to take control of their finances and invest wisely. Deal shares her ideas on money, investing, and the markets in her newsletter, The L to T Weekly and on her podcast.
Deal is offering her book at a major discount ($2 CDN or $1.50 USD until the end of 2016). Get the discounted ebook here.