Surviving the storm

Survivor ... Jodie Nolan, a former financial adviser for Storm Financial, now has a new project.
Survivor ... Jodie Nolan, a former financial adviser for Storm Financial, now has a new project. 

By the time she’d reached her early 30s, life couldn’t have been rosier for financial advisor Jodie Nolan. A self-made millionaire, she was living in her dream home, working a job she loved and planning a family.

But while on maternity leave with her then six-week-old daughter, her employer’s company, which also managed her and her husband’s investments - folded, owing their staff and clients millions of dollars.

What was supposed to be the most exciting time of her life as a new mum turned in to a nightmare as the family lost everything and found themselves drowning in a debt of 1.4 million dollars.

Jodie has turned the experience of rebuilding her life in to a book, Surviving the Storm, which offers tips to help Australian families, women, singles and retirees re-build their wealth or start from scratch.

Mums can often let husbands do all the decision making.

Jodie believes women are particularly vulnerable to financial ruin. “Mums can often let husbands do all the decision making,” she says. “Legislation changes quickly and people don’t know what they are entitled to, but also don’t trust financial planners.”

Nolan had to go back to basics after losing her job and savings. “We went down to one car and op shopped for baby clothes.” Dreams of being a stay-at home-mum and doing tuckshop duty went out the window as Nolan considered returning to work early. “I had no idea how hard mothering was,” she said. “I admire anyone who can hold down a job and raise children.”

The emotional fallout was tougher.  Too embarrassed to talk t people about her financial situation, Nolan felt herself crying all the time and was about to go on anti-depressants. A visit to her doctor four months after Maddy’s birth revealed that she was actually pregnant again.

She believes being pregnant with son Tyler was the catalyst to pull herself together. “I had to suck it up and give him the best possible start,” she said. “That saved me.”


Having two healthy children also put her situation in perspective. “My only drama was losing assets,” she said. “I’m really fortunate.”

Jodie’s top tips for mums in financial strife

  • Take stock of the situation – have a financial controller look over your accounts and bills
  • Get on to Centrelink and find out what you are entitled to.
  • Always make sure you have your own money

  • Keep control over your own money  -don’t leave it to your partner. If they get it wrong you can’t blame them.

  • Ease the stress. Take people up on offers to help around the house. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Don’t try to do it all – go easy on yourself.

OFFER: Purchase Surviving the Storm online and you will be sent a free emoney book and budget planner too! (Offer valid until end March 2012).

About Jodie Nolan

Surviving the Storm is published by Bermingham Books and available from leading bookstores and

Jodie is married to Peter and lives with her two daughters in Sunshine Coast QLD. After her financial collapse Jodie established EQUIS Group which was born out of her desire to educate Australians about how to manage money and build wealth.

Find out more about Jodie Nolan's book, Surviving the Storm.

Discuss managing money and saving on the Essential Baby forums.