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5 Questions with Stephen Halmarick - Economics & Finance Speaker - 19 March 2015

5 Questions with Stephen Halmarick - Economics & Finance Speaker

With all the recent news about the Australian economy we asked Stephen Halmarick one of our best Economics and Finance Speakers what influences him. Stephen is currently the Head of Economic and Market Research, Colonial First State and Chairman, Australian Business Economists.

What is the most important advice you have ever received?

The most important advice I received was from my first boss and a man who has become my mentor. He stressed the importance of having integrity and being honest in all your work and endeavours. The financial markets industry is full of people that sometimes fail this test and there are plenty of opportunities to cut corners....but to have a long and successful career as an Economist it is important to follow these rules, as your reputation is everything.

Who is your personal hero and why?

My personal heroes are my parents and my wife. My parents have shown me the value of hard work and the value of family and supporting each other. Even at my age (I am 50) they still give me good advice and remind me to focus on the really important things in life.

My wife (we got married in February) inspires me to be the best person I can be. We have 6 children in our 'blended' family and to make it work we have to be honest and communicate with each far it is working very well.

What is the hardest lesson you have ever had to learn?

That sometimes things happen in life that you didn't expect or plan for (ie. like the GFC or getting divorced from my first wife), but the truth is that it is not what happens to you that is important, but how you respond to what happens to you.  The lesson here is that not everybody lives by the same standards and that the challenges of life are also opportunities.

What gets you up in the morning?

The fact that I really enjoy what I do helps a lot. Being a globally focused economist means that each day is different and there is always something interesting going on that is important to communicate to clients and customers.

My children are also a big focus.....I work hard to provide for them and to give them the best opportunity to have a happy and fulfilling life.

What keeps you awake at night?

Partly the same answer as children. Given they range in ages from 8 to 19 they are all at very different stages and present their own challenges. I also worry that our political and policy leaders are sometimes not making the best decisions for Australia's future and that Australia is missing some great opportunities that the world is offering us.

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