I was born in communist China. Life was simple and minimal. When we moved to the US, I watched how my parents started a new life in a foreign country with nothing. With loving and supportive parents and siblings, I grew up never feeling “poor”, even though I did not own one doll as a child.
I supported myself through part-time jobs while attending college, studying Computer Science. I received my very first credit card (Macy’s), and learned my first lesson in the American credit system upon receiving my first statement. I noticed there was a “Minimum Payment” option. I thought: “hey, why not if I can delay paying it back.” I sent the check with the minimum payment, and thought I was being smart. A month later, I discovered that my balance just grew with added interest. “So, THAT’S how it works!” It was the last time I ever made a “minimum payment”.
Like a good Chinese girl who follows the “life formula” to the T, I bought my first house two years after graduating from college.
First Big Mistake
After getting married, my husband and I decided to move to a different city and bought a house together. Shortly after, we sold the two houses we each owned before. Why? because we were too lazy to “manage them”. Those two properties would be completely paid off now, and a great source of passive income, not to mention the triple increase in value. Moral of the story? We lacked Financial Literacy despite the fact we both had a master’s degree.
Breaking out of the Box
After spending twelve years in hi-tech, I decided to follow my passion in real estate and changed careers. This was a turning point for me, ushering me in the quest to change from being an income earner to a wealth builder.
New Path. New Vision.
For ten years, I learned to build our own portfolio as well as helping others in real estate financing, and eventually expanded into wealth management. During that period, a new vision emerged: Helping women become financially savvy and independent! Nothing against the men, but I see a huge gap in how men and women handle finances. In many instances, women’s attitude towards managing finances isn’t always self-empowering.
If my story resonates with you, I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic of Women & Money: