The 4 Pieces Of Advice That'll Help You Get Your $$ Right ASAP
Priya Malani, founder of Stash Wealth, helps many'a millennial sort through their financial woes. And on this week's episode of Girlboss Radio, she's dropping that (literally) valuable knowledge.
There was a period early in on adulthood that Priya Malani was primed to have a career as a professional ballerina. In college, she danced with the Atlanta Ballet, and she describes it as her first love. But after an intense, post-college internship with Merrill Lynch and a stint working on Wall Street—which shed some light on the ways in which the financial advising industry was failing to serve pretty much everyone who wasn’t a millionaire—she knew she had to change paths.
“I really just felt like no one wanted to talk to people of our age,” she tells Sophia Amoruso on this week’s episode of Girlboss Radio. “It didn't make any sense to me. We're the future of wealth. Why didn't people want to give us the hand-holding and advice?”
Thus, in 2012, she founded Stash Wealth, an education and advising platform for what they refer to as HENRYs—“high earners, not rich yet.” Stash provides clients, whose average age is 32, with advice on how to plan for their futures while still acknowledging their present lifestyles and more immediate goals.
Today, Stash helps clients in 32 states across the country, and on this week’s episode, she breaks down how this generation’s spending habits vary from previous generations, and how we can be proactive about addressing those differences to ensure we have the security we need to retire. Because yes, you should be able to retire someday, impossible as it might seem right now.
Catch a sneak peek at her advice below, and listen to the full episode.
Oh, and psst: Stash Wealth is getting Girlboss readers the hookup. From now until April 30, take $100 off with code GIRLBOSSVIP.
Don’t wait to get your act together
“Some of the biggest mistakes we see are obviously waiting to get your financial shit together,” Malani says. “You want to start sooner rather than later…Seventy percent of newly engaged couples express negative attitudes towards talking about money. What?! If you're in a serious relationship, talk about money!"
Get your priorities sorted
It’s no surprise at this point that with massive student debt and this generation’s shift in spending priorities, our financial lives look different than our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. For starters, Malani explains, “We don't like to compromise. We prioritize travel. Travel is almost a non-negotiable for every single client.”
And when it comes to the traditional “big ticket” items we’ve been conditioned to seek, we’re rethinking the game plan there, too. “We’re part of the sharing economy. Not a lot of us want to buy a car. We were perfectly comfortable being driven around in Uber or whatever it is.”
And as for housing, Malani points to a recent New York Times article that underscores the need to perhaps reassess the conventional wisdom that buying a house is one of the smartest investments you can make. “Outside of the general bubble markets [like New York, San Francisco and LA], home prices over the past 126 years have appreciated—are you ready for it?—0.37 percent. In other words, they've kept pace with inflation.”
Combine that with the exorbitant down payments one is required to come up with in order to get into hot markets, and it’s no wonder millennials would rather focus their finance goals on things like prioritizing a three-month sabbatical every few years, which is something she’s seen with clients.
Credit cards are an ally, not an antagonist
“Millennials are terrified of credit cards,” Malani says, “and it's because we've been taught to think of credit cards as free money. But at Stash—and this is another thing that blows people's minds—we actually never ever want you to use your debit card. We want you to use your credit card as if it is a debit card, [and you pay it off in full at the end of the month].”
“If you do that,” she explains, “you build your credit score, which is awesome for when you want to buy a house or get a car whatever. You also earn rewards points and cash back, and the money sitting in your checking and savings accounts earn interest…so it's sort of a threefold benefit.”
Take it easy on the gambling
“[Cryptocurrency] is super sexy, and everyone wants to talk about sexy investments. But we actually don't consider it an investment at Stash. We consider it gambling, which is different from investing,” Malani says, adding that they advise clients to put no more than 3 percent of their overall investable assets into it.
“If you have a little extra money sitting around and you just want to have fun and see what happens, go for it. But that shouldn't be linked to your goals. Bitcoin itself is a roller coaster. I think it's way more fun to gamble and go to Vegas. Plus, you get free cocktails.”
Words: Deena Drewis