Cuban-born financial guru Julie Stav is a financial planner, broker, bestselling author, and host of an acclaimed daily call-in radio show Tu Dinero. She has dedicated her career to the education and empowerment of millions of Americans and has authored three New York Times bestsellers, Get Your Share, Fund Your Future and The Money in You. Latina.Com caught up with her at the Latinas in Power Symposium recently where she was kind enough to share some financial know–how! Check out her advice below:
We have taken control of our finances now and we all know that we’re supposed to be saving 10%. What should we be investing that 10% in?
Well, the first thing you need is an emergency fund. A Por Si account as I call it. You know, por si acaso algo pasa con mi casa... that is your savings account. Some women feel comfortable with $500 in that account, other women need $5000. It’s whatever you want handy between now and two years from now. Everyone needs to have that little buffer up there that makes you feel secure so you know you’re not going to be a bag lady! Once you have that, then you can begin to invest with a mutual fund. I would recommend a balanced mutual fund so that you can avoid being traumatized.
What about investing in trends? How do you separate the good advice from the bad?
I think that it’s great to invest in trends as long as you know the signs of a trend that is beginning to happen, because if you don’t you’re going to invest in the trend when it’s already on its way down. When you see it on the front page of every money magazine it’s too late! They’re done. This happens with stocks. If anybody had invested $1000 in a company that very few people knew about, named Wal-Mart, in 1983, by the year 2000, they would have had $3.4 million! But that doesn’t mean today you’re going to invest in Wal-Mart. The company’s a dinosaur now. But, those signs that the company was giving out back then, other companies are giving them out today. What you can learn and what I teach you is how to identify those signals so that you can recognize which companies are yelling a gritos! They’re telling you that they’re there to be looked at.
Do you think that it is necessary to hire a financial advisor or do you think this is something that every Latina can do on their own?
No, I think everybody has to know what questions to ask. It’s like cleaning your house. If you hire someone to clean your house you don’t have to be with a trapito checking everywhere but you know where to look to make sure that the job is done right. If you know what to ask then you will get the most valuable information back. Don’t go blindly into this. Many financial advisor's push the product of the month that their employer tells them to push. They have a menu of investments that they look at and then will arbitrarily suggest investments. You deserve more than that. You can take control of your financial life, do it yourself! But, if you want or need to have an accomplice, make sure that you learn the lingo, so that that person can do the best job for you.
To learn more about Julie Stav, her books or her radio program visit her website at www.juliestav.com
To find out more about the Latinas in Power Symposium and how you can attend visit www.emsbusiness.com