Angela E. Matthews 0:03
So many times we're short sighted, and we don't think about tomorrow, but tomorrow is literally just a few hours away. And I don't understand why we worry about tomorrow, but we don't actually plan for it, a lot of us. And if you don't want to worry, you just plan and you just step into the party. So that's the party that I invite everyone to. It's like, let's create this amazingly epic party for the rest of your life. And what we're doing now is we're, we're just creating invitations. We're buying up supplies. We're creating all this so that when you step into the room, it's exactly the way you want it to be, which is your tomorrow.
T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey To Launch to financial freedom in five, four, three, two, one.
Jamila Souffrant 1:04
If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned, and so much more. Also, whether you are An OG Journeyer or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a FREE Jumpstart Guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes to listen to, stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources, and so much more. You can go to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.
Jamila Souffrant 1:47
Okay, journeyers Welcome to the journey to launch podcast, I have a special guest, her name is Angela Matthews. She's an investor and investment coach and founder of The Happy investor method. Her goal is to make investing accessible and fun for all. I love that. She's also self taught and was able to pay off six figures of debt making $40,000 Her investments have allowed her to travel all over the world to 45 countries and counting, take care of her parents pay for her wedding, purchase her first home. And who knows what else we're gonna find that out in this talk. So welcome to the podcast. Angela,
Angela E. Matthews 2:25
thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.
Jamila Souffrant 2:28
Yes. All right. So one of the things and I can't you know, I have to share this backstory. And this is why I feel like every time that I've had to try to record multiple time with guests, it's always been a great conversation. So you know, I don't want to jinx it. But I think it will, because Angela and I have tried to record this now a couple times. And we recorded a conversation a couple of weeks ago. And it was really, it was so powerful, because I learned so much more about you. But of course the recording, it did not hold it kind of disappeared, and we have to do it again. So what I'm hoping to get out of this interview and to have my audience hear from you is your journey from essentially like having debt, not making a lot of money to where you are today. Because so many of my listeners and journeyers are in that situation. They want to have more freedom, they want to follow their goals and travel. But they just don't know where to start. And I know investing. It's the catalyst. It's the way that a lot of people do this. And so I'm happy that you're gonna be able to talk to that. So walk us back a bit. Can you explain to us how you got into like investing in the first place? I know, we have to go further back with the debt a bit. But like what made you get interested in investing?
Angela E. Matthews 3:34
So my origin story, and I love superheroes. So I always have an origin. We all have origin story. So my origin story is I was working at this job in DUMBO Brooklyn as a recruiter. And I was making 40k a year, and a series of things had happened to end up in a Google search. So I literally asked for PTO days that got denied. And I was so pissed off, because I was working 60 hour weeks, and I just wanted like a three day vacation. And they said no, it's not going to work out. So I realized that you know, this is not going to be my life forever. It cannot be my life forever asking permission to live, barely making ends meet living in my mom's basement, like what are we doing here? And so I literally went to the smartest entity I knew, which was Google, and I Googled how to become rich. At the time, it wasn't you know, where there's so many blogs and influencers and people talking about their path. It really was crickets out there. And what I found was most folks inherit their wealth. And I thought, Well, my parents are immigrants, and we got a lot of debt. I'm not really sure what I'm inheriting here. So I had to get better with my Google search. And I Googled how do you become self made? How do you become rich through like self made and two answers came up one entrepreneurship. So that's the the most stable way to kick off the ground. And then in order to keep your wealth investing. You have to passively invest, you have to figure out a way to have your money make money for you while you're out living your life and have it actually grow. And so that's what I did. I did both. And I really didn't see it as an option. Right? I was and that was my last job, too. That was my last w two job. I never, ever will ever again ask for PTO days. Like I'm never asking someone permission to live my life.
Jamila Souffrant 5:22
Oh, okay. So let's walk it back. Because I think what you said, first of all, shout out to Google, because that's similar to my Start of finding out about the fire movement, financial independence, retire early was when I had this commute, Googling, like, how do I quit my job, you know, and then it led me down this rabbit hole. But let's walk back a little bit, I love that you just said you were an immigrant. And you talked about kind of debt, you alluded to how much debt your family had. And I want to talk about your relationship with that, because I realized that you do have, I think, a nice way to view debt, and how to leverage it to get to where you want to go. But let's take it back to how that was shaped in your childhood and growing up.
Angela E. Matthews 5:59
So my parents came to this country, and I always say they got a green card and a credit card hand in hand. And no one knew about a score. I mean, let's be real, a lot of us didn't know about a credit score. We're so savvy as individuals that consumers now but you know, our parents and their parents didn't know anything, that there was a number behind tracking our debt habits. And so our parents, or at least my parents would cosign for random people, they would take loans out, they didn't understand interest, they thought, Okay, this is $100. So, I'm going to pay you back 100, maybe 105, they had no idea that they were going to pay double whatever it was they owed. So I inherited that, you know, when time came for me to go to college, my sister did the the perfect immigrant thing that all of our parents want, she became a doctor, but she kind of screwed them over and got her PhD, not like the medical one. So here's to being specific, right? And so she has a lot of the funds that they saved for that. And I went to college for philosophy, right? I didn't really have a really good, I'm going to do this amazing thing. I was just like, let's be real here, no one gets paid for what they go to college, or at least that's what the people I interviewed said. So I said, Well, I'm gonna learn how to think. And so I paid a lot of money to learn how to think.
And with that debt, I thought about, you know, a lot of folks have guilt around their debt. But for me, I look at that as, as an opportunity. It gave me the opportunity to to go backpacking Europe, it gave me the opportunity to go to a college, a really great school that my parents couldn't afford. And so I think what we're missing is that gratitude that comes with the debt that we take on, yes, it's something there. But it's something that afforded us a bit of happiness and possibility. And most people in the world can't get that,
Jamila Souffrant 7:47
you know, that's just a powerful reframing. And way to look at debt, because I look at it that way, too. And I know some people they can't like, and I and I've spoken about this, I wrote a blog post about it. I think I did a podcast episode about it. If you have like really like a negative view on it, and you regret, you know, everything that you did that caused you to get into debt, of course, you're gonna look back at it. And you know, wish you never did it. But I think if you flip it and realize, like you just said, like, for me at least same situation, I wouldn't have been able to go to the school that I went to, without taking on loans. And obviously, there's some debt that is just is pointless. But I think for the most part, there is some of that debt that we've taken on in the past. It's not to be ashamed of, it's gotten to us to where we are today. It's a learning opportunity for what now that we can teach our kids not to do. So I think it's important that and I love that you're reframing this thought and how other people listening can start to reframe if they do feel bad or bad about how much debt they have, or what they did to go into debt that they can see this in a better light. Mm hmm. Absolutely. And I started investing while I had six figures in debt. normal convention says you do not do this, you know, you pay off your debt, and then you invest. But I thought about it. Yeah, those are for the people that don't have to catch up. Like I really have to catch up here. And so I need my money working overtime. Yes, I'm paying this debt off. But then what's for me, after I pay this debt, who's going to work for me? Where's my money growing? Where's the future, my future Angela, going to get fed. And so that's kind of the mindset that I have around paying off debt while investing. And it's such a good point because I know the Dave Ramsey's of the world are the followers of that method, it's all about paying off all your debt first, like he even advises pay off even your mortgage. I think Dave Ramsey people who love him Don't come after me. I forgot the actual steps he has, but I know one of it is don't invest at all until you paid everything off. And for people of color black people who are traditionally behind on the wealth skill, we can't afford to wait and that doesn't mean that we just let our debt just accumulate and do nothing about it. But we need to be proactive in finding ways even if it's, you know, small amounts to invest. So let's how much debt Did you have? And how did you start to manage that process of investing while paying down your debt?
Angela E. Matthews 10:07
Mm hmm. So I had well into the six figures, so it was probably about at least 200 to 250. And then I also had credit cards, right. And I did that bit where it's like, oh, you're gonna transfer my balance. And so I thought I was a magician, mathematician, and I was gonna, you know, play with the interest rates and all that. It wasn't until later, I learned how to do it properly. But at the same time, I thought to myself, Okay, we have discretionary income, we all spend money. And so what really shifted for me was thinking about ownership versus consumption. And so a, how did I get into the debt? Be? Is there any way for me to switch the debt into ownership and still get that fix of spending? So it really was a mental shift, again, for me to think, okay, instead of going on this wonderful trip to Mexico with my friends, maybe I should buy some airline stock, right? It was me shifting and thinking, okay, instead of me, freaking out, when everyone else freaks out about the market going down, I'm going to cancel this thing. And I'm going to invest that money into Amazon or Google, right? Instead of me saying, I'm going to just jump in and buy my first house, because everyone's like, you need to own property, what I'm going to do is I'm going to invest in Caterpillar, which is the big machines that make the houses and Home Depot, right. And for me, I thought about that ownership. And I thought, while everyone else is living their life and getting their dreams accomplished, I'm getting paid for that, too. So in part, it's almost like my dreams, it's almost as if I'm hijacking onto the energy of other people doing things. And that's a motivation in and of itself.
Jamila Souffrant 11:41
It is, and you said, you went to school for philosophy,
Angela E. Matthews 11:45
philosophy with a minor in business?
Jamila Souffrant 11:47
Okay. You know, it's interesting, because you talked about going to school to learn how to think. And I do think when we talk about investing in ourselves, the education part of it, right, like, I literally feel like, the critical thinking skills goes far beyond any technical degree or money itself, because that's why they say, you know, people who have a lot of money or who have worked through things, right, like the smartest people, quote, unquote, made a lot of money to take all that away from them, they can most likely regenerate that money in a few years, because they're using, obviously, their experience, but also their critical thinking to work through situation. So I can't stress enough how important that is. And if you have a degree in something where you're just like, well, I didn't go to school for business, or something prestigious, or go to like a school that gave you those credentials, is that even with writing, even with a writing degree, or teaching degree, there are there are these things that you are picked up on, that can help you whether you become an entrepreneur, and or a side hustle, and or invest like that will help you make the right decisions to get you to that place of wealth that you're looking for.
Angela E. Matthews 12:52
Mm hmm. And I think maybe it's my immigrant background that values education, like so much. It's literally your golden ticket out. And it doesn't necessarily have to be formal education. It could be the school of hard knocks, you could pay someone for their school of hard knocks lessons so that you don't have to learn it. And you can also just just try to think like, how can I get paid to be me? And so I have a program and in our incubator, we were talking about this, how do we get paid to exist and I took them through a meditation where they literally told me about their life, like, tell me how you grew up all of this. And we came up with 50 companies based on what their life is and their lifestyle. And one of my participants, she said, you know, we have a pizza night, every week with my family. And it's something that we love. We love doing our pizza nights together, us and the kids, I get to interact with them. And I thought, Well, do you own Domino's stock? Right? And she's like, No, like, why would I own Domino's stock? And I say, girl, you've been doing his pizza night, but how long? For like 10 years? Even if you said okay, one night, we're not gonna do pizza, we're gonna make it at home and we're gonna purchase the stock. That way it's still pizza night. You know, it's just about thinking about your life in terms of really self reflecting and introspecting How can I own these things that make my life possible? Even visa I own visa, that credit card. Yes, all y'all that is getting me paid right now.
Jamila Souffrant 14:21
It's just a smart way to think about it. And I do want to so as we get more into the investing conversation, you know, we want to make sure that we are not giving you specific investing advice here. So Angela, do your spiel because you did it so perfectly the last time.
Angela E. Matthews 14:34
So this information is for purely educational purposes only investing in the stock market does involve risk. If you're looking for more insight into how this impacts you and your finances personally, please seek the advice of an advisor or an accountant. Of course, you can always take one of our educational classes, but of course it is educational. The companies mentioned here are for merely case study purposes. Only.
Love it. Okay, stop. Did you become self taught? Because there are a lot of people who hear investing all the time? And they don't make a move about it because they're afraid. Can you also just define and be specific about the ways in which you invest? Are you talking about investing via you like long term in a 401k, or retirement account? Are you talking about short term investing? I love this question. So I am a passive investor. And I am very passionate about that passiveness. And what we're doing is we're building an asset that can grow and live on its own over time. So there is a bit of intentionality to that. I invest in individual stocks, and I invest also in funds. And I also advocate investing in different types of accounts. Because I start with the image of who I want to be in the future. And this is like this, this amazingly abundant, philanthropic rarely taxed, Angela.
And so I plan backwards. And so I do invest in retirement accounts. But mainly what I teach is long term passive wealth. Because so many times we're short sighted, and we don't think about tomorrow, but tomorrow was literally just a few hours away. And I don't understand why we worry about tomorrow, but we don't actually plan for it, a lot of us. And if you don't want to worry, you just plan and you just step into the party. So that's the party that I invite everyone to, it's like, let's create this amazingly epic party for the rest of your life. And what we're doing now is we're we're just creating invitations, we're buying up supplies, we're creating all this so that when you step into the room, it's exactly the way you want it to be, which is here tomorrow.
Jamila Souffrant 16:34
So essentially, it's also a buy and hold strategy, right?
Angela E. Matthews 16:38
Absolutely. A lot of it is buy and hold. We do trim, I do trim, and I advocate trimming, for tax reasons, and also for cutting losses. But it really is like 80%, buy and hold.
Jamila Souffrant 16:50
Okay, we know we got to step back. So we got to explain what trim is. And then I even want to be specific about buy and hold. I'm also one of those kind of investors I invest for the long term. I don't need the money that I'm investing right now, especially in the retirement accounts. I don't expect to touch that anytime soon. So I am content to buy, you know, I don't check the stock market every day for dips, because I know when I need the money or when I'm getting closer to needing the money, I'll rebalance my portfolio. So buy and hold meaning you buy a stock and or fund or or asset and you you are intend to keep it for the long term. So it can grow over time with compounding interest. When you just mentioned trimming. What did you mean by that?
Angela E. Matthews 17:29
So I did mean rebalancing. Right? And so I also teach through analogy. I know that I could tell folks like yes, there's P E ratio, and there's like, you know, rebalancing, and I can get really technical, but those are the words I think that people have created to really make investing unapproachable. So when I hear when someone hears trimming, they're like, oh, like split ends, like oh, like here, that's just not working for us anymore. Exactly that Ooh, it's exactly that just what stocks the ones that aren't working for us. We're just gonna cut a little bit off the end. Right. That's it. And so then it just makes it so much more approachable. So yes, that is my version of trimming. It's actually rebalancing.
Jamila Souffrant 18:09
I love the analogy of cutting the split ends and cutting off what's no longer useful, so smart to do it. Think to think of it that way. When it comes to like your career, like so you talk about entrepreneurship, being the launchpad to creating wealth. So you were working in this job only making about what $40,000 You said, you decided, like you needed freedom. So what were the next steps you took, because as you said, in your bio, you started to travel and become location independent. We'll just talk a little bit about that stage of your life.
Angela E. Matthews 18:39
Yeah. And so I became and you did ask before about how did I become self taught? So I did read a couple books, I found my granddaddy, our our all great granddaddy and granddaddy, Warren Buffett. And I started following these people were even though they didn't look like me, I realized early on, there's no separation between them and I, right. And so if they can accomplish it, I can accomplish it, which is a very different narrative than what we're fed in and around us, especially as a person of color. It's usually like, there's this statistic and that statistic. And if you worry with all the statistics, you probably wouldn't do anything or ever leave your house, or even try to get anything. So I made that as a big differentiator. It was there is nothing different about me. And these other people that look nothing like me that are three times my age. Right? And then the second thing I thought about was okay, after reading those books, what's the difference between their method and like investing in penny stocks because I'm a little broke right now. And Penny seem really good to me. But then when I realized that actually a company is worth the stock price, I don't want to invest in a company that's only worth a penny. It's kind of like dating someone who's literally worth a penny, like, why would I want to date anything? Why do I want pennies? I'm not trying to be in this in the scarcity of it. And so that's when I really found like, growth strategy, value based strategies. And I also took courses because books can literally take you but so far, and after a while, you're going to have a huge notebook full of notes, and no actual way to tie it into a real strategy. And so I had information paralysis. And that's when I took one of my first courses, right. And then I interviewed people, I spoke to people that I had known to invest in the past. And I'd ask them questions like, how did it work for you? How was it in the dip of 89? Because at this point, when I started, it was actually right before the recession. And so they say something's coming. I didn't know what it was. So I asked people how it went. And then of course, it came a couple months later. And I just, I kept on investing, I didn't cash out. So that's kind of how I, it happens. And for me, I started thinking about how can I make more money or save more money to invest. And that's when I started the traveling, that's when I started travel hacking, living in Thailand, and Chiang Mai, specifically living in Vietnam, and really paying like, I don't know, $400 for a studio apartment, and living off of $100 a month for expenses, and I was living grand, it was a studio apartment, someone did my laundry. And that's kind of how I really took more money and invested it, I didn't think I'm gonna pay off all the debt, I still have credit cards, not as many and I still had student loans. But I gave some to that. And I gave some to my investments.
Jamila Souffrant 21:20
Okay, so I got to actually walking back through those steps of quitting your job, then what did you do for money while you were working remotely, where this is the point where you're working for yourself?
Angela E. Matthews 21:30
Mm hmm. I started a social media agency. And so this is again, I didn't have a certification, there weren't certifications for social media or anything like that. I just thought, I'm young, I have a Facebook account. And there's older people who want to do this for their business and have zero idea what they're doing, I can help some people for 500 bucks a month. And for people that 500 bucks a month is $2,000. Like, that's real money, especially when you need I don't know, half of that to actually live in a place.
Jamila Souffrant 22:00
So a couple questions. How did you find your first client? And then how did you know to move to where you moved to? Because, you know, there's so many places in the world. I mean, you know, it's different. Now, this is more restrictions with the pandemic and the Coronavirus. But I can imagine, like someone listening and saying, Yeah, I want to move somewhere else, too. But where do I move to? And then what am I going to do for money? And where do I start, like with getting clients?
Angela E. Matthews 22:25
So this is something that you want to be intentional about, right? You don't want to just peace out and go to a third world country without a plan, right? Get a plan, tap into a community. So for me when I found my first clients, actually through BNI, and so it's called Business Networking International. And it's a super old school networking, similar to like Chamber of Commerce. And I'd go to these meetings, and I printed some cards, and I was like, I look way younger than I am. So people just thought you're young, you must know what you're doing. It's social media. And I thought, yeah, I know what I'm doing. Okay, we'll figure this out together. And I thought, well, I have a degree and a minor in business, like, how hard can this be? So that's what I did in terms of getting clients. And I approached it from a leadership perspective, I said, you know, this is your legacy. And this is also your intellectual property, this is an investment, right? As you start building your social impact and your influence, this is a treasure trail to who you are, right? So when you don't want to work, these things are working for you.
Jamila Souffrant 23:24
This is how you would pitch your clients.
Angela E. Matthews 23:26
This is how I would pitch to my clients. I'm an introvert at heart. So I actually I'm not a huge big social media person. So this is when faking it or make it eventually doesn't work out because it did work in the beginning. But for me, it was like, like, everyone's on their phone. And I still feel this way, you know, and so there was an internal rift that I had to deal with. However, I still got the job done, and I did it in excellence. And then I started getting into these communities about location independent work, right? What does it mean to be location independent, there was a circle called the Dynamite Circle, which are people actually, most of it was 90% white men, but honestly, go where the money is, and where the people have the luxury to think about the money and be sort of had the luxury and time without the backstory to think about it. And so for me, I was like, You know what, I'm gonna go with you guys. You are figuring it out. No one else is talking about this. So I went with them. I found a group of people in the city that I wanted to go to there tons of Facebook groups for this. And so I thought okay, Asia, I heard that it's a really great cost of living the dollar gets good there. So I thought Asia were in Asia. Okay, I need reliable internet connection. This is the number one thing you need if you're going to try this thing, reliable internet connection. Okay, this country has great internet. Okay, are the people happy? I can't be in like a dictator state. You know, like what's going on here? And so you want to look at that too. And you also want to check out like the term expat how many expats are there because you're still an American and expat just means expatriate, meaning someone who speaks I guess English in a foreign land you He wants to see where can you find these connections because you're literally starting from scratch, and everyone else around you is going to look at you as if you're crazy. Right? Everyone around you is going to say you are crazy for going all the way around the world in another timezone. But this is actually the life I have right now still to this day, my husband works a nine to five, well, it's like nine to nine, right. And so he works a lot, however we have it. So he is location independent. And he can take his calls, wherever we are. And so there are times when I'm like, Yeah, let's go to Mexico. Right, we could just do that for some time. Let's go to New York for the summer, let's dip out and go to Europe. As long as you create this lifestyle, you can feed it.
And I love how you just incorporated you, you have a husband and you have kids to right now. But when you were doing this, back in the day, when you're working first for yourself and paying off the debt. In the beginning stages, you were like single. So I do love i It's like always missed on back before like for me as being a mom and wife, like the freedom that you have before. Like, I know it's different for everyone. But for me, at least my husband's job, he needs to go and he's a teacher, right. So it's not virtual at this point, or he's not location independent. So our time is limited to certain timeframes. But I do love how you just reference, you're doing it as a single woman how it can be done. It can also be scary for someone who has not done it before, but it's possible and then even figuring out as a couple or someone who has kids, that it also maybe it's not the same type of freedom and time availability you have, but it can be worked out or figured out in some way.
It can be if you want it to it can be I mean, for my husband, we negotiated him being location independent, right after the pandemic started going down. They said, Hey, we want you to come into the office. And I'm like, oh, no, like, we can't go back to offices like we we have a good thing going here. And so instead of taking certain financial incentives, it was like actually, I'm more supportive at home with my wife and my kids doing two hours of commuting, I rather put that back into working right and working harder, working more efficiently. And so having that narrative, planting those seeds with your employer, or having your partner do that with their employer is something that you can start navigating. And you start small, you know, there was something this summer when cars were out. And no one could find a card to purchase. I wanted to go to New York for the summer. So to go to a party I do I do things like this, right. So I was having a party in New York, I'm like, I'm there baby shower. I'm there like, what are we doing? Because I'm from New York originally. And I live in Texas now. And so the flights were so expensive. It was like 450 bucks a pop for three of us. And we'd have to get a rental car there. And so I thought, you know, what, what if I just bought a car, and we drove to New York, and so we wouldn't need the rental car, and we can actually drive. And that's what we did. And my husband worked remotely in the car, we got like really good hotspot stuff going on. And the kids had their devices. And we made a road trip and stopped in like five or six different states. And so you just think about what is this balance and, and it was cheaper. It was cheaper to take time to spend with my family to take them on a trip. We got to see amazing things. And it was beautiful.
Jamila Souffrant 28:23
Yes, I love that. And let's talk a bit about why you're being location independent working on your social media business. What happened? Because as I understand it, there's some changes and things you needed to come back to the states for.
Angela E. Matthews 28:38
So yes, I did. So my mom was actually getting married, getting married, not to my dad. So she was getting married. And I thought this is actually why I was also leaving the states. I was living in my mom's basement. She was getting married. And I thought there's no way I'm going to some other like man's house to live like, I'm going to figure this out. I can't afford New York City. So I'm going to go around the world. So I come back home for this wedding from my mom and I decided to stay with my dad. And I'm saying like that, can I stay with you? He says yes, of course. It's a small studio apartment. But What's mine is yours. So I'm staying with my dad. And what's really interesting is he doesn't actually look that well. And if you saw him in passing, you'd never tell, right? If I wasn't living with him, there was no way I could see that he didn't look well. And so I took him to the doctor. And it turned out he actually had a very bad condition he had he had liver disease. And so I decided to press pause on this going back to Asia business where all my friends in life was to stay with my dad. And what was really beautiful about this timeframe was that as we were there taking him to appointments, I still had my business. So I was really trying to do both. I was trying to do the business, doing social media stuff as well as taking care of him. And it got to a point where I couldn't manage both I had to make a decision. Am I going to take care of my dad? Or am I going to do this business? Because doctor's appointments are infamous longer than they say they will be. And now I'm making food going to organic stores, everything changed in just a split of an eye. And so now my income went down way down. And I'm here trying to be for my dad. And I'm like, What the hell am I supposed to do. And this is a situation that a lot of people, our age aren't put in. Oh, but it's coming. Right? So my parents are older, and I have the blessing and the curse of experiencing life a lot earlier than a lot of our counterparts. And so being a caretaker is something that's very real. And there will be a point where the person you love might need to be taken care of, and you will have to make a decision, do I take care of them? Or do I stop working, which the money actually takes care of them too. So all this to say is, um, I decided to use my investments. And I never thought that I would need my investments for this. Angela's sitting there 20, early 20s, working in an office in DUMBO playing stock market investing, like to do, I'm just gonna buy this, it's on sale, I never thought that I'd actually have to cash out my Amazon, cash out Google cash out all these companies to start taking care of my dad and to start supporting us. And that's something that I really treasure, about investing in the long term, pneus of it, because if it was short term, I would have cashed out the investments, right, because this was three or four years later. And if it was not long term, these investments, some of them had tripled in value at that time. And so it was just a really beautiful testament to what that could do for you. And I get caught up a little bit as I talk about it, just because my dad did eventually pass away. And so I have zero regrets about it. And this is why I'm also really passionate about teaching it. Because it's like you don't know what you don't know. And there are amazing things that happen when you invest like purchasing your house and making Trust Fund babies and all these wonderful, beautiful things. But there's also beautiful things like being there for the people you love.
Jamila Souffrant 32:04
which is the entire reason and you know, you don't know not only do you don't know what you don't know, but you don't know when you're going to need that life vest then. And you're literally building and creating life vests for yourself and these little boats that you can hop on when you need them.
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Let's talk about what is "professional" today. On LinkedIn, important conversations are happening around what it means to be a professional. What's considered professional has vastly changed from decades, even just years ago. Right now, LinkedIn members are talking about things like needing more flexibility around where we work, how we work, and even taking time away from work to focus on family or mental health, because those things should not stunt career development and growth. Instead, they should enhance it as we show up on our own terms. Members are even putting what's most important to them in their job titles, with things like "Podcast Host/ Activist/ Mom. I know I'm going to update it to say Podcast Host/ Author/ Financial Freedom Crusader. Professional is ours to define. And our authentic self is our professional self. So, if your LinkedIn doesn't reflect who you really are, update your job title. Post your truth. Show the world the authentic, professional you and join the conversations redefining professional on LinkedIn. LinkedIn, welcome professionals.
How long did that process take? So wondering, you know, you were now then using your money from your investments to sustain your lifestyle and to help your dad out. How long was that process? That was probably for nine months. So we lived off of it for nine months.
Right? And during that time, I'm sure you weren't focused on you know what's next. But how did you start back again or find that no To continue, I mean, obviously, you saw it work, you saw that it did what it needed to do, but like what happened after that part of your life?
Angela E. Matthews 35:07
So I had to put a pause on investing for that timeframe, right? There was no income coming in, to actually invest what I started doing, literally piecing my life back together. So after my dad had passed, I thought about going back to social media, but I came even more passionate about tenure, what are we really doing here looking at other people's lives, not cherishing our own, and not trying to make our own impact. But I still did it. Because like a good immigrant, top person, you do what you got to do. And so you don't got to do it anymore. Right? Like, I don't want to go to work. Our parents didn't want to go to work yet they did. This is what you do. You suck it up, and you do what you have to do. And so I did what I had to do. And then I started teaching other people about investing a little bit on the side, right? And so at this point, people were like, Hey, how did you end up just stop working? You stopped your business, and you didn't get a job and you to kill your dad, that's how did you do that? Right. And everyone kind of thought that I had this magic, like, I won the lotto. And I didn't tell anyone that they get like, no, Angela got money, but she's not telling us. But she doesn't look like she has money, but she's clearly living with, without the consideration of it. I said, No, actually, I used to invest. And that's what I use. So people would ask me about it. And then I started becoming really known in New York City in the tech space, right? This is just a couple years ago, maybe six, seven years ago, and folks started hearing my name fly around, because I was doing the thing. I'm like tech, own tech. And so I started talking about ownership. And one day on the show, I thought, you know, honestly, I own a lot of the things that pissed me off about the world, it makes me better, like the philosopher Yogi inside of me. I get upset. But I don't at the same time, because it's making me wealthier. And people said, Wait, rewind, can you say that again? And I said, Well, you're on Instagram all the time. And you're obsessed with like, this, this lifestyle. However, you're making me wealthier. And so I can tell you take a moment to take a breath from your phone. But if you don't, that's okay, too. Because I'm getting paid either way. And so that's kind of where it started. And people started asking me more questions about it, like, how do you invest? I didn't know I can buy a partial share. I didn't know that I could buy one. And I'm like, yes, you could buy one, actually. And if you buy one every year for the rest of your life, your life would probably be different towards the end.
Jamila Souffrant 37:32
Yeah, you know, and here, I feel like and that is conflicting. It could be for some people conflicting, like, you know, I don't like social media, and, you know, the meta, and Facebook and all this, this world that we're turning into, but like you said, and you can make money off of it, if you can get in, you know, invest in these companies. It's funny, like in the investing world, right? The people who are really like in the fire movement, and I'm not trying to, like people are wonderful in this movement, you know, but there are some people who will say, okay, you know, consumerism is bad and all these things. And yes, it is, but you're making your money off of consumerism, when you invest in index funds, and when you're investing in the stock market. So it's like that same thing, you're bashing people for doing for spending their money enjoying their life. And I'm not saying everyone is doing this in that movement, or in this movement. But there are some people who kind of look down and it's just like, well, I don't spend my money. I'm very smart about that. That's so dumb for this person to go buy this car to go, you know, on do these things. But then you're investing in the markets that help you earn money and become wealthy because of those people that you're judging.
Angela E. Matthews 38:38
Yes, emotions need to be taken out. When you think about investing, right. And I think I excel at it because I'm logical. I know that about and I have certain qualms about the fire movement as well, in the sense of, it's like, I grew up pretty poor, I'm good on that. Like, I paid my dues for scrounging around. I know if I need to, I can, but I also know my life is meant to be enjoyed. And I work really hard and I get to enjoy it. And if something makes me happy, and I'm going to keep it for a long time, fine, and even if it makes me happy, and I'm gonna keep it for the moment that it made me happy find to write you have to find that balance. But at the same time, you can't really poopoo on it, you know, like I have my third rails, right? I'm not investing in prisons, period. And I will go through a fund and I will comb through it to make sure that my third rails aren't present in that. Can you explain third rails and what it what you mean by that?
Okay, so from New York City, we have trains Lesson number one when you grow up in a town with trains you don't ever touch that third rail, you will get electrocuted and die right. These are like the no touchstones if you're married, their rules exist there too. You just got the conversations you know that you and your partner should not be having. It's gonna go in a negative way right. So third rows are your boundaries. It is the non negotiables about the person
In which who you are, right. And so for some of us, these are values, these are ethics, I have a lot of clients who are like, I only want to invest in companies who practice social responsibility who do good in the world, you can do that I only want to invest in women on companies or, or I want to have a portion of my investments go into that, you can do that. Right. And so it's not this black or white either or thing, you can find an investment pattern or style or philosophy that suits you and adopted. And so for me, that's an investment pattern that reflects, yes, your third rails, but also your values. And if the things are not super, you know, I don't care that much about social and other people, I care about me being on social more so than anything in me not disrespecting people while I'm sitting there being on my phone, because I'm super present to the value of life. But other people, if it doesn't rub you that way, go for it, then it's okay. It's okay. And it's okay. Cuz I'm also making money.
Jamila Souffrant 40:58
Right? Well, where are you and with your debt? Now, let's talk a little bit about that. So we can get people who are currently still in a lot of debt, but want to invest comfortable with this idea of bouncing both? What are your thoughts on it?
Angela E. Matthews 41:13
And so actually, there's so much shiny curry from purse empowerment, she really loves the debt conversation. I typically don't deal in that conversation, because I think what you focus on you attract and it multiplies. So I'm really abundance forward, I'm like, we're responsible adults here, you will find a way to pay the debt. The more money you have, the faster your debt will go. If you focus on getting more money, it's easier than trying to figure out how to slice a pie 20 times over, get a bigger pie, get an additional pie, right step out of the conversation. That's just my viewpoint. It's okay to not be everyone's viewpoint. And so with that, I've been working with other people who do have these viewpoints, because it's still very valuable. And so I've actually been even learning with SHINee, about things that we created a course together where we, some people, we do investing, and we do debt, right? And so this, this answer is actually different than what I did. And I'm going to tell you both things, right. And so I'm going to come to you with that this is probably what you should be doing. And this is what I did. Take from it what you will.
so, one is when I started paying off debt, where I am right now, I do have credit card debt, but I pay my balances off every month. So I do like the miles and the hijacking and all that stuff, the credit card hacking, I do, I do a good chunk of it, right? Because my perspective is I want to keep my money in my aura, as long as possible, they can go out, but it has to come back with friends. If I pay for something and it goes out and the understanding it is not going to come back with friends, well, then it needs to be somebody else's money that goes out. And by utilizing credit card points, it is somebody else's money that's going out, right. And so I look at it, and this is the way I view my money. And so that's where I am, I still have student debt, because the interest rates on my student loan debt is much lower than the interest and the return I'm making with my investments. And so after you start investing for some time, you start getting good at it, right? Because if you focus on something really good and you study it, there's no way for it to happen. Because if you're analyzing your mistakes and learning and getting teachers and mentors, it's gonna work, right, there's nothing different between you or I or anybody else. So I've done that so much. So over time, I know for every amount invested, this is what I could, on average expect. And that number on average that I can expect is much higher than what I would put to my student loans. Does that make sense?
Jamila Souffrant 43:46
It does I get it I get I get it and it's this strategy that a lot of here's the thing I think what you'd like you said what you focus on work and and you'll attract more of it, but there are wealthy people who there this is how they became wealthy, this is how they're using Well, it's like, if I can pay off I have a similar situation even when it comes to renovating my basement and you know, I have the money that I can pay for that in cash and I recently hired financial planners to help me and you know, part of the conversation was why when you can like literally borrow that at such a less rate Laurie and invest that money instead. And so I totally agree with that. And then I have people and friends of the podcast will come on the podcast and they're like absolutely not, you know, no debt, no credit card debt. I don't care what what kind of friends come back with it. I don't care if Bill Gates comes back or you know, Tom Warren Buffett himself come back with you from the after party like they're not coming in the house right and and it's just it feels like what it works for them and they're enjoying their life or it's fine. And so it's such a personal conversation or decision. Part logical and part emotional, but you the person listening have to make the On, can you do that? I will say this, I think if you're in the beginning part of your journey and you're not disciplined, then using debt strategies, like putting everything on a credit card and trying to pay it off every month, when you can't pay off your existing cards are not going to work. Right? And it's like, yes, you can do that at later stages once you're more experienced. But don't think like you hear us talking. And you're like, Oh, I'm good with debt now. So I'll still just continue to pay my minimums, but still, you're not investing. Still, you're not budgeting or at least having a plan for your money. That still needs to happen.
Angela E. Matthews 45:30
Mm hmm. I completely agree with you, you want to think about it, not in terms of one step forward, one step backward. But you want to think if I'm gonna go a step backward? Can I take four steps forward? It's really this ebb and flow relationship with your money? You know, right now, I'm all about which about my money is making the money, right, who's making the money? Am I making the money? Where's my money making the money? This is this new concept that I'm really pontificating on as of late, right? Because I get it, I can make a crapload of money. But do I necessarily want this to be tied to my hours all the time? Right? I don't I want my money to make the money. And so all this to say is when you're thinking about, hey, the future, future, you may not be the same as president, you present you. Maybe you have debt. You've you've got responsibilities, you've got a high living balance in terms of it takes a lot of money cost of living for you. But what does the future look, you look like this future, you have investments, this future you live off of 40% of what they make this future you still have debt? If so what is the debt that you have and why I want you to step back and take an exercise and thinking about this future you and then be intentional. If you set this future, you have investments? Well, you can learn how to invest without actually investing yet, right? There are lots of simulators out there. I'm a fan of don't wait for when you need it, to then learn it. You could have been learning I've that's how it was for me. I was in debt broke. But I was learning because I knew one day I will have the money to make a really powerful decision. And there's no way I'm going to invest 10k Without knowing what I'm doing. But do I really want to wait to have 10k? That said, spend years to figure out what to do with that? No?
Jamila Souffrant 47:17
Oh, that's such a good point. It's such a good point to prepare yourself for the opportunity before the opportunity even is there and would you know it the opportunity will appear? Or you will see it once you are in the preparation? Not waiting for it to happen. Love that?
Angela E. Matthews 47:34
Absolutely. And so I do want to ask, can I ask you a question about your investments? Yeah. Like scandalous?
Jamila Souffrant 47:44
And so where are you with your investments? And what's your philosophy? It's so funny because I am not like I you know, I'm in some groups, some Facebook groups are follow people, and they're so into it, they're checking their market, like the market every day, or their portfolios, they're tracking things. And I'm actually not like that, you know, I am literally like a set it and forget it kind of person, obviously, I want to make sure that I know how to log into my accounts that I know where the money is, this part of the reason why I hired financial planner, because it's like, I know all the things, it's just nice to have like almost like a committee to help me make the decisions. And I don't want to be my own echo chamber. With that said, I'm not risk adverse in the sense of I don't need the money now. So it's like primary, like a lot in equities, like in an index funds. Look, I don't like and picking individual stocks, not to say that I won't do that in the future, I see the benefit of it. But again, I am so overwhelmed with life and business, quite honestly, that I'm just like, This is not something that I want to dedicate my time to. And so I literally just had the approach of I'm going to invest every month, I'm going to invest as much as I can, that still allows me to live my lifestyle, that's going to be a combination in retirement accounts. So we can lessen our tax burden and taxable accounts so that I don't have to do Jenny's launch forever. So that is kind of like my approach. And then I'm also very much now getting more comfortable with that. For me, it's like if I can pay it off, I find the choice and I have the money to pay off this thing. But I'm choosing to put it on a card for the points or do something different worse, that leverage that I'm using for more or better than that's totally fine with me too.
Angela E. Matthews 49:25
Awesome. Thanks for sharing. And I think that's a totally suitable plan. You know, there is no right. And I think that's probably the confusing thing. For some folks. It's like there's no right or wrong to this, but you go through phases. You know, there might be a phase where you're out of Journey to launch I don't know sells for like a multi million dollar amount. And you come on and advisory so that your people still have you but you're kind of like getting paid to be you. I don't know 10 times over who knows. This could probably happen because I just said it. I have a tongue where things happen when I say it so you just really don't know
Jamila Souffrant 49:57
I like it.
Angela E. Matthews 49:58
And so it could vary will happen. But you could get to a point where like, you know, I have this windfall windfall of money. And I actually have a lot of time on my hands, and maybe I want to check into actual companies, maybe I want to do some angel investing, maybe there's a company that has a trajectory to become public, right, you can actually carve these things. But in the season that you're in, that's not what you want to do. And that's totally fine. But your money is still making money. You're not like, oh, I don't want to do this. So I'm not going to invest in funds, or I'm not going to get the support to do it. And I think that's the most valuable thing.
Jamila Souffrant 50:33
And the thing is, I'm open to everything crypto, and like these new, they're not as new anymore, but newer asset classes, like I'm not, you know, like, Oh, this is absolutely no way. It's like, I'm open to it real estate investing that real estate investing was a big part of what catapulted me with my start, because I bought our property in DUMBO early. And I thought that was how I was going to be a primary investor apart from traditional kind of investing in the markets was real estate. And then I realized after even now currently owning my demo property and having to sometimes deal with management of that, that that is not some that's not a place where I want to spend my time, but it could be in the future. So I love, I love talking to different types of people who invest in different ways. Because just because I'm not currently doing it, it doesn't mean someone who's listening or journeyer to this podcast doesn't want to understand or learn this different method. And I think that is the beauty even what your story honestly, Angela, like you when you talk about I can learn from anyone, and I take what I need and leave what I don't I think that is honestly the approach that I've seen many successful people take in which I'm going to figure out how I can apply this to my life. Like maybe you were born with a trust fund and your totally different background, but what is it about you? And what has kept you going that I can learn from if nothing then fine. But don't just just write something off? Because it doesn't fit into a box?
Angela E. Matthews 51:58
Absolutely, I totally agree with you. Yeah, you don't fit in a box on your strategy shouldn't. And it's really there's something out there, like wealth can be made. If you desire it, there is a way for you. One of the reasons why I love investing in the stock market as of right now. And I don't know how long this will be, there is no credit score check. There is no minimum. There is no you can't do it too many times or too few times, I feel there's so much opportunity to grow and contract with it right? It really is such a forgiving asset class. So what would be some next steps for someone, for them to start to get comfortable with this, you talked about simulators is there one that you can suggest or a book for people, especially the beginners who are still not there yet. And then we're definitely going to find out how we can keep up with you and what you have going on.
There's a book, it's super old school, but I love it. I'm not that old. But maybe like maybe five years old, a colleague of mine made it it's called the 8020 Investor, by David shiner. And it's actually a really great book for beginners, because it's basic enough, but you'll have an initial strategy. And so that's one resource that I give a lot. Sometimes we host a boot camp or first stop challenge. And I always put that as a resource, and it still holds. And then also I would say is I think Thinkorswim is a simulator. But really and truly, I'm a huge fan of MarketWatch. And it's like also really interesting over Yahoo Finance, or CNBC, there's this one special feature where you can actually add a set amount like a pretend stock, you can say, Hey, I just want to buy one share of this. And it'll say okay, and you'll save it. And then you'll go back later, and it'll show you I would have made this much money on this one share if I did buy it. And so so far, and Market Watch is the only one that allows you it's literally called add a lot or a holding, it's the only one that will allow you to add a holding for fake. That's for free. Okay, I like that. So we'll try to include all those in the show notes for you guys that want to check that out. And sure, any last words when it comes to investing and just some takeaways for juniors, you can do it.
You can do it your future self will thank you, praise you love you adore you. Your kids will love you praise you adore you. Really, it's one of the most empowering and gratifying things you can do and get educated. It is the crazy world out there. There's a lot of content and there's a lot of information. And I don't want you to think that just investing in your stash or stock pile or like a little app is the promised land, like people's lives literally get shifted with this. So find a mentor, I'd be more than happy to be your mentor but find a mentor that can show you the way because it's possible to have six figures passively. And it's just more important than you think. Honestly, I work with a lot of older people and they're like, why didn't I find you this many years ago and I was like I wasn't born yet. So you came across this episode for a reason. Just think about your future self and what the next best step is for you. And so yeah, I'm at the happy investor method.
Jamila Souffrant 55:10
Yes. And what are you, you said, you're not on social that much, but you can share your shuffles.
Angela E. Matthews 55:15
I'm not, don't judge me if you see it like I'm not. And you understand because we just had a whole conversation about the consent relationship, I have a bit, but I am at Happy investor method. And you can find that on Instagram. And you can also go to happy investor guide.com and get a free training or a checklist. And that's where communicate with my folks. I'm one of those old school email folks, I will write you love letters, and talk to you about money in your email box.
Jamila Souffrant 55:43
I love it. And you know, I just want to say this too, because I know that a lot of people who listen to this who have an aversion to putting themselves out there or social media, it's like stealth, well, like no one needs to know, like, all the things you know. And so I think it's, it's inspiring, like you have your business, which could have been a totally another conversation about just the business side of things and how you're earning money that way. But it's inspiring for people who was like, I want to make money I want to invest but I don't want to be on the internet's like, I want to be low key. And it's possible. It's definitely possible to do that. Not everyone needs 100,000 followers or a million followers to make it in business and or to be wealthy. So just saying,
Angela E. Matthews 56:20
No, you don't my company makes a half million dollar a year company. So and I do this in my pajamas, in the sanctity of my sanctuary of MySpace, and without being highly social. So it is possible you show up for people, they will show up for you, you decide to have an impact. And it just starts small. I don't know John $500 A month was my first client offering.
Jamila Souffrant 56:45
Wow, all right, so thank you so much. I'm so glad we got through this episode. If you're listening definitely tag me at journey to launch tag Angela although she won't see it your Instagram is
Angela E. Matthews 56:56
happy investor method.
Jamila Souffrant 56:58
Maybe she'll see it.
Angela E. Matthews 56:59
If you see me just be proud and know I overcame.
Jamila Souffrant 57:03
Love it. Alright, thanks so much, Angela. Thank you. Don't forget you can get
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