Become a Profitable & Successful Investor with Mabel Nunez

Episode Number: 365

Episode 365: Become a Profitable & Successful Investor with Mabel Nunez

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Become a Profitable & Successful Investor with Mabel Nunez

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Mabel Nunez is the founder & Chief Education Officer at Girl$ on The Money – a stock market investing education company targeted toward individuals who are underrepresented in the investing world. Mabel grew up in the South Bronx as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, with limited resources & a strong emphasis on education from her father. She learned very little about personal finance or investing while in school until she was in college, where she took an investing analysis class which began her passion for investing & personal finance. Mabel holds both a Bachelor of Science and an MBA in Finance. However, most of what she’s learned about investing came from experience.

Mabel’s mission is to teach what she’s learned (and continues to learn) since starting her investing journey. She is passionate about transforming investing beginners into confident, knowledgeable, and profitable investors.

In this episode, Mabel shares:

  • How fear kept her from starting to invest, despite graduating as a finance major, reading articles and listening to shows on investing
  • How she has been investing for 16 years with a focus on individual stocks in a self-directed taxable account. She invests in companies with long-term potential, rarely selling stocks and preferring a Warren Buffett-style strategy
  • That investing in ETFs or index funds, such as the S&P 500, can be a simpler alternative to buying individual stocks & advises against buying “cheap stocks” or investing in unproven companies.
  • How she struggled to tell her parents about quitting her 9-5 stable job to pursue her passion & the challenge of balancing personal dreams with family expectations, particularly for immigrant families + much more!

Watch the video to this episode on YouTube below or by clicking here.

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Mabel Nuñez 0:02

I think the danger comes in where you're like, somebody told me that this little penny stocks that cost $2 is going to be the next Google or the next Microsoft. That's when people get in trouble when they're buying companies that are good. Don't have a track record whatsoever. Then you're like, Oh, you're hoping for the best. 10 seconds.

Intro 0:23

Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom 4321.

Jamila Souffrant 0:53

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.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 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 so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch that comm slash jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode. Hey, hey journeyers Welcome to the journey to launch podcast today we have a special guest may Bell Nunez. She is the founder and chief education officer at girls on the money a stock market investing education company targeted towards individuals who are underrepresented in the investing world. She teaches highly rated courses centered on stock market investing, and is the author of two best selling books on the subject. She is passionate about transforming investing from beginners into competent, knowledgeable and profitable investors. Maples mission is to teach what she learned and continue to learn throughout the start of her investment journey to now. I'm so excited to have you on the podcast Mabel, welcome.

Mabel Nuñez 2:17

Hey, Jamila, thank you so much. I'm excited to be here. So I'm going to talk about my favorite topic, which is investing. So thank you for having me.

Jamila Souffrant 2:25

Yes, well, before we hop into that, because I know my listeners, my journey errs. We want to learn how to make our money go further for us how to reach financial independence. But I really want to understand your journey a bit more. And your story. So you are a New York girl in New York, girly like me. But your family immigrated here, I believe. So I'd love to hear your origin story of growing up here in New York City. And what that was like for you?

Mabel Nuñez 2:55

Sure, so yeah, I'm an immigrant. I came from the Dominican Republic with my family when I was nine years old in the early 90s. So I grew up in the South Bronx, you know, I went to public schools a lot my life when we got here. You know, as any immigrant, we have very limited resources. So we had to kind of make do with whatever we had available. And that kind of taught me from an early age, how to like be frugal, how to like, live within my means and things like that. But like I said, Yeah, I have very humble beginnings of public education. And then, thankfully, when it was time for going to college, my dad, I don't know how he did it. But he managed to save enough money to allow me to go away to school, which was rare in my family, like nobody had ever done that before. So I was able to dorm and go through the whole experience, which I'm always grateful for. So the economics of my family early on, were were challenging, but thankfully, you know, eventually we went forward from that. But that's, you know, that's kind of how I started.

Jamila Souffrant 3:52

Right? So I'm assuming education was very important in your family growing up and for you. So it sounds like your your dad did a good job of saving money to help you at school. But I'd love to hear the dynamics of that.

Mabel Nuñez 4:05

Yeah, so my dad was very big on education. Like for him school was the end all be all, especially as we were growing up to the point that I had friends that had summer jobs, or like, after school jobs at McDonald's. And I was like, I wanted to work at McDonald's because I thought it was so cool. You know, like when you're growing up, you're like, Oh, my friend is working, he has a job and or she has a job and they're earning money, but my dad would not have it. So even when I went to college, when I wanted to have part time jobs or even like work study, he would not have it because because his mentality was I want you to get educated when you get a degree so that you can have a good job and things like that. So he felt in his mind was that if you start making money at a very young age, you're gonna like fall in love with money, you're going to leave school in the background and you're going to forget about school. So that was his mentality, even though that's not really the case for most people. That's how we approached it. So I didn't get a full time job, a nine to five or you know, an official job until I graduated through college because of that, but thank God, you know, it worked out, I was very scared because we you don't have you have no work experience as you're in school, like a lot of people have internships and things like that. But I didn't have any of that. But thankfully, by the grace of grace of God, I did get a nine to five in corporate America and things like that. But that's pretty much was the dynamics in my family. Like, like you said, education was the priority and there was nothing else. I have a sister. So when for my sister and I that was it until we graduated. So yeah,

Jamila Souffrant 5:28

well, that's so interesting, because I know that sometimes, like in families, especially growing up immigrant families, you're expected to do well in school, and then you mostly sometimes have a job to help with the family or your own expenses. But I find and probably for you, the case was even though you didn't work outside of school, that school was your job, but you had to probably get good grades. Right? And that was a priority, like you said, Yes,

Mabel Nuñez 5:49

exactly. Oh, absolutely. Like, I will be scared to like, come back with like, anything less than A, B or B plus, like, I'll be terrified, because that was my job. So Right, exactly. As

Jamila Souffrant 6:01

a parent, and you're a parent, also, you know, I always love to hear stories, like our generation, and like how we were raised. And now that we have our own kids what we're going to do, because I don't want to lose the recipe that made us so driven, but then I also know not everything, or the way things were done for us were always right. And so how do we make more of a balance to where we are like, having our kids explore more of their passions and not be maybe so tied up in the system in grades, but also knowing that being so focused on grades and studying gave us good work ethic?

Mabel Nuñez 6:31

Yeah, that is very true. So to find that balance is gonna be hard. But yeah, like, I guess we can take the pieces that we think worked well, and like kind of balance things out. But yeah, it's gonna be a challenge.

Jamila Souffrant 6:44

Yeah. So tell me about your college experience. So did you actually ended up getting loans? Or how did that work out for you?

Mabel Nuñez 6:51

I did. Yeah. So I filled out the FAFSA, like, I got some like Pell grants or things like that. But I also had student loans involved with that, even though my dad also paid a portion of my college tuition. My sister and I are four years apart. So when I was in college, he was just starting high school. So thankfully, he had like a little break, like where it's just me in college. So a lot of his paycheck went to my college tuition. Because, you know, remember, even though I went to a state school, I went to SUNY Albany, upstate, I wasn't in a private school, you still expensive, especially for an immigrant parent, it was just him is his only income. And he had like a regular blue collar job. So most of these paychecks will go to my tuition. But thankfully, by the time I got out of college, even though I did have loans, it was less than $20,000. So it wasn't like I didn't have massive student loans. Once I got my full time job, I was paying it off slowly and things like that. But yeah, I did. It was part of my whole college package to have that in there. Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 7:49

And very practical, going to a state school versus a private tuition. And, you know, being in state and getting those credits. Also, I'm sure it was very helpful. So very smart of you.

Mabel Nuñez 8:01

Yeah, I'm grateful for that. And honestly, it just worked out that way. I wanted to go to like Columbia, or NYU, like, that was my dream, you know, like this fancy New York City schools. I applied, I didn't get in full disclosure. And then looking back, I'm like, that was a blessing because how it was gonna have my dad paying a Columbia university tuition. So then the law like things worked out, as they did so or any other private school kind of thing, you know? Right.

Jamila Souffrant 8:25

And at that moment, you probably thought like, oh, my gosh, that's like, so not good. It's the worst thing and I'm like, Look how it helped you on your path. What did you study while you were in school? What did you think you wanted to do? And then when did you graduate into full your full time job doing?

Mabel Nuñez 8:38

So when I started college, it was right in the middle of the whole, like tech world, like early 2000s. I'm aging myself. That was when like the whole internet boom, and things like that. So I wanted to be a computer science major. So that was my dream. I'm like, Oh, I'm gonna work in computers. And this is so exciting. But then I took a computer science one on one on one class, and it was like, slap slap in the face because I didn't understand anything. I was so lost. It was like Chinese to me. I even got a tutor. I'm like, I'm determined to get this. We didn't work out and then thankfully, I had an advisor that sat me down and he said, Hey, computer science is not working for you. It's okay. Like, don't get this courage. Let's explore business school, like maybe you like like the business curriculum and things like that. And I'm like, around, give it up, because I really had no idea what I wanted to do. Like computer science was like my dream for whatever reason. To this day. I'm like, What was I thinking? So he like said, like, take some business classes if you like them, and I ended up really liking them. It's specifically a finance class that I took as a business major that kind of changed my life because it kind of like, made me discover what I'm doing today. But yeah, I started as a computer science major. I graduated as a business and finance major by the time I was done so well tell

Jamila Souffrant 9:54

me about that experience. I read somewhere that you realized quickly in one of your classes. Have you needed to pivot?

Mabel Nuñez 10:01

Yeah. So when I started my business classes, I was taking, like marketing and accounting and things like that. And I was like, whatever, especially accounting, I found this so difficult. Thankfully, I passed. I was like, Okay, this is interesting, like the marketing classes were fun. But then I took an investing analysis class. And that was my first semester of my junior year. So I was kind of getting into the business school, like taking more business classes. But that class kind of like changed my life, because it opened me up to a world that I never, ever been introduced to, like the world of stocks and investing. I know some people like during high school now or have, you know, when they were in high school, they would take like, stock classes and things like that. But that wasn't my case, I went to a very basic Bronx High School, investing classes, like the closest we got to like a personal finance class was in an economics class, which is funny, because my teacher, she was very honest. She's like, listen, I was assigned to teach you economics, I'm learning with you. I don't know what I'm doing. So she was very honest. And that was, that was the extent of my personal finance education in high school. So when I got to college, and I took that investing class, I'm like, Oh, my God, like, because I thought it was so cool. That way, my teacher thought it was like you as an average person making a regular paycheck, you can own a portion of the biggest companies in the world through investing. So I was like, blown away. Like back in those days, there was no really podcast. So I will listen to like, am radio about stock, like investing, like weird stuff, like, read articles online and things like that, I became really obsessed with a topic. And that was it. Like, I was like, Okay, I'm gonna be a finance major. And I'm going to be an investor, and I'm gonna work in Wall Street. It didn't really happen that way. But that was my dream after taking that class. And he honestly just changed my whole trajectory after that.

Jamila Souffrant 11:50

And so now you graduate, you have this business degree, what do you graduate into doing? So

Mabel Nuñez 11:55

like a lot of people, I graduated with my business degree, my finance degree. And like I said, my dream was to work in Wall Street in investment management, or investment, banking, whatever. But first of all, I got Latina, I have no connections to Wall Street whatsoever. Like I have no connection to the world period. So I ended up getting hired at a corporate job within the insurance industry as an underwriter and claims analyst. So I worked in insurance for almost 10 years of my life, because once I got that nine to five, corporate job that was really good with like, the benefits, it was really hard to get out of that. So I was just in that world for a very long time, the insurance world. But alongside that, I was not really investing yet. But I was like, still obsessed with investing. I decided to get an MBA because I love investing so much. So I eventually like I'm like, eventually, I'm gonna get into that world. Like, that's my dream. But it was a parallel world because I was just, I was working in insurance. And then I had like my dream on the side. So that's what ended up happening after I graduated from college.

Jamila Souffrant 12:57

Right? Well, you said something interesting. So you said you weren't investing yet. I think this is interesting. Because conceptually, you are very seemingly obsessed with the idea of investing. You understood it to the point you change your majors. But there seemed to be like a disconnect in you applying it to yourself and to the real world for a bit. Right. So talk about that, because I feel like that happens for a lot of people.

Mabel Nuñez 13:19

Oh, my God. Yes. So even though like I said, I was obsessed with the topic, I graduated as a finance major. I was like, reading all these articles listening to all these shows, I was still very scared to invest. Like, I was terrified. I'm like, Okay, I have my little bank account, like trust them. I trust the banks, because that's what standard, but I don't know if I put money in this investment account is, is this really going to work? Like I was still very skeptical of the whole investing world, like selecting investments and things like that. So it wasn't on to my corporate job. In my first job in the insurance industry. I always like to say that, like the universe, places people in your life like that you are aligned with sooner or later. So this person that they he was a new hire, and they sat him right next to me, they could have sat him anywhere in that office, but they sat him not right next to me. And I was the type of person like, soon after you meet me. And to this day, I'm this way. Like, if the topic of investing in stocks and funds comes up, like I go off like, that's like my passion. So he like made a comment about a stock one day that was like, Oh, my God, like, this is my guy. So I started like talking to him about investing and how much I wanted to invest. And this was like, three years after I graduated from college. He was like, I don't know, early 20s like 22 He's like, I've been investing since I was 16. Like, this is my thing. Like, oh my God. So he was the one even though I already knew how to open an account and things like that. He was the one that showed me like, Hey, this is a real world. This this is real. This does really access like and you can participate and you can make money. You just have to know what you're doing. So he kind of showed me like he showed me his account. He showed me how he makes investment decisions and things like that. No really telling me what to do. But you're showing me that in tangible ways like this really does exist. It's not all in my head. It's like a passion that's that I'm dreaming about is really something that people do and they become wealthy from it. After that, like little conversation that I had with him, I opened the account, finally, I put some money in it, I started investing. And the rest is history after that. And the thing that really motivated me to keep going was in the story I've told you before. So like three months after I opened that investment account, I only put like, maybe $600, because I was still very, like skeptical. And then I have my bank, I have my savings, because I've always been a big saver. So just to like, put things into perspective, I have like 1000s of dollars, like saved just because like, you know, I was living at home like with my parents and things like that. So they allowed me to like save money as a young adult and my early 20s. So I had all this money in my savings, and I only had $600 in my investment account. And then three months later, I see that my investment account grew by like, $50, I'm like, okay, and then that same week, I getting an email from my bank telling me that I made like, 25 cents, or 20 cents from my savings. And I was like, Are you freaking sick? I couldn't be like, like, this bank is obviously not giving me anything. And then it gets by investing in like this quality company. And we're ready. Like, it wasn't really the $50 It was like the discrepancy of having 1000s in the bank versus a few 100. And in an investment account, and how the difference between what I was making in either one. So after that I changed my you know, I just did my accounts accordingly. But that kind of like blew my mind in terms of what was possible. Yeah,

Jamila Souffrant 16:36

a few things that you mentioned, is the fact that even though you knew in your head investing made sense, you you knew the things to do that you still weren't doing it until you saw someone in real life, who you could see as an example, and tangibly show you and I think that's so important for so many people, I always say people mostly know what they should do. And yes, some of it could be not understanding until you need to do more research, but a lot of us know what we should do to get our finances in order to become investors. But why aren't we doing it and a lot of it is fear, or not really understanding the difference in what accounts you should open and feeling paralyzed from moving forward. So with that, I do want to make just a couple of clarifications, or at least maybe start with defining some terms here. Because I know investing can mean different things for different people or the type of investing that you're talking about. And so when you say investing in the way you started doing it actively, what type of investing was that? And how does that differ from the standard investing in your retirement account and your 401 K at work? Yeah,

Mabel Nuñez 17:42

thank you for bringing that up. It's just it's important to clarify. So when I started on my own like before that I forgot to mention that I did open a 401 K with my company, and I was contributing to that. So that is a form of investing. If you are already doing that you are investing, you don't do any like yourself, but you are already allocating money towards that. So I already had that in place with my employer. But what I'm talking about specifically is opening a self directed investment account where that I manage that I select what I'm buying and selling. I started out with stocks. That was my first introduction to the world of the stock market, individual stocks and specifically, and I've always from the beginning, I've always knew that I was going to be like a long term investor, like I was never attracted to day trading, to sitting in front of my computer all day looking at charts and making decisions based on charts. I respect people that do that, to each their own. But to me that's always seemed like gambling. And I've been terrified of that. I've been investing for almost 16 years. And not once have I made a decision based on a shard. But I understand people, like I said they have their own strategies. But my approach from the beginning from day one has been obviously I do my my research and my due diligence. But one of those characteristics that I always look for is companies that are going to be around for many years or generations going forward. I was never attracted to like fleeting businesses that are here today gone tomorrow, like the latest trends, whatever. I was never attracted to that. So I've always been very long term from the beginning. To the point that to this day, this summer. I always remember this is my stock anniversary is gonna be this summer, 16 years, the first time that I ever bought I still own it to this day. So that's how long term I am. I rarely ever sell anything with my students. I tell them like there are reasons that you can sell your stocks, obviously, I don't expect people to be like me, you know, people have specific goals that they want to reach. So I always offer that strategy to my students like if you're saving for this or that or investing for this or that like this is the point where yourself but like I said to me, I believe in the long term approach like the Warren Buffett type of strategy that you know, people like that follow. So that's think specifically to your question, individual stocks, but always with a long term approach. That's kind of like how I started that by

Jamila Souffrant 20:08

itself. So this is self directed taxable account that you're using the exactly so taxable. So it's not like a Roth IRA.

Mabel Nuñez 20:14

Even though later on, I did open a Roth and a traditional IRA, later on after that, after I started investing, but when I first first started, there was an individual taxable investment account. Right,

Jamila Souffrant 20:25

right. Now, tell me a little bit about progressing through your working career. And the point at which you started your business on the side, which eventually became your full time business. So walk me through what that looked like for you. So

Mabel Nuñez 20:42

like I said, Before, I worked in insurance, most of my career would have a very big insurance around to this day, they're, they're huge. But during that time, my obsession after my nine to five was always like, invest in so like I was telling you earlier, I pursued an MBA because I'm like, Okay, I eventually want to work in Wall Street, I want to work in an investment bank, so maybe getting an MBA is going to be my window for that. And I can tell you right now, if anybody out there in your audience is thinking of getting an MBA to be an investor, please don't do it. I realized this very early on, as I started the MBA program, you don't learn anything about being an investor. When you're in an MBA program, you're learning about, you know, corporate finances, corporate marketing, corporate everything, but nothing specific to being an investor. And I was very naive when I started my program, but then it got to a point where like, Okay, do I stop the MBA and quit or just like, finish it, and I didn't make the decision to finish the program or, you know, get the degree. But then thinking back, I'm like, I didn't need to do that to do what I'm doing today. But whatever. So by the time I finished the NBA, I was like, Okay, I have already started grossing the money as like a, like a side hobby. So I will see there, okay, I could either pursue my Wall Street dreams, or just kind of see if this works. Because it's like, it's my passion. So I'm like, if I work in corporate America, still, it's still gonna be corporate, I'm still gonna have like my passion on the side. So let me see if I can make this business work. But before I made the decision to pursue my business full time, I did want to prepare myself financially. Because by the time I was like, getting my MBA and things like that I had bought an apartment, and I wasn't living with my parents anymore. I had a mortgage to pay, I have bills to pay, I had my college tuition, and at the time, I changed jobs. So my previous employer was paying for my MBA the new employer wasn't, so I also have my MBA bills coming in. So it wasn't that I could just quit my job and sit in my apartment and see what happens next, I had to like be very strategic about saving any investments, so that I could feel comfortable living my full time job to pursue this full time. And that's what gave me the motivation and confidence to pursue my business full time. So even though a lot of people say, you know, I hate my job, I'm fed up with it, I'm gonna quit and just figure things out. I wouldn't advise that when I know, like, there's the point where like, it's, it's affecting your mental health, and you can be toxic, I understand those circumstances. But if you're able to prepare yourself financially, before you pursue something full time, I recommend to go that route. Because when you're sitting at home, trying to figure out how to get clients and things, it could get very dark and frustrating if you don't have anything in the bank that can add to your stress. And you don't want to be in a position like for me, I was like, I don't want to be in a position where I'm desperate for clients and desperate for whatever, I want to be in a position where like, I can grow my business with confidence and peace, because I know that my bills are being I gotta be taken care of. So it wasn't until I got to that point that I decided to say, Okay, I'm going to pursue goes into money as my full time business.

Jamila Souffrant 23:55

How were your spending and money habits at this point? Do you consider yourself a frugal person? Did you adhere to a budget, and I'm assuming you made a decent amount of money to be able to buy an apartment and to kind of pay for all the things you were paying for? But how were you able to save? I don't know how much you saved. So if you want to share that in terms of the runway for you to leave your job, how were you able to do all those things? What did your money management system look like at that time? Yeah, so

Mabel Nuñez 24:22

I've always been very frugal. And I think that comes from my beginning stories of coming from an immigrant family that have very limited resources. I grew up with a kind of like a scarcity mindset, in full honesty and full disclosure because I had limited resources as a child growing up. So when I became an adult, and I got a full time job, my scarcity mindset was still there. So I was saving the majority of my paycheck to the point that people are like, think that I'm crazy. I got to a point where I was saving close to 50 60% of my paychecks, so I would literally just pay for that. Regular living expenses, like whether it was just the basis when I lived with my parents versus like my apartment, once I moved out, I would just focus on paying that I wasn't big on constantly spending money on random things. So the only like, splurge that I will do is traveling, like, I really love traveling in my 20s and things like that. So that was my biggest splurge, I would say, but other than that, I was extremely frugal. So it comes with its pros and cons. But in addition to that, I, at the beginning, I didn't know like, what am I saving for, like, what is the point of this, but then eventually I'm like, okay, like, I'm getting to the point where I can actually leave my job and pursue my dream of, you know, of owning my business without any stress. So that was my kind of like, my approach, like the saving part was always there for me. I did have like debt, but like nothing crazy, like, you know, regular credit card. By the time I I was ready to quit my job, I think I had like maybe $3,000 In a credit card. And I was like, I'm gonna pay this off before I quit. Like, it wasn't like nothing major. And I became a parent recently, but that was in my late 30s. Like, all through my 20s In my early 30s I was a single individual I just living my life. You know, I have my expenses, my personal expenses while they have to take care of, of children. So I understand other people, obviously, they have different circumstances. So that's that's another thing that played a role in that. It may be able to save the money and be an invest my money, because he was I was just worrying about myself, nobody else that all came together to help me take that step of comfortably leaving my full time job. Now,

Jamila Souffrant 26:38

how did your parents feel about this and your family? Because I know that is a big factor for some of us, especially if education and you went to school to get this degree and to get this safe job. So now you're thinking of leaving it and planning to leave it what does your family think? How do they react?

Mabel Nuñez 26:55

Oh my god. So it was hard. Like, I'm sure a lot of people, especially immigrants can relate. I really want to tell my parents that I was going to quit my job. I didn't tell them right away either. I think I told my dad specially because I was terrified of his reaction. I told him like, two months after I quit, I was really terrified. I'll tell them because they raised me to go to school and get these degrees. They really push the MBA. So part of the reason why I finished the MBA was because of them. So in full disclosure, I don't think I've ever said that out loud. So now I'm like, Oh my God. Because you know, oh my God, my daughter is getting her Master's, how am I gonna quit the master like God forbid. So, that was part of the reason, right? So um, yeah, it was very, very hard to the point that when I told my mom that I had quit my job, I was sobbing like I was in tears. Like, I'm sorry, like, when I did this, it was hard. So I'm like, I'm sorry. Like, I really want to do this business. Like, I really love what I'm doing. Like, I'm earning money. Like, it's not like, I'm just sitting at home waiting for clients. Like I'm earning money. It's going well, I'm paying for my apartment. So I did my job. And they were fine with it. And my mom was like, It's okay, like, you know, this is your dream is fine. And my dad was more understanding that I than I expected. He wasn't really he didn't make a big deal out of it. He was just like, okay, like, I wish you would have kept your full time job and did this on the side still, but it's all right. But yeah, that's how it went, I cried my eyes out. But they were okay with it eventually. And to this point, they still like they know what I do that I work from home and that I don't go to an office every day. And they know I'm into investing. And I teach investing and things like that. So they understand what I'm doing. But yeah, like any family and especially immigrant families, I'm sure that it wasn't their ideal thing for me to do to live a comfortable nine to five with a 401 K and the great benefits behind to just pursue this dream or this, this thing that they're like, Okay, good luck type of thing. So, right.

Jamila Souffrant 28:55

Well, I know a lot of journeyers listeners right now are like can feel you right now because they're probably maybe in a career in a program really not because they want to do it but because the expectation and they don't want to disappoint their parents. So how do you begin to follow what you want, and not the expectations of others despite what they think is best for you. I think so many of us are living for other people. We don't want to disappoint and especially when you come from like immigrant families or just cultures in general. But that works collectively, like you are together like I sacrifice all this for you to do something different or better or to make money and like here you go, what they feel like you're doing something different or veering off the path. So that can be like a whole nother episode for a lot of us or people who feel that way. Yeah.

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Go to your journey to financial freedom.com to get the book now. I do want to talk a little bit about what happened and I feel like this happened for me is that your passion to start your business to teach other people about investing stemmed from your personal experience of investing and having success, right? Yes. How for you did you maintain still working and making sure your house was correct meaning your investments you were still doing what you needed to do versus as a business owner, teaching other people how to do this and trying to grow a business and make it profitable. I find that behind the scenes when I talk to other entrepreneurs, especially in the finance space, or just in general, is that you sometimes forget about your own finances and goals because you have this business and you're trying to now spend your time and focus on something else other than yourself. So how did that go for you that balance?

Mabel Nuñez 32:05

Yeah, such a great question. And like, I never really thought about that. But it's true though. Like, once I started, like my business of teaching, investing and writing these books and like doing these workshops and things like that, like my investing my personal investing took a backseat. But thankfully, like I said earlier, I'm very long term. So I knew that you know, whatever stocks and funds that I own, I have no reason to like make adjustments or sell anything. Because like I said, I own stuff for years. So behind the scenes, things your work is running as usual, like I will go into my account every now and then to check that, you know, everything is good and whatever. Other than that everything is like it runs itself kind of thing. That's how I build my investment portfolio. That's kind of what I teach people to do, like, build your portfolio to the point where it's something that you can just leave it alone and go live your life. Because like I said, I'm not the type to be like constantly checking my accounts, I think that kind of helped me focus on my business, because I wasn't really I just in my portfolio. So I got to focus on what I needed to do to like, get new clients or sign up more students or like continue reading my books and things like that. So that wasn't really as difficult just because of the way that I invest, I would say, but in terms of like my personal finances, yeah, like I have to like make a commitment to like, sit down once a month to like pay my credit card bills, like send money to my savings account and pay my mortgage, whatever. So I did have to like schedule time and my colors to do things like I used to keep things running smoothly. But other than that, it wasn't that hard. I

Jamila Souffrant 33:34

do want to get a bit into now like investing specifically, I want to make a disclaimer that maybe Bill and I are not your investment advisors and are not giving specific investing advice. But I do think that people do want to hear more about just your philosophies around investing. And the first thing I do want to start out with is that you are an advocate for investing in specific companies. So buying company stock, like individual company stock, right? Yes, I am a big fan of index funds, and you know, low cost index funds, where you buy every company in that index. So I'd love to hear from you. What do you think of index funds? What is for you the benefit, investing in a single stock versus just investing in all the stocks and kind of writing the return out? Because I know that sometimes the back and forth between people within this space is, you know, oh, you can pick a stock and you'd do better than the average? Or why don't you just buy all the stocks, you know, buy an index fund that a low cost and not worry about that. So I'd love to hear your opinion. Yeah,

Mabel Nuñez 34:31

so index funds. I love it specifically ETFs. So, eventually, within my business, even though I started off with like mostly content on individual stocks, I then started investing in ETFs. And they're also excellent exchange traded funds as the full name. But the reason why I'm so adamant about individual stocks because I started with stocks like I like we talked about earlier and I've seen how powerful returns can be when you own individual stocks, but I'm not talking about Is anything, even though it sounds like, though like, it doesn't make any sense. But I'm conservative in a way with individual stocks, meaning that I only buy cream of the crop quality number one companies in different industries. So everything like the most powerful companies in the world that are like out there in their industries, that's what I buy, I don't get into like, startups, penny stocks up and coming like the next Amazon, the next Google, I don't really care who's next, who is the first right now, like who's been the first for a very, very long time. That's how I approach individual stock investing. So I think the danger comes in where you're like, somebody told me that this little penny stocks that cost $2 is going to be the next Google or the next Microsoft. That's when people get in trouble when they're buying companies that don't have a track record whatsoever. And then you're like, Oh, you're hoping for the best. And that's what has worked for me just buying the best of the best. And then with with funds with index funds, and ETFs, I think that is also excellent. Like if somebody were to just buy funds and build a portfolio from that alone, that's also excellent. You're also benefiting from equities, and you know, stocks. The only difference is that when you're buying individual stock, let's say that Microsoft goes up by 20%, one year, but then Microsoft is also part of like the s&p 500. And in this, let's say the s&p 500 only goes up like 8%, that one year, you're only going to make diapers. And because Microsoft is part of a basket is part of that index, like you said. So your returns is going to be an average of all the companies in that basket. Whereas if you own that, individually, your return is going to be dependent on only the performance of that one stock. So that's why how we can differ. But you can also go the other way, like if you're buying an individual stock that that does horribly, one year that is down 20 20% or 15%, but is part of an index that's up 8%. And you're benefiting by from buying the index instead. But he's you never know, because you're obviously there's no way to predict the market, we don't, we can know what's going to happen from one day to the next. That's what that's the risk that comes with investing, like there's no free lunch with investing like either you taking more risk, by buying an individual stock, you are taking more risk, because you're just your return is only dependent on one company, whereas you're being more conservative when you're buying a fund, but you're taking less risk. So you're gonna It's like a fine line when you're trying to select from either one, but you can always have a balance of both like in my portfolio. Now, I have a balance of both I have individual stocks, the majority is stocks. But I do have a lot of funds too, or a good amount of funds. That kind of covers pretty much everything I want to cover in terms of sectors and industries. So it's good to also have a balance. But like I said earlier, if you wanted to have an event, a portfolio of all US bonds, I think that's also excellent. So

Jamila Souffrant 37:54

now I feel like we should have did this a couple minutes ago. But we defined it as we spoke, but I do want to just like set up some definitions, just in case, this might be someone's first time listening, and they're like, wait, wait, wait, go back, what is the index fund, and what is an individual stock, so he just gave like maybe just one sentence or two sentences defining both, and then we'll move on.

Mabel Nuñez 38:14

So an individual stock is like if you were just to get shares of Apple by itself, or Microsoft, or Nike or alphabet, which is Google or whatever, when you're buying only the individual stock by itself. When it comes to index funds or exchange traded funds, you're buying like a basket of investments that can include all of those companies just in that one basket. So if Microsoft cost $300, you can buy a basket that includes Microsoft and Apple and an example that will be the s&p 500, for example, they have all those major companies at a fraction of what it will cost you to just buy one individual stock. And

Jamila Souffrant 38:54

that's perfect. I want to just to go back for anyone who may this be the first time they're hearing that. Now, let's go back to the stocks, the tried and true stocks that you like to buy, right? What comes to mind are the big companies and you said a number. But you know, I know you just do that out there. But some of these major companies like their stock price, individual stock price is very high. And so a lot of people feel like well, that's what I'm trying to find the next one so I can get in at the bottom and then ride out and get the big return. So what do you say, in terms of people feeling priced out that you know, I want to buy an Amazon I want to go buy a Google but I can't afford that. It's so expensive. What do you say to that person?

Mabel Nuñez 39:35

Yeah, so I completely understand most of these stocks that are out there like you know, $300 whatever they're they're They're pricey, especially just buying one you want to buy like, you know, five or 10 shares. So I understand that it could be very expensive. So the way I tell people that they can get around that is either buy an ETF or an index fund that contains that a company and for your listeners, if somebody out there doesn't even know where to start with than just looking at s&p 500 You can literally just Google s&p 500 ETF or s&p 500 Index Fund, when you're gonna get results from like Vanguard or fidelity or whatever, they're all the same investment, like, it's just different companies that sell the exact same thing. So just pick one and you can call it a day with that I'm gonna setting you to go by, but I'm just giving you an example of height of research that the s&p 500 is literally has all the biggest companies, the 500 largest companies in the world that are publicly traded our index fund, so you can literally go and buy that and you'll be covered. Like I said, when I'm given investing advice, we're just giving you an example. Whereas like I said, if the individual stock is too expensive, you can also buy fractional shares. The only two brokers that I know actually three that allow you to buy fractional shares are fidelity Schwab, and I think Robin Hood, because I think they started doing that they started the trend. What that means is like, let's say you want to buy Microsoft, but Microsoft is $300. If you only have $100, that you want to allocate towards Microsoft, you can literally just buy $100 worth of that stuff, you don't have to buy the full share that cause whatever it is you can buy, if you only have $50, you can buy a fraction of that stock for $50. And like I said, there's only a few brokers that allow you to do that is called fractional shares, there's two roles that I recommend taking either the fractional shares, or the eat or the funds, if you think that the stocks are too expensive. But don't fall into the trap of buying these cheap stocks, because they're going to be the next best thing. If you want to allocate like a small portion of your portfolio to like those like maybe happens, maybe doesn't type of thing you can, but just don't think that just because you got an email that somebody got had the secret for the next whatever that is true, because most of the times those are scams, like straight up like 99% of the time they're trying to scam you, and they're just making money from wherever you're paying them to get these secrets or whatever. So what

Jamila Souffrant 41:59

is your philosophy on investing in you making sure you're on track for retirement investing. So you know, investing in that 401 K and Roth IRA. And if you have that to your company, investing as much as you can versus how much to allocate to the investing that you're talking about, because I know that you can set what your goal is for your investment account. So even for what you're talking about buying individual stocks and your brokerage account, that could still be what you consider your retirement money. But I often think that some people try to skip ahead to doing the, okay, I'm investing and I'm not even doing tax advantaged investing, meaning your retirement but I'm just going to invest in a taxable account because that feels more exciting. And I can be more hands on versus like you said you aren't if you're investing in a 401k you're an investor, but so many people skip over that. So what is your thought process on what people should be doing first and focusing on before they dive maybe into more? Hands on investing?

Mabel Nuñez 43:02

exe? Yeah, excellent. So absolutely. If you have a 401 K or 403 B, or any, if you work in an employer that offers a retirement account, 100% contribute, hopefully they have a match. So you get like free money, like specially if they have a match take advantage. If they don't have a match, then you know, it becomes a little bit more like, Okay, should I still contribute, but the benefit of that is that you're automatically already building an investment account, because they're taking a percentage from your paycheck, and you don't have to think about it. But if your company doesn't have a match, and you don't want to like go to their 401 K because so that you can always open like a Roth IRA, like there's different rules and stuff like that, that you have to keep in mind, or a traditional IRA, whatever is more better for you based on your income and things like that. But you can always save and invest for retirement on your own if your company doesn't have a match, and you're like, you know, what's the point, but I do suggest absolutely focusing on that first, before you open up a self directed investment account to invest and also have a goal like for yourself direct like even though you know, your 401 K or your Roth is going to be for retirement specifically then if you're going to have a self directed account, like what is your goal with that? Like are you saving an investment investing to build your business eventually? Or which was like kind of my goal? Or are you doing that to buy a home are you doing that to put a down payment or to buy a new car to like maybe travel somewhere that you know your dream destination or something like that like kind of like five plus years from now, kind of long term? So always have a goal with that self directed investment account because if you don't like okay, if you just invest in for the fun of it, okay, that's part of because I see in my eyes I see how it can be fun because I do it and I enjoy it. But then you're gonna kind of like kind of lose track of where exactly are you? Are you doing it? So let's have like that. Whatever it is that you want to do with our money just kind of happening back up here. Mind, like we said, yeah, definitely first and foremost, allocate monitors the 401 K, the 403 B's, because, you know, ultimately, maybe you will be able to retire earlier than then most most people are like, have a more comfortable retirement, you know, whatever it is that your vision is, you know, is going to be funded by those accounts. Right.

Jamila Souffrant 45:19

So I know, obviously, you're an investor, you teach others how to invest in the way that you're describing. But for me, even when I think about investing in retirement accounts, like, I know, retirement is like this thing we think about that's far away. But for me, investing in my retirement account is what allowed me to quit my job. And then you know, what's allowing me to hopefully be able to retire early, because I have accumulated all this money in those accounts that keep me safe. So for you, what is your goal? I know that you have this business, and you're teaching others, but you're also building wealth for yourself. So I think one of the things about being an entrepreneur or a business owner is that you know, you can have a cash positive company and be doing really well. But then that has to translate into your own, like, personal finances for you to build wealth. What are your goals for yourself? Like, do you see yourself having this company? For long term? Do you see an exit strategy where you know, you want to retire early or reach financial independence? What are the goals for you?

Mabel Nuñez 46:20

So I love what I do is like, it grew from a passion that I had for many years, and it's been, it's gonna be almost two decades, since I kind of like started this passion, I don't see myself like selling my company, or like, stop doing it and just doing something else, I feel like even if I do something else, there's always going to be a part of my life, because it's like my baby. And it's been with me for so long. So I think one of my goals is always to be in a position where I can experiment with my company, or pursue different projects and things like that without being stressed out about money. And thankfully, that's when I started the company. That's kind of how I felt like, I'm like, okay, I can do this at peace without having to be stressed out. So I always want to maintain that for myself, to be able to have that cushion in the background, to continue growing my business or pursuing like, different ventures or different things without being stressed. And even in the downtime, because, okay, we're business owners, but we're not always in the middle of good times, like, there are rough years. And people don't tell you that when people aren't going on the internet until you quit your job, start your business, you're gonna be working at the beach every day, like, Please, I'm like, I rolled my eyes every time like, seriously, like, get out of here. And we have rough time. So you know, if your business is going through a rough time, like, Okay, I have my cushion, I don't have to worry, I don't have to be all stressed. And like, Oh, my God, like, I'm just going to stop doing this. And you know, just go to a nine to five, because I can't afford this anymore. So I always want to be in a position where like, mentally I'm like, okay, whatever is happening, I am going to be good. And then I don't know, I can see myself even when I you know, reach retirement age, I can see myself just letting it go. I'm going to have to eventually. But if you ask me that now, I'm like God, no. So yeah, I think that I think that will be my goal. And also like, obviously, like early retirement, like to get to a point where I'm like, okay, like, I really don't need to do this at all anymore. Like I still have to work. Like even though I have my investments and things like that, and my savings. You know, I'm still like, you know, fairly young, I guess you could say, so I still have to, like, maintain my life and things like that. So maybe it'll be nice to get to a point where like, oh, yeah, I really have, I don't have to work I O in this is just my hobby period. Like, it'd be nice to get to that point too. But other than that, just to do to, you know, continue to grow my business and with peace of mind.

Jamila Souffrant 48:37

I love that. I love that. And it's one of the things where we have to continue to check back in on like how we're feeling and being real with people listening, watching our story. And maybe seeing some of the success is that there are pros and cons to every whether you're a nine to FiVER, or entrepreneur. And one of the things I want to make sure I circle back with and we can maybe end on this two points, I would love for you to give advice for people who feel stuck walking on a path that is not their own, that is more influenced and led by other people because we don't want to disappoint them. What advice you can give based on your experience from making that leap and following your passion. And then maybe one last investing advice for someone who's you know, wants to hop in and wants to get more serious about investing?

Mabel Nuñez 49:24

Your Thank you. So I will say Yeah, it's hard. Like when you're living, especially when you're younger, I feel like when you're in your 20s, early 20s or early 30s Whatever you're like, oh my god, like I want my parents to be proud of me of like, like my husband, whoever to be proud of me. So it's hard to like, steer off into doing your own thing without feeling that you're disappointing others. So I've been there so I completely understand. I think the way to do that is to like SuperSU what you want to do, you know on the side, like, don't just like drastically quit everything and just focus on that one thing 100% Like some people might say yeah, That's the way to do it. But I'm more cautious with that stuff. You know, start doing what you love, like no matter what you're doing, even if it's on the side, like I said, but then you got to get to a point where you got to decide, okay, 40 years from now, am I going to regret no pursuing this business? That's the road I was on when it was like, I had like, the best paying job ever. Like when it was like the job that I had, before I started my business was like the best pay I was ever making. So I'm like, am I going to regret in the future like that I just, I chose this paycheck over my dream of studying this, pursuing this passion. And by the way, this was a passion that I've had that I had for a very long time already. It wasn't like something that I thought about, like, a week before. I'm like, Oh, I'm gonna leave my job. Because I had to have this idea that I thought of yesterday. It was like a dream that I had been building on for a long time. So I'm like, I was thinking to myself, like, Yes, I will regret not pursuing this business, if I just choose my job over it. So that's how I approached it. And then you just worry about your yourself and your happiness. Like, yes, some people might be disappointed or whatever for a little bit. But their happiness is doesn't depend on you, like they, they're responsible for their own, whatever, you're gonna be going to sleep at night, thinking this thing. So you're going to be regretful of not pursuing this, because you don't want to disappoint somebody else. So you know, that doesn't make sense. So, yeah, just start doing it. See if you know, if he's working and you'll feel good about it, eventually, you're going to be able to do it full time. And just focus on your own happiness, like I said, in terms of investing advice, I guess, for somebody that that hasn't invested yet, or whatever. I think for me, what what works, even though like we said, earlier, I had all these degrees, and all these whatever, all this passion that was still not doing it, I think what helped me continue was taking action. So here's like, doing the bare minimum, or I don't want to say bare minimum, because it takes a lot. For some people, it took a lot for me to like, open the first account, and deposit in those first $100. And maybe buy a piece of the s&p 500 just like set those little milestones for yourself. And I know for some people might be like, Oh, my God, that's too slow. That's too baby steps. But some people need that, like, some people are like terrified of the stock market, like I want to participate. But I'm still like, I don't get a it's really gonna work. So just for those people, like baby steps do work. So just do a checklist for yourself. Like, by this day, I'm gonna open the investment account. By this day, I'm going to deposit $500 or $100, whatever it is, if I did that money by the s&p 500, like those two steps, and like, yeah, and then do that in the year, see how it goes. And after that, you're gonna build on it. Like, I think action breeds confidence.

Jamila Souffrant 52:39

Mm hmm. I love that, oh, my gosh, man, well, this was amazing. If you made it through this interview, then that means you are definitely on your way. And so you should be very proud of yourself, especially if you have not started investing yet. But I'd love for you, Mabel, to tell everyone where they can find you on social media and your website and where they can follow you.

Mabel Nuñez 52:58

Sure. So grossen the money is across all platforms like Instagram and Facebook, everywhere. That's my business name. Also, I know substack is like a new thing for a lot of people. So you can also find me on substack. I have like a newsletter there. Those are the two main places you can find me at Grace and the money. And what's your website? Or is that girls in the money.com. And then if you put my name Mabel Nunez on Amazon, they may both to come up so you can check that out too. Well,

Jamila Souffrant 53:26

I will link all of that in the show notes. So wherever you're listening to this episode, just click more description or go to my website. And you'll see this latest episode with the transcription and all the links so you can find out more about maple. Thank you so much for joining the show. Mabel,

Mabel Nuñez 53:40

thank you so much. It was so much fun. Thank you so much. And hi to the audience.

Speaker 1 53:47

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.com. Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this. And you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to launch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this in Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two follow me on my social media accounts. I'm at journey to launch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeys. They're three support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl for and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend And or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. Alright, that's

Jamila Souffrant 55:05

it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers

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