Why Investing Is Such an Important Skill for All Women to Learn

This week, Maggie is sitting down with Amanda Holden to talk about why it's so important for women to understand how to invest for their futures.

Stressed out about investing? It doesn’t have to be that way! Listen to this week’s podcast episode with Amanda Holden to learn the basics and why it’s so important that you get started now.

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Amanda Holden is an award-winning money writer, speaker, and educator. Through her business, Invested Development, she educates women about investing and other money topics — because Amanda believes that the world needs more women with financial power.

Over the last three years, Amanda has taught thousands of young women to invest. She uses a unique and effective mix of stand-up comedy and relatability to inspire real action with her students. Amanda also writes a women + money blog called The Dumpster Dog Blog.

To learn more about Maggie and her coaching and speaking services, visit www.maggiegermano.com.

The theme music is called Escaping Light by Aaron Sprinkle. The podcast artwork design is by Maggie’s dear husband, Dan Rader.


Maggie Germano 0:07
Thanks for listening to the money circle Podcast. I am your host, Maggie Germano and I’m a financial coach for women. I’m passionate about helping women improve their relationship with money so that they can take better control of their futures. Part of that journey is making personal finance education more accessible and less judgmental, which is why this podcast exists. Each week we’ll discuss a new financial topic to help you explore how you can make a difference in your own financial life or in society as a whole. If you’re interested in diving deeper into issues like income inequality, debt or money, shame, check out my new money circle community. In the safe feminist space women gathered to talk about money without fear of being judged or shamed. We will break down shame and build community and safety for everyone so that you can find the support you need to gain control over your finances. Visit Maggie germano.com slash money circle to learn more and to join the community today. I can’t wait to see you there.

Hey there and thanks for listening. I’m your host Maggie Germano, and today I’m talking to Amanda Holden, who is an author, speaker and educator. In this episode, we talk about why it’s so important for women to have the skills needed to learn how to invest for retirement. We also talk about how and why there is an investment gap when it comes to men and women and how women of color are even more impacted when it comes to the wage gap and investment gap. Amanda also share some great resources so that you can start educating yourself about investing and plan for your own future. Plus, Amanda is a delight. So I know that you will enjoy this episode.

Welcome, Amanda. Thanks so much for being here today.

Amanda Holden 1:59
Hey, You so much for having me.

Maggie Germano 2:01
So why don’t we just start off by having you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?

Amanda Holden 2:06
Sure. So I am a writer and a speaker and an educator. And I focus on teaching women how to invest. So some of you may know me as my alter ego, which is dumpster doggy. I also write a blog called the dumpster dog blog. But on social media, you can find me at dumpster doggy, where I do tons of free investing education.

Maggie Germano 2:28
Awesome, and how did you get into this line of work?

Amanda Holden 2:32
So my background is actually in investment management. So when I graduated from school, I started working at an investment management firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. And so I was doing that for about six years. And the majority of my time there, I was working as an investment counselor. And so my role as an investment counselor was essentially to work directly with our high net worth clients. So answering questions about the stock market Keeping them apprised of portfolio strategy, getting to know their personal financial situations. So basically, it was doing a lot of hand holding for old, rich white guys all day. And so, um, so I had about enough of that. And I really came to the realization that helping rich men get richer was just not going to be it for me. And so I ended up leaving the investment management firm. And when I was leaving, I thought that I would leave the space, the personal finance space and the investment management space all together. And I didn’t know what I was going to do next. And so I actually left and went and traveled for a while. I saved up all my money and that’s actually when I got the nickname dumpster doggy was from like a period of like real scrappiness and it’s actually my co workers that gifted me that little number. And so that’s where I picked that up. And while I was traveling, I decided, you know what, maybe my work here isn’t done. Maybe I can take this information that I learned while I was working at the investment management firm, and turn around and deliver it to the demographics that I actually care about, which are underserved demographics, like women, or really anybody who’s been left out of these conversations, because so often these conversations are reserved for the people that are already wealthy. And so that’s that’s how I got into it.

Maggie Germano 4:28
Yeah, I love that story. And I feel like that’s, it’s such a common thing, especially in like, the personal finance realm, especially the women in the personal finance realm. It’s like, I saw this stuff that I didn’t like, or I was doing this work, and it didn’t seem fair, the way that the system already was set up. And so instead of abandoning it altogether, I want to change it and make it better.

Amanda Holden 4:49
Yeah, and you really have a couple of options for that and one is changing it from the inside, but that also just did not feel like the right decision for me like, I feel was a very unhealthy place for me to work. I really hated it. I hated going into work every single day. And so there for me, it really felt like there was no other option. And so this is definitely so much more of a compromise. I get to take this information, this technical information that I learned, and now I get to apply my own creativity to it, and I get to educate on my own terms, which makes it just so much better overall.

Maggie Germano 5:26
Yeah, there’s more freedom and more personality to I bet. Yeah, absolutely. And so why did you decide to work with folks that are less served traditionally, by the personal finance field, the investment field women in particular, why was that so important to you?

Amanda Holden 5:44
Yeah. So the first my first original focus has always been women just because I was in a work environment that was all men. So to give you an idea of the demographics of my department, so my specific department, there’s probably about 200 hundred of us and maybe a handful of us were women, maybe less than 10 for sure, maybe less than five even were women. And and it was so glaringly obvious that like this, this investing specifically is such an important life skill. And it is being learned in rooms where women just really are not at, they are just not being included in these conversations, for whatever reason. And throughout my duration of working at at the investment management firm, something that I noticed that I was doing was I was always helping out my girlfriend’s with this information. So like, explaining to them what is the 401k what is the mutual fund, what is a Roth IRA and so on. And it actually really all clicked for me I was I was at a, I believe was a bachelorette party in Reno, Nevada. And I went with a friend of mine that I worked with, and it was actually her friends, and we’re all in Reno, Nevada, Republican keela shots having a great time at the Golden Nugget casino, which hopefully gold nuggets still around somebody, somebody let me know somebody in Reno let me know if the Golden Nugget is still around. And the women that we are with there are all these really brilliant women, a lot of them had gone to Stanford, much smarter than me. But they all had these questions about all of these topics that I just happened to learn a lot about, because I worked in investment management. And that was the first time it really clicked. Both my friend and I, we were like, wait a minute, like on the drive home, we were like, wait a minute, that was that that was something like, we happen to know a lot about this topic that is so necessary for people to understand. And so maybe there’s something there. And so that actually happened while I was still working, and I kind of tucked that idea away, but really didn’t do anything with it until years later when I ultimately quit the job. And while I was doing that very cliche soul searching that I was doing while I was traveling, it’s something that can Kept bubbling up. And I was like, okay, maybe there’s something there. Because when I was traveling as well, like what were actually two of the things that I decided was that whatever my next career path would be, I really wanted to, I really wanted to be able to help people. I wanted to help people and make people laugh. And then also want it to be able to be creative within whatever career field I chose. And so it just seemed like a really good way for me to be able to do both was to, again, try to turn around and make this information just a lot more palatable and democratize the information and get it to the people that that really need it, which are the people that so often aren’t the ones that can afford an investment management service to begin with.

Maggie Germano 8:45
That makes so much sense to me. And I love that whole story. And that just like that journey that you had and kind of how you were seeing the need, even while you were still working at the investment management firm, but then really honing in on that. After you left and wanted to figure out what your next move was,

Amanda Holden 9:05
yeah, who would have thought that I would have left Reno with an idea of a career path?

Maggie Germano 9:12
Hey, I mean, God bless. Yeah. And so you’ve mentioned more than once that investment, understanding investing is really important skill. And so can you say a little bit more about why that’s so important, and especially for women, why it’s so important to have the skills and the understanding related to investment?

Amanda Holden 9:36
Sure. So, you know, investing is such an interesting skill set and that everybody in our generation, and let’s just call our generation, the millennials, but the generation that came before us and the generation that’s coming after us will need to know how to invest as well. And a lot of that has to do with the nature of saving for retirement. So if you think to back to even like 30, or 40 or 50 years ago, if you think about our grandparents, our grandparents really may not have needed to learn this skill. And the reason for that is they were covered by pension plans at work. And so a pension plan for anybody that’s never heard of one because guess what, they barely exist anymore. A pension plan is essentially when your company saves and invest on your behalf for retirement, and then you get a check that shows up on your doorstep each and every month at retirement age. But really, you don’t do any of the actual work yourself. You can almost think of it as like a behind the scenes retirement plan. They are the ones your company is the ones that is actually going to be doing all of that work for you. Well, what we ended up seeing, for for a number of reasons, pension plans became kind of an administrative nightmare for companies to manage when you can think of like managing this big Mondo pool of money and especially Big Mondo pool of investments is a really difficult thing to do. This coincided with a time when life expectancies grew like crazy. So you know, Ford Motor Company thought everybody was gonna live to be 64 and then die, and then boom, all of a sudden, everybody’s living to be 85. And they just had not accounted for that from a statistical standpoint. And so anyways, long story short, pension plans blew up in our motherfucking faces. And so companies throughout the 90s and the 2000s, were kind of like, wait a minute, what’s this 401k thing? You know, the 401k was actually originally just a line in the tax code that allowed highly compensated individuals to store additional money to save and invest for retirement. It was like a little tax loophole for rich people. But then companies started being like, you know what? managing these pension plans was kind of A nightmare. So we’re going to go ahead and push all of the responsibility on to the individual. And so you’re going to have to save, you’re going to have to invest, you’re going to have to do all of the retirement planning on your own. And here you go, here’s a 401 K, you go figure it out. And so if you ever wonder like, what, okay, why am I 35 years old, and nobody has ever taught me about a 401k? Or how to invest or why I need to do this on my own. A lot of the reason for that is because our parents and grandparents didn’t have to do it. They did not have to do it on their own, or maybe they didn’t even have the option to because the other thing that was happening was people never retired. Right? And so there’s kind of this shift to us having to be responsible for our retirement on our own, which I don’t think that people are fully realizing. But retirement is is not necessarily an age, right. Retirement is an amount of money that is saved. And so if you think that you’re going to step away from work without having done the saving and investing, I have some very, very unfortunate news for you. And I always hate to be like the bearer of bad news, like I really don’t like being the messenger, because I really don’t like telling millennials that it’s their responsibility to save a million dollars for retirement, especially considering the conditions that we’ve inherited from previous generations. But I also don’t want this news to come across your desk when you’re 60. I would rather have this news come across your desk when you’re 19.

Maggie Germano 13:34
That that’s really huge. You know, like there, like you were saying, it is a massive burden now on individuals and I know wages have also stagnated for the last couple of decades and the cost of living is going up. college costs are going way up everything, everything just going up except for wages. But then at the same time, we need to be saving for retirement so that we don’t have to work all the way until we die. And so people don’t even have that option. Some people get sick some people get injured and they have to stop working anyway and then what? So I think you’re right, like, at least knowing that it sucks but knowing that early so you can do something about it.

Amanda Holden 14:13
Sure. And so and with my work what I generally try to do is just remove the the educational burden because what I really don’t have control over i would love if I had control over it I would love if we had control over it. Well I don’t have control over our is the the economic conditions that make it so hard for the majority of people specifically in the United States to get ahead or to be able to stash away some money. And but what I can do is make the process of learning about this information, just a whole lot better and less intimidating and more accessible. And so that’s what I try to focus on. You will very rarely tell me how to spend your money or tell you what to do with your money but like what I can do is make sure that you will understand exactly what a stock is exactly what an index fund exactly what a mutual fund is. And we will have fun doing it. And so that’s kind of the core of the work I do.

Maggie Germano 15:10
And I think that’s really important because every individual person and every circumstance is different. So you can’t just like do a course or do an event saying like, this is exactly what to do with your money, because it’s going to be different for everybody. But that educational piece is the really important piece. And that’s the part that’s actually consistent for everyone.

Amanda Holden 15:32
Yeah, and it’s so funny because like we especially within the personal finance community, I know that you and I align on on this train of thinking but like, there’s so much energy that is expended on telling people what to do with their money, shaming people, on how they spend their money. And worse, I think we’re starting to see a little bit less of this, but there’s so much femme shaming about how women specifically spend their money. And I think that you Even though that is a somewhat different topic than investing, I mean, we’re all talking about money. So it all follows falls under the same umbrella. But women can be really turned off from learning about money in general or learning about investing, if it means that you’re going to have to sit across from some sort of financial advisor who’s going to question why you get manicures, right? And so it’s, for a long time, money management has just not been a hospitable place for women for a lot of reasons. But misogynistic forces are absolutely one of them. Because when we are telling people what they should be doing with their money, people cannot get like people cannot help themselves from shaming women. They really can. And not just men shaming women, women and anybody shaming women because we we all live under the patriarchy and we all have these internalized values, but anybody’s starting to spin off into a totally different.

Maggie Germano 16:54
No, I mean, that’s one of my favorite topics. So that’s fine with me, but actually related to what you said. started saying, Can you talk a little bit about the investment gap between men and women? Just just talking about gender for right now, overall, like, what that gap kind of looks like, and then maybe expanding a little bit more about like, why that might be?

Amanda Holden 17:18
Yeah, of course, I love talking about it. And I do like to say up front that we often when we’re talking about studies, specifically looking at men versus women, we are talking about the gender binary, and obviously, not everybody lives in the prison that is the gender binary. And so my apologies upfront. This is really more a byproduct of the fact that these are the studies that we have right now. And hopefully in the future, they will become much more inclusive. So I like to say that upfront, but in general, when we’re looking at studies that measure the investment gap, they are fairly conclusive that an investment gap exists on an absolute level. So like number of dollars saved into a bank account. But there is some variety in the in the different studies. So for example, so some studies show that women invest less than men on both an absolute level, so numbers of dollars in a bank account, and then also as a percentage of income. So like men invest 10% of their income women invest 5% of their income. But there are other studies that show and there was actually this really big one that was done by fidelity recently, where they looked at all of the plans that they administer across hundreds of different employers. And what they actually found is that women tend to invest as much as a percentage of income. So like the average is about six or 7%, as men do, but because women are paid less across the board, it simply results in a smaller amount of money saved and invested. And so that’s the perpetuation of the investment gap. And so How much we are able to save and invest is a function of how much we earn, then for women, and especially women of color, and in particular black and Latino women who make even less money than white women, but of course, they’re going to be able to save and invest less. And so what’s the end result? Again, there are multiple different studies, but women tend to end up with significantly less money in every sort of savings account. So regular savings accounts, but also retirement and investment accounts. And this is, this is the statistic that I probably hate the most, but when you’re looking at retirement age people in general, there is one demographic that lives in poverty more than any other demographic, and it is single, divorced and widowed retired age women. And so whenever I’m giving any of my workshops, I always like to I mean, I don’t think that anybody that shows up to my my workshops is Relying on anybody else to create their financial plan, but I also understand there’s some moments where I’m like, Can somebody else just take care of this for me? Like, I’m not I’m not above thinking that I’ve thought that before. But what I always like to remind people in my workshops is that, you know, a wife is not a financial plan. A partner is not a financial plan. A man is not a financial plan. Right? Any of us could be a retired aged person or retired age woman who is single, divorced or widowed. I I’m still single, if you can believe it, Maggie. My mom can’t. Mother can’t believe it. And so obviously, this is all just a problem because it’s not like women need less money to live in retirement.

In fact, with so many women, raising families on their own and of course, that women live longer than men. Women need just as much if not more for retirement and in investments than than men do. And so really, if we’re going to get to the core of the investment gap, we have to get to the core of the wage gap. And we have to deal with poverty and we have to deal with the minimum wage and we have to address subsidized childcare and, and other legislation that is actually going to have a meaningful impact on the way that women can earn money.

Maggie Germano 21:35
I wholeheartedly agree. I think so much of this is structural, and so much of this is institutions that need to be changed versus personal responsibility. And I think that’s another thing that turns off a lot of people from the finance community is that it’s all about don’t buy lattes. It’s all about not even eating avocado toast or getting manicures or whatever. But like those things are not costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career like the wage gap is. And so, and like not just the gender wage gap, but the racial wage gap and all of those other systems that are playing in when it comes to affordable housing and college education costs, and like you were saying, child care, and especially right now with COVID-19, where I just saw something that was like Florida State University is making it so that you’re not allowed to work if you’re also taking care of like, Okay, so what are people supposed to do right now, that daycares are closed and camps are closed, and schools are closed, like, anyway,

Amanda Holden 22:41
that’s infuriating.

Maggie Germano 22:42
It is. It’s just crazy because everyone’s struggling with this at the same time, even households that have two parents, even households that have two incomes. They’re still struggling because of the way the systems are set up right now. Let alone single parents or households that don’t have multiple incomes or who have low incomes.

Amanda Holden 23:03
Yeah, unfortunately COVID-19 is dealing such a blow to women who are fighting to get paid fairly. It’s such a blow oh my gosh, Peggy, do you ever just get so morose thinking about the wage gap? Like when I hear like women make 60 cents to a white man’s dollar or 70 cents to a white man’s dollar or 50 cents if you’re a black woman to a white man’s dollar. I mean, that’s, that’s 30 cents missing, that’s 50 cents. So that’s a half of $1 missing. And, and that’s where it all is. That is where the opportunity is. That is where the investing is. That’s where the vacations are. That’s where the side business venture is. That’s where the extra help and the childcare is and so I just get so tired, telling women to scrimp instead, what I really want is for the world to culturally value women’s worth, work and contributions, and then also to come up with the legislation to reflect those values.

Maggie Germano 23:59
Yes. I feel the same way. And that’s why I think it’s so important. Like, obviously, the education on your side and education on my side, like those are really important parts of it. But we also have to talk about the structural issues and the misogyny and the racism. And just the inherent unfairness of the way our capitalist society works. Because if we’re not talking about that we’re not really encompassing most of society. No, we’re not. So related to that. Can you talk about the investment gap or the I guess, like, lack of potential lack of opportunity when it comes for to women of color when it comes to investing? I mean, you started touching on that a little bit when it comes to the wage gap and how it’s different for different women of color and all the other kind of parts of the game at play. But can you touch on that a little bit more for women of color specifically.

Amanda Holden 25:01
Sure. So there are a couple of forces at play. So the first of those is the fact that they are simply earning less and earning a lot less. And so how in the hell are you supposed to invest money if, if you don’t even have any room to run at all, and so the pay gap is, in my opinion, the number one contributor to the investment gap for women overall, but specifically for women of color. The second piece is when we’re looking at our lowest income earners. So for example, when we’re looking at minimum wage workers, minimum wage workers are overwhelmingly women and women of color. And when we’re looking at minimum wage workers and not necessarily minimum wage workers, but low earners in general, they are typically working in workplaces to do not have any sort of available option for retire But no retirement plan. There’s no there’s no additional resources. I mean, you work at Google and somebody will literally not only give you a retirement plan but will wipe your ass and so that’s obviously not happening if you are in any sort of low income job, right, like they are not going to be doing that at Kmart for you. And so, so unfortunately with again, both the the racial and the gender disparities in in creating wealth over time, it is exasperated by the fact that women so often work and in jobs that do not provide them any sort of resources whatsoever. So many people only contribute to a 401k program because they accidentally stumble into one through their corporate workplace. It is so much additional work to open it up on your own and have to fund that thing yourself. I mean, part of the beauty of using a 401k plan is that the money is taken directly from your paycheck and automatically siphoned into an investment program for you. Whereas when you are doing it on your own, unfortunately, you have to figure out every single step of the journey, including the getting the account open, getting it funded, getting it funded regularly, setting up ultra automatic contributions, and then also investing investing regularly. And so it’s, it’s a lot and the reality of minimum wage work in this country is that in order to get by, you’re not working 40 hours a week, you’re working 60 or 70 or 80 hours a week, often in addition to raising a family. And so that doesn’t leave us a lot of time then to figure out how to invest on our own. And so until we do things like raise the minimum wage, so that people can actually work a normal work week, which also 40 hours is a lot of time to work in a week we talk about that as well. And until we raise, do things like raise the minimum wage wage or provide subsidized childcare, we’re really not going to see any sort of meaningful change on the front of getting women and specifically women of color to invest more. It’s just not going to happen.

Maggie Germano 28:14
Right? Yeah, I think all of that just again, highlights the fact that it’s not a personal failing. It’s not that these people are not working hard enough. It’s not that they’re not trying hard enough. It’s that they’re really just kind of starting at a different at a different space. They’re not having the privilege of having an employer that’s going to manage this for them and start this for them. They have so many other places that their money needs to be going and they have to be working so much and then there’s also the education gap of like, we’re not learning about this in school. This is not a focus of most of our lives. So yeah, just again, highlighting that it’s not a personal failing. It’s a structural

Amanda Holden 28:54
No, no, no and and I should have even mentioned this before, another huge thing. Reason is a lack of intergenerational wealth. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that somebody who is like a white woman was given $100,000 to put into a investment account when she was 21. But even having to take out less in student loans or no student loans, is a huge headstart that so many white people get in this country that black women and Latina x women do not get. And so let’s not forget the 400 year headstart that white people have had in this country, in, in building wealth in general. And it’s, it’s so it’s more in more ways than just getting a trust fund. It’s opportunity. It’s so many things.

Maggie Germano 29:50
Yeah, I totally agree with that. And because yeah, I think that a lot of people, white people get defensive like, Well, I’m not rich. My family wasn’t rich. They didn’t give me money. It’s like Well, but you didn’t necessarily, obviously, everyone’s circumstances are different, but like maybe your family owns their property. Maybe they weren’t victims of redlining and segregation and discrimination over the course of decades. Maybe like you said they did, maybe their parents took out half their loans for them, and they took out the other half. So they had half of what student loan debt might have been for somebody else. And just again, having that headstart, like you said, it really makes a huge difference makes a huge difference.

Amanda Holden 30:32
And also, you don’t have even if it didn’t happen in your own personal life, like you can’t let that blind you from the fact that it’s happening overall. I mean, people get so silly when they get like the very myopic view of like, it didn’t happen to me. So it can’t be true across the board. It’s like, well, that’s, you should try harder.

Maggie Germano 30:56
Right? There’s seven, 7 billion people in the world three, over 300 million just in America alone. Like, I feel like there’s gonna be a lot of different experiences

Amanda Holden 31:05
your sample sizes poor. Yeah.

Maggie Germano 31:11
So when you first started talking, you mentioned, you know, obviously we were talking about things in the binary we’re talking about men versus women in terms of investing. Do you have any statistics when it comes to the LGBTQ plus community when it comes to investing or just generally their access to wealth, because I know there’s still a ton of discrimination when it comes to that community as well. I mean, the Supreme Court just said, You can’t fire people for being trans. So that’s a thing that should have happened a long time ago.

Amanda Holden 31:46
So there’s, it’s a thing that’s going to continue to happen. And that’s and that’s the unfortunate reality is that there’s so much discrimination in discriminate against discrimination against the queer community does not seem like it’s going away anytime in the near future. And so it’s, it’s absolutely a prohibit or in being able to build wealth in any substantial way. I don’t have any, I don’t have any figures off the top of my head that I can share with you. Unfortunately, I should I should have some more figures memorized. So I’ll do that for the next the next show.

Maggie Germano 32:22
Yeah, no problem. And I mean, I know that there are studies out there, so I’ll pull those up and plug them into the show notes too. But I just, you know, we just finished Pride Month. So I also wanted to make sure at least to mention that as part of the conversation, because there’s definitely a gap when it comes to sexual identity and things like that. So just not just at least trying not to forget that part of the conversation as well.

Amanda Holden 32:47
Yeah, absolutely. And I would actually be interested to know what you find because in, in my efforts to find studies along these lines of four, it’s pretty lackluster. There’s really not Have a ton of really great studies regarding specifically building wealth and gender identity. And so I would be interested, it’s probably changed since the last time I looked. And so you’ll definitely have to fill me in on what it is that you find. But it’s definitely a lot easier to find studies on race and gender.

Maggie Germano 33:24
Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I think, again, it’s just another one of those things where there probably were not studies on gender for a long time. They’re probably not studies related to race for a long time. And I think it has to get to a point where it’s like, the people doing the studies or the banks, they need to know that these communities actually matter. Right?

Amanda Holden 33:45
The old profit motive, yeah, go figure.

Maggie Germano 33:50
So if folks want to start getting into investing or they want to start understanding, investing in general, or you know Whatever their kind of thought process process is, or wherever they are right now, financially, what are some tips you have for just getting started either with that education piece or with actually starting to invest?

Amanda Holden 34:13
Sure. So I’m encouraging of always starting with the education piece. The good news about right now is, is education is more accessible than ever, even 10 years ago, like you had one option and it was to buy the most boring, dusty book on investing by some dusty old, old white guy. And nowadays, there are a lot of people like you who do a lot of work to make the information a lot more enjoyable. And so I would definitely start by, you know, finding some people that are talking about investing, whether it’s folks that are writing about it, podcasting about it, instagramming about it. I do lots of free investing education over on my Instagram at dumpster doggy every Friday. I try to cover some sort of investing terminology, do lots of posts about investing. But again, I’m certainly not the other one. And I’m always sharing other people’s resources as well. So you could always use me as a starting point to find other accounts, as well. And so definitely start with the education. I am a big fan of knowing a little bit about what it is that you’re investing in before you invest otherwise, it is just a complete and total gamble. And so start with the education piece and then start setting aside some money that you may want to invest and and while you’re doing that, another important piece is just to start thinking about what it is that you want to accomplish. And people love to just like dive right into the like, should I buy Tesla stock? Should I be buying Tesla stock? Should I buy bitcoin? And it’s like, Okay, well, what what is it that you are trying to accomplish? Right? Whenever we have a pool of money, we need to ask a couple of questions. What is it that I’m trying to accomplish with this money? What is My timeframe for this money, and how much risk Am I willing to take but this money, and that’s actually going to guide us to what the most appropriate investment is. Because if you were saving and investing money that you want to put down on a house in five years, your investment strategy is going to be very different than if you’re saving and investing for retirement. And so for anybody that is just beginning, I would start with education. And I would start kind of thinking about your money in terms of buckets, and thinking about the goals for each pool of money. So you can then puzzle piece those two ideas together, right? What is it that I am trying to accomplish? And what options exist for me out in the world? And then again, just crank those two right together and, and start to try to determine investing strategy? Yeah,

Maggie Germano 36:48
that’s really good advice. I think starting with the education piece is important because then maybe you’ll be a little less overwhelmed. Like if you’re just trying to jump right in. You have no idea what you’re doing or where to even To start that can make you then just give up completely. I feel like and then yeah, having that clear goal for your money. That’s something that’s always been very motivating to me. I tell my clients that all the time, like, Why do you care about this? Or what do you actually care about? Because then you’ll actually be more motivated. And like you said, you can then stick to the right strategy, depending on what that goal is.

Amanda Holden 37:24
Yeah. And the good news, here’s the encouraging bit for anybody out there that’s listening that might be feeling overwhelmed, is there’s actually only so many options out there. There’s really just a few different investment types that you actually have to understand. And like really, actually, there’s kind of just two stocks, stocks, bonds, and real estate. And then there are many different ways to own those different asset classes. But I remember when I, I was working in investment management, and I didn’t know anything, even when I started this job. And they told me that there’s basically only two investment types that you need to learn. I was like, Yes, like I can handle to like I thought it was Infinite, I thought it was a million, I literally thought it was a million. And so the good news out there anybody who’s listening, it’s not a million. There are just some really concrete concepts that you need to understand. And I’m very much of the belief that you just need the right teacher, you just need somebody that is going to break them down for you. And once you understand the building blocks the basics, which is really all you need. That’s another thing I like to tell people is that like, there is like a pretty like, set amount of information that you need to know within investing, you do not to be a successful investor, you do not have to read about it every day. You do not you’re not tethered to some investment portfolio for the rest of time where you have to be constantly like looking at graphs and making decisions. You don’t have to do that to be a successful investor. And so anyways, learn those building blocks. Know that there is a finite amount of stuff that you need to know there’s really just a few options. And really your ultimate goal with investing is just figuring out what it is that you’re comfortable with and what it is. You want and matching that up with one of the options that exists in the world?

Maggie Germano 39:05
Thank you. That’s really helpful. It makes it less overwhelming for sure.

Amanda Holden 39:08

Maggie Germano 39:10
And is there anything else you want to make sure that listeners know about investing or dipping their toe in or structural misogyny or racism?

Amanda Holden 39:20
Well, I think we covered a lot today. If you want to learn more again, come find me over at dumpster doggy. I also do have a more in depth investing course if you want like a whole program. And so my course is, it’s 15 lessons. It’s 11 hours worth of material. It’s all video. So it’s all on demand. But with the purchase of the course you also do have access to me in office hours so that you can ask me questions as you’re learning to apply the material to your own personal situation. And it’s super fun. I try to make it as entertaining as possible. So I just tell people, you know, pour yourself a glass of wine, some hot cocoa, get your popcorn. Get your greasy top knot. And like just buckle up and and you know, put on the show and it’s entertaining and it’s a good time. And so I would love to have you check that out if you would like a more comprehensive education on investing.

Maggie Germano 40:14
Great. And I will link to that in the show notes too. So people have easy access. Anything else you want to promote that you’re working on or that you have coming up?

Amanda Holden 40:23
well beyond I think that’s it for now. I am. I mean, today I am rolling out a really big scholarship program specifically for black women. But I am choosing my recipients today like right now, that said, if you are listening to this in the future, I will do other rounds of scholarship programs. And so this particular round is for black women specifically, I have done rounds of scholarship programs for all sorts of demographics. And so even if that’s not you, a really useful thing is to follow me on Twitter or on Instagram, because there will definitely be more scholarship opportunities in the future.

Maggie Germano 41:00
Great, and I have loved to see that you’re being so generous with that offering.

Amanda Holden 41:05
Oh, I’m so happy to do it.

Maggie Germano 41:07
And you mentioned all the different places you are on the internet. But are there any other ways folks can get in touch with you?

Amanda Holden 41:13
Find me on the internet. Yeah. Just do a Google. Yeah. Come find me. You can find me on. I’m probably on Instagram the most. So come find me there.

Maggie Germano 41:21
Great. Well, thanks, Amanda, so much for being here today. I think this I really enjoyed this conversation. I think that it’s gonna make investing feel a little less scary for people.

Amanda Holden 41:32
That’s what I want to do. Well, thank you so much for having me, of course.

Maggie Germano 41:38
Thank you so much for listening to the money circle podcast this week. If you like the conversations we’re having here and you’d like to go even deeper. Join the new money circle community. In this safe intersectional feminist space. We will break down money, shame and build community and safety for everyone so that you can find the support you need to gain control over your finances. Visit Maggie Germano COMM slash money circle to learn more and to join. If you’d like to get more connected with me subscribe to my weekly newsletter at Maggie Germano comm slash subscribe to learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings or just to read my blog visit Maggie germano.com You can also follow me on instagram and twitter at Maggie Germano. I look forward to hearing from you. Bye