On average, a Latina earns $0.55 for every $1 earned by a white male, the largest wage gap among women of all other racial and ethnic groups, according to the National Women’s Law Center. This amounts to significant losses for Latinas: more than $1 million over a 40-year career. That wage gap has only narrowed by three cents since 1989.
However, not all obstacles are insurmountable, and this group of Latina pros in investing want to show you how to overcome them.
Jannese Torres-Rodriguez has a full-time job and has earned more than six figures from her side hustles. One of the first things she wants to do with her newfound wealth is buying a house for her parents and teaching them all the financial lessons she’s learned as an adult. For example, she’s talked to her father about his investment strategies and encouraged him to open a brokerage account and an IRA. Now, they exchange stock tips and talk about investing for the first time.
“I want women, especially women of color, to know that they can change the trajectory of their families when it comes to money traumas, generational curses, and all those things,” says Torres-Rodriguez. “Get rid of the stigma, the shame, the guilt of not knowing any better,” she told TIME Magazine.
Born in New Jersey, based in Florida, and with roots in Puerto Rico, Rodriguez wants to educate modern Latinas through her podcast Yo Quiero Dinero.
“I started by making a conscious decision to spend a couple of hours a week listening to personal finance podcasts,” she told Real Simple. “Eventually, I created my own to add to the conversation, as I couldn’t find Latinx voices having these critically important discussions. As a result of this self-education, I’m now on track to be the first millionaire in my family!”
Delyanne Barros came to the United States as a child with her family from Brazil. She spent much of her life in Miami as an undocumented immigrant until she could eventually attend law school. When she graduated in 2008, Barros had $150,000 in student debt.
Twelve years later, at just 38 years old, she has no debt and has built a net worth of more than $300,000 with the FIRE investment initiative, which stands for “Financial Independence Retire Early.” The idea is that people save and invest 50-70% of their income aggressively to retire early.
“In the Latinx community, talking about investing is so foreign. We just don’t do it,” Barros told TIME. “Many think the stock market is like a scam or it’s something that only rich white people do, that it doesn’t apply to them.”
Now, Barros teaches her financial knowledge to modern Latinas through @DelayneTheMoneyCoach.
Natalie Torres-Hadad is a two-time TEDx speaker and an award-winning speaker at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards for her published book Financially Savvy in 20 minutes. She is the first Salvadoran American woman to publish a book addressing student debt for millennials. Workshop facilitator, real estate investor, and brand collaborator, Torres-Haddad is a first-generation graduate and part of the top 4% of Latinos in the U.S. with an MPA from CSUN and CSULB, Finance and International Business.
Born in El Salvador and raised in Inglewood, she was surrounded by those facing permanent debt. Determined to be the exception, at age 24, she purchased her first rental property and several after that.
Now, Torres-Haddad shares her wisdom through her bilingual podcast Financially Savvy in 20 Minutes.
“At an early age, I knew education would help me learn how to invest better as a first-generation student in finance and international business,” Torres-Haddad told Real Simple. “I may not have learned everything about personal finance, but I did learn that investing in real estate and other investment vehicles at an early age would increase my passive income, thanks to compounding interest over time. Investing in real estate was a way not only to close the gap quickly, but it created more financial opportunities than most traditional investments.”
“Specifically, Latinas are the largest growing ethnic group in the U.S., and we can target multiple markets for investment based on language and culture,” Torres-Haddad concluded. “There is a joke that says that Latinx people have been social long before social media. That means that we prefer to be recommended and referred to work with companies and people we trust. More Latinas are becoming more vocal and creating new platforms, products, and services to address global problems.”