The importance of having financial literacy tools to plan for the future

For Financial Literacy Month, we spoke with finance influencers on TikTok who promote the importance of financial wellness and why it’s important for Gen Z to have financial literacy.

Vivian Tu, also known as @yourrichbff on TikTok, spoke about helping people in marginalized communities gain financial confidence and the importance of having the tools for financial literacy.

Please tell us what inspired you to get into the investment space.

I went to the University of Chicago, which is a huge feeder school for Wall Street banks. I knew I wanted a fast-paced work environment with constant learning opportunities, so finance – sales and trading in particular – became an industry I really fell in love with. I started my career as a young stock trader at JP Morgan and it was there that I learned a lot of personal finance knowledge from my colleagues and mentors.

What are you aiming for with your content and influence?

Finance has catered to the male, pale audience for so long. My content speaks to the people I’ve affectionately referred to as “the leftovers”: youth, women, people of color, and marginalized communities. I want to help give people who would normally never have access to financial literacy education the knowledge they should have learned in elementary school. I would like to help these communities gain the confidence that they know what they are doing and can manage their money in a responsible way that sets them up for success now and in the future.

What does financial literacy mean to you?

Having financial knowledge does not mean that you know all the financial facts, statistics and rules under the sun. This means that if you have a question or concept in the financial space that you don’t understand, you feel confident enough to research, find, and figure out the answer on your own. Basically, if you don’t understand something, do you have the ability to google it, find credible sources, and then develop an informed opinion/understanding?

Why is it important for the next generation to have financial literacy?

So that they cannot be scammed. If you don’t understand something, it’s very easy to take advantage of it. Having the tools of financial literacy means the next generation will be able to formulate a plan for their future, buy homes, pay off debts, and more. without having to rely on others.

What makes Gen Z investors unique?

Generation Z is a generation that has so many more worries than previous generations. They’re worried about paying off their student loans, they’re worried about never being able to own a home, and when it comes to investing, they’re much more selective than, say, Gen X. They want to know that their money aligns with their values.

How has financial literacy impacted you throughout your career?

Having financial knowledge and financial stability has helped me immensely throughout my career, both professionally and personally. Because I had a good understanding of my finances, I felt comfortable enough to quit a six-figure job to change careers from Wall Street to Tech, where I first took a pay cut. Because I understood my cash flow in and out, I was able to break a lease when my roommate and I discovered we had a bug infestation, even though I had to pay a penalty. Financial literacy, more than anything, provides peace of mind.

What are some of your most popular videos and what do you think really touched your viewers?

Most of my most popular videos provide an actionable tool for viewers to use. Some of my best hits include how to find cheap plane tickets hidden around town, how to negotiate lower medical bills, and how to ask for a higher salary when you get a new job offer.

What do Gen Z investors care about?

Gen Z investors mostly care about how to juggle it all. This is not the “sacrifice” generation. They want to learn not just how to pay off debt and invest, but how to go on vacation and buy designer clothes while doing it.

About Viviane Tu:

Vivian Tu is a Wall Street veteran turning finance into FUN-ance. Starting her career in stock trading at JP Morgan, Vivian learned the basics of personal finance from her colleagues and began to realize how little financial literacy is taught in schools! She didn’t like how existing financial content was boring and only catered to older, wealthy, male audiences, so she started creating her own. Blending topics like student debt and buying a home, with celebrity trivia and funny stories, Vivian aims to make discussions about money less taboo for the next generation of Rich BFFs!

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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