Brittney Castro, started in the world of finance over 10 years ago as a graduate student from the University of California with a degree in Business Administration and Economics. She began working at a major financial firm and trained in the area of financial planning and consulting.
It didn’t take long for this young Mexican-American to notice the disconnection between the financial world with the reality of women from her generation. The thirty-two year old observed and participated in seminars and trainings that older white men predominantly attended.
Despite her love for numbers and the career she had chosen, the seminar sessions were long and boring. Nobody seemed to speak in clear and concise terms, it was as if they wanted to make the process more complicated than necessary. Hence, to be among people who did not look or speak like her was the motivation to create her own company “Financially Wise Women“.
Castro sat with us on a recent visit to New York City and we talk about her financial strategies designed for millennial and Latina women.
BRITTNEY, WHAT IS FINANCIALLY WISE WOMEN?
It’s a boutique financial planning firm based in Los Angeles. We basically work with individual clients to teach them how to budget, save, plan, and invest their money, to really live the life they want.
I teach a lot of workshops and webinars to help spread financial literacy to the masses.
YOU ARE YOUNG, BEAUTIFUL, AND LATINA WHICH IS NOT USUALLY THE IMAGE WE HAVE OF A FINANCIALLY SAVVY WOMAN. WHY DID YOU GET INTO THIS FIELD?
I went to college and studied business and I actually wanted to be an event planner until my counselor suggested financial planning because of my love of planning and helping people. At the moment I wasn’t sure, I thought money was boring.
WAS IT DIFFICULT TO MAKE A NAME IN AN INDUSTRY DOMINATED BY WHITE MEN?
It was intimidating at the beginning. I wanted to do thing my way. I am an entrepreneur and didn’t want to follow the rules of how to work in a box.
That was around the time that blogging became really popular and the popularity of YouTube channels about fashion and beauty rose. I thought it would be fun to start doing the same for money.
WHY ARE WOMEN STILL FINANCIALLY BEHIND?
We forget the value we have. The industry of financial services still doesn’t really support women to become financially educated.
HOW DO YOU MAKE PERSONAL FINANCES FUN AND EASY?
Create weekly money dates, play music, and have a glass of wine. You must bring positive energy, look at your money, track your expenses, and look for saving/investing opportunities.
KEY MONEY ADVICE FOR WOMEN
The reality is that we have to plan on our own because we live longer than men, the divorce rate is high and we stay single longer.
SECRET TO CREATE WEALTH
The idea is to grow your money faster than inflation. Inflation in America is around 4% so investing in the stock market can give you an average of 6-9%.
You can open a business, have rental property, and create a product or a service. There are a lot of ways to create wealth, but it takes time and you have to figure out what’s right for you.
When it comes to money it takes courage to want to get better at dealing with it because it’s very easy to be comfortable with what you are already doing. Don’t be afraid, go for it. The worst thing that can happen if it doesn’t work is falling right back where you are right now.
Brittney Castro is the Founder and CEO of Financially Wise Women, Chase Financial Education Ambassador and Speaker.