Updated: Jun 3, 2021
By Nathaly | Financial Coach | Canada
From a young age, I was interested in investing. When I was 14 years old, I remember telling my mom that we should invest in some companies in the Ecuador Stock Exchange and she replied:
“That is such a good idea, but we cannot afford it”.
For this reason, I thought that investing was an unattainable dream and I forgot about it. I am sure that this is the reality for many people in Ecuador and other countries.
Growing up, I never saw myself living back home, in Ecuador, due to the lack of job opportunities and the corrupted system. I always felt that even if I did my very best, I was not going to be valued enough. This is one of the reasons why people decide to look for a better future abroad.
Moving to Canada was the best decision I could have made, but it was not easy. I come from a middle-class family and my mom raised me on her own. Coming to Canada was not easy for her – she had to sell her dream car to pay my first year of studies. The situation was a red flag that I could not afford to study abroad, but this time the “lack of money” was not going to stop me.
We went through financial ups and downs for 3 years and a half while I was studying. I even graduated owing to some tuition. Yet I graduated as the top student in Business Economics.
Fast forward to the present, all of these financial struggles have shaped me into the person I am now. Coming to Canada helped me to become independent, understand the importance of personal finance and the power of investing.
I always wonder what would have happened if I had given up and decided not to move to Canada due to the “lack of money”? What would I be doing?
I understood that dreams are free, and money is not an obstacle: the only limit is ourselves. If you are persistent and believe in yourself, many opportunities will come to you and you will find a way to reach your dreams.
For example, a common misconception around investing is that you have to be an expert to succeed. But the reality is that there are plenty of tools available for free and you can start with little money. In my case, I was able to invest in the stock market at 21 years old with just $50/monthly. I taught myself about budgeting, debt management, and investing by reading books, watching Youtube videos, accessing free online courses, and listening to finance podcasts.
My experience has encouraged me to start an Instagram page: @thefinancialtalk. As a Hispanic woman, my mission is to teach financial literacy and encourage my race/community and women to take control of their finances and learn to invest in themselves, so that the lack of money plays in their favor and do not stop them from living their dreams.
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