Life Coach For Immigrants

How to build wealth? Interview with Tess Zigo CFP, CIPA

Do you feel intimidated and unsure where it comes to planning your financial future? Are you simply not sure what to do, because the financial system where you live is very different from the one you’ve grown up with?
This interview is for you! I speak with Tess Zigo, Certified Financial Planner about the basics of building wealth in The US. We discuss what holds many of us immigrants back and what are some of the advantages we have where it comes to building wealth. You might be further ahead in your mindset than you thought!
Tess also shares about:
Investing and why starting early is so important.
What is a financial advisor?
Who needs an advisor and why?
What is important when deciding on advisor
What are some common myths about wealth building / being rich?

Want to schedule a complimentary consultation with Tess?

Click here:

Episode #13 - How to build wealth?


Hi everyone, this is Ewelina, I am a life coach for immigrants and today I have a subject that we haven’t talked about yet. We are gonna talk about money. Financial education. I have with me 

Tess. Tess is a Certified Financial Planner and we are just gonna have a conversation. She is an immigrant and she is going to share with us a lot of her wisdom. I am gonna ask her a lot of very specific questions to help you learn things that you need to know about money and I am gonna be learning and we are just gonna have a nice, friendly conversation. So Tess, welcome! Thank you so much for joining me for this! 

Tess: Thank you so much! I am excited! 

Ewelina: Yeah! So am I! Wonderful! And for all of you who are listening to us. Listen you guys! We have recorded this so you can see us talking to one another on Youtube if you want to. I will put the link in the description of the show so you can see it. But hey if you wanna see what we look like come on over to Youtube and watch us. 

Okay so Tess let’s talk about you first, tell me where did you immigrate from, when did you come to the US, tell us all the things.

Sure, I am originally from Bulgaria, which is in Eastern Europe. I always tell people this, I grew up with money not being a taboo at all like it is in America, and maybe it’s similar for you but at least in Bulgaria people talk about money very openly it;’s just a very normal topic of conversation. It was normally the lack of money that was the topic of conversation. People  not having  a lot of it., but I think that normalized the conversation for me, so after that we lived in Africa for 5 years after communism ended you know they opened our borders and my dad was a doctor so he went to Africa in search of better future for us, 

Ewelina: Where were you at in Africa?

Tess: I lived in Botswana which is in the southern part of Africa, I graduated high school there and learned English there because English is my second language. So anyways after living in Africa I came to the US for college. I was 16 years old. I was the youngest kid in all my classes and I lived in North Dakota. Have you been to North Dakota? 

Ewelina: No! But I’ve heard things!

Tess: Yes! The one thing I will say is that there was no diversity in the little town I lived in so I was one of very few international students, nobody looked like me, nobody sounded like me, my accent was definitely a lot thicker at that point and it was a very interesting experience because…

Ewelina: What was that like? Tell me a little bit more… what did you… cause obviously people are not used to your accent, they are not used to… What did they treat you like? What was hard about it?

Tess: You know I think that it is hard for anyone who is an immigrant because you sound different, you look different and people don’t necessarily accept you. I mean as a 16 years old I was the youngest, I was different, it was hard to make friends. My only friends were international students. My best friend was Canadian, I didn’t have any American friends really for at least one year. I think people just didn’t wanna talk to me, didn’t wanna approach me, probably they didn’t understand me because my accent was very different from everybody else. And it was hard, I mean it was just hard to feel like I belonged. But I ended up moving to Chicago that’s whole another story as to why but I was very happy with that transition because if you have been to Chicago there is so much diversity and there was definitely more of the sense of: Oh I actually fit in here, I am not the only person who looks like this and talks like this and that’s where I graduated with my finance degree. And as I started to learn finance I realized that I really enjoy finance because you know it’s all about how you make your money work for you. How do you save and invest your money? And the biggest concept for me that was kind of life changing coming from not having any money, right not being born into a wealthy family, was the concept that if you can save and invest small amounts and if you have enough time for that money to grow and compound you could become wealthy. 

That was life changing for me because I was like: Wow! You can come here as an immigrant and if you actually know how the system works, you can be wealthy one day and you can set your kids up to be financially well and provide them with the better future, I think that’s what we all want right? Better future than what we started with. 

Ewelina: Absolutely. That sounds pretty amazing just that piece. So obviously so many of us being immigrants we come from different financial systems, right, like you are talking about growing up in Bulgaria not having money, talking about money, that was okay to talk about but at the same time one of the things that comes to my mind is that we didn’t have credit cards, right? So unless you had cash you did not buy something, like that whole concept of getting a credit card I was completely unfamiliar with and I was very grateful that I didn’t have that mentality setting my life, right? So why don’t we talk about this, what was it like for you growing up? It was different I am sure, the financial system in Bulgaria. 

Tess: Totally so very similar to what you just mentioned, we grew up with no credit cards, no loans. As an average person you either had the cash to buy something or you didn’t so I think in a sense I am very grateful for growing up in that kind of society because I learned the lesson. I learned the lesson that if you can’t afford it you probably should probably not buy it. 

Ewelina: That’s right!

Tess: And I think a lot of our immigrants have that mentality which is why we are much better savers and we are much more frugal because we come from hard times and difficult environments. And I think that coming here is a matter of changing our mindset and understanding 

That things work differently here, and you can get a mortgage for example to purchase your house, you don’t have to have cash for your house, right? So there are certain things that we need to know, like what is good debt vs bad debt, right?

Ewelina: Let’s talk about it. What is good debt vs bad debt? Tell me!

Tess: Totally, well so the first thing you’ve mentioned is credit cards. Bad debt. Credit card companies charge something in the roam of 29% APR interest right? SO what that means that if we charge something on our credit card today, so let’s say that I buy the newest Iphone today for $2000 and I don’t have the money for it so I can’t pay it off it compounds pretty quickly to where in about 3 years it’s double on your credit card statement. 

Ewelina: So you are gonna pay $4000 but what you bought the moment you buy it depreciates at least by half at the moment you bought it.  

Tess: Exactly, and so people don’t recognize that when they put things on their credit cards, but you know with compound interest that debt quickly snowballs to where you are gonna pay way more than what you charged on that credit card in the first place so you have to use credit cards responsibly so where you put something on a credit card and then you pay it off in full. 

Ewelina: Yeah, someone told me and clarified this for me, someone told me a long time ago, not super long but a few years ago, and I will never forget this because she got herself into heavy financial trouble. But she said: Nobody told me that if I just pay minimum on my credit card I will never pay it off. 

Tess: Yeah, exactly, because you are barely touching the principal so that principal just continues to grow at such a high compound rate. 

Ewelina: Right? And what do they, when you have the opportunity to pay your card off in your bank or in your account, what is the first suggested amount? The minimum!

Tess: So yeah I think we have to remember, the credit card companies are out to make money, so they are not out there looking for your best interest or my best interest, they are in the for profit business of making money . 

Ewelina: So they want you to keep on paying them the minimum so they can keep on charging you. 

Tess: Exactly. I think you asked what is good debt and what is bad debt? So I think the bad debts would be credit cards and that’s the worst really of it and the good debt is things like your mortgage, your student loans, because those are investments. People love to hate on student loans but hey guess what If you got an education that can help you get a better paying job that is the investment. 

Ewelina: It’s also very important what kind of education are you getting. 

Tess: Very true. 

Ewelina: What do you think that is the most important thing about building wealth in the US?

Tes: I think the most important thing is to first of get some basic financial education, right? Because you have to have the education  in order to feel comfortable taking that next step. You don’t have to have a finance degree. I think that sometimes we get into analisis paralysis, and “Oh I need to know more…” No you just need to know the basics. And then really the most important thing about building wealth, is you have to start young because time is your best friend when it comes to investing and compound interest working for you the sooner you get started the more time money has to grow and compound. Luckily for me I have a finance degree and that was the idea that they constantly threw at us, so because I was constantly exposed to that idea as soon as I graduated, with my frist job, I started investing because it was the natural thing to do so I think that is the biggest thing. We need to start. The sooner the better. 

Ewelina: And what do you think that holds us as immigrants, what holds us back?

Tess: What holds us back? For some of us I think it’s our status, our immigrant status, because I don’t know about you. I came as an international student and it took me a long time to get my green card.

And so I think that was one thing in the back of my mind, that I always worried about: Would I actually be able to stay here?   And should I? Should I really be investing heavily into all these accounts knowing that you know, I might get kicked out, I might not get a job to sponsor me, right? You always have that in the back of your head that you might not be here forever. I think once you have that status it gives you the stability and the peace of mind and you are like: Okay! I am here to stay, so now let’s really focus on building a future here. 

Ewelina: Well so what do you think are the advantages for our immigrants? We already talked about the mindset, that’s some of it… what else what are the advantages?

Tess: yeah I think the biggest thing is the mindset frankly because 

You know so many people, there was a report that just came out and it said that a third of people in America making over $250K are living paycheck to paycheck. I mean if you are making over $250K you should not be living paycheck to paycheck. 

Ewelina: Yeah that does not make much sense. They are spending more than they should. 

Tess: Exactly, exactly. So I think mindset can not be underestimate because it is foundation to building wealth. Because you have to be living under your means so if you are making $250K you have to be spending under $250 so you can be saving and investing a portion of that money to build wealth. 

Ewelina: Yeah, so what do you think it is? Just trying to keep up with the Joneses? That whole mentality? That’s what’s standing in our way?

Tess: Yeah, I mean that is a big big issue that is a big issue I see here, and we can’t underestimate the marketing companies. Because I think they say that we are bombarded with 5000 ads a day so you are constantly bombarded with these messages that you have to buy x product in order to feel good about yourself or to be successful you need this house with this car and this watch, and so it kinds of takes a toll because you are constantly keeping up. And I think social media as well, right, that has an impact watching the Kardashians, watching people living that kind of a lifestyle. People that are in the 1% or 5% of the richest people in the world you can’t compare yourself. 

Ewelina: That’s true! That’s what our brains want to do, they want to keep on comparing, and then we think there is something wrong with us and like we should have it. We should look like Kim Kardashian, we should do all the things, and if we are not living that lifestyle then there is something completely wrong with us, which is such a lie. 

Tess: Exactly, exactly. So I think we have the mindset right, so let’s use that to our advantage. And it’s just a matter of getting the basic education to understand how does the financial system work, how can you invest. What type of account makes the most sense. You know, if you work for a company hopefully you have a retirement account through work so that’s an easy way to get started and then guess what? You can talk to a financial planner like myself. I think that a lot of immigrants don’t know that financial advisors exist. So if you don’t know that there is help around the corner you don’t know to seek it. And I am sure it’s the same for you right’? Do people actually know?

Ewelina: They are, I think that it’s an industry that is actually starting to grow but overall my kind of a job it’s one of those things: I can either go to therapy and if I go to therapy I am gonna be very heavily judged by my family and friends and there is something really wrong with me and so often people don’t realize that well, there is also coaching. You don’t have to go to therapy. I can help you with coaching, and you can get yourself into a way better place mentally by just having a coach. Because the majority of the people don’t need therapists, frankly… we don’t have super heavy trauma that we need to deal with. Some of us do, but some of us don’t. It truly is one of those things, when I meet people and I talk to people I often times ask them, do you understand the difference between a therapist and a coach. I will ask them straight up because so many people have no idea what a coach is. 

Tess: yeah that is actually super helpful what you said about the therapist dealing with trauma. 

Ewelina: Trauma and past, that is the main difference, therapy will focus on the past and what has happened. So if you have something in your life today that is affecting how you feel everyday, but it’s in your past… let’s say that your spouse died in an accident or you have a PTSD from being in Iraq or something like that right? When there is this heavy influence of your past on your current state, that;s when you need therapy. But if your life is okay at the base, everything is good, but you feel like: eh… you have an incredible potential and you somehow, someway can not get yourself there, that’s where I help. That’s where you come to see me. 

Tess: That’s amazing. 

Ewelina. It is helpful. Let me tell you. I have a coach too. And not just one, makes a big difference. 

Tess: I think we can all use a coach frankly.

Ewelina: Yeah, I agree. I think every single human being should have a coach. Just because of the way our brains are.

But why don’t we talk about investing? You already told me that starting early is very important. Is there anything else that we need to know about investing for the sake of this conversion?

Tess: One of the things that I like to teach people, one of the basics where it comes to investing is the rule of 72.

Ewelina: Okay.

Tess: Have you heard about it?

Ewelina: No.

Tess: Okay love it. So the rule says that if you 72 by the rate of return that you are gonna get on your investment you get how many years it will take for your money to double. 

Ewelina: Oh I see! Okay!

Tess: So if you take 72 and divide it by… let’s take 7 as the rate of return that you can expect in the market as long term, you get 10 years. So every 10 years your money will double if you are investing.

Ewelina: Got it! That’s why it’s so important to start early!

Tess: Exactly, because lets say you have 10K invested by the time you are 20, so by the time you are 30 it becomes 40K and then it becomes 80K and then it becomes $160K, and you see how it just snowballs. 

Ewelina: Got it! Does not sound that complicated! 

Tess: It really isn’t I think the hardest thing, like anything is starting. 

Ewelina: So you are a financial advisor obviously. How long have you been doing this? 

Tess: So I have been a financial advisor for 7 years. And before that I was in corporate finance for 9 years. And I wanna say  the big difference was that there was just more zeros when I was working in corporate finance, because I was helping corporations manage their millions but I love working with people way more. I love people more than numbers so it’s really fun to work with individuals and families one on one. 

Ewelina: Because you are building relationships right? It’s kind of like you are building relationships for life, right?

Tess: Yes, yes so I am fortunate because most of my clients have been with me since the beginning and I am always saying that planning is a process because life is always changing, so what makes sense for you today financially might be slightly different 5 years from now. Life is so unexpected so its not just about investing, its about planning for worst case scenarios and best case scenarios so when we do planning and when I work with clients we do everything, from their budget to their employee benefits, to their savings and investments to: “Do you have life insurance in case something bad happens? Do you have disability insurance in case you get sick and you can not work for 2 years or 3 years or more? So we always want to make sure that we are planning for the best but we are protected for these worst case scenarios. 

Ewelina: I feel like it wouldn’t be right not to talk about inflation. Tell me what is your thought on it. 

Tess: Yeah so yes, things cost a heck of a lot more this year than they did you know 2 years ago and it’s a real problem and it’s taking more money out of everyone’s paycheck. So what can we control? Maybe you drive less? Maybe you talk to your employer if they are forcing you to be in the office, and say: Listen, that’s costing me X more so can I work from home? Three days a week or whatever compromise they are willing to make if you work for someone. If you work for yourself of course you are in charge so you make those decisions. 

A lot of businesses, for example, are countering inflation by raising their prices. Right? It’s part of life. And I tell people who work for a company to make sure that they are getting an inflation adjustment because if inflation is around 9% you should be getting a 9% increase in your pay. To keep up with inflation. 

Ewelina: Boom! Yes you should. 

Tess: And if you don’t maybe you should start looking at new jobs, negotiate with new company, get new skills, right to where you can level up and go work somewhere else and make more money.

Ewelina: Yeah, we were talking the other day at our networking meeting how today families are looking at multiple streams of income because of the situation we are in and there is so much uncertainty with how the things are going. 

Tess: Absolutely, and I think yes there is so much uncertainty today. I feel like there is always so much uncertainty. 

Ewelina: Yeah I agree, like I really believe that the world is 50/50. It’s always 50/50 always half good, and half bad  what is shifting is just what is on each side and how does that look. Us growing up, yeah our reality looked different than for American kids, right? But there are so many amazing things about my childhood that I would never ever want to get a tons of Barbies for or a computer for… I would so much rather have my childhood, even though I wasn’t the most financially…. I didn’t have the best toys I guess. It does not matter, right? Was there struggles in Poland like they were in Bulgaria? Yes we did have struggles and yet there were so many positives in that life as well. 

Tess: And I think again, it does come down to mindset, right and perception. I love the: Glass half full, glass half empty. But I feel like that’s life, you can view things as half empty or half full, there are always going to be bad things. 

Ewelina: And you know what? By default we are looking at things half empty, because of our lower brain. The first thought about something will always be negative. So unless we decide what we wanna think about it with our prefrontal cortex, the very first thought will always come from our lower brain and will always be negative, it will always be that way. We just have to observe ourselves enough, where we do not believe ourselves, you know. So what is it like… tell me a little bit about the struggles that you see for your people as you are dealing with adjusting budgets and their spending habits, what are some mental blocks that are coming up for your clients? 

Tess: Yeah, so some of the mental blocks, unfortunately, a lot of people grow up with beliefs about money that are not serving them well. 

Ewelina: Like what?

Tess: So for example, one of my girlfriends from college, she was told that she is not good at math, she is not good at numbers and in her family her dad took care of all the financial stuff, right? So she grew up with the distinct belief that she is not good with money…

Ewelina: She is a female, she is not good at math, you are not gonna be good at this! Period. 

Tess: Period. Period, so why bother cause if you believe that why bother, you know? My husband in the future when I meet prince perfect, he is gonna take care of me. And in reality, I have to say this because unfortunately I have worked with a lot of divorcees. And typically it’s the female in that situation that suffers because you don’t know anything about the finances when you are married, and then something happens and you get divorce  and then you are left to figure it out in this super stressful situation. 

Tess: I really want every female out there to be in the know to know about your finances and know that you don’t have to be a math genius to be with your money.

Ewelina: No, it’s just subtracting and adding, right? That’s what it comes down to.

Tess: Yeah, basic math. 

Ewelina: And we all know how to do that.

Tess: Yeah, exactly… you got this. 

Ewelina: With my coaches, the school that I went to, The Life Coach School there is quite a bit of training on money and the money mindset so I have been trained in this as well and I do work with my clients on money specifically because it does come up. For every single client I work with the money comes up, the whole judgment, the story about it: I shouldn’t be charging this. If I am working on business coaching with someone. “ I should not be charging this. This is a lot of money.” They are not seeing the value of what they are selling, they have a hard time seeing why they should be allowed to be making more than what they are making right now and you know there is another thing that is standing in our way, I just remembered, and that was the huge A-ha moment for me. Was this realization that we have a specific amount of money in our accounts? Lets just say that we are used to having $5K in our account and that is our safety net. And then we start making more but because that $5K is our safety net and if we say that we have 7 or 10K in our account by default we will be spending it. 

Tess: Interesting. 

Ewelina: Because our lower brain, the part of us that is keeping us safe takes that extra money as a threat. Like, the reality has changed now, there is money so we gonna get rid of it so we can be back at the 5K which is a safety zone. 

Tess: Comfort level. 

Ewelina: Comfort level, yeah. So this is why when people make a lot of money or they win money in the lottery and all of the sudden a lot of money is coming in, inheritance or all those situations, why they spend it so fast.

So there is such a thing as owning tolerance. You have to teach yourself to own the money and tell your brain: 7K is okay to have in my account. It’s okay to own it. And like own it for a month before you spend some, right? Own 10K for a month before you let it go because that is the part of getting richer. One of the things you are talking about is investing, when you are investing the money you are not seeing it, right? But what about that income that is coming, as you keep on gaining more money or earning more money, you have to build up to the place where you can invest, but what you are working against is that lower brain telling you to spend it. 

Tess: So how do you counteract it in your coaching? 

Ewelina: We talk about, what are your thoughts about having 5K? 

What are your thoughts about having 7K? What are your thoughts about having 10K? Right? And it comes up, it will be very very clear.

“10K is kind of too much…”  It’s not really too much but it will come up and what I do is I ask a lot of deep questions to get to that level cause this is deep it’s not gonna be on the surface, not very obvious. But it’s enough that I am just very persistent and I dig and dig and dig, and we will uncover and we will see very very clearly why people spend money. Or there this like discomfort of owning it, wanting to get rid of it and on top of it we have the programming that comes with 5 thousand ads everyday. Convincing us that if you buy this car you will be successful. Like that whole idea of the brand new car sitting in the driveway for Christmas for a wife, who manages their money like this where you go and you spend 30K or 40K on a brand new car on a brand new car without telling your spouse?

Tess: Imagine that!

Ewelina: Yeah! Why?! 

Tess: It’s good marketing though!

Ewelina: Yeah, it’s that like, for the male the message is: Oh I am the provider! I have all this money and I get to spend it on my wife like this! And the wife is standing there kissing her husband admiring him like: you are the best prince charming ever! I don’t have to know anything about investing! You just provide for me! What a terrible story, really! So far from reality. 

Tess: Agreed, agreed  but you know what is interesting so you see some of the very similar beliefs that I do. All the shame and the guilt and the I shouldn’t spend this. You know, especially I see stay at home moms have a lot of guilt where it comes to spending money. 

Ewelina: Because they are not making it right? So they are very careful about spending it.

Tess: Yes, yes absolutely. That happened recently in a meeting and I asked the wife because she is staying at home with the young kids, I said: What do you enjoy spending money on? You know, go do that. Go spend money on yourself because you deserve it. You are working hard. I think the hardest thing for stay at home moms is because they are not getting a paycheck, they feel like they are worth less. But they have done studies and stay at home moms, the economic value is approximately $180K per year, when you add up all the things they do. So I think that’s a big misconception unfortunately in an area where women need to know: You are worth a lot, whether you work at home or outside of the home. 

Ewelina: Absolutely! Obviously that is my job, I work on that always. We hit that block with so many clients… my worthiness. Even with the ones who are very, very successful don’t feel that it is okay to be spending money, to be celebrating yourself like yeah… a massage is not okay. What?

Tess: Well listen, I am guilty as charged. I unfortunately have that block as well and I’ve noticed it in the last couple of months and I was like: I need to work on this, because you know, I am spending money on everybody I love but I can’t spend money on myself, it’s very difficult. 

Ewelina: Yeah, why not? If I was coaching you we would be digging right into it. Why not? What are you telling yourself about your worthiness? Why is it not okay? And what if you were to die tomorrow? Would you be worthy then? 

Tess: Exactly. It would be too late. 

Ewelina: yeah, yeah. So obviously there are all different kinds of advisors out there. What should we pay attention to when we hire one? 

Tess: Yeah that’s a great question. So a lot of immigrants… I see this a lot because I am a part of a lot of Facebook groups for Bulgarian communities for example. We think that because we deposit our money into the bank, we should go see the financial advisor of the bank, right? Because we trust the bank so we trust the financial advisor. But here is what I want you to know. The advisor at your bank is employed by the bank so whose interest is he ultimately serving?

Ewelina: Banks.

Tess: Exactly, yeah. So the biggest thing for me they have to be independent. So an independent financial advisor. For example, I am independent. I get paid by my clients. I am working for my clients, not for the bank. The second biggest thing. And honestly they are all just as important… if they have to be educated. You know, when I came into this industry I realized that many of my colleagues don;t have a finance degree and a lot of them don’t have a credential. So make sure you know their education and experience and I always tell people to look for Certified Financial Planner because it’s the gold standard in the industry. Yeah, only 20% of advisors have a Certified Financial Planner designation. 

Ewelina: Hmm, and that’s what you are obviously. You have the designation. So you have to get all different kinds of tests? How do you get certified? 

Tess: Yeah, yeah that’s a great question. So there is a huge education requirement. You have to go through the education program, you have to pass a very difficult test and then you have to also have the experience to hold yourself as a CFP professional, and then you are also held to a fiduciary standard which is the third most important thing. Because as a fiduciary you have a legal obligation to act in your clients best interest. 

Ewelina: So that’s the most important piece. When you are hiring someone, this is why, cause at the end of the day it’s your money you want to work with someone who definitely will act in your interest. 

Tess: Exactly. 

Ewelina: Okay last question: What are some most common myths that you see about building wealth, about being rich? 

Tess: I think one of the most common myths is you have to make millions in order to have millions but that’s not how investing works. So if you get started early, and even if you start investing small amounts you can become a millionaire over time. It’s not gonna be instant right? You are not gonna wake  up a millionaire the next day after you start investing. It will take years, so you just have to be patient and you have to have a consistent process, but you will get there. 

Ewelina: That’s good to know, because many of us don’t have millions to spend, especially us immigrants. We are building the foundation for our lives, for our families and so many of us. 

Tess: Exactly, exactly. But if you are at the place where you can pay the bills and you have some money left over at the end of that month. You know, pat yourself on the back, that’s a good place to be because now you can start saving and investing. 

Ewelina: What are you hitting where it comes to the whole judgment of someone being rich? I get quite a lot of that too with my clients. 

Tess: Yes, there are some beliefs out there that are not serving us, such as rich people are evil. That’s a big one right? All rich people are just bad. 

Ewelina: They must have done something really bad to get rich. 

Tess: Exactly, and yes I mean for the oligarchs that’s true, but I think we have to recognize that there are many rich people who have worked hard and have created a business or have created something and they have hired millions of people and they have provided so many jobs. I mean look at the technology, it has improved our lives so much I would say, yes there are some downsides but we are able to work from home. 

Ewelina: We are just focused on the negative again. And even just looking at movies, and the TV series. You know what I have been watching? I am gonna tell you my guilty pleasure, which is, it’s hilarious really. I’ve been watching Dallas, do you know that show, Dallas? It’s a very old show, I think they have started filming it in 1978. It kept on going for 20 years, but it’s about this really rich family in Dallas, Texas. All in the oil industry, rich oil industry. And you have two people running this huge company. You have JR Ewing who is evil. Evil terrible, malicious person treats others awfully. And the other one is his brother Bobby who has morals. Values and treats others right, but who is not as successful ever, as his brother. So even that message there is so clear and we are talking about 20 years of the show with this one specific idea and that show was so popular that when they were airing the last episode, there were more people watching that show than there were people voting that year. 

Tess: You are kidding.

Ewelina: No, it was a big deal. And to be honest with you are really enjoy seeing the fashion and the rhythm of everything, how it unfolds. It’s nice and calm but one of the most important messages of it all is unless you are vicious and mean you will not be rich. Oh and when it comes to male, female? Males are the ones that make money and are treated seriously in any business. If there is a female that is becoming successful she is being treated so terribly for having any sort of ambition. And the only way that she can become successful is if she is an investor behind a male and nobody knows. Nobody knows that she is the one behind it. But you know one of the things that we talked about in my school, we talk about. Nothing wrong happens when women have money. 

Tess: exactly. 

Ewelina: Specifically females. When we have money not many bad things happen. First of all we are not going to invest in making money off wars. Females do not do that because of the simple fact that we give life, we value it more. That one piece right? Sex trafficking, child trafficking, right? Those kinds of terribly evil things… is a female going to take her hard made money and invest into something like this? Most likely not, and these are the evil things in the world so yeah lets educate all the women out there, we all need to make a lot of money. And you have such an important job, such an important mission. 

Tess: Absolutely, but you are so right, there are so many, so many of these beliefs that are floating around, with all our movies, TV shows.. Heck I will give you an example in my industry. I became a financial advisor and so we are constantly having to do a continuous education right? And so all these different companies have continuing education and they give us all these case studies. You know, husband and wife, they make this much money, these are their benefits, where should they put their money to use? And I kidd you know, just this last week I had one of these courses online, and it’s always the same. Husband makes three times more than the wife. 

Ewelina; What?

Tess: That’s the case studies. And I don’t think I’ve noticed this seven years ago when I just entered the industry, but now I notice it because it’s just again, and again, and again. And I put my hand up and I said: enough! I am tired of these case studies. Stop telling us that the wife has to make a third of what the husband makes. That is not the case. Your messaging… It’s the wrong message. 

Ewelina: Who is writing the case studies? 

Tess: You tell me.

Ewelina: Not the ladies!

Tess: And unfortunately I wouldn’t be surprised if sometimes it is because you know, if you grew up in that household you think that that is the norm, right? And I think we should challenge the norm to say: Hey the wife deserves to make just as much or if not more. 

Ewelina: Of course and just as you were saying that a value of a stay at home mom is $180K per year. So if this is the value, how much money would she making if she was getting a paycheck? How much money would she actually be making? Yeah but there is also that piece of us not making as much money, because we females and from the start we are getting paid less. 

Tess: Yes there is that, and there is the other reality that usually when women have kids they usually take a step back in their career or they just take time off so then it’s hard to reenter the workforce and make the same amount. 

Ewelina: These are just stories though. All of it, and if we agree it becomes our reality and that does not necessarily have to be, but it becomes our reality and there it is. 

Tess: Yes exactly but we don’t have to accept it, it does not have to be our reality. 

Ewelina: No it doesn’t and questioning it is so important, because at the end of the day money is right at the very foundation of our lives and our safety and I always think about how, when we have our groceries paid for and we know that the car payment will be taken care of and we know that all these basic bills will be taken care of and we have money saved up and we don’t have to worry about it. That’s when we can think about our mental health, and emotional health. And that’s when we can think about what is our relationship like with our husbands that’s when we can actually start focusing on these things that are that next level, helping you grow towards some sort of inner peace and happiness in life . When we don’t have to have 20 jobs just to get by. 

Tess: Yes, yes so ultimately that’s the goal for all of us is to get to that point where we are no longer worried about money, we are worried about the things that are truly important to us. 

Ewelina: So tell me how can my people, how can immigrants find you if they would like to hire you to be their financial planner. 

Tess: Sure so the easiest way to reach out is via my website. It is  

Ewelina: true wealth?

Tess: Tru wealthy, without the e so t r u, and I actually have my calendar right on my website you can schedule time with me. It’s free since I want to make sure that we are a good fit, because I work with my clients a long term.

Ewelina: Got it so someone would just go to your website. And I will add the link to your website to the description of this show so for those of you listening you can go right in there and it will be right there for you, you don’t have to type it in just click on the link and then the next step will be to find your calendar schedule a consultation with you and how does a consultation take?

Tess: Usually it’s about 30 minutes and I am happy to answer any questions you might have and just get you started on your way to build wealth. 

Ewelina: Yeah so everybody if you want to start considering managing your wealth more mindfully and on purpose and actually building your wealth Tess is your girl that’s the first step. Reach out to her and she will take care of you!

Wonderful, it was so great talking to you. I do have one more question for you in regards to you being an immigrant. The last question ok? What do you think was the biggest challenge for you when you came? 

Tess: The biggest challenge? I think the biggest challenge, especially being so young is having the belief that you have to fit in in order for people to like you. And I think a lot of immigrants feel that way. “Oh I have to try to fit in.” I have tried working on my accent , reducing my accent. And now looking back I think the real goal should be to find your tribe, people who accept you for who you are and stand in your uniqueness. Because we are all unique and that’s what makes it special. Just own it. 

Ewelina: Own who you are. 

Tess. Yes. 

Ewelina: Yeah I agree with you and I’ve got to tell you. When you own who you are it doesn’t matter who is around you. You will be comfortable with people who are admiring your accent or not. You will be comfortable either way because you will know that your accent is okay to have. No matter how someone acts towards you you will know that this is on them not on you, it means nothing about you. 

So that is the piece that I help to figure out my people. When I work with immigrants, that is what we are building on, is this sense of this is who I am. This is why I am this person. I’ve decided for myself what I will be thinking about myself and it does not matter at the end of the day what other people think about me. Because that is literally on them. There will be hundreds of people that you meet in  a day and everyone will have a different thought about you.

Tess: Yes, yes. Exactly, it’s on them. 

Ewelina: Tess, thank you so much for being there. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. And I’ve got to tell you I admire your… where you have gotten yourself to in your life. Being an immigrant, coming from the country you came from, you stopped in Africa, then you ended up in North Dakota, then Chicago, now you are in beautiful Florida. It’s quite a path. So I am really thankful that you were here, and you gave us your wisdom and time, and you shared all your thoughts, obviously investing and everything that has to do with that but also your journey. You shared your journey with us and I appreciate it. 

Tess: Thank you! Likewise.