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Chelsea and Simran Kaur from Girls That Invest discuss ethical investing, starting from nothing, and how to build wealth and live by your values under capitalism.

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Hello, everyone.

And welcome back to an all new episode of The Financial Confessions. It is I, Chelsea Fagan, your host, founder, and CEO of The Financial Diet and person who loves to talk about money.

And today, I'm going to be talking about money with someone who came all the way from New Zealand, which is really far from New York if you look at a map. I was surprised myself when I saw how far it was. She is someone who loves talking about money just as much as I do and has a book that just came out last week on that very subject.

Her passion in particular is about getting women to invest, which as we know here at TFD is something that is often a bit of an uphill battle not because women aren't capable of investing or don't have the money or education to invest, but often because they're just not taught to manage their own long-term finances or really even to think about them. We have study after study that shows that even in heterosexual pairings where the woman has higher education, earns more than her husband, works full time, in general, these women are still not the ones who are doing the long term financial planning even if they're usually the ones making the day to day consumer decisions. And this isn't just a missed opportunity in terms of women taking control of their own futures and having their own security.

It's also a missed opportunity in that day to day finances like what brands we're buying at the store and long-term finances like how we're building wealth and passive income to carry us through retirement are extremely closely linked. And having the person, again, usually the woman in a marriage making the former decisions, but having little to no control over the latter, is really, really dangerous. Thanks to advisor.com for supporting TFC.

Advisor.com offers expert financial planning and investing for a flat annual fee. Schedule a free consultation call with advisor.com today at advisor.com and never make another financial decision alone. And it is for that reason, and many, many others, that my guest today is so passionate about getting women, or in her case, girls, to invest.

Co-founder of Girls that Invest, Simran Kaur. Thank you so much for having me. I'm very excited.

It's a very lovely introduction. And you're right. New Zealand is very far.

It is geographically very far. But also, what I'm interested to learn about is that I imagine economically, there's quite a bit of distance between how things are done in New Zealand and how they're done in the US. So to just kind of kick us off-- so obviously, Girls that Invest, which is your media company, this book that you now have out-- you're on a book tour, at least, in a large part in America.

And I assume the book is probably most popular in America where people have the highest level of need for managing things like their own retirement and also generally will invest more in the market. Can you talk a little bit about how your New Zealand background in terms of finances led you to do this specifically and how you bridge the gap between how things work over there and how they work over here? That's a really good question.

I think when we first started out, we didn't have the intention of choosing just the US market or trying to focus on one place or another. And so we were just focusing on investing education. And we learned very quickly that the lack of investing education is very similar around the world.

So even though, GDP-wise or even though the amount of people that invest are much larger in the States versus New Zealand versus the UK, people in all countries are saying to us hey, I still don't know how investing works. My financial literacy is still lacking. And so when we started sharing our information, it just resonated with so many people, but surprisingly, a lot in the US.

I can imagine. And so when it comes to investing in the market in New Zealand, are you investing generally in the same ways for retirement? Are you accessing the same markets?

Yeah, so personally, between myself and Sonia, and my co-host and best friend of 20 years, we both find that we love to invest primarily in the US. And a lot of our community will ask us, why is that the case? And it's a very simple reason for me.

Some of our biggest companies in the world are US-based. And the US stock market has a lot of data and a lot of history, which I personally love because data and history for me means more reasons to understand research and go, well, that's worked for so long. And whereas, countries like New Zealand, we don't have an S&P 500.

We have the NZX 50 because we have 50 companies to work with. And so they're great companies, but it's very specialized and very niched down where a lot of them are related to exports. For example, Fonterra is a company in New Zealand, which is probably one of our largest companies.

And that's a dairy company. So that gives you an idea of what we're working with. I personally like to invest primarily in the US, but also a little bit of New Zealand.

And I think even emerging markets are something that I like to look into as well. Were you raised to be very financially literate personally? I would say yes and no.

Yes in terms of savings. So my family were born in India. And so as I.

And we came when I was two years old. And I had the very first generation immigrant upbringing where my parents didn't have a lot. And so I got to see them work very hard and be very good with their money in terms of saving.

But they took no risks when it came to their money. And I always wondered, why is that the case? Why don't they buy another home?

Why don't they invest in the stock market? And to a degree, I'd say I was almost frustrated at them when I was younger. But very quickly, I realized that they were focused on creating a stable environment.

And for them, providing stability was the most important financial goal. And their children, or the next generation from that, we had the privilege of going, OK, we've got some level of financial security, some level of stability. Now let's take on the risk.

And let's try and learn about the stock market thing. And what does real estate look like? How do people make money from that?

So I was very lucky. They taught me a lot of great skills about living within your means, not trying to go outside of that. But I would say that there were a few things I had to unlearn as well.

Yeah, that's a really, really common thing that we hear on the show from people who come from a low-income background, who come from a first generation immigrant background. And this is definitely-- my parents had a very similar aversion to risk. I understand how it can be really frustrating.

But at the same time, I think in the US, in particular, I know that most countries-- and I would assume New Zealand is like this-- don't have the same use of credit and debt the way that we do in the US for consumer things. The level of debt that most American homes live with for obviously things like student loans, for their homes, for their cars, for even just appliances and furniture they might be buying-- so I do think in the US, there's probably an even larger benefit to living extremely conservatively and being under your means because I think for a lot of Americans, just not being in a lot of debt, especially high interest credit card and consumer debt is already a huge boon. But I do think that there's something really-- there's almost a process, I think, in a lot of these cases of adult children having to then go back and teach their parents about a lot of financial management.

And I'm curious. I think in the US it's especially complicated because retirement is so expensive, and so little of it is generally covered by the state. So few people have pensions.

How is it in New Zealand in terms of having to individually prepare for retirement? It's unfortunately very similar. And you'd think in a country that is known to have a level of care associated with its most vulnerable populations, we have what we call is a Super, which is like a pension for the everyday person.

And that doesn't even cover rent for anyone. And also, New Zealand is one of the few countries left in the, quote, unquote, developed world where retirement funds are quite new for us. So we didn't have the equivalent of a 401(K) until about 15 years ago.

So anyone before that, unless they've saved the money themselves, which, as you know, the average person doesn't usually-- and a lot of people were left without any retirement savings. And only, I guess, my generation and the generation after have now been having access to these things. So on one hand, we're seeing improvements in how people are setting themselves up for retirement.

But it's funny. Human behavior is still so similar across the states and New Zealand where people still need a helping hand with retirement. And we're still seeing so much work that needs to be done in that space.

Obviously, you and your best friend and co-founder are obviously quite entrepreneurial as women and entrepreneurial in a way that's taken you pretty far away from home, obviously. Is that unusual in, not just New Zealand, but particularly amongst women? I would say when it comes to the entrepreneurial spirit, it is slightly unusual with the background that we come from, especially culturally.

So I am South Asian, Indian, by heritage. And I still remember when Girls that Invest was kicking off. We had family friends reach out to my parents and go, why is Simran talking about money online?

When is she going to get married? And it was a shocker because I'm 25, so I don't feel like-- I'm not kicking it to my late 40s where someone might go, oh, is that the time that you should be thinking about other things in life? Not to say that that's the timeline that women should adhered to anyway.

But it was a really big eye opener for me to realize that there's still so much judgment and so many expectations put on us, let alone, trying to do something out of the ordinary. And New Zealand, itself, though, I would say we're a very lucky country. I think it's one of the easiest countries in the world to start a business in because it's so small.

And two, the sort of bureaucracy is very little. You just jump online, type in a website name, fill in a few things, and you've got a limited company. Look at that.

Not too hard. What is it like here? I would say in the US-- it's a very interesting thing, starting a business in the US because all of the-- not all, but most of the laws around labor laws, business ownership, HR, all that kind of stuff, are state to state, taxes as well.

So it's actually quite easy to start a business. But the individual is incentivized to cut as many corners, to pay as few taxes, to pay as little as possible, to offer as few benefits. It's difficult to be competitive as a small business if you are filing taxes in your own state and city where you live instead of in a more advantageous state, if you're giving a lot of maternity leave, if you're paying competitive wages, if you're having people be employees instead of contractors.

Those things are really hard. New York does somewhat make it easier. For example, on the maternity leave front, there's no federally mandated maternity leave.

But there are state by state laws that help out with that. So in New York, for example, we are reimbursed about three months of our employees' maternity leave up to a certain dollar amount. It doesn't cover the whole thing, but it covers a lot of it.

So there are advantages and disadvantages. Whereas, on the other hand, we do pay a lot more taxes, being a business in New York, than we would in another states. So I think it's easy to start a business, hard to run a business ethically and still be competitive, I would say, is how it is in the US.

That is-- I mean, it's devastating. But it does make sense. And it's so interesting how those sort of things will almost hold people back from starting, or hold them back from being good employers, or creating a company where they feel proud of the company culture.

You'd want those things to be incentivized. And I think if New Zealand can do one thing right is that maternity leave is covered by the government. We have a lot of laws that if your employer doesn't do something, it's very easy to whistleblower or go straight to a government agency and say, hey, my employer has done x, y, zed.

And nine times out of 10, you'll be taking care of. Zed. So exotic.

Different world. Yes. Oh, my gosh.

I'm getting so much culture. Yeah. No, it's not like that in the US at all.

It's really tough. It's really, really tough. And I will say, one thing that is also really that I have a huge problem with in the US.

I am in a household that is what we call DINKS. Oh, of course. [INTERPOSING VOICES] Dual income, no kids. And I don't plan to have kids.

I live below my means. And so I definitely-- I can't afford to pay myself less than some of our employees or definitely less than the average, which is a privilege, for sure. There are definitely people who have a lot higher cost of living, who have a family to support, who don't have a dual income, and all of that stuff.

So I will set that privilege aside. However, beyond that, there is such a normalization in the US of executives, founders, CEOs, all of that being paid so much more than how much their employees are paid. And there are now many countries that are increasingly creating laws around how much higher executives can be paid than employees.

But I will say there is definitely still a huge norm that you're fighting against. For example, when one time when we were considering working with an investor, which we ended up walking away from, they had to adjust the valuation to compensate for the fact that I was being so underpaid by standard. And they were like, your costs are falsely low essentially because you're paying yourself so little comparatively.

And you should be paying yourself x amount, which the company really couldn't function if I was also. And B, we have a four-day workweek, which, to me, is a lot more valuable than whatever. But point being, it's so ingrained in how we think about business in the US, that they had to literally adjust for it in our valuation because they're like if we were to invest, we would require that you be paying yourself this amount of money even though I don't have any desire to have that additional income.

And again, it's hard to talk about these things from my perspective because I don't want to sound like, oh, I'm such a great person. I'm really murdering myself. I live a fantastic life.

I don't need more money. But the point is that the idea of being a business owner and executive in the US is it so heavily tilts you towards exploitation and towards really treating yourself in such a different way than you treat people that you work with or who work for you, that I do think you're fighting a really, really uphill battle in the US too. You can own a business, but can you own a good business?

It's interesting that you say that because I am the exact same. And so with Girls that Invest, one of the things that we do is we're very transparent about how much the business makes and how much we make for ourselves. And so I share that I give myself around New Zealand $52,000 a year, which is what?

In the US, it may be under $40,000. And that's definitely the lowest salary in the whole company. And that's because I don't-- in the exact same grain, I don't need more.

And I'm quite happy with-- I'd rather have that money in my business, and I'd rather help it grow that way. And it's so interesting to hear that if I was ever to take investors, that would be seen as a negative. Oh, yeah.

Yeah, not just a negative. I mean, it literally transforms the valuation of-- I was really shocked that they were like, we-- they basically were like, we're discounting all of your profit margins because that should be going into executive pockets, essentially. It's almost like they're saying, hey, systemically, this is how we like to do it.

And if you do it differently, you're wrong. Totally. I mean, that's definitely why we went through the process twice with two different potential investors.

We, through the whole due diligence all that stuff, wasted so much money and time on that. Never again. But we really came out of it very clearly like, oh, we'll never do this because if you-- I think that there are-- I mean, unless you're going to be a non-profit who is running on grant money, and donations, and things like that-- and even still, there's so many problems with the non-profit system in the US.

But there is basically no way to accept structural investment in the US and still make a lot of choices that do not prioritize profit and growth because ultimately, if you have investors-- And I mean, to take it back to the investing concept, one of the biggest structural problems in the US that, unfortunately, on an individual level participating in the investment market obligates you to reinforce is that we're in a model where what publicly traded companies have to prioritize legally is their shareholders, which usually will come at the expense of employee wages, and environmental practices, and things like that. But on the smaller level as a small business owner, if you're going to take on investors, those investors are going to want to see a return on their investment at the expense of ethics, basically. You almost hope that in the future, those investors start to become people that look like us and sound like us because once we have people up there, they're going to see the value that we see.

And they're going to prep because I believe that you can still prioritize people and the environment and still make money. Sustainable investing, ethical investing. I'm sure we'll get into it later.

But it's just one of those things that once you fix it up there, I can imagine that it improves. But until then, it's just so disheartening that even a company like yours would be having to go through something like this. Let me be clear.

We're doing fine. We were able to say no to investment. And that's a big privilege in and of itself.

But it was a real unplugging from the matrix moment to get that far into the process and like, oh, we would have to basically abandon all of our values and become a company that I wouldn't want to work for personally. So I don't know what they're going to do. But kind of to take it to that ethical investing question, because I do think that's one of the biggest dilemmas, essentially, that I have as an individual person, but also that we have as a business.

And I'm sure you have probably really interesting take on. We hear all the time, I want to invest in this. I need to invest in the stock market to build a healthy retirement for myself personally.

But I don't feel good about a lot of the companies on the S&P 500. I feel really complicated and conflicted about tying my financial future to that. What do I do?

It's a question that I used to have for myself. And so I really sympathize with people that are in that dilemma because at the end of the day, like you've said, we know we need to invest. But also, we all have certain ethical beliefs.

And they might be different for different people. But you don't want to wake up every day and do something that doesn't align with your values. I like to use the terminology in our book and in our podcast, you want to invest in a way that helps you sleep easy at night time.

And so one thing that I want to just make very clear is one of the biggest misconceptions, which you probably know as well with investing is don't have to choose profits or people. You don't have to say, hey, I want to invest ethically, but I also want to make money. Maybe back in the day, maybe five or 10 years ago, you had to choose and go, yeah, OK, well, ethical investing, that's so woowoo.

We've got one fund out the back, if you want to take that one. There was a Morningstar study that looked at about 400 ethical funds and about 7,000 everyday funds. And they found that across countries, and not just in the UK, not just in the US, across types of investments, the ethical funds either did just as well or even better than the average funds.

And so that to me was great news. And I think for anyone listening, they can go, OK, so I can find funds that are ethical. And they give me good returns.

At least up to something like an S&P 500 fund. And it's just a matter of trying to decide, now, what kind of fund are you after? I'm of the belief that if you invest in the S&P 500, there are companies in there that you might not agree with.

And you've just got to have to look at the holdings and make that choice. So what I mean by that is if you jump online and see what's made up of that fund, you can see, hey, look, there's company. And it's got 0.4% of the entire fund in it.

Should I invest in it? Is 0.4% enough to upset me? If it is.

That's totally fine. You just look for a different fund that doesn't have it. And I'd like to take a quick pause here to thank today's sponsor, advisor.com.

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I think that's a good system to use. My general response when we hear those kind of questions is that, well, first of all, we have to be clear that keeping yourself in poverty or financial precarity helps no one. At the end of the day, I think we have to put our own oxygen masks on first.

And a lot of people, I think, look at investing as superfluous. But when you look at how the opportunities and avenues that middle class Americans have to build enough long-term wealth to be able to retire, which to me is a necessity for people, there's really very little to no way to do it outside of investing in the market. Like it or not, that's the system that we have.

Should we also at the same time be advocating for things like stronger Social Security, pensions, unions, all of these things? Absolutely. And I think we can walk and chew gum.

But I do think that for the time being, we're going to have to help ourselves not be in financial precarity because another thing that we often hear from our audience, especially people grew up low income, grow up first gen, et cetera, is having to take care of their own family members in retirement, having to support them. So I do think it's important for us to remember that if we are putting ourselves in a position of not having enough money to live at a certain point, that we are just shifting that burden onto someone else, which is certainly helping no one and possibly putting a really big burden on loved ones. So I kind of want to put that to the side.

But I will say when it comes to the no ethical consumption under capitalism type thing, I do think that when it comes to making those choices, there is a certain point at which the logical conclusion is The Unabomber, basically. You don't you probably don't even know what a unabomber is. My producer's laughing.

So Ted Kaczynski, The Unabomber, was a domestic terrorist who-- I'm learning so much. Oh, yeah. I know.

Now I'm going to sound uninformed. Did he do mail bombs? Was that the thing?

He did a bunch of different things. He did all kinds of stuff. He was getting into stuff left, right, and center.

Anyway, so basically, he was an eco terrorist, essentially, who was living in the woods and in a complete off grid cabin situation, writing all these big manifestos. He's alive. He's alive.

OK. Hi, Ted. I know you're watching. --but writing all these manifestos about needing to go back to a different era and becoming harmonious with nature and civilization, being a cancer on the planet, and all of these things.

And a lot of people smarter than me have done real analyzes of his writings and things like that. And the thing is that if you are someone who has things like climate anxiety and real meaningful criticisms of the late stage capitalism in which we're living, that is, eroded basically all labor protections and things like that in the US, there's a lot of truth to it. These are real existential concerns that I think people have to mitigate.

But I do think that unless we're able to come up with some kind of internal litmus test that is imperfect, but sufficient, there's really just a kind of-- you're on a loop to nihilism, basically. It's something that I've sort of toyed with myself, the concern of-- well, I don't want to really say I love capitalism. I can't say I do.

But at the same time, waking up every day and I'm going to a job. And I'm exchanging my time for money. And then if I want to buy some food, I need to exchange money for the services and the goods I'm after.

And so I used to go through this dilemma of is the stock market ethical? Is it ethical to invest? Is it ethical to buy a home, buy real estate?

And I think my conclusion came down to the fact that if I and the everyday person is putting time and effort into having a job, paying taxes, exchanging their goods and services for money and vise versa, then you're already part of a system. And there is a group of people who are benefiting from that. And those are people that invest in the stock market.

And if you can be someone that is putting energy into this and then also taking, you can then take those returns and put them into good use. You can take those returns and help your family. You can take those returns and then go donate it into the profits, the nonprofits that you really care about or the charities that you care for.

So I believe that in a way, given the circumstances that we have in the situation that you have, it is ethical to invest in the stock market if you can do good with the money that you get from it. I agree. And also, the more power you have in any given system and in capitalism, money and resource is power.

The more you have an ability to change that system, the more you have an ability to influence it. And I do think-- something a recent guest brought up that I thought was a really good point is when you have money, when you're earning money, no one's forcing you to keep it. Just because you have the ability to accumulate more wealth doesn't mean you need to continue to accumulate it beyond what you need to live.

You can give that money away. You can pay other people. You can do all kinds of things with money that are not just continuing to hoard wealth.

And I do think people often conflate the ideas of building enough wealth to, again, do things be able to stop working when you're older and becoming a sort of cartoonish capitalist who just hoards wealth. Absolutely. I think one of the things that-- and not a lot of people from our Girls that Invest community know about myself.

I used to run, or created a social media, sort of another community called The Indian Feminist. And that was quite big on Instagram. This was back in 2016, and we had 300,000-- Only 12?

No, I was older than 12. And we had 300,000 followers. We had Priyanka Chopra following us.

It was a big movement. And that was around the idea of trying to get equality, especially for South Asian women. And as much as that account spoke about the issues that we were facing and the concerns that we had, there was nothing that was really going to fix it besides money.

And I realized very quickly that the patriarchy, at least within the South Asian context, but in most I think contexts as well, that unless the financial imbalances equalize, that's when women can stand up for themselves. That's when we can say, hey, look, that's not OK with me. And now I have the money to go if you don't sort it out.

Well said. I'm doing mental math. 18? Yes.

This is so stressful. When I was 18. Trust me, I was not doing that.

But suffice to say, I do think that there's a real-- as I was mentioning earlier, there are so many problems in the non-profit world and NGOs. And I think one of the most fundamental issues that you're speaking to here is the idea that-- and it's a very kind of chauvinist classist, racist, all of these things, idea is that you need to tell people what to do. And you can't just give people money, which I think in the vast majority of cases, rather than paying a bunch of overpaid executives and redirecting these monies-- because essentially, a lot of NGOs exist as essentially money and reputation laundering operations for corporations and do all kinds of sweetheart deals with for-profit institutions.

And there are so many problems. But a lot of it boils down to the idea that rather than all of this rigmarole, why don't we go into these areas and just hand women a check, I think a lot of times is the bigger question. And I think part of it is, again, that really chauvinistic idea that you know better than they do.

But also, I think there's a real strange relationship that I think often, more progressive minded people have with money, which is that they very much accept the idea that money can be empowering to a certain type of person. But when it comes to the extremely poor when it comes to people who are being very seriously oppressed, for some reason, we don't accept that money empowers in the same way. It's almost like, is it too simple to just be the answer?

Maybe it's not the answer. But it's clearly the answer for rich people, right? They're doing all kinds of great stuff with their money.

And when you think about terms of scale-- we've all seen documentaries where you're looking at people for whom $1,000 is a life-changing sum for them and their children. And I do think that there's a really paternalistic attitude that while you can-- and it's also why I think there's-- I think it's becoming less popular. But I do think that there is still-- there are drips and drabs of this version of women and money that's very much about making women rich and focusing on the net worths and the personal enrichment of a certain class of women.

And I think there has to be a balance between-- we can acknowledge that money is transformative at the individual level to get us to a place of dignity and security, but once we're talking in terms of just accumulating wealth, I actually don't think it's healthy even if it is a woman. Oh, absolutely. It's just another example of you can have too much of a good thing.

And you've got to find that balance. In my view, I think there's still room to have more women share their numbers and their experiences. And I completely agree with you.

I'd still like to see more women go, hey, this is how much I make, this is my net worth just so that we can get more of an idea of, OK, this is the spectrum of where women are at because so far, we just hear about the men that do it. And that's not necessarily a good thing. But at least, that gives other men or people that identify as men the-- almost, OK, this is the end.

And this is this other end. I found it so helpful to know-- when I used to work a 9:00 to 5:00 before Girls that Invest, I found it helpful to ask women in my work, hey, how much do you make? You're five years ahead of me.

If you can tell me where you're at, that's going to give me an idea of where I need to go. And so I think in small doses, it's so helpful. But yeah, there's no need for us to try and keep up with the Joneses, so to speak, in terms of women's wealth.

Yeah, I'm longing for the day that I don't see videos on my social media feeds anymore that's like, how I made a million dollars and blah, blah. It's like, who cares? How much do you pay your employees or your contractors?

That's what I want to hear about. We do both. OK, so for someone who is thinking about, OK, I want to make investing a part of my life strategy and integrate it into my life, but A, I don't want to have to think about it a lot.

I don't want to become a person who's very into optimizing in the stock market and all of that and also doesn't necessarily have a ton of flexibility in their budget to work with, what is your kind of fundamental advice in that regard? We call ourselves nano investors because we're so boring when it comes to our money and our investing style. And I love to read the news.

So I will read the stock market news, and I will check up on things. But Sonia, my co-host, she checks her portfolio once a quarter. And she does not care about what's happening in the stock market world.

She is accumulating her wealth, so that she can live her life and not the other way around. And I found it so helpful when I was younger to understand that concept of investing and the stock market is not what you see in movies. It is not Wolf of Wall Street.

It's not those TV shows where you've got five different screens and you've got this whole set up at home. It's a few automated things that you can do when you have $1. You can do if you have $1,000 to invest.

And it's very, very simple. And what I like to do-- I'm very open and transparent-- is I have two or three ETFs that I invest in regularly. And every month, I put in the same amount automatically from my bank account into those funds in my brokerage account.

And I don't do anything else. Every now and again, I might invest in an individual company that makes up maybe 5% or 10% of my portfolio. But it's just about doing the least amount of work for the best outcome.

And that's my belief when it comes to the stock market. It does not have to be your whole life. It sure doesn't, and it shouldn't.

As far as the sort of really nitty gritty, I think a lot of people still have a difficult time visualizing what it actually means to go and invest. You're like, well, what do I buy? Where do I go?

Could you just really quickly walk through the very, very practical process of opening your account and what you have to do? Again, I used to think you had to call someone up. The millennial in me was like, I can't invest in the stock market if I have to talk to someone on the phone.

Ain't that the truth? And so in the most simplest way, if I was to say, hey, I want to start investing, I would set up an online brokerage account. And that can be with anyone.

I think a lot of people get analysis paralysis trying to choose the best broker to go with. A broker is basically an online website where you can buy shares. And we've all heard of Robinhood.

That might not be the best place for you. There's Wealthsimple. We've got interactive-- Vanguard, Fidelity.

So many out there and not just in the US. You could be based in anywhere in the world, and there will be a brokerage company in your country. And so you set up an online account.

They just usually require a little bit of identification, so make sure you've got that on you. You Input money into those accounts. That doesn't mean that you've invested.

It just means there's money sitting there. And then you can just on a website see these different companies and just click on one and take it to the checkout. It is like online shopping for a shirt.

It is so simple. It is. I called it anti-climatic when I learned how to invest because I was like, that's it?

That's all it takes? I can do this in my bedroom in my pajamas. And yet, I always thought I needed to wear a suit and talk on the phone and have someone yell at me.

It's $4 now. It's $2.50. Hurry up.

Choose and invest. Nothing like that. The internet's done a lot of bad things in human history.

But it has made investing really easy. And you don't have to get on the phone with anyone, which is a win. Absolutely.

And then your next question might be, well, OK, now that that's how you invest, which is not very difficult, how do you choose what to invest in? And I think that can confuse a lot of people. But one of my favorite methods that, again, I use is the Boglehead method or the Boglehead method.

And that was founded by John Bogle, who's the founder of Vanguard. I'm a big fan of him. And it was the idea of, well, hey, look, you've got three different funds that you can invest in.

You've got your every day stock market portfolio fund like an S&P 500 fund that invests in all the companies in the US or at least the top 500. Then you might want to invest in some international companies, maybe something in New Zealand or Australia. So you've got an international portion, an international fund.

And then you might want to invest in a couple of bonds. And you might get a bond ETF or fund. And then that percentage changes based on your risk tolerance.

So I might say, I don't want risk. I don't want my stock market portfolio to go up and down. So I might have a very heavy bond portfolio compared to stocks.

Or I might say I'm 25. I'm investing until I'm 60 for retirement. I want to retire a little bit early.

I might have more shares in bonds. And that might sound confusing. And you might want to listen to this part one more time.

But the idea is if I can summarize it in two minutes, it's not as difficult as people have made it out to be. Not at all. I would make one recommendation, though, especially if you're looking to invest across international waters.

And that is to just do a little bit of a looksie into the tax implications. A lot of people, when it comes to investing, I think, don't really think about taxes. They don't think about-- for Example, in the case of tax advantaged retirement accounts like a 401(k) and IRA, all that stuff, it's important to know that the benefits of those are completely canceled out if you are touching that early.

And there are also penalties and things like that to know about. Also, if you're in one country investing in another country, there may be tax implications in both countries. You have to just make sure that you understand what you're doing.

Also, sometimes you can be taxed on the gains of a certain stock or holding before you necessarily have that cash liquid, which is an issue people run into quite a lot. So understanding tax implications is very important. But I think one other thing to remember is that generally when it comes to investing, there is a sliding scale of how much you're paying out of your earnings and how much you actually have to do or think about yourself.

So at the highest end of that, you're going to have funds that someone is actually physically working on and helping you make decisions and give you the information directly and all that stuff. Then you have things like robo advisors where all of those little calculations are made. It's really just totally set it and forget it.

You are, generally, in those cases, paying higher fees. And then there are also brokerages where you manage everything yourself. And some people really like doing that.

And they also love that you pay the lowest fees generally when you do that. But then you're going to have to have the highest level of vigilance and awareness of the decisions that you're making. Something that I think is often really helpful if you're just getting started is to use a robo advisor as a gateway drug into investing and being a little bit less intimidated by it.

And then as the years go on, and you get more comfortable with it, and you understand the process more, then you can work on optimizing for minimal fees. Absolutely. I love that.

I'm definitely on-- because I'm so cheap, I'm on the minimal fees end. But I love the idea of start with the robo advisor. At least, you're getting started.

And you're better off jumping in and doing it as opposed to let me put it off until I understand it better. And a few more years go by. And life gets in the way.

And you just never end up doing it because as we all know, you're better off with a little bit of money now then trying to put in a lot of money when you're much better off financially and you don't have as much time left. Totally. So you're in the States for a tour for your book.

Talk a little bit about the book and then what comes after. I still remember when I got the email about the book. It was from a publisher.

And I thought it was a scam. And I thought, why on Earth would this publisher reach out? And we were very lucky, though.

The idea behind the book came into fruition just because so many people were asking us, what's the best book to read? I love the podcast. I love your social media posts that you make about investing.

But I'm more of a book person. And we would recommend to them a couple of books. But it was often read this one book about money mindset.

And then after that read this other book about the stock market. And there was no book that encompassed both or took into account, well hey, before you invest, you should probably unlearn a few things and primarily unlearning ideas around, I'm naturally bad with money or unlearning the ideas around because I'm a woman or identify as a woman, I can't do this. I'm risk adverse.

I'm x, y, z. And there's a lot of myths that stop us from investing. And so I was very excited to put the two book ideas together and go, well, OK, the first chapter before we talk about anything to do with the stock market, we're going to talk about mindset.

And we're going to talk about money. And we're going to talk about maybe some of the softer skills with investing as some people call it. And then we get into the nitty gritty of how to invest and how it works.

And it's almost like a little degree put into one. There's one section on theory. And then once you've got all the theory down, the second half of the book is implementing it.

And I've just been so fortunate. It's had such great reception around the world. Yesterday, it just got put on Canada's bestseller list on Indigo.

Thank you. It's been a bestseller in New Zealand and Australia and now the US as well. And I think it just comes from the fact that half of the world's population wants to know about this.

And yet, no one's been talking to us about it. And there's been brands like yours and mine that have been trying to do the groundwork. But a lot of people ask me, you must be so happy that it's been such a successful book.

And to me, I'm like, no one else is talking to us. It's not like it's a very competitive space. And yet, half of us have been waiting for something like this.

Totally. Well, it has been such a pleasure speaking with you, as I knew it would be. Obviously, go by the book, Girls that Invest.

Go follow them on all of your social platforms. I also noticed you had a Vogue profile. Yes.

Yes. Sheesh. We were very lucky.

We got a two-page spread in Vogue. And I thought it was going to be a column. And when I opened up the magazine, I was like, oh.

That's a lot bigger than I expected. You had the print edition? We were.

My goodness. Man, that thing would be framed in every room of my house. Congratulations.

Thank you. Well, thank you so much for joining us. And thank you guys so much for tuning in.

And we will see you next Monday on an all new episode of The Financial Confessions. Bye. Bye. [MUSIC PLAYING]