Monday, December 4, 2017

PF Chat: Diversity in Personal Finance

PF Chat: Diversity in Personal Finance
Hi there, blog peeps. Today we have something special to share on the site: the advice of entertaining writers who actually know what they're talking about.

In the first installment of an ongoing series, that is shamelessly stolen from FiveThirtyEight, we're bringing you some of the best voices in the personal finance world to discuss a topic in our field. This week, we're hosting the dynamic duo at Millennial Revolution, Bryce and Kristy, as well as Kitty from Bitches Get Riches, to chat about diversity in personal finance. 

Yeah, we're diving in with both feet here. 

Fair warning: the chat is chock full of NSFW language. Enjoy!

FireCracker: Hi FI peeps!

Done by Forty: Woot! It's working. This is already a triumph.

Kitty: Hi guys.

Done by Forty: What's up, Kitty!

Kitty: Sorry, Piggy was actually in my town and we got caught up doing non-working shit.

Done by Forty: No worries at all.

Is Piggy joining as well?

Wanderer: And if so, is she sober?

Kitty: I don't think so, she's with her folks tonight.

Done by Forty: No worries, and I encourage adult beverages. [Editor's note: I may have been drinking beers during the chat.]

Okay, you guys want to start?

FireCracker: let's do it!

Done by Forty: 😃 Okay, I may have prepared some questions.

Let's dive right in. Lack of diversity seems to be an issue in personal finance, perhaps especially in the FIRE community. But we all likely see the problem a bit differently: how would you, personally, define the problem?

Kitty: Well, people of color are a substantial portion of the population.

So whenever I see communities that don't reflect somewhat real-world demographics, I have to ask myself "why is that?"

Almost always, it's my experience that the community is either out of touch with issues that relate to POC, or it's unconsciously hostile.

...Or deliberately hostile, I guess!

I think it's the first two in the FIRE community.

Wanderer: I don't think it's a hostility thing at all with the FIRE community.

But I do think that the cultural stigma of talking about money is even stronger in non-white communities

Already in the FIRE community, there's 2 groups: the "anonymous" people and the ones who come out and reveal their identity

And that's already a pretty bit step of bravery on the people who do reveal their identity

Done by Forty: That's a good point, Bryce. There doesn't seem to be a great source of data for who is reading personal finance blogs or FIRE blogs in particular. And how does the anonymity of our community play in to this? It's hard to know much about the demographics of who's reading or who's writing, sometimes.

Wanderer: But of the FIRE bloggers I've personally met from Asian or African American background, there's even more pressure to not come out and reveal how much money you have

FireCracker: I think it may have something to do with role models. Wanderer and I volunteer for a non-profit called "We Need Diverse Books" and the issues we see in the publishing world is that there is a lack of diversity because of a lack of diverse authors and lack of diverse books being published. As a result, diverse would-be authors don’t think it's possible to succeed this in space, which in turn ends up discouraging writers from pursuing authorship. So in the personal finance space, if so many of the top finance bloggers are male and white, it might, in turn, discourage those with diverse backgrounds from pursuing FI because they don't see themselves represented in the role models.

Wanderer: Yeah, I have seen some of the other bloggers attacked by people saying "oh look, white privileged male does something white and privileged again."

And it completely shuts down the conversation because everybody just backs off each other.

Kitty: I agree with that, representation certainly matters.

Wanderer: But what I have noticed on our blog is that a lot of PoC write into us and say "Hey, I didn't know I could do this too!" So that's been really rewarding.

Kitty: Same, we've gotten similar feedback privately.

Wanderer: Actually, if I could ask, what are your backgrounds?

We're both Asian (Chinese, specifically)

You don't have to answer if you don't want to. 😀

Kitty: How dare you. My skin color is top secret.

Lol we're white af.

Done by Forty: My mother is Filipino, and my dad is white.

Wanderer: White As FUCK, wow that is pretty white

Kitty: I am BLINDINGLY white. Like a pearly beluga.

Done by Forty: Avert your eyes!

Wanderer: Ahahahah

OK then from an Asian background, the first thing our parents did when they found out how much money we had was to tell us to keep that shit secret.

FireCracker: Ooh , is it guilt-tripping time? Let's all point at Kitty and throw some shade right now. 😛

Kitty: But interesting, Piggy doesn't look as white, and I've seen her get followed by a undercover loss prevention officers while shopping together.

Wanderer: From talking to other bloggers who I know are Asian, the conversation went somewhat similarly.

DB40, what was your experience like with your parents?

Kitty: She often gets asked if she speaks English and she's like "I'M AN ENGLISH MAJOR."

Done by Forty:  We really needed to invite a Conservative, white cis male if we wanted to throw true shade.

With my parents, my mother was really open with talking about money, specifically frugality. She sent me off to college with these words: "Before you spend a dollar, as yourself three times, 'Do I really need to buy this?' 'Do I really need to buy this?...Do I really need to buy this?"

But yes, she had a similar take on secrecy.

Wanderer: I can invite Mitt Romney if you want

Kitty: That's really interesting, about being told to keep your money to yourself!

I think I got the same advice, to like, be discrete, but I never have been. I tell people what I make and what I have pretty easily.

Wanderer: Yeah there's a saying in Chinese culture "The tallest blade of grass gets cut first."

Basically, "Don't stand out and you won't get targetted."

Done by Forty: It's not terrible advice, honestly.

Kitty: Ah. Yes. Japan has a similar phrase. "The nail that sticks out is hammered down."

I wonder, from a culture perspective, where this concept of secrecy started. I LOVE reading olde thyme books, where they very casually mention "oh, Lord So-and-So has an annual income of so-many pounds..."

It used to be common knowledge what everyone was worth!

FireCracker: From my own background, the secrecy behind your finances came from the cultural revolution. If you were rich, you were automatically targeted

Wanderer: Yup, the commies went after all rich people. So you really REALLY didn't want to advertise your NW.

FireCracker: So you quickly learn not to boast about wealth or get shot in the face.

Done by Forty: In that context, I think the advice is super prudent. Is it still good advice now?

For me, I say it is.

FireCracker: We're in Canada, so I think we're fine 😃

Done by Forty: Yes, very little shooting-in-the-face up there, eh?

Kitty: My perspective is that by talking openly about how much money I make, at least from a salary perspective, I can help other people determine if they're making the right number.

Wanderer: Correct. But it was super hard to break out of that because the fear was passed down.

Kitty: Any coworker I'm close to knows my number.

Wanderer: That's actually a great attitude. Were you encouraged to share salaries with each other by your company?

Kitty: Absolutely not, hahahahaha!

Actively discouraged!

Wanderer: Yeah, that's what I figured.

Done by Forty: Harder to underpay certain groups if the information is out there.

Wanderer: So you started doing that as a bit of a "fuck the man" rebellion?

Kitty: Exactly and exactly.

Done by Forty: Okay, follow up question to bring this back to diversity...

Do you feel like a lack of diversity with PF & FIRE writers is perhaps a reflection of which groups are already doing well financially? That is, if men are earning more, and if white people and Asians are earning more, and college graduates are earning more…should we be surprised that these groups are over-represented in a community that writes about how to do better with money?

Kitty: Ooooh. That's a meaty question!

Done by Forty: We don't fuck around here.

Kitty: Ty ty.

Wanderer: That's definitely part of it, but I think if we were to break out salary data by ethnicity, the US census actually has Asians/Indians households actually having a higher family income that White households.

Done by Forty: Yes, definitely.

Wanderer: So if that were true FIRE blogs should be majority Asians/Indian

Done by Forty: I think that may explain why, at least from my perspective, we do see quite a lot of Asian PF bloggers as well as white PF bloggers.

But I'm not objective: I identify as Asian so I may just read more Asian bloggers' stuff because that's my community.

Wanderer: I'd agree with that, with the added caveat that I don't see a lot of Asian PF bloggers who also reveal their identity

Done by Forty: True. That's a wrinkle, and speaks to how complicated this issue is.

I don't think there's a great source of demographic data: either on writers or readers in the community.

Some bloggers have done surveys, of course.

FireCracker: I think in order to truly see the race demographic, we have to also look at FI people who aren't bloggers. Because there could be many FIRE people out there, who aren't bloggers. They're not interested in revealing their FI status.

Done by Forty: Right.

Wanderer: Maybe we should attach a poll to the end of this chat when we post it?

Done by Forty: That's a fantastic idea. [Editor's note: super impressive polls are at the end of the post.]

Kitty: I think a poll would be really valuable! But again, it might skew based on any one of us posting it.

FireCracker: yeah, good idea.

Kitty: It'd be really cool if we could get a larger consortium to all push to the same poll.

Done by Forty: Agreed: if the data doesn't exist, we'll get the data ourselves. 😃

Wanderer: We could at least do this amongst ourselves definitely.

There's also another angle to your question: I think we've all noticed that engineers are a big part of this community.

Done by Forty: Yes!

Wanderer: And I've written about why I think it's because engineers combine a few traits that make them uniquely suited to pursue FIRE.

1) They tend to earn a lot

Done by Forty: Mr. Money Mustache's poll on careers showed a crazy number of STEM folks.

Kitty: ^ Yep.

Wanderer: 2) They tend not to value showing off with fancy cars and shit.

FireCracker: We're also seeing accountants, doctors and lawyers too, so I guess STEM folk.

Kitty: All pretty wealthy professions.

Wanderer: 3) They tend to be good at optimizing spreadsheets.

Kitty: And many of them careers that start one out pretty deeply in debt.

I do agree that, the way that most PF blogs are written, there are often assumptions that you are at least middle class. Take the so-called latte factor. That's great advice for middle class and even upper class folks, but it's realllllly out of touch with, you know, a single mom woking off the books for $19K a year.

Done by Forty: Yes!

Kitty That kind of advice would've really, really turned me off when I was in that financial situation.

Done by Forty: We are a high-earning group of writers.

Kitty: (Not the single mom part. The poor part.)

STEM fields have a pretty notable gender and racial diversity issue.

So. Mmhmm. Not too surprising.

Wanderer: Yup. That alone would account for the heavy male-bias.

FireCracker: We have had readers write in, like this one guy working in South Korea as an English teacher earning 30K/year. Granted, his taxes were low and he didn't have kids to support, but he had his own path to FIRE, which was to continue living in southeast asia on a little as 8-10K/year.

So in that situation, he would be considered "poor" by north american standards, but living well overseas.

Done by Forty: True, there are ways to make FIRE, or personal finance in general, work even if you're earning much less, even if you're not leveraging geo-arbitrage. But's a different set of tactics.

It's not just about cutting spending.

Wanderer: Well, at low income it IS about cutting spending, isn't it?

Done by Forty: No, I don't think so.

It's more so about increasing income. The solutions are different.

Kitty: Yeah, I don't think so either. There's a floor. Folks gotta eat, they gotta bathe, they need a roof.

Wanderer: Oh you're talking about the side hustle stuff.

Done by Forty: Or career change, education or vocational training, or a whole host of things.

Kitty: Moving to another country is an option, but a pretty extraordinary one of most people.

Done by Forty: Basically, I see a lot of blogs that preach that frugality will get you to the finish line. But below a certain income, I don't think it's really the right advice.

Kitty: Preach preach preach.

Done by Forty: Frugality is a fantastic tool, of course.

And for high earners it's the only tool you need.

Kitty: "Frugality is a fantastic tool, of course. And for high earners it's the only tool you need." CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP.

I totally agree, and I think it also makes for easy blogging!

Done by Forty: Anyway, I don't necessarily think that blogs that focus on frugality are bad in any way.

FireCracker: Right, so if you're in a low income situation, you need to either improve your skills, or get more education to increase your income. Just because someone is in a low income situation, doesn't mean they will ALWAYS be in that situation.

You're right that frugality will only go so far if you're income is too low and you don't have the option to move to another country.

Kitty: It's super easy to tell someone how to spend less at the grocery store or the car lot. But it's really hard to tell someone how to get by when they are, for example, trapped in a high COL area taking care of a sick family member. Or disabled and very limited in what they can do.

Done by Forty: Absolutely.

Do you all feel like the audience is more diverse than the community of writers?

(Again, not a ton of data here.)

Wanderer: Yes, absolutely. Because they write into us and tell us what their backgrounds are when we do reader cases, and it's from every walk of life.

That's been the most interesting part of doing reader cases, seeing the different background everyone comes from.

Kitty: Agreed! Reader questions blow my mind every day!

Done by Forty: You guys have a great segment there, Kristy & Bryce. I love reading your case studies.

Wanderer: But what's been interesting is that in pretty much every case, I was able to find a pathway for them to FI.

Aww thanks!

Done by Forty: I do think it's interesting how many situations can have a path towards a better financial situation.

We can all improve. But the execution is the tricky bit. The plan is there: can we follow through, when life gets in the way?

Anyway, that's a tangent.

Okay, we're coming up on an hour here. Let's wrap up. Final question.

What role do we personal finance bloggers have in improving diversity within our community? What should we be doing to help?

Wanderer: Well, for one I try to support finance bloggers who ARE PoC.

We recently did a Podcast with Jamila from Journey to Launch and I think what she's doing is so fantastic.

FireCracker: More representation in my opinion would help. Being aware of the lack of diversity, and finding more diverse FIRE bloggers to share their stories and understand the challenges they face in getting to FIRE.

Done by Forty: I need to do more of that: of promoting new, diverse voices in our space. Great ideas.

And will listen to that podcast this weekend, too. 😃

Wanderer: Just look at some of her podcast titles: From Welfare to Running a 6 Figure Business," "How Single Mom Nameesa went from broke to paying off $300k in debt."

Kitty: You guys probably know that we wrote anexhaustive screed on this very subject recently, lol. So I struggle to condense my multi-platform approach into a single pithy line or two. Promoting diverse voices is a big part of it. And not just ethnically diverse, but LGBT voices, disabled voices, impoverished voices.

FireCracker: You're make a great point, Kitty. It's not just on race, but other marginalized backgrounds too.

Done by Forty: Agreed: fantastic call out, Kitty.

Kitty: But I talked at the start about hostility, and I stand by that. Our community is not always welcoming to people whose situations are different. I've seen some GUH-ROSS ASS SHIT posted in FIRE forums and social media groups, and the GUH-ROSSEST PART is all the people who let icky comments slide by without saying anything.

Wanderer: I haven't seen that myself actually. What do they say?

(You can cut this part of the chat out if we don't want to propagate any gross-ass-shit.)

Kitty: No, please, keep it in. I'm tired of hiding it.

Done by Forty: I agree with Kitty here.

FIRE folks are just like any other community: full of some great people but some small minded people, too.

Kitty: Some examples... Black woman in a personal finance FB group asked for advice on how to file income on a lucrative side hustle while also collecting disability. Lots of comments back at her that were incredulous, suspicious, implied that she was a welfare queen or gaming the system somehow.

Another... White guy in a Mustachian forum complains about "thugs" overrunning his investment property "in the ghetto."

Done by Forty: Yep, I recall that. Not great.

Really shitty, actually.

Kitty: Oodles of sexist "women are bad at controlling spending" assumptions on the reg.

Wanderer: Wow, I clearly do not hang out in the same forums as you.

Kitty: Lol I could point you toward them, but, I like you too much.

FireCracker: Wow, that is horrifying! I  haven't been in the forums that often so I have no idea.

Wanderer: I mean, I see that from the general public when we do a news piece, but I'm really surprised that this would come from INSIDE the FIRE community.

FireCracker: We've had racist e-mails sent to us and all sorts of sexist comments, but I had no idea that was happening in the forums.

Kitty: Jeez, that seems worse because they're sending it to you personally! To your digital face!

Done by Forty: Yikes. I didn't realize, Kristy.

Wanderer: Eh, we're used to it. But again, that's coming from the general public who sees FIRE and gets all offended because they don't understand it.

Kitty: Again, it's true, some people are just buttheads. But it's the silence that really disturbs me. FIRE is all about personal freedom to pursue whatever makes us happy. In general, we have to scrape the greasy layer of judgementalness and smugness off the deep fat fryer that is the personal finance community. It's within that gunk that the gross bacteria of prejudice breeds.

FireCracker: I didn't consider those comments as people that were part of the FIRE community, so I just delete and move on.

Kitty: And I swear I haven't been drinking. Pained metaphors are kinda My Thing.

Wanderer: *clap clap clap*

Done by Forty: Perfect place to end, I think. Let's get out there and scrape of the grease when we see it, friends.

Kitty: My spatula is ready.

I loved chatting with you all! Y'all are cool af!

FireCracker: Yes, well said. Scrape it! #SCRAPETHATSHITOFF


Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Kristy and Bryce at Millennial Revolution, and Kitty and Piggy at Bitches Get Riches. If you're not reading the stuff they're putting out, you're missing out.

As we mentioned in the chat, we'd like to add to the data set about who reads personal finance blogs. If you have a couple seconds to answer the polls below, we's appreciate it.

How many years are you?
 
pollcode.com free polls

Which of these describe you? Select all that apply.
 
pollcode.com free polls

Which of these describe you? Select all that apply.
 
pollcode.com free polls

What is the highest degree or level of school you have completed?
 
pollcode.com free polls

What is your annual household income? (Figures below are 2015 quintiles from US Census Bureau.)
 
pollcode.com free polls




*Photo is from milkisprotein at Flickr Creative Commons.

21 comments:

  1. Is there supposed to be a submit button for those polls?
    Great discussion!

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    1. Hi JP!

      Sorry about that. As a former English major, my ability to insert HTML code is obviously pretty shoddy. But I think it's working now, if you want to give it a go.

      Delete
  2. Loved our discussion, DbF! I'm excited to see the FI demographic in the polls!

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    1. I had a great time, too! Thanks again you to and Bryce.

      And yes, it will be great to see what data we get. Fingers crossed!

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  3. Hi FireCracker!

    I love your blog but its a shame that you dont cater for your Europeans readers :/

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  4. Glad this convo is being had! Another thing I commonly hear come up: women aren't interested in investing. And the welfare stuff--like people are just sitting around on their asses--it has nothing to do with systemic oppression or the fact that upward mobility itself should be on disability or that we don't invest enough in these programs to disincentivize perpetual enrollment. *eye roll**gag*

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    1. Hey Femme Frugality. I hear that, too, which is kind of nuts since all the research I've been able to find on investing is that women are objectively better investors on average.

      You and I are on the same page with regard to poverty and disability. The systems are in need of changing incentives. I wrote about this a very long time ago:

      http://www.donebyforty.com/2013/11/government-assistance-and-backwards.html

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  5. A very interesting discussion to be sure. At the risk of stating the obvious, I would venture to guess that the primary reason blacks and Latinos are underrepresented in the FIRE community is because they are underrepresented in top income brackets - and the vast majority of the FIRE blogs out there are tilted toward getting folks with crazy amounts of surplus income to be a little more reasonable about their spending. If you're barely scraping by, this message not only rings hollow, it's actually a bit offensive. (Ask me why I unsubscribed from MMM.)

    Now, I'd be the last person out there to suggest that one can't retire early on a low salary - I did it at age 39 having never made more than about $40K/year - and that was only for the last few years before I quit my job. But I am white (as phuck) and I come from a background of financially stability.

    Now, being white (as phuck) it's probably not my place to comment on cultural pressures faced by people from other backgrounds, but I have known several folks from Latino backgrounds who had real difficulty getting ahead because they faced enormous pressure to spend any and all surplus income supporting their extended families. I don't know if that's a universal thing or not, but I can imagine that hoarding money for oneself would probably not go over too well in that situation.

    Anyhow, those are my thoughts. BTW - your little survey was a bit... um... challenging to take. Each time you hit the "vote" button, it takes you to a page with info on how everyone else voted on that question - which is interesting, but it's a real PITA to click back and forth for each question separately.

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    1. Thanks as always for writing such thoughtful questions. And sorry about the surveys being as they are. I've yet to find a good survey tool...will have to make do with what we have. But let me know if you have a better solution for next time.

      -I agree that the demographic makeup in FIRE, in particular, is reflecting the demographic makeup of those already doing well with money. I tried to hit on that in the chat a bit.

      And as always, you're the shining exception in my FIRE circle. Most of the people I know did very well income wise prior to making a mad dash to financial independence.

      -Agreed as well on one's culture playing in to how you approach an idea like financial independence.

      This was our first chat, but I'd like to circle back to this same topic again in the future with a different mix of bloggers, and you know, better poll options. :)

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    2. No worries... didn't mean to be a whiner in terms of the poll. I've never used any third party software for this sort of thing so I can't recommend - I just know that from a programming point of view, it should be easy to have one submit button for multiple questions. But that doesn't mean there's anything out there that will do that easily! :-)

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    3. I totally agree and have been utterly disappointed by the tools I've been able to find in some pretty extensive googling.

      I used Touluna for a bit but then realized they kept deleting my polls. Apparently posting them onto my blog violates the terms of service...but then why even provide me the code?

      Delete
  6. ps - Is there a reason you don't have black/African American listed as a choice on your race/ethnicity question?

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    1. Man, this is what I get for trying edit code first thing in the morning.

      Okay, is fixed now. Thanks so much for calling that out!

      Delete
  7. I love Kitty and Piggy but I've not had to chance to "meet" Firecracker and Wanderer before this.

    I'd like to caveat my poll results by saying that I started out making less than 22,800 annually, so who I am now and who I was when I started are quite different.

    A few random thoughts as we talk about this:
    The PF/FIRE communities are wildly non-diverse and I say that as a Asian which seems to be the second largest minority compared to the standard white male group. Where are my Latino and black friends? I have oodles of them online but they're no longer in the PF/FIRE communities for lots of reasons and part of that is because of the gross attitudes.

    EcoCatLady touches on a very real thing - many of us (Asians, Latinos, blacks) do not have the kind of social network and support that others do. Community money and community family support is a huge thing. I would have been a millionaire 5-7 years ago or had more than four times my current net worth by now if I hadn't been supporting my parental family unit since I was 17. I was lucky - I worked my ass off and had good opportunities to build on that willingness to work, even with a debilitating chronic illness, so I was able to build financial wealth despite the anchors around my financial ankles. Repeat - I'm LUCKY compared to peers who are supporting multiple family who are in jail, unemployed, disabled, or are in terrible circumstances.

    I find some seriously gross assumptions and attitudes in the FIRE community (mostly from the Moustache and Moustache adjecent camps), and I find myself opting out of the larger PF community despite having been here over a decade because it's so overrepresented by the middle aged white cishet male demographic.

    The welfare system is set up HORRIBLY to disincentive people and punishes people who do try to break out of that cycle.

    I don't think I was specifically told to keep quiet about money but I have had to learn the hard way that I shouldn't look prosperous to my own family because it turns out that my own parent is a pretty awful person and DOES only looks at me as a bank. :/ That's 2017 for ya, though. So for the foreseeable future, I have to protect myself and my family from my bio family so I will be open about money online and a total closed book offline.

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    1. Hi there Revanche!

      Agree totally on the gross parts of our community. I think many of us are blind to it because, well, we're not the target of those shitty comments and attitudes.

      And your story about your family is an important one for people to read (head over to http://agaishanlife.com/ if you haven't read it yet).

      There's some truth to being a little secretive about your wealth, certainly. And the flip side is that there are benefits when others in our community see someone who looks like them doing well, too. It's a tough nut to crack.

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    2. I completely agree - I want people in our communities to see people of all colors and gender / sexuality doing well, but I have to navigate it carefully on a personal level despite really wanting to share my knowledge and skills with the few family members I'm close with. I hope that more of us being out here at least will help with that visibility that we need.

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    3. I think the public/private breakdown is one of the main reason so many of us write anonymously. But I suppose we can, if we want, be open about the details of our life (race, ethnicity, orientation, gender, etc.) with a certain degree of safety.

      I do like the way you're separating the family from the blog in terms of openness. Much smarter to be open online, somewhat ironically.

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  8. Re: Asian Americans, I think it's important to note that community organizations have been pushing for data disaggregated by ethnicity, since it's such a huge umbrella term that ends up marginalizing a lot of folks (especially Pacific Islanders, Southeast Asians, refugees and other groups that tend to be doing less well economically).

    You might be interested in this (long, but has an executive summary):
    https://www.advancingjustice-aajc.org/sites/default/files/2016-09/Community_of_Contrasts_US.pdf

    Or an interactive version that someone made here: https://ethanjli.github.io/aapi-disaggregated-vis/

    Also love Kitty's comments re: gender, disability, class and the fact that you're including a diverse mix of voices in this series (not just Asian)...looking forward to following it!

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    1. I totally hear you on the complexity of the term "Asian" -- I think at a minimum, we do need a breakout between Pacific Islander and Asian so tried to reflect that in the poll.

      Will try to dig in to the pdf when work slows down (hopefully) later this week.

      I'd like to talk about other issues in the series, but diversity is such a good topic that we'll have to circle back.

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  9. I've been trying to leave this comment a few times now, so sorry if this is a duplicate lol!

    I really enjoyed reading this necessary and insightful conversation. When I first stumbled on the FI world, I had no idea that these things were even possible. It's one of the reasons I started Journey To Launch, to document my journey and to let others know it was possible too. Besides, I didn't really feel like i was represented much in the FI conversations and stories.

    My goal of Journey To Launch is to bring the idea of Financial Independence/Freedom to the masses. To speak about it in a way that more people can relate to and to show people who look like me that it can be done.

    People that come from underserved, underprivileged social and economic backgrounds often lack the foundational knowledge, have lower incomes and have family/social pressures that make this journey even harder. Because of that, I find myself also touching on the budgeting, credit, debt pay, emotional/mental aspects of money a lot because I want to bridge that gap for the portion of my audience that need to first get on their feet before FI is even possible.

    I'm looking forward to more of these conversations!

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    1. First, sorry if the comments section is having technical difficulties, Jamila! That's a bummer.

      Very happy to have your podcast in the FI world: you have a great mission there.

      And yeah, there is a need for so many of our fellow citizens to learn about foundational personal finance skills like budgeting, managing/eliminating debt, and increasing income.

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