“I don’t care about money and I never will.” That’s what I remember saying to my family when they warned me that the non-profit path I had chosen wasn’t going to earn much income.
Even then, I wasn’t being entirely honest with myself. As a graduating student of Peace and Conflict Studies at Cal Berkeley, I was pretty sure that capitalism was the root of all evil. But I did care about money in a way. I cared about how it was a stand-in for resources, how it influenced equity, and how it shaped our world.
Years later, I worked at a non-profit that repaired homes for low-income seniors living in unsafe conditions. I remember one man saying, “I worked hard my whole life. I shouldn’t need help.” He had a lifelong career at a single company with a great pension. But when the business failed dramatically just before his retirement, his pension disappeared overnight. Everyone had their own story, but the one thing they all had in common was they never expected to be living on the razor’s edge in their later years.
I started wondering what resources would have made a difference for them and how I and the people I cared about could plan for long, full lives? So I started learning, and the more I learned, the more I wanted to share what I knew.
That’s when the thought snuck up on me. I couldn’t let it in all at once. How could I, the Peace and Conflict Studies major who didn’t care about money and never would, even consider the idea of becoming a financial advisor? After months of forcing my partner and friends to listen to me talk myself in circles, I gave in to the persistent voice telling me where I could make the most impact with my life.
I realized that money had always mattered to me and to everyone else too. Because whether we love it, hate it, or ignore it – it shapes our world and our lives. Now, as a values-driven financial advisor, I get to help people invest in long, fulfilling futures while demanding better from the drivers of our world’s economies. I’m doing what I set out to do as an eager Peace and Conflict Studies grad – supporting the people around me while impacting greater change.
How I’m expanding what’s possible with money
The most satisfying part of financial security is the room it creates to put resources towards the world you want to see. A while ago, I started putting aside a set percent of my income for personal education, mutual aid, and giving to organizations doing grassroots social justice work. It’s my favorite budget item because it means always being able to say yes. I want to help my clients experience the same freedom.
Outside of work, my passions include
I love weekend trips with my partner in our camper van. I’m a podcast listener (mostly news, true crime, and other well-told true stories) and a big reader (mostly sci-fi and fantasy). I love spending time with family and playing with my young nieces and nephew. In the last week of August, you can find me in Black Rock City climbing on art.