- She attended Factora’s 12-week Wealth Circle course, a program for women’s financial empowerment.
- I learned timeless money concepts, such as paying yourself first, and dreaming of myself more.
- Thanks to the course, I converted spending and saving and increased my net worth by 29%.
“Here I am, I am able, I am rich.”
Thus the blessing goes at the beginning of each Factor Wealth Circle The meeting, held over
Since the pandemic but based in Austin. Factora, a women-led company that studies personal finance in a concrete way, hosts Wealth Circle, a live online and community course, for 12 weeks, twice a year. Sessions meet biweekly on Wednesday nights, with homework done in between.
I decided to attend earlier this year after a fellow writer from graduate school recommended the program to me. Now, a month after my “graduation”
29% more than when I registered.
The course taught me timeless money management strategies in an accessible way
I sit with the camera on, microphone muffled, among hundreds of other women. Our expressions range from fascination to exhaustion to epiphany. This is the way it goes when personal finance is the topic of the day.
Our host, Allegra Moet Brantley, founder and CEO of Factora, ends the prayer with a bright smile and passionate eyes. Looking around the Zoom room, it’s great to think about what got us all here, into some kind of bootcamp about women’s financial confidence. When Moet Brantley started, I took out my notebook and texted my partner to bring me a piece of chocolate as the words”compound interest“A deep burgundy shimmer on the screen. It’s going to be a long night.”
Moet Brantley warned that it was “dangerous to find ourselves on autopilot” as presentations at our third session demonstrated timeless financial principles, such as Pay yourself first And put a limit on trading time for money. The course also suggested redirecting reckless spending to investment, emphasizing an increase in the rate of investment rather than focusing on the little things.
Over the course of the class, I increased my savings rate from a very automatic 10% trial rate to a rate closer to 30%. The trick for me? Labeling buckets in my High yield savings account with short to medium term goals. It turns out, when I see my Net-a-Porter money redirected to my home fund, I feel even more satisfied.
I was excited to change my habits when I heard the stories of other women
Twice during each fortune circle, the group was divided into random restrooms. Here, with little or no context other than the rectangles on our screens, we’ve shared the real numbers, unabashedly. In one side session, we shared our net worth, with numbers ranging from negatives to well over a million. Next, we shared our net goals. I went first, apprehensive to speak a higher number than I ever imagined possible. I watched the whole group smile back, nod, and then proceeded to each display above my number. There was something like the harmony and feeling of a group of women encouraging me to dream bigger.
But Factora is not built on a dream. It is grounded in straightforward, if not simple, investing principles such as focusing on time in the market over timing of the market. The conversation about assets highlighted how personal things can enter the world of personal finance. Being a 26-year-old in Brooklyn, owning real estate has always been a difficult dream at best. A sound investment, for me, was a great pair of walking shoes and unlimited subway pass. Hearing women older than me, during breakout groups and as examples during lectures, inspired me to bring a level of creativity to piece together the assets. Sure, buying my apartment might not be my next step, but I was free to imagine what it could be.
Making small adjustments to savings and spending pays off
“Money creates opportunity. When you have more money, you will have more money and decision making,” Moet Brantley said during our fourth session on real estate investments. Instead of investing in a house, I took the time to set aside an amount emergency fund With six months of living expenses. Was it an “exciting” investment move with a huge payoff or worth bragging about at lunch? No, but it was a way to empower myself to make the decision from a place of safety and stability.
The changes I made thanks to Wealth Circle weren’t drastic or dramatic. They were small shifts in the way I think about money, which is a tool toward more freedom and more choices in the way I live my life.
The last time he recited the blessing, I found myself believing in the three sentences you spoke: “I am here, I am able, I am rich.” Even though it was 8pm in New York City, I was there. Thanks to my recent job at CPA to sort out self-employment taxes, I was able. And because of my newfound confidence in investing, I was wealthy.