Vivia Tu: How the Wealthiest People Work, Network, and Invest Their Money | E267

Vivia Tu: How the Wealthiest People Work, Network, and Invest Their Money | E267

Vivia Tu: How the Wealthiest People Work, Network, and Invest Their Money | E267

One of the best ways to become rich is to learn how rich people think. This is the gospel according to Vivian Tu. Vivian is a former Wall Street trader and entrepreneur turned personal finance educator. You may know her best as “Your Rich BFF” on TikTok and YouTube where she’s taught millions of followers how to save, invest, and grow their careers. In today’s episode, Vivian shares her top strategies to build wealth and reduce debt, as well as how we can learn from how the rich think differently about money and investment than the rest of us.

 

Vivian Tu is the founder and CEO of Your Rich BFF, which she began as a passion project to destigmatize personal finance advice and make it accessible and digestible to non-experts and marginalized communities. Vivian was also named to the Forbes 30 under 30 for 2023, and is also the host of the popular personal finance podcast “Networth and Chill.” She has just released her first book Rich AF: The Winning Money Mindset That Will Change Your Life.

 

In this episode, Hala and Vivian will discuss:

– Being raised with a scarcity mindset

– Being an Asian American woman on Wall Street

– Walking away from a six-figure job at BuzzFeed

– The importance of reinventing yourself

– How her passion project turned into a multi-million-dollar business

– Writing a money book for her generation

– Why rich people think differently than other people

– Why you can’t save your way to rich

– How rich people network effectively

– How to calculate your F-you number

– And other topics…

 

Vivian Tu is a former Wall Street trader-turned-expert, educator, public speaker, host, female entrepreneur, and media powerhouse. She is the founder and CEO of Your Rich BFF, which she began as a passion project to destigmatize personal finance advice and make it accessible and digestible to non-experts and marginalized communities. Vivian was also named to the Forbes 30 under 30 for 2023, and is also the host of the popular personal finance podcast “Networth and Chill.” She has just released her first book Rich AF: The Winning Money Mindset That Will Change Your Life.

 

Resources Mentioned:

 Vivian’s new book Rich AF: The Winning Money Mindset That Will Change Your Life: https://www.amazon.com/Rich-AF-Winning-Mindset-Change/dp/0593714911

 

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[00:00:00] Hala Taha: 

Young and Profiters. One of the best ways to become rich is to learn how rich people think.  

This is the gospel according to Vivian Tu, and she knows what she's talking about. Vivian Tu is a former Wall Street trader and entrepreneur turned personal finance educator.

You may know Vivian best as your rich BFF. She's on TikTok and YouTube where she's taught millions of followers how to save, invest, and grow their careers. Vivian was also named as a Forbes 30 under 30 for 2023, and she's the host of the popular personal finance podcast, Net Worth and Chill. Her first book, Rich AF, is due out later this year.

Vivian, welcome to Young and Profiting Podcast. 

Thank you so much for having me. 

I'm so looking forward to this conversation and you are such an impressive CEO. You made your first million dollars by the time you were just 27. But I did find out that you grew up in a family that was pretty conservative in terms of their view of money.

So curious to understand, how did your early upbringings shape your mindset around money? 

[00:02:20] Vivian Tu: Yeah, I think it was certainly a lot of a scarcity mindset. You know, my parents are Chinese immigrants and for the first two and a half years of my life, I actually was shift back over to China to live with my grandparents.

So my parents could get their feet on the ground. My dad would work in New Jersey and commute home to Maryland. My parents were doing what they needed to do to get by. And I think that led to a feeling of survival, survival, survival. And we were super frugal. My mom still to this day washes Ziploc bags.

Like sometimes they have like a little mold growing in them. I'm like, that's disgusting. Throw that out. But you know, I think we were really, really good about saving money. My parents were very much like throw it in the bank where it'll be safe or. Like a little bit of like the metaphorical put the cash under the mattress, but there wasn't too much conversation around actually navigating career or investing or growing money or getting rich.

It didn't feel like something that was made for people like us. Getting rich and being rich felt like something that we watched in the movies and that was it. And what 

[00:03:24] Hala Taha: views did you keep from them and what views 

[00:03:27] Vivian Tu: did you change? I am still very frugal, which is so funny. People joke about this all the time, that I'm the only person who will, at my income, fly Spirit Airlines.

And they're always like, what in God's name compels you to do that? And I'm like, well, it's 35 bucks. Like, I'm just trying to get from point A to point B. And they're like, it's a tin can in the sky, please. But there are certain things that I'm just like, it's not worth it to me to be spending money on a quick puddle jumper two hour flight.

 I've definitely kept the budgeting and saving piece. But. I have certainly kicked away a lot of the scarcity mindset, I would say, because when I started my career on Wall Street, I got a mentor who really opened my eyes to the possibilities available to me. And for the first time, I saw someone who looked like me.

She was like a young Asian woman. With the coolest designer bags and the stilettos that click clacked on, you know, the floor walking into the office. For the first time I saw someone who I wanted to be like and the only way for me to get there was through growing my wealth, making more money and investing.

So let's 

[00:04:36] Hala Taha: talk about your time on Wall Street in New York. At the time you were single and you were dating around doing like one to two dates a week. What did you learn about financial literacy of people your age while you were 

[00:04:48] Vivian Tu: dating? More like what I didn't learn. It really just felt like even people who worked in finance, people who had these high finance jobs, who were moving millions, billions of dollars around on paper were pretty bad with their personal finances.

There were guys who would rather spend their money on a new Rolex or a new pair of Gucci loafers or an Hermes tie than have an emergency fund. And people who are living so far beyond their means and just putting it on a credit card and rolling that balance over month to month. And it became pretty apparent to me that even if you worked with money, you weren't always good with your own.

[00:05:30] Hala Taha: Yeah, that makes sense. So, as an Asian American woman, like you said, there was not many people that really look like you, and you found a mentor who did look like you. Nothing's better than finding a mentor in the workplace that you can kind of idolize and see yourself as. What was your experience like as an Asian American woman?

Did you feel like you fit in on Wall Street? 

[00:05:52] Vivian Tu: Not at all. My entire team was predominantly middle aged white guys. And my mentor and manager was the only other woman and the only other Asian person. They really said twofer on both of us. And seeing her was the first time I realized that I could make it.

Because it's so easy to dream, right? But when you go and you see, this is what a rich person looks like. And they all look a certain way. And it's not the way you look. It can be really hard to imagine yourself in that position or really hard to imagine success for people who come from your background, who may not have had a dad who worked in the business or a grandfather who worked in the business.

And she would tell me about her upbringing, about how her parents ran a restaurant and how she went to a really wonderful college on scholarship and then managed to get this job and eked her way here and eked her way there and finally got to the seat and started making real money and. It was like looking at myself in a time machine, and I so badly wanted to emulate her because for the first time, I saw a rich Asian woman.

Not just an Asian woman who looked like my mom. Not just one on TV, in a movie. It was someone who was powerful. It was someone who was confident. It was someone who had a shit ton of money. I wanted to be just like that, and for the first time I saw the dream in real life, and I knew it could happen for me too.

[00:07:20] Hala Taha: So at what point did you realize that J. P. Morgan was no longer for you, and that you needed to make a change? 

[00:07:27] Vivian Tu: So I have this amazing mentor, right? And she's like, Okay, I'm gonna teach you everything I know, and I am learning, learning, learning. Everything's great for the first year and a half. Until the head of our desk gets let go.

And this type of thing does happen on wall street pretty regularly. But when the head of the desk gets let go, typically the people that he or she was close to, they kind of typically also go, the new boss got hired, ended up firing half of the team, brought in a whole slew of new people that he really liked working with, felt close to, and the team changed pretty much overnight.

And that was a really scary experience for me because. That original team was the same one that I'd interned for, the one that I'd earned my stripes on, the one that I'd spent the past year and a half currying favor with, doing nice things, picking up extra projects. I was going to have to basically do that all over again.

And I ended up getting moved from my mentor to a new person who was the new head of the desks, right hand man. And it was kind of just all downhill from there with this guy, instead of being, you know, superstar, rockstar. I went from being the rockstar to being the girl who couldn't do anything right.

I was called stupid. I was told I was too girly for the job. This person was just not fit to be a manager and frankly work in any sort of environment with other human beings. I just felt really disrespected. And one day I came to the office with a long cardigan on and he touched his hands together. And bowed at me and said, Ooh, a kimono or like, Ooh, is that a kimono?

And I knew from that moment on that regardless of how smart I was, regardless of how many hours I put in, how much elbow grease I rubbed on every single project I did, this guy was never going to be in the back room advocating for me saying this girl is too smart to lose. We have to pay her more. We have to promote her.

We have to give her opportunities. He was never going to do that. He saw me as less than for reasons I was never, frankly, ever going to be able to change. He didn't like the fact that I looked a certain way. I was a girl, and It was time to go. So I ended up telling my original manager, my mentor, and I was like, I'm quitting today.

And she was like, don't be an idiot. You don't have another job lined up. There's going to be a massive gap on your resume. You're never going to be able to explain that. It's going to be really hard to find a job. If you quit, just tough it out. We'll figure something out. And the way she said, we gave me so much hope and faith.

Cause I was like, This person actually has my best interest at heart, and she's going to help me figure it out. So, I ended up starting to interview, and coincidentally enough, she had a best friend who had left Wall Street and gone into the tech media world. And after a few rounds of interviews, I ended up working for my very first BuzzFeed.

[00:10:23] Hala Taha: Amazing. And I know that you had an awesome career at BuzzFeed. What you're saying really resonates with me, too, because I remember being a young girl in corporate at Hewlett Packard, and I love that company. I started as an intern. I earned my stripes. Everybody respected me. I got promoted five times in five years.

Then I went to Disney, I got poached at Disney, and all of a sudden I was back at square one. Everybody treated me like an intern. Everybody was talking about how I dressed. Nobody respected me. And I felt the same way and I ended up starting my podcast, starting my company and all that jazz and leaving.

So it's like, I know what you mean. Sometimes you get into these corporate situations and as a woman especially, it feels like unless you started as an intern and earned your stripes, essentially you're always sort of starting From scratch, even if you have a lot of experience and skill, so I totally feel you on that.

What was different about working at BuzzFeed in terms of the culture and environment for you? 

[00:11:17] Vivian Tu: Aside from the very obvious stuff of, I wasn't working nearly as many hours. I was wearing ripped jeans to work. I was working on a little laptop wherever I felt like in the office versus a more chain to your desk lifestyle on Wall Street.

I felt like there were so many more women in the workspace and it wasn't just a feeling. There were so many more women and in some respects that was amazing because I was able to pick up mentors that I identified with so much more quickly. But I will say this, it also did lead to a lot more, I would say, competition at the junior level.

Yeah. When you see people who have your same job title and could be, you could replace you, you're getting paid roughly the same. Like there's a little bit of competition there, especially since I was hired as someone who didn't understand media, someone who had no experience in selling ads or Building joint partnerships or doing any sort of marketing.

I think a lot of people not looked down upon me, but felt like I had gotten that role unfairly because of my connections to my then manager. But I kind of let that slide water off a duck's back. But for the most part, I would say all of the people that I met at Buzzfeed were so amazing, so respectful.

 I had three different managers throughout my time there. Every single one was good. Every single one. I have nothing bad to say about any of them. They were so supportive of me and my career. And that was the respect that I had gotten with my first manager that I didn't get with the guy who told me I was too girly and didn't like my kimono.

And I knew that if I could get my boss to like me, I would be able to showcase the type of work I did and the amount of work I was able to do. And from there on, I'd be able to get promoted and get paid. And that's exactly what I did. 

 Yeah, 

[00:13:22] Hala Taha: you ended up doing really good. I read that your salary was like 600K at one point at BuzzFeed, which is pretty crazy.

Like a lot of corporate people never reach that kind of compensation. So at some point you realized that you had other passions and you started Rich BFF, which is a huge brand right now. You're huge on TikTok, huge on Instagram. We've got a new podcast. So talk to us about when you realized that people wanted financial advice from you.

How did you realize that? 

[00:13:49] Vivian Tu: It wasn't this. evil plan or like whatever to start an amazing company. I had no aspirations of that. It was really when I got to BuzzFeed and I like started making new friends, they would all find out that I had started my career on wall street. And the immediate follow up question was, what should I invest in?

Ha ha ha. the actual legitimate questions would then follow of like, but actually what are you buying in your 401k? Can you help me? Which health insurance plan did you pick? Is it the cheaper option? Should we be buying company stock options? What should I be doing with my money? And I was answering so many of those questions that there was oftentimes like a small line at my desk to the point where like I was having a hard time, like just getting some of my work done.

So as not a joke, but as a little passion product, just for my friends, I started creating content. About being smart with your money. And what I didn't realize was I made the very first video on January 1st of 2021. And I was like, Hmm, I've been seeing some really shady stuff going around people telling others to put their stimulus checks into Bitcoin.

Do not recommend you need that money for rent, for food, what have you. I don't have a get rich quick scheme, but if you want to learn more about money, I can teach you. It's not that hard. That was the entire video. And that video ended up getting 3 million views and I had 100, 000 followers by the end of the week.

It was nuts. 

[00:15:12] Hala Taha: Oh my god. Do you realize how lucky you are? No, yeah. Maybe, maybe not lucky. I don't know. Actually, that's a good question. Like, do you think it was luck? There's so many content creators out there that create content day in and day out. And your first post went viral. You went from just not being a content creator or an influencer to the next day being an influencer, which people work years to have that sort of success.

So what do you think was different with you? 

[00:15:38] Vivian Tu: I think it was a little bit of luck, a little bit of authenticity, and a little bit of good timing. The number one New Year's resolution every single year, take a guess at what it is. Losing weight? I don't know. Yes! Yes! Yeah, okay. The number one New Year's resolution is to lose weight.

The number two is to get their money right, is to get rich, whatever, an economic improvement. So, the only type of content that I feel like I could have done even better is if I had a six pack and I was like, This year is the year we're getting! But I did, I, you know, I can't do that. So I was like, Hey, like, let's get our money right.

And the timing of that being January 1st crushed it because people are starting to think about that. They've just spent an arm and a leg on holiday presents. They've traveled to and fro to see family. All they've been doing is spending in December. And now they're like, Oh, shoot. My savings account does not look where I want it to be.

It's not looking good for me. I have to go back to work at a job that maybe I don't like. They wanted a way to improve their situation. So I think the timing was really good. I was just really earnest. I called out. This is what I'm seeing. It's hot trash. You should not listen to crypto bros in their mom's basements and take advice from strangers on the internet.

When they tell you to do a risky thing. I think people really appreciated that I was real and called it out for what it was. And I was like, that's BS. I think people appreciated that I was honest. And I was like, I cannot make you a millionaire overnight. You cannot do that unless you hit the lottery.

That's not happening for you. but I was like, listen. If you want, I can show you how to do it. And I think a little bit of it does have to do with luck. In some weeks I can tell I'm in favor with the algo right now. Every video is a banger. And then other weeks I'm like, am I like not funny anymore?

Am I not cute? Do people not like me? Am I not smart? I think in part, you always have to chalk it a little bit up to luck, but I think my timing was good and the content itself was authentic. Mm hmm. 

[00:17:41] Hala Taha: Yeah. I totally agree. So, are you even 30 yet? 

[00:17:45] Vivian Tu: I am 29. 

[00:17:47] Hala Taha: Not even 30 years old. And you've reinvented yourself so many times.

You started on Wall Street, then you got into sales at BuzzFeed and worked your way to the top. Now you're an entrepreneur, finally. Why do you think you've been able to sort of reinvent yourself and pivot so much before even 30 years old? 

[00:18:06] Vivian Tu: That is something I think about all the time, because I'm on my third do over.

I think it's good because, so there's this quote, I believe from Francis Picabia, like our heads are round, so our thoughts can change direction. And what I love about that is you're never too old to do something. I think some of the best advice that I've ever heard in my life is Whether or not you do that thing today, two years from now, you're still going to be two years older, five years from now, you're still going to be five years older.

Do you want to go to medical school now a little bit later than the standard medical student and get that doctorate, whatever? Sure, do it. Because even if you don't, time is still going to pass and you need to do what makes you happy. It's okay to take risks, especially if you have really, really analyzed the situation.

Have a safety net and have taken calculated decisions to get yourself there. I just don't think that reinventing ourselves is promoted as much as it probably should be. I think we talk about living one life at 18. You decide what you want to major in and that's what you do for the rest of your life.

And that's just not true. It's not fair. We're changing all the time. Our personalities change all the time. We're allowed to change. And I think, for one, change is a good thing. 

[00:19:24] Hala Taha: Yeah. And speaking of change and speaking of taking risks, at one point, you decided to walk away from your 600, 000 salary at BuzzFeed.

That change was a little harder than most. You know, I did the same thing. I walked away from an executive job at Disney and Started my business, started my podcast, my agency. It's tough, but it's actually pretty exhilarating, right? So talk to us about becoming an entrepreneur and how you create a business model out of becoming an influencer.

That's my first question. And then how did you decide that it was time to leave 

[00:19:55] Vivian Tu: BuzzFeed? The business model piece is that from jump, as soon as I had my 100, 000 followers, I was able to get into the TikTok creator fund. I was able to get into the equivalence, the ad senses on YouTube, the reels fund, whatever the bonus on meta platforms.

So I was starting to make just a little bit of fun money, certainly not enough for me to quit my job. I was not getting paid tons of money, but you know, a couple hundred, a couple thousand dollars a month, just extra nice while I'm creating content. The real money started to come in when brands started hitting me up and saying, Hey, you want to like make a video for us?

So I was like, Yeah, I do. How much? I obviously went through some growing pains of negotiating. My first three videos, I did for like, 400. Oh no! I genuinely, like, can't even talk about it. Like, it hurts my stomach. But like, I was ideating, filming, editing, posting, moderating comments for 400. And I had an audience at that point of 200, 250, 000 followers.

And I was like, This seems like a lot of work, but I was able to start getting my rates to a more fair place. And what I realized was that I was going to be able to make six figures doing this. And my thought to myself was, Hey, I may not make as much money as I do in my standard W 2 job. But if I can make a hundred thousand dollars, I'm not going to starve.

I'll always be able to pay my rent. I'll always be able to buy groceries and I might still even be able to go on vacation once a year. And for me. That was really the turning point of, okay, I can make a living, maybe not as lucrative of a living doing this, but I want to give it a try because I had so many other things I wanted to do.

And I was just not having the time after my full work day at work on Saturdays, I would ideate seven pieces of content, one for every day of the week. And then on Sundays, I would film one video, take off my shirt, film video two, take off another shirt, film video three, I would like literally put on these outfits and they would just like progressively get layered on to me.

I'd start in like a chunky sweater like this and by the end I was like in a tank top because I just kept taking off layers to film more content so that it looked like I was filming a new video every single day. And. Then it became to the point where like I was getting 30 emails a day. I was not responding to them because I just didn't have the bandwidth or the mental power to do so.

And I had hired an attorney to help me look over contracts because that's just something that I didn't have experience doing and I didn't want to waste time doing. And I was like, I'm really underwater. Like what do you recommend? She's like, I think you might need a manager. And I spoke with this amazing talent manager and I told her, I was like, I just want to be transparent.

Like I'm still in my full time job. And she was really honest with me. And she was like, you are so, so driven. You have such amazing goals. There's a bit of hesitation on my end to take you on as a client. You are splitting your time between two jobs and. I'm going to be honest with you that I think that might be the case with any talent manager you speak to.

And I knew what she was saying was so true. You're not going to hire someone who has another full time job. And I had these big dreams of having a podcast and writing a book and having a TV show. And I wasn't going to be able to do that while doing my full time job. So before I quit, I set aside 100, 000 in cash.

I was really. Making sure I had that nest egg. And then I was like, ideally, if I can make roughly a hundred thousand dollars of income through brand partnerships, through the platforms, I'll be in a really, really good spot and I won't have to dip into that a hundred. But even if I do, that's fine. But I quit my job a year and three months into building your rich BFF.

And it was the best decision of my entire life. I had my management team exclusively for three months. Then it got to the point where like my management team couldn't even handle all of the work that we were getting. So they were like, we think you might need agency representation. So then we go, I ended up getting signed with WME.

I mean, such a big honor. I now have a full service team. It's just business left, right, and center. I'm able to pitch a book. I'm able to pitch a podcast deal. I have brand partnerships coming in. I am still getting paid that little fun money through the platforms. And now I have four or five income streams and only more good things to come, but it ended up exceeding my wildest imaginations.

And now I make more money as the CEO and face of your rich BFF than I even did. At my very, very lucrative corporate job. 

[00:24:43] Hala Taha: I know how it feels. It's amazing being an entrepreneur and removing that ceiling of your potential to make money. I make more money every month than I did in a year at Disney. So it's pretty crazy.

So let's talk about your mission at Rich BFF and your new book. So what was the genesis of your new book, Rich AF? What are you 

[00:25:02] Vivian Tu: trying to teach? I think the content that I create on social media is really helpful. It's bite sized, 60 to 90 seconds. And you get to learn one new thing every day and you feel good and you feel smart.

But I was getting so many dms of this is helpful, but I want the bigger picture. I want it all at once. Is there a place on the website where I can have basically an organizer of things? I need to be doing or Hey, have you ever thought about writing your thoughts down? It'd be really helpful to read them in an organized way.

And it felt like the key word here was organization. People just really wanted a step by step. And I kept getting asked for a book, kept getting asked for a book. So I said, fine, you guys want a book so bad, I will write a book. And the genesis of Rich AF wasn't even just my desire to write a book, but like the desire for the BFFs to read one.

And. I think that in the generation above ours, there were some really killer money books. The richest man in Babylon, Millionaire Next Door, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Psychology of Money. Just so many great finance books, but there were so few for our generation that acknowledged the systemic inequalities of the world, that acknowledged the student debt crisis, that acknowledged how wages had stagnated and the cost of living had gone up, up, up, up, up.

And how society has changed and how making money changes and what that looks like. So I thought it was time for refresh. It was time to address money for this generation, for millennials and Gen Z, for people who haven't had someone to talk to them about money, because a lot of those books were written by and for the male pale and stale audience.

And I was none of those things. So I wrote a book about money that caters to. A crew of people that I've lovingly dubbed the leftovers, women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, people who grew up low income, immigrants, anybody who has ever felt like the financial services industry has left them behind, they've been forgotten about, they have been completely taken for granted.

This book is for you. Let's 

[00:27:12] Hala Taha: talk about some of the key themes in your book because a lot of your book is talking about how rich people think differently. So just off the top of your head, what are the different ways that rich people think differently than other people? 

[00:27:25] Vivian Tu: The first one is that rich people are really lazy.

I think a big misconception is that rich people work harder than us. That they are smarter, faster, stronger, better. They're not. They are lazy, but they are smart kind of lazy. And what they have realized that a lot of people haven't is that money is a better tool to make money than our bodies and our minds.

As a human being, you can roughly work max 14 to 16 hours a day for like a temporary period of time before you burn out and you're done. Whereas your money can work 24 seven, no bathroom breaks, no lunch breaks. Your money can work for you around the clock. And it's so important to recognize that. Rich people love touting hard work for us.

They need someone to flip the burgers and pump the gas and check them out at Walmart, but they don't want to work hard. They want to kick their feet up as soon as possible. And the way that you do that is by at the beginning of your life and your career, working hard for your money, but then making sure that your money can work even harder for you and.

Over time, the amount of money you make through labor and the amount of money you make through money starts to shift in the opposite direction so that you're making more money using your money than you are through your job. So I think it's just really important to acknowledge these, I would just say like misinformation that has been passed down.

We've peddled this myth that if you work hard, you get a good job and you Can have this white picket fence home, this dream life. That's not the case anymore. You can't save your way to rich. You need to invest if you want to have any hope of retiring eventually. And I think it's a little bit of a rude wake up call, but a needed one for our generation.

[00:29:09] Hala Taha: Yeah. And to your point, you just said. You can save all you want, but you need to also be able to earn. I know that you're really a proponent of this. In your book, you say you can only save as much as you earn. And you say that's the best financial piece of advice that you've ever received. Why is that?

[00:29:25] Vivian Tu: Because the follow up to that sentence is you can always earn more money. If we use round numbers, if you make a hundred thousand dollars a year. And you don't have any expenses. I mean, NOTHING. Right? You're living with your parents, they're paying for food, they're paying for gas, they pay for everything, everything, everything.

If you pay taxes, obviously, you have a certain amount of money left over and you can only save that much. But, do you understand how easy it is to ask for a 5, 000 raise? How easy it is to ask for a 10, 000 raise. Those raise numbers are not out of the realm of reality whatsoever. Do you also have any idea how hard it is to cut an extra 5, 000 of expenses out of your life that you are cutting out that latte, cutting out that avocado toast, cutting out your Netflix subscription.

You are not enjoying your life at all. That sucks. You should not have to live that way. It's a lot easier to make more money than it is to cut out every little discretionary purchase that brings you joy. And I think while it is important to practice mindful spending and thoughtful and considerate use of your own money, it's just as, if not more important to learn how to make more of it.

And that comes from asking for a promotion and a raise at your current job and picking up a side hustle or passion project that you might really enjoy doing. 

[00:30:53] Hala Taha: So another thing that I learned from your book, and we were just talking about it earlier, was the way that rich people use collaboration and nepotism and the way that they network differently.

I mean, you even said yourself, you got this amazing job at BuzzFeed because your mentor was best friends with the manager, right? And they put you in that spot. So talk to us about how rich people collaborate and network differently. 

[00:31:14] Vivian Tu: Yeah. So I think for many regular people, It's a mentality of you or me, right?

Hala, you or me are getting this promotion and that's it. And we are competing, we are fighting, we are not friends. But rich people, really comfortable in their own skin, financially stable rich people, don't feel that way. Because you understand that you're an apex predator. You're not worried about these other predators.

You're thinking, how can we all work together to hunt more? And so, When we're rich, we are able to be time travelers. You can be in two places at once, right? If I am rich and I'm in a high, powerful position at my company, and there's a job opening that. I'm not qualified for, but I'm like, how can I somehow make this work in my favor?

And I'm like, Oh, my girlfriend, Hala definitely is qualified for this job. Let me get her this job where she makes so much money, where she's going to be really powerful. And she's going to owe me one because now I have a chip in my pocket. Cause you're going to remember that I did you that solid, I got you that job.

And then the next time a big opportunity comes up. Or you have an opening at your golf club, country club, whatever that no one can seem to get into. You're going to think of me. You're going to think of that time that I did that nice thing for you and you're going to do me one back. So it's very much you scratch my back, I scratch yours.

And that's why when you hear people who are middle class or lower income talking about money, it feels like a finite pool and they're all fighting over the same dollar. It's because this upper tier of super wealthy people have. trick everyone below them into thinking they need to fight with each other.

When in reality, everybody at the top is sharing resources, being like, you should use my accountant, you should join my country club. I can get you an interview at this job, or we should network. You're like, you should meet this person that I know. they're trying to interconnect their webs to position themselves better and better and better over time.

And having those connections allows your name to be mentioned in rooms that you yourself can't even get into. And it gives you access in a way. Very few of us ever have and having access is power. 

[00:33:27] Hala Taha: I love this advice. It's so true. Rich people have an abundance mindset. They're of service. They understand that the more they do good for other people, that they're going to get those favors back in return.

So another thing you say that rich people do is that they're never satisfied. They're always looking to trade up and you say loyalty does not pay these days. So talk to us about that. Never, never, 

[00:33:46] Vivian Tu: never, never. Rich people know their worth. They know their value, they know the value of their business. They are always looking for the next best thing.

And I think our parents were told to be loyal company men. Company women. Company people. But that was because they were getting something called a pension where their employers had to set money aside for them so that they could have a nice cushy retirement. Pension has all but gone extinct after the 401k was introduced.

And now retiring and planning for the future is your problem. It's not your employer's. So, these days, it's not necessarily what your employer's willing to do for you in retirement that's keeping you around, which is why our parents were willing to stick around at one company for 20, 30 years, because they knew they were going to be set up.

We have to contribute to our own retirements, and the only way to do that while still having enough money to live your day to day life is to make more. So it's critically important for people in our generation to kind of always have one foot out the door. Always be willing to take that call with that recruiter.

Always be willing. To meet with your friend who happens to work at the competitor of your company, because you never know what opportunities are out there. And you owe it to yourself and owe it to the people you love to do right by you and make sure that you're getting the most out of every dollar and every ounce of life you have.

And I think that also comes with the types of businesses we patron, right? When middle class and lower income people are charged a late fee. They're like, ah, shoot, that's my bad. Okay, I'll pay the late fee. Some of the richest people I know Are the cheapest people I have ever met. They will sit on the phone with customer service and argue over a 35 late fee for 30 minutes until that thing gets wiped, or they'll even have their assistant do it.

But frankly, they are not paying that late fee. They remind that company, don't you value my business? Don't you value the fact that I park a certain amount of money here? I got my mortgage through this company, or I did that, or I did this, I did this. Whatever you owe me one. Waive the late fee, otherwise I'm leaving and customer acquisition costs of any bank, whether you are a high net worth player or just an average regular Joe Schmo is high.

They do not want to lose you. The same goes for cell phone companies, utilities, any sort of subscription service. You can threaten to leave and say, I'm going to do right by me and they will do whatever it takes. Bend over backwards, do some backflips to keep you as a customer. You need to know your worth and you need to just never be content.

I call my Wi Fi provider every 12 months and I'm like, Yeah, it's not looking good for us. Uh, I'm gonna go unless you, uh, cut me a deal. And they do. They do. Every year. 

[00:36:32] Hala Taha: Wow, it's so true. Don't just negotiate your salary. Negotiate all different things in your life. All right, last question because we're running out of time and sorry young improfiters.

We had a technical difficulty. So you're gonna have to go get her book Rich AF because we did not cover enough of it, but you got a good glimpse. Let's talk about finding your F U number. You say that there's a simple way to calculate our own F U number. Let's use this as your one piece of actionable advice to our young improfiters 

[00:37:00] Vivian Tu: today.

Everybody close your eyes and imagine your perfect dream life. What does that cost you for one year? I don't care if you are living shoeless in an airstream at age 30. I don't care if you are 65, you have two homes, your kids are in college, and you've got The golden retriever in the backyard, whatever you're happily ever after looks like, think about how much that would cost for one year, then divide that number by 0.

04. That represents 4%. And when you get the number from that equation, that is the number you need to have invested before you can essentially kick over your desk and tell your boss you, because. At that point, you'll have enough in assets earning you money, and 4 percent is a very conservative return.

Ideally, your money would be earning you more than that, and that's just gravy. But that is the point at which you will have enough money earning you money that you can live the life that you want to live without ever having to work ever again. 

[00:38:02] Hala Taha: I love that. And what is your secret to profiting in life?

This can go beyond financial and the topic of today's 

[00:38:08] Vivian Tu: episode. The best tip I ever got was Vivian, always buy them the chicken parm, and I was like, what does this guy mean about this because I'm lactose intolerant and literally can't even have chicken parm, but this guy that I worked with on Wall Street, every random couple months, he would buy chicken parms for everybody on the team.

Everybody from the I. T. Guy to the janitor to the random compliance guy in the corner, and the reason he did this was to remind them that he appreciated them, and he did it out of the goodness of his heart, and he never expected anything in return. And it was always random. It wasn't because he got something.

But when he did need something, the I. T. Guy, the janitor, the compliance guy in the corner, they would come running to his desk. Because they would remember that that guy was the one who bought them the chicken parm, treated them with respect, asked them about their families and their kids, and took a genuine concern and interest in treating them well and treating them how they would want to be treated.

And it just goes to show that when you being kind is a personality trait and not a strategy, people can see that and that will do 10x for you as you have done for others. 

[00:39:25] Hala Taha: Amen. I totally agree to that. Vivian, where can everybody learn more about you and everything that you do? 

[00:39:31] Vivian Tu: You can find me across social media as yourrichbff.

And if you're interested in ordering Rich AF, my book, you can go to richaf. me. Yes, the URL is a manifestation because we all deserve to be happy, healthy, and wealthy. 

[00:39:44] Hala Taha: I love it. Vivian, I'll stick all those links in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining us on Young and Profiting Podcast. 

[00:39:50] Vivian Tu: Thank you so much for having me. 

[00:39:51] Hala Taha: Yeah, fam, I identify so much with what Vivian has been through to make it to where she is today. And as young as she is, she already has reinvented herself several times and has passed up on lucrative careers on Wall Street and with BuzzFeed to do what she's truly passionate about. As Vivian put it so well, we're allowed to change, and change is a good thing.

And it certainly has been for Vivian, who is now a TikTok superstar. She helps millions of people save, invest, and grow their careers through her awesome rich BFF brand and company, something that started as a side hustle and now is a huge brand. And now she's taking another big leap, writing a book about money that she hopes will resonate with her generation of millennials and Gen Zers.

And according to Vivian, one of the best ways to become rich is to learn how rich people think. The rich are never satisfied. They're always looking to trade up. They know their worth and the value of their business and investments. And they're always looking for the next best thing. And while most of us unfortunately didn't have the head start that many rich people have received, we can learn from their mindset and their approach to money.

Because, the hard truth for the younger generation, as Vivian puts it, is that you can't save your way to being rich. That's a tough pill to swallow for some, but it can also be a liberating one. Maybe you don't have to quit your daily latte or your Netflix subscription. Vivian says it's a lot easier to make more money than cut every little discretionary purchase that brings you joy.

And it's precisely this abundance mindset that helps enable the rich to make them even more money. Thanks for listening to this episode of Young and Profiting Podcast. Another thing that distinguishes rich people from everybody else is that they routinely share useful information with their networks.

So if you listened, learned, and profited from this conversation with our rich BFF Vivian Tu, then please share this episode with your friends and family. It could really help them out as well as us. That way we can all advance together and maybe get rich in the process. And if you did enjoy this show and you learned something, then please drop us a five star review on Apple Podcasts.

I love to read your reviews. It's my favorite thing to do and I do it almost every day. If you prefer to watch your podcast as videos, you can find us on YouTube. Just check out Young and Profiting on YouTube and you'll find all of our episodes uploaded there every single week. You can also find me on Instagram at Yap with Hala or LinkedIn by searching my name, it's Hala Taha.

And before we go, I did want to thank our incredible Yap team. You guys are awesome. Thank you for all that you do behind the scenes. This is your host, Hala Taha, AKA the podcast princess signing off. 

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