Stop making investing complicated.

Money management is simple.

Folks will try to make it seem more complex than it is by using financial jargon and complex terms for simple time-tested strategies, but the truth is that becoming wealthy through investing is really easy. For years I have been advocating a simple investment strategy in my book Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook:

– Choose a no-load mutual fund from an investment firm that you feel comfortable with and has a good history.
– Start investing in a tax-deferred account (401k/403b/IRA) as soon as you have earned income.
– Invest something every month. Even if it’s the minimum (usually about $50).
– Keep your eye on your money, but don’t worry.

It sounds crazy that investing can be this simple, but it is. There’s no “magic bullet” that will make you a millionaire and anyone that tells you there is one is more than likely a liar. You have to be willing to set a financial goal and then work toward reaching it by paying yourself first and making sure that you are spending waaaaay less than you make.

It’s not rocket science, but most people won’t do it. Not because it’s complicated, but because it’s easier to believe that you can’t be wealthy than it is to work to make it happen. If you’re thinking about investing and you’re a questioning yourself remember this: K.I.S.S.

Shay on CU Broadcast

CU Broadcast Logo

Watch the video here

I’m so glad that I had a chance to sit down and talk with Michael Lawson from CU Broadcast. He interviews awesome people involved with credit unions across the country, so I’m honored that he wanted to interview little ol’ me!

We talked about why I became a financial educator, why credit unions are awesome, and how my two books “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” and “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook” are helping people across the country.

Click here to watch the interview.

Free Webinar Series

Shay Olivarria offers 4 no-cost webinars for Financial Education Month!

April is Financial Education Month!

As much as I do to help educate folks about personal finance (speak/write books) I know that I can do more. To that end, this year I’ve decided to present 4 no-cost webinars on financial education:

Monday, April 4th
1pm Teaching Financial Literacy (for Afterschool Staff)

Saturday, April 9th
10:30am Teachable Moments That Will Make Your Child a Millionaire

Saturday, April 16th
11am Money Tips for Teens in Foster Care

Saturday, April 19th
10am 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money

All webinars are no-cost to participants. The PowerPoint and voice recordings will be emailed to all participants to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Sign up now to secure your place on the webinar!

Happy Financial Education Month!


Financial education speaker and author Shay Olivarria was quoted this morning in “What to look for in a credit union” on Bankrate.com.

Shay was interviewed by Heather Larson about her views on credit unions. As you all know, Shay is a financial educator that loves credit unions! Heather included quotes from Shay on the purpose of credit unions (slide 4), the use of technology by credit unions (slide 5), the importance of building a relationship with the representatives at credit unions and the importance of understanding fees (slide 7). It’s a great article and Shay is honored to be included.

Read the article here.

Check out more articles from Shay Olivarria by visiting www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com

Latina Financial Educators

Latina financial education speaker and author Shay Olivarria at book signing in San Diego, CA.

This morning as I was reading my way through the blogosphere, I read this post on “The Importance of Money Education for Latina Women“. I was surprised to see that the sites that were noted were about couponing and tips for new moms. Where were the sites for the high school students? The college students? The average professional that wanted a few tips on retirement, opening an account at a credit union, or growing their emergency fund?

This prompted me to try and find a Latina financial educator on the web. Guess what? I found nada. When you talk about female financial educators the usual suspects come up. There’s Suze Orman, of course. Some might mention Michelle Singletary from the Washington Post. If pressed, someone might mention Debra Owens. It’s great there are a few women with national recognition, however did you notice that none of these women are Latinas?

I wonder if there are women out there other than financial education speaker and author Shay Olivarria doing this work? I’m not sure, but I wanted to make sure that when someone did a Google search for “Latina financial educator” at least one name would come up. So, feel free to share this post with others. I’d love to be aware of more Latina speakers and authors that are working to provide financial education to our community. If you know of someone, please share their name and website.


Financial Benefits of a “Gap Year”

After high school, many students are tired of attending school.

I know, I know… it’s a huge shock to us old fogies that after spending up to 16 years of their 18 years in some type of learning environment many students do not want to enter any kind of learning environment (trade school, college, etc.) for a little while. A “gap year” is a time for a student to travel, volunteer or work before they choose to start working toward future goals. Though having a student take a year off, a so-called “gap year”, may be upsetting to some parents, it really can be a rewarding experience in more ways than one. Students, listen up! Here are a few ways that you can benefit from delaying further education for a year:

#1 You’re world view will open up. You’ll become an out-of-the-box thinker that can contribute new and different perspectives to any discussion. Employers and business partners pay well to have people on their team that can contribute “fresh” ideas. If you think like everyone else, you’ll be like everyone else. Dare to have a different perspective and take the road less traveled, literally.

#2 You’ll better understand the bottom line. There’s nothing like trying to figure out how many pieces of bread you can buy with your last (choose your currency) to make money management come to life! Everything in life is a business negotiation. The sooner you start learning how to leverage money the faster you can leverage it well both personally and professionally.

#3 You learn to make decisions on the fly. Of course it’s good to weigh information, but sometimes we can become overwhelmed by the options and end up doing nothing. When you’re traveling you’ll have to decide which of the restaurants, or food stalls, you choose to eat at. You’ll have to choose your travel options deciding on cost and proximity to where you’re going. You’ll have to make some of these decisions with little-to-know information to go on and live with your decision. Employers like thinkers-and-doers more than thinkers-and-think-againers-and-still-thinkingers.

#4 You’ll mature. The fact of the matter is that many students really have no idea what they want to “be” when they “grow up”. Taking a little time off to travel, volunteer, or work provides the student more experience to make wise decisions about their future goals the options available to them to achieve them.

Taking a gap year can help students grow emotionally and provide experiences that can add value as employees.