Priya Malani Talks Financial Freedom – It’s Not As Hard As You Think

Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

To celebrate launching our first ever offering for future HENRYs™, MoneyMASTERED™, we are going deep with Stash Wealth founder and CEO Priya Malani. 


Stash Wealth wants to revolutionize the way young professionals think about money, and we want to make it clear exactly why that mission is so important to us. So what better way than to get candid with our founder?


This is what she had to say:


Why start Stash Wealth? 

There’s a level of financial hand-holding that is typically reserved for super rich people, and I thought that was unfair. Young professionals who aren’t rich yet need help managing their finances, they just shouldn’t have to do alone, or wing it until they can afford someone to truly guide them. 


Until I started Stash Wealth, the only options for hustling young professionals were:


  1. A financial advisor. Sure, they could get a financial advisor, but they probably didn’t meet their minimums to get the real advice. So those financial advisors would take your money and invest it, but that’s about where the service ends. Forget comprehensive support or a financial plan. 
  2. A robo-advisor. Technically, robos are great technology, but without the educational resources and emotional intelligence that underscores true financial success, a robo can only take you so far. Some robo-advisors are now offering a glorified call center, online educational content and the like, but it’s far from the white glove service offered to wealthy clients through financial advisors, and what we offer to HENRYs™ through our Stash Plan®. 


I also wanted to build it as a one-stop shop. Sure, HENRYs™ get support with investing and saving, that’s a given with us, but we also help with taxes, insurance, estate planning, buying their first home, saving for a kid, how to prioritize goals, etc. 


What is a HENRY™? And why HENRYs™?

HENRY™ stands for High Earner, Not Rich Yet. 

And that’s the real value of an advisor: Helping you through the questions that just aren’t googleable.

HENRYs™ are young professionals who are making good money and enjoy living their best life but want to make their money work as hard as they do. They don’t want to wing it. They want to know they are on track to achieving their goals with certainty. 


HENRYs™ also want to be taken seriously – which means they don’t want a hands off approach. They want to be educated and empowered to make better financial decisions. They want the option to DIY or delegate. We give them all of that and more.


We cover things like: 


  • Should they contribute to a Roth 401(k) or traditional 401(k)?
  • Should they buy or lease a car?
  • How do they avoid an insurance salesperson who is trying to sell them something they don’t need?
  • Should they get a joint credit card or bank account with their significant other?
  • What about their job offer is negotiable and how should they approach stock options?
  • Is a career sabbatical realistic and if so for how long and when?
  • Is liquidating a 401(k) to start a business a good idea?
  • And so much more!


In the age of the internet it’s easy to think you can find out everything on your own, but that’s just not true. And that’s the real value of an advisor: Helping you through the questions that just aren’t googleable.


We are also beginning to serve Future HENRYs™, those hustling young professionals who don’t reach our threshold for the Stash Plan®, but are still busting their asses and want to level up their finances. That’s why we just launched MoneyMASTERED™. We want more and more people to qualify as HENRYs™ and take advantage of the services we offer. 


Future HENRY™ Hot Tip: If you take MoneyMASTERED™ and are able to reach HENRY™ status within 18 months, you get the price of the course ($247) to put towards the Stash Plan®! That’s how much we believe in you. 


Wondering if you’re a HENRY™? We have a quiz for that


What mistake do you see people making over and over again?

Trying to time the market. 


People still don’t get it that no one, not even professionals, not even the super-wealthy, no one successfully times the market. 


Everyone’s scared right now because the markets have been doing nothing but going up. At some point they will go down. The worst thing you can do is try to WAIT IT OUT. 


We constantly see people waiting to invest because their dad once said “buy low, sell high.” Cool story, Dad, and it’s great in theory, but you just can’t predict the market. There are too many forces at play. 


An article pointedly titled Yet Another Study Shows That Timing the Market Doesn’t Work by The Motley Fool details how even the most experienced asset managers, those who manage money for a living, all day, every day, and whose job it is to make their clients money, still fall into the trap of trying to time the market, but each and every time, the market outperforms their attempts at predictions. 


So don’t feel bad if you’re still caught in the classic “buy low, sell high,” mentality, it’s an easy one to get trapped in, even with insurmountable evidence that timing doesn’t work. 


Side note: We also have an article all about why you should stop taking investment advice from your parents, and who you should take it from instead. 


Investing is so easy to do yourself these days. Why use a financial advisor?

Great question. 


There’s an element of investing that is about putting together a diversified strategy (which any of the new robo-advisors can help you do), but what’s even more important is staying the course. 


Real talk, individual investors aren’t great at staying the course, and a robo won’t prevent you from doing the opposite. So often the biggest value a financial professional offers is that hand to hold, that accountability partner, that firm grip that says “No, don’t do that, don’t scratch that itch. Sure, it’ll feel good in the short-term, but it won’t help you in the long-run.”


Here’s an example: People who listened to their financial advisors in 2008 and didn’t sell their portfolios when the market collapsed are up over 300% today! Everyone who freaked out and either didn’t have a financial professional to listen to or didn’t trust their financial advisor, made those losses permanent. Ouch.


Why do you believe everyone is able to achieve financial freedom? 

Because it’s simply not that hard. 


Wall Street makes financial freedom seem so complicated, complex, and daunting. But it boils down to two things:

  • Making sure that you’re living a lifestyle you can afford, and
  • Creating a game plan that can be put on autopilot. 

Every single one of our clients are making progress to their goals without having to lift a finger. It’s all happening in the background and they don’t have to think about it.

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