Pioneers of Financial Literacy: First-Gens Building Generational Wealth

As a first-generation immigrant, the idea of building “generational wealth” was never really part of the conversation. My parents moved to the United States to purchase their own home and ensure their kids went to college. That’s really where their pursuit of the American Dream started, and it’s essentially where it stopped. 

Once they reached those goals, they didn’t put much thought into their retirement plan and instead spent all of their time and money scaling the family construction business and maintaining their finances; not to mention, putting their kids through college.

As an avid investor and co-founder of Cira Capital Group, it may come as a surprise that I didn’t grow up with financially savvy role models, at least not in the way of savings, passive income, and retirement planning.  Why?  Because my family didn’t realize that those cards could even be played.   

My first real-world lesson in financial literacy happened once I had already graduated college and obtained a job. I was told (by another first-generation college grad and immigrant) to contribute the maximum amount into my 401(k).  Who knew that free money and compound interest were possible?  I didn’t, not at that age. 

Of course, the financial schooling didn’t stop there.  After a few missteps in the form of lingering credit card balances and student loans, I found the way to set myself up for financial success.  I did have to learn some lessons the hard way.  But, maybe most importantly, I also learned to give myself some grace and move past any embarrassment of not knowing this all from the get-go. 

Being the “first” of anything carries a sense of pride, but it is not without a unique set of obstacles. We may not have had the same exposure to financial advice, literature, or startup funds that so many of our peers did, but we still have numerous tools and methods for overcoming these challenges.  First and foremost, we need to actively learn and gain confidence in financial literacy. 

Whether you’re a first-gen immigrant, the first of your family to graduate college, or the first to start a successful business, this series is here to help you, a pioneer, take control of your finances and future.  And no matter where you are, know that it’s never too late to get started, learn more, and build better wealth. 

More to come!

Stay tuned for upcoming content, where we will be:

  • Delving into the stories of other pioneers and their journeys to financial freedom
  • Uncovering secrets  other investors and subject-matter experts have used
  • Exploring and explaining tools to build confidence in your financial journey
  • Discussing how to help others on their wealth-building journey
  • Offering advice for how to talk to your significant other and/or kids about finances
  • And much more!

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