Personal Finance Tips for Recession: Ex-Wall Street Trader Millionaire – Business Insider

  • Vivian Tu remembers how the 2008 financial crisis impacted her parents. 
  • She has come to accept that a recession is a natural flow of a boom and bust business cycle.
  • And says a few financial habits should be adjusted during this recession.

Vivian Tu wasn’t on Wall Street when the 2008 financial crisis took the world by storm, but she does remember how it impacted her family.

“I saw my parents go through the process, and it felt like there was a lot of fear and panic,” Tu said. “For my parents, it was very scary because in four years I was planning on going to college and they were going to have to help pay for that.”

Her parents had been contributing to a 529 plan on her behalf, which is a tax-advantaged investment vehicle used to save for higher education. After the market plunged, the investments were no longer enough to pay for her college tuition. Despite the panic, her parents continued to invest, she said. By the time she needed to go to college in 2012, the stock market had rebounded.

“I think millennials, broadly speaking, have a little bit of scar tissue from the last recession. Especially if they were just entering the workforce at that time,” Tu said. 

In 2015, she began a career pegged to the stock market. At first, as an intern analyst and then as a cash equities trader at JPMorgan. By the age of 27, she became a millionaire. A big chunk of her net worth comes from her New York City apartment, which had a market value of $2.73 million as of September 2021, according to appraisal documents previously viewed by Insider. 

However, her early financial accomplishments didn’t come from skills she picked up on the trading floor. Instead, it was from a realization that she didn’t understand her own finances after an unplanned event drained her savings. Tu came to understand that saving wasn’t going to lead her to financial stability. 

She’s now the CEO and founder of Your Rich BFF, a financial education company with a mission to teach everyone about personal finance. In the last couple of years, her audience has grown after an influx of new retail investors entered the space. 

Tu uses social media to post videos about topics like saving, investing, credit cards, and student loans. On TikTok, she has amassed over 1.8 million followers under the username yourrichbff. On Instagram she has over 700,000 followers.

“It’s been a really hot time, especially for young retail investors because they felt like they were untouchable,” Tu said. “You could throw a dart at a board of names and buy something and you would’ve been a …….


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