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'Women are still not investing at the same pace that men are,' says money expert

Tori Dunlap, founder and money expert at "Her First $100K," takes on the wealth gap between women and men, and talks about how to empower female investors and build financial confidence.

Video transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: All right, if you're trying to figure out what's hot on Wall Street Bets, do not bet against Her First 100k. I'm talking about the popular page, Her First 100k, which was created by Tori Dunlop, who so named it because she saved $100,000 before she was 25. I am shamed. I'll call it Hyundai shamed because I drove a Hyundai for so many years and still couldn't save 100k. It's good to have you here. And you are-- I love this from the page, where you write that you've helped over 2 million badass women make more, spend less, and feel financially confident. Correct me in my 56-year-old, you know, guy mind. I thought women were investing at the same rates as men at this point. I'm wrong?

TORI DUNLAP: You are, and I'm driving a RAV4. So, let's be clear, I'm still in my little-- my 2014 RAV4. No, women are still not investing at the same pace that men are. And when we think about the wage gap or the wealth gap, right, $0.78 to a man's dollar, even worse if you're a woman of color, we're not investing both because we don't have the knowledge to do so, but also because we're making less money.

So we're still seeing that men are investing faster than women, sooner in their careers than women are. And some women are actually not investing at all because of this narrative that they might lose out on all of their money, which, again, is the lack of education piece. So we have the wealth gap, $0.78 to a man's dollar. We also have the investing gap. And we have to talk about both of these, when we consider the differences between how men manage their money and women.

EMILY MCCORMICK: So, Tori, this is Emily here. What do you think are some of those shortcomings when it comes to education around personal finance? Because as many people now poke fun of, so much of the personal finance advice is just don't buy avocado toast or that daily latte. So what needs to be overhauled here?

TORI DUNLAP: Yeah, I think you touched on the shame aspect, right, is that personal finance education, up until a couple of years ago, predominantly was shame-based, right? It was judgmental. It was the reason you're not rich is because you buy too many lattes, right? Which we could also talk about the misogyny of that statement, right? It's not-- I don't know what a male equivalent would be-- I don't know-- bacon or power tools, right? It's lattes, right?

And so the judgmental shaming aspect of personal finance has been so ingrained into the culture, unfortunately, that a lot of people don't feel like they can learn about money in a shame-free community-based environment. And that's part of why Her First 100K, I think, has been so successful, is, we have this community of women and, you know, non-binary folks and people who are really interested in talking about money in a very not shame-based, non-judgmental approach. And so, you know, I think that that's part of it.

In addition, we were talking about this investing gap, right? And when you look at Wall Street, when you look at the stock market, the very symbol of Wall Street is a bull. It's this very masculine symbol whose private parts you rub on, on the Stock Exchange for financial prosperity, right? And when you look at that and you think about how masculine that is, of course, women don't feel welcome.

Of course, women don't feel like this is an environment where they can ask questions and not be shamed for those questions. So I think it's coupling shame-free, non-judgmental advice with advice that is applicable to women, to people of color, to other minority groups. We have to acknowledge systemic oppression and all of these things. We have to acknowledge--

ADAM SHAPIRO: Tori.

TORI DUNLAP: Oh, yep.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I just wanted to ask you because-- this is not mansplaining. This was Penny Pennington, who is the CEO at Edward Jones. I mean, great huge amounts of money under management, who said she used a latte, what you just brought up. Yes, people have been shamed with the latte example, and yet, if you're talking to a young person about the fact that a $3 coffee if you can manage to set aside, give up $3 a day for four days, you know, and then you multiply it and then you're investing 50 bucks a month somehow, you can go and do the calculators, which show how much that would grow.

So it's not so much in some cases the shaming. That's the wrong way because you don't shame anyone into doing anything. But how do you get people to understand, look, 3 bucks here, 3 bucks there, it adds up. And over the course of a lifetime, it can add up to considerable money.

TORI DUNLAP: It definitely does add up. I will challenge that, though, because when we look at stagnating wages across the United States, we look at a trillion dollars student debt crisis. 2/3 of the student debt is held by women. When we look at all of these factors, a small joy like a latte is not the reason somebody can't afford to buy a house. I'm coming to you from Seattle, Washington, where the average home price is $800,000, right?

So I think we do have to think about these small wins in terms of creating wealth and building your own financial foundation. We also can't shame people for those small joys that they deserve, right? We hear still a lot of the narratives of, again, the reason you're not rich is because you go to restaurants. And I want to purchase things that I love. I don't think personal finance is just about saving and squirreling away all the money you can, right? There's a balance. And especially, life's really hard. I want to buy a latte every once in a while. So I do think there's a balance there that can happen between present day spending and long-term goals.

ADAM SHAPIRO: And Penny Pennington, just for the record, said you shouldn't deprive yourself. No one wants to do that either. But how did you do it? How did you save 100,000 bucks?

TORI DUNLAP: It was a lot of different factors. One was privilege, which I'm the first to acknowledge is my parents were able to contribute a little bit financially for my school, in addition to me working three jobs while I was on campus. I negotiated my salary. I was running Her First 100K as a side hustle in addition to my 9-to-5.

And I really did focus on value-based spending. I tell my clients, you can't-- you don't have to stop spending money. You just need to stop spending money on things that you don't care about. And so, I wasn't depriving myself. I was setting aside automatically 27% of my take-home pay every month. And I still traveled to Costa Rica, and I still went to Italy, so there is a balance there.

ADAM SHAPIRO: And Her First 100k is the web page. You've got tremendous amount of followers. I think TikTok's almost two million at this point. All the best to you. Thank you for joining us, Tori Dunlap, Her First 100k founder.

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