We chat with our member Angelina Yao, founder of Heels & Yield, about how she is helping empower women to take control of their wealth and their futures.
In celebration of the brilliant and fearless women out there getting it done this March, Campfire introduces you to one of our inspiring female founders and her journey of helping Hong Kong women create their dream life, financially and mentally.
From managing funds for billionaires to pension funds at Blackrock, investment professional Angelina quickly became a highly sought-after source of investment advice for friends, family and most notably females within her community in Hong Kong and the United States.
It was then that she noticed the timidity and lack of confidence of Hong Kong women when it came to financial investment, a subject which had not traditionally been a popular topic of discussion within female circles. Even though most of them were familiar with budgeting and saving from a young age, it was clear to Angelina that investment was still an intimidating, unventured territory for them.
Experienced and aware of the empowering impact of successful investments, Angelina founded Heels & Yield in 2015, with a mission of helping women in Hong Kong take charge of their finances and to create a more fulfilled life.
“There is a lot of confusion around financial products in today’s market. Women do see the need to invest, but they don’t know how to do it well in order to achieve financial freedom on their own terms” says Angelina.
We sat down with Angelina to the discuss the myths in personal investment and get some tips on how to help females feel more empowered in finance!
What are the top misconceptions about personal investment?
From Angelina’s experience working with female founders and young professionals, there are many obstacles and perceptions in the female mind-set that limit a woman’s confidence in investment. Angelina breaks down some of the most common myths and misconceptions:
- ‘Investing equals gambling’: While with gambling,you either lose or win at the end of the game, investing has the potential to be rewarding over time, with dividends and a longer-term gain.
- ‘I need to have a lot of money to start investing’: As Angelina explains, you can always start with whatever you have, even as little as HK$1000 (US$125) to buy stocks or to use financial technology tools such as robo advisers to help you learn how to make educated investment decisions and help you start to grow your money.
- ‘Investing is too risky for me’: Investing doesn’t necessarily mean buying individual stocks at US$1000 a piece. The truth is you can always study and calibrate your investment to the level of risk that you are comfortable with.
Another challenge facing women is the lack of a supportive learning environment available, for them to learn to master their finances.
“Investing is like riding a bike; if no one teaches you how to do it properly, most people fall off and lose their money, and are too scared to give it another go” says Angelina.
Angelina explains, it’s easier when you have someone to experiment and study the stock market with. In fact, with the right tools and know-how, studies show female fund manager actually make better professional investors than men by 0.4%! This might not sound like much, but it can make the difference of retiring up to five years earlier.
What does wealth mean?
“Money is a tool that helps me achieve my goals, as opposed to money is my goal”
It may seem personal investing just revolves around how to accumulate more and more wealth, but to Angelina, it’s never all about money. Her philosophy, also the philosophy behind Heels & Yield, is a holistic approach which looks at what defines wealth – it’s feeling rich in all aspects of life.
“Wealth is having richness in all aspects of your life: emotional, social, spiritual, physical, and financial. Your money should work for you, your values, and your goals”
Angelina continues “The truth is, when it comes to making money, it can never be enough and the end result is usually stress and burn-out. That’s why it is crucial to try to understand what truly matters to us and let it direct our finances in achieving a more fulfilled life”
Where to start?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
Here’s Angelina’s tips for excited beginners in their investing endeavors!
- Automate a portion of your paycheck to an investment account: this will make it easier to build your investing habits
- Write down your goals to have clarity over what you really want to achieve at each stage of your life
- Knowing that even if you make a bad decision, you can learn from it to improve your decision making!
- Join a workshop at Heels & Yield! Angelina and her team run a number of workshops and bootcamps to help empower women to start your financial investment journey. If you are interested, visit her website to have a look at her various workshops
After speaking to Angelina, we are reminded that “every woman deserves to live their own dream, no matter their income” and the key to achieving the financial freedom lies in taking the first step towards the empowerment journey.
To be empowered by more inspiring women, like Angelina, come along to our Campfire’s Women Empowerment Series: She Can. So She Did.
Read more stories of our change-making Campers or connect with us by becoming a member.