1.2 million reasons to diversify your investments with GoalSetter’s Tanya Van Court (Encore)

Tanya Van Court Instagram

If you are a fan of Shark Tank- our guest may look familiar. We here at the Financial Grownup podcast were so excited to see Tanya Van Court and her company, GoalSetter on the show recently trying to make a deal with the sharks.

At 29 years old Tanya Van Court thought she had more than a million dollars on hand to change the world and live the life of her dreams. Until it vanished in a few hours. 

In Tanya's money story you will learn:

-How Tanya made and lost 1 million dollars before the age of 30

-The biggest regret Tanya has about what she did with the first stock she ever owned

-This unexpected thing that comes with having 1 million dollars 

In Tanya’s money lesson you will learn:

-Why you should diversify your stock options

-How to weigh financial risks when playing the stock market

In Tanya's everyday money tip you will learn:

-The easiest way to get rid of unused stuff

-How to take the awkwardness out of regifting during the holidays

In My Take you will learn:

-Do not over leverage - borrowing against assets is never a good idea

-Be mindful this holiday season and give differently

EPISODE LINKS

Check out Tanya's company GoalSetter here!

Tanya Van Court is on Shark Tank!

Follow Tanya!

Instagram: @tvancourt

Linked In: @Tanya Van Court

Twitter: @tvancourt

Follow Goalsetter!

Instagram: @goalsetterco

Twitter: @goalsetterco

Facebook: @goalsetterco

Learn more about GiftNow


TRANSCRIPTION

Tanya Van Court:
"Every bit of that 1.2 million was wiped away in a matter of hours. I felt stupid, I felt deflated, I felt panicked, depressed. It was almost as if you had 1.2 million dollars sitting in your living room, and you just left the front door to your house open and walked out and went to the park."

Bobbi Rebell:
You're listening to Financial Grownup. With me, Certified Financial Planner, Bobbi Rebell, author of How To Be A Financial Grownup. You know what? Being a grownup is really hard, especially when it comes to money, but it's okay. We're gonna get there together. I'm gonna bring you one money story from a financial grownup, one lesson, and then my take on how you can make it your own. We got this.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hello, my financial grownup friends. Let's dream a little. What if you woke up with a net worth of over a million dollars? Let's call it 1.2 million, and that night you went to sleep with pretty much all of it gone, bye-bye. To make it worse, you could've prevented it, and you knew that. Let that settle in for a second while we welcome everyone.

Bobbi Rebell:
For the new folks, so glad you're joining us. We talk to high achievers here on Financial Grownup about their life experiences, their money stories, and the lessons they have learned from them so that we can all benefit. Because we're all so busy we keep it short here, around 15 minutes, so feel free to stack a few together. If you are, for example, in the car commuting on your way to work, or your way home, even better.

Bobbi Rebell:
Let's get started. Tanya Van Court, she is very smart. She even went to Stanford. Tanya now heads a company called Goalsetter, which we'll talk about later, but sometimes smart people, like Tanya, don't do smart things when it comes to their money. As you listen to this be honest. Would you have done anything different from her? Tough call, but a great story. Here's Tanya Van Court.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey, Tanya Van Court, you're a financial grownup, welcome to the podcast.

Tanya Van Court:
Thank you, Bobbi. Thank you so much for having me on. I'm excited to be here.

Bobbi Rebell:
As a parent of a young child I am obsessed with your company, and so excited to have you on. Goalsetter is what it is called. Tell us just briefly what it is.

Tanya Van Court:
Goalsetter is the savings account you wish you had when you were a kid, Bobbi.

Bobbi Rebell:
I do. It's a platform though, to help kids save.

Tanya Van Court:
It is. It's a savings platform that helps kids sign up to save for goals that they care about, no matter what those goals are. And we let family members and friends give them money towards those goals on birthdays, holidays, and other gift-giving moments instead of just giving them more stuff that they don't want, need or use.

Bobbi Rebell:
It was inspired, in fact, by your then 9-year-old daughter, which we'll talk more about after we do your money story. Because you really needed some help when you were starting out as a young adult. I could not believe this when you told me this in our pre-interview. You lost ... Grownup now, you're now a financial grownup, Tanya Van Court. You lost a million dollars.

Tanya Van Court:
I did. You couldn't believe it.

Bobbi Rebell:
What happened? I wish I had that money. I could've helped you. What happened?

Tanya Van Court:
I know. I wish I'd known you. Oh my gosh. I was 29 years old, it was in the first tech boom where all of the Silicon Valley companies had stock that was just rising uncontrollably. I happened to be one of the first 200 employees at a company in Silicon Valley that was doing extraordinarily well.

Bobbi Rebell:
What company?

Tanya Van Court:
The company was Covac Communications. Before any of the telephone companies or cable companies were offering high-speed data I had a great job, a meaningful job, and I had a lot of stock that went along with that job.

Tanya Van Court:
I got all this stock in Covac, and some of the stock I couldn't cash out yet, but a lot of the stock I could cash out. I could have sold that stock and went and diversified my portfolio and bought mutual funds, or invested it in many, many stocks, as opposed to having all of my eggs sitting in one proverbial basket. But I didn't, because it was literally the first stock I had ever known or owned-

Bobbi Rebell:
Wait, let's just back it up, so you were given, as part of your compensation, shares in this company. Did it go public? Where was this stock? Explain exactly what you were given, and how it was valued, and did you have opportunities to sell it?

Tanya Van Court:
Yes, I had opportunities to sell the stock, many opportunities. The company had gone public, and so I had the opportunity to sell the stock when the company went public, I had the opportunity ... not exactly when it went public, because we had a certain window. But that window had passed, and so I had many opportunities to sell the stock, but I had no idea that I should sell the stock.

Tanya Van Court:
The stock kept going up, and I thought, "Wow, this is great. The stock just doubled in the past six months. I should just hold onto it, and I guess it will double again."

Bobbi Rebell:
At its peak what was the value of this stock, and how old were you at that time?

Tanya Van Court:
I was 29, and the value of the stock at its peak was about 1.2 million dollars.

Bobbi Rebell:
At that time how did you feel?

Tanya Van Court:
You know, I was so excited, because since I came from a household of two parents who were elementary school educators, all I ever wanted to do was make a difference in the world. I knew that having that 1.2 million dollars in my late 20s was going to enable me to make different choices and different life decisions to help people and to give back instead of just working in corporate America and doing things that were kind of interesting to me, but weren't impactful to other people. I felt free, Bobbi. I felt really free and empowered.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're 29 years old, you have stock that on paper is worth 1.2 million dollars. What happened then?

Tanya Van Court:
The big Dotcom bust happened. Literally in hours stock just started to tank for company, after company, after company. I watched the stock literally go from being in the teens, each share was trading in the teens, to trading for less than a dollar. When I say less than a dollar it went from the teens to like .50 cents in the course of a few hours. Every bit of that 1.2 million was wiped away in a matter of hours.

Bobbi Rebell:
Wow!

Tanya Van Court:
Yeah.

Bobbi Rebell:
How did you feel then?

Tanya Van Court:
Then I felt stupid, I felt deflated, I felt panicked, depressed, it was almost as if you had 1.2 million dollars sitting in your living room, and you just left the front door to your house open and walked out and went to the park, right?

Tanya Van Court:
It was, like, wait a minute. I had been living this life and treating this money so casually, as if it would always be there.

Bobbi Rebell:
As you say, it was the dotcom bust. This was happening to everyone?

Tanya Van Court:
It was happening to everyone, and it's interesting, because while I suffered a tremendous loss with that stock that I could've diversified, what I still had was ... I still had a home that I owned, I had bought a condo, and I still had that. What I found with many of my colleagues who experienced that same bust, is that they had actually leveraged their stock to buy lots of other things, so they bought cars, and they bought multiple houses.

Tanya Van Court:
Because they had borrowed against that stock, once the crash happened, they then had to pay back the money that they had borrowed by going and selling off all of their assets, including the assets that they had come to the company with.

Tanya Van Court:
If they came to the company with a big million-dollar home in Silicon Valley that was passed down to them from their parent, or that they had worked really hard in a previous company to be able to buy, now all of a sudden, they not only lost all of their stock, they lost every other asset that they had, because they had to payback loans that they had made against their stock.

Bobbi Rebell:
What is the takeaway for our listeners from this experience?

Tanya Van Court:
Oh my gosh. Diversify, diversify, diversify. Don't ever put all of your money into one basket. I don't care if that basket is a real estate basket, and you have found a hot, booming real estate market that's working really well for you, and so you're, like, "Let me just buy it."

Tanya Van Court:
More apartments here in X place, or more houses in X place, don't do that. Diversify your money. If you have found that your golden goose is a stock that is doing really well, don't do that. Diversify your money. You really have to weigh and measure your risk, and think about the worst case scenarios. If that particular company, if something happens to that company, if something happens to that area of town that you're investing in, and every asset you have goes under water, what happens to your entire portfolio?

Bobbi Rebell:
Let's go to your everyday money tip, because this is something that is effectively free, and very eco-friendly, by the way.

Tanya Van Court:
Absolutely. My everyday money tip is actually a money tip that kind of goes back to my time in college. I would always watch people who ... I don't happen to drink, but I would watch people who would do progressives. Where they went from one bar to another, or one restaurant to another, and progressively partied from one place to the next. Like, the party would follow them. Like, a group of people would go and they'd hang out in one place, and they'd do that for 20 minutes, and then they'd go and hang out at another place.

Tanya Van Court:
I thought, "Wouldn't that be fun if we did that just with our friends, and did it in order to swap and exchange stuff that we no longer needed at our respective homes." Look, we all look in our homes and we go, "There are 10 things here that I don't use anymore, that I don't need." If you happen to have kids there may be things that your kids don't use anymore, or your kids don't need. If you happen to be a sports fan there may be equipment that you don't use anymore. "Hey, I'm not golfing as much as I used to anymore."

Tanya Van Court:
There are things in all of our homes that we don't want or we don't need, and so it's a great way of getting together with five or six friends, scheduling it on a Saturday, and going to each other's houses where you put everything that you don't want in your living room, and it becomes a virtual shopping spree.

Bobbi Rebell:
I love, first of all, that it's social, and I love, also, it's always delicate, because when you want to gift to somebody something that maybe you don't need anymore it's an awkward thing to give them something that you don't want. Because it's kind of like, "Oh, you're giving me your leftovers." But if you just put it there and they can just decide to take it, then it takes away that sort of negativity and makes it a positive thing.

Tanya Van Court:
It absolutely does. I think it makes it a positive thing for everyone, like, you're super happy to get rid of it, but they're super happy to get it.

Bobbi Rebell:
All right. Let's talk about Goalsetter, because it was inspired by your then 9-year-old daughter, because she wasn't getting what she wanted. She was getting, like, make your own gum kits, and stuff like that? What's up with that? Do we really need to make our own gum?

Tanya Van Court:
We don't and she didn't-

Bobbi Rebell:
[crosstalk 00:11:38] No, we shouldn't even chew gum, it's bad for kids' teeth, sorry. My child has braces now, so no gum-

Tanya Van Court:
Exactly. That's right, don't make your own gum, don't make your own chocolate, don't make your own candy crystals-

Bobbi Rebell:
Oh my gosh-

Tanya Van Court:
And trust me, she got all of the above. You know, the truth is, people are really well-intentioned when they want to give your kid a gift, but no one knows what to get kids for gifts. We polled 500 moms across the country, Bobbi, and these are moms from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Two out of three told us that their kids have too much stuff, and they wished there were a better way to give and receive gifts, because all kids have too much stuff.

Tanya Van Court:
A lot of people are well-intentioned, but they just don't know what to get a kid on a birthday, or a holiday, or another gift-giving moment. With Goalsetter, we let kids sign up for goals. Any goals they want in three big categories: saving for their future, sharing with others, or spending on things or experiences that really matter to them. Then family members and friends can give them goal cards instead of gift card on birthday, holidays, and other gift-giving moments.

Tanya Van Court:
It's real money towards real dreams, and kids can watch their savings grow, and actually see, "Wow! This is what it means to save for something that you want." It's teaching kids these great healthy financial habits, but it's also letting them get something that really matters to them.

Bobbi Rebell:
I love it, and it makes total sense with your background, because we didn't really say this at the beginning, but your background is, your were kind of the brains behind some of Nickelodeon's websites where, by the way, this is gonna be a tester for my little brother, you worked with my little brother John. We're gonna give John a little shout out and see if John really does listen to the Financial Grownup podcast.

Tanya Van Court:
I love it! Hi, John Rebell.

Bobbi Rebell:
All right. Where can people find out more about you and about Goalsetter?

Tanya Van Court:
Absolutely. People can go to goalsetter.co. On social media people can find out more about me at @tvancourt on Twitter, and on Instagram you can also find me and Goalsetter. Goalsetter is @goalsetterco on Instagram, @goalsetterco on Twitter, and Goalsetter on Facebook.

Bobbi Rebell:
Love it. Thank you so much, Tanya.

Tanya Van Court:
Thank you, Bobbi. Thanks for having me.

Bobbi Rebell:
All right. Tanya messed up. She knows it, but she wasn't alone during the dotcom bust. She had a ton of company, like pretty much everyone. Financial Grownup tip #1: one things Tanya mentioned that stood out is that, while she lost money that she had on paper, I know it still hurts a lot, others had leveraged against their stockings and lost so much more. In addition to her advice to diversify, we also want to be very careful when borrowing against actual assets. Do not over leverage.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup tip #2: this holiday season take it a step further than what Tanya was talking about. Think carefully about the physical stuff that you are buying for other people, not just children. Unwanted gifts are a total waste of money. There are so many new ways that technology is allowing us to give differently. Apps like Goalsetter are great, especially for kids that have too much stuff. But when you want to send a physical gift, and sometimes this is even for business purposes, there are new services, like, GiftNow. That's my personal new favorite that I'm obsessed with.

Bobbi Rebell:
Basically, the way that one works is that instead of a boring gift certificate you virtually send someone a specific gift from a retailer to their email, so you don't need their physical address, you don't have to send them an email asking where should I send this, who will receive it, blah, blah, blah. It opens in a virtual gift box, and they can select their size, so you don't have to be guessing. They can change the color, if you don't know what color they want. They can even exchange it all before it gets delivered, so you don't have the whole hassle of the return and all that stuff.

Bobbi Rebell:
I just used it for my friends' baby's one year birthday. It was so great to not have to carry a gift to the party, not worrying about it getting lost in the pile, and to know that my friend could swap it out without me even knowing it, not worrying if she would hurt my feelings, if she didn't love the fabulous dress that I got her daughter.

Bobbi Rebell:
Then again, you can never have too many little frilly little girl dresses, right? I'm sure it was a huge hit. Hopefully she liked it, but if she exchanged it, that's okay. All right. Thanks to everyone for joining us.

Bobbi Rebell:
Please subscribe, so you don't miss any upcoming episodes, especially the new bonus ones that have great money savings tips. We have some amazing guests, co-hosts coming up. We love reviews. If you have a moment to go to iTunes, or wherever you listen to it. Oh, iTunes is now Apple Podcast, sorry about that, but both work for reviews, we love them.

Bobbi Rebell:
Definitely be in touch on all the social channels. Instagram: bobbirebell1. Twitter: bobbirebell. Facebook: bobbirebell. LinkedIn: Bobbi Rebell Kaufman. All good things.

Bobbi Rebell:
Thanks to Tanya Van Court of Goalsetter for all of her wisdom in helping us get one step closer to being financial grownups.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell is edited and produced by Steve [Stewart 00:16:59], and is a BRK Media production.