You always remember your first time investing, with Wander Wealthy’s Tess Wicks

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Wander Wealthy’s Tess Wicks shares her early interest in investing in the stock market, how Warren Buffett inspired her, the advice her family gave her and what got her to actually make her first investment. Her every day money tip will resonate with fans of Marie Kondo who are tired of feeling overwhelmed by their belongings. 

In Tess' money story you will learn:

  • The reason she felt like she was starting to invest late at the age of 22

  • What Dollar Cost Averaging is and why you might want to invest this way

  • Why investing may feel overcomplicated, but it can actually be really easy

In Tess’ money lesson you will learn:

  • You may never feel ready but it's important to just jump in anyway

  • Why the younger you start investing, the better it is for you in the long run

In Tess' everyday money tip you will learn:

  • How creating a capsule wardrobe can not only help you save money, but may bring more joy to your life in the spirit of Marie Kondo

In My Take you will learn:

  • Why it's important to realize that you must actually start the clock in order to have time on your side

  • Just because you have a lot of space for more stuff, that doesn't mean you need to fill that space with stuff

Episode Links:

Learn more about Value Investing!

Financial Grownup Guest Danielle Town is one of my favorite resources.

This is a great piece on value investing from one of my favorite websites Investopedia!

Check out Tess' Invested program and website -

Follow Tess!


Transcription

Tess Wicks:
After doing that it opened up the whole world of money to me; it really helped me see the possibility of money and what's really important here is that you don't need to be ready, you don't need to know all of the facts, you just have to dive in.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're listening to Financial Grownup with me, certified financial planner, Bobbi Rebell, author of "How to be a Financial Grownup" and 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 grown-up, one lesson and then my take on how you can make it your own. We got this.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey Financial Grownup friends, we are going global here at Financial Grownup to Italy for this episode, virtually of course. It is a podcast, come on guys, you know we weren't really going.

Bobbi Rebell:
Tess Wicks, you may know her from her blog, her podcast and her super fun, and honestly, extremely informative and educational, YouTube channel, all under the brand, Wonder Wealthy. She moved to Italy for love, but she's also building her own entrepreneurial venture which we talk about in our interview. Tess is someone that I've been impressed with for quite some time from afar, and I was really excited to get to talk to her about her proactive approach to investing and creating systems so that we can all stay on track to meet our financial goals. Very appropriate for the beginning of the year, even if you do something you never plan to do like move to Europe. No excuses, just different opportunities. Here is Tess Wicks.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey Tess Wicks, you're a financial grown-up, welcome to the podcast.

Tess Wicks:
Thank you so much Bobbi. I'm so excited to be here.

Bobbi Rebell:
Well I'm excited that you're here because I am such a fan of Wander Wealthy, which is your brand, it is on YouTube, where you're ... I'm sorry to use this term, but you're so adorable. You have buddy tips that even I don't know which is truly brilliant, and of course you have your podcast, so congratulations on it all.

Tess Wicks:
Thank you so much, it's really wonderful to hear coming from you, someone who's been on TV, now doing radio podcast stuff.

Bobbi Rebell:
Well you're a natural of all of it, and you have so many great things in the works and I'm gonna give a little teaser after your money story and everyday money tip. We're gonna give everyone a sneak peek to something new that they can be a part of. But first let's get to your money story which is really appropriate because here we are, we're taping this in January, this has been a very stressful and a bit of a rollercoaster ride for anyone that is interested in investing and the stock market, and it's something that even I find a bit overwhelming, whether or not to put new money in, what to do with the money that you have. Your money story has to do with a big decision you made to just get started, go for it.

Tess Wicks:
Yes, absolutely so I started investing right out of college and that to me felt late because I was majoring in Actuarial Science and Finance in college, so I was supposed to be the money expert here, I supposed to know my stuff and I remember going through my portfolio, investing class in college, I think it was my senior year, it was full of just guys and they all seemed like they knew what they were doing, and I was so confused but I knew that investing was something that people did, especially wealthy people, and someone I really looked up to, well first when I was younger, was my brother who is seven years older than me and he started investing when he was 12, so I was very behind compared to him. And I would ask my dad all the time about investing and he would try and explain it to me while we were driving in his truck and I just never could get it. And then of course college happened and then I started looking up to Warren Buffet cos one of my professors made us read us every single one of his letters to shareholders for Berkshire Hathaway. So if you know anything about Warren Buffet, then you're probably a fan too.

Bobbi Rebell:
Right, he is all about value investing. We'll leave some links to help you look and learn about value investing and Warren Buffett.

Tess Wicks:
Yes, so I actually remember so I was sitting, we had this little TV room that all the kids would pile into, I'm one of four, when I was little. And I'm sitting there after college and I'm about to leave on a big, not around the world, but I was going to go on a trip to New Zealand to [inaudible 00:04:35] myself solo, traveling the world, and I was but I know there's something I need to do first, and that was to make my first investment.

Tess Wicks:
And I had no idea where to start. All I knew was wealthy people invested. I asked my brother how to open up an investment account, and he was "Just choose one, Saber, Vanguard, whatever." I basically knew that I needed to invest in, or I thought what would be good and smart for me at the time, was to invest in some sort of index mimicking, exchange traded fund or a mutual fund. So those were all that I knew.

Tess Wicks:
And the thing and the reason that I wanted to tell this story is that I just did it. I didn't even know what the stock market looked like at the time; I didn't know a lot about investing, but I just did it. I was 22 years old and I just did it. After doing that, it opened up the whole world of money to me; it really helped me see the possibilities of money and what's really important here is that you don't need to be ready, you don't need to know all of the facts, you just have dive in, and especially when you are young, you have that time.

Bobbi Rebell:
What is the one thing that happened that finally pulled the trigger on it for you?

Tess Wicks:
There wasn't one thing except this build up of pressure of saying, I'm supposed to know this stuff, so I'm just gonna do it so I can get that experience, and maybe once I get the experience, I'll figure it out after that.

Bobbi Rebell:
And did you put systems in place? Did you put in any kind of automatic investing? Dollar cost averaging? What's been your general system since then?

Tess Wicks:
Okay, well at that time no. I had saved up a chunk of money during my internship during school, and was like, I know this is enough to open an account so I'm gonna go, and at that time, nothing, I literally let that investment stay put and I never really touched it until two or three years later. But in that two or three year timeframe, after I got back from my summer trip and I started my work full-time, my brother, the investing guru had told me about [Roble 00:06:40] advisors and I actually opened a Roble advisor account and then I started regularly investing in that, along with of course my 401 cape through my employers. So I was taking advantage of dollar cost averaging which is just investing on a regular basis, once a month I think, was my timeline and I had set a couple of goals cos with Roble advisors you can do that as well. I knew I wanted to invest for the long term because I want to be really rich in 20, 30, 40 years, and I think I wanted to buy an investment property. I was very future oriented when I was 22, so that's what I did.

Bobbi Rebell:
And what is your takeaway for our listeners, especially those who are sitting here, knowing like you did that they should be investing but they're watching the market and they're thinking, well I don't want to put money into a market that keeps going down. As we're taping here, I have a screen to the side of me and the market is down today again.

Tess Wicks:
Yes, okay so first of all, anything you wanna do, when it comes to money or anything else, you never are going to feel ready, you just have to jump in. So that's my one, number one of that, is just, you just have to suck it up. But if you're looking at the market specifically, something that I realized, and there's a lot of historical data and different reports that you can look up about this, is if you miss 10 or 20 of the best trading days in the market, in a 15 year increment, your returns get cut significantly. The thing is, we don't know when those best trading days are going to be. It could be literally tomorrow so if you get in today you can capture a really great trading day tomorrow. But we don't know when that's going to happen, so the best time to get invested is when you just have money and you are financially capable to be investing, meaning you have an emergency savings fund, your high interest debt is being taken care of, hopefully paid off, and now you feel financially able to put some money into the market.

Tess Wicks:
And the younger you are, the better, because the longer timeframe you have to maybe have those investments lose a little bit of money, and then maybe make some money and of course at the end of the day the trend has historically been upwards so if you can do that, you should be okay.

Bobbi Rebell:
Your everyday money tip is genius because you, for those folks who don't know that much about you, you moved across the world to Italy for love, and when you move you can't bring everything but that's a good thing when it comes to your everyday money tip, go for it.

Tess Wicks:
Yeah my everyday money tip is to create a capsule wardrobe or if you want to be more general, you can just downsize, whether it's your wardrobe or the things in your house. Even if you have a lot of space for stuff, I find that when we downsize and we make it a high priority to find things that we love to keep in our home, we're then able to save more money by setting some really high requirements for what we bring into our lives. And it just makes you way more aware about the things you already have, how you can make good use of them, and when you feel like you're tempted to spend, you'll probably second guess a lot of the time and then you won't necessarily spend as much money.

Bobbi Rebell:
Which is a good thing, especially when so many pieces are in motion.

Bobbi Rebell:
You have a new program starting this winter that I think is a really innovative approach to what we just talked about, to investing and to making sure to put yourself and your future and the money you'll have in the future, as a priority. Tell us more about the Invested Program.

Tess Wicks:
Yeah so the Invested Program is a six module program where I give you the information that you need but also the steps that you can take and implement in your life to create a personalized prudent investment strategy for yourself. Now I'm a big index investor kind of girl. I like to base my investment strategy off of research, especially Nobel Prize winning research and theories that have worked in the past.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're so intense Tess! Oh my God!

Bobbi Rebell:
Sorry, keep going. Oh my gosh.

Tess Wicks:
That's what I like to teach cos I want people to feel confident that they know what they're doing. Cos I think what holds you back lots of times especially when it comes to investing, is it is just way over complicated by the media, by a lot of people on Wall Street, even by your Great Uncle Gary. You think, oh my gosh I can never figure out what's gonna be good or what's gonna be bad, and it's scary when things are unclear and when you don't have that confidence. So in the program I really try and fill people with confidence and give them the things they need to know and how investing can actually be really easy. And then on top of that, I have a live bonus module where you get to watch me invest twice a week, from here til in the future, so you can see me putting the strategies I teach into action and I think that really helps people gain confidence and see that it really does work.

Bobbi Rebell:
Well it also gives you the confidence that even though the market can be such a rollercoaster, that doesn't mean you can't control your investments and still make it work for you.

Tess Wicks:
Exactly and there is obviously very important criteria that you'll put in place for yourself to meet your needs.

Bobbi Rebell:
Love that. And I love the fact that you do so much of the research behind the scenes and then filter it down and then deliver exactly what people need to know, and not everything. Because as you said, sometimes things are made so complicated that we just can't get it done; it's just not happening because there's too much.

Tess Wicks:
Yes absolutely.

Bobbi Rebell:
Okay Tess, tell us where we can learn more about the Investor program and you and Wander Wealthy and all the things.

Tess Wicks:
Yes, so you can find all of my content at Wonderwealthy.com. There's links to my YouTube channel, to the podcast and if you wanna learn more about the Invested program, it's actually gonna officially launching early February, but you can get into, I have a free investing bootcamp; it's ten days, you get e-emails and we start getting you into the investing world, and you can go to Wonderwealthy.com/invest to sign up.

Bobbi Rebell:
I love that, and I love that you feel like you are part of a team and a group and that gets you motivated, because sometimes in the new year, we have all of those goals, we need that. We need to feel that accountability.

Tess Wicks:
Yes.

Bobbi Rebell:
All right. Tess Wicks, thank you so much. Love it all. I'll keep watching Wander Wealthy and I love your podcast and I'm excited to see the Invested Program. Thank you.

Tess Wicks:
Thanks so much Bobbi.

Bobbi Rebell:
All right friends, lets get right to it. Here is my take. Financial Grownup tip, number one: time is only on your side if you actually start the clock. Now this is one clock we all want to be ticking. Saving money is not enough as Tess points out. There is never gonna be an obvious time to start investing, so you have to start. Make sure to invest the money that you have allocated to investing; no sitting on the sidelines for every. You can wait a little. I would say if you're cautious, dollar cost invest, averaging everything out to smooth the ups and downs, that means putting a set amount of money into the market at set intervals so that you don't get the highs and lows. You also don't get all the highs when you're avoiding the lows, but so be it. The point is, start the clock, start the timer, get going, just like Tess says.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup tip number two: I love that Tess talked about downsizing our stuff and most of us have too much, that's the truth of it, which is so appropriate given that many of us are watching the [inaudible 00:14:23] Show on Tidying up on Netflix. Just because you have enough space for more stuff and you're not going abroad like Tess is, doesn't mean that you need to buy and keep things to fill all the space. Make sure you know where things are. That's something I have a hard time with myself even though I live in an apartment, I put things away in a safe place and then I don't know where they are. And then you know what happens? You can't find it and you buy another one. And then what happens? You find the original item. So lets all work towards getting past that and only having the things we want, need or see a need for realistically in the future, getting more organized so we don't buy things we already have.

Bobbi Rebell:
I would love to hear from you about your experience, your first experience investing or if it hasn't happened yet, what is keeping you from it? And how can we all get started, finding our starting line and getting things going? Be in touch on all the socials, at Instagram at bobbirebell1, on Twitter at Bobbi Rebell, my Facebook page is Bobbi Rebbell and you can email me at Hello@FinancialGrownup.com. And by the way, I mention my Facebook page because something interesting is happening on Facebook, specifically Facebook Live with a new project that I have been alluding to a little bit here. I've talked about it a couple of times, but if you have not already, please check out my new podcast, a second podcast, Financial Grownup's not going anywhere, it is called Money in the Morning, it is with my dear friend Joe Saul-Sehy, you may know him from Stacking Benjamin's fame. We tape live on the Stacking Benjamin's Facebook page at IstackBenjamins and there is audience participation.

Bobbi Rebell:
So I hope you guys will join us, we read your comments live and it's a really really fun thing to do if you have some time. We're gonna start posting a specific schedule in advance there and I'll also be sure to share it on my socials as well. And big thanks to the inspiring Tess Wicks of Wanderwealthy for helping us all get one step closer to being financial grown-ups.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grown-up with Bobbi Rebell is edited and produced by Steve Stewart and is a BRK Media production.