Episode 23 – How Lulu Invested Their Inheritance

When Lulu and I first started working together, they had received an inheritance of about $150,000 but felt too scared, guilty, and stuck to touch it for MONTHS. Through our time together, they’ve opened a Roth IRA, Brokerage account, separated their personal and biz $, and have started to invest in massive amounts of $10k, $6k, and $30k at a time.

They’ve also lent a family member $15k to buy a home and leave an unhealthy marriage. I helped them see the potential they had this whole time, once they gave themself permission to make powerful money goals and follow through them. Lulu is of Jewish heritage and I love how they talk about how this came into play when learning about their own money blocks.

I went from being told I “didn’t sound like a Charly” by transphobic clients on the phone when I worked as a stock broker to helping queer folks invest tens of thousands of dollars. So cool. 💕

Lulu (she/they) is a tattoo artist and multi-disciplinary creative currently based in so-called Massachusetts. They spent the earlier years of life studying music, theatre & film, languages, typography, and history, while also working a variety of hospitality jobs. All of these experiences inform Lulu’s work as a tattooer, in which they seek a balance between the precision of traditional craft and the boundary-breaking opportunities offered by a new generation of tattooing. Above all Lulu hopes to create a fun and empathic environment for her clients. You can find them at @tattulu on ig!

Book a call to learn more about 1:1 money coaching.

Podcast Transcript Below:

23. How Lulu Invested their Inheritance

Charly: Hi everybody. Welcome to the Unicorn Millionaire Podcast. I’m your host, Charly Stoever. I’m a non-binary Latinx money coach, helping my first gen clients become millionaires. I’m a formerly undocumented Mexican American and currently digital nomad traveling all over the worlds, and I’m super excited to have you here along with me on my journey, I talk about personal finance, money, mindset, twerking, unicorns, rainbows, you name it.

We’re here. We’re queer, and we are going to build wealth for ourselves and our communities.

Okay? Hi Lulu. Thank you for being on my podcast.

Lulu: Hello Charly. Thank you for having me here.

Charly: Super excited to have you. So for y’all who don’t know, Lulu was my client. We worked together from June until the time of this recording, which is December. And yeah, before we get started, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself and your pronouns and what you do.

Lulu: Thank you so much. My name is Lulu. I use she, her and they them pronouns. And currently for work, it’s a bit of a job. It’s a bit of a calling that I’m a tattoo artist. Living and working in the Boston area of Massachusetts in the US. I mean that’s the nuts and bolts of it. We’ll get into the nitty gritty of the rest of it.

Charly: Yes. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And so let’s get into it. Why did you choose to work with me?

Lulu: Excellent. Alright, so here’s where I’ll give my sort of money background. I grew up in New England, and had, you know, like rural country upbringing, not worrying about money, but like not having lots of money, but it just wasn’t being in the picture of, of what I was thinking about.

It certainly was not what I had been taught to talk about or think strategically about. It was something that you either, you know, didn’t have and was therefore stressed out about it or you did have it, which was really great cuz you could use it right away for the thing you needed and then you were looking ahead at when you wouldn’t have it anymore.

Yeah. Constant stress cycles, which I just, you know, kept on perpetuating for myself, not intentionally, just in the way that I didn’t realize there were other ways to be. And then without getting into too much just messy detail, uh, my parents split when I was around 12.

And we had a kind of classic situation where my father was the main bread earner at the time. And, um, it wasn’t all right away in one, one lightning strike. But sort of slowly over the course of years, my relationship with my father grew more and more strained. And you could, and there was a correlating graph, line of relationship declining, and it being tied to money.

Mm-hmm like those things were just inherently linked. And it was him not wanting to pay for things for me, whether it was frivolous things or, um, important things like education.

Charly: What’s weird in America, y’all, education’s expensive for all your international, international listeners.

Lulu: The worst. And to be, you know, of course, like couple decades later I’m able to look back and have a bit more, empathy for where he was coming from.

He wanted me to go to a state school. I was all set on my prestigious liberal arts school, which is not how I would feel if I were making the same choices today, but, Hmm, that doesn’t matter we are here. Yeah. Because of where we were. Um, anyway, so, so money became for me, very much tied to, um, emotional distress, feelings of abandonment, feelings of, uh, neglect and definitely survival.

And, and it became a very emotional figure and thing in my life, if you will. Um, and sort of from, from that time of their split, my living experience life was more that of like child of a single mom who worked three jobs and yet still somehow figured out how to get me, like, get me into all of the programs I wanted to be in, let me do all the things I wanted to do.

Um, and I was in, well, I was a kid, so on the one hand I was just like, yeah, duh, this is what I deserve. Cause I’m a kid and this is, they’ve told me that you do the programs and they’ve told me that you go to college and so therefore, Yeah. Obviously it’s the adult’s job to pay for that for me.

But it was just always complicated and, going into my fancy liberal arts college that I did end up going to, um, as so many of us did, I just blindly, uh, signed on the dotted line to take out all the loans. My mom took out loans as well on my behalf, um, because of my father’s earning status at the time.

You know, like there, I was not eligible for as much financial aid as I would’ve been if I were, you know, if I only had my mom’s income. However, my dad was very clear at the time, like, I have this money, but you’re not getting this money. Yeah. So wild. It happens.

Charly: It’s common that people have to pay, take out loans because one parent does not contribute even though they read their income, they’re like no.

Lulu: Yeah. And, and so then the financial aid office just does not care at all they don’t get, yeah. So through the same pipeline that so many other, uh, American student age people are put through, I wound up like with what I would think is probably a pretty average amount of debt. I mean, it was about like 30 to 40K in my name and then an additional like 30, 40k in my mom’s name, which is totally bonkers, but pretty average, right?

Yeah. For private school in the us. Um, pretty brutal. Anyway, I really am just like flying all over the course here. But all this to say, when I finally worked with you, many years had passed. I was out of school. I had worked a number of service jobs, uh, Starting from the time I was probably about 14, I think I had my first job just always working.

Always hustling, always knowing like, I have all this debt and I feel really guilty and dumb for having it , but everybody feels about debt. At least, at least everybody I know also has all of this. And we’re just all going to work, um, every day for scraps, uh, and try to pick away at it and it will never disappear, and that will be my life.

So that is what I thought was going to happen. And then through a series of universal flukes, um, well first, my, my father died in 2018 and I did inherit enough money from him to cancel out, like the debt that I had in my name. Which in itself is huge and, yes, that was already like burdened off the shoulders, being able to kind of pop your head up a little bit.

And then a couple years after that, another member of that side of my family passed without a will because my father had already died himself. I then inherited from that relative in his stead, which was not something I had ever, expected to receive. I had not planned for it and I certainly had not planned for knowing what to do once I had it.

Okay. Yep. So that’s the situation that led me to wanting to work with you to finally answer your question. I had no idea what to do with this money and, I also had no idea how to talk to anybody. About what to do with this money, because for me, money in itself was one of the hardest things to talk about.

Like I associated it just with like family leaving or insecurity or just all negative gut twisty feelings. And, yeah, because then all this money drops in my lap, essentially, not all at once, slowly over time. I had no idea what to do. And so I actually put out feelers. As I mentioned, I’m a tattoo artist and a queer person, and I have lots of lovely, cool queer clients.

Yes. So I actually put out a call just like on my Instagram back in the day saying, does anyone know of specifically like queer and or POC financial advisors or money people or just like anyone. Anyone advice? Anyone?

Charly: Anyone out there?

Lulu: Yeah. I had no idea how to talk about it, but I knew I wanted to pay a professional to help me and I would much rather that professional not be a cis white man if I could help it. And then so one client did recommend you and so I followed your socials and then just internet stalked you for a year, for an entire year.

Charly: This is the process. If y’all are listening, wondering about hiring a money coach. You don’t have to wait a year. You can just reach out.

Lulu: Oh, man. Yeah. I guess what I should have included in my introduction to all of your fine listeners, that I am a double earth sign and Virgo moon and these things made of the beautiful chemistry of me waiting for a year. But after a year, you seemed, you know, very nice and like you wouldn’t be mean to me. And I worked with the courage.

Charly: You were mutual friends with a former client who was also non-binary. One of my first non-binary clients. Uh, we were mutual friends and I remember you DM me, and were like, do you work with white people?

Lulu: Let’s take your listeners back on the little way back machine. Um, this was 2021 that I was reaching out to you, I believe maybe late 2021, early 2022. Point being I started following you, like right in the midst of the pandemic. And basically just like, as a white person, both recognizing stuff that I knew already about myself and opening my eyes to so many things I had been ignoring in my own self. And um, yeah, I was just, that was probably one reason why I waited as well. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking up space, which you quickly talked to me. Well, not quickly. It was a process for sure.

Charly: Yeah I was like, I’m white. Like I’m Latinx, but I have white privilege as well. So . Yes. And you and I also just worked with your mutual friend who is also white and non-binary. Yeah. We’re all like white non-binary people out here.

Lulu: It’s amazing how the, like logic did not transfer that feelings. So cute. Weird. Yeah.

Charly: Well, we’re here and it happened. So you inherited, from your dad to pay out your student loans? It sounded like $70,000 you had total.

Lulu: No, no, no. That was, um, you know, uh, plus or minus 30 K, which is about what I had left of like my personal loans. Um, I’ve since been able to give my mom money for the loans she had in her name.

But at that time it was just like, these are the loans that are officially in my name and I can at least wipe that slate clean. Which to me I was like, oh wow, this has already given me like so much of a boost. This has given me so much of a head start, um, against my peers. I guess it like I was, uh, right around 30 at that time, you know, either late twenties, early thirties, um, I had already been aware of like, oh, I should open an IRA and I should be doing all of this and I should be doing all of that.

But both due to lack of skills, lack of money. It’s like, this is obviously not happening. Um, and so like I probably would’ve sought you out anyway, or I would’ve sought out someone like you. Anyway, just from the position of I don’t have like a, a particular amount of wealth sitting in the bank, but I at least am like debt free and, and should be now thinking about new things.

Cause of course for that full decade of my twenties, like your only thoughts are pay rent and with keep up with student loan payments. Like those are the two big things. What is this?

Charly: Yeah. And it’s interesting how you say that you inherited money and boom, you knew exactly what to do with it. You were like, okay, lots of money equals pay debt.

And then you kept inheriting more money and you didn’t have any debt to pay and then you lost your shit as one does because we’re not taught these things. So how much did you inherit after you paid off debt?

Lulu: We’ll say around $200K. Yeah.

Charly: And it was sitting there for like how long?

Lulu: Yeah, let’s say a year.

 I mean, as you remember, like it didn’t all come in one big lump sum, but it was one very large lump sum followed by a couple other smaller payments, uh, later as the whole estate got worked out. Um, which like, thank goodness, I just wanna say, put out a little prayer of thanks to estate lawyers, people who spend the time doing that.

Goodness gracious. What a huge mountainous task. Um, but yeah, that whole process like threw me for a bit of a loop in so many ways. I mean, I told you this once. This is not to put my mom on blast because she’s so amazing for so many reasons. But the main like money philosophy that she’s held and that she’s sort of passed on to me is, uh, what she calls the GWP method.

I don’t know if you remember Charly, what the GWP method is. It means God will provide. Okay. And it’s coming from like a, a pretty non-religious woman. I mean, it’s very tongue and cheek.

Charly: Yes. I’m like the universe will provide, but you also don’t do the work though.

Lulu: Exactly. But that’s all I had. That’s all I had had modeled for me.

It was like, yeah, like things are gonna be tough sometimes and you work the jobs, you’ve gotta work and you just keep going and things work themselves out. Yeah. And in my mom’s case, that was like more or less pretty true. Um, but it’s not a great , it’s not a great philosophy to like build any anything on.

Not exactly consistent. And just the fact that I was receiving like this objectively, to me, ginormous. I mean, if we’re talking in the scale of billionaires, it’s nothing. But to me it was like absolutely ginormous amount of money. Um, and my main fear was that it was all just going to disappear, which also played into just leaving it untouched for a year.

I felt like the second I start tapping into this and thinking that it’s real, that’s when like, everything must go nuts. And it’s just gonna all go away. Yeah. And I’ll have wasted it and that will be my fault and it will have been because I’m a bad person.

And it was incredibly just like emotional, and it was very wrapped up in, in morality. Um, and in this imaginary morality of fairness and deserving, um, I mean that’s something I know we’ll talk about more, uh, in, in this meeting cuz we talked about it so much during our six months together. But just like the guilt was huge.

Now like it’s, I’m still a work in progress now basically I’m able to just see like, yeah, no, it’s not fair that I got this money cause the system’s not fair. But that it’s not necessarily like, it doesn’t automatically, mean that me getting this unfair money then makes me a bad person.

Which is kind of where the brain was going at the beginning.

Charly: It’s so common when people inherit money, there’s the guilt. When I inherited randomly $28,000 one day, I was like, no one told me this was going to happen. It’d be great if I would be prepared to do something with this.

But my family’s members weren’t like, invest this in the stock market, blah, blah, blah. They were like, no, here’s $28,000. Your family member died. And I was like, what? And I had those feelings of guilt, but luckily I was working as a stock broker at the time so I could see my money more objectively cuz I was working with like casual millionaires who were so strategic with their money and they just got money and didn’t have these emotional like, oh my God, do I deserve this?

Cuz they were just like already in the system and they knew what to do. They were told they were going to inherit money. Like people would call and be like, I’m about to inherit like $30,000. I’m going to buy a house. What account should I put this in? And they were just so objective about it. And so I had a frame of reference for knowing, oh, you can be objective about it, it’s okay to honor the feelings, but would that deceased family member want me to just sit around and feel guilty about it or waste the money?

Which is something people who have money trauma and aren’t like financially literate and haven’t been taught, they will just like buy shit and money will disappear in like a few weeks, which are all dangerous things. So it’s okay to sit in the guilt and honor that and those feelings, but then what, how’s the guilt going to serve you?

Like, what can I do? We have this money, it’s a privilege. What can we do about it with it to protect ourselves but also help others?

Lulu: Which is, is what?

Charly: Work through after a while, but yeah, like I think your case is so important to share that people think that, oh, once they make uh, like a million dollars or once they get to a certain amount of money, it’ll all be good.

And it’s like, no, it, your money, trauma and the issues are going to stay there. And you’ll also feel like, oh shit, now I have more to lose. So we still need to talk about the mindset right?

Lulu: So much of the work that we did and so much of like what I take away and granted our last session was two weeks ago, so we’ll have more time to reflect.

But really like a huge part of what I take away from having worked with you is, is being able to talk about it, being able to think about money as what it is and not as all of the things that it had come to represent because of my specific experience. And that way like I’m able to use it and like hopefully knock wood, control it a bit as opposed to the other way around.

Charly: Yean and if it’s sitting there 10,00 20,000, whatever, million dollars, if it’s sitting there in cash, that shit’s losing value. Its inflation as well. Because even that like people think they’re doing the right thing by just hoarding cash and keeping it there, but it’s like nah, that cash right now is losing value about 7% a year.

Which I think people need to just be aware of as well, which is why we need to also invest this money cuz it’s lowering value over time. And I think that was probably a big motivator for you of like, oh shit, this money is actually losing value.

Lulu: And I’m still work in progress with that too. Yes, we all are, we’re all works in progress.

Charly: Yeah and so in our first two sessions. We still are talking about how much cash you have all over the place. Cause I’m trying to get nosy and say, okay, what are we working with? How can we invest this? But before we talk about investing or even credit cards, we had a money mindset session, which is basically like money therapy.

I’m basically a money therapist y’all. Yeah. I’m not a financial advisor. We’re talking about your childhood trauma and your future really yourself. And so we talk about our feelings about money cuz that’s what’s stopping people from investing. It’s not the knowledge y’all can YouTube how to invest.

Y’all can call customer service. It’s the feelings that are stopping us from feeling like we deserve to learn how to invest or invest in itself as we’ve been talking. But I remember our money mindset session where we’re kind of like deprogramming a lot of shit that’s no longer served us. And in that session when I asked you about your upbringing and things that I didn’t know about you came up cause we were barely getting to know each other.

And you shared that you have Jewish heritage, but you also talked about blatent anti-Semitism as a money block for you. So, which I think is really important to talk about. And you’re the first guest I’ve had on here that’s talked about this and I really appreciate your perspective. What was that like for you?

Lulu: Sure. Um, well I’ll also of course give addendum at the beginning that like I was not raised culturally Jewish and I do not feel that I have any sort of authority to speak like on it as a religion or even as a culture very much beyond just like my personal family experience, which is one of, uh, you know, like my Jewish ancestors immigrated to the US in the 1870s.

So pretty early, you know, in terms of waves of Jewish immigration to the US. Uh, and they, whatever reasons, you know, maybe they were already there or maybe it was an act of self-preservation and assimilation. But they have just been like very secular for a number of generations. And by the time I came to be like our Jewishness was never hidden.

But it was also just like we did not celebrate any Jewish holidays. It was not something that I considered to be part of my identity with the capital I, if you will. Um, And that has just been .

In growing older and reaching various stages of my life and of like my uncles’ lives and wanting to learn more about my family and, and their histories before they’re gone, um, I was just not related to any of this money stuff at all, but I was doing just very low-key personal research and just becoming a little bit more acquainted with the actual facts and the timelines and I’m like, where my people came from and all of that.

And then this money comes and all wrapped up in the Gordian knot of my of my. Basically like white guilt, education, privilege, guilt. I mean, I have like all of the privileges, like, except for being a cis male, I suppose cis straight male. I’m not a CI straight male, but I other things working in my favor.

Um, and so some of that was very legit. I mean also this is like, this is like 2020, 2021. I’m specifically thinking about, um, like economic imbalance between races, between genders and all of it. And, and just thinking like, wow, I’m really already a step ahead and where is this coming from? You know, where is this money coming from?

Why is it coming to me again, keeping it like, it was very moralized. It was very much about, yeah, made it about you. I made it about me. I really big time made it about me, within that, along within those thoughts. We’re also creeping in some of these thoughts that, like in the moment I was imagining a third party, a faceless third party saying antisemitic thing about me because those were like, that is the family that I got the money from.

And so I was, I was in full anxiety mode and like hyper fixation mode and thinking about like imaginary people learning that I’d gotten this money and then saying anti-Semitic things about where it had come from. Um, and it was while I was like tracking through that, specifically, like examining it more closely than I would’ve otherwise because I knew we had a session coming up and I had to like think about it as opposed to pushing it away like I always did before.

Then I realized, well, the obvious thing is that that imaginary person is me. Like that imaginary person doesn’t exist outside of my brain, therefore, my brain is the one saying these imaginary, hateful things. Let me put a little side note in here, and just for anyone who doesn’t know, like there is an anti-Semitic stereotype about Jewish people being, you know, money grabbing or like , um, just being, being greedy and hoarding wealth.

And a lot of that comes from the history of Jewish people not being allowed to work in certain sectors. And also specifically as it comes to banking, because like in in Christianity there were taboos against user or lending money. And, or also of course working on Sundays. And those are two things that Jewish people did not have the same issue with.

And so they were, uh, sectioned off into working in the banking industry. So basically that’s just your really short Cliffs notes, Cliffs notes, antisemitism, snack lesson for you there just to be like, why if anyone’s outside the US or doesn’t know about that for whatever reason. Um, but yeah, just realizing that that was coming from me was a big eye opener that didn’t magically fix the problem, but it was a moment of like being able to see something for what it was, recognize it for how un useful it was.

I mean, like un useful is, is an understatement, but recognize it for what it was and therefore be able to move on from it, um, a little bit, at least. A little bit more.   

Charly: Yes it’s self-sabotage, which we do a lot to protect ourselves. Like I’ve done it as well. We, we self-sabotage when we are, I don’t like to say leveling up, but falling into alignment with ourselves and like advancing and we have to leave some past things behind, but then our brains to keep us safe, to keep us in a familiar space will fuck shut up

And we will literally get in our own ways. Of course, all of this is unconscious. We’re not doing this on purpose, but then we catch ourselves being like, oh, I’m self-sabotaging. Oh, my brain wants to keep me safe in the familiar place. This is what’s really going on. And it’s really powerful of you to have been able to recognize like, okay, we had this like third unidentified, like spirit.

Oh, it was me, all this antisemitism. Yeah. And you kept saying, well, I’m not, I don’t identify as Jewish, but it still played a part in how you viewed many and manifest itself in that way apparently right?

Lulu: Yeah, and, and, um, enough, I mean, like having that thought and realizing that I was having these hateful thoughts, like directed at myself, like, made me feel closer to my Jewish roots.  

Yeah. Why? I’m laughing . I, but, uh, certainly like there, there’s still just many parts of that story that I don’t know, and that I probably won’t know, but it, it really showed certainly the strength of like generational trauma, and you know, even if, like I’ve never experienced, because I basically don’t.

Like, I’m not perceived as Jewish by anyone. Um, I have never personally experienced any anti-Semitism from anyone except for the casual stuff you hear in everyday conversations. Some people don’t know you’re Jewish and they’ll like, make Jewish jokes. Right. And you’re like, um, actually, sure, yes. Um, but yeah, even, even without having had those, blatant personal experiences, I still had that like internalized shit, pardon my French.

I guess I was feeling very disconnected from that side of myself and even having this like uncomfortable, unpleasant realization about my own thoughts, like even that sort of like brought me closer to my ancestors, I guess. Yes. In a way. Yeah. Yeah.

Charly: And I remember you posting on IG and you know, Kanye’s being Kanye, being anti-Semitic as fuck, which is never Okay.

And I remember you, you posted on like Instagram on your stories about this not being okay on your Jewish heritage. And I was like, this is so cool that , you’re, you’re talking more openly about this. And that allowed you to connect with people, right? They were DMing you about this too.

Lulu: Yes. Then someone dmd me, um, to share that, like they had a very similar family immigration history.

That’s all that conversation was. It was just, I threw out my experience into the void and they echoed back. But like, hey, like my story is very similar. How’s it going? Hello . And we just sort of saw each other across the canyon and it was just so nice. Just so nice. What’s there to say, which happened with a really nice connection with another human being.

So cool.

Charly: Yeah. And you also allowed yourself to start talking about money with friends, and you also realized you had friends who also were inheriting shit tons of money too, and they also felt guilty about it, right?

Lulu: Yeah I had it come up once. I was catching up with a dear, dear friend from college who I hadn’t seen in years.

It had been about six years or so since we’ve seen each other in person. And, um, I was staying there for like a weekend and for the first sort of day and a half, I mean, this was, this was all happening right then. Like I had just received the first check, like pretty recently I think. Um, so it was obviously like a big update in my life and something that I wanted to share with this person.

But it took me a long time to get around to it. I finally like opened up about it. Because I just had no idea like, it’s so way too simple to just say it’s hard to talk about money. Um, but yeah, our generation, especially our generation being millennials, also Gen Z of course, like we’ve been fed a narrative about our, about ourselves, which is predominantly true, which is that none of us have any money and we can’t have any savings and we’re all buried under debt.

And so , you know, in a moment where that suddenly became not true for me, I felt, um, like am I an asshole for talking about this with other people who I know are my age and who I know have had like similar experiences, um, in terms of education, in terms of travel, in terms of what have you. I’m like, well, this is where I was at and I felt this way.

Like, how would I feel about a peer. Suddenly rolling up and talking to me about all this money that just like fell into their lap. Like, um, so I was, I was just like really worried about making her feel weird or whatever. Y you know, just, you know, anxiety, you create every worst case scenario of how you could potentially make someone feel bad.

Enough time passed. I was like, feeling it out and it’s comfortable. Then I can like, talk about this . And, and she looks at her partner and they, they give each other a look after I say it. Like, me too . We were able to talk about it. Um, yeah. Which really just makes me think about how many other people in their twenties and thirties are currently having like this exact same experience or they’re about to have this experience whether they know it or not.

Cause certainly, well, we’re at the like, Edge of a huge generational shift. And that’s just, I know this is going to happen more and more, but especially when we’ve like, and I was doing this too where I was equating like having no money to being a good person or I was equating radical politics to not being able to have money.

Charly: Same. I used to do that too. And it’s like, you can be as capitalist and still invest, like this is literally the system that we’ve inherited against our consent.

Lulu:  So, and that’s what, like you and I worked with so much, uh, with mindset in the beginning as well, is like I knew I needed to invest, but I was very fixated on a like perfect way to invest or an ethical way to invest, which you showed me like not really doable, at least not at the stage that I’m at. And then, even when I hoped you were wrong, and I was doing my own snooping.

Charly: You did a research the earth sign and you was like, I got to see if these socially conscious funds really do invest in Google .

Lulu: I’ll totally read the fine print. I can figure this out. And then I figured out, like, spoiler alert, everybody, uh, on Schwab, there are e ETFs that they say are like ethical and good for the environment and everything that they have literally the exact same portfolio as all the other ETFs. Like there’s no difference at all. Um, and they are more expensive.

Yes. So that was really fun to realize. That still wrangles me a bit. That, that one still is annoying to me. Because I want to have principles and then live by them. Mm-hmm. , boom, easy breezy, lemon squeezy, easy one, and then the other

Charly: Sorry, go ahead.

Lulu: I was just going to wrap up and say that, uh, I realize at first you just have to get your feet in the pool and you just have to get the money moving, at least to start. Um, and especially like for someone like me, where in those first weeks of looking at the Schwab website, like I would look at it and my brain would immediately shut down.

Um, cause it’s just such a different way of reading and a different way of thinking. Um, so yeah, I was, I was. I, I, I felt like I was at a complete loss. I felt like I was thrown into the deepest end of the pool. So the thought of trying to like, go in and cherry pick only stocks, uh, that I like that, that met my ethical standard, like that truly was actually an un-achievable task for me.

And still would be, and still would be at this time. That’s, but that’s the goal. And then you, uh, talked about, yeah, this, I remember clearly this was in one of the like, earliest sessions we had, but talking about, you know, reframing it so that you are positioning yourself as the ethical bond. Yeah. And you’re not gonna try to find that magical golden, like external like company or something that is, that is so, or, or I guess company is the wrong word, but you’re not going to find like a.

IPO to hit all of your ethical standards. But if you use the market as it is to get, you know, your self established and get your emergency funds and get your stuff organized and get everything in order, then you can turn your gaze onto the, the, um, mom and pop shops. Or like, if you have a friend or someone you know who you wanna help, like jumpstart something like, and you can, that’s when you can get into the individual investments.

Um, so that’s, I’m keeping my eyes forward on that moment.

Charly: Yeah shifting that gaze. Gaze not gay. G A Z E. Yes, it’s so important. And like I mentioned to you, I was like, you just by hiring me, you’re supporting a queer Latinx sound business. We’re already doing a lot to support, uh, our own communities.

Like all the business coaches I’ve hired have been women. They have been also women of color, like we’re already doing a lot. And that just makes me feel better instead of worrying about the stocks and how ethical these companies that I’ll never even set foot in, who knows what’s going on behind closed doors.

We just need to take responsibility for our own communities and seeing that as a form of mutual aid. So can you talk about how you helped your family members also build wealth? You have a lot of like property stuff that’s exciting.

Lulu: I already mentioned the beginning once this second inheritance came in, I was able to give, um, my mom back what she still owed in loans for me.

Which she got it like when student loans were still like payments were paused. It was, it was peak pandemic time. And so I don’t, I think she used it for something else, which is fine. I think she used it on her house, which is a OK by me. But, um, just, yeah, the fact that I was able to return that to her was like huge.

That was a huge emotional burden lifted. Mm-hmm. I’m sure a lot of your listeners can relate to moms. 

Charly: All of us. Every single one. Lifting burdens left and right.

Lulu: Yeah, well the property stuff that’s so, like, that’s fun and wild and, and actually started like before any of the inherit stuff did.

But that’s speeding of generational shifts. Like that side of my family. Um, my grandparents had bought a property up in New Hampshire where I’m from. They had bought it in forties or the fifties, you know, it’s like just their summer cabin. Um, and it’s stayed in my family ever since. Um, very nostalgic, lots of emotional significance.

Due to how like the family has grown and where the cousins live, like not used very often anymore. Um, my two uncles, like who are the official owners of the house, like they have other houses that are their houses. And this place is not like nice enough currently that it’s, it’s not like a vacation place necessarily.

I mean, it just needs work. It’s a true New Hampshire camp. Smells like bugs, dirty, moldy, but like so charming. Say virtually at a, at a number of, of points. Because like there are times you kind of post-college before figuring out that I was going to be, that I wanted to be a tattooer and eventually making the moves that I did to get there.

I’d lived in this house two separate periods. Which again, talking about privileges and, and just like support. I mean, those were some of my poorest times when I could not be paying rent. And it’s like I was roughing it to a certain extent, but also it was a house, it was a roof over my head. I was able to live in.

Anyway, all of this is just preamble to saying that the house exists and we are at the turning point as a family where it’s like, You know, my uncles are ready to not be worrying about it anymore. Um, I and my older cousins are, you know, like poised to then take over stewardship of it. And we were having to decide like, do we just sell it because most of the family, like, don’t realistically use it.

Or do we see what it would take to keep it as like an investment property, as a rental property, which will require lots and lots of work, but we are actually looking into making that happen. And we’ve been, it’s brought me closer to my cousins in a really lovely way. It worked really in tandem with the work I was doing with you because , or I should say, if I hadn’t been working with you at the same time, it would’ve been a much more stressful thing for me to like be dealing with because yeah, through you, I was able to talk about money.

As an objective thing, and I was able to like, go into that mode of thinking about the house as what it is, as opposed to just like all of my memories of it and all of my feelings of it in the same way that, you know, you’d helped me reach objectivity with money. Um, and also like, just so much of what our work has done for me as well.

It’s just you’ve like given me permission to believe that I can do things.

Charly: It’s basics. Yeah.

Lulu: And like permission to want things. Yes. Like someone thought that that would be the hardest, like one of the biggest hurdles is just like, instead of just wasting so much time, feeling bad for wanting things or for like having, like making a plan for something like just.

Realizing you can do it, you’re allowed. Yeah. So, um, our goals for that place are give it new life and make it pay for itself. You know, we’re not really looking to be making lots of money off of it, but given its location and all that stuff, like I hope you can confidently turn it into something that will keep itself running and keep it in the family.

Cause certainly, like if we were to sell it, we would never be able to buy anything comparable. Yeah. We, yeah. Just given how long it’s been in the family, how much it would, it, it must, I don’t even know how much it would cost now, but, but yeah. Not something we could ever buy again without just having it.

Lastly, I had another family member who, just recently was leaving a marriage and needed help making a down payment on a new house. And I was able to do that, which was absolutely wild. Absolutely wild. I was able to like, lend that money. We worked out a contract and a repayment plan and like we came up with a solution that we both feel good about where like, I’m not gouging them for anything.

I’m mostly just trying to be whole, but there is like enough interest to make it fair, but just basically to account for inflation. But all these things are not things I ever would’ve been able to even think about. Like, I didn’t have the, I did not have the vocabulary for that a year ago so like hypothetically, If the check had arrived, you know, it’s sitting there in my savings account.

It was sometime in the year before I started working with you. And if this family member had asked me for the same amount of money that I ended up lending, like, I don’t know what I would’ve said. I think I probably would’ve felt way too insecure, um, in like having the money at all. Like, I, I would’ve, it would’ve, even if I had done it, it would’ve been a much more fraught experience as opposed to what it ended up being, which is like, you need some help. I have the ability to help.

And it just so happened I’ve already been spending months like working with this person who’s helped me make my retirement account and like set up my other bank accounts that I’ve been like not doing.

When we started working together, I had the same. Checking and savings accounts I’d had since I was 18 and I had one debit card. Yes. I think maybe one credit card that I barely used. I like opened this credit card when I paid off my student debt cuz I realized I needed something to keep my credit score going.

Um, so yeah, it just, it, it all worked out on a timeline that was slow but perfect. And I mean, it just like, it’s, it just makes me so happy to be able to help my family member with that specifically as well.

Charly: Yeah, yeah. You’ve helped a family member leave an unhealthy marriage and buy an appreciating asset, that’s huge.

I remember you coming to me being like, what’s, what’s the Fed? What are interest rates? Inflation? Why are these rich white men meeting in Jackson Hole? I don’t understand. And then I explained that to you, and then you came up with a contract that included like interest because of inflation. And when you asked me like, what should I do?

My family member needs loan. And I just, yeah. I helped you look at it objectively, like a, do you trust this person? And B, what’s your family history? Do you trust this person? Okay, that’s what the first thing I wanna know. And then second, do you want to make some money or not? And you said, no, I just want to not lose money.

And then it’s like, okay, you still have to charge interest if you don’t want to lose your money and include you. There’s like inflation calculators out there. So that was included in your contract, which is huge. Like this is how you’re already being socially conscious, like just in the time we were working with each other.

I want to talk about the massive amounts of investments that you have made so far. So how much have you invested in, in which accounts?

Lulu: Ooh, I actually dunno. Off the top of my…

Charly: We can like ballpark it, I think in your Roth. Um, we invest like?

Lulu: 6,000 at a time. Roth right away? Yes.

Charly: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.

Lulu: And then, I opened a self-managed brokerage account. Alright. All told total value. Um, we’re looking at about like 50 50 K. Yes. 50 K, yes. The self-managed brokerage. And then, um, finally I also opened a Robo Schwab Robo-advisor brokerage. And that’s been a really interesting thing. I mean, granted, like only time will tell, but it’s been really interesting to compare the one that I’m doing myself and the robo one and just see the differences there.

And, and even that for my style of learning is really helpful to see like what they’re doing that, you know, seems to quote unquote work. Although, gosh, like. Let me just say to everyone, like, the stock market is so dumb. . Yeah, it’s a scam.

Charly: It’s a scam, y’all. It was invented by like white scam slave owners.

Lulu: It’s a huge, huge scam. And the only way I’m able to maintain my sanity well, being a part of it is just knowing it’s a scam and just being like, all right, this is, this is the game we have to play in order to, yeah. Um, yeah, finally just like live differently somehow, but yeah, it’s, it’s wild. That’s wild.

Charly: And just to wrap things up, what results are you the most proud of?

Lulu: Okay, well, there’s so much. I didn’t even get into . I know we can talk forever. What we haven’t even touched on is that, you know, I’ve been like going through the opening years of my tattoo career. I’m right at about four years tattooing at this point. I was able to like, make the decision to give myself a little sabbatical. So I’ll, I’ll be, you know, officially done at the shop where I did my apprenticeship, just beginning of next month, beginning of the year.

And then I was feeling not burnt out, I felt that I know that feeling, but I was feeling that the currents of change were like coming and pushing me in a certain direction. I knew that change was going to have to come, um, but I was getting really caught up on like needing to have all of the plans in place, needing to have the decisions made ahead of time.

Which I think was really like carrying over from the scarcity mentality and just like, you can’t have a gap in earning at any point ever for any reason. . Yeah. Um, but, but partly through working with you, I was able to like, feel the reality of my situation, which is that, oh, I actually have enough to take care of myself.

I can take some time off and I can give myself the time that it will take to like, basically like launch the next chapter of my career in exactly the way I want to, which is an opportunity that like, I, I know for a fact most people my age or any age most people don’t get to do. It’s not something I ever even envisioned for myself.

You know, like that’s always the goal or that’s always the dream, but it’s, but I never expected to actually like, have the financial stability to like, make decisions with intention. I am like in my wind down period of work right now, and I’m going to be rolling into basically like a quarantine, like a, like a, like a new quarantine where I’m not actually quarantined, but I’m not going to work for three months.

And I mean that time for all the quarantine, time for all that, it was absolutely horrible. Like, I think a lot of us can agree that having that pause opened a lot of doors and windows in our own minds and hearts about like who we needed to be, what we needed to be doing. Um, and the fact that I can like keep that energy.

And, and therefore use that energy to build something that like, I can really stand behind. And that’s, that’s that I don’t have to compromise with the decisions I make just based on like necessity and survival. Yeah. I’m really excited about that.

Charly: Yeah. Funny. You’re like doing it’s called guest spotting.

It’s not guest posting. It’s guest spotting.

Lulu: It’s called guest spotting. And that’s, that’s one thing that, um, I am planning for in 2023 in a big way. Like that’s part of what I’ll take the time for is to logistically structure the upcoming year and like, where do I want to tattoo in this area in the Northeast?

And like, where can I travel to? Who are the artists who I’ve been like admiring for years and really want to meet? I mean, it’s the fact. I’m, I’m there now, . I, it’s like, it’s nice to go to go meet them. Um, and after what for me has been like five or six years of daydreaming of like being basically at the spot that I’m at right now.

It’s bonker it’s amazing. I’m able to actually do it.

Charly: It’s some cool future self shit. You’re like, oh, I’m already doing what my future self-had set for me  

Lulu: It’s super cool.  

Charly: I’m so happy and proud of you. Yeah. Throughout the time that we worked together, I just felt this lifting of guilt and possibility and taking action and realizing that you can say no to more things that aren’t serving you and say yes to yourself.

But like we’re saying, it’s all an ongoing freaking process. So Absolutely is. This was awesome. I feel like, yeah. I feel like we can have a part dose, part 12 of this conversation. There’s so much to unpack, but where can folks find you if they wanna get a beautiful tattoo, which your tattoos are beautiful.

Lulu: Aw, shucks. Um, well, best place to find me right now is on Instagram. My handle is @Tattulu and that’s T A T T U L U. And another thing that I’ll be doing this sabbatical is putting together a website. I can be a true profesh. So, you know, ideally down the line there’ll be more to defined on the website than on Instagram.

But for right now, Instagram is the place to be. Um, but I will say, of course, just a reminder, I will not be tattooing during the next like three-ish months. So don’t hit me up for a tattoo right now. I’ll not recall.

Charly: Get on the waitlist.

Lulu: Yes I would love to hear from you. Yes.

Charly: So if, if folks are thinking about money coaching with me and are nervous, what would you have to say?

Lulu: I would say you don’t need to be nervous cause Charly is so sweet and chill and even on the days where I felt where I was feeling, you know, low energy or feeling insecure about progress that I thought I was or was not making, I mean, like there’s always, it’s just in the conversation, you find what you need to talk about.

And you don’t know what, you don’t know what stumbling blocks you’re going to hit until you hit them and Charly’s really great at helping you walk through it. Yes. So I highly recommend 10 out of. Yay.

Charly: Awesome. I love this. This is such a great conversation. For everybody listening, feel free to share the podcast with your friends and family or chosen family.

We’re all about that out here. And give the podcast a rating, please. That helps boost views. And I’ll put your information in the show notes and your awesome bio. It was such an honor working with you. I’m so proud of you.

Lulu: Aww, Charly. Thank you so much. Thank you. Well, I look forward to continuing to watch your adventures all around the globe.

And yeah, this isn’t Goodbye. Nice. It’s you later.

Charly: See you.

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