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Meet Helen Huang of Enrich Fiscal Fitness

Today we’d like to introduce you to Helen Huang.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My parents met as REALLY poor college students who had immigrated to the United States. They were so poor that when I was a baby, they had to line a cardboard box with blankets and pillows to carry me around in. Growing up, I was exposed to their financial struggle (and yes, we enjoyed many delicious bowls of ramen noodles).

After they had climbed out of poverty and dug themselves out of the huge hole of student loans, my dad bought book after book about investing and eventually, our family began to flourish. My mom managed the family and household bills, while my dad was a self-employed, small-town pediatrician. I was able to go to college and grad school and found my first job at an agency where my boss was incredibly abusive. It was SO toxic that I would shake with nerves every morning before I left my car to walk inside.

One day, I was crying on the phone to my little brother about this job that I couldn’t afford to quit. My little brother, who was still a teenager, told me to quit and that he would support me. I protested that he didn’t know the real world, and that rent and bills were more money than he could grasp. And then he simply said, “I can pay for you. I have stocks.” He had more than a $20,000 portfolio, made out of his allowance! While I had been investing in my looks, spending money on hair and makeup, he had been investing in the future. I didn’t take him up on his offer, but I realized I needed to start saving no matter what and to learn how to invest. Now, I am financially secure, not by inheritance or by marriage, but simply by knowing how to work with what I had.

Has it been a smooth road?
There are millions of hard-working, smart women who are making a decent salary but who will end up with less money to live on in retirement than men because they simply were not taught the basics of personal finance. All the good information that they need is available in books at the library, or online, but it’s mixed up in a vast jungle of bad books and unreliable opinions.

The challenge for them is to find a trustworthy resource, and the support to apply their new knowledge. Enrich Fiscal Fitness has no ulterior motive. There are businesses that partially educate but channel you towards their financial management services and products, but that’s not what we do. The struggle for Enrich Fiscal Fitness is how to communicate to women that it’s a community with their best interests at heart and that it’s a starting point, not a miracle cure.

Please tell us about Enrich Fiscal Fitness.
In our financial literacy workshops, members discover resources, gain knowledge, and learn habits that lead to a high financial IQ and self-sufficiency. But we do so much more than that. We also lend support to each other in our lives. We have small groups that are friendly, safe, and personal. Enrich Fiscal Fitness is more than just an educational, membership-based community, Enrich Fiscal Fitness is a safe space where women can improve their financial habits and invest in their futures. Everyone’s circumstance is different, and we respect each other, no matter how different we are. In small groups, one workshop at a time, Enrich Fiscal Fitness empowers women to afford more meaningful lives.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The diversity and the outdoor activities, the food, numerous jobs, and exciting opportunities are all here, alongside the struggle to survive and thrive… and the cost of living in Los Angeles can be unaffordable since it requires a household income that’s about 36% higher than the median US household income. LA also has a large number of millionaires in the population, which makes the temptation to keep up with the Joneses an especially dangerous one for your financial health. If you are someone who is just starting out in Los Angeles, it would be wise to lower your costs of rent (for example, by having housemates or renting a less expensive place), and wiser still to settle into your own skin, know your own value and appreciate who you are, regardless of your circumstances!

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Michele Schaffer

    May 31, 2019 at 00:42

    Congratulations Helen!!!!!

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