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Meet Natalie Torres_Haddad of Financially Savvy Latina in Huntington Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Torres-Haddad.

Natalie Torres-Haddad MPA, AWA I became The First American Latina, Immigrant TEDx Speaker advocating on the importance of financial literacy and mental health titled “The Foreign Language of Financial Literacy.” An International Award Winning Author in the Economics category for my first book in 2012, a bilingual podcast host of Financially Savvy in 20 minutes, a real estate investor and a workshop facilitator and International keynote speaker for Financial literacy.

Some of my activities have been featured in the Huffington Post, LA Times, LA Business Journal and most recent feature on 60-second docs with over a Million views since its publication two weeks ago. I’m A first generation College Graduate with Degrees in Finance and International Business with a Masters in public Administration which also had me graduate with over $40,000 in student debt and dealing with depression after losing my job, running a well known non profit LA’s Prom Closet, and not knowing how to deal with my debt.

I began to focus on helping first gen college grads, immigrants and Latinos to keep working towards their financial independence after getting out of debt and getting my first book published and sharing the tips on how I bought my first place at age 24th and several after. Most importantly although I grew up in a poor neighborhood Inglewood, CA after my family fled from El Salvador I was taught that I can still make a difference in my community and education would help me create more opportunities.

I began creating bilingual content and presenting to companies and schools that needed to learn about financial literacy and the importance of incorporating every day, and I managed to make it fun and relevant. A dream come true job that I get to travel and work all over the country advocating what I am so passionate about.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all, but I wouldn’t change anything from my journey up to this point. To be honest, I still have many moments and doubts as it is a path that most don’t take and I could go back to the 8-8 Job realistically, but it doesn’t provide the same fulfillment over following my own path. Also with some success comes great responsibility to represent my community which I am always honored and proud to do but at times it can get a little overwhelming.

Some of my biggest mistakes or failures I see now as learning experiences also a place that allowed me to create myself in a way that still fits my purpose. There has to be a risk in order to reach new levels, and that has given me hope. I constantly find myself defending myself as a woman, a person of color and immigrant that I do belong.

That representation does matter and that as a society we should be teaching women about their finances and hold them to the same standards of excellence. My dad would always tell me as a kid, “i expect you to have an education, a great career, a home and accomplish some dreams before settling down” I loved that messages because now I know most women still today don’t receive that positive message, and that is what truly keeps me motivated.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Financially Savvy Latina story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m most known for advocating on the importance of financial literacy at school, college and at the workplace. I started to build a platform of not only making learning about financial literacy fun but how to start the conversation about money within our family and friends. I am known for talking about the “taboos” or “myths” around money and mental health. I was always an ambitious person, but that also means we need to find balance.

I teach how to deal with debt not just paying it down, but how to save, did ways to invest and more importantly create major changes in our community. Years ago in 2011, I was one of the winners for a business boot camp that hundreds of women attended and everywhere I went they started calling me the “financially savvy latina” short for my book “financially savvy in 20 minutes” that happen to be a latina author (which till this very day a very small percentage exist.

I have been speaking at universities, non-profits, libraries, conferences, major companies and then came the opportunity to present a TEDx talk. It was a dream come true being offered such an honor that has really helped shine light on what I do and why I love my career.

I’m proud of where I came from El Salvador and raised in Inglewood during the LA riots allowed me to see the injustices within our own LA county and how the affluent cities didn’t deal with the same problems we had to face.

I am proud that my experiences, degrees in FInance and International Business and my masters making me Unique seeing that I can create change. I felt my life resembled Rich Dad Poor Dads similarities that I got get a glimpse of how both life and how we can bridge the gap somehow. What makes me different since college and now well into my career I still see it especially when I am on panels that I tend to usually be the only brown woman speaking up.

Very few women are still in the Financial industry, less latina and let alone look like me black hair, brown eyes, and brown skin. Representation matters in all industries and lately feeling more empowered seeing Yalitza Martinez represent women of color. What separates my company is that we create bilingual content, fun content and we don’t like to shame people for their debt or financial mistakes (from personal experience) that helps no one. Helping them with resources and gaining confidence to keep moving forward is what makes the difference.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Yes big shifts and growth for us. First, most people are in denial that the next recession is close and unfortunately that’s when people need more financial help, resources, education, support, etc. Since we don’t sell insurance or wealth packages like most others who claim to be financial literacy educators and advocates, we will be able to continue to fulfill that need.

Very few speak fluent Spanish and English so that’s a big plus and most gen x and millennials will find themselves dealing with many of their first such as buying their first home, taking care of their elderly parents and how to navigate having a family.

My recent feature on 60 second docs got over a million views in 1 month and the new Honda and Mitú commercial series, me helping a young man transition into adulthood and deal with his debt and bad habits has been incredible exposure of who and what I love to do.

Me personally that will also help grow my business I’m a natural at public speaking so that will help get the message out and my goal is to continue my education by earning a Ph.D. in Behavioral economics possibly in the next few years all depends on the program.

Lastly shifting internationally, as of Last year I became a Keynote speaker on Financial literacy in Brussels, Belgium conference for world savings day and I have more of those types of conferences in the near future which provides great exposure.

Pricing:

  • My guidebook “financially savvy in 20 minutes” $10 each
  • Consultation 1-1 1 hour $250
  • Presentations vary from $500-$12,500

Contact Info:

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.

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