LaToya Irby: invested in herself and in stocks, both paid off

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LaToya Irby, a finance guru who regularly talks about finance, credit, business and money management on his social media platforms, seen at the Valley Hotel in Homewood. (Marvin Gentry, for the Birmingham Times)
By Je’Don Holloway Talley
For the Birmingham Times

Investing for LaToya Irby is simple: make your money work for you, not the other way around.

“It could mean investing in stocks or other assets that increase in price over time,” Irby said. “Or it could mean investing in a stock or a company that pays you dividends, [the distribution of some of a company’s earnings to a class of its shareholders]. Basically you make money and then you put it into something that can make more money. … Reinvesting your income helps you grow your money even faster.

Irby and others have noted that millennials are paying more attention to financial markets, and they credit social media platforms for making investing widespread, “in particular [via] Instagram and TikTok, ”Irby said. “Young adults are talking more about it, showing its value and showing how easy it is to get started. “

Simply put, investing is simply making your money work for you by placing your money in investments that appreciate (increase in value) or generate passive income (require minimal work to earn and maintain).

Irby is a finance guru who regularly talks about finance, credit, business, and money management on his social media platforms, as well as those of his clients. She is also a Marketing Director for HealPay, a payment processing software company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a contract content creator for several companies.

The University of Alabama (UA) alumnus, 38, said stocks of almost all large companies are accessible to the ordinary investor.

“Some platforms even allow people to buy fractional shares. So if you want to invest in a stock that is priced at $ 400 but only has $ 100, you can buy a quarter share. Actual returns vary depending on the company and the economy, ”she explained, noting that some blue-chip stocks, in particular, have doubled this year compared to last year.

Blue-chip stocks are generally [those of] established, stable businesses that may not be setting growth records but are financially strong. Blue-chip stocks are preferred by low-risk investors, that is, people who want to participate in certain market gains, but without risking the farm to do so. These companies often also pay dividends.

$ 100 investment

Irby, who currently lives in Homewood, Alabama, entered the stock industry in 2006 with a $ 100 investment that she “doubled and earned an average of 9% per year before selling her stocks for 11 years. later “.

She added, “I knew the benefits of investing, how it helps you grow your money and reach your retirement goals faster.

In 2017, Irby started investing in the stock market monthly through the Robinhood app, which makes investing easier, fun and more accessible with commission-free transactions from a smartphone.

“That’s what really hired me,” Irby said. “Plus, that time was a time in my life where I got really serious about my life goals in general.”

Poor money management

Irby said she wanted to learn from her story of mismanagement of money. After graduating from AU, she was refused approval for an apartment.

“They told me my credit report was written off, so [they couldn’t] approve me, ”she recalls. “It really knocked me down because I had no idea it was a thing. I thought my salary should have counted for something.

This setback allowed him to understand credit rating and debt-to-income ratio, as well as develop positive financial behaviors. Irby, then 22, was a systems analyst for a Fortune 25 company, so finding mistakes was her strong suit, and finding the source of her financial problems was easy – she was the problem.

“I was running out of money all the time,” Irby said. “I’m like, ‘I have this great salary, so there’s no reason I don’t have more money than I do.’ It made me examine in detail how I was spending my money.

Irby then extracted his bank statement and his credit report. “I copied and pasted [my bank summary] in an Excel spreadsheet and created categories. I added up all the categories and saw that I was spending so much money on food, clothes and restaurant meals, ”she said. “It really highlighted my spending habits and the importance of budgeting. Before that, I didn’t know anything about budgeting. I was making too much money not to have any, and I [felt like] I needed to do something about it.

Irby realized that a thoughtless decision to quit a part-time job during his final semester at college had lasting consequences.

“I have fallen behind on some credit card payments and, [at the time], had no idea about credit, credit reports and credit scoring, ”she said. “I had no idea that any of this existed until I was turned down for this apartment.”

Financially independent

Irby’s research inspired her to learn more about credit, how it works and the impact it can have. She learned by making mistakes and reading a lot of books.

“I did a lot of research on the internet, reading credit laws, credit agreements, loan agreements and loans to understand the protections we had as consumers,” she said. . “[I wanted to] understand how the different financial products worked.

This led to Irby writing extensively on credit for several years, writing articles and content on credit scoring and personal finance for outlets like MyFico.com and TheBalance.com. She has also been a guest on talk radio from Arizona to Florida.

While helping others get their finances in order, Irby frequently monitors his investments.

“I like to read the economic, financial and economic news and overall stay on top of what’s going on so that I can make better investment decisions,” she said.

Irby explained that there are many ways to invest and trade and now it’s easier than ever to get started through platforms like Robinhood, Webull, E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard, Stash and Acorns.

“They all have different benefits, services and types of accounts available,” she said. “When choosing a platform, you need to consider whether you need certain tax-efficient retirement accounts and whether you want access to an advisor, for example. “

To contact LaToya Irby for a consultation, visit www.calendly.com/latoyairby; you can also follow her on Facebook at www.fb.me/latoyairby.

The Birmingham Times does not offer financial advice. The content of these articles is for informational and educational purposes only and simply cites the opinions of the sources cited here. In order to make the best financial decision that suits your own needs, you should do your own research and seek the advice of a licensed financial advisor if necessary. All investments involve some form of risk and there is no guarantee that you will be successful in making, saving or investing money, nor any guarantee that you will not incur any losses when investing.

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