Anna Haotanto: The Financial Guru Empowering Women
Anna Haotanto, a finance and tech geek, as she calls herself, started her own wealth building path after she realized that she could make her money work harder for her. However, how childhood was far from easy financially. Watching her parents make ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck, motivated her to learn about financial independence and freedom.
Today, she uses her financial knowledge to empower women. She aims for her business, The New Savvy, to educate women on financial and career related issues and ultimately, wants to inspire women to be smarter about their money.
Below, she dives into her past and discusses when she realized her passion for women empowerment. Her journey is sure to encourage you to become more savvy about your own finances as well.
What experiences from your childhood, negative and positive, shaped you into the woman you are today?
When I was growing up, my mum was a middle-management staff member at a textile company of about 10 people and my dad was doing a business that didn't do very well. The family’s income was just enough to cover our living expenses like rent and food. We didn't have leftover money to buy things like toys. We didn't have savings. My weekly allowance in secondary school was $50. Since I was young, I knew that being the oldest child meant that I had to take care of my parents and myself. As a result, I started learning to invest by reading Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham while in Junior College. I also read a lot of other finance books. The idea of making my money work harder for me really fascinated me, and I felt that was a way out for me from living paycheck to paycheck and feeling very stressed every month.
Why is women empowerment important to you?
My motivation arose from doing community service during my junior college years. I saw women who were stuck helplessly in marriages in spite of physical abuse or unfaithful spouses because they did not have savings or earning capability.
If these women had more money, it will be easier for them to walk out of the marriage and pursue their happiness.
I understood that I have to take care of myself and my family and that realization sparked off my wealth-building path. I am lucky to have the opportunity to study and work in Finance. I learned financial management skills, picked up economic ideas and started investing when I was 21. While I am no expert, I am familiar with financial products and managed to build a comfortable portfolio for myself.
Over the years, my female friends have approached me to share with them on how to invest, how to open a securities account, which loan makes sense, the difference between a bond and a bond fund. Yet, truth be told, even as someone trained in Finance, I don’t want to read yet another stock picks or technical analysis – jargons are boring!
As a woman, I want to know how smart financial management can impact my life and how relevant it is to my needs. I want something I can relate to, something that can inspire and motivate me.
Who are some women that inspire you?
Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and my mom!
Tell us more about The New Savvy and what's your goal with the company?
We want to further improve the website content of The New Savvy. We are also developing bite-sized financial online courses and looking at holding workshops for financial education every two months. These plans will require about a seven-digit sum over three years. I work almost 12 hours daily.
What do you wish to accomplish in the next 5 years?
I want The New Savvy to be the online portal for women on financial and career related issues. We want to touch hearts and improve women’s financial education.
I want to hold a conference focusing and highlighting women’s issues in Asia.
To learn more about Anna visit her on Instagram @AnnaHaotanto. To be featured, contact us.