I was first introduced to Tyrell through social media and we soon realized we share a mutual passion for personal finance and connecting with others to spread the word on financial freedom. I’m glad he has taken some time to sit down with me and share some of his personal finance insights, beliefs and practices.
What person – known to you personally or via a book, website, etc. – has had the most profound impact on the way you view and interact with money?
The person that had the most profound impact on the way I view money is Robert Kiyosaki. He is a huge reason why I got my real estate license a couple of years ago and a huge reason why I am a crusader for financial literacy. His book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” gave me my first real look at the difference between assets and liabilities which are the cornerstone to beginning to understand and navigate personal finance.
What was the catalyst that started you on the road to fiscal fitness?
The catalyst that started me on the road to fiscal fitness was the frustration I felt with the way I was brought up as a child by not being taught the critical importance of establishing and building credit. As a result of my ignorance and poor guidance, I have been spending the better part of my adulthood working tirelessly to dig out of the hole that I put myself in. How old were you at the time? I was about 24 when I started to try to turn things around. To that end, here is a link to my favorite blog post about the importance of credit and credit management along with helpful links for someone just getting started. Today at 29 years of age, I am still fighting to achieve financial freedom by not only working as an agent of the bank in my day job, but also, to promote financial literacy by creating content that is meant to reach others like me through my site, TyrellTV. I’ve also teamed up with the likes of social media driver and graphic design expert Christopher Thames, CEO of Mobilemodeling, along with a group of other thought leaders from Twitter to create a social think-tank aiming to create a financial literacy mobile application targeting minority and underprivileged youth and their parents.
What was the best financial advice you ever received?
The best financial advice I’ve ever received is to keep track of everything! To write out all liabilities (monies going out to creditors), in relation to assets (monies coming in). This way, I will know exactly how much is left for savings, allocation to investments, and spending money. Also, I read that I should pay myself first before spending money on other things. The worst? The worst financial advice I’ve ever received was as a kid being taught not to care about to whom you owe money to; and, that if you can’t pay them on time not to pay them at all and eventually it will go away. This advice was given to me by a member of my family that I hold in high regard which was very disappointing and it contributed to me to making certain financial decisions that unfortunately I’m still paying for today.
You mentioned it previously. Tell us a little more about your blog. What was your motivation for starting it and is there a specific audience you are hoping to reach?
The blog that I created which exists today is a re-brand of the original which started off as a strictly professional finance site called TJ Bank Blog. I wrote a few financial articles but overall it just seemed boring – and my life is definitely not boring. My motivation for starting it was to be a resource for the average person to learn more about personal finance and how to make better financial decisions. Now, the rebirth of my blog, TyrellTV, is more comprehensive and it includes more of my personal interests. It not only features personal finance articles, but also articles on personal development, yoga, hiking, and other topics pertaining to what is going on in my life in Hawaii. It is a hybrid professional/lifestyle blog.
The audience that I’m trying to reach is anyone who is curious as to what life is like in Hawaii for a young minority and financial professional. Additionally, with my personal finance and personal development posts, the aim is to reach people that would like to improve their positions in life in both of those areas.
With regards to planning and managing your retirement portfolio, is that something you do on your own, through a financial adviser, or a combination of the two?
Currently, my wife and I manage our investment portfolio. Because I’m in the finance industry I have more than enough knowledge to be able to do so. In the future however, I will consult with an advisor to begin to take a look at forming a trust so that all of my assets are protected and passed down to my successors.