Let’s Talk Finance

The finance professionals of Building Gen Wealth, the Matrimony and Money podcast, Everything Money and Lowry Financial Advisors use their passion for finances to help others manage their money and gain more confidence with their financial decisions.

Andrea Ramos is the CEO and founder of Building Gen Wealth, a company designed to educate women of color about their finances and help them build generational wealth. Ramos’s financial journey started after she graduated from college and decided she wanted to move to California. She began tracking her finances and saving every paycheck. That’s when she discovered her passion for money management. She advises that saving money is all about sticking to a system that works best for you.

“Understanding there’s an emotional and a logical side to money is what got me passionate about wanting to share with everyone, specifically women of color; taking their finances more seriously and becoming more empowered with their financial decisions and how they manage money,” Ramos said.

Many people associate money with success because of its portrayal in society. She urges others to ignore those idealizations so they can focus more on attaining their financial goals.

“Process your relationship with money, try to make those numbers neutral and detach what you think money means,” Ramos said.

Sherman Merricks is the founder of the Matrimony and Money podcast, which teaches others how to build their money through financial advice. Merricks grew up with a passion for keeping up with his finances. Growing up with a single mom helped him understand the importance of retaining money that you earn. Upon graduation, he started reading more about finances and savings to learn about how to streamline the process of keeping his finances in order. 

“I just wanted to really empower people so they can see that you can build money regardless of how much money you make,” Merricks said.

Sticking to a routine is one of the primary ways to successfully build money. Merricks advises people to accustom themselves to tracking their finances in order to attain actual results in a timely manner. 

“Money is all about behavior. You have to get into the habit of habitually doing this stuff over and over again,” Merricks said.

Stephen Courson is the founder of Everything Money, a media group that provides information and training to people for financial education. Before graduating from the University of Florida, he started working for a company that dealt with I.T. research and consulting. At the time, he didn’t know much about the financial jargon that was spoken from his superiors, so he got into the habit of reading books to better educate himself. In the span of his career, Courson developed a seven-step process called lifestyle strategy to help people achieve their financial goals.

“I decided that I wanted to create something that not only gave a little more flexibility to the lifestyle that people want, but also taught people how to create a vision so that it would display purpose,” Courson said.

Nearly 25% of Americans find themselves in debt and often don’t have the guidance or means to handle it. Courson developed a system to help others manage their debt, in which he calls ‘the list.’

“I think it’s important when you’re making that list that you understand exactly what the payoff amount is, what is your monthly that you have to do for it and what the interest rate is so you know exactly what you have to do,” Courson said. 

Joe Lowry Jr. is the managing partner of Lowry Financial Advisors, a financial planning and investment management firm. Lowry grew up in the business, which gave him a sense of familiarity and comfort with investing. When he was 14 years old, he learned about compound interest from his dad. He currently works with his father who has been in the business for several years. For Lowry, the most uplifting part about his job is seeing the process and the progress that people make.

“It’s really that opportunity to work with people, to take their strengths, to help them avoid their weaknesses, and to make something for their families,” Lowry said. 

Negotiating your salary and asking for a raise carries a negative connotation for many employees. Lowry asserts that speaking to a superior about financial concerns can significantly help your chances of achieving your demands.

“You’re going to have a good outcome if you speak up for yourself,” Lowry said.

Listen to the 120th episode of WHOA GNV podcast to hear more about these four finance professionals and their different perspectives on money management.

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