Former corporate banker and “Bachelorette” contestant Jason Tartick teaches millennials how to manage student debt and invest in their future.
Can you give us a little background about your life as a corporate banker?
As a corporate banker, I managed the finances of companies that earned revenues of over $100 million dollars. I usually worked directly with their CFO, their CEO, and anyone on the board that would make decisions as they relate to financing.
I did all the banking work for the company, so anything that touched their finances, we touched. The primary focus of the job was lending, so it consisted of a lot of quantitative analysis to see if the lending risk made sense with the profitability and relationship building in the communities that we served.
How did you find such successful financial wealth at such a young age?
You should always be promoting, marketing, and positioning yourself to increase your top line. Your top line is the amount that you are paid for the work you do, and if you are not consistently working to increase that top line, you are doing yourself a disservice.
One thing that allowed me to be really successful in my 20s was constantly making that a focus and making sure that I was constantly positioning myself for the next opportunity, the next promotion. I was branding myself within the company, internally and externally, so competitors were interested. They were sending me offers, and my value was constantly going up. I was able to be promoted many times within a nine-year period.
What should every millennial know about investing in their future?
The thing I always tell millennials is to talk about money. Have these conversations of what you’re investing in, why you’re investing, the debt you’re taking out, and what you’re purchasing. The more you’re talking about money — what you’re making, what you’re spending, where you can invest, and how you can save — the more information you, your friends, your family, and your loved ones will have. The more information you have, the better decisions you’ll be able to make for your financial future.
How can we make talking about finance less uncomfortable within the conversation?
The less we talk about money, the less we understand money. The less information we have about what one another is making in certain industries or jobs, the less we understand how to negotiate for ourselves. Until we have these conversations daily and on a comfortable basis, we’re doing ourselves a disservice.
I think setting expectations within the conversation is imperative. Explain to them, “Hey, I understand that speaking about finances and money can be uncomfortable, but I’m trying to break that stigma because if we talk about this, I can learn so much more and benefit my financial future. Are you okay with it if I ask you these questions?”
With so many young people delaying their careers because of the coronavirus pandemic, how can young Americans pay off their student loans, but also plan ahead and save for their futures?
First and foremost, if you have a student loan, do the research. Go on government official websites to get all your information about managing loans. There are so many components to student loans that you must know, especially if you have federal student loans. Find out if you’re eligible for any type of loan forgiveness. They may even delay the period in which you have to pay back principal to the student loan.
The best way to get ahead of student debt is to understand your student debt. What’s the interest rate you’re paying on that debt versus the interest rate you’re paying on other debt? Or versus the interest rate you could be making on other investments? Hopefully, and typically, your student debt interest rate should be a little bit lower, so you can save some money and apply it to other investments which will earn you more than the interest on your student debt.
Put a budget in place, understand your loan, and understand the benefits aligned with that loan, because if you don’t know about your student loan, you’ll never be able to manage your it.