Anna N’Jie-Konte, CFP® Dare to Dream Financial Planning
About Anna N’Jie-Konte, CFP®
Anna is a passionate believer in the empowerment of women and minorities in America. She is the founder of Dare to Dream Financial Planning: a fee-only, virtual financial planning firm that serves the needs of 30/40 something women of color and business owners who want to live boldly and make a lasting impact on their family tree.
She is also the host of the “First-Gen Realness” podcast. There, she engages in conversations with her fellow first-generation Americans in order to reinforce their value and immense contributions to the fabric of America. By fostering a sense of community, she hopes to remind her peers that they matter, their stories are important and they are not alone in attempting to navigate multiple cultures with grace.
Anna is a native New Yorker; lover of everything related to food, the Gambia, Latino history, West African culture, and literature. When she doesn’t have her head buried in a spreadsheet, you can find her working out, re-reading literary classics, hanging with her husband and three daughters, or dreaming about her next adventure.
I’ll tell you a bit about my own career trajectory, leap to entrepreneurship, and how I’ve personally witnessed a financial transformation that has convinced me it’s really the golden ticket.
I worked in wealth management for 8 years before I left to launch my own firm. I spent a lot of that time eagerly trying to impress my bosses, improve systems, increase my knowledge(I got an MBA, my CFP(R) designation, and several other licenses during that time), deliver incredible value to my organization, contribute to an excellent customer experience for our clients, and improve our revenue. I’m human and know I may have stumbled quite a bit, but I know without a doubt that I delivered on my goals more than I did not. Despite that, I hit the bureaucratic brick wall.
“We can only increase your salary by $x.” Even though we all knew I was seriously underpaid due to my increased knowledge not matching my pay.
“You can only get 1 promotion at year-end.” Even though I was clearly delivering value above my title and pay band.
“Your promotion is in title only and doesn’t come with an automatic salary bump.” Even though I knew people with my title were being paid better.
All of that constant striving and battling took its toll. I was miserable personally and professionally as I felt I was not progressing professionally to the level that I wanted. I also knew that had real effects on my family’s quality of life and the way I wanted to set my girls up for the future.
I wanted to be a more present mother.
I didn’t want to stress us all out as I rushed them off to daycare every morning.
I didn't want a long commute and to never spend quality time with my husband.
I didn’t want to be an exhausted, emotionally depleted mom any longer.
For a while, I thought the answer was to get another job and the accompanying pay increase or a shorter commute. But the longer I searched and talked to recruiters, the more I saw it was the same old stuff I had experienced. A stuffy bureaucratic culture with no sazon serving the same clients I had always served. I’d hit the same pay wall there unless I was willing to job hop for the next 20 years. That prospect sounded absolutely miserable, and like it wouldn’t actually be a tangible solution.
After many late-night conversations and number crunching sessions, my husband and I decided it would be the best outcome for our family if I founded my own firm. I will tell y’all about all the sacrifices we made to get there another time, but let’s just say there were a lot of shifts to be made(mental, physical, and otherwise).
Despite that, the last 1.5 years have been an incredible journey to show me just what is possible.
I’m working with my dream clients.
I serve them in an ethical, authentic way.
I work when I want and need to.
I already earn more than I did at my last job with less than 1/4 of the stress and hustle.
Don’t get it twisted, I work hard and still strive to increase my knowledge and deliver incredible value to my clients. The difference is that I do so on my own terms while building a tangible business empire that will benefit me and generations of my bloodline to come.
My experience isn’t unique. I’ve seen countless clients make that leap and experience increased personal ease, abundance, and limitless earning potential. The key is to do it intentionally, intelligently, and from an informed place. We can’t just get an LLC, go there doing things all willy-nilly and expect to see millions in our bank accounts.
To that end, I’m hosting an incredible event next month for side-hustlers, aspiring entrepreneurs, or full-time entrepreneurs who want to really learn the important financial and legal aspects of a business and how to leverage that to build wealth.
Click here to read more and secure your spot ASAP. You won’t want to miss it.
To your wealth building,
I talk a lot about how we can truly shift the terrible dynamics in our society when we as Black, Latina, and Asian women have more money. Money allows us to have more agency in our personal and professional lives to leave the bad husband, quit the soul-sucking job, or move out of the cramped house.
This is especially crucial for mothers. We have to lift up not only ourselves but also our children. What mother doesn’t strive to give her precious children the head start in life that she didn’t have? By learning, growing, and matching our incredible work ethics to our financial knowledge and assets we’ll be able to truly run towards the life we really want and shift our family trees for generations to come (all saying “Bye Felicia” to white supremacy). After all, the white supremacist patriarchy only thrives when we’re broke, struggling, and essentially powerless.
I know for a fact that had my mother’s financial wherewithal matched her work ethic and commitment to doing better, I probably wouldn’t have had to work 2-3 part-time jobs in college. I doubt it would have taken me years to pay off my student loans, feel financially secure or muster the courage to pursue full-time entrepreneurship. Most importantly, I doubt it would have kept me and my life aspirations small for so long.
With more financial wealth, we can spend more time instilling our cultures and values into our children instead of worrying about our student loan debt. We can pass on the greatest lessons our families gave us all while leaving behind the scarcity mindset, pervasive financial anxiety, and self-identification with living on the struggle bus. We can pursue our own passions and pour into our communities in a meaningful way. The truth is, financial stability and abundance are really pivotal in terms of our overall well-being and ability to thrive. It’s not the only part of building generational wealth but it’s pretty important. Side note: I believe entrepreneurship plays a pivotal role in that as it’s really the fastest way to overcome the wealth and income gaps for women of color, but that’s material for another post.
What will it mean if an entire generation of black and brown children grow up with economically empowered, financially savvy, and independent mothers?
How will that shift what they view as possible for their own lives?
How will that shape the trajectory of their lives?
How will they move through a world that has shown them they are not as valued but don’t care because they don’t need their approval to achieve the life they want?
At the end of it all, financial stability boils down to agency and choices. If you’ve been here a while, you know my motto is “choices are everything.”
If you’re a mom trying to change her family’s financial tree then please register for this incredible FREE “Mom’s and Money” panel on May 6th. A group of us will discuss the financial steps mothers need to take to release mom guilt and provide financial security for their families.
I’ll see you there. Happy wealth building.
So, what’s the point of financial planning?
I get a lot of inquiries about financial planning services from prospective clients. They often have never worked with a financial advisor before, they usually say that they want to do better with money.
That’s a great aspiration, but it’s not really the point of financial planning. That may be a welcome byproduct of the financial planning process, but it’s not the goal in and of itself.
Sometimes, they’ll come to me telling me they want to make sure they’re picking the right investments. An advisor will definitely help you with picking investments, but that’s not the explicit point of financial planning. Not to mention that the idea of the “right investments” is subjective based upon what your actual goals are and not some universal assessment.
The truth is, a good financial advisor isn’t good for stock picking. They’re likely not the next Warren Buffet. I know I’m not the next Warren Buffet and I am not going to find you the next Amazon.
Then what is the point of a financial advisor?
Let’s say you have an aspiration of starting a business, leaving a large inheritance to your child, buying your parents a retirement home, etc. You may even be taking some action towards that goal, but aren’t sure whether it’s the “best” way to do so. What you really need is someone to tell you your aspirations are possible and aren’t going to hinder your long-term financial successes.
If you are experiencing financial stress, then an advisor can help you know that the things that are keeping me up at night are not going to happen, or what to do to avoid them. It allows you to cut through the noise and the grey area, and operate with facts and information. Operating from an informed place is the secret to achieving your dreams and preventing your nightmare scenario.
There is another, deeper level to address for certain demographics though.
As an advisor for high-earning and entrepreneurial women of color, my value comes from a few things-- removing that stress from your life, serving as a sounding board for your ideas, educating you on the way the rich folks do things, or identifying your blind spots because you’re not used to thinking about money or projecting long-term about money in a multi-decade, legacy focused way.
My goal in financial planning is to serve as a compass or GPS for your life. As things come up in your life, as you contemplate starting a business, career changing, having another child, relocating to another place, etc. you have a resource to check. You can say “I want to do this one new thing in addition to all these other things I wanted to do. Can I do this? Or do I need to rethink this?”
From what I’ve seen, a lot of people seem to think that an advisor is going to wave a wand and be life-changing for them. I believe a good advisory relationship has the possibility to be life-changing. For example, if you’re stressed about your finances around a particular goal. If I’m able to tell you that you can confidently achieve it based on the numbers. I view that as life-changing because you’re able to confidently walk in the direction of your dreams instead of sitting with the uncertainty and never doing it, doing it with stress and continuing to doubt your decision or not doing it at all and then living with that regret. Those are hard ways to live long term and you’re able to avoid that by hiring a financial advisor.
However, a financial advisor is not a magic maker. They cannot take your current state- no assets, never willing to say no to any expense, YOLO all day every day lifestyle and turn you into a billionaire with their amazing stock picks. They can’t do it, I don’t care what stocks they're picking. No amount of financial planning will overcompensate for your lack of commitment, direction, and discipline. If you’re not interested in doing the work, then they are not able to help you.
Instead, view a financial advisor as a long-term partner, Someone who can rock with you in all stages of your life, alleviate stress and pressure to do things you don’t want to be doing (monitoring portfolio, education-funding decisions, etc.). They are a real tool and resource for those of us trying to change our financial life and change our family’s financial trajectory for the better.
If you want that type of relationship, do your research and commit to being pushed and held accountable. I doubt you’ll regret it.