Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez

Personal Finance Expert at Discover
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Stefanie is a Personal Finance Expert at Discover. She explores topics like the cost of undermining ambition, the relationship between ambition and identity, and the way ambition penalties differ across age, race and gender. Stefanie is also the host of Real Simple Magazine’s podcast, Money Confidential. In 2017, she co-founded Statement Event, dedicated to connecting the dots between gender equity and financial power - featuring speakers like Gloria Steinem, Ashley C Ford, Jessica Bennett, Morgan Jerkins, Veronica Dagher and Gaby Dunn. And in 2019, Stefanie founded Statement Cards, a line of greeting cards that celebrates milestones beyond marriage and motherhood.

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  • I’m a big fan of learning through doing. One of the biggest roadblocks I find people face with their money is stressing about not making the optimal choice with their investment strategy or debt-pay-off journey or budget, so they wind up doing nothing at all, stuck in analysis paralysis, overwhelm, etc. To break through that and build confidence, I prefer to start small. With investing, for example, maybe it’s contributing 1% of each paycheck to a 401(k) and then using those small contributions to learn along the way as questions come up: What is a brokerage? What is an index fund? What is asset allocation? etc. I find the answers to these questions are much easier to process when you’re using them for practical application. And that practical application can help build not only your competence, but your confidence. Even if you don’t make the most 100% optimal choice — if you make a 50% optimal choice — it’s typically better than doing nothing, and you’ll likely learn something along the way.

    2 May 2022
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