Frankie on Learning to Put His Money to Work

By RBCJanuary 11, 2022

A young professional discusses taking the first steps on his investing journey.

This article was originally published in RBC Direct Investing’s Inspired Investor magazine.

“I have this money, and it probably shouldn’t just sit here. But what should I be doing with it?”

That’s what Frankie1, a 29-year-old TV personality and founder of a Vancouver-based speech and debate school, remembers asking himself as he started exploring investing a few years ago. “I was making money and saving money, but I wasn’t growing my money,” says Frankie.

From a young age, Frankie was always good at saving – he remembers tucking away money he received from his grandfather and saving every cent the Tooth Fairy left under his pillow. He credits his parents’ “old-school,” savings-first wisdom for the nest egg he’s built up over the years. But now, with an eye to putting together a down payment for a home and earning passive income, Frankie wants his money to work harder for him.

Here, Frankie shares a bit about what motivates him to invest, and what he’s learning about his finances – and himself.

Knowledge is power:

“I came from a place of not having a lot of money,” says Frankie. “We were talking about saving money, and getting to the next day and the next month.” Investing was rarely, if ever, discussed in his family, he says. As a result, he admits it felt intimidating and exclusive to the wealthy and well-educated. “The best way to break these barriers is access and information,” says Frankie.

Growth opportunity:

Currently working on maximizing his Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Frankie is learning that he may be comfortable taking on a little more risk in exchange for growth potential. “I remember when I was 24 or 25, I was putting money into savings accounts. Any growth was pretty much irrelevant, especially after you weigh in the fees,” says Frankie.

On the move:

Frankie sees investing as an extension of his lifestyle. “Running a speech and debate school while also trying to be the next Ryan Seacrest, I don’t have a lot of time to spend managing a portfolio with high-risk investments,” says Frankie. “I’m looking for something I can trust to grow in the background without my constant attention.” Still, with a few “extra funds” in place, Frankie says he feels comfortable taking on a little more risk with some of his investments. “I have a lot of things I want to accomplish, and I want to invest to make sure that I’m always able to pursue my dreams.”

Choice overload:

Frankie admits it’s not always easy to make investing decisions. “I feel I struggle with choice overload when it comes to my money,” says Frankie. “Some people say invest in properties. Some people say invest long-term, some say short-term.” Frankie relies on a network of close friends and family, including his partner, to help him cut through the noise. “I do things that I believe in, but also that my circle believes in.”

Never too early:

Now that he’s on his way, what would Frankie tell a younger version of himself? “I would say that it’s never too early to start investing,” he says. “Even if it’s a small amount of money, at least you’re building the habit of putting money away.”

The dream:

Frankie’s ultimate goal is to sit back and watch his money grow while he focuses on his life. “That completely contradicts what my dad taught me as a young person: ‘Work hard, put in the time.’ That’s why I’ve worked endlessly,” he says. “I’ve had probably 24 jobs as a young person from the ages of 15 to 21, ranging from newspaper routes and managing a baseball park, to mystery shopping and singing gigs. I would often put in 80 hours a week.”

“Now I have a shift in mindset,” he says about money, adding “I didn’t understand the importance of putting it to work.”

1 Frankie has been compensated for sharing his story.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.