Three LGBTQ+ Influencers Share Tips For Successful Financial Planning

Three LGBTQ+ Influencers Share Tips For Successful Financial Planning

We sat down with three influencers to pull back the curtain on some of the unique factors of LGBTQ+ financial planning, and what that planning, saving, and investing actually looks like.


What’s a financial goal that you’re currently working towards? Or, what’s a financial goal you’re proud of achieving?

Saving for top surgery was probably the largest financial goal I’ve achieved thus far in my life. Top surgery is a huge part of many trans masculine people’s lives, and that surgery was incredibly affirming for me and life changing. My insurance did not cover the procedure so I was left with the full amount to cover on my own, which can be quite daunting.

What tools and habits helped you reach that goal?

I am self-employed and so saving money can be difficult, but the company I run helps trans folks afford gender-affirming surgeries. By the time I was saving money for top surgery we had partnered with five individuals before me to help them reach their financial goals. My brand helped raise about half of the funds I needed for my surgery, and besides that I used my skills to help raise the funds—I did custom art, tattoo designs, and social media work for money. I also was just a lot more conscious about what I was putting away in savings at the time and for what.

Nowadays, my biggest goal is saving for the future: Hopefully saving to buy a house, and I do so by having a specific goal and timeline for the amount of savings I have in my account. By dedicating certain paychecks specifically to paying off debt or savings, versus for spending.

What would you tell your younger self about money?

Money is stressful, and a little bit complicated. I don’t think anyone when they’re younger quite comprehends how expensive being an adult is. But I think I’d tell myself that it’s possible to do what you love and still be able to afford a living— you just have to figure out how to make that work for you, and be responsible and smart about where and how and why you spend your money.

Has your identity influenced your relationship with money in any way? Why or why not?

I do think that in some aspects my relationship with money is definitely different than it would be if I wasn’t trans.

The costs of transitioning add up, between doctor’s visits, blood work, weekly testosterone injections, surgeries, the legal costs of changing my name and gender marker, not even to mention the costs of family planning one day, etc.

I had to account for saving up for things that felt very “adult” starting when I was in my young 20’s.

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What’s a financial goal you are currently working towards, or what’s one that you’ve already achieved and are really proud of?

I’m officially going to graduate school! I’ve left my 9 to 5 marketing job, and am working more fully as a content creator. I’m saving for graduate school and it’s a lot of work, but I’m confident that I’ll achieve my financial goal. I had known before I decided to enroll that my full time job wasn’t as fulfilling as I wanted it to be, and I recently started making enough money as a content creator to leave. So all the stars aligned, where I was able to leave my job, do content creation full time, and go back to school for my graduate degree.

What habits or tools are helping you reach that goal?

I’ve gotten very into spreadsheets lately—even though I’m not confident with numbers or money. It’s been a year of transition for me to figure out exactly how to keep meticulous track of my income, my big expenses, and my savings. I’ve been trying to be really proactive, financially.

What would you tell your younger self about money?

I was very clueless about money, but I have a lot more knowledge now.

Growing up, I didn’t understand saving, investing, or general money management. I’d tell my younger self that it’s okay not to know those things, but life is about learning and growing, and going on different journeys. Just because younger me wasn’t very financially aware, doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be that way.

And now, I feel much more knowledgeable about money—I’m still learning a lot, but I’m much more confident.

Has your identity influenced your relationship with money? Why or why not?

As I’ve discovered my lesbian and non-binary identities, I’ve definitely thought about how money will play a role in my future. There are so many more expenses that come with having a family or getting pregnant when you’re LGBTQ. I want a family, but I’ll probably have to do fertility treatments or maybe adoption. There are so many added obstacles that require money when you can’t conceive with a partner, so I’ve been thinking about how to best prepare for that in my future. I want to be able to afford that, should I decide it’s in my future.

nything else you’d like to share with us?

Wherever you are in your money and identity journeys, I have full confidence that you will make it through and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.



What’s a financial goal that you’re currently working towards? Or, what’s a financial goal you’re proud of achieving?

My wife and I are hoping to build our dream home next year, in 2022. We want to buy in a community around my home, and we want to be able to put down a lot of money. When we bought our first house, we only put down 10% and had to get a PMI. We’d like to not do that this time, so that’s a big financial goal right now.

What tools and habits helped you reach that goal?

We have two different investment accounts that we use for the house fund. One is super safe – not risky at all, because we want to be safe if anything should happen. I also have a moderately aggressive portfolio that I don’t manage myself. When COVID hit, it did take a downturn, so it’s important for us to have half in a safer type of investment. In terms of allocating my money, any time I have money coming in from my business, I put some aside into these accounts. My wife and I also have a 529 plan that we put money in for our kids at the end of every year.

Additionally, my wife is very on top of our expenses and keeping track of our books. Almost every day she goes into all of our accounts to check balances, check for invoices, and double check our credit cards, student loans, etc.

What would you tell your younger self about money?

I grew up with working class parents. They traded money for hours, and that’s not a bad thing, but it’s not the way I wanted to live my life. So I actually got a job as a corporate lawyer and was miserable, but had a really great paycheck. I’d always learned that you work until you can retire and live off your 401K, and it wasn’t until I met my wife, who was an entrepreneur, that I realized that’s not how I had to live my life.

So I’ve done a lot of mindset work around money, and getting rid of that old school belief that money doesn’t grow on trees. I try to really have a good relationship with money and remember that money is also an exchange of energy.

I also just wanted to share that in 2015, I almost had to file for bankruptcy. I was not smart with my money at all. I’d been a corporate lawyer making a very nice, steady paycheck, and when I quit my job, the business that I started actually did very well. But it wasn’t this consistent substantial paycheck I was used to, and I hadn’t changed my habits or my lifestyle. SO I really had to learn quickly to be cognizant of the money that I have, and not rely on the money that I could potentially earn. I did not have to file bankruptcy, thank goodness. But, that fear is something that still lives within me—and now it’s really about being conscious of the money we have and the money we’re spending.

Has your identity influenced your relationship with money in any way? Why or why not?

We spent $50K+ having our children. I don’t say this to freak anyone out but to help prepare you for potential costs that you could incur growing your family as an LGTBQ+ individual / couple / throuple, etc.

We had no idea how much money we were about to drop when we started to grow our family. Our path to pregnancy wasn’t super straightforward—we ended up doing 3 intrauterine inseminations (IUI), two egg retrievals, and three embryo transfers. Insurance didn’t cover in vitro fertilization (IVF), stimulation meds (about $5K), egg retrieval ($11K), or transfer ($3K). We also had to buy sperm (they’re about $1,000 per vial), go through tons of testing, and we each had to have surgery.

Financially planning for a family is something that I stress people should start early. Seriously, ask for people to contribute to a baby fund for your engagement and wedding. Trust me, no one needs fancy dish-ware. Everyone loves babies and it’s an incredible way to make everyone feel part of your journey!

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Introducing the RIA Tech Suite

Introducing the RIA Tech Suite

The RIA Tech Suite brings together complementary technology platforms to help automate critical back-office tasks for advisors.

Along with RIA in a Box®, RightCapital, and Wealthbox, Betterment for Advisors is excited to introduce the RIA Tech Suite a set of services and tools that advisors can use to help automate and streamline back-office tasks.

Why should firms utilize the RIA Tech Suite?

Together, these intuitive and complementary tech tools can streamline everyday practice management, giving you more time to acquire new business and to provide a better experience for your current clients.

Additionally, the RIA Tech Suite includes discounted pricing for firms that adopt two or more of the services — a discount that can save an average RIA firm up to $3,100 in their first year.

Here are the tools available on the RIA Tech Suite:

Betterment for Advisors – A leading digital-first wealth management platform that leverages smart-tax technology.RIA in a Box® – Compliance, cybersecurity, and operational software for investment advisors.RightCapital – Wealth planning software that makes planning easier and more powerful for advisors and their clients.Wealthbox – A leading CRM software application that helps advisors manage their clients and collaborate with their team.

The RIA Tech Suite can foster growth for tech-centric firms that are focused on efficient client service and expanding their books of business.

“Our goal at Betterment for Advisors is to empower advisors to grow their businesses and build deeper client relationships,” writes Jon Mauney, General Manager of Betterment for Advisors. “The four companies that are part of the RIA Tech Suite all share this objective with a common approach to their services: providing beautifully designed, easy-to-use, and powerful tools for advisors and their clients.”

The RIA Tech Suite is now available to all registered investment advisors. You can learn more and sign up for this offering by visiting

Betterment for Advisors is a member of the coalition known as RIA Tech Suite alongside three other platforms: RIA in a Box, RightCapital, and Wealthbox. The four companies are offering advisors who become new clients of two or more members of RIA Tech Suite, discounts on services provided by such participating companies. Betterment and aforementioned firms are not under common ownership or otherwise related entities, and no compensation has been exchanged between the members of RIA Tech Suite for the purposes of entering into this coalition. Terms subject to change. This offering is for investment professionals only and is not intended for use by private investors.
3100 USD is an estimate of the maximum amount saved on the annual cost for combined subscription fees across all four services. Calculation assumes the average of weighted monthly rates offered across all four services, inclusive of onboarding fees and then applies a 15% discount from each. Discount rate of 15% per company is activated upon engagement of a minimum of two companies. Actual dollar amount saved may vary.

ny links provided to other websites are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment or its authors endorse, sponsor, promote, and/or are affiliated with the owners of or participants in those sites, unless stated otherwise.

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How Memestocks Affected Investors’ Actions And Emotions

How Memestocks Affected Investors’ Actions And Emotions

Money and emotions have long gone hand-in-hand, and this is no more apparent than during significant financial crises. From the 2008 market crash to COVID-19’s economic impact, we’ve seen first hand how money has the ability to impact our stress levels, mental health and personal relationships. And yet in times of particular financial strife—or likely because of it— many people take actions with their money that often undermine their emotional wellbeing, sacrificing long-term happiness for short-term pleasure without even realizing it at the time.

This trend toward short-termism grew in 2020: people stuck inside, on screens all day and kept from their normal activities sought new ways to fill their time and energy. Many took up day trading, culminating in one of the wildest rides at the beginning of 2021 (and recent surges demonstrating people are still trying to head to the moon) with Gamestop, AMC, Blackberry and other retail stocks caught in the middle of a clash between amateur retail and institutional investors.

Following this eventful start to the year, Betterment was curious to see both the immediate and long-term impact this had on investors, particularly those involved in the action. In this report — a survey of 1,500 active investors conducted by a third party — we took a look at the rise of day trading activity and the impact it did (or didn’t have) on people’s behavior. From their own forecasts, it looks like “the rise of the day trader” is here to stay — but forecasting is hard. None of us would have bet on the pandemic and the changes it’s causing. People actually aren’t very good at forecasting their own preferences and behavior in the future, so it will be interesting to see if said forecasts actually come to fruition.

Regardless, at Betterment we welcome the addition of consumers looking to learn more about the markets and, ultimately, how to balance their portfolios for the long-term too.

Section One: The Rise Of Day Trading Activity

With movie theaters, stadiums, bars and restaurants closed, many people took up day trading during the COVID-19 pandemic. Half of our total respondents said they actively day trade investments, and nearly half of those day-traders (49%) have been doing it for 2 years or less.

While most day traders indicated their main reason for doing so was that they believed they could make more money in a shorter period of time (58%), many (43%) also indicated it was because it is fun and entertaining. Of those who look to day trading for fun/entertainment, half (52%) said it was to make up for the bulk of their other hobbies—like sports, live music, social gatherings, gambling—not being available due to COVID-19.


What is your motivation for day trading? I believed I could make more money in a shorter period of time - 58% It was fun and entertaining - 43% I found new resources that helped me feel empowered to start (i.e. social media guides) - 40% I participated in online message boards about investing - 26%

And these day traders have fully acknowledge that COVID-19 played a big impact role in their market activity overall: 54% indicated they trade more often as a result of COVID-19; and interestingly, 58% said they expect to day trade more as normal activities return and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, likely as a result of what they learned during this downtime. Only 12% said they expect to trade less.

Did COVID-19 impact how often you are actively trading overall? I trade more often - 54% I trade less often - 24% N/A, no change - 22%

Do you expect to continue day trading more or less as normal activities return and COVID-19 restrictions lift? Much more - 28% More - 30% The same - 31% Less - 10% Much less - 2%

More than half (58%) are using less than 30% of their portfolio to actively trade individual securities or stocks. Nearly two thirds also allow an advisor (either online or in-person) to manage a separate part of their portfolio.

Betterment’s Point Of View:It is interesting to see more respondents expect to day trade more after the pandemic than are currently day trading: we imagine it is hard for people to forecast themselves into the future and imagine doing things differently than they are now. However, what is positive to see is these people aren’t using an excessive amount of their portfolio to day trade. The majority of investors day trade with a minority of their total investing balance, and delegate day-to-day management of the larger portion of their portfolio to an advisor.

How do you decide what stocks to actively invest in? Financial news websites - 61% Companies whose names I am familiar with - 52% Social media accounts or influencers - 42% Conversations with my friends and family - 40% Business television shows - 31%

Passing hobby or not, how educated is the average day trader on what they’re buying and what they stand to gain—or lose? Sixty one percent rely on financial news websites to decide which stocks to buy, but nearly half (42%) are influenced by social media accounts, showing just how powerful “memestocks” can be.

Betterment’s Point Of View:More than half of the respondents suggested they buy stocks based on company names they’re familiar with, but we’ve seen this lead to issues in the past—with “ticker mis-matches,” where people trade the ticker of a stock that isn’t the correct company. For example, after a tweet from Elon Musk about Signal (a non-profit messaging app), a different company’s stock was sent soaring 3,092%.

We also asked day trader respondents if they consider capital gains taxes when deciding to sell their investments. While the majority (60%) indicated that it influences them to hold onto stocks longer to avoid short-term capital gains, 14% said they weren’t aware there was a difference in taxes based on how long they hold a stock. Another 17% said they simply don’t care about the short-term capital gains tax.

When you actively trade stocks do you consider taxes when deciding to sell? Yes, it influences me to hold onto stocks longer to avoid short-term capital gains - 60% No, I don’t care that much about the short-term capital gains tax - 17% No, I plan for it and offset it with other losses - 9% I wasn’t aware there was a difference in taxes based on how long I hold a stock - 14%

Who invested their stimmys?

Almost all (91%) respondents received some stimulus money, and nearly half (46%) invested some of that money; of those who did invest it, 70% invested half or less of their stimulus. Day trader and male respondents were more likely to invest then their counterparts, as represented in the graphic below.

This is in contrast to our COVID-19 investor sentiment survey from 2020, where only 9% of respondents indicated they put some of their stimulus money towards investment. Last year’s response pool was primarily focused on building out their emergency funds, with 40% putting money into a safety net. This is a good indication that respondents are more comfortable with their financial situations this year, compared to the throes of the pandemic.

“Who invested their stimulus money?” Day traders vs non-day traders Yes 67% vs 25% No 25% vs 65% N/A 8% vs 10% Men vs women Yes 51% vs 38% No 40% vs 52% N/A 8% vs 10%

Section Two: Memestocks Understanding And Involvement

We asked all respondents how well they understood what occurred in the stock market in January & February surrounding “memestocks” like GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry and other retail investments.

Most indicated having some level of understanding, but nearly a quarter (24%) of all respondents said they didn’t understand it well at all; and only half (51%) of day trader respondents said they understood what happened very well.

How well do you feel like you understood what occurred in the stock market in January & February surrounding “memestocks?” All respondents: Very well - 32% Somewhat well - 45% Not well at all - 24% Day traders Very well - 51% Somewhat well - 43% Not well at all - 5% Non-day traders Very well - 12% Somewhat well - 46% Not well at all - 42%

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of all survey respondents said they did not actively purchase any popular retail investments (GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, etc.) during the stock market rally in January or February. But those that DID were primarily day traders.

Did you actively purchase any popular retail investments (GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, etc.) during the stock market rally in January or February? All respondents: Yes - 36% No - 64% Day traders Yes - 63% No - 37% Non-day traders Yes - 9% No - 91%

Of all respondents that did buy in actively, 55% are still holding onto all their investments. Only 2% of those that sold these investments sold everything at a loss; 44% sold all for a profit and 54% sold some at a profit and some at a loss.

Of those that bought into memestocks, there is a near universal consensus that they will continue investing in stocks like these that get a lot of attention in the future—97% said they’re at least somewhat likely to invest.


Betterment’s Point Of View:It is interesting to see the majority of respondents holding onto their investments – are they expecting another high or holding on because they don’t want to admit they made a bad investment? Disposition Effect says people tend to hold on until they get back to zero loss; but seeing so few sell entirely for a loss is encouraging. However, 60% previously said thinking of short-term capital gains taxes encourages them to hold onto their investments longer, which is good to see.

Section Three: Money And Stress Factors

It’s no secret that money and stress are linked, so we wanted to take a look at respondents’ money habits and how that may be impacting stress levels. The consensus is that for better and for worse day traders and younger generations are more engaged with their finances.


We asked respondents how much they stress about their finances on a daily basis—three quarters said they stress to some degree. Interestingly, when we looked a layer deeper, day traders are much more stressed than non-day trader—86% indicated they stress to some degree, vs 65% of their counterparts.

How much do you stress about finances: day traders vs non-day traders Day traders Significantly - 27% Somewhat - 37% A bit - 22% I don’t stress about my finances - 14% Non-day traders Significantly - 6% Somewhat - 26% A bit - 33% I don’t stress about my finances - 35%

Unsurprisingly, younger generations are more stressed about their finances than older ones.


In looking at the causes of the stress: respondents are nearly equally concerned about money in the short term, near term future, and long term future with the top 3 financial stress factors being their daily expenses (43%), how much money they will have in retirement (43%), and how much money they have saved (42%).

We asked respondents how often they are checking their bank account and investment portfolio balances –  39% are looking at their bank account balances every day, with 11% of those checking multiple times a day; 37% also check their investment portfolio balances every day, with 16% of those checking multiple times a day.

When we look a layer deeper, we find that day traders are checking both their bank account and investment portfolio balances significantly more than non-day traders.


Interesting Bank Account Habits

50% of day traders indicated they check at least once a day (18% multiple times) vs 29% of non-daytraders (5% multiple times).Men check their accounts more often—41% at least once a day (13% multiple times) vs 36% of women (8% multiple times).46% of Gen Z/Millennials and Gen X both said they check their accounts at least once a day, whereas only 28% of Boomers said the same.Those making more money actually check their accounts more often—42% respondents making $100K or more check every day, compared to 39% of those making between $50-100K and 35% of those making less than $50K.

How often do you check your investment portfolio balances? Multiple times a day - 16% Once a day - 21% A few times a week - 22% A few times a month - 22% Only when I anticipate major transactions, or the market has moved - 14% Never - 5%

Interesting Investment Account Habits

Unsurprisingly, 56% of day traders said they check their investment portfolio balances every day (25% multiple times a day), whereas only 18% of non-day traders said the same.41% of men check every day, compared to 30% of women.47% of Gen Z/Millennials check every day, compared to 41% of Gen X and 22% of Boomers.42% of those making 100K or more check every day, compared to 35% making between $50-100K and 30% of those making less than $50K.

Betterment’s Point Of View:The differences between men and women here are in line with research we’ve seen elsewhere. Women are less focused on market performance, and more focused on the end financial outcome. They also tend to invest at lower risk levels, so are less likely to see extreme ups and downs. Additionally, Women tend to be less competitive/score based in general, so are less interested in monitoring the game.

Encouragingly, when we asked people how they felt checking these accounts, the positive responses outweighed negative options for both. Interestingly, day traders were significantly more excited for both (21% for bank accounts, 25% for investments) than non-day traders (4% and 12%, respectively) as well.

How people feel when they check their bank account and investment account balances: Confident - 42% (bank account) / 34% (investment account) Encouraged - 18% / 22% Excited - 13% / 19% Stressed - 11% / 10% Disappointed - 6% / 6% Fearful - 4% / 5% Angered - 1% / 2%


Most respondents (89%) indicated they’re putting some money away every month, but it’s equally split as to where that money is actually going.

Where do you primarily save your money? In investments - 34% In a checking account - 32% In a high-yield savings account - 30% Other - 4%


At Betterment, we have often compared day trading to going to Vegas—have a great time, enjoy yourself, but be prepared to come back home with fewer dollars in your wallet and a hangover.  The trends outlined in this report seem to indicate that more people are dipping their toe into the investing pool and (so far) few have decided to walk away. Whether this trend will continue—and the long term impact it will have on people’s finances, health, stress, etc.—remains to be seen.

And for those who want to avoid the FOMO of the next big memestock, but aren’t sure of the best way to get started—a simple alternative is investing in a well diversified portfolio. That way, whenever someone asks if you own the hottest thing, you can say “yes”, regardless of what it is.


An online survey was conducted with a panel of potential respondents from April 26, 2021 to May 3, 2021. The survey was completed by a total of 1,500 respondents who are 18 years and older and have any kind of investment (excluded if only 401k). Of the 1,500 respondents, 750 of them actively day traded their investments while the other 750 did not. The sample was provided by Market Cube, a research panel company. All respondents were invited to take the survey via an email invitation. Panel respondents were incentivized to participate via the panel’s established points program, regardless of positive or negative feedback. Participants were not required to be Betterment clients to participate.

Findings and analysis are presented for informational purposes only and are not intended to be investment advice, nor is this indicative of client sentiment or experience.

Any links provided to other websites are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment or its authors endorse, sponsor, promote, and/or are affiliated with the owners of or participants in those sites, unless stated otherwise.

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