My Money Sorted is our series exploring people's experiences and views about money on their journey to living sorted. We spoke with Hidden Figure$, two Māori investors focused on their personal finance ngā whāinga (goals) and providing a platform to promote financial capability through their new podcast and Instagram.

What is the best money advice you’ve been given?

I have so many, but I think I will draw some words of inspiration from my pāpā. He would remind us every day that it’s not about the things we have or the jobs we get, it’s about how we treat people every day. His words are a constant reminder to always be kind to people.

What was an important point in your financial journey?

Delayed gratification – being okay with not keeping up with the latest trends and products that have been flooding our social media feeds for years.

We really enjoy living a simple life. I waited five years to purchase my first pair of Air Jordans.

I don't expect people to wait five years make a ‘stuff’-type purchase, but it was those daily habits and embracing the delayed gratification mindset that has got us to where we are today and will help us grow our wealth moving forward.

How do you remain focused on your personal finance goals?

We are surrounded by inspiration every day, but the main driver is our people. Our journey is not just about two people – it's about empowering a whole generation to believe that wealth is possible, that land back is possible, that home ownership is possible, and that financial freedom is possible.

I think Te Aorere Pewharangi's kōrero captures our motivation and our ability to stay on track well. “He mokopuna taku iti, he tipuna taku rahi”, meaning I am a descendant, so I must remain humble. I'll also have descendants, so what I do is important.

What’s a memorable money moment?

Purchasing our second home. My cousin was driving us to Whakaki (a small town east of Te Wairoa). There is hardly any reception on those winding Wairoa roads, but my phone rang and it was one of our financial advisers, ringing us to say he has a property in Tāmaki Makaurau that we should look into purchasing.

He said, “I need to know pretty quickly if you are interested in this property.”

I said give me 15 minutes. I rang my partner, who was back in Heretaunga playing golf, and I said, “Are you keen?” He said, “Āe, let's do it.”

It's the quickest $850k we've ever spent, but it was an amazing feeling being able to purchase an investment property.

What money beliefs have you inherited from your whānau?

  • If you can't pay cash, don't buy it.
  • Live below your means.
  • Focus on adding value and the rest will come.
  • Be grateful for all that you have and all that you come from, but never settle. Your potential is abundant.

What’s your proudest money moment?

Teaching others how to grow pūtea.

What are your goals for Hidden Figure$ over the next year?

Our whāinga for our whārangi over next year is to set up a ‘Hidden Figure$ on the road’-type kaupapa, where we visit different communities and hold financial wānanga.

We would bring in other like-minded professionals to deliver on things like investing, navigating cryptocurrency, Papa Kāinga housing, KiwiSaver, side hustles, etc.

Obviously, our faces will be made public if we were to go on the road, but I hope we could normalise people turning off phones and being fully present in the wānanga space.

Another whāinga is to increase our impact on rangatahi Māori. We are not too caught up on the numbers of followers we have, but rather how many lives we can positively impact. It's ambitious, but I would like to think that all our rangatahi (under 30) who follow our whārangi have zero consumer debt by next Matariki.

When you think about your retirement, what do you see?

I see Māori living in abundance, and I see us still working – not because we have to, but because we genuinely enjoy giving back to our people and our community.

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