First Generation Investor: A Conversation with Razan Ali
by Elizabeth Wheeler
Razan is a graduate of the First Generation Investors 8-week program and recently finished up her first year at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. An outstanding student and ambitious personality in the business world, Razan exemplifies the values of the FGI curriculum and its ability to transform the way we think about investing and personal finance. Recently, along with Sainey Singateh (right), Razan has joined the FGI National Marketing team and is working to refine her growth strategy, communications, and social media marketing skills. She also hopes to establish her own chapter of FGI at Temple University in the coming year. Below is the conversation I had with Razan.
How did you find out about FGI?
“So I was in high school when I heard about FGI. It was one of my teachers, he actually came up to me, he called some students together, and I was one of them. They took us to a classroom and they told us about this FGI program. Half the class wanted to do it, and the other half really was not feeling it. I’m glad that I was part of the half that really was excited to do it. But yeah, I found out through him.”
Has FGI changed the way you think about saving, investing, or personal finance?
“Well, yes, actually, I did change the way I think about investing and personal finance. I used to always think it was so hard, and it just sounds so intimidating. The fact that my money can make money just never processed — I was just never able to process that. And it just always intimidated me so much. And I never wanted to hear about it, because it kind of just scared me. But when I actually got into FGI, I realized that it’s not like that at all, it’s actually really simple. It just needs a little bit of research, and you’re good. It also doesn’t have to be scary. It’s really fun. I find it fun. And impressive. And it actually also taught me it’s not all sunshine and rainbows like the possibility of you losing everything is still there. So yeah, after I finished FGI, I was no longer intimidated by the idea of investing or any of that. Just money used to scare me in general. But not anymore.
In terms of personal finance, FGI also did help me because now my mindset is always to save. No matter, like, what I do, or how much money I get, or that my mindset is always like, save. And now, every time I get money, and I go to buy something, I always think, is this an asset or liability? Sometimes, you know, I get the best of myself, and I buy things that are not that important. But, you know, that still goes through my head every time I go to buy something. “
If you see finance news headlines or you hear people talking about finance, do you now feel like you can understand a little bit better?
“Oh, yeah, totally. Before, I would hear news about the economy and this and that company crashing and this and that, but I never really understood what they were talking about. Now I do. Now, it’s actually really simple and actually catches my attention. Before, I used to just drown it out because I didn’t really understand it. But now I’m actually interested in hearing about stuff like that. And like, for example, if I’m watching the news, and I hear somebody say, oh, electric cars are starting to dominate and are starting to get more popular than fuel cars. I immediately think I need to invest in Tesla stock while it’s low, you know? So yeah, it did definitely help me understand the economy a lot better than before.”
Did FGI inspire you in any particular school subject or give you any new study habits?
“Actually, yeah. Going into college, I was always dead set on being a biology major and psychology minor. I really wanted to be a psychiatrist growing up. I also got back into FGI because by this time I had already graduated. When I started talking to FGI again, it made me remember how much I actually really do enjoy this, like a lot. So it made me decide that I want to change my minor from psychology to business. And yeah, I just found that it’s better for me, I wasn’t really as interested in psychology as I wanted to be. And I was like, I should get into business because that stuff gets me kind of excited. And yeah, I just really wanted to do it. So I definitely did change my mind. And I’m more into investing in stocks and business and making money and making sure that my money makes money, you know?”
Where do you go to college or university? What are your plans for the future?
“I go to Temple University. And so far in the future, I really don’t have plans. I kind of just decided to stop and kind of go with the near future and not like the future. Um, in the near future, I’m hoping to open up an FGI Chapter at Temple. That sounds interesting. Cole briefly mentioned it, and it really caught my attention. And I got excited about it. So in the near future, I’m hoping to open up an FGI Temple.
Last year, I was really interested in getting into real estate, and I still am, more like the financial part of it. I wanted to own rental property, or I wanted to buy a little studio house and then flip it and rent it out. I’m still really interested in doing that, but I wasn’t sure because the whole thing was like taking out a mortgage and then taking out a loan. I did not want to be in debt. I’m already in college. And currently, so far, I’m thankful to not be in debt.”
That’s really cool that you’re interested in that industry as well. What do you do for work? I’m just curious.
“So I’m a pharmacy technician. I work at CVS.”
That’s awesome! So those are the questions I have. Thank you so much for your time.
“Thank you! Bye”
Interview with Razan Ali on April 19th, 2021. Shirts are available for purchase at https://branditprinting.co/product/fgi-nike-shirt/