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Inspiring Conversations with Arnold Lopez of The Humble Investment

Today we’d like to introduce you to Arnold Lopez.

Hi Arnold, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born and raised in southeast San Diego by my grandparents, who took me on at a young age when my parents split. Both working full-time jobs, I relied a lot on my community for guidance and mentorship. However, back then, my experience wasn’t unique to myself and the kids in my neighborhood, as we were all searching for ways to stay out of trouble. After graduating high school, I found myself in and out of college around San Diego and caught up in a mix of financial debts. Looking around for side hustles to get involved in, I came across some financial investing videos on Youtube and was immediately hooked on the stock market. I began investing my savings and created multiple streams of income through e-commerce businesses. I remember thinking to myself, “why were we never taught any of this growing up?”.

I started to really dive deeper and get more heavily involved after a near-death experience crashing my car. Forced to spend all my time at home recovering and thinking of ways to pay off my debt, I turned to my community and friends for help. During those dark years, I had help from different organizations and friends who believed in me when I couldn’t. After two years of working and saving my money, I hit my first big break in a huge stock trade that gave me a $100,000 profit. I was able to go back to school at UC Santa Cruz and pay off my debt.

After graduating, I landed a full-time job in Berkeley and was able to stabilize my finances. But when the pandemic hit, my mental focus really took a turn as I saw the impact it had on my community back home in San Diego. I started creating financial resource infographics and hosted webinars breaking down the stimulus packages for small business owners. There was a ton of lost resources that people were unaware of or turned away from because of the lack of understanding and instruction. Fueled by the urgent need for reliable and digestible information, I created a dedicated page to provide clear and concise information regarding the financial resources available. I began to receive a lot of messages asking about financial literacy material to help people start investing and organizing their finances. This led to my inspiration to reinvest in my community through education, putting my experiences and knowledge onto a platform where others can learn and build community wealth.

Looking to take the platform to the next level, I will be attending Harvard this fall to obtain my Masters in Educational Leadership, Organization, and Entrepreneurship to turn The Humble Investment into a certified non-profit community-based organization in southeast San Diego. I envision providing holistic support to high school students and young adults to guide and equip them with the resources to pursue their aspirations. Whether that is college, entrepreneurship, or entering the workforce, providing them with the support I was fortunate to receive from my community is my humble investment to create a better future for the next generation of San Diego trailblazers.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
All I knew was San Diego and its culture. It was extremely difficult to leave my hometown and family to pursue my aspirations, which I feel is a common obstacle for a lot of San Diego natives. But some of my biggest revelations and growing experiences happened outside of my San Diego bubble. The uncertainty of community, income and personal well-being weighed heavy on my mind, but it’s what led me to truly realize and appreciate the culture and people back home.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about The Humble Investment?
I’d say my organization is a growing culture of breaking down the stereotypes and negative connotations around money. By educating ourselves and others around the many different ways to sustain our income and build wealth ethically, we can begin to break cycles of financial barriers and create generational wealth. A lot of financial services tend to come with all the financial jargon and lingo that often deters “nontraditional investors.” By bridging that gap and breaking down financial literacy in a way that relates to the realities of our community, we can begin to see ourselves fitting into these spaces and utilizing these resources to benefit our lives and communities. We provide free resources such as E-books, community workshops, one on one coaching, weekly market updates, transparency, and community fundraisers for local small businesses. We hope to open up our cohort-based programming to youth and young adults as early as the start of 2022.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I’m really big on supporting POC financial literacy podcasts and educators. Some of my inspirations are Chris Johnson and Kiakili from The Wealth Squad, the cast of Earn Your Leisure podcast, Chris Sain & Kenan Grace’s Youtube channels. A very special shoutout to The Hidden Genius Project who trains and mentors black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills who have played a huge role in my personal and professional growth.

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Image Credits

Kathleen Amon – Graphic Design

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