In this episode of Motley Fool Answers, Alison Southwick is joined by Motley Fool personal finance expert Robert Brokamp. Robert talks about the Pareto principle and how it applies to stock returns, and participation of Americans in the stock market across different wealth groups.

Later, Megan Brinsfield, director of financial planning, Motley Fool Wealth Management, is joined by Robert to chat with Bola Sokunbi, CEO and founder of Clever Girl Finance, on how she helps women become accountable, ditch debt, save money, and build real wealth.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Sept. 1, 2020.

Alison Southwick: This is Motley Fool Answers. I'm Alison Southwick, and I'm joined, as always, by Robert Brokamp, personal finance expert here at The Motley Fool. I figure I should probably say your name correctly every now and then. How are you, Bro?

Robert Brokamp: Just fine. How are you, Alison?

Southwick: Doing so good. In this week's episode, Bro and Motley Fool Wealth's Megan Brinsfield, interview Bola Sokunbi, the founder of Clever Girl Finance. All that and more on this week's episode of Motley Fool Answers.

So, Bro, what's up?

Brokamp: Well, I've got a couple of things for you.

Southwick: No, I want three; just make up a third.

Southwick: OK, I can if you like. Let's see how the first two go, OK, shall we? All right. So, No. 1, the Pareto portfolio. So, you may have heard of the Pareto principle, which states that 20% of the inputs are responsible for 80% of the outputs. It's named after Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, who in 1906 found that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. And then he subsequently found that the supply to wealth distribution in other countries as well. It turns out it also applies to stock returns.

So, these days we're hearing a lot about how the market is being driven by a handful of big companies. So, the biggest five stocks in the S&P 500 are up 50% for the year on average, while the bottom 495 are slightly down or flat, depending on when you're listening to this. But this actually isn't new. Over the long term, most stocks underperform the market, and it's a handful of outperformers that really boost returns. We cited studies on this topic before, but a recent one just came out and I thought I'd highlight it, because well, I just think it's so interesting.

So, a recent report published by Standard & Poor's entitled Conviction, Confidence, and Courage looked at the returns of all the stocks in the S&P 500 from Dec. 31, 1999, to Dec. 31, 2019. Over that period, there were 1,010 stocks in the index. The index returned 239% over those 20 years, but the median stock returned just 52%. So, that's an annual return of 2%. You would have been better off in cash. However, some stocks did outperform, in fact, 267 of the 1,010. That's 26%, pretty close to Pareto's 20%.

But the point of the report wasn't just that a minority of stocks drive the market's upward trajectory. The authors also pointed out that many of these outperformers were really volatile. Two examples were Apple and Amazon. So, they pointed out that if you invested $1,000 in each of those stocks at one point, from 1999 to 2019, your $1,000 in Apple would have dropped to $275. And at one point, your $1,000 in Amazon would have dropped to just $78. So, you were down more than 90% at one point.

So, the question, of course, is how many people who did buy would have had the courage to hold on to those stocks? Of course, we at The Motley Fool did. We like to talk about how we, from the very beginning, like David Gardner, have been holding on to Amazon since 1997, but I'm sure many people did sell and regret it.

So, there are two lessons for me out of this study. One is, hold on to good companies regardless of how much they're down. And No. 2, it's really hard to beat the index, which is why we often recommend that people have at least some of their money in index funds. And then item No. 2, it's even more extreme than Pareto estimated. So, as I pointed out earlier, Pareto discovered his principle when looking at wealth concentration. Well, when it comes to U.S. stocks, the ratio is more like 90:10. And this was highlighted in a recent CNBC article by Bob Pisani. He cited two Federal Reserve stats that showed the concentration of stock ownership in America. So, this is based on the end of the first quarter of this year, so, the data is fairly recent. The top 1%, in terms of wealth in America, owns 51.8% of the stocks. The next 9% own 35.4 %. You look at the group from 50% to 99%; they own 12%. The bottom 50% of wealth in this country only own 0.7% of the stocks. So, the top 10% own 87.2% of the stocks. That is up from 82.4% in 2009. In other words, stock ownership has become even more concentrated in the wealthier households.

So, you'll often hear these days that people say the stock market isn't the economy, and you can see why when you hear these statistics. After all, on Thursday it was announced that another million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time. It was the 22nd time in 23 weeks that initial claims were above a million, and since this pandemic has begun, 58 million Americans have filed for initial jobless claims. And then, this thing just makes me sad, too, according to Yelp, since March 73,000 businesses in the U.S. listed on its website have permanently closed. So, that's all the bad news about all of this, and the disparity in wealth and wealth concentration.

There is, sort of, a silver line to this. And that is, thanks to developments like commission-free trades and fractional shares, it's never been easier for people to gradually invest small amounts in the stock market. So, hopefully as the economy recovers, more and more lower-wealth Americans will be able to sock away a little bit, you know, $5, $10, $25, $100, whatever they can afford gradually. And over the long term I hope that will gradually improve their situations.

And that, Alison, is what's up.

[...]

Megan Brinsfield: I'm joined by Robert Brokamp,lead advisor for The Motley Fool's Rule Your Retirement and Total Income services.

I'm going to take the opportunity to make our legal folks happy and read a brief disclaimer. I work for Motley Fool Wealth Management, which is an affiliate of The Motley Fool, LLC. It's a separate legal entity, and all of our asset management decisions and financial planning advice are made independently by myself and others at Fool Wealth. Neither Tom Gardner or David Gardner, nor any other Motley Fool analyst is involved in our investment decision-making or daily operations. Also, do not take anything I say as personalized investment or tax advice. I'm not recommending that you buy, sell, or hold anything or follow any specific investment strategy or financial plan.

So, as always, we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance and tax issues.

Today we are thrilled to be speaking with Bola Sokunbi, CEO and founder of Clever Girl Finance. Bola helps women become accountable, ditch debt, save money, and build real wealth. She is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and best-selling author. Her latest book on investing is due out Oct. 20. Welcome to Motley Fool Live, Bola. And just as an opener, Bola, I was wondering if you could talk about Clever Girl Finance and its, sort of, birth-to-grown-up journey that it's taken from you working on it starting in 2015 all the way to where it is now where this is your full-time job, it's taken on a life of its own.

Bola Sokunbi: Yeah. So, Clever Girl Finance started out of personal need, basically me trying to navigate life as a woman, as a woman of color, and just documenting what I was doing with my friends. And I've always had this interest in personal finance, with money, you know, just starting out as an immigrant in the United States and just understanding how credit worked here, how investing worked here, how finances worked here in general. And coming out of college and being able to save $100,000 in 3 1/2 years by figuring out my finances and being very frugal.

So, Clever Girl Finance was something I started as I got into my 30s. I was thinking about, well, you know, these are things that I'm facing, that I saw my mom facing when I was growing up and talking about it with my friends. And they started to say, well, Bola, you always talk about money, can you tell me how you invest, can you tell me how you save, can you tell me what you think about that? And it eventually grew from being that little personal finance blog to now being one of the largest personal finance platforms for women in America. So, I'm really excited to share Clever Girl Finance with everyone.

Brokamp: You talked about your parents a couple of times there. It seems like they had a pretty big influence on your attitude about money. Tell us a little bit about them, growing up in Nigeria, and how that influenced your ideas about money?

Sokunbi: Yes. So, I actually grew up between Nigeria and Europe. And my mom has been very pivotal to my financial journey. My mother got married very young, she was 19 years old with a high school certificate. My dad was older with a Ph.D. And it was this traditional family setting where the dad was the breadwinner and the mom was a stay-at-home mom. And my mom had four kids, and as she got older and progressed in her marriage, she started to see things she didn't like. She was seeing friends get divorced and just be left with nothing or not know anything about the family finances. She would see friends who were wanting to leave a bad relationship but they couldn't, because they didn't have any financial backing. And she was seeing friends losing spouses, and again, not knowing anything about family matters. And so, my mom decided that she'd never want to find herself in that position. And so, she took it upon herself to go back to school, get her undergrad, get her master's, and then she started to hustle.

My mom worked as an investment banker, she had a bakery, she had a girls' school, she had a hair salon, she was a Coca-Cola franchisee, all these different things over the years. And eventually it got to the point where she became our household breadwinner when my dad went through a financial downturn due to health-related issues. So, just watching my mom growing up, seeing her make those decisions, hearing my parents tell me to never be a liability on anybody, including myself, were all things that have been ingrained in me since I was younger.

And my goal with just navigating my finances here was to make my parents proud, initially, then it was to secure myself financially, and now it's for my children and just being able to pass down generational wealth and teach them responsibility about money and what investing means and what it means to have money and do well with your finances.

Brinsfield: It sounds like your parents have a lot to be proud of. I think you've checked that box pretty significantly. One of the things that you mentioned your mom doing was, kind of, picking up these side jobs, side hustles, as they're kind of known more today. And you did that as well on your path to wealth. You mentioned saving $100,000 on a modest salary. And part of that was taking on additional jobs, right?

Sokunbi: Yes. So, you know, I guess my side-hustle claim was starting, at the time, a wedding photography business, which I fell into purely by chance. I had an entry-level DSLR camera that I had bought because I had grown up with my dad always taking pictures of us, and it was just something I did. And I went to a friend's wedding and her photographer didn't show up, and she's like, "Take some pictures before he comes, or if he never comes, you'd be my photographer." So, there I was in my high heels taking pictures of the wedding. And when I handed her the photos, I was like, wait a minute, this can be a side hustle, this can earn me some extra money. And so, I put an ad on Craigslist; Craigslist back then. And I got my first wedding and I told them I wouldn't charge at the risk that they may not get pictures at all. And that's how my side hustle started.

And that side hustle was something I did after work, nights editing photos, early morning editing photos, Friday night, Saturday all day, Sunday all day. Shooting weddings, baby sessions, lifestyle engagement parties, and I was exhausted, but it did allow me to earn a good amount of money to contribute to me being able to save that six-figure amount.

Brokamp: Tell us a little bit about Clever Girl Finance itself. Sort of, the start of it, but also what do you offer now? What kind of people are coming today and what kind of things are they learning, and what do you offer folks?

Sokunbi: Yeah. So, today we are an online financial education platform for women. Our primary audience is minority women, so Black and Brown women. Our age group are women from 24 all the way to 65 and even older. And women find us at a transition point, so they're going through either a positive or, unfortunately, a negative life transition. So, it could be getting out of college, getting a job, getting married, having a baby, starting a business, or it could be getting divorced, losing a job, you know, losing a spouse, etc.

And so, our goal is to empower women to succeed with their finances and it's about no shame and no judgment. It's OK, if you don't know what you don't know, but you can learn it. And we cover a wide spectrum of financial topics from budgeting, mindset, saving, investing. And we support our audience with content on our site with three courses with three mentor calls through our podcast and through our online community as well. So, it's a very engaged community, and we're all about having fun with finances, because if you can't laugh about it, you're going to cry.

Brokamp: How did you get to the point where you knew Clever Girl Finance could be your full-time job? That obviously takes a bit of a leap. And I know just reading about you and watching your videos, you're not necessarily a risk taker, you're somewhat conservative. I assume it took a little bit -- how did you know you had gotten to that point where you could make it your full-time job?

Sokunbi: I just couldn't balance anymore. So, I'm a mom to twins. I started Clever Girl Finance when my twins were about 13 or 14 months old. I was working full time and Clever Girl Finance was that side hustle I did early in the morning and late in the night after I put my kids to bed. And I got to a point where in the back of my head I knew I wanted to transition into doing my own things. So, I had been putting money aside essentially to cover up my household obligations in the event I decided to go full time, given that in that early stage my business wasn't making any money. And so, I just got to the point where I had to choose one. I had to choose to continue working full time or to pursue my business full time. And I had that buffer in place that gave me that confidence and minimized my risk, like you said, in the form of cash savings, that I told myself, OK, after two years, if I cannot make this work, I'll go back to work and I'll take my lesson and I'll take my experience and I'll get back to it. But luckily it worked out great, and I'm here running Clever Girl Finance full time.

Brinsfield: So, I'd love to dig in a little bit more on your statement, because I think you left out maybe a critical piece for some people to understand, from my perspective. And that is, you recently had the opportunity to write a statement for-the-record on the challenges that women and minorities face in accessing financial services and capital for the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion. And one of the things you mention was your personal experience in speaking to over 80 potential investors as a Black Founder and coming away with $0 investment. And that's, I think, a very powerful experience, because a lot of folks that are trying to start businesses probably don't have that two-year cash buffer that you were able to build as a backstop, and they really are relying on these investors to choose them and invest. And so, just based on your experiences, how do you think that that process is, based on your experience, just going through, influenced by gender and race?

Sokunbi: And I would just add to what you said, Megan, it's not just access to investment capital, but even capital from your local bank in terms of loans, you know, building those banking relationships. And for me, I have done over 19 meetings, and one of the things that I have a big vision for Clever Girl Finance, and one of the things that enables a company to pursue their big vision is capital, right? So, our choice was: Do we bootstrap our business, continue as we have done, or do we try to accelerate that and raise capital? And so, that was the reason for pursuing fundraising.

However, going into that space, I realized a number of things. It's a very White male world culture; I hate to say that, but that's what it is. And also, it's very apparent that people will not invest in what they cannot relate to, right. For many of them, maybe I was one of very few encounters with the minority person that they have ever had, a Black woman. I got questions like, are there even a million women of color in America? I didn't realize women of color cared about their finances? I got asked questions about what my husband thinks about what I'm doing? What does my husband do? I got told not to wear my wedding ring to meetings because it made it seem like I had too much baggage and I shouldn't talk about my children, because, you know, when you have kids and a husband and a household, you can't successfully run a business. And I even got told that, you know, me pursuing fundraising was a gimmick because everyone in America has equal opportunities. So, I've heard it all, I've seen it all.

And I think it boils down to bias, right? People have biases about what they believe. People are, unfortunately, racist. And also, people, again, cannot -- you know, it's hard for them to invest or engage or relate to what they cannot identify with. And for many of these people who are in position to invest from my venture capital perspective or a high net worth individual perspective, I'm not their traditional, [laughs] who you can relate to. I know. But I came away from that with a lot of experience and also identifying a lot of opportunities in the sense that I can build a successful business, which I am doing, bootstrapping, right; we are a team of 17 people at Clever Girl Finance. And it's also an opportunity to educate this demographic and say, OK, there might not be people who are out there to support you, but here's how you can empower yourself to build up, here is how you can empower yourself to succeed, here is the education you need to start your business and to grow, here's a network you can tap into to get mentorship and advising if you need it. So, there is opportunity, but I do wish those numbers were better. I talk about the statistics in that statement, but it is, unfortunately, still very disappointing.

Brokamp: Getting back to how you were able to do it, because you did have to really do it all on your own, including saving a lot of money. And you were able to do that while living in the New York City metropolitan area, so how were you able to save anywhere from 15% to 40% of your income?

Sokunbi: So, yes, I was living in New Jersey, working in New York City as a consultant. And I was the ramen noodles and Coke girl. I weighed 119 pounds. [laughs] That was 30 pounds ago. And I was just, you know for me, I had a "why" and it was knowing the sacrifice my parents had made as immigrants to help me go through college, to bring me to this country and all of that, seeing my mom really working so hard, and watching my dad going through that financial difficulty. You know, we downgraded our entire life when we went through the financial difficulty due to his health issues. So, that was my "why." And for me, it was, I had never made that amount of money in my life, right?

I was earning, to start, $54,000, and I was like, wow! I'm rich, I'm a billionaire, as far as I was concerned. So, I started by just understanding how to budget. And I got really lean and mean with budgeting. I took advantage of every work opportunity. So, at my job, if you stayed at work after 7, they would order dinner into the office. I sometimes would have no business in there after 7, but I would hang around to get that free dinner. I was the girl walking through the hallways saying, oh, my God! you have a baby shower, I don't know you, congratulations. I'll take the cake, I'll take the bagels, happy retirement. That was me. I started that side hustle, I started investing, learning how to invest, starting with my 401(k), taking that free match investing out to my 401(k), starting that side hustle. Really, you know, going above and beyond trying to earn extra money there.

I was also in the position where I felt very challenged, because I was in New York City and a lot of my friends at the time were working in investment banking. And my $54,000/year salary was part of their annual bonus, right? And it was challenging to watch my friends going out to dinners and doing all the fun things and I'm like, well, I'm trying to save my $54,000 salary. And so, I had to face personal challenges about, OK, when do I say "no," how do I just focus on what I'm trying to achieve? And so, it was just really being really aggressive, it was being mindful of my spending, it was taking advantage of every job opportunity, it was really pursuing that side hustle to bring me extra money.

I saved every raise that I got, toward the end of it, I was earning somewhere in the $70,000s. I saved every tax return I got. And I just focused on saving as much money as I could. And it was painful, but on the other side of it, it was worth it.

Brinsfield: You've mentioned pain a few times now. So, I'm just ...

Sokunbi: [laughs] No pain, no gain.

Brinsfield: Yeah. You know, I think that the pain element, I'm curious if you look back, like, if it wasn't as painful. Let's say it was like, you know, a diligent effort but not painful. I think that can slow down the acceleration of those savings for sure, but do you think that women or people that are in your audience, whoever they may be, have to go to the lengths that you did or how do you, kind of, manage walking the line a little bit?

Sokunbi: Absolutely not. I think everybody can have a sense of balance, right? What I did was for a short period of time, it was for three years. I mean, there are some things that are not sustainable long-term. I cannot eat ramen noodles for the rest of my life. That's just impossible. [laughs] Ramen noodles and Coke. And so, you know, I think there's a sense of creating balance, which I am very much in that space. In those early stages it was just that -- it was being terrified of failing, terrified of being broke. There were many times I sat in the corner of our living room and I watched my mom console friends who had nowhere to go with their kids. And they would be spending the night in our house, because they're trying to get away from a bad relationship. And so those are things that were at the back of my mind as I was trying to save.

And I think for anyone who's in that process of saving, you want to create a sense of balance, like, you're not put on this earth to pay bills and die, you want to be able to enjoy simple pleasures, do the things that you like, whatever that is to you. It could be travel, it could be shopping, it could be whatever it is, but at the same time, you want to make sure that it's within reason and it's not at the expense of your future self or your finances or your financial well-being. So, you don't have to be as extreme, if you want to go that way for the experience or you have a really strong "why" that's excelling you, absolutely do it. But at the end of the day, you're going to get to a point where it's like, OK, this is not sustainable. And as opposed to going to the polar opposite, you want to find a way to just still be able to do the things you want to do, but still pursue your financial goals as well.

Brokamp: Your story, and you've mentioned it already a little bit, in that, a lot of people talk about, it's important to start saving early, but mostly in terms of giving things, time for money to compound, but what you often teach and use your data as example is, people think, "Oh, I'll save later because I don't have to worry about it now, I'll have that opportunity to save later." But later often doesn't come, either due to health reasons or -- we had a guest previously, Elizabeth White, who found it very difficult to keep a job once you reach your 50s due to ageism, sexism, racism. For many people who reach their 50s, if they lose a job, it takes them twice as long to get the job back, and very few people get back to their previous salary. So, talk a little bit more about the importance of basically having some part of your financial plan that assumes that maybe the future won't be as good as the present is.

Sokunbi: Yeah, I think that's something that everyone needs to keep in mind, is that, you're going to get to some point in your life where you're not able to work. It could be age, it could be health, it could be kids, whatever it might be. And it's important to start saving early. When people hear that, they're like, "Oh, it's easy for you to say because you have a full-time job or you are making this amount of money, you have that side hustle," etc. But for me, it's never about how much money you're making, it's about how you build that habit and consistency with what you have. I have driven 20 minutes when I was in the depths of saving money to deposit $1 into a bank account because I couldn't transfer it through online banking because there was a $10 minimum. I have the $1 and I was like, I have to save this week, and so I drove over to the bank and I gave the teller my $1 and she's like, really? I mean, she didn't say it, but her face said it. And I was like, yes. So, it's just building that habit and consistency so that if you are one of those people that goes through waves with your income, you get a bonus, you have, you know, a side hustle, you have a business, you have an influx of money and then you have a decline, you have built that consistency with saving money over time no matter what. And that starting small, over time, especially if you're investing it, can compound, right, which you just mentioned, can help you gain dividends over time. And that's the beginning of you securing yourself for the future. And once you built that habit of saving, then it doesn't matter how little you earn, you'll still be compelled to save no matter what.

So, starting as soon as you can is something that I strongly encourage. And even if you're beyond your 20s or your 30s and you're thinking about saving, then just start now. Don't consider your income as too small to save, don't consider your part-time job as too small to save. You have to do what you can with what you have, and over time, you see that it was worth it.

Brinsfield: You do have a book coming out in October about investing. So, you know, maybe you can give us a little preview of the book.

Sokunbi: Yes, so I'll start with how I am investing. [laughs] So, my investing approach is very simple. I am investing in index funds and a variety of U.S., international index funds, I invest in bonds and I do have, just given the uncertainty of the economy and not being able to predict what's to come in the next few years, cash put aside. I'm also teaching my 6-year-old twins to invest now, and we're doing that with individual stocks, to teach them what is a stock, what is this company, what does it mean, who is the CEO, what is his vision and things like that. So, my investment philosophy is simple, but my objectives have changed over time as I got married, as I had kids, as I'm planning around my kids going to college. And so, it's very simple. I'm an index fund person and do some individual stock investing on behalf of my kids.

And so, my book, Clever Girl Finance: Learn How Investing Works, Grow Your Money [laughs] comes out on Oct. 20, and it's essentially that book that helps you establish the foundation of investing. What does it mean? What is a stock? What is a bond? What is the U.S. economy, how does it work? What is the stock market? How do I establish a plan for myself? What questions should I be asking a financial planner? How do I determine how much I need to retire? These are questions that we get asked from our community every single day.

And there's a lot of perceived complexity around investing, because you turn on the TV and you see the analysts yelling and you see the TV personalities yelling and they're using all the big math words, and it's really not necessary. I look at investing as, you can think about it in this way, if you own a car, your goal as someone trying to get to the destination is to drive your car safely to get you to that destination, to maintain your car, your tires, get the oil changed, etc., so that you can travel around and get to each destination safely. You don't need to know how to put the engine together, you don't need to know how to set up the aerodynamics of the tires and the body and all that stuff, you just need to know how to drive carefully and you have to know your objectives to get to your destination. It doesn't have to be complicated.

And so, the book is all about simplifying investing and making it easy to approach, if you have any fears around it.

Brinsfield: I foresee, based on that answer, the next book being a children's book.

Sokunbi: Maybe. My daughters can write it.

Brinsfield: A collaborative family effort. I think that would be awesome. Well, if you're OK with it, we'd like to go into the lightning round where we throw out random topics to you and [laughs] you just give us your gut reaction. It doesn't have to be a well-formed opinion, just like, hate it, love it, whatever.

Sokunbi: OK. No judgment, right? [laughs]

Brinsfield: Yeah, no judgment here. And through the beauty of editing, we can just [laughs] cut this out. But OK, so just your quick thoughts on debit cards.

Sokunbi: Great.

Brinsfield: All right, that's sufficient. [laughs] What about joint bank accounts for couples?

Sokunbi: It depends on your finances and each of you. I think that's a very personal decision, but full disclosure, in general, when it comes to money and relationships.

Brinsfield: Wonderful. What about paying your child to do household chores?

Sokunbi: Hell no! [laughs]

Brinsfield: [laughs] But how will they learn about how to do a job?

Sokunbi: No. They'll do them because that's what you need to do. You live in my house for free, come on, I'm not paying you to make your bed, you live here for free already, that's how you pay me back, you owe me. [laughs]

Brinsfield: I see where that investment account is going. All right. How about leasing a car?

Sokunbi: Some people get mad at me, no, uh-uh. [laughs]

Brinsfield: Just a silence ...

Sokunbi: It can depend, I don't know, no comment. [laughs]

Brinsfield: All right. What about the platform Robinhood?

Sokunbi: If you know what you're doing. It could be any platform, right, but do you know what you're doing, have you done your due diligence, do you know what investing means, are you investing long term, is it just because options and bitcoin are hot or are you really investing for long-term objectives? So, it depends.

Brinsfield: And the last one is credit card rewards. Like, points, miles.

Sokunbi: For rewarding you for getting you into debt?

Brinsfield: Yeah.

Sokunbi: I don't mean -- I'm not sure what you mean, that's all. If you're in a position where you're paying your credit, this is such a slippery slope, I talked to so many people who get into so much trouble as a result of pursuing rewards, if you're paying your bill off every month and it's not straining your finances, yes, get the rewards, but if you don't know how to pay your debt and you're focusing on pursuing rewards. Uh-uh. [laughs] No.

Brinsfield: Bola, thank you so much for joining us and providing insight on your story, what to look forward to in your books and the requested book I just put out there with my hope. Find her on her website, on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram. If there's a platform, she's on it. And she's actually been nominated for at least three awards from the financial community this year for her YouTube content, debt-busting content, programming for women. So, congratulations on the many accolades and thanks so much for joining us on Fool Live today.

Sokunbi: Thank you so much for the opportunity to be here.

Southwick: That's the show. It's edited, cleverly, by Rick Engdahl. Our email is Answers@Fool.com. For Robert Brokamp, I'm Alison Southwick, stay Foolish, everybody.