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Ian Cohen: My Personal Finance Story

We all have things we are passionate about, like our hobbies and jobs! Some people love helping clean our environment and advocate for climate change prevention. Others believe in our civil rights and become lawyers. Doctors can be passionate about medicine and helping others. The list goes on and on. Let me tell you how I discovered my passion(s).

As you may already know, The Teen Trillionaire focuses on helping, advocating, and educating teens on financial literacy. I joined as an intern in 2020 to help close the financial literacy gap. As many people know, most states do not require schools to teach personal finance to students, resulting in many students becoming adults without sufficient knowledge about finance. They know facts like the mitochondria is the powerhouse of cell organelles, but don’t realize they can go into over thousands of dollars in debt via student loans and eventually credit card debt (which creates an even bigger problem).

One day, I was on vacation in Peru, where many of my family members are from. I remember being in the living room of my grandparents’ home watching YouTube and coming across a video by Graham Stephan on one of his YouTube channels called “The Graham Stephan Show.” On his channel, Graham Stephan reacts to videos from channels such as “CNBC: Make It” and others about finance with young adults. He gives his views and opinions on those videos to help educate others from peoples’ mistakes. I also highly recommend this channel, 100 out of 10, and his other channels which I will talk about below.

The video itself was titled “Millionaire Reacts: 41 Year-Old Doctor Living in New Jersey Spends Her $1.3M Income.” In the video, Graham reacts to the original video by Glamour, titled “How this 41 Year Old Doctor Living in New Jersey Spends Her $1.3M Income.” In the video, a doctor breaks down about how she spends her money, and her investments and savings. This video got me introduced into Graham’s channel and I started to watch other videos and started falling down the financial YouTube channel rabbit hole.

After watching the doctor video with Graham’s reaction, I watched more of his videos, then expanded to his main channel. On his main channel, he discusses topics like credit cards, retiring early, saving, investing, rest estate investing, and more! I first watched videos about Roth IRA, side hustles, and real estate investing. Graham is a real estate investor and real estate agent in Los Angeles, California, and started way back when in 2011. He offered many amazing tips and tricks, and I fell in love with the idea of real estate investing when I’m older.

After watching countless hours of Graham’s videos, I realized how much I didn’t know about personal finance, YouTube then recommended me new channels like PBS Digital “Two Cents,” “Ask Sebby,” and “Meet Kevin.” There are tons of channels about personal finance with different niches. Learning all the information I did from just the internet was life changing for me, which is why I want to help others learn financial literacy since many unfortunately never get to learn financial literacy.

These channels help teach everyone how to get a good credit card while using credit cards to earn free perks (without going into debt), how to save money, how to invest for your retirement, how to retire early, different ways to make money, investing, and the list goes on and on. I believe that everyone in the world should have the right to learn financial literacy, and it’s dangerous to enter the adult world with no knowledge about personal finance.

Thank you for reading my long rant about how I learned financial literacy from YouTube. Of course, everyone is different in how they learn and find their passions. If I were to give you one piece of advice, that will be to explore your passions and expand your knowledge, as both are life changing. Have a great day and work hard to become a Teen Trillionaire!

Written by Ian Cohen

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