We Get Real AF

Ep 82: Investment & Money Management Tech for Youth and Young Adults with Kelly Lannan, VP of Young Investors at Fidelity Investments

August 03, 2021 Vanessa Alava & Sue Robinson Season 2 Episode 82
We Get Real AF
Ep 82: Investment & Money Management Tech for Youth and Young Adults with Kelly Lannan, VP of Young Investors at Fidelity Investments
Show Notes Transcript

Kelly Lannan talks about personal finance, fintech, and the new Fidelity App: Spire.

Find Kelly Lannan Online:

 LinkedIn

Referenced:

Fidelity Spire

Fidelity Youth Account

We Get Real AF Podcast Credits:

Producers & Hosts: Vanessa Alava & Sue Robinson

Vanessa Alava

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Sue Robinson

LinkedIn Instagram Twitter 

Audio Producer/Editor: Sam Mclean  

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Technical Director: Mitchell Machado

LinkedIn   Reset Gaming

Audio Music Track Title: Beatles Unite

Artist: Rachel K. Collier

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Intro Voice-Over Artist: Veronica Horta

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Cover Artwork Photo Credit: Alice Moore 

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Sue Robinson  

Thanks for joining us for another great episode of The we get really af podcast. I'm Sue Robinson.

 

Vanessa Alava  

And I'm Vanessa Alava. Please find and follow us online. Our social handle is @wegetrealaf across all platforms. And if you like what you're hearing, take a quick moment right now to subscribe rate and comment on the show.

 

Sue Robinson  

One of the things we're really passionate about here at the weekend relief podcast is equipping young women in STEM and other professions with the practical tools they need to succeed in all aspects of their life. Today we have the honor of speaking with Kelly Lannan, Vice President of young investors at Fidelity Investments. Kelly helps college students and young adults get more engaged with their finances, feel confident in their money smarts, and live the lives they want. Kelly develops digital games and tools to educate students on the important money lessons they'll face post-graduation, and help them understand the financial considerations they'll face paying off their student loan debt, putting together a budget evaluating a job offer, or starting to invest. Kelly, we're so happy to have you with us today. 

 

Vanessa Alava

Welcome.

 

Kelly Lannan 

Hi, thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to talk to people today.

 

Sue Robinson  

Absolutely. Before we get started, how can folks find you online? 

 

Kelly Lannan

Yes, the best way is to look me up on LinkedIn, follow my name, Kelly Lannan, LA and na n, But more importantly, I work at Fidelity Investments as you already shared. And you can follow us on every single form of social media out there at Fidelity. 

 

Sue Robinson  

Awesome, thank you. I'm really excited about this conversation today. Because as our listeners know, I am the mom of three young adult daughters in their 20s. And money is still something that they're very much trying to get a handle on. So I know that Kelly that you do a lot of campus visits to universities, and sort of educate young people about investments and money management. Can you level set for us? What are you finding out there? How savvy are young people right now?

 

Kelly Lannan 

Yeah, I mean, heavier than I was at their age. So that's for sure. So, um, you know, honestly, so if you were to ask me this question, like pre pandemic, I might have had a different answer for you. But we've seen such, you know, a swing and the amount of younger people who are interested in investing, we're interested in their money, more so than ever before. And I think really, for a few reasons. I mean, I think the first is that, you know, think about how much time we were at home with for over a over a year. You know, never before and I don't know about you ladies, never before, did I care so much about the weather, or watch the news consistently or care what the heck, I was eating for dinner, you know. So, you know, as a result, a lot more people were paying attention to things that they might not have before. You know, for younger people, there was no traveling to Vegas, there was no betting on sports. And so as a result, a lot of younger people did tend to tune in to the stock market, tune into investing a lot more than ever before. On the flip side, you know, for the first time in a while, you know, people of all generations, yes, the number one concern was the for their health and others, but a lot more people were paying attention to their money, either as a result of possibly losing a job or as a result of things changing for them, you know, maybe for me for the better. You know, people weren't spending as much. So I think if you'd asked me that question, pre pandemic, I might have had another answer. But we have seen and I actually view this as a really positive thing coming out of the last year and a half. A lot of younger people paying more attention to their money, you know, actually wanting to get educated on these things, asking questions. I mean, so you mentioned you have three adult daughters, like, I'm sure some of them are home with you. I'm sure the questions they asked were a little bit different than previously pandemic. So, you know, we have found that a lot more of these money, financial conversations were happening as a result of what was going on in the world.

 

Vanessa Alava  

Do you find that it's been self-motivated? Or has this been a parental like, Introduction or guidance that you've had more people asking about these things?

 

Kelly Lannan 

Yeah, honestly, I would say a good combination of both. Now, I'll just use myself for example, growing up my parents wonderful people Mike & Paula, I mention them a lot whenever I we never talked about finances ever, ever. You know, they would tell me to save a lot, which is great, still great advice. And I value that to that day. They supported me financially for a while, but they never were the ones who were, you know, necessarily the financial role models or the ones that went to the questions or even brought up these topics. You know, hearing them we use the terms you know, 401k I don't think that was ever mentioned ever, ever, ever. Any conversation that was had. They told me not to get a credit card again. So their financial advice was A little bit different. So for me not necessarily having that parental conversations or those family conversations, I grew up very differently. However, there are a lot of people who make sure they make financial finances, part of that family conversation, I'll probably turn to the two of you, I'm not sure if this is something that you're prioritizing in your family. I know I will, you know, with my kid. But right now, this is not necessarily like for everyone. That's not how it happens. But for some, and we definitely saw this, you know, in the middle of the pandemic, I mean, look, at the first quarter of this year, with the rise of the mean, stocks, we saw more than ever, even me working in financial services, I had friends come up to me and be like, wait, what do you do in finance? Again, like what's going on? Bear with me? It's not, you know, they were bringing this to the to the table more than ever. And I definitely heard from some parents as well as kids that things were starting to become commonplace in those family conversations versus before they weren't really. So I hate to say it depends a little bit, but it does really depend on your financial situation. But I would just say, and I'm sure that's part of the the podcast that you guys do, I would encourage every single person listening in to make sure you have these conversations, you know, we as women are more likely to talk about our health, you in some cases, right? You know, we're more likely to talk about our health care we are about their finances. So we as women really need to work hard to change the topic of conversations that we're having.

 

Sue Robinson  

And how can technology help with that. So I know that fidelity is offers a lot of tools, and that you're a big part of that. I know that there's some gamification and different things that you guys have come up with, talk a little bit about the tools that are available from a tech perspective to help young people figure out the financial landscape that they're entering in adulthood.

 

Kelly Lannan 

Yeah, I think technology, you know, over the past even 10 years has made financial finances more accessible to everyone, which is great, you know, at the end of the day, you know, education, leaning more into your finances, I truly believe that leads to opportunity. So in many cases, you know, technology has been a really great thing for the financial services industry. You know, speaking of fidelity, specifically, as you noted, in the bio, I do spend a lot of my time you know, traveling to college campuses and educating people in person. However, it would take me I think we calculated 11 years to get to every single, you know, institution in the country. And although that would have been fun to do, we do know that digitally is the best way to engage people. So something that my team directly has been working on over the past year is this new mobile app called fidelity spire. The rise of financial apps is a perfect example. And fidelity is no exception. I mean, how many apps do we all have on our phone, um, granted, I'm not using them all. But there's a lot on there, you know, some that are more impactful than others. But with our team, we created this app called fidelity spire about a year ago. So it's still a baby, where our goal was to create an application to help people you know, plan, save, invest and trade, for all their financial needs, where you can set your goals and you can track them accordingly. And where you can place a trade or two, if you're interested in trading, and more really, where you can educate yourself, you know, get access to all this financial education that can really empower people to take that next step when it comes to their finances.

 

Vanessa Alava  

Well talk to us a little bit more about that. Unpack Spire it’s, you know, available on any smart device, I'm assuming, and then talk to us about the nitty gritty information that you can find there. I'm assuming there's community as well as asking questions, finding people that are in your similar situation. So how does it work?

 

Kelly Lannan 

Yeah, so anyone can download the fidelities spire app both on the App Store and the Google Play Store, you also don't necessarily have to be a fidelity customer to access it. We do want to again, give people the ability to access education for free when they want it. And only when they are ready to open an account and feel ready to do so they can do that within the fidelity spire app. So again, it's for both fidelity customers as well as non-fidelity customers. And when you download the fidelity spire app, we ask you a few questions. You know, what, in the short term, are you saving? For what in the long term are you saving for? Do you have any debt mean debt is very much a part of one's financial picture. And for a lot of young people, it's really hard for them to see past their debt to either a help reach those goals that they care so much about, or be even start investing in the first place. So you can actually tell us the things that you're saving for. Then after that, you enter a little bit of information. And once you link an account to that goal, we can help you track progress to that goal in real time. The spider app allows people to deposit checks and pay their bills. As I mentioned, you can trade using fidelity spire, limited market orders only. So we don't allow people to trade margin or options, especially because we do have a more novice base. And we want to make sure people are educated before they just simply start trading because they saw a term on TV when they don't know what they're doing. I mean, invest in what you understand is probably one of one of my biggest pieces of advice. And as I mentioned, there's a ton of education within the fidelity spire app and then go back to your question on communities. Well, we don't necessarily have communities directly in the app, a place that we're definitely trying to show up both with fidelity spire and fidelity. Fidelity in general, is on social media. We actually recently did a poll where Gen Z out of all the generations told us at the very first place they were information is social media. I mean, I don't think that comes as a surprise to any of us, right. So fidelity is a firm and I would say all financial services firms, we need to be on these platforms, right? You know, we need to be on these social media platforms especially, that's the very first place younger people are looking. Because there's a lot of people like Sue, you could decide tomorrow, knowing nothing about finance, that you want to be a fin talk star, yay, was on tik tok, she gets all these followers, who knows nothing, yet people are listening to you, you know, so we, you know, see this as a responsibility as a firm to make sure we're showing up on these platforms. So these conversations are happening, you know, we are part of the conversation. Unless you're on Reddit, a subreddit channel, you know, fidelity, you know, has read a channel to, as you noted, to take part in the conversations. So people aren't just talking without us being part of that. So we can make sure a we set the record straight. And we're giving people valid information, because especially when it comes to your money, we need to make sure that we're doing that.

 

Vanessa Alava  

Very smart.

 

Sue Robinson  

Mm hmm. And you know, it's so interesting that you mentioned FinTok, because Are you a boxer suit, did I not? But I what I have discovered having, you know, young adult daughters is how much to your point, Kelly, like real information or more serious information, young people are looking to tick tock for like, it's not all just silly dance videos, there's plenty of that. But there's a lot of other content there as well. And so of course, we do want it to be accurate. And, and so thank you for being involved in that space, because that's where your audience is. What would your advice be, for parents, maybe at the different stages, that you're raising kids in terms of introducing them to the concept of money and money management, and we spoke about this with other guests before as well. But I'd love to hear your perspective on that. Because I feel like starting the conversations early, and kind of knowing what to bite off at the different stages of childhood and young adulthood, is really helpful guidance for parents. 

 

Kelly Lannan 

Yeah, you know, I think there's a few pieces of advice, like, just again, thinking back to, you know, my journey, like, when your kid gets their first part time job, that's a perfect opportunity to, you know, take them to a bank or open an account with them and speak to the value of money. I mean, starting even earlier, you know, before they even start working, you know, is there a way that you can bring finances into the conversation, like, I always, you know, looking back again, my parents knew never did this. But I've spoken to a lot of parents who actually bought their children, you know, stocks, you know, they bought their children a little bit of money in a company. Usually, it's a company that their kid knows, I mean, I remember the fifth grade, we did like a stock market game, I picked McDonald's, like, obsessed with McDonald's clearly, you know, I just say that, because that was something that I knew, I remember picking it, and we, I would follow it accordingly. And I've heard a lot of parents doing so. And, in fact, fidelity actually just launched this fidelity youth account. I'm not sure if you ladies have heard of it at all. But for those who are actually under 18, if their parents are fidelity customer, parents can actually help their kid, open an account for them, and they count is in their child's name. And the kid can actually learn by doing when I say you learn by doing, they can actually start investing trading on their own. Now, of course, the parents are supervising it, they have access, they have insight, you know, and oftentimes, they're the ones putting money into the account. But this is an example where we've heard this from a lot of people, the best way to actually start learning something is actually by doing it. But seeing how that stock might rise and fall, you know, by you know, actually getting in there and seeing how it looks within a check in app in this case. So that's another example of something that fidelity is doing. But I think the biggest piece of advice is just making sure that money is a topic that all parents are speaking about. And using those life moments, whether it's getting your first job or even beforehand to bring up these conversations and have these conversations. Because at the end of the day, as I know, I mentioned social media, what is the very next place where people go look at all generations is their family, you know, their friends, people who are close to them. And you want to make sure that you're having these conversations early and often. Because at the end of the day, it's like those financial habits, they got to start early. And in many cases, it's usually with the parent and the child. 

 

Vanessa Alava  

I love that concept of even with allowance money. My husband and I were just having this conversation of like, you know, years ago, money was, you know, hard like hard cash like you can see it feel it now. It's just numbers on the screen. You know how many credits you have, but to that point, using allowance money, where you're like, hey, that could grow into more money if you invest it this way, let's create an account make it fun, make it a game a safe game where the parent is supervising, that's really sweet. Can you name the program again?

 

Kelly Lannan 

it's done. It's just called fidelity youth account. So you can go and search for it. Yep, you can count, you can search for that. It's like the first account of its kind in the industry, it's something that we're really proud of. Yes, it is in the parents name. But I think one of the benefits is, is having that supervision, you know, of the adult. And then to your point, Vanessa, which I think is a good one. And you guys can maybe relate like how often your kids get like a present like a ball and then it sits in the corner never see it versus it's actually an account that other family members can contribute money into it. And people can start to see, you know, what happens over time is that money grows to making your money work harder for you. So this is this is definitely you know, one area and I think the other thing the conversations around needs and wants and talking about, you know, thinking at least about budgeting and, you know, talking about the importance of building credit in a safe way explaining to your kids, you know, what a 401k is what these terms are, you know, I think that we need to make finances, you know, less intimidating, and it can start at home. And I fully recognize, you know, not everyone has the ability to have these conversations at home, depending on your situation. So I want to be, you know, really cognizant of that. But the more that we can, you know, make it normal talk about finances, the more we can break through that taboo, and you know, better off for the kids.

 

Sue Robinson  

listening to both of you speak about this. And Vanessa, your point about money used to be something that was tangible. And now it's not It makes me think about this world of cryptocurrency that we're going into, and how do you explain that to kids? Because I don't really know. And maybe this is maybe like, a forecast, Kelly, of, of where you see cryptocurrency? Because I can answer that question. Oh, I see, you're like, how

 

Vanessa Alava 

do you explain that to kids? I'm like, how do you say that to adults? 

 

Sue Robinson

To us! 

 

Vanessa Alava 

I’m still trying to learn that as well

 

Sue Robinson  

How does a parent keep up with stuff like that? You know,

 

Kelly Lannan 

I mean, you're right and you know, think about, again, going back to the power of social media, like on a Tuesday, Elon Musk talks and tweets about how Tesla, you know, is accepting Bitcoin on a Tuesday, the Bitcoin stock soars on a Friday, it's like the band's it and the stock in Bitcoin draw, you know what I mean? So it's such like a crazy volatile world. So instead of necessarily, at least, in my opinion, instead of necessarily focusing on the definitions of those, I go back to something I said earlier, like, invest in what you know, and invest in what you understand. If you don't understand a currency, if you don't understand an asset class, if you have no idea what options are trading on margin is, you know, avoided, you know, until you, you have the opportunity to, you know, understand it and educate yourself. I think that a lot of the digital asset world is unknown. But at the same time, you know, companies like fidelity, and others are investing in it, because we don't know how it's going to turn out. And so again, we see it as our responsibility as a financial services company, to make sure that we have a stake in these things. So if our customers are coming to us, and they trust us, and we're a company that's been around for 75 years, we at least are doing our research ahead of time. So I can say that, at least from my own.

 

Sue Robinson  

Well, and I think, you know, the, the takeaway is maybe back to basics, to your point, stick with the things that you know, help your kids to wrap their arms around those those solid, time tested financial principles, saving, investing, you know, understanding that world, and then maybe learn alongside of them about where the digital assets world is going. Because eventually, it's something we're all probably going to interact with, in some way, shape, or form. But focus on what you know. So I love that. We would love to talk about your career as a woman in finance, and also what other job opportunities or career paths you see in the world of finance.

 

Kelly Lannan 

Yeah. Yeah, so good question. I know it's kind of mentioned this to you ladies before we started. So if you had asked me coming out of school, if I ever saw myself working in financial services, I would have said no, no way. I mean, even younger, I literally think like my fifth grade yearbook, I wanted to be like, an actress and a rapper and like married and a mom by like, 25 none of that happened. Um, so you know, I just say this because for me financial services was an industry growing up that I thought you had to be good at math. The numbers, didn't like maths and really like numbers. And I always saw the Dad's going to work in financial services. I didn't see any of the moms going to Indian graduate. They did Don't get me wrong, you know, for all the working moms out there who have been in this industry for a while, but I didn't really see this or I didn't get access to it. So as a result, I really thought financial services wasn't necessarily an industry for a someone who didn't like now. And be for a woman. So it wasn't honestly until I graduated from college. And like I said, My parents were wonderful people. But once I graduated, I was like, You're on your own kid, you know, good luck. You if you want to, you know, live in the city, if you want to still go out on the weekends, you got to figure it out on your own. We're, we're done. So it wasn't until after that, but I had that moment. First of all, I look back at my college experience, and I was like, the heck was I learning? time, but like, the music minor, you know, I played ice hockey growing up that ice hockey in school. And so I was like this ice hockey, like music minor, you know, and I got out and I was like, why didn't they teach me these things in school? Like, what was I taking? So I definitely had that moment where like, oh, my goodness, I knew nothing. And the other thing too, is I realized that if I like, wanted to pay my bills, if I wanted to work, and if I still wanted to go out and have fun with my friends on a Friday night, I really needed to start to understand money, you know, differently. So those were those real aha moments. But then we really did it to me after working for four years in the restaurant industry. So I worked in the restaurant industry coming out of school, I went back and got my MBA, and I started to meet a lot of classmates, and a lot of them worked in financial services. But guess what, they didn't like math, they didn't like numbers. They worked in communications, they worked in strategy, they worked in all these different parts of industry. And I was like, wow, you mean that I can work in financial services, aka get my money life in order. And I don't have to be just in a corner crunching numbers. So that was the really aha moment for me. Realizing the breadth of opportunity, it was to work in this industry. And then when I got to fidelity coming out of grad school, you know, I slowly realized I was like, Oh, my gosh, company's cool. Like, and we can help younger people like me. So I had that real epiphany where I was like, man, I want to, I want to help all these younger people, I want to help all the me's out there who feel totally lost when it comes to their finance, I want to make finances cool. Again, I want to get in front of people and joke and laugh, and really, again, help them live the life they want. And so that was kind of my journey, and how I got to fidelity and how I work in this industry. Because whether we want to admit it or not, like money touches everything, like someone said this to me, and I'll always resonate, you literally put the light switch on in your house, that's money. You know, like it touches every aspect of our life. And we can either choose to embrace that, you know, and work hard to ensure that we're doing the best when it comes to money, or we can avoid it. And often we too often I see people kind of avoid it or nurse just settles in and they don't do anything. And we really want to change the conversation, especially for women. We're always told that we're good savers. And that's great. I think we are right, ladies, like we're all good savers. But like, we could be good investors, you know, we can treat like the girl, we can do all of this. And so that message is just something that I've become very passionate about my time working in financial services.

 

Vanessa Alava 

So circling back to the intersection of finance and technology, because as you said, the light switch going on is literally. So you know, what are your thoughts on technology, impacting jobs of the future in finance. Finance has traditionally been pretty rigid and conservative in the way that it moves to adopting technology. So what do you feel the opportunities are there that still haven't been tapped into?

 

Kelly Lannan 

Yeah, so it's so funny. When I first when I first started working here, I read this interview by our CEO Abby Johnson. And she said that, you know, fidelity is not a financial services company, fidelity's technology company, and I was like, Whoa, I wasn't cheap. But no, I mean, in all seriousness, like that really resonated to me, because to your point, Vanessa, like, technology makes the world run nowadays. And you can either race it and try to get ahead of it. Or you're left behind, you're left behind immediately. I mean, look at the younger generations, like true digital, Nate, we don't Millennials are true Gen. True digital natives No way, look at Gen Z. And I think for financial services, and all and other industries. We are not judged by other financial services companies, we are literally looked at and determined by like the last best digital interaction. So if you're going from like your Amazon app to a fidelity app, you know, you better see the parallels and similarities better feel as easy in both those experiences. I just say that because i think you know, embracing technology in moving forward with technology and trying to be ahead of it is something that fidelity is constantly striving for. I still think that, you know, technology has made this industry more accessible to people of all different ages, incomes, classes, and I think that's phenomenal. And hopefully it can always be a place where where, you know, one step ahead.

 

Sue Robinson  

Yeah, and I would love to see schools circling all the way back to the beginning of our conversation, high schools and universities. really teaching these kinds of skills much more seriously, I feel like that should be part of the general education curriculum required for every college student and, and in high school too, because of course, not everybody goes on to university and, and yet it doesn't seem to be. And that sort of blows my mind.

 

Kelly Lannan 

Yeah, I was talking to a gentleman last week And we were talking about another, you know, positive of the pandemic is that I think currently, only 14 states in the country actually have some sort of personal finance requirement for those in high school. And I think alone to the pandemic, you know, double that, you know, the amount of states left have actually started legislation to make personal finance a requirement as soon as high school. So that's something that again, you know, we got to continue to push, because it's got, it's got to start with schools to you know, protect them in the parent totally does it. It does have to be in every school and every classroom, it should be just as important of all those random, all those music classes that I was taking in school, you know, it should be just as important as that. 

 

Sue Robinson

Absolutely.

 

Vanessa Alava  

Yeah, this has been awesome. Sue Do you have any other questions before we move into out lightning round. 

 

Sue Robinson  

I think I’m ready for the lightning round. Kelly are you up for it? 

 

Kelly Lannan

Yeah, of course. Yeah. always up for it. So awesome. 

 

Sue Robinson 

Okay. Well, our lightning round is just some fun questions that we ask each of our guests to get to them more on a personal level. first question what are three pieces of advice that you'd give your younger self? 

 

Kelly Lannan

Definitely start educating myself a little bit early. Maybe don't take those easy A classes or the classes that you know, your friends were taking, just because definitely start educating myself on on things that felt a little bit more longer term, I very much lived in the moment for a while, you know, growing up, which is fine. I think that, you know, for a lot of young people living in the moment is just as important, as thinking about the future. But I do wish, you know, I, you know, look back a little bit. And I wish I had thought ahead it a few times. So that's number one. I think in terms of my money, like, I wish that I had gotten started earlier, you know, coming out of school, graduated in the middle of the recession, and that first 401k that was offered to me through my job. I said no, because no one like explained to me what it was, you know, I was told money was coming out of my paycheck. Like ladies, I was making nothing by graduation, there was a money's coming out of my paycheck and it was going in the stock market. I was like, What are you talking about? Because the stock were to act, I'm down, down down. It was for my retirement. I was 22. I was never going to retire. So I just said no. So, you know, part of me does wish I had gotten started earlier. So So that's number two. But number three, you know, if I was looking back on my younger self, it probably would I still be like, keep having fun. You know, like, it's funny as that sounds or as silly as that sounds like, you still have to have fun because of one of the reasons why we work so hard as well as do so you know, people do so well, the money is to do the things that make them happy. So in that respect, I would say change nothy Kelly, you had a good time, you know, so that that would be something else I would tell my younger self.

 

Vanessa Alava  

I think they bring up a lot of great points, especially being a newbie to the workforce, there are a lot of things that you don't consider because of your age. And because you're new like like, that's the furthest thing from your mind. So to your point, things that you can do to educate yourself and parents can do to educate their their children, but also even employers like giving that extra care to those newbies coming in would be a value to everybody. So absolutely, yeah,

 

Kelly Lannan 

that's great. That's something to like, when you do you know, for all those younger people listening in and who might be looking for their first jobs or jobs in general, like, make sure you look at and I know he's joking about this, but make sure you look at more than just the numbers, you know, on that paycheck or the salary, like the importance of benefits and really understanding kind of the quote unquote full package of any job opportunity that comes to you. Whether that is something like getting a 401k you know, an employer sponsored retirement plan, whether that's if your employer will help pay down your student loans, whether that's, you know, they will help you, you know, with daycare benefits. For example, if you have kids, you know, these are important questions, because even when I started at fidelity I was everyone's benefits are so great. I was like, Oh, awesome. And then I didn't really even understand them until someone took the time to explain it to me. So, again, look at more than just that number, you know, on the salary that you're being offered, but for all the younger people because there's a lot more to great jobs than just kind of that that salary number and not being afraid to ask those questions because benefits could be awesome. But they're, they're not a benefit unless you take advantage of the data points. Absolutely. No one wants to be stupid, right? That's the biggest thing is like, and I feel this way too sometimes, like, no one wants to feel stupid when they ask a question. But I guarantee everyone out there if you have that question, five people sitting next to you, they probably have that question. And they just like one person asked it, it's going to help so many other people, so please, there's no stupid questions at all. So make sure you ask it. 

 

Vanessa Alava  

Amen. All right, how do you define success?

 

Kelly Lannan 

I think on the work front, nothing makes me happier than having someone reach out to me after I give a talk and saying, Wow, I never ever thought about my money in that way. Or while I just took action because of what you said to me. So I really think success for me is if I can help one, two, you know, three people really feel a lot more confident in their money, something I definitely lacked growing up that success. You know, at the end of the day, I really truly believe firms like fidelity and other firms. I'm sure there's people listening in who also work in financial services, I truly believe we can help people. I truly believe we can. You can help empower people when it comes to their finances. So you know, Success to me is just helping that one two people who might listen to me, you know, I hope there's someone on this call, listen again. We took action or took that next step. I

 

Sue Robinson  

What's the weirdest food you've ever eaten? Oh, God, um,

 

Kelly Lannan 

So I'm full disclosure. I'm a very picky eater. The weirdest thing I ever ate. When I joined the restaurant industry, I had to go hang out with the with the chefs in the kitchen and trial the foods and so they would maybe, like, try everything, something called sweetbreads, which I don't even want to give the definition of. But that was probably the weirdest thing I ever ate. But it was fried and I catch up on and it was it was actually quite good. But yeah, look it up. I'm not going to tell you exactly what it is. For those foodies out there. You might know exactly what I'm talking about.

 

Sue Robinson  

It's called a euphemism. Yeah, 

 

Kelly Lannan 

but again, when in doubt, put ketchup on it. Up in Tom's job a little so Roger.

 

Vanessa Alava  

Whatever you need to do to disguise Exactly. Alright, what celebrity would you cast to play you in the movie?

 

Kelly Lannan 

You know, I love Emma Stone. I'm like obsessed with her. Yeah, I think she's great are like Jennifer Lawrence. Like, they just feel like I could go out with them and have like a rockin Friday night. You know what I mean? They just seem like really fun people. And if they would adopt me into their little click, I would gladly accept, But yeah, I would love one of them. 

 

Sue Robinson  

What is a funny mistake you made when you were starting out? 

 

Kelly Lannan 

so when I first graduated school, I was trying to get an apartment in Boston with a friend of mine and everything was good with a realtor came back and was like, well, Kelly, you need a cosigner. And I was like, Well, what do you mean, I need a cosigner and he's like, Well, you know, you don't have any credit. So you know, you need someone to cosign with you. Because the landlord doesn't trust you having your apartment without credit. And I was like, What do you mean, I was like, I have a debit card. I've had a debit card since I was 15. I thought ladies that my debit card was the same thing as a credit card. Because I was swiping it like it was a credit card. Right? So I just thought I'd been building credit this whole time turns out spoiler alert..I wasn't so silly, funny, stupid, whatever you want to call it. That's something to this day, I consistently make fun of myself about because I didn't really know the difference between a credit and debit card.

 

Sue Robinson  

So I think you probably were not that unusual. Yeah, I think that's a great example of just how much education people need when they start out. Yeah. How else will you know those differences?

 

Vanessa Alava  

Absolutely. All right. Kelly, what myth about women in FinTech, would you like to dispel?

 

Kelly Lannan 

Oh, well, first of all, the myth that women can't be leaders in the FinTech industry. I hope by now again that we busted that barrier a little bit just thinking about all the wonderful women that I work alongside, you know, just at fidelity. I've mentioned Abby Johnson, a woman named Kathy Murphy's the head of our, you know, department personal investing, like idle. Fun fact, I actually met my I'm working on home, my husband just walked in real quick. So that's why I bring this up. I met my husband at fidelity and apparently the first time that I met him, I said something to him that, oh, you know, I want to be like Kathy Murphy when I grew up. So literally my pickup line, apparently to get my husband was dropping him. Like, who? What is that? That's weird, right? You know. So anyway, so I just want to bust that myth, like women can be just as powerful within the FinTech industry as any man out there. But then I also go back to something I already said is that often as women were praised for being really good Savers, and we manage the household finances, and so on, and so forth. But women can be excellent traders and investors, like, we get to change the conversation and how we talk about women, because we've found that women who do trade do invest often have higher return than males. And guys, like we're gonna outlive all the men out there, sorry, spoiler alert, but we are and so this is an area where I think, you know, we can, you know, do better than men if we want to men can do great, too. But these are just two things that, hey, we can be leaders in this industry and be we can be just as good of traders as we are savers.

 

Sue Robinson  

how have you surprised yourself in your career journey? 

 

Kelly Lannan 

I mean, honestly, like even having this conversation with you ladies. Like, as I said, I could never ever have imagined this, you know, coming out of school. There was so much that I had to educate myself on when I started fidelity when I was 26 or so like seven years ago, or eight years ago, at this point. There was so little I knew about this industry. I often felt like I was faking it a little bit of times when I joined a financial services because I didn't know a lot, right? Like, like I joked about the benefits, like people were like, yeah, these benefits are great, you know, you can become fully invested in five years, and you get a match 7%. I was like, Oh, that's awesome. I've always wanted match. Meanwhile, I'm like, the hell isn't that you know what I mean? Like, I didn't know what any of that man. And so I think that's really how I've surprised myself is the amount of education in the metro as much as I've embraced, you know, educating myself on everything financial, related, in the fact that I can have conversations, the fact that like, I don't know everything, but I can still educate others and hopefully make people feel more empowered. I have to say, that's been kind of the biggest, surprising thing to myself, that I can sit here with you guys knowing what I was about 10 years ago, and still feel good about the conversation that we had.

 

Vanessa Alava  

that I do, I just love how vulnerable and relatable you are, because I think that you're saying these things and they mean so much to you. But like so many people will relate to exactly the way you articulated that. So thank you again for just being so transparent with us. All right, last one, Kelly. Fill in the blank, blank like a girl. 

 

Kelly Lannan

Trade like a girl.

 

Sue Robinson  

This has been fantastic. And and I just want to echo what Vanessa just said, you know, you're so relatable. And I love what your answer to the previous question. Because again, my youngest daughter, Kayla, now is job hunting. And I think analogies. You better believe it? Because? Because I think so often girls in particular, think what they have to know it all before they start before they even start down the path. And we talk about this a lot on the show because other women say the same thing. Like I felt in the beginning that I needed to have all the answers or I needed to have the complete package. Whereas IT guy would say, I'll figure it out, you know? Yeah. And then aggressive and I can or assertive and I can figure it out. So I love that you shared that. I love the time we spent here today. Really appreciate it. You've been an awesome guest.

Vanessa Alava
Thank you. 

 

Kelly Lannan 

No thanks so much. You're so nice to talk and anything anyone needs. You know, Follow me Follow fidelity. We're always here to help.