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Nadav Reis Polywork interview

10 Questions with: Multihyphenate & Content Creator Nadav Reis

Multihyphenate Nadav Reis has spent a majority of his career in tech, but he's been passionate about personal finance for his whole life. He's paired the two through his creation of Financially Savvy Parent, which demystifies personal finance topics like buying a home, retirement planning, and investing in mutual funds.

Below, we asked Nadav about his career journey to date, pursuing his passions, and where he finds creative inspiration.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your career journey to date.

You bet. Super long story short, I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. I got into the stock market when I was 15. I interned at 2 major brokerage firms when I was in high school. I studied Finance and International Business at the University of Florida. Then, I worked in tech for a little over 20 years. A few years before COVID, I started making content about personal finance, trying to help regular people do a better job of handling their money.

2. You have your 9-to-5 in operations, but also have a growing education platform, Financially Savvy Parent. What’s the origin story there?

My true passion is Financially Savvy Parent. I think a lot of it stems from losing my father when I was 12 years old. It was a hard time for our family. He did not have life insurance at the time (note: get life insurance if people are counting on you and your income). My mother worked really hard to make a great life for my sister and me. I saw how hard it was for just wanting to do the best she could. I’ve learned a lot about how to properly handle your money, and I work to teach others that they can do it. It’s not that hard. It just takes some basic learning.

"Some content creators are mean when they talk about the missteps others have taken. I don’t like that approach. I try to be nice with my content, because I think people are already hurt enough as it is."

Most people did not have anyone to teach them these concepts. Their parents didn’t know about it, and they don’t teach it in schools. So I am the Financially Savvy Parent that they always wished they had. Some content creators are mean when they talk about the missteps others have taken. I don’t like that approach. I try to be nice with my content, because I think people are already hurt enough as it is.

3. You’ve spent parts of your career in and adjacent to education — what motivated you to now become an educator yourself?

Working in tech definitely showed me that people can have a tremendous amount of vertical movement in their income if they take just a few professional steps. It’s not always college that gets you there. Each of us needs to know what the right career for us is. For a majority of us, we could probably get there without spending four years and taking on tons of college debt.

I worked with thousands of students. College isn’t always the answer. If you can avoid taking on debt, you should do that. I’ve seen that many students do not get a return on that college investment, but yet are saddled with all that debt. I am trying to teach people how to come back from such a mess, but ideally, how to avoid it.

Even if you’ve made financial mistakes in the past, the future is a whole new world. Take advantage of it.

4. Audiences get a lot of financial advice — how did you think about developing the content for Financially Savvy Parent?

I feel like people gravitate towards things they feel is right for them. If they find a place that gets them good financial advice, then mission accomplished. I try to make my content available to people on a variety of platforms so that they can get access to the best information I feel I can give them. I even post on LinkedIn, because if there is any content people should consume there, It’s this type of content.

Source: Financially Savvy Parent, YouTube

I actually spend a lot of time learning about how to make better and more interesting content. I have a ton of ideas in the pipeline, and we will iterate as we find areas to improve in.

The whole point of it is that people should learn about how to better handle their money. That’s what I’m all about.

5. In the process of launching Financially Savvy Parent, you’re also growing your personal brand online — can you tell us more about that journey and the pros and cons of suddenly being more visible online?

Yes, this is very interesting. I have been blessed that pretty much every interaction where people I don’t know recognize me and mention my content, it is in a positive manner. They encourage me to keep making content. Sometimes they ask me questions, or tell me about their personal situation.

It’s amazing to see that people will open up about some of the financial details that they’ve never shared with anyone. I think it’s because this is the first time they’ve had someone show genuine care or concern for their financial situation.

I hope things stay this way :)

6. How have you maintained an authentic voice across channels?

I just do me. I try to craft my message in a way that it can be easily understood. People will see it, or they won’t. I just do my best to make interesting, educational, and entertaining content. Thankfully it resonates with a lot of people.

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7. What would you say to other multihyphenates that want to make more space for their passions?

I have been very fortunate to be able to work remotely. This has given me the opportunity to do so much with my time. It is far more efficient. Yes, some people feel lazy and will sit in pajamas all day. That may or may not work for them. For me, working remotely is a blessing.

I think that many companies are trying to squeeze that bottom line, but without a genuine concern for the employees. If a company puts effort into truly caring about the wellbeing of the people, you can do very well. You as an employee can seek out good companies and work for them. They do exist.

At the same time, just like with other industries, after COVID, many people realized they weren’t happy and switched things up. Working in tech helps some people afford to follow their dreams. I am one of them. Enjoy your life. It’s way better.

8. You’ve written about our relationship with money on a few occasions (ex., through the lens of an inmate). Polyworkers are focused on developing side hustles to reach some form of financial freedom — is there something slightly (or wholly) misguided about that being the goal?

This is a great question. Thankfully I was not an inmate but was greatly inspired by one.

First off, if you are only getting paid at work and then spending all of your money right away, you are missing out on great things. If you're not already living your best life, you could be if you use your money wisely.

I think side hustles get a bad name because they’re spoken about the wrong way. Not everyone is going to land them a side hustle that brings in a thousand dollars a day while they chill on a beach. What is exponentially more possible is you taking whatever money you do have and buying assets. You can do this slowly over time. That money will add up tremendously, and then you can have another whole income stream besides just your work labor.

"I think side hustles get a bad name because they’re spoken about the wrong way. Not everyone is going to land them a side hustle that brings in a thousand dollars a day while they chill on a beach."

This is best done after you pay off high interest debt, like credit card debt or car loans. It’s not about either spending all of your money, or saving all of your money. You can live a life where you do both. You can be in control of your money. That’s what I teach people. Having a side hustle, whether it be buying assets or whatever some guy on Instagram told you to do, can help your money grow. Additional income coming in each month is possible, you just might not be able to buy a Lamborghini in 6 months. It can start very small.

Everyone needs to understand themselves, and what works for them. Live your best life.

9. Who or what do you derive inspiration from? How does that impact your ability to innovate in how you educate others?

It’s interesting to see now that there is really no bar to entry, and the gatekeepers are gone. If a person wants to learn to do anything, it is possible and many times for free. I have seen so many people produce content about all kinds of stuff. Obscure things that you never thought anyone would find interest in can amass a following of millions.

For me, I realize that there are likely at least some people that want to improve their lives. Improving your financial life can impact many other areas of your life in a positive way. Hopefully the content I make will also get in front of millions so that they can enjoy it and take action.

10. What are your “tools of the trade” you’ve found helpful over the years for the personal/professional sides of your life?

Interestingly enough, part of my professional life involves creating and implementing automations for other companies. I also use those same automation to improve my content creation process. As an example, we recently implemented an automation where if I upload a closed captions file to Notion (an app I use), it gets run through ChatGPT, and then uploaded to Medium. It allows me to make more use of my content, displaying it in multiple types of media.

Reach out to me if you want to make your business more efficient.

I am on a budget, so I try to use free tools where possible. I use iMovie, a free editing software, to edit my videos. I use Capcut, another free software, to generate captions. I use Photopea instead of paying for Photoshop. I upload files to multiple clouds, because the files can always be used again later in a different way. I do pay for some of those services, but it’s well worth it.