Beatriz Acevedo, a trailblazing entrepreneur with a stellar career adorned with three Emmy Awards, an MTV honor, and a Media Correspondent recognition, is not just a success story but a visionary. From her early days as an 8-year-old radio announcer in Mexico to her remarkable journey in the U.S., where she raised over $55 million for groundbreaking initiatives, Beatriz has become a beacon of Latino entrepreneurial excellence. She is CEO/Cofounder SUMA Wealth, a leading financial technology company devoted to increasing prosperity for young, U.S. Latinos.
Please tell us about the origins of your wealth journey
I grew up in a family that never talked about building wealth, we only talked about giving back as much as we possibly could to our community. My dad, a totally self made man who by having numerous jobs put himself through law school, disliked rich people and fully supported the principle of economic equality for all. I have that engraved in me but I hope to pass on to my own children that there is no shame in building wealth, even if at the end of their life they decide it should all go to charity just like my father did when he passed away.
My parents worked hard, were college educated with advanced degrees and did well for themselves, but they never did anything to grow their money, never invested or planned for retirement, but my mom to this day is obsessed with real estate, particularly collecting lots of land in Mexico, she feels here money is more secure this way. Everything I know about managing my money I did on my own and this is why I am so passionate about financial education for our community, I think every high school teenager should be well versed in the basics at a bare minimum before they leave for college, where many of the bad money habits start when most students start getting into debt without understanding the implications, it's not free money.
Describe the main milestones, opportunities, and challenges
The main challenges in wealth building are our cultural barriers, the lack of information and trust. The biggest opportunity for me lies in our youth who are making more money than their parents or grandparents ever dreamt of making but are still lacking the tools and trust, but as the sherpas, navigators and influencers of their families and community they have a real shot at changing the narrative and narrowing the wealth gap in one generation, that is why in every company I have build (mitu and now SUMA) I always place my bets on youth.
Share Tools and Tips to help you create wealth
For me it starts by having all the information/education possible on key topics like budgeting, knowing where you stand financially is critical because you can't improve what you can't measure. Investing as early as possible is another imperative, taking advantage of any retirement matching if your company provides it, that is free money! At SUMA Wealth, my newest startup, we have all of these tools available for our community for free and the best part is that we rewrote the AI (artificial intelligence) to sound like our abuelitas! We help with our financial limpia, were we clean your bad money habits with data science instead of with an egg, we help you start paying off your debt, and we find thousands of dollars in savings in the products you are already consuming and buying so you can reinvest the savings and we have an incredible ‘Sumaversity’ where you can gain all the knowledge and financial confidence you need explained with fun food analogies (How ripe is your credit? Guacamalo o Guacaready?)
What or Who did you wish you had known earlier?
I wish I met my financial advisor at 18 instead of 30! And I wish my parents would have met one also so instead of all the crazy toys we would get as kids they would have thought about investments instead, just like my non-Latino husband’s parents did for him.
How would you like your wealth legacy to be remembered?
As someone who fought hard for everyone in our Latine community to have all the financial tools and resources to succeed financially and as someone who tangibly helped to close the wealth gap in my community.