In Her Element is a photoseries by Delegate featuring inspiring women in Singapore who excel in their various domains. For our latest issue, we visited Anna, the founder of The New Savvy, in her office. We were immediately won over by her confident and sassy personality even before hearing her story!
Anna Haotanto is one inspiring woman – she’s intelligent, capable and always hustling.
A millionaire by the age of 29 and a nominee and speaker for FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women conference in 2015 and 2016, she refuses to simply kick back her heels and relax.
Instead, she remains grounded and works harder than ever.
The 32-year-old left her stable and profitable job to pursue her passion in giving back to the community through what she knows best – finance. Using her knowledge and experience, Anna founded The New Savvy to empower fellow women by providing guides to help them achieve financial literacy.
“I’ve always wanted to help people and finance is the best way I know how to. Women and children are my pet causes,” said the entrepreneur.
The platform aims to be the one-stop guide for all things related to finance, investments and careers. As she elaborated more about The New Savvy, we were struck by the amount of passion and excitement she had for the platform.
She explains that though women are advancing in their careers and increasingly earning a higher income, many are still not confident about handling financial matters.
Thus, the platform streamlines all the necessary information into female-centric bite-sized pieces that are easily comprehensible. Removing the jargon, The New Savvy makes it easier for everyday women to learn more about finance.
Sometimes it’s about learning how to make the most out of the money you have, she added, explaining that this financial literacy can help transform lives.
Pulling on her own experience, Anna shared that attaining her current level of financial stability didn’t come easy. Her formula for success is to:
“Have resilience and grit to keep going when the world crashes. Always be humble and willing to learn and constantly improve!”
The 32-year-old is no stranger to adversity. In fact, her passion stems from her past experiences.
Anna came from a background where her family’s financial situation was not the most ideal. This forced them to have to live pay cheque to pay cheque at times.
Unwilling to be bogged down by a constant financial stress, she started searching for a way out. She began exploring finance since her junior college days and by the age of 21, she delved into investments and became well-versed in Finance. With her sharp wit and keen instincts, she quickly built a comfortable portfolio.
“If proper financial knowledge and planning worked for me, it would work for many women too – which was why I started The New Savvy,” said Anna.
We asked this boss lady to share what she define as a savvy woman in today’s world and her reply was:
“Someone who knows how to approach challenges differently and is eager and comfortable to venture into new environments,” answered Anna.
“She is happy and positive, mindful of business sustainability and willing to learn new skills.”
Anna also dished out a tip for those who are clueless about how to start making your money work harder for you:
“Get started as early as possible to enjoy the power of compounding.”
Compounding means being able to convert a small concerted amount of savings into a bigger retirement value. Also, starting sooner means that you’ll generate greater returns at an accelerated rate.
Put in simpler terms, the earlier you start saving, the sooner you can enough interest and more interest. Soon, you’ll practically be rolling in dough. Or at least, that’s the ideal scenario.
But of course, success doesn’t just encompass personal financial matters. Anna explained that relationships are very important to her, which drives her passion for her brand. Through The New Savvy, she’s able to help others and give back to the community.
However, in order to motivate and help others, you can’t neglect yourself.
The entrepreneur is adept at handling multiple responsibilities. Besides fronting The New Savvy, she’s also the founder and President of the SMU Women Alumni.
Anna is also always hustling – she’s no stranger to pulling in long hours in the office and is in fact known to work from 9am till 12am sometimes.
She loves having her plate full, but we were left wondering how she keeps her engines running without burning out when maintaining such a hectic schedule.
Anna’s answer was that she keeps herself refreshed through reading and exercising.
“I run and box. Exercises helps to loosen you up and the release of endorphins makes you happier,” she explained.
“The better you take care of your body, the further you can go.”
In addition, she enjoys spending time alone to distil her thoughts, though she admits that “time is a luxury now”.
Nonetheless, Anna’s always up for meaningful conversations with friends over whiskey. The girl boss also keeps her team happy by stocking up on wine and snacks in the office.
Through The New Savvy, Anna has made quite an impact on her target audience. The page has over 200, 000 monthly page views and since it was established in 2015, has been featured on Forbes, Reuters, Channel News Asia, The Peak, and more.
However ultimately, she gains the most gratification when audiences share with her stories about how The New Savvy has helped with their financial situation.
“As long as The New Savvy can impact one more life, or inspire another woman to think about her finances,.. the team is doing a decent job!”