- Frugal 25-year-old Imani porter grew her net worth to $200,000 through investing.
- She automatically transfers 60% of her paycheck into her brokerage account.
- Porter also automates 15% of her paycheck into an employee stock purchase plan.
After paying off $25,000 in student loans, 25-year-old Imani Porter started thinking about how to build wealth. “I’m a very frugal person overall, so I just started hoarding all of my money in savings and not really investing,” Porter tells Insider.
First, Porter started tracking her
. “It’s like your own personal scorecard,” she says, adding that tracking her net worth prevents her from taking on any more large debts.
Once she realized that saving alone wouldn’t help her build wealth as quickly as she imagined, she leaned on her peers in the financial tech industry for solutions. Porter says, “I work with a lot of very smart finance people who were telling me, ‘No, you need to invest your money. That’s the way you’re going to get wealthy.'”
According to records viewed by Insider, Porter’s net worth is now $200,000. To make it as easy as possible, Porter automates her investments in three simple ways.
1. Employee stock purchase plan
An employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) allows employees to buy stock in their companies at a discounted rate, usually up to 15% less than market value. For example, if you’re an employee at 3M with an ESPP discount of 10%, you can buy shares at $129.78 per share instead of the current market price of $144.21. If the stock goes up in value to $150 or $200, you’ll see a significant boost in your net worth even though you bought shares at a discounted price.
Porter tells Insider that she opted to have 15% of her paycheck automatically deducted to buy stock in her company.
2. Retirement accounts
According to records viewed by Insider, Porter contributes to a 401(k) and a Roth IRA that take full advantage of her company match. A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement account where employees can contribute pre-tax income and let it grow over time in the market.
A Roth IRA is an account that you can fund with after-tax earnings, allowing the money to grow tax-free with no additional taxes upon withdrawal. Porter’s retirement accounts are worth $78,000 combined.
Additionally, Porter contributes to a health savings account (HSA) through her paycheck, a triple tax-advantaged account that can be used for health-related expenses, like over-the-counter medications and menstrual products.
3. Brokerage account
After Porter’s retirement, ESPP, and HSA contributions, her take-home pay is roughly $4,000 per month. Of that $4,000, Porter automatically transfers 60% directly to her brokerage account. Combined with her company stock holdings through ESPP, Porter’s investment accounts are worth $76,000, roughly 38% of her entire portfolio.
While this technique helped Porter build her net worth quickly, she built a solid foundation in cash savings first. Her rent, car payment, and living expenses add up to roughly $1,000 per month using a budget that she manages meticulously. She adds, “Of course, I have my six months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund, and I’m always looking for ways to increase my income.”