Rich unnie (older sister in Korean) Yoo Soo-jin is a former financial planner and representative of Ruby Stone Corporation, a financial consulting firm. Yoo has become the face of a “rich unnie” in Korea for delivering information to the general public on how to approach investment through best-seller books, podcasts, and YouTube videos.
Her journey of becoming a financial planner traces back to 2005. Previously, she worked as a food researcher after obtaining a master’s degree in Environmental Science. However, she soon realized that no matter how much she saves, her prior life won’t win her the game of money.
She had to push herself to master an entirely new field to turn the table around. She boldly moved to Samsung Life Wealth Life Tech department where Samsung was planning their first Private Banker project. The company started by providing an introductory education on the fundamentals of finance. Yoo commented that visiting the bank as a customer on a daily basis and familiarizing herself with bank jargon while learning their financial products was the best way to study finance. In that way, she was able to learn much faster than she would have if she learned alone, online.
Yoo then gave herself the mission to help other people gain financial independence in her new vocation.
“Nonetheless, working as a financial planner, there was only a limited number of people I could share my insights with,” Yoo said. “The very first effort to reach out to more people was with my book series ‘Rich unnie, rich lecture’.”
“We live in a capitalist society where bankruptcy is inevitable once becoming the weakest ring in the network. Studying how money works is not a choice, but a survival tool in a capitalistic society.”
On Naver Cafe ‘UrLifeStylist’ run by Ruby Stone, she suggests roadmaps people can follow along in order to better inform themselves about finance. Videos that feature Yoo gathered great attention, the visits averaging to 950 thousand.
Responding to the inquiry of how she was able to devise the roadmaps she provides in the contents, Yoo responded it was thanks to the 16-year worth of data cumulated in finance planning. Observing the success and failure of numerous people helped her acquire statistically organized knowledge on what nudges them to achieve more and at times, quit in the process. For example, Yoo often jokingly tells people that self-esteem originates from one’s bank account. However, she has genuinely seen a number of people saying they lost interest in shopping once setting hands on more than 100 million won after years of saving because their self-esteem no longer depends on how much they shop.
Yoo further clarified that more finance content should revolve around the stories of people.
“After all, learning about finance equates to contemplating on how I want to live my life. It’s not about the numbers, but the people and their lives,” Yoo said.
Yoo added that this is why she calls herself an unnie. As she enjoys the approachability of radio programs that share the everyday stories and concerns of its listeners, Yoo hopes her life can also be an example people can take note of.
On a final note, Yoo highlighted the importance of changing oneself entirely to bring change in your life and your bank account.
“To become rich, your lifestyle has to change, what you do in your free time will have to change. How about watching a documentary about the Fourth Industrial Revolution instead of going out for a movie?” Yoo said.