• Adrian Rodriguez

Meet Eddie Torres: UAII Workforce Development's Financial Literacy Instructor


Eddie Torres, UAII Financial Literacy Instructor

It is well known that many Americans lack financial literacy. According to Bankrate over half of Americans fail to cover an emergency expense of $1,000. Salary Finance found that 20% of employees run out of money before they receive their next paycheck. Managing your finances can be challenging and, at times, even uncomfortable. We get it, and so does our financial literacy instructor!


Eddie Torres understands how intimidating and scary the concepts of financial literacy could be. He once found himself with a very low credit score, drowning in credit card debt and student loans, and with little to no knowledge of how to pull himself out of this hole. He realized that the first step in improving your financial status is forgiving yourself and refocusing your efforts. The energy he put into feeling ashamed he redirected towards educating himself and finding a solution for his personal finances. Changing how you think about money and finances is the first step in your journey to financial freedom! Eddie's own experiences have molded his passion for educating others, including UAII community members and staff.


Background

Eddie Torres is the owner of Eduardo Torres Consulting and is the Director of Finance and Operations at El Sereno Community Land Trust. He is currently a professor at LA Trade Tech College in the Community Planning & Economic Development Department, teaching Community Organizing and Non-Profit Management since 2010. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from San Diego State University.


Eddie found his passion for financial literacy in his late twenties. Like many of us, he did not fully understand how credit scores are calculated, how to budget, or how to save and invest. He spoke to a financial advisor, and she opened up a world he had no idea existed. This was the moment he realized that he did not have to live in a world where he had no control over his financial freedom, he had a choice.


Eddie chose to educate himself on as many concepts around financial literacy as possible. He became so interested he continued to build off the concepts his financial advisor taught him and spent a lot of time reading articles and became obsessed with understanding complex financial concepts. Eddie currently provides financial literacy and non-profit management consulting services to various organizations in Los Angeles, California.


Eddie's Work with UAII

Eddie was brought into the UAII family to help educate our clients on financial literacy concepts and equip them with the knowledge and know-how to achieve financial freedom. Eddie understands how intimidating and scary financial literacy can be and provides an honest and caring breakdown of the steps needed to take to reach your goals.


Our financial literacy workshops hosted by Eddie Torres are broken into multiple sessions that cover three "buckets."


Bucket #1: Budgeting and Savings (1-3yrs)

Bucket #2: Investing (3-10yrs)

Bucket #3: Retirement (11yrs and beyond)


Workshop #1: Budgeting and Saving

The first workshop covers the foundations of financial literacy, budgeting, and savings. Eddie described this workshop as "the nuts and bolts to understanding financial literacy." In this workshop, he introduces the concept of assets vs. liabilities, and how to put a budget together. He introduces the three buckets mentioned above and help to calculate how much you should be saving each paycheck.


Workshop #2: Investing

Once you have a general understanding of budgeting and saving, he breaks down how to begin investing. The idea of investing can be very overwhelming and feel very foreign at first. Eddie does a great job of breaking it down into easy to understand investing methods that allow you to weigh the pros and cons of each investment opportunity. You will learn the differences between stocks, mutual funds, S&P 500 mutual funds, Exchange Trade Funds (ETFs), and bonds.


Workshop #3: Retirement

In this workshop, you will be learning about bucket three, which focuses on saving now for the long-term future. Eddie will teach you the information you need to set up and create a contribution plan for your retirement. The retirement options being covered are 401k, 403b, and an Individual Retirement Account IRA.


Workshop #4: Credit Management (Understanding your FICO Score)

This workshop helps clients become fully aware and understand how the three major credit bureaus grade and assign a FICO score. During this session, workshop participants learn about credit utilization, debt management, the difference between revolving and fixed debt, variable vs fixed interest rates, etc.


Need more help? UAII can provide One-on-One Sessions for Workshop Participants

After completing all four workshops, workshop participants can access free one-on-one sessions with Eddie. He does not provide financial advice, however he will help you analyze your habitual tendencies and provide you with the information to help you reach your financial goals! To access these sessions, you must attend our workshops. To see when the next financial literacy workshop will be hosted, visit www.uaiiworkforce.com/rsvp.


Conclusion

UAII makes it easier for you to equip yourself with the knowledge to no longer find yourself in these situations. If you are interested in being one of the first to know about our upcoming workshops, you can join our mailing list and get the latest updates from UAII Workforce, including our upcoming workshops and employment opportunities. To sign up, simply visit our website here.



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