Vis-à-vis – Anna Vanessa Haotanto
Anna Vanessa Haotanto is the CEO of The New Savvy and Director at Tera Capital, a private investment firm. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. She is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment, and children’s issues.
Share your journey to get to where you are
There are 2 major inspirations for THENEWSAVVY.COM.
First, due to my family financial situation, I have always been fascinated with the intricacies behind the working of money. I understood that I have to take care of my family and myself and that realization sparked off my wealth-building path. The idea of making my money work harder for me fascinated me, and I felt that was a way out for me from living pay cheque to pay cheque and feeling very stressed every month.
Second, when I was in Hwa Chong Junior College, I did some volunteer work and noticed how many women were stuck in unhappy situations or marriages as they were not working or have any earning capabilities. That motivated me always to protect myself financially and to prevent myself from being in similar situations.
If proper financial knowledge and planning worked for me, it would work for many women too – which was why I started The New Savvy.
What does disruptive technology mean to you
To me, disruptive technology is an innovation, which has the potential to alter our current lifestyles. It is either an enhancement or completely overhaul of the current system.
The disruptive technologies that I found impacted my life greatly are Smartphones and social networking. Smartphones apps have replaced calculators, cameras, clocks among others. Social networking sites have transformed the way we interact, communicate, and share information.
The pertinent question for me is how disruptive technology will change our lives in the future and continue to benefit us?
Who are your peers
The New Savvy is a women-focused financial website – a cross between a women publication and a financial blog. There is no one else doing this unless you consider women or finance publications/websites. Even then, our offerings are different.
My strategy, from day one, has always been: To provide value, focus on users’ needs, learn and keep improving.
How many messages are in your inbox right now…how do you handle social media
I just checked – 1388 unread messages! For The New Savvy, we are mostly active on Facebook (45,000 fans) and Instagram (9400 followers). For Facebook, we use it to post articles and a medium for communicating to our readers on a more personal level. For Instagram, we use it to post inspirational images.
What are your top two favorite work memories..
As a woman, I want to know how smart financial management can impact my life and how relevant it is to my needs. I want something I can relate to, something that can inspire and motivate me.
That’s what The New Savvy has been to many women. I’ve met many strangers at different events who told me that they read and LOVE The New Savvy. Many women wrote to me, sharing with me their lives and financial situations. Most women I knew always tell me that they know financial knowledge is important and they have wanted to learn but kept procrastinating. So when they know about The New Savvy, they are more motivated to be in charge of their finances.
Every of this feedback and sharing is precious to me as they are my motivation when I am thinking of giving up. I hope to keep empowering women financially.
In an ideal world, where money isn’t an issue, what do you see yourself doing.
My biggest dream is to do microfinance. I am a firm believer in education and empowering people. With the right kind of resources, anyone is capable of lifting themselves out of poverty. With proper financial access and education, any individuals hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
What are you really into outside of work..
Exercise, reading and … constantly thinking of the answer to this question: How do I make women more interested in financial literacy?
How do you learn..?
By failing a lot and failing fast!
I learn a lot from others; I believe every person has interesting stories and experiences that they can impart.
What is a lesson you learned from one of your parents that you still use.
My parents are the kindest people I know, and I love them deeply! They’ve always taught me always to be humble and be willing to learn. Exercise often and take care of yourself. Be kind and have lots of fun! 😉
When it is all over, how would you like to be remembered.
I’ve always wanted to help people and finance is the best way I know how to. Women and children are my pet causes. I’m passionate about financial literacy and how it can transform lives. This feeds my soul, and the rewards are probably intangible, so I will like to be remembered for that.
In one word, describe yourself
In one word, describe LATTICE80
Hub of Innovation! (Sorry, had to cheat!)
Anna has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Fast Company, Business Insider, The Straits Times, The Peak and Idealist Careers among others. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen).
Anna conducted workshops on personal finance and had given talks on finance.
Anna is involved in various charities supporting women and children causes. She was one of the main donors in the building of a library for underprivileged female students.