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Emanuel Pleitez Speaks on “How To Grow Your Money” at The Trend Talk Show:

Emanuel Pleitez Speaks on “How To Grow Your Money” at The Trend Talk Show: Upskilling and Investing

The Trend Talk Show is hosted by Bel Hernandez and Marabina Jaimes. In their latest episode, Emanuel Pleitez joined the conversation and led a “How To Grow Your Money” segment that highlights the importance of building wealth by upskilling and investing. During the interview, Emanuel shares a bit about his upbringing in East LA and how it impacts his work and diverse portfolio, as the co-founder of East Los Capital.

Listeners can learn more about companies like Sabio, who live at the edge of education and technology, as well as international companies like Glitzi, who are the tech-leaders within the wellness and beauty services industry.

Find the full interview at:

To learn more about East Los Capital, Sabio, Glitzi and the Trend Talk Show check out:

Summary Keywords: East Los Angeles, Glitzi, East Los, Stanford, Sabio, upskilling, code, money, capital, community, investing, impact, grows, salary, wealth, education, technology, opportunity, investors, pay, mayor, investment, career

Marabina: Coming up next, one of our special interviews on money with Emanuel Pleitez from East Los Capital. 

Bel: He will show you “How To Grow Your Money” like magic, so don’t go away we’ll be right back. 

Marabina: Today we welcome a Stanford Graduate, former Goldman Sachs man, who was candidate for mayor of Los Angeles in 2013. He didn’t become mayor but he did join forces with our Mayor Eric Garcetti serving on his team. All this from someone raised in East Los Angeles, and the first to graduate college from his family is the chairman of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and a founding member and partner of East Los Capital private equity firm. Please welcome Emanuel Pleitez. 

Bel: Thank you for joining us, Emanuel. I’m on why we’re so excited to have you.

Emanuel: Thank you so much Bel and Marabina. I am excited to be here, thank you so much for inviting me.

Bel: Of course you’re such a success story. Tell us about the beginnings of where you decided you wanted to go off to college and you chose Stanford or Stanford shows you, and then you decided to get into the financial world. Tell us about that. 

Emanuel: I appreciate that so I am a product of East Los Angeles, mainly in the neighborhood of El Sereno, and went to public schools in the South Central and the East LA area. Up until high school, and then at that point I was one of the lucky ones to excel, I think, playing sports and kind of staying busy allowed me to spend more time on campus instead of on the streets. And that allowed me to apply to a bunch of schools all over the country the Harvard’s and Princeton’s of the world and and Stanford and I thought Stanford just offers the best opportunity to not just excel academically but also provide student life and and other opportunities I was a big basketball player and cross country runner and they were you know one of the best basketball schools in the country at that point Final Four, and cross country they were the best in the country so that was sort of what what what kind of closed the loop for me. But, you know, I was, my, my goal was to go to Stanford and come right back and be a teacher. That’s, that’s what I wanted to do and get back to the community and Stanford allowed me to kind of broaden my horizons and say you might also want to try other things and see what what else could fit and and over time I learned about not just education which is what I studied or in education but also politics and how policy impacts education impacts our daily lives, but also then what moves, sometimes politics, which is not always, always pretty but there’s money involved. And so I started following the money trail and said, “Who makes the money and who makes the decisions?” And that’s what led me eventually to finance, and I got on Wall Street and did other things and, you know, but that was sort of the transition from the do-good community, Get involved in politics to kind of think about policy but then realize, who’s really behind the scenes pulling the strings, and there’s a lot of people in finance that get involved behind the scenes, I see him living there.

Marabina: Right, well that’s so important. I mean we touched a little bit on the fact that you ran for mayor of Los Angeles, and ended up working with our mayor in their car setting, but I want to turn to what you’re doing now, I want to turn to EastLos capital. I mean looking over that portfolio of companies that you hold you have some very interesting companies, you know, technology and others in education, and one company that stood out for us is Sabio. Tell us a little bit about how Sabio works and how people can find out more about it.

Emanuel: Absolutely. So I’ll start with the fact that we created this new firm East Los Capital, my partner and I, Anthony Valencia and myself. Anthony also was actually born in the East LA area right by Cal State LA, similar similar to me, so we have that story and so just by starting with the name East those capital, although we are a mainstream private equity fund that’s going to, you know, drive the best returns for our investors, we thought, what better way to kind of represent where we come from and quite frankly, the history of East Los Capital was, which is plenty of people from various ethnicities and races have arrived into East Los Angeles, now’s a good way to the Greater LA area and so we thought that there’s a lot, a lot of symbolism a lot of story there. Even in our investments. While we are not a quote on quote impact investment firm or a diverse investment firm, even though we’re 100% diverse owned. We look for really good businesses. And we believe that we need to rely on our strengths, which is our networks where we’re from how we understand businesses and how we look at good businesses that maybe the rest of the market is undervaluing. And quite frankly, a lot of times that ends up being folks of color, building companies and so kind of bridging to Sabio being one of my favorite investments is that Sabio is founded by a Latina and Latino couple. They are both immigrants one from Colombia one from Mexico, but they’ve come to this country and have already had personal success, but they have decided to build this company that actually started as just, I just want to help people of color, people, women folks that come from underrepresented backgrounds and help them get into technology. That turned into a real business model that actually could be used by anyone, not just folks of color, not just women, but anyone that wants to get into technology and so right now it’s it’s essentially one of the best technical training platforms to get folks into technology, and if I drill down even more specifically, full stack web development, which is essentially the software engineer profession, which is one of the fastest growing professions in the country. And if you add salary on top of that it’s actually the best profession because it’s top the fastest, and it makes six figures. After a few years in that industry but in that profession. So, so that’s what Sabio trains people to do, is to get that entry level software engineer job, the live salaries about 20 to 23,000, on average for someone, based on their prior job to their first job as a software engineer, and they have great results so it’s one of these things where it’s like, it just so happens to be founded by someone of color and a Latina, nonetheless, but it’s just taking advantage of the secular tailwind in this market and the, and it’s looking forward to where this economy is going

Marabina: Well I mean, since we’re experiencing, of course, you know the pandemic and people are reevaluating where they are and, you know, interesting things that they could do especially, I mean, as you know, I have an 18 year old who would get into USC, but there are many people think, trying to figure out what to do next. And I love, I love the model of Sabio which is, it’s kind of a subscription service to education… 

Emanuel: Yes! 

Marabina: … With a huge payoff. In the future, and so you subscribe to learn. And when you start hitting a certain number, then you pay the tuition. Brilliant. I really believe in that and I also. I mean I have to congratulate you and of course, the couple you mentioned because it’s a brilliant idea. You know, if you have time to just think a little bit about how things could be done in a better way. I mean this is the perfect example, instead of, you know, just focusing on “Oh no, I won’t be able to get that future I want,” how about, “let me learn what’s available to me right now, that has asked me, probably as much as you know, going to a fast food restaurant this week.”

Emanuel: Not exactly. And I say, I like to say this was a great idea. In February of this year, but it’s even a better idea today because of COVID-19 quite frankly it’s hurting, it’s impacting our families, especially families that come from underrepresented groups, low income groups, right i mean the Federal Reserve is put out there how the folks that have 40% of income levels or below are had the highest unemployment rates like 40% of unemployment even more so. So, we are hurting the most. And so Sabio kind of hits that trigger we said it’s affordable, we’ve tried to lower the barrier where we’re de risking it as much as possible where we try to say, Netflix until at $8.95 or Sabio and Code at $8.95. And that’s all you have to pay. Now, when you get a job, then we say, Okay, we got to that job that’s not paying you $22,000 more for some people, even a lot more if you’re making minimum wage, it could literally triple your salary. After you finish Sabio that at that point will charge the kind of what it really costs to deliver that instruction because you get hands on instruction. But if you never get a job, you don’t have to pay. So, Sabio takes the risk upfront. And you won’t, you pay $8.95 right so you pay $8.95 a month. But then you don’t have to pay anything else outside of that and you can just stop doing it if it’s not working for you. And the one thing is that there’s, there’s been a lot of in the last seven years talk about like how there’s free content out there for for education, right free learning MOOCs massive, yeah, massively open online courses, but a lot of folks see, they still need someone to ask questions to right and so for some people open free content could work right but for the average person having an instructor having someone there and so Sabio is the only one that before you even start paying the $8.95, we have two courses — one that’s intro to web development, and the other is intro to JavaScript which is, you know, it’s one of the most important things that you should be learning today for free. And so you join the slack community of Sabio you learn that for free and you can actually ask questions and instructors will respond and get back to you so that’s basically how a lot of folks, learn about it, and then they’re like, “Oh, I could do this if I have an instructor,” and they move forward so anyway I’m excited as an investment opportunity but I’m also excited it’s just like a company that is needed in this day and age given COVID-19 given the unemployment rate given the opposite the lack of opportunities from a job perspective but it’s also the opportunity for you to say you know what, let’s switch careers or maybe let’s, this is my entree into the future of my career.

Bel: This is a great segway because I wanted to ask you about building wealth within our community. We as a community and Latino community we need to start learning about money. We need to start being comfortable with ways of saving and investing, and I believe what Sabio is doing is investing in our communities so investing in wealth within our community. So, what would you say to people who and how important is it to build wealth within the community? Now this is an example that Sabio is doing well. What other ways can companies or individuals build wealth within our community?

Emanuel: Yeah so, so I say there’s sort of three things. The lowest hanging fruit is upskilling your career so you just get higher pay right because you can have it if you’re in one career. Over time, you get experience you might get some pay raises right but usually those pay raises are actually pretty small. And quite frankly, you’re missing out on what the rest of the world the, the billionaires out there that people that own assets they’re they’re appreciating a lot more right so you’re actually not building any wealth by just staying in your career and allowing your company to just give you a little pay raises. So upskilling is number one right because that could be a demonstrable difference in a year’s time all sudden you go from whatever you are to 20% more that’s immediately wealth building better than the stock market. However, that’s sort of the easiest and easiest to understand that everyone can do. However, if you really want to make money, then you need to put your money to work right and you hear the adage is there’s a lot of YouTubers out there that’s like that let your money work for you and I’m not so much on like there’s, there’s a lot of schemes out there right, but the tried and true the truism out there is diversification. Right, and actually own something, own something where that thing has some intellectual capital and is and is growing. Sorry, there’s a train,

Bel: If you don’t get on the train, you’re gonna lose out.

Emanuel: The train is emblematic. Get on the train right.

Marabina: Get on the train!

Emanuel: Get on the investing train.

Emanuel: And so if you don’t get on the investing train these assets will continue growing with or without you. They don’t need you. But if you put a little bit of money in, then it grows right and you know some people talk about real estate is good. You know I don’t, I am not a real estate investor but real estate grows a certain percentage right. And because the bank is willing to let you borrow a bunch of money, you can, what’s referred to as leverage or basically juicing your return, your equity returns. That’s a little bit more technical, but whether you’re making your dollar worth really a lot more in a fast rate but if the market goes down that the dollar could literally disappear right that’s when you use debt that’s what happens if on the upside, you actually make a lot of money on the downside you literally can lose all your money. So that’s what happens. And so I say, proceed light you know lightly with real estate but it did but it makes all the sense in the world especially we’re gonna live in that house. But then you needed to diversify the biggest investors in the world the pension funds that the insurance companies, they do this all like that’s what they do and they usually have about 10-15% real estate, they have about 60-70% in equity broadly that means public stock and private stock, and then they had maybe have about 20% in fixed income which is bonds, right bonds and essentially loans. And so when you think about that and you’re like, well, what the best investors in the world are doing this and they’re the ones that are holding this money for decades. I should be doing it as well. And so I say at minimum, you should be trying to diversify that way and there’s various ways you can do it I, I can get into the details, but the main thing is best in a number of things that look different than each other and the magic number that the theory and the academic say is you have to buy 30 different things that may be a little too much for some people, maybe just buy 10, maybe buy eight or so, as long as they look different right so maybe one is your house, and then you know the other seven or so are other things other types of companies that kind of come in different industries. And that’s just the best way to diversify. So the first is upscaling and getting your salary up. The next is, is, is investing and I would say there it’s two different things you could either just put your money in the stock market. Right. However, if you really are sort of forward thinking, then you put money in companies like Sabio other private market companies. Now that is obviously way more riskier because you have to understand the business and I’m happy to be available for the future for any of your guests to talk about that, but that’s what I specialize in is how do you analyze a private company where no one tells you how much it’s really worth. And you can still invest in it and that’s still equity, and that usually gets a much higher return. If you’re investing at a, you know, at a fair market value so those are sort of the three ways. 

Bel: So, invest in your own community, maybe businesses like you do. That’s what you’re exactly.

Emanuel: Exactly, yeah.

Marabina: What are some of the other companies that you hold?

Emanuel: So, my partner and I have 23 portfolio companies so East Los Capital based on Anthony and my investing even before we created the firm. And so we sort of inherit those companies. I personally, the ones I’ve invested in the last few years, one a Sabio. The other is a company called Glitzi, which is based out of Mexico City. It’s in the wellness space beauty services and massages on demand. Now obviously impacted by COVID-19 but because of its technology, A lot of beauty salons are actually calling that company to help them book appointments online.

Bel: We want to know where people can find you, Sir, and tap into your knowledge, and then they can learn about all of the other websites that you mentioned,

Emanuel: Absolutely. So my name is Emanuel Pleitez, it’s very unique name, “P-L-E-I-T-E-Z.”It’s actually Salvadoreño. Emanuel with one “M”, almost all my handles whether it’s, Twitter, Instagram, or anything else you could find me on Snapchat. It is my full name, and my latest tech talk, everything. And then on LinkedIn I’m the only one notice on LinkedIn so you can you can find me there or if you know, East Los Angeles if you know how we say when we grew up in East Los Angeles, East Los, even simpler. Lookup two syllables, East Los Capital, and you’ll find me. You’ll find all about me and I write, I do, I do blogs and I you know I love to just share knowledge because I think that’s the only way we’re gonna allow more people in, and my big vision is that the more people that get access to this information, the more people are invested, the better the investors actually going to be because you’re going to have more capital, hopefully making good investments.

Marabina: Well we have really enjoyed having you and when we thank you so much, and everyone else don’t forget to follow him and like this, and follow us, The Trend. 

Marabina: Thank you for watching the trend talk, and we leave you with a special trend talk trendsetter shout out to, a virtual coding boot camp that doesn’t charge tuition until you land your first computer programming job. For more information go to

Bel: And remember to follow us on Instagram, at the Trend Talk Show, because you know if it’s trendy

Bel and Marabina: We’re talking!

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