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Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month 2022

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month, and we’re celebrating some pioneering Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in the financial realm.

May 6, 2022

May is Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month in the United States. This month, people everywhere celebrate the heritage, culture and stories of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. 

This diverse set of American citizens and residents represents a wealth of knowledge, culture, history and passion. We’re proud to participate in American Pacific Islander American Heritage month at Tally.

What is Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month?

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a month-long celebration of Americans from the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands (Hawaii, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Samoa and more). 

This is a very diverse group of people — the AAPI category covers around 50 distinct groups speaking over 100 languages. AAPI populations have relationships to Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, Indian, Hawaiian, and other Asian and Pacific Islander ancestries.

The month seeks to honor the culture, heritage and stories of Asian and Pacific Islanders living in the U.S. 

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the world of finance

At Tally, we’re all about helping Americans improve their financial lives. So, we thought it would be helpful to highlight a few prominent Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) people who have been pioneers in the financial world. 

Paula Pant

Paula Pant is a prominent financial educator and blogger and the founder of Afford Anything. Pant moved to the United States from Nepal as an infant and went on to build a very successful real estate empire. By 34 years old, she owned eight homes and was financially independent. 

Pant began documenting her journey through the Afford Anything blog and podcast. Pant’s content teaches the skills necessary to invest in real estate, pay off debt and build a brighter financial future. Her whole ethos is simple: you can afford anything, but not everything

Ken Lian

Ken Lian is an Asian-American entrepreneur and the founder of Cheese

When Lian moved to America as an adult, he found it difficult to open a bank account or access credit. Through that frustration, he decided to open Cheese — a reward checking account designed specifically for the needs of immigrants and Asian Americans. 

Lian recognized the importance of building credit to find success in America. So he founded Cheese to help other immigrants like him gain access to traditional banking services in the U.S. Importantly, the app helps immigrants obtain bank accounts without a social security card (which is a big barrier for new immigrants to the U.S.).

Stella Han

Stella Han is an Asian-American entrepreneur who founded Fractional, an app that helps everyday people gain access to real estate investing. 

Han grew up with parents who owned rental properties, but she found the process and costs of buying entire properties prohibitive. She founded Fractional to help people collectively invest in real estate through a simple online platform. 

Alfred Lin

Alfred Lin is an Asian American venture capitalist who emigrated from Taiwan at 6. He is currently a partner at Sequoia Capital, a prominent venture capital firm that invests in startups worldwide. He also served as the COO and CFO of 

Lin had these inspiring words to share: 

“Dream about the dent you will put in the universe. Stay grounded in your reality. Build a plan that connects these two worlds.”

Peng Zhao

Peng Zhao is an Asian American investor and the CEO of Citadel Securities, a market-making firm. Market-makers help provide liquidity to the stock market and fixed-income markets and provide much of the “behind the scenes” workings of the public equity markets. 

Zhao is also a founding board member of The Asian American Foundation. The foundation seeks to grow Asian American and Pacific Islander advocacy, power and representation in society. 

Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi is an Indian American entrepreneur and best-selling author. He is most famous for “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” a website and personal finance book. Sethi focuses on teaching people how to live a rich, fulfilling and successful life. 

Sethi is known for teaching a unique approach to personal finance. Instead of scrimping and saving by avoiding buying lattes, for instance, Sethi encourages readers to focus on the big wins — like negotiating for a raise at work

Kevin Kone

Kevin Kone is the managing director of finance for the San Francisco International Airport, one of the biggest and busiest airports in the United States. 

As a dedicated financial public servant, Kone also serves as president of Asian Americans in Public Finance (AAPF). The AAPF aims to enhance, develop and support the careers of Asian Americans in the public finance space. 

Andrea Jung

Andrea Jung is an Asian American businesswoman and the CEO of Grameen America, a microfinance organization. Jung is widely regarded as a trailblazing reformer for businesswomen in America. She is the longest-serving female CEO in the Fortune 500 (she was CEO of Avon from 1999 to 2012) and has consistently advocated for women in business. 

In her current role, Jung runs Grameen America — a microfinance organization that strives to help low-income American women start small businesses. 

Wrapping up

This list barely scratches the surface of pioneering Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans in the world of finance. But by highlighting just a few stories, we can help celebrate the incredible contributions that AAPI Americans have made to our society. 

For more ways to celebrate Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, head over to the official website.