Diana Kyu Yacob is an AFC® and FFC® with a passion for helping anyone with a desire to have a better financial future – whether that’s not living paycheck to paycheck, reducing debt, saving, improving credit, or whatever it is their heart desires financially.
AFCPE: When people ask you what you do, how do you respond?
Diana: I respond in excitement and it always seems to end well. My elevator speech is the worst – sorry, Saundra Davis! However, I am really good at talking! When people ask me what I do, I start off by telling them that I help people with money. 95% of them will say, “Oh, are you an investor or financial planner?” (This is probably why you have to have a good elevator speech). I tell them that I help anyone who has a desire to have a better financial future. I then go into advocate mode: “So many people think they should just know how to handle their finances.” “Why should people just know this?” “You don’t learn it in school and your parents haven’t taught you! Yet, you’re just supposed to know this stuff?!” The conversation always seems to end with someone being very excited (usually me). I normally get a new client, social media friend, or a “like”. People are really excited about this topic whether they want the help themselves or they want to help others.
AFCPE: What inspired you to enter this field?
Diana: I took my first personal finance course during my final year of undergrad. My professor at the time and my now mentor (Jinhee Kim) told me that I could pursue personal finance as a career. I didn’t even know this field even existed! You mean I can go to school for this?! She helped me get into grad school majoring in family financial planning and well, the rest is history.
AFPCE: You currently hold both the AFC® and FFC®, how have you utilized both designations throughout your career?
Diana: When working with organizations, having the AFC designation has ALWAYS put me at the top of every type of list. To this day, organizations are surprised to hear that someone can have a designation for financial counseling. As for my FFC, the services I provide to clients are mainly coaching. Getting the FFC is what really helped launch my small business.
AFCPE: As a researcher, how important is it to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners?
Diana: Even during the first semester of my doctoral program, I was able to see the disconnect between researchers and practitioners. The tools we used were different. The focus of our work was different. I also realized that we spoke two different languages. Bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners is so important. Exponential growth of the field could happen with collaboration and efforts to understand one another.
AFCPE: What’s next for you? What had you most excited?
Diana: I’m excited to see that my clients are doing well and I only want them to be grow even more. I’m also excited to expand and am looking forward to providing additional services. Continue to learn and you will always have something to teach.
Diana answers the Friday 5:
- My Why: I was born to do this!
- My Favorite Quote: “Love never fails”
- My Hero: My Dad
- My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: consumerfinance.gov
- My Best Advice:
- For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: Be excited for what awaits you.
- For a new professional entering the field: Learn as much as you can from as many people as you can.