Author & Publisher: Catalina Laschon, AFC® (December 12, 2023)

Pages: 215

Website: https://newimmigrantsbooks.wixsite.com/books 

Contact: newimmigrants.journey@gmail.com 

Connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catalina-laschon/ 

Introduction/Thesis

“Brave and Glorious New Immigrants in Corporate America” Trilogy by Catalina Laschon is an honest and practical guide for new immigrants, or anyone coming of age, to understand U.S. culture and to successfully navigate the U.S. financial system and corporate America. Many people come to America for the promise of a better life and to pursue the American dream. While the U.S. is the land of opportunity, Catalina explains life in the U.S. is not like the textbooks or movies.

This book offers a humorous and honest reflection from a veteran immigrant who has faced many challenges personally, financially, and professionally, but has survived and thrived in this land of opportunity on her own terms. Catalina admits the integration into U.S. culture will be filled with highs and lows and paved with mistakes and accomplishments. She offers specific steps you can take, topics and terms to research, and macro to micro views of many topics related to finance, career, workplace, housing and culture. Catalina encourages new immigrants to give themselves grace as they embark upon the arduous journey to learn and adapt to the language, expressions, culture, social norms, corporate politics, and financial system.

Chapter 1: Let’s Talk About You

Defines the audience for the book. Examines differences immigrants may experience in the U.S., identifies barriers, and offers words of encouragement to immigrants (and their allies, aka friends and supporters). 

Chapter 2: Who I am 

Shares Catalina’s journey, including her background, exposure to personal finances as a child, relocation to the U.S., and love for her family (including her fur babies).

Chapter 3: What you will learn by the end of this book

Defines Catalina’s realizations that personal finance, saving, setting goals and visualizing success are necessary survival skills to help guide readers through their first year in the U.S.

Chapter 4: Welcome to your new life

An eye-opening glimpse into the reality, overwhelm, mourning, and frustration new immigrants may face as they embark on their journey. Poignant overview of cultural differences in daily and corporate communication, social interactions, personal and professional relationships, corporate politics and career trajectory.

Chapter 5: Your new residence

Introduction to the home rental landscape, neighborhoods, importance of (understanding) contracts, and useful tips to change your address and manage mail. Catalina offers a gentle reminder to do your research and to treat your first home as a “layover.”

Chapter 6: Your bank accounts. Managing your checking and savings accounts
Chapter 7: Your credit score. What is it and why it is critical for your new life
Chapter 8: A Journey to the credit card land

Valuable (and humorous) lessons about the U.S. banking system, bank accounts, importance of credit scores, how to build (and monitor) credit, and use credit cards responsibly. A MUST READ not only for new immigrants, but all young adults entering school or the real world.

Chapter 9:  Personal loans and car financing

Useful comparison of leasing vs. buying a car, including financing options and terminology. Introduction of personal loans as an option in the event immigrants don’t have the credit history to qualify for financing, along with caution to exercise prudence to make the best choice.

Chapter 10: The foundation of your retirement savings strategy

A high-level overview of employer and personal retirement plans and savings techniques with a focus on maximizing your savings toward retirement or financial independence. Offers a behavioral approach to visualizing life and activities in retirement; also touches on Social Security and Medicare.

Chapter 11: Everything you need to know about buying a house

Detailed steps to find and finance real estate within the U.S. with helpful explanations of requirements, terms, responsibilities, and pitfalls to avoid.

Chapter 12: Stories of people like us. What would you advise Isabel, Theo, and Ellis?

Vignettes of three immigrants with various goals, obstacles and solutions. Interactive chapter to encourage ideas on financial advice one could provide.

Chapter 13: Understanding the financial services landscape in the U.S.

Summary of and revelations about banks and credit unions.

Chapter 14: How your actions today will impact your family tree and your community

A poignant look into the future life an immigrant builds in the U.S., the impact on family, community, and legacy. Filled with inspirational stories of children and grandchildren of fearless immigrants and the lessons they left behind.  

Chapter 15: Final chapter for now…and this is only the beginning

A heartfelt reflection of Catalina’s journey and current outlook. Offers reassurance the journey will be worthwhile and a successful outcome is possible.

Summary

I recommend this useful and practical survival guide not only to new immigrants, but also to international students, foreign-born military spouses, young adults entering school or the real world, and anyone seeking to better understand personal finance and cultural differences our foreign-born friends experience within the U.S. 

This book would also serve as a great tool for Americans who are considering a move abroad as to what aspects of their new country may differ.

Jackie Kelly, AFC®, a former military spouse, is a Wealth Manager in St. Louis, Missouri where she helps people understand their finances and pursue their dreams. She has been an AFCPE® member since 2021 and serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. Connect with Jackie on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jaquelinehkelly.

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