Why seniors listen to this young financial vlogger
For the type of content she creates, YouTube vlogger Nicole Alba’s rise to online stardom can be considered rapid. In less than two years, she amassed 356,000 subscribers. She does not stream prank, mukbang or thirst trap videos. The girl talks about personal finances and investments, dispenses tips on how best to spend your money and how best not to.
And yet, she’s not even done with college. His field of study at UP Diliman is neither accounting nor business, but political science. So how did this 21-year-old become one of the most followed Filipino financial vloggers today?
“Nicole Alba reminds me so much of my high school buddies. She doesn’t look flashy. She wears regular shirts, not a dot of makeup and she doesn’t even brush her hair, but she has this amazing way of explain complex topics like the smartest girl in the world. barkadesays Tammy David, social media strategist and follower of Nicole. “As a YT subscriber, I can tell she comes from a place of care and wants to educate people about finance and personal development unlike other personal finance dudes selling books, talking all the jargon or contrived street language, wearing suits with that crossover annual pose of the arms.
Who is Nicole Alba?
Nicole is the eldest of three children. She was raised by Filipino-Chinese entrepreneurial parents who taught her the value of money at an early age. The lines “Ang pera pinaghihirapan siya. Magtipid of Kailangang. Hindi basta-basta ang paggastos“, have been drilled into her head since she was young.
She grew up watching her parents work hard to provide her and her siblings with a comfortable life. This must be the reason why, despite coming from a privileged background, she grew up wanting to be financially independent from an early age. “Yung all there is of nila, nakatulong its like. Pinag-aral ako ng mabuti. I have the resources. Gusto kong hindi masayang ang pinaghirapan nila for me. I want to create my own wealth,” she says.
Nicole began to take a serious interest in money and finance in the months leading up to her high school graduation. There was a six-month hiatus before finally moving on to college and it gave him plenty of time to think about his future.
She admits to the usual anxieties experienced by people her age. “At that time, I did not know talaga ano ang Classes na gusto kong kunin, or what job I want in the future,” she recalls. But she didn’t want to stress about it. “Gusto ko lang na no matter [course or career] I choose to take, it should be fine. I don’t know yet what I want to do in the future pero ayokong mamrublema sa pera.”
Her goal was to find ways to earn her own money in order to be ready for the future. “Why wait Pennsylvania after college graduation, when can I start now? I want to know how to grow up now,” she says, echoing his thoughts then.
Nicole’s thirst for information led her to consult various resources on personal finance and investing. She voraciously consumed books and YouTube videos on the subject. “I’m the type n / A when I’m interested in something, I really spend time researching it,” she told ANCX.
One of the books that may have influenced his mindset about money is “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. The young financial vlogger says a key point that struck her from the bestseller is overcoming self-limiting beliefs. Don’t rely on the idea that you just can’t afford something, because you can find ways to work and earn money.
She applied what she learned from all that research. During the summer of 2018, Nicole took the first step towards becoming an entrepreneur by selling books, windbreakers and jackets online. She has also done freelance work (e.g. poster making, transcription work), which has allowed her to explore her skills. The best part was that she was having fun.
Nicole has always loved the process of creating videos. She’s dabbled in it since elementary school, editing reels for school clubs. Suffice it to say, starting a YouTube channel has always been on her to-do list. But she never had time to do it because of schoolwork.
When the pandemic hit, she had the chance to explore that other interest. “Isang buwan wala akong ginagawa“, she recalls. “Sabi-ko maybe it’s time no mag-to try akong gumawa ng some videos.
But she never intended to become a financial vlogger “to help educate Filipinos about personal finance,” she says, laughing at the seriousness of the phrase. “That’s more what I like to talk about. At this moment sobrang hilig ko talk about personal finance. Pero siyempre ang mga kaibigan ko nabo– bored na silang sakinig his kindred. Sabi ko, gawa na lang ako ng video.”
Realizing that nothing will come of the effort if she only posts a few videos, she decided to commit to producing one video every week. She made the daunting discussion about money and investments fun and engaging with graphics, jokes, memes and sound effects. She would share things she learned in her personal finance journey, allowing her content to resonate with people her age.
Little did she know that there were also older people — many in their 20s and early 30s — watching her content. She even found a 62-year-old woman in the comments section telling her she was just starting to learn about personal finance from her vlog. “I was like, ‘Can lola’ng nanonood!”, she says, recalling her surprise.
How she makes money
Nicole is now in her final year at university. The money she earns comes from her YouTube channel and a few other hustles – buying and selling, freelance projects, internship stipend. “For now, my main source of income is YouTube. It was a hobby at first. Pero nung lumaki sya, swimming business na siya kasi kailangan ko isipin ang taxation, contracts with customers. Hindi ko sya pinlano. It’s just something that happened,” she said.
Nicole says she keeps a simple lifestyle. She doesn’t like clothes, bags or jewelry. But don’t consider yourself kuripot. “I don’t mind spending if it makes sense to me why I’m spending,” she shares. For example, she makes videos, which makes sense to update her desktop computer, and she was able to do that in the last year. She also likes to run, so she got herself a smartwatch and comfortable running shoes. “I would also rather spend on experiences, gifts for other people and things that I will use talaga,” she says.
The young vlogger says she didn’t expect her YouTube channel to grow so big. The number of subscribers naturally adds a certain level of expectation towards it and the quality of the content it brings. “Mid neck-pressure din ako“, she admits, smiling. “Twenty-one pa lang ako e. Sinasabi ko is ginawa ko pa lang so far to ano ang natutunan ko of this experience. Hindi naman ako finance professional.
But she’s clear on what she wants to achieve through her vlog for now. “I just want to share my excitement about it. Kailangan lang maipa-realize mo sa tao kung bakit important ang knowledge of personal finance. Then present possible action steps they can apply in their lives. »
[Photos courtesy of Nicole Alba]