After getting furloughed by American Airlines, and watching her side gig leading trips outside of the US evaporate overnight at the start of the pandemic, Brittany Floyd felt unsettled. Just prior to the global spread of Covid-19, she had gotten out of a serious relationship that had provided her a comfortable lifestyle. Having lived across every aspect of the income scale—she grew up in a low-income household, where her mother worked as a custodian and her father as a construction worker—she had no intention of going back to a life of financial struggle. “I just can’t do that again,” she says.
The pandemic had Floyd thinking about wanting to be financially independent and not having all her money tied up in one sector of the economy. “And it scared me because I’ve never felt so out of control of my finances,” she says.
Floyd, 30, started reading forums, books, and social media posts about how she could diversify her income. That led her to download Robinhood, the popular brokerage app, where she could put to work a small amount of money that she “wouldn’t miss much, but enough that had an impact.” She said she invested in stocks that aligned with her interests, such as alternative energy companies and Pinterest. More recently, she’s been thinking of about doing more long-term investing in index funds at Fidelity.