The Origin of 401 Que?

My sister, my wife and I were having a conversation about our lack of personal finance knowledge growing up. My sister was born in Spain. My wife was born in Peru. I was born in New Jersey to undocumented parents. As a joke, my sister said, “401 Que?” and we all laughed. That joke planted a seed.

When you come to a new country, you don’t benefit from inherited assets, knowledge and a network to tap into. You start from scratch with no idea how anything works and without a safety net. Things fall through the cracks. You make uninformed financial decisions — loans with high rates, overextend on credit, etc. — because you’re trying to get by with whatever information you can scrounge together.

This newsletter is about sharing those experiences and gleaning insights from them. It’s about creating a repository of knowledge and support for first- and second-generation Americans and immigrants. It’s about lived experiences and community.

I’ll write about my experiences. I’ll share my perspective. But if you’re looking for stock tips and crypto advice, you’re in the wrong place. This is about building a healthy relationship with personal finance. It’s about pointing out bad habits and replacing them with good ones.

Who am I?

I’m Pablo Andreu, writer, marketer and the son of immigrants from Argentina. My writing has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, Slate, Adweek, and McSweeney’s, among other outlets.

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Substacks: 401 Que? and Canonical 5. Words in The New York Times, Slate, Adweek and Medium, among others.