Christina Qi // Ep 4 // From Dorm Room Project to Hedge Fund Trading Up to $7.1B USD Daily

Welcome to Episode 4 of the Asian Hustle Network Podcast! We are very honored to have Christina Qi on this week's episode.

We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.

Check us out on Anchor, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Spotify and more. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave us a positive 5-star review. This is our opportunity to use the voices of the Asian community and share these incredible stories with the world. We release a new episode every Wednesday, so stay tuned!

Christina Qi serves as Founding Partner at Domeyard LP, among the longest running HFT hedge funds in the world, and CEO of Databento, a unified data platform.

She started Domeyard 8 years ago with $1000 in savings. Domeyard trades up to $7.1 billion USD per day. Her company’s story has been featured on the front page of Forbes and Nikkei, and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNN, NBC, and the Financial Times.

Christina is a contributor to the World Economic Forum’s research on AI in finance. She is a visiting lecturer at MIT, including Nobel Laureate Robert Merton’s “Retirement Finance” class since 2014, and alongside President Emerita Susan Hockfield and Dean David Schmittlein in 2019. Christina teaches Domeyard’s case study at Harvard Business School and other universities.

Christina was elected as a Member of the MIT Corporation, MIT’s Board of Trustees. She was elected Co-Chair of the Board of Invest in Girls in 2019. Christina also sits on the Board of Directors of The Financial Executives Alliance (FEA) Hedge Fund Group, drives entrepreneurship efforts at the MIT Sloan Boston Alumni Association (MIT SBAA), and serves on U.S. Non-Profit Boards Committee of 100 Women in Finance. Her work in finance earned her a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 and Boston Business Journal 40 Under 40 lists. She holds an S.B. in Management Science from MIT and is a CAIA Charterholder.

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Transcript

Intro: [00:00:00] Hey guys! Welcome to the Asian Hustle Network podcast. My name is Bryan. And my name is Maggie. And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.

Maggie: [00:00:24] Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Asian Hustle Network podcast. My name is Maggie.

Bryan: [00:00:28] My name is Bryan.

Maggie: [00:00:29] And today we have a various special guest with us. Her name is Christina Qi, and she is the founding partner at Domeyard LP, which she gets started when she was back at MIT. She is also the CEO of Databento. Christina, welcome to the show.

Christina: [00:00:46] Thank you so much for having me I’m honored to be here.

Maggie: [00:00:49] We’re very happy you’re a part of the show. So, we would love to start off and know a little bit more about, you know, your upbringing and you know, where you were born and you know, what kind of family did you grow up with.

Christina: [00:01:01] That’s an awesome question. So, I was actually born in China when I was three my family immigrated to Utah in America, for those who aren’t familiar, a really small town in Northern Utah. And, they were, they were waiting tables at restaurants. Washing dishes and stuff and making a dollar an hour. It wasn’t a lot, even back then. And, so I grew up a relatively poor, I guess. And, that, you know, you don’t really notice that environment, I think until certain things happen to you and you’re surrounded by certain people. And so, for instance, like, I just remember back then, I would have to after school, because I was an only child, I would go to the restaurant after work and like literally just hang out in the restaurant.

And some people would be like, who is this poor kid? You know? And there’d be older guests who would give me like a quarter so I could buy like, you know, those like candy items from the candy machines, at the restaurant and stuff. And so just remembering the times when like, even a quarter meant so much to me, which is ironic because, you know, when, these days my hedge fund, like when we get a $10 million investment, I’m just kind of like, Oh, it’s just 10 million, you know? Like, it’s just crazy how your life changes. And so, I think it affected though when I was growing up that way, I kind of had this weird, the wrong impression that pursuing money was what mattered. Just because it just felt like, you know, the more I had, the more I was able to accomplish things I wanted to, and by the things I wanted to buy and, you know, very selfish, things like that. And so, pursued money above all else started the hedge fund, and really suffered the consequences of that as well, in terms of realizing, Oh, you know, I made it to the top of the totem pole and finance, but not much, you know, what have I gained, being happy and things like that, you know, just really made me reflect on like, Is there more to life than money and there absolutely is.

But yeah, I’ll, I’ll think about actually when I was at preschool as well. One of my core memories from when I was like, you know, four years old was actually, I had just moved to America. My parents would pack like, you know, Chinese lunchboxes for me for lunch. And I’m sure this a story that’s heard across a lot of immigrant children, you know, all immigrant generally experiences at some point. But I would bring these lunches and, you know, with like Surfrider or shrimp, or I don’t know, stuff like that. And, my classmates would be like, eww, you know, typical like gagging reactions and like, it was gross. It smells bad, you know, making fun of my food and I would throw it away or I would dump it in the trash or take it home. And my mom would be like, you didn’t eat your food, you know? And I would be like, well, I want, you know, make me french fries and chicken nuggets. Right. A lot of kids go through that. And I demanded French fries, chicken nuggets.
And, then it’s just ironic is I’d have seen in, in college actually, you know, after getting fully American, whatever, you know, going to college, eating my French fries and chicken nuggets at lunch. And then I see my friends next to me, they’re all eating Chinese food and I just thought, wow, how ironic all my white friends are eating Chinese food. They’re taking photos and posting on Instagram like it’s the coolest thing. And I was, you know, my whole life, I was ashamed of my heritage and my food. And I thought about my mom and like how bad I felt like, you know, rejecting my parents cooking and their love for me and how they express their love right was through food. And so, yeah, just memories like that, that are kind of bittersweet, but helps you learn your identity and you know, what you go through as, shared experiences. I think that we all kind of go through as kids.

Bryan: [00:04:17] It is a very powerful story to you and I, myself can relate. No. My parents also a of very humble background. My dad had told me his hardest job ever was working at a car wash place and wiping down the cars. And that’s the reason why we, every time I go to a car wash, but isn’t, we would tip the person so much, so much money because like my dad’s like, this is the hardest job I’ve ever had. You know, it really humbled me up and that’s kind of a similar background that I felt too, you know, and just spending a lot of time sitting around and watching my parents, they really hardly, hardly ever work, because they couldn’t speak English that well. And similar to you, my pursuit out of college was to make a lot of money. Now that’s the only thing on my mind, because I’m like, wow. Like, because I think you should relate to, cause we both live in the elite crash or my parents made something and then they lost everything. That’s around the time that I was in college, I’m like, oh man, like money was always problems. So very similar, to college, I’ve gone to engineering and then real estate. And when I made a certain level of success in real estate, my mental health started hurting, cause I’m like, wait a minute. Why am I selling? Not happiest though, like, what’s wrong with me? You know? And you realize that that’s the best form of happiness is by giving. In my opinion, other people only relate to that side. My, my questions for you is what was granting Utah life like? Has it shaped your Asian identity? Have you made, you made it seem like I want to be more white than Asian? There’s a lot of people that we hear stories when an Asian Hustle Network. We’re only up to our Asian heritage right now. And we’re really proud of who we are and where we came from. I want to, so we want to know, like, what kind of effect did that have on you growing up in Utah?

Maggie: [00:05:59] Yeah and on top of that, you know, a lot of Asians in America, they face this identity crisis because they don’t feel like they know their place where, you know, if they belong in America, because going back to, you know, let’s say China or Asia, they also don’t feel in place there either. Right. Because it’s like, they have their own culture and like being simulated into America, it’s changed a lot, you know? And so, yeah. Would love to know, you know, how you were able to kind of situate yourself in Utah and, you know if you ever went through like an identity crisis or anything like that.

Christina: [00:06:31] Absolutely. So, Utah, my town’s population is 99% white, pretty much and 99.9% of very conservative Republican. And so, the political leanings and also the beliefs of the people it’s very, it’s called Mormon country also what Utah’s referred to just because it’s very religious as well. So, yeah. so yeah, growing through the environment, I was affected in certain ways, in terms of like, the first thing is never feeling like belonged in certain ways.
And I didn’t realize it until again, like being like my lunchbox being gagged at, you know, or in like, I think in elementary school, we were like there’s like a school play type of thing, or like a ballet type of thing that we did. And they had one of the teachers that selected me as one of the main characters in the ballet and the play. And then another teacher said, no, no, no, we need Claire needs to be white because that’s who she is, traditionally. We can’t have like a Claire with black hair, you know, it needs to be like a blonde white girl. And I was like, I did and realized at the time what that meant, I went home, told my parents, my parents were like, wait, like that’s, that’s, you know, wrong. And, and they were upset. And I was like, okay, so I should be upset too. You know? So just small memories like that were back then when you were so young, you don’t realize like, why am I not in this role? Why did I get cast and then get not cast again, you know? And all these opportunities are taken away just because of things like hair color. I did dye my hair blonde for the longest time, you know, I went through that whole I guess ABGs what they call it now, phase red hair, blonde hair, or whatever hair. Like I did everything to try to fit into that environment. So yeah, absolutely. You know, affected the way that I kind of grew up in stuff. And then had to kind of learn over time to be proud of my culture, my heritage, What helped a lot was also because I’m an entrepreneur now, you know, going back to China sometimes and doing business in China has helped really open a lot of just opened my eyes in terms of like, even the way that they view me, they were like, Oh, she’s American, you know, they call me American. Yeah. And then I, in America, they call me Chinese. They’re like, you know, go back to, you know, especially during COVID. Right? You probably a lot of people get like, or your friends might have gotten like go back to your country or, you know, microaggressions and stuff like that too. So, yeah, it’s definitely an interesting time, but I don’t know how to describe it.

I think it’s a constant process, you know, I’m still constantly trying to find myself. It’s not, I can’t, I wish I could constantly or confidently tell you guys like, oh yeah, I know who I am. I know, you know, like I have a place in this world. Yeah. We all do. But like, I think it’s still a constant process and, educational experience for me, even, you know, during this time when, like for instance, during the whole black lives matter thing. Right. I think that was a big learning experience for everyone here. Like how do you be an ally? And, how do you also recognize? Yeah, like there is a lot of like people mentioned black on Asian crime. People mentioned all these other, Oh, what about all the looting? What about all the police? Violence on all sides. Yeah, that’s true. You know, but like how do you be a proper ally and how do you support your friends, through all these different things? So, yeah, those are all been kind of really big learning experiences. And I think we’re all kind of constantly, and that’s the great thing is, you know, it’s okay to be wrong because it shows that your learning is, it shows that you’ve changed your mind on things.
You know, when I was growing up, we’ll tell you like, in a Mormon country here, conservative land, you know, one of my teachers in high school, he said, okay, who you know, who is against gay marriage. And every single person raised their hand in class because back then it was only 10 years ago. Only 10 years ago, people were still very anti LGBT, you know, gay marriage, gay rights. And now if that same, I’m sure if that same teacher asks a question, you know, every one be like, oh, I’m all for gay marriage now. And now our high school has an LGBT club, but back then, you know, there was no, they didn’t even have cultural clubs or any kind of minority clubs because it just wasn’t allowed. So, I think times are changing hopefully for the better, in many different ways, despite all the pushbacks we face constantly.

Bryan: [00:10:23] We really appreciate it. Appreciate your honesty too, and really state that, Hey, you’re still figuring yourself out and you’re still learning, you know?
Coming from you and how much you achieve and you know, in such a short amount of time, that’s really amazing to hear that honesty, you know, you’re still learning. You’re still growing. Like you can’t really tell, this is just the beginning for you to see what you want to accomplish in the next five, 10 or 20 years now. And fast forward a little bit. And so, you grew up in Utah and now you’re moving onto college MIT. And what was that transition? Like? Like when you first you’re like, oh my God, I’m leaving Utah. This is where I’m going. Like, what is that pressure on you achieving academic success growing up, like for your parents.

Maggie: [00:11:07] And did you know that you wanted to go through, you know, the FinTech route or did your parents have any plans for you? Like did they want you to go through a specific route? Cause in Asian culture, a lot of our parents, you know, immigrated here, they want a future for their kids and they have the set plan. Like you have to be a lawyer, you have to be a doctor. Your parents have like a set of plans for you or were they pretty relaxed and chill about what you wanted to do for your future.

Christina: [00:11:30] Great question. I think they were pretty in between I would say they’re not like the crazy tiger mom level of like not letting me have any fun, but also, they were still like, you know, don’t go totally crazy. And, you know, Still try to be a good person and do what’s right. And stuff like that. I dunno, it’s hard to describe, but like for a lot of parents in East Asian and other countries in general, I think, those cultures where education was like back then for them, right? The only way out of poverty was education. The only way out of poverty is you take a test there, the Chinese version of the SAT or the Indian version of the SAT, you know, whatever it is. And you get like the best grades and then you get into school and then, you know, that’s your way out of poverty. But you know, in America, the hardest thing for Asian parents realize is like, that’s not, we don’t even have SAT this year. You know, I think my brother’s junior in high school and they canceled like he actually went to the SAT testing site in, I think March and they all sat down and they were like, guys, this test has been canceled by. Then they just all got up and left again. So, there’s not even an SAT anymore, you know? So, like for my parents to be like, Oh my gosh, now, now what? And I’m like, yeah, exactly. You know, college is a lot more holistic here. I, I would hope, it’s becoming a little more holistic and hopefully fairer. I don’t know.
But you know, it’s, it’s a different process than, in other countries. Yeah. So, like for me, I would say, you know, I’m trying to think of what got me into MIT. It’s hard to describe. But I was really into anime. I still am. so I was really into anime growing up. I did a lot of cosplay and I did write a lot of my essays on doing cosplay, being kind of weird. I was the homecoming candidate for my high school and, I represented science clubs, every candidate has a club that they represent. And so, I had the science club sash, but then instead of wearing a dress, I wore like a lab coat and I had like got Oles and like a beaker. I looked super nerdy, basically like, you know, just kind of not caring.

And so, I just wrote a bunch of, I’d say something like, you know like that’s okay. And I think, all the moms, there’s a lot of pageant moms in Utah and they were really upset seeing me go down the aisle like that when their daughters are all dressed in like, you know, fancy dresses and stuff, but all the emo kids were really proud of me. They’re like, Oh my gosh. Look at all the rebellious kids. It’s experiences like that, I think were very eye-opening to me, but also hopefully help me in a sense too, I think I got in because of that, because afterward one of the admissions counselors, oh yeah, you’re the girl who wore the lab beaker down and think you remembered my essay. So, but anyway, so getting in was, is totally different from… it’s a lottery. Right. And that’s why I say to everybody like you apply to wherever you can, but like if you don’t get in, look, it’s not the end of the world. Right. Like I have, I’m the only one in my family has ever gone to like a good school. And my other, like my parents went to state school, Utah state university, you know, like it’s great. And they had a really good life and a really good path for them opened as well. and so just doesn’t matter, like it’s, I know a lot of parents stress out all the time that you must get in Harvard, but like, to be honest, like my friends who go to Harvard and they totally fail that, like, I’m not saying that they’re failures, but just, they’re not happy. Right. And I think that’s an indicator of success in a certain way.
So, yeah. anyway, so then getting into MIT, getting out of MIT was more difficult in terms of like, I was a failure student, by all means in terms of, my first exam at MIT was physics. I got 21.5%, which is like really, you know, in high school you’re used to getting like eighties and nineties or whatever.
And then I got 21% and my friends, I remember one of my white friends down the hallway. He’s like, you got a 21%. I’m like I got 21.5%. I’m so angry. Just barely making it through. And then, on that same white friend, he introduced me to Boba like bubble tea, Boba, which I had never heard of Utah again, growing up in the middle of the countryside.

So. Yeah, he is. He was like, you never have… how are you even Asian? You know, never heard of it before. And so, and then I had Korean food for the first time. Indian food for the first time, you know, Ethiopian food and it’s everything in Boston. So, it was just a really eye-opening experience. I was a mediocre major. I declared I’m the easiest major at MIT, which is cold management science. And yeah, like, what’s that? And I’m like, I don’t know how to explain it either guys. You just take, it’s a couple of like introductory accounting, finance and like marketing, basically all combined into like operations management.
But anyways, so I barely was able to graduate and, I felt really lucky for that. And then, yeah, and that was about it, but you know, like once you enter school doesn’t mean that your life is all set at a good college. It’s like, I still have to work my ass off. Sorry for swearing, worked my butt off.
And, yeah, to really go through a lot during that time. and really didn’t think I would get a job or anything, out of school. So yeah.

Maggie: [00:16:10] Wow. That’s amazing.

Bryan: [00:16:11] It sounds like you did a lot of self-discovery during that time, too, in terms of like discovering other Asian cultures as well. Yeah. Yeah.
Maggie: [00:16:20] And you would love to know it, you know, we know that you started Domeyard while you were back at MIT. I’m very curious to know, you know, how that idea transpired and, you know, we know that it started in your dorm room, right? Yeah. And we hear, you know, stories of that, you know, ideas, transpiring in your dorm room, and you’ve been working on Domeyard ever since that time, you know, would love to know like how the idea came about and where you’re working with other people on that. You know, how did this all transpire?

Christina: [00:16:48] Yeah, that’s a great, great question. So, like, I feel like ideas come from like good ideas come from bad experiences for the most part. And so, you know, I wish I could tell you, Oh, I just had this genius idea that just came up and then I decided to hustle and do it. And the reality is actually I had a really bad, really, really bad experience. That was an internship at a big financial bank on wall street. And it was kind of like, I guess when people ask what it was like, it’s like Wolf of wall street but like in modern times, and I was, I worked like 15, 16 hours a day usually. Like I was a zombie in terms of like my social life and my like mental health. I didn’t really have much time for anything. they made me, they called me the, there are only two women interns. That was the other tough part was like, maybe there are two female interns. Right. And they would call me the coffee girl because my job was to grab coffee every day and pay for it by myself. I had to pay out of my own money, grab coffee for whoever wanted on the team, you know, do the rounds every day for coffee, two or three times a day. and then they call me the, they call me the shitty coffee girl. Sorry for that. Literally what they call me the bad coffee girl, the shitty coffee girl, because the other girl was better than me at grabbing coffee. And I was like, oh my gosh, they’re really going to put us against each other and make the two girls like the enemy, you know, tried to pair us against each other. and she’s in my book that I’m writing as well, by the way about my experience, because, they really tried to put us and make us into enemies by making us grab a coffee and do all these competitive things. and we ended up becoming really good friends, so I am really grateful for that. But, yeah, so I had that experience and then during my final internship presentation, well, first off throughout the internship, my boss’s boss, not my direct boss, but the boss above him was really abusive to me. Like, he would sometimes like grab my shoulder and be like, don’t talk to me ever again, you know, because I always got on his bad side for various reasons.
Like I had to say good morning to everyone who walked through the door. Cause I sat next to the door and one morning, you know, he noticed he’s like, you sound like you fake, you need to like cheer up, you know, be like a better cheerleader for the team. And I was like, like, no, I don’t owe you any smiles. You know? And he was really upset by my reaction, which I understand like I was a bad intern, but, anyway, so then at the last day of the internship, I presented my final presentation and his response was, and I’m saying, I don’t want to swear, but he basically said what the F was that. That was a response after I had spent the whole summer preparing this and I had run it through my, my boss and other people on the team. And it was his boss’s boss that he was just so angry at me. and then he like started yelling at my boss during the presentation. And then I, just, I started gagging. So, it was like, I started like having this gag reflex and I was like, shit, I’m going to throw up. And so I liketo run out of the room. I’m like throwing up in a trashcan. I’m like, that’s how traumatized I was from that whole like, experience. So anyway, after that, I was known as the girl who threw up on her boss during that, during like the summer internship in wall street. And then, I was totally lost. I didn’t, I couldn’t find a job. other people who I interviewed at other companies, they would be like, oh yeah, I’ve heard about you. And I’m like, oh no. I know how they heard about me, it was probably caused words to spread around about there’s an intern that was really bad. And so, anyway, Then I decided, well, you know, why not just trade on my own? And so, you know, nothing else to do. I was treating German markets at like 2:00 AM. Going to class during the day. And this was my senior year and decided, well, you might as well make this into a real company. it’s not like I had much else to do anyway with my life at that point. And I felt completely lost and, to be honest,and felt like nobody wanted me on wall street. So, yeah. So, I guess it’s like these ideas, you know, if I looked at also the stats, about like hedge funds or startups, right? Like startups rarely succeed. I think it’s like less than 10% or something. And for hedge funds, it’s even like lower. Like these things rarely succeed. and I had dug deep the analysis. I would never have started it, but kind of like, I think when you start a company when you start an idea, you’re driven by passion, right?
It’s like, it’s just like, what wakes you up in the morning? And even if you know, you’re not going to succeed, if you know, You know, you don’t know that your future really, you don’t know your fate, but like, even so it’s like so long as you wake up and you’re excited and you’re, you’re pumped to go to work. Right? Like that’s the feeling that I craved. And for the first , I had that feeling by starting my own company. and so, I just kinda went from there and, you know, made a bunch of, a ton of mistakes, which I talk about in the book. But also, did a couple of two or three things that were right I would say. And then those things I did right hopefully helped in terms of growing the fund into kind of the $7 billion trading volume fund that we do now. So, yeah, but it was a long, kind of a stressful process throughout. Exciting and stressful.

Bryan: [00:21:19] I’m really sorry to hear about your experience. I’m really happy that you turn a negative into a positive and that you kinda sorta kept the positive mindset throughout everything that’s going down, you know?

Maggie: [00:21:32] Right.

Bryan: [00:21:33] Instead of just being yourself on it, or maybe I’m not fit for this girl and just given up right there. You didn’t give up, you look for a different way to succeed. I think every bad situation is always something positive that comes out of it. And it also makes more sense. Looking back now. Have these things never happened, you won’t be where you are right now that you have you been that great intern, you’ll probably on wall street right now. You’re probably just as wealthy still, but you’ll be working with someone else.

Maggie: [00:22:07] Yeah. Oh yeah, go ahead.

Christina: [00:22:10] I was gonna say, like, in my book, I do talk about, because the other girl, during my internship, she was more like, she was known as a goody-two-shoes on the team. She was like, perfect. And grab a coffee. And then she took over my coffee duties eventually. Cause I was so bad at my job, but then she ended up doing very well. So, she got her traditional job on wall street. and I’ve had a lot of, and we became really good friends, thankfully. So, like throughout time, we’ve had a lot of ironic experiences. Like I’ll tell you one bad decision I made and how it relates to her, which was really funny. which was, throughout, like when we first started a company, I was like, okay, well I want our hedge fund to have the same culture as like Google or Facebook, which is, you know like you imagine like slides in their office and like beautiful map rooms and primary colors. And like, I don’t know, free food. Right. All the perks and stuff that you guys have out West. and so, I did that and we decided let’s be flat let’s call everyone a partner in the company, partners like in finance, the highest title you can possibly have basically unless you want like managing partner or something. I dunno, butthe partner is already extremely high. so, we call everyone a partner, including myself. I just went by, I used to just go by the partner title. and, then what happened was we had a couple of employees who abused this or try to abuse the policy. So, like, for instance, we hired someone who is an office manager. her job is just literally clean the office, clean the kitchen, clean the sink, you know, organize the space, get some supplies, you know, all the basic stuff. Right. And she came to me and she’s like, well, yeah, I want a promotion. And also, can you give me the title of managing partner? And I was like, I, you know, I’m a partner, right. And I started this company and she was, yeah. But like, you know, I still want this promotion. And like I noticed I’m being paid a lot less than the software engineers, you know, can you raise my salary?

and I was like, yeah, you know, maybe like, if you work hard and write me these goals, we’ll give you 70,000, 70,000. Right. She was like 70,000 per month. And I was like, really? Like no per year. Right. but she was expecting like half a million-dollar salary to clean the office and she wanted managing partner.
So, we had a couple of employees who were like that as well, who wanted like, even better titles of like managing partners. So, I told her no, you know, and she was really upset and obviously left the company, like shortly after. but then that night I went home and I talked to, Lexie, who was my, my, a friend of mine during the internship process. And she was working. She’s already working at a big bank and doing really well. She’s like, Christina, guess what? I got promoted to associate. Analyst to associate. And she was so happy and I was so happy and we like to it. And I was so happy for her and, you know, she’s like drinking and whatever. It just was so ironic because the difference of like working on wall street, it’s likean analyst, associate VP director, managing director, partner, you know, partners like up here, right. That same day, like literally our office, the manager was telling me, I want managing partner and irony of the experience of doing that. The mistakes I made, you know, those are it’s my own fault at the end of the day, as a manager for not setting the right kind of culture, you know, with those, with my own company and my employees.

So, so I do blame myself for those types of behaviors and, but yeah, absolutely crazy stuff that happens and the difference of, you know, if I take into wall street path, maybe I would today be, if I’m lucky a VP, I think I’d be very lucky to be a VP. but. You know the difference again of like, Oh no. Now, you know, people in my company are like, you know, they don’t even want to be a partner anymore. Like, so we actually, we ended up getting rid of titles or no, sorry, getting rid of the partner title and giving people proper titles, likea software engineer or, you know, or whatever. So, like that way people, you know, feel like it’s more appropriate for their job, basically.

Maggie: [00:25:48] It seems like there were a lot of learning lessons, you know, and it’s all perspective, right? Like your friend who went from analyst to associate seems like she was very grateful for that position for that, you know, that escalation. So, I love seeing those different perspectives.

Bryan: [00:26:04] Yeah. I definitely do want to hear more about what your mental health was like. You’re going to do your internship. It’s one topic that, you know, us Asians, we don’t really talk about that topic at all. It’s actually slept on the rug. Remember I talked to my mom before telling her I was extremely unhappy as a software engineer. She’s like, son, we tried so hard for us to move to America. Do you want to wipe down cars with your dad? He’s like, I was like, okay. All right. And then she gets me just slept on the rug, but your talented plan. It kind of got to me, you know, I wasn’t happy. I actually majored in engineering because at that time, the way I saw it was getting out ofthe property quickly without much schooling. I was like, Oh yeah, engineering engineers make like 150-200K a year in Silicon Valley. I’m gonna move there and make that half of money. I never realized how much I hated my job.

Christina: [00:26:59] Oh, I mean, and also like, I think in Asia, the Asian stereotype is like mental health doesn’t exist in India, any country out, down there, you know? But it’s so true though. It’s something that a lot of folks, unfortunately, don’t recognize and thus, you know, like suicide and stuff like that happens as a result because people don’t know how to take care of themselves, which is, I’m glad that, you know, talked about a lot more these days, even in America, like I think growing up there’s a meme I saw some, one of those groups on Facebook that was like saying how, you know, like, 20 years ago. Right guys. Guess what? Like, you know, like she’s seeing a therapist, you know like it’s a bad thing.

Maggie: [00:27:38] We talk about that all the time. I’m like, no, there’s such a bad connotation for someone to see a therapist, but we honestly feel that it shows a strength of like power or strength that you are seeing there just to improve on yourself. Right. I think back then, it’s like very, it, people saw it as like something bad, right?

Bryan: [00:27:56] Do you do any practices for your mental health? You meditate, you talk to your friends?

Christina: [00:28:01] Yeah, I think for me the best therapy is definitely I’m trying to talk to, or talking to friends and even just like posting on Facebook or LinkedIn, especially Facebook, like my darkest moments. I posted on Asian Hustle Network too, moments when I felt like I was being discriminated, against because of something like gender or race or age. when I posted about it and people either, you know, they offer either tough love, which I deserve or advice like, Hey, I’ve been through that too. And, you know, here’s what you can do next time. And so, even just empathy of like, I’m sorry you went through that, you know, like it helps so much to just know that you’re not alone or that people are listening and there for you, when, when you need them to be. And so, I really do appreciate that. So, my experience is starting the fund. it did come with a bunch of, I guess, both physical and mental health issues, unfortunately. I think the biggest one was I developed PTSD from a variety of experiences with investors. I’ll tell you some funny investors I met, maybe this will help give you guys a sense of the, the world of billionaires here. So, all of our investors, a lot of them are billionaires basically. And, I’ve met all kinds of, crazies, I guess. one of them was one of the richest guys in Asia. He’s in Hong Kong and this was like, I just started the fund. I was living in a shack, like sleeping on a couch in Boston. Like I was dirt poor didn’t have any money. And this guy flew me out to Hong Kong in his private jet, and then had a show for like, with me the entire time.

And he put me on the top floor of the Ritz Carl’s it’s like a hundred and 50th floor of like this building. And I was in this huge suite and I was like, Oh my God. I was like, hyperventilating, what is going on? I took a bunch of stuff that all my friends like [inaudible]. Because for me, that was unbelievable. And then, he had dinner, we had dinner downstairs and like in one of the restaurants at the hotel and he brought his wife and daughter and I was like, wait, I thought this was like a business meeting, you know, between the two of us, maybe some of your colleagues. Right. but he was like, no, no, no, no. Like, you know, I just want you to give my daughter advice on how to get into Harvard. Wait. So, you’re investing $10 million into my fund not because you think we’re going to succeed, cause you, you want, you want me as a woman role model for your daughter, 13 years old or whatever.

I was like, oh my, I couldn’t eat. How do we respond? You know, I didn’t know what to do. Fancy dinner, you know, we all just like food and stuff. And then afterwards that night. And I was like, I mean, I talked to the show for a guy because he was just sticking with me the entire time. And he was like, Christina, you’re so lucky, you know, to, to do this and to be able to be here and stuff. I’m like, yeah, but you’re so lucky to, you know, you’re you worked for the richest billionaire in Asia. And he was like, Oh no, no, no, no, no. Like, I, I’m not, I was born into it. And I was like, wait, what? Whoa. And he said, okay, I’m the bastard son of Leonard, who was the who’s the billionaire guy. And I was like, what?

So, he’s the bastard son of the investor. Right. And he’s like, yeah, my job is to serve Leonora who’s the daughter, the main daughter who was up in here. So, she’s like the mainline, the main family line. And he’s like one of the branches and I’m like, yeah, Is this like game of Thrones, a modern-day. And he’s like, yeah, I never went to, they never put me in school. I never had proper education. Like I am, you know, like I was like, you’re a modern-day slave. Like, that’s what it is. You know, it’s likea modern-day game of Thrones level, like craziness here going on. And you know, like, those are the types of people who I met through my experiences. and, and then, so that was fine. But then one of the investors I met, I still don’t know like how much allowed to reveal about this kind of stuff. Cause there’s a lot of still going on, but, you know, one of our investors was Jeffrey Epstein. and so, you guys all, and I can say this cause he’s dead now. So, like, I don’t can’t get sued by him, but, he had come after me when I had given his name to the FBI at one point in time. Yeah. And so, I had some really bad experiences there and, developed a bunch of mental health issues. I think, as a result of being, you know, I was paranoid, I was anxious. and you know, just all kinds. We were sued by a lot of our investors, not a lot, sorry. A couple of our investors who were kind of bad people like that. yeah. And so. You know, but I am really lucky today to be away from all that. Like I’ve survived, the lawsuits I’ve survived all the FBI stuff I’m free and clear. I’ve never gotten into any trouble. I’ve never been arrested. I’ve never like, had anything like that happen, but I’ve gotten close. and that getting so close to that and wondering if I would get arrested, you know, was definitely a traumatic experience, but seeking help again, like even my colleagues recommended Christina, you look like crap, go and get some help and take some rest and, do what’s best for you? that’s been really nice too. I think also quarantine has been good for me in terms of, I mean, good and bad, right. It’s bad for everyone. But. Pivotal for everyone, I guess, but good in a sense that you really get to reflect on like, okay, well, you know, what do I really want to do in my life? what do I really care about. Where are my values and what do I want to do after this is all over? so that’s, it’s just been such a great time to be able to reflect and, have some time for myself. So, yeah.

Maggie: [00:33:04] I mean, we read your here in your posts, your Facebook posts on the Asian hustle network Facebook group. And you know, I can see that inspired a lot of people you talked about, you know, all those days where you were super stressed out and getting sued, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs go through speed bumps like that, but yours is like next level. You know, that fear of going to jail. It must be extremely scary. you know, also, I remember in your posts on AHN, you talked about, you know, the gender inequality, right. And you were about to give your speech, at an event, but someone had taught you to clear their plate. Right. And you know, this also goes back to when you were at your internship, where you were called the coffee girl, you know. [inaudible] to be called that today. Like that would create such a fire, you know, but this was a while back. And so, my question is, were you facing any challenges as a female in this industry and you know, how are you able to respond to those challenges and those remarks and comments like that?

Bryan: [00:34:09] I want to hear more about your nonprofit investments, invest in girls as well.

Christina: [00:34:14] Awesome. Yeah, definitely. I think I’m, you know, there’s, there’s everything, every kind of ism, racism, ageism, sexism, they’re all pretty prominent in pretty much every industry. And, and one of the things you kind of learn about is how to deal with that when it happens.
And so, for me, like if I’ve learned, especially through my colleagues, like if I dwell on these negative thoughts, which I tend to do, by the way, I tend to like, be very sensitive. So, I dwell on negative thoughts all the time and let it really trigger me down into this. Path of depression. And I try my best to be like, you know what, like it already happened. I just teach them a lesson, get it over with and that’s it. Right. So, I’ll give you another example, like besides the waitress story, which, that’s actually how it ended was, after I gave my speech, the person came out like found me again, after the talk and was like, wow, you know, I’m so sorry, I will never do that ever again. And yeah. They were super apologetic. They’re like, let me treat you to dinner. I was like, don’t, don’t worry about that. Right. Just promise me, you’re not going to do that again. Right. You learned your lesson here clearly. So, so at least like that person learned by just, he’s like, I’ve just never seen a minority woman on stage, you know, I’m sorry.

You know, and I was like, that’s fine. Pattern recognition. We all have pattern recognition, right? Like we all have our own biases. Like kids there’s studies on like four-year-old kids who have biases of like us versus them based on what they see. So, like, my bias was like growing up, I’m a bad driver. My mom’s a bad driver. So, I thought all Asian women are bad drivers, you know? And then when I get it, it was when I got an Uber driver for the first time, who’s a woman. I was like, oh no, like she’s going to be so slow. I need to do the airport, you know? And she was great. She was fast. And I was like, Oh, maybe I’ve been just biased my entire life. And I’ve just never, I rarely see a female Uber driver. So, I just never really knew. so those biases come across everywhere in life, including for myself. And, you know, I just learned to correct them over time and, and that’s fair and fine. so yeah, it does happen quite a bit. Like I had a, we were interviewing a board member as well well, a couple of years ago for a board seat in our fund. and this guy’s like CEO of a big company. And so, he came in and he said, he was like, and he’s like, Oh yeah, yeah, I’m sorry. I’m meeting with these kids right now. Like, I’ll, I’ll call you back later. and he called us kids and it was very subtle, but he kept on saying stuff like, Oh, you kids are so smart these days or, you know, whatever it is. And he means them as compliments. But to me they’re more like microaggressions. First off, I’m the owner, I’m the chair of the board in this situation. I’m not his daughter, you know, I’m the chair of the board and I’m interviewing him for a position and he’s calling me a kid his interviewer a kid, you know?

And there were so many other things he could have called me, including by my name, which he didn’t. And I just thought, wow. And so, I said something like, he said you kids are so smart these days. I’m like, thanks dad. And he was like, Whoa, Whoa. You know, and it made him realize, oh crap, sorry that just looked out of my mouth. I didn’t realize I was calling you that, you know, it was like, yeah, exactly. I’m the chair of the board. You can just call me Christina. That’s fine. You know, but, other, you know, it depends in the context as well. Like if it was my dad’s colleague’s friend, right. And we’re at a social event, like sure. You can call me a kid, I get it. You know, I, my dad’s kid and whatever, but, if it’s at an event or I’m, I’m an interviewer here, like, you know, that kind of stuff is totally inappropriate during an interview. So, or like what else was there? Oh, I got another one I get is like, your parents must be so proud of you. I don’t know if you guys ever get that. Like, it’s usually you said towards young people who they think that…

Bryan: [00:37:27] we have felt that, actually. Will say on a daily basis.

Maggie: [00:37:30] I think Their perspective, they don’t mean any harm, but then in a sense that it is a little bit belittling, you know, like if it’s in a business setting, like why can’t we be on the same level? Just talking to each other as like partners, you know?

Christina: [00:37:43] Yeah, exactly. so, I get that a lot too. it was really sad cause for my co-founder, his dad had just died. and so, for him to hear, Oh, your parents must be so proud of you. He was like, Yeah, don’t say that, right? Like, you don’t know if I have parents and he doesn’t get along with one side of his family. So, you know, you don’t, you can’t just assume that we all have parents who we get along with and who are proud. Some of our parents are proud of us for being an entrepreneur. So that was another thing that really… So, I’d be like, thanks, Dale. Your parents must be proud of you too, you know, and he kind of makes Dale do like a double-take. Okay. Maybe I shouldn’t say that anymore. but just kind of using humor along the way, or like, if they ask you a lot of our investors are old school money and they’re like, Oh, where are you from? Where are you, China, once, you know, the usual like kind of a pattern of where are you from? Right. And I’ll be like, Oh, cool. Where are you from? You know, and be like, oh yeah, I’ve been to Switzerland, you know, once or twice, and I love, you know, your food and your culture, and we’re just going to make the same types of comments back, just see how they react. Maybe they’re proud of it too. And I’m like, okay, if they’re happy about it, then I’ll be happy about it too, you know? but yeah, just kind of keeping an open mind and having a sense of humor about stuff, makes my job a lot better. I would say in terms of the people I deal with on a daily basis.

Bryan: [00:38:59] I’m glad that you found different ways to heal yourself from using these types of situations, you know, a lot of microaggressions out there that can either deal with it. You know, you can take it personally or you don’t, you know, you have to understand, like, what is your intention behind this? is it negative? Is it positive or just, they’re just ignorant? And that’s going to be a common theme that I feel I won’t go away for a long time.

Christina: [00:39:25] Yeah, exactly. I mean, I still get bothered by it. It’s not like, I wish I could just tell you I get over it easily. Like everyone else does. I don’t. I mean, I still, sometimes I screenshot a message and I’ll post on my Facebook, like, look what this guy said. And people feel like, wow, what an asshole or whatever. Sorry, I keep swearing like, you know what I mean? Like, you know, there’s sensitive conversations like that, that I do have with my friends as well, where I just opened up to them and it helps me a lot to just cope with, issues where, you know, I don’t want to face them alone sometimes, and I need someone to pull me up out of bed and be like, you got this, you know, and, and that’s okay. And I’ll do that for my friends any day as well if someone needs you to be there for them and to help them navigate some kind of situation like that. So, yeah.

Bryan: [00:40:06] Yeah. So, we obviously we know that you’re extremely successful, you know, just to give you guys some perspective how successful Christina really is the last, the last podcast we listened to is last year. You said that you were making a billion dollars in trade per day. Has that number increase? a year ago?
Yeah. So

Christina: [00:40:23] we are we’ve we’re at 7.1. Yeah. Right now, I’m per day. So yeah. very, you know, again, like it’s a combination of luck and skill right. Being in the right place at the right time. if it wasn’t for those initial investors, I met, including that crazy guy from Hong Kong. Right. Like, I, I definitely wouldn’t be here with those even though small investment, you know, I call it small there. They were big to me at the time, but let’s just like, you know, with those investments. So it kind of compounds over time and definitely feel very lucky to to have this chance and, and it is true that they gave me that chance to succeed, you know, so I am grateful to them for that, but definitely on other things like, when it came down to like even black lives matter, I sent an email to our investors about urging them to, you know, rethink their HR processes, you know, things that are very reasonable, right. Like I don’t. We don’t need a quota, just get rid of biases and your hiring process. Right. And stop asking discriminatory questions to people during the hiring. Like that’s easy to do for anyone. And I got a lot of backlash from investors, which I was just so disappointed on, but just people being like, Oh, you know, like racism doesn’t exist anymore. We’re in 2020. comments that you know, we all know from our personal experience, as in America, is that we’ve experienced it firsthand, but they don’t because we’ll do it. You’re a billionaire. You’ve been born into wealth. Like you’re from, you know, we get people from the Carnegie families from the Schwarzman family, like all of them, big, you know, families and I get it, you know, you’re born into that.
And so, you don’t see it. but we do. So, it’s that, it’s something that’s really hard for me to kind of educate and tell, but, absolutely. you know, that success again. It’s not a solo project type of thing. That’sthe success that I’ve experienced is just it’s Oh, to everyone around me, including my friends who dragged me out of bed, during like the worst days of my life and who support me, when I was interrogated by the FBI.

I went home crying that day. and felt depressed for like a whole week after. Cause I knew they were after me. I just didn’t know what they were trying to get. And I didn’t know how I was in trouble or what I did wrong. I had no idea. and so just having friends who trusted me, believe my story, believe that I was innocent and that I didn’t do anything wrong. You know, I meant a lot because it’s true that no one had any information. I didn’t know what I did wrong. So, yeah, just even that kind of stuff, having people around you, just really, really meant the world to me, including Asian Hustle Network. I Remember I posted my first post in Asian health network was when I was complaining about, There was an investor who I think either, I think tried to like reschedule my phone call like six or seven times, and I was in the hospital, and just kind of treated me like crap the entire time. And I took a call at 6:00 AM for them in the hospital and they ghosted me. They didn’t even take the call. And I was so upset cause I had gone through so much. There are so many hurdles for them and you know, they had treated me like crap and, lots of random behaviors like that. And I discovered this because I’m a woman, you know, I just didn’t like that feeling. So yeah. You know, having a group like AHN has been a huge part of this as well. So, I’m super grateful to you guys.

Maggie: [00:43:22] Very grateful to have you. I love how open and transparent you are and you know, the whole situation about, you know, the social climate and we face similar issues within AHN as well. I think right now, a lot of people’s emotions are very high and strong right now, messages all the time, whatever you say, whatever you put out into the world during this time. You know, you’re bound to get some people who disagree with you and with the whole black lives matter movement. You know, we always feel that it’s better to say something than to be silent. As soon as we say something, you know, there’s always going to be people like, Oh, they looted our stores and stuff like that.

Bryan: [00:43:59] Well, what we think is right and wrong, right? The people that we kind of where emotions are facing a lot, but you feel like a certain way. We have to take action, not, we can’t sit back and just be silent about this, you know? And I’m kind of curious too because you did come from a very humble background, but a lot of people look at you right now and be like, wow, she must be born in some sort of superpower or she’s, you know, she has some God-given, you know, knowledge or strength and whatnot. Well, we all know like success is built on small actions every single day. How do you view success and failure? And this is really important for our listeners to hear too because a lot of people will hit a speed bump that he’s give up. In your career path, you hit a lot of speed bumps, and yet you never gave up. How do you view success and failures?

Christina: [00:44:51] I think I’m in college. I had a friend who said something that was really inspiring to me. he told me like, success is the number of hours you can afford to play video games during the day. And I was like, Oh, that’s a really great point. Like, you know, it’s like the number of hours you can afford to truly do what you really want to do during the day without suffering consequences or guilt or whatever it is. and I thought that’s such a great point because you know if you’re like, I have friends who work in investment banking for 40 years, you know, 18-hour days, and they never really had a life. And then they look back and they’re like, what have I done? You know, I couldn’t really do things. I wanted to travel. Never got to travel. You know, I wanted to have kids, never got to have kids. Right. Or do those things that they wanted to do. and I realized, wow, that’s, that’s a great point because even though they made a lot of money, you know, have they really achieved success? I don’t know. Right. And same with me as well. Like, okay. Maybe if made a lot of money, but have I really gotten to do the things I really want to do kind of yes or no, it depends. Yeah. But there’s still a lot of things on my bucket list of like, places I want to go, people I want to meet that I haven’t really gotten to do yet. Or friends I want to take care of, you know, that I haven’t gotten to do that, that I really want to do during the day.

So I think definitely, I still have a long ways to go there, and I was going to say, actually, what you said about, you know, the whole black lives matter movement, you guys made such a great point about, you know, it’s tough to stay silent right during this time. And I think it’s good to speak up. The thing i did want to talk about that was, you know, you, you can support a movement without supporting a hundred percent of every part of the movement. Right. And I think that’s really important to understand, same with like, you know, there’s a lot of other political issues, right? Like, I don’t know, like LGBT stuff, LGBT movement. Yeah. You can support like the movement without having to, for every single, you know, organization out there, every single part of that movement who, some of them are on different parts of, you know, the political spectrum or whatever it is. Right. And like, that’s fine. You don’t have to support every single one of it. And that’s okay. So, I think that was really important for people to distinguished because like, you know, maybe for instance, like someone like me, I don’t support small businesses being looted because there’s small businesses that are owned by immigrants. Right. And it just is so non-American to me personally. but that doesn’t mean that I don’t support the black lives matter movement as a whole. Right. So, yeah, that was, and also, I was also you guys, like, I feel like moderation is a thankless job. You guys have such a, an amazing and thankless job, and I’m so grateful that you guys are here too.

You know, comment on every post support everybody through this process and to support everyone’s ups and downs through their own individual journeys. Like, I can’t even tell you how much your comments mean a lot to me, but also a lot to everyone in the group as well. So, so thank you for, from the bottom of my heart.
And I’m sure from everyone else, like, you know, your job is very important. It’s thankless, people will always complain and criticize, but that’s the whole point is, you know, To get people to talk. So, so yeah. Thank you.

Maggie: [00:47:36] Well, I just wanted to say thank you for, you know, doing the honors of sharing your story, because, you know, we’re trying to break that mental barrier within the Asian culture and in the beginning, it was very hard for Asians to share their stories. Yeah. Right. It was all the time. And you know, there will be people who said, Oh, if you had $50,000, how would you use that money? Or how would you invest it? and a lot of people said, you know, if I told you my idea, how do I know you’re not going to steal it? You know? And that was the whole mental barrier that we were trying to breakthrough. And just, you know, having you, Christina, share your story and being so open and transparent. With, you know, putting that story out there and allowing, you know, 60,000 numbers to see it that means a lot to us.

Bryan: [00:48:20] That’s a huge prop to you too because I share my story with 300 people. I couldn’t sleep that night. And I was like, man, I’m the first story to share it. All right, I’ll do it. You know, we do this because. It’s not about making money or making a lot of money, it’s redo this because we want to make the world a better place. We do this because we feel like there’s a need for us to own up to our heritage for now. It’s really making a difference. Yeah. It’s not the money resources like this out there at all. Yeah.

Christina: [00:48:55] You’re doing that. You’re already making such a big difference out there. So yeah. Really kudos to you guys for, for all that work and stuff. I know you guys, you mentioned a point about competition, which I thought was interesting. And, my personal view on that is like, we actually befriend our competition.
That’s like the one thing that, again, like, you know, competition, if it keeps you up at night, then just become friends with them. Everyone’s human at the end of the day. My biggest competition and my biggest rivals in the hedge fund industry. You know, we’re all really good friends now. And I think that’s awesome because when, when they go through trouble, I help them. When I go through trouble, they help me. And, so that’s just been just such an incredible barrier. Once I kind of went through that mental barrier in my head and realize it’s okay to have the competition is, and it’s a good thing to have competition, in fact, and even though on a daily basis, we might it against each other sometimes, you know, or do things against you in the markets at least. but we know what the new day, let’s grab a drink, let’s relax and chill and talk about our day, you know, That’s okay, too. So, yeah, life is too short to, you know, be worried about that kind of stuff. Just like going for your ideas and just doing it is the best thing to do out there.

Bryan: [00:50:01] How do you want to make the worlda better place? And What kind of legacy do you want to leave? Like the next in your life?

Christina: [00:50:07] Yeah, I guess, you know, for me, I’d always wanted to basically help the community around me. and you know, it doesn’t necessarily mean to eliminate, you know, eliminating poverty or disease, right? Those are groups. Those are country, you know, cross nationwide efforts, right, that are really big. But I was thinking like, even if I can make one person’s life better, if I can just inspire one person to, to choose a good career path or to, you know, find a better solution to a problem they’re looking for, whatever it is. Like, I think that’s all that really matters to me is just, You know, making sure that someone’s life is better because they had read my story or because they had heard about this person who was in the hedge fund industry, you know, that’s, that’s what I really care about these days.
I do like to help a lot of underrepresented minority groups and women, especially in terms of, so like, you know, the chair of the board of invest in girls, which is nonprofit. So, we help High school girls give them financial literacy education and bridge the gap because a lot of boys get that education, but, and they learn how to trade on Robinhood, you know, in college. Right. But a lot of girls don’t do that. Like, it’s just not something that a lot of girls do at that age. And so, I’m just kind of making sure we can teach people how to have the financial skills and to have that freedom and independence to manage their own money is really important as well. So yeah, so we do stuff like that. that’s been really great. I think. so now that, I’ve actually in the process of stepping away from the hedge fund right now. and so, I’ve been working on Databento, which is like helping to decrease the barrier to entry for our industry. So, like giving data, for a huge discounted price compared to other vendors. and then also I’m writing the book and, and then we might, I’m working with a couple of friends on some initiatives to figure out if we want to do like a nonprofit to help basically underrepresented communities in this space and to help them rise up in terms of, you know, socioeconomically, but as well as just in terms of their overall wellbeing. So, yeah, it’s been…

Bryan: [00:52:00] Yeah, I definitely love the initiative stuff. Like, like what you’re working on has also affected my life as well. You know, for me, the reason why I got into math and science and thought the resource I need was there. There’s a nonprofit go, Jaime Escalante in LA. back to lower-income students who want to specialize in math and sciences. And it’s also founded by thoughts before, like tech founder, you know, in the past. So, it sounds like this, you may not see the fruits of your labor immediately, but it does work. And then I wish I can meet the person that helped me like 20, 25 years ago. They helped me get to a place I am today. Your work is, is definitely impactful, very positive, and like to see how your legacy continues to evolve.

Christina: [00:52:54] Thank you and you guys too, this is, it’s just been such a pleasure to be a part of the Asian Hustle Network and, looking forward to seeing all the other awesome things that you guys are planning on doing.

Maggie: [00:53:05] Thank you. Yeah. so, I do have one more question. I would love to learn from Christina and you know, what is one advice you can give to an aspiring entrepreneur who is trying to enter into the field of hedge funds or, you know, FinTech?

Christina: [00:53:19] Ooh. Wow. I guess the, there’s a couple of pieces of advice I got that made me start take the weight basically out of a position of having no money and no connections or credibility. so one was kind of this quote, like you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And I was like, Oh, that’s so true. And I looked around my internship desk at these people who were being kind of abusive and crazy and, you know, can we, can we grab coffee? And I’m like, yeah, I want to be the average of these people. you know, maybe not. Right. and I realized like I wanted to create those high people around me and to kind of have control over. You know, the type of person who I want to become like, and so, so that really inspired me as well. And then another one was like, imagining you’re like a hundred years old, you’re in your death bed and you’re reflecting back on your timeline of your life. Right. And thinking about like, what would you want that timeline to look like at every point, every step of the way and realizing for me, like, you know, what I feel happy working at. I don’t know, a large bank for four years. personally, no, but that’s just my answer again, like if you know, it’s okay, if you, the answer is I want to do that or my, maybe your answer is I want to be a mom for my life and that’s great. Like, there’s nothing wrong with any path you take, but just for me as an exercise personally, I’m like, oh yeah, you know, I would like to be an entrepreneur. I would like to do this. And yeah. And it’s never too late to kind of start that now. you know, when it doesn’t matter, you know, I think there’s never really a time to be ready, to be honest, to start. Like people always imagine I’ll be ready later. Like once I have, you know, I need like this much money in my bank, or I need to have, you know, be at a stable place in my life or be in this city or whatever it is. But you realize at some point, like, you know, that’s probably either never going to happen or, you know, life is full of so many surprises and detours. Like coronavirus now, like my plan everyone’s plans have been derailed.
So, then you realize like, well, this is no better time to start it then just trying to start it and then going from there, going for it. And, you know, and if people ever need advice from me, you know, welcome to contact me, but, Hey, I remember getting a lot of pushback from people. A lot of older people who started hedge funds. They’re like the old folks in Boston. They’re like, Oh, you know, get an MBA for, get a PhD, you know, get some, get some years of experience. And I’m like, that’s great. You know, if you can do that and afford that. But, for me, I was, I was too poor and too desperate. So, I just, and also, cause I was known as the girl who threw up on her boss already. So, I had this bad reputation on wall street. So, I was like, okay, well I might as well start it now. and so, you know, there’s really no right time. It’s just whatever you think is right. And so, if you need someone to just tell you, just go for it, then just go, you know, I can be that person to tell someone, just go for it.
And I also like, nobody very, really, like a few people I know, tell me, Oh, Christina, I totally regret starting a company. You know, I totally regret becoming an entrepreneur or starting a company. Right? Like that. You really hear that because even if your company fails, you find so many opportunities after, and sometimes it’s, it’s the third, you know, it’s the third, time’s the charm or whatever. Right. Your third company succeeds, you just never know.
So, Absolutely, I would just say, just go for it and, you know, have faith in yourself. If you want to start a company, or if you want to go into a new field or find another job, whatever it is, you know, just have faith in yourself that you can do this and, and that things will be okay in the end.
And, that’s all that really matters.

Maggie: [00:56:34] It’s amazing. That’s very sound advice. Thank you so much, Christina.
so for our listeners, how can they learn more about you? And when can we know more about your book?

Christina: [00:56:45] So, I have LinkedIn, I’m just Christina Qi on LinkedIn. so you guys are welcome to add me there, or what else is there? I do have a Twitter as well. I’m kind of obnoxious on Twitter, but to follow me on Twitter. and then in terms of my book, it’s scheduled to be published around December of this year, actually. So, I will definitely try to make an announcement when the time comes closer to that. I hope you guys will enjoy the book. It talks about some of those experiences I mentioned the modern-day slaves, you know, the Jeffrey Epstein’s of the world. And, what’s scary is that these are true stories that happened. so, I just wanted to kind of tell people what it’s like to, make it to the top and finance and who I’m working for at the end of the day, which is kind of scary.
So, just wanted to kind of tell that experience into the open, and if anyone’s considering a career in finance or is already in, or just wants to learn about the industry, I’m hoping that this will be a really interesting guide for folks out there. So, yeah, I’ll definitely let you guys know in the group as well and making an announcement when it, when it’s actually published on Amazon and stuff.

Bryan: [00:57:46] Be definitely be there to amplify your voice and support you along the way.

Christina: [00:57:51] Thank you so much.

Maggie: [00:57:53] Thank you so much, Christina. It was wonderful hearing your story. I’m sure the viewers and listeners will think the same, but it was great interviewing you. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Bryan: [00:58:03] Thank you so much.

Christina: [00:58:04] Thank you both. It’s been a pleasure to be featured in this podcast and I am looking forward to everything you guys will be doing in the future.

Bryan: [00:58:13] Thank you.

Maggie: [00:58:14] Thank you.

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