By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
Prince: We raised more money in the last few months of the BLM [Black Lives Matter] movement than in the year since we launched. That being said, we still have a ways to go towards reaching our $500,000 target. Fundraising is our No. 1 challenge to scaling the reach and scale of the mission and adding additional hands on deck to build execution capacity.
MarketWatch: What do you think the main fundraising challenges are?
Prince: Certainly the pandemic. I understand this is a moment of uncertainty for everyone, so of course, at times of uncertainty, it’s the most natural thing — people are concerned with you and yours. Secondly, again, I think it goes to what is also natural. You have to be moved or inspired by a certain story based on your own background. ... Last but not least, as a new nonprofit CEO, I have to take responsibility myself to take the message out there and get into the right rooms.
MarketWatch: Can you describe some of the potential candidates who have asked to take part?
Prince: [He describes some of the 200 emails he has received from as far away as Africa and Saudi Arabia, some of which he has shared on his LinkedIn page .] A young man from Florida: “I started teaching myself to trade at age 15 or 16, Latino, I grew up, my parents picked fruit, during quarantine and corona I’ve been massively trading.” A young man from Canada, clearly of South Asian descent by his last name, he’s studying mathematics, and he said: “I’ve noticed my colleagues get interviews and the job opportunities where I haven’t, can you help me?” A Native American: “I’m a trader at Maverick, this is an opportunity I would like my two Black nieces to have that I didn’t have at their age.” ... Just constantly these stories.
A theme that comes up quite often from these young Black and brown kids who want to learn to trade: More than one say they want to learn to give back to their community. It reminds me of why I’m doing this.
MarketWatch: What are the biggest obstacles for people of color trying to get into finance?
Prince: One is awareness, two is social capital. We don’t grow up with uncles, fathers, brothers who play golf with MDs or run desks. That’s not our typical story. The network, the introductions ...
MarketWatch: What does the financial industry need to do to bring more people of color into the sector?
Prince: Support Wall Street Bound and other organizations that are intentionally trying to bridge the opportunity divide between the capital markets, financial services careers and urban talent. Wall Street on its own is incapable of recruiting and training urban talent. And the urban talent on its own is incapable of cracking open the doors. There has to be intentionality and a bridge, an organization bringing those two together. It’s the only way.
MarketWatch: How important is financial literacy to reducing the racial wealth gap?
Prince: Financial literacy on its own doesn’t get you to the point where you have the additional income and asset to invest. It has to be coupled with the income conversations, the behavior conversations and the investment conversations. ... Even if you became the world’s smartest investor, you’re Warren Buffett, you’ve got 500 bucks in the bank, you double it in a year and now you’ve got 1,000 bucks in the bank. That’s not moving the needle. The average Black family has one-tenth the net worth of the average white family.
MarketWatch: What makes a good trader? What are you looking for?
Prince: Humility, discipline, intellectual curiosity, hunger we have in spades, willingness to put in the hard work. Most people do not recognize how difficult a job it is and how long it takes.
MarketWatch: In working with young people, what are the biggest misconceptions you’ve run into about money markets?
Prince: With young people, it’s for them to recognize it’s a long journey to mastery. The length of time to become aware of that first step along that journey is not mastery of concept or mastery of analysis; it’s mastery of self. And that is absolutely where they get misperceptions.
You can’t be a trader without being disciplined and without knowing yourself, and that’s where most of the work needs to be done, as opposed to the technical skills. ... Most people don’t realize trading is probably 80% mental. Focus on analysis, which tools, understanding who you are and coming up with a trading plan according to your own specific personality. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Everyone knows the old adage — cut your losers short, let your winners run. No one is able to do it. Why?