Around the time of the death of George Floyd, the Montreal Black Community saw online groups grow at a large number, with a few subdivisions and subgroups. I followed each and every one of these groups, but only one has helped me grow and allowed me to take the solo plunge as a Black Woman Investor.
After opening up my first trading account, I followed every post in the Black Traders Club religiously, gaining knowledge, and taking more risks by diversifying my portfolio. Fascinated by the cohesion of the group, I decided to reach out to its founder: Jay Edmond.
Petrona: So, apart from yourself, how many people founded the group with you?
Jay: I founded the group and later added two moderators to better streamline the flow of the content and new membership requests.
Petrona: What prompted you to start this group?
Jay: In the wake of the George Floyd protests and global outrage, I felt that this time we had the attention of the big players. Heads of governments were saying the name George Floyd and took the knee. Multinational corporations were putting forward initiatives to make up for decades of overlooking what we could contribute because of racial bias. I felt it was only appropriate for us to step up and demonstrate that we’re ready to take our place at the big table and be in charge of our wealth and eradicate poverty from our communities ourselves. Poverty is the root cause of most of our problems, especially among the youth.
Petrona: What did you expect when you founded the group?
Jay: I didn’t know what to expect when I founded the group at first. I saw an article from CTV News “Stocks Are Soaring, and Most Black People Are Missing Out” that reinforced the reason why such a group was needed.
We can and need to leverage the growth potential of the stock market to raise much-needed capital to fund our Black-owned businesses. They are the foundation of our collective wealth because when our black businesses expand the community expands. They hire in the community and consequently pull entire households out of poverty. The hard part is addressing the false preconception about the stock market in the community that suggests it’s a big casino and you can “lose everything“ taking 2008 as an example.
Petrona: Unlike the number of online “Black” groups on Facebook, I am always astonished by the courteousness and willingness to share information by the members of the Black Trading Club. So tell me, have you ever had to block anyone?
Jay: We haven’t block anyone so far. By design, the group is structured to be purely objective and based on learning. Some opinions may differ but at the end of the day, the market has the last say. People can post whatever questions they have without the need for approval. If a publication is out of context and not related to what we do in the group, it dies out on its own given the algorithms and high levels of activity.
Petrona: What is the biggest obstacle in understanding stocks in the Black Community?
Jay: The biggest obstacle is to make people realize that they need financial literacy and they need to educate themselves. It’s a challenge because financially we collectively think that we’re doing what we’re supposed to do to get by but in reality, the pace at which things are evolving might make it challenging for us to catch up and lead. We need a wake-up call and I think we had it with George Floyd. We saw a collective consensus that we needed more of a buy black and black-owned movement however without black wealth we can’t realize much. To generate black wealth we need financial literacy.
Petrona: So what’s your biggest learning experience in investing thus far?
Jay: I started in 2017 and got caught up in the first crypto-mania. I made some money, lost money, regain my losses, and sold at a small loss. I’ve learned the hard way that I needed to educate myself and I also needed an experienced coach.
Petrona: What’s the biggest reward of seeing so many new Black Investors?
Jay: The biggest reward is to see the growing interest in the community on investing and the need to make better financial decisions and see the larger collective picture when it comes to black wealth. I’m optimistic that this will snowball into an ecosystem of new black businesses in capital/fund managements, investment clubs, small black community banks, educational platforms in the Black community. Down the road, this will result in us being in charge of our wealth and giving the next generation a thriving and prosperous community. A financially literate individual can have a significant impact on his family. A financially literate family can have a massive impact on their community. A financially literate community can have a considerable impact on society and the way society perceives that community. This is the goal, when the black community will be perceived as added value by society it will have a fundamental shift in the way we will be portrayed in the media and in the minds of the people who don’t look like us. Everybody will win and we all going to be better off. This is the long term goal.
Petrona: Thank you for the group, Jay. I look to the group for information on stocks, investment opportunities, and love the fact that there is a guide to assist me. The support received from the group has been phenomenal. So tell me, what’s your stock tip for our readers?
Jay: I can say right off the bat that NIO (Chinese EV maker) is coming out strong after the NIO day event they had this weekend and they’re up to over 7% as we speak. They had some great stuff they announced so the NIO stock will be one to watch in the coming weeks.
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