Tiffany James has seen the many doors wealth building can open. Her 2016 introduction to the stock market set the foundation for a life-changing investment in Tesla three years later. James, a Well+Good 2022 Changemaker, invested half of her check—purchasing approximately $4,000 worth of shares at less than $100 each—and that initial investment, coupled with multiple trades, has resulted in a $2 million portfolio.
The self-taught trader amassed her stock market knowledge from trial and error, as well as online communities and resources. But, as a Haitian-Jamaican American woman, there wasn’t a comprehensive, early-stage investing platform designed with her unique journey and identities in mind. She created a solution: Modern Blk Girl, a “one-stop shop for everything investing,” as James describes it. Alongside her partner, Sharlea Brookes, the 28-year-old entrepreneur has built a one-of-a-kind community and school for newbies that teaches Black women the importance of investing and wealth creation.
“Who am I to come and start teaching people about stocks and investing?,” asks James, who was initially hesitant to launch Modern Blk Girl. “I did know that my system worked and I knew that, if not me, there are other people in the community that can help me grow [this]. That’s exactly what happened.”
Addressing the “double gap” through financial literacy
Black women navigate both the gender and racial wealth gap, resulting in 90 percent less wealth than white men. The wealth inequality and lack of accessible financial information undoubtedly impacts their ability to invest. According to a CNBC/Momentive Invest in You survey, half of Black American adults and 49 percent of Latinx adults don’t currently own individual stocks, mutual funds, bonds, exchange-traded funds, cryptocurrency, or real estate. When the data is broken down by gender, nearly 60 percent of Black women and close to 50 percent of Latinas aren’t investing in anything, compared to 34 percent of white women and 23 percent of white men.
The stats don’t deter James. Instead, they embolden her to support Black women in creating wealth. “There’s a plethora of different ways to make money in the stock market,” she says.
Transparently sharing the journey
James is adamant about transparently sharing her investing and trading journey on social platforms. In fact, the social space is where Modern Blk Girl first got its start via Clubhouse. “I want women to know that it wasn’t just like, I woke up and I’m a millionaire. No, we put some work in,” she says.
Scroll through Modern Blk Girl’s Instagram account, which has garnered 48,300 followers, and you’ll find a number of posts where the former hospitality and event planning professional discusses how she’s made thousands of dollars in a day. She’s not stopping there; James has plans to drop an app and is working toward a TV show in 2023.
“What we do is so unique and I don’t think anyone has been able to master it the way we do, with regard to making stocks entertaining,” says James. “I think the more we normalize it and more people look like me normalize it, the further we’ll be.”