Investing While Black

In this series, I’ll be laying out my thoughts on how Black investors could think about their participation in various asset classes.  I see so many people complaining about the lack of diversity in [insert finance career field] and so many Black investors who seem to have no strategy or agenda when it comes to the overall financial well-being of the Black community other than maybe selling some online course about their particular strategy.  I want to do my part to help shift the conversation from a victim mindset to a solutions mindset, from individual wealth to collective wealth, from opportunistic investing to strategic investing with an economic development lens.  Secondarily, my intention is to attract and connect with like-minded Black investors who are doing it right since I haven’t read about or met many yet, and I know that more must exist.  

A couple primers before reading this are here and here, but in short, my goal as a Black investor is economic independence for all Black people who choose it.  It is not simply to generate wealth for no reason or individual financial freedom, although I will build plenty of wealth for myself and my family in the process.  I think a lot of professional Black investors, who manage other people’s money, get stuck and ultimately frustrated by the racism and lack of diversity in their field because they choose to give up their individual power rather than building collective power.  They throw their hands up that their white counterparts won't invest in Black companies or other Black investment managers, but don't realize that they are already in the 1% and can make a significant impact with just their personal wealth with the right strategy and mindset. 

It is an inefficient use of energy to try and convince non-Black people to prioritize Black people in any area of people activity from economics to politics or spirituality to warfare.  Their priorities are their priorities for good reason.  Reasons that work for them.  As investment managers, we need to focus on what we can control, which doesn’t include changing people’s hearts and minds.

We can control value creation/wealth building and what we do with our share of the profits once we’ve done our jobs well.  In this article, a bunch if relatively rich Black people complain about not being able to use their positions to help enough Black businesses, and about what white VC’s aren’t doing.  While I see value in SOME people working the problem from that angle, there are far too many people pushing this dependency-based diversity narrative and not enough pushing practical strategies for self-determination, which usually runs into defeatist attitudes pretty quickly whenever brought up in public spaces.  

So let's see where this journey takes us.  I welcome any an all support, help, and constructive suggestions.