Ever since the death of George Floyd, it seems that Black Lives Matter more now than in any other time I can remember.
Chief executive officers from some of the biggest companies in the world – AT&T, Merck, and Apple among them – have spoken out this year against police brutality and systemic racism. Protesters from all over the world took to the streets to express their outrage and demand that police brutality finally be addressed. Big-name advertisers have boycotted Facebook, demanding that the social networking platform do a better job of monitoring hate speech on its site. Statues and monuments of historical figures in American history who owned slaves are being taken down.
It feels like we are in the middle of a race war and a pandemic at the same time.
So…what does this have to do with the stock market?
A few weeks ago, I read an article that accused the stock market of being racist against black people.
The low participation rate among black people in America may serve as proof. Only 30% of black households have a retirement account.
Is there systemic racism on Wall Street practiced by firms like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs? Absolutely. I’m a black man and I worked on Wall Street for ten years; during that time, you could count the people on the trading desk that looked like me with one hand.
That being said, let me make one thing clear:
One of the reasons I love the stock market is that no matter who you are or where you come from, you have a chance.
Anybody could have bought Amazon…anybody.
Anybody could have bought Netflix…anybody.
Anybody could have bought Apple…anybody!
There’s no pay discrepancy when it comes to owning stocks.
For example, if two people – one black and the other white – invested $10,000 each in Amazon in 1996, and never sold it, they would both have the same return of $12,000,000. The white investor wouldn’t make $12,000,000 while the black investor only made $6,000,000. They would make the exact same return on their investment.
One of the beautiful things about investing is that stocks are completely unbiased. They will go up or down based on a multitude of factors, but the race of the investor is not one of them!
Stocks don’t care who owns them or what your family history is. They don’t care if you own 100 shares or a million shares. Stocks are going to do what they’re going to do…and generally speaking, over the last hundred years, they’ve pretty much gone up.
So: If you’re black, don’t buy into this nonsense that “the stock market is racist, therefore you should boycott the market.”
Boycotting the market will be at your own peril.
I’m black. The stock market has been good to me.
Click the image of the book at left to be taken to its Amazon page. (Disclosure: As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn a small commission on each sale generated through these links.)