“Make your money work for you” is an evergreen piece of advice that many BAUCE women have already internalized. At its core, this guidance encourages people to find ways to generate wealth that requires minimal time and labor. Passive income can be a powerful tool on the journey to financial freedom as your money can gradually increase without requiring a high level of additional work. Investing your money in different asset classes can serve as an effective and efficient way to earn this additional income.
Schelo Doirin, an entrepreneur and investor, has developed a deep understanding of how investing in the stock market can help Black women achieve their financial goals. Through her organization, Black Women Invest, Schelo shares her financial wisdom through training, educational excursions, and various channels to foster community, both in-person and online.
In this article, Schelo shares several key lessons for BAUCE women to follow.
Collaborate With Your Community
This ethos forms the basis for Black Women Invest: learning from and alongside your community is an incredible journey. When it comes to navigating finances, Schelo confirms: “Focusing on community helps. With Black Women Invest, we are a community first and foremost and want to create a safe space for Black women to start investing…The truth is, you can invest even with a dollar. Even if it’s five dollars a month, you are teaching yourself consistency and discipline. Later on, when the money does come, you will know what to do with it. The resources I provide, in addition to the community, include investing classes (both free and paid). We have a six-week accelerator program to understand how to open up an account, which investments to select, how to make an asset allocation, and how to rebalance portfolios. We have chapters, which have memberships starting at $25 a month. Through this membership, women can get insight from financial professionals who are all Black women.”
There is the somewhat academic facet where people learn the essentials. At the same time, Black Women Invest helps to instill a sense of camaraderie among members. Reflecting on the connections between members, Schelo emphasizes: “We want women to feel safe in this community. We want them to find resources for Black women and for Black women. Being able to join a chapter where you are meeting other women in your local community who are talking about these things and look like you allows you to envision yourself as an investor. Women have shared how moved they are to be in a room with so many other Black women with the same mindset.”
Start Your Investment Journey Early On
Schelo credits her prior experience in investing as laying the groundwork for her current career. When describing her current situation, Schelo shares: “ My journey began when I was let go of my dream job. It was the big wake-up call that I needed. After that, I decided to take my financial situation into my own hands. I knew I could no longer rely on someone else providing me with a paycheck to be okay or to survive. I had been investing before that point. But, that experience pushed me to start Black Women Invest as a group. My entire career was in real estate investing, and I had also invested in stocks here and there. I started taking it more seriously when I made the group. Then I started to share what I learned with the group.” Those who are curious about the investment landscape can learn from Schelo’s experience. It is okay to dabble with your research and engagement as you learn about the various options and opportunities to invest.
Be Intentional About Your Goals and Your Gameplan
Those who aren’t prepared first may encounter one of the primary pitfalls of misinformation. Scehlo advises, “You need to know your plan before you start. I encourage people to create a plan to understand how much they need to be investing on a monthly basis, etc. One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen is not having a plan. I see many people doing that. They receive a link from their friend who tells them to sign up for an app and people don’t realize what they’re signing up for.”
Building your knowledge over time is the safest avenue to reaching goals. Be wary of investing a large volume of money until you have a strong sense of how you intend to structure your investments. In that same vein, it is crucial to read the fine print. Schelo warns that “Another common mistake is not understanding the fees that are associated with stocks and funds as a whole. Fees can eat up your overall portfolio. When you look at your overall portfolio with fees compounded, you realize how much capital is being taken away. You can try to find alternatives to avoid the high fee investments.”
Black women should feel empowered to have agency in their financial futures. While this journey may be complex and overwhelming at times there is good news: there is a community of other women to learn and grow with. With thousands of members and six chapters across the country, Black Women Invest offers ample avenues for inquiring minds to develop their investment expertise. Fortunately, there is a plethora of upcoming events to engage with this group such as the Miami Investment Brunch in February and the Wine and Wisdom Retreat in California. In addition, Black Women Invest offers excursions for women to visit investment real estate properties overseas with upcoming visits to include Bali in June, Ghana in July, and Italy in September.