May 20, 2021

Wall Street Bets Uprising and Black Personal Finance

There's an internet uprising going against Wall Street and small Black business owners are playing their part.

There’s a wild populist storm brewing on Reddit that in a matter of days generated billions in losses for Wall Street’s institutional investors. If you haven’t heard of WallStreetBets by now, it’s a Reddit forum that rallied behind companies like GameStop, AMC, and other nostalgic brands from the early aughts to fight Wall Street firms shorting these household stocks.

The Reddit forum launched a blitz campaign across Reddit and Twitter to push these household companies to unprecedented stock prices within the space of a week. It’s an amazing phenomenon, akin to an Internet uprising.

Institutional investors were so caught off guard that apps like Robinhood and Webull halted trading on some of these stocks for unclear and dubious reasons. 

In 2021, we’re seeing a bizarre blending of business and social movements like never before. And perhaps an opportunity for Black entrepreneurs to be at the centerpiece of that mixture. We’ve always been at the front of social causes but is there a doorway for us leading up the socio-business protest arena (the catchphrase is a work in progress)?

Chris Williams, better known as 'Wealth Squad Chris’ on Twitter, is someone who saw this trend early. Weeks before anyone realized that AMC would triple in value, Williams promised his Twitter following that the money he made from buying AMC stock would “buy his first Bentley.” 

This is how the prophetic Twitter influencer talks and rallies thousands of day traders and amateur stock pickers to his growing stock trading course catalog and private discord channel. He’s made over $2 million just through Gumroad.  

There’s the obvious ethical question: should an unaccredited man who never worked at an institutional bank be advising people on their personal finance? 

But if there are thousands of Robert Kiyosaki, Tony Robbins and other figures doling out questionable financial advice why shouldn’t Black influencers participate in the same practice?

I say finally, young Black entrepreneurs are getting into the stock market. Historically, most Black Americans have shied away from the market. According to studies, Black involvement in the stock market is almost non-existent until the person makes six figures and then Black investors match their white counterparts. 

Williams and figures like him on Twitter are an imperfect start to a new Black personal finance industry but we have to start somewhere and maybe there’s something to Chris and his Wealth Squad.  

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