Although purchasing stocks is one of the most profitable investments and can be instrumental in yielding wealth, Black participation in the stock market remains significantly low. Research shows that a mere 36 percent of Black adults have investments in stocks; a statistic that is contributing to the widening racial wealth gap. Ohio-bred entrepreneur and financial coach J.R. Fenwick is bridging the knowledge gap surrounding stock investing through his venture FLip That Stock.
The Hampton University alum began to shape his perspective on financial freedom at an early age. When he was 10-years-old Fenwick—the son of a doctor and nurse—had his own paper route and lawn cutting business in Toledo. He didn’t have to look far for examples of Black wealth and prestige as his father was the city’s health commissioner. “It’s so important that you have someone that you can model after, especially if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur,” he told NewsOne. “You have to be around people that you can look up to and get mentorship and coaching from. I was fortunate to grow up with a strong Black father.” In adulthood, he focused on exploring ways to generate wealth. He started buying and selling stocks nearly two decades ago. Through several conversations, he noticed there were myths and misconceptions that were holding people back from investing in stocks, ultimately hindering them from establishing a foundation for financial success.
After teaching his friends about the power of stock investments, word spread about his impactful insights and strangers began asking him to create books and courses to share his knowledge. This compelled Fenwick to launch a stock market education and tech company to show individuals in the Black community how financially transformative investing in stocks can be.
He decided to quit his six-figure job in corporate America and later launched FLip That Stock in 2014. Fenwick—a former basketball coach—said financial coaching was a natural transition. Through his company, Fenwick hosts seminars throughout the country geared towards teaching individuals about the fundamentals of stock investing. The workshops cover how the market works and how to become an active trader and investor.
Fenwick says it’s imperative for African Americans to invest in the stock market. He believes it will be instrumental in addressing the wealth gap. The New York Times reported that Black families hold only $5.04 for every $100 in white family wealth. “Wealth creation leaves clues,” he said. “The three things that create wealth are business ownership, real estate, and stock investing. The biggest slice of the pie that we leave on the table is stock investing. Folks think it’s too complicated or you have to be rich and that’s not the case. We believe in these things and we sit on the sidelines. We’ll shop with major retailers but won’t get any ownership in these companies. If we want to change, we have to get into the investment piece. It’s the easiest and lowest barrier of entry.”
Fenwick’s overarching mission is to inspire and empower individuals to take control of their financial narratives. Each year he aims to teach at least 1,000 people of color how to become traders and investors. “Our goal is to take an individual from having little or no knowledge about the stock market to the level where they can actively go in, find and analyze stocks to decide if they want to invest or trade and flip,” he said. The entrepreneur—who says he pulls his inspiration from the business moves made by music mogul Berry Gordy—wants FLip That Stock to be a part of his legacy.
As for what’s on the horizon for Fenwick and FLip That Stock, he plans on working with historically Black colleges and universities to license a stock investment program that will be implemented into school curriculums. His alma mater invited him back to teach a course about the stock market. Fenwick also plans on launching an app for his business. He’s currently in the process of organizing a conference for entrepreneurs and will release a new book titled “52 Things I Did To Quit My Job and Build a Million Dollar Company,” a sequel to his award-winning book, “How I Quit My $100,000 a Year Job.”