K. Mawuli Vodi
Growing up, I wondered about what financial gurus on TV were talking about and felt clueless about the numbers scrolling across the bottom of the screen. I did what any college student would do. I didn't open an account at a brokerage firm, I jumped in with both feet and got an internship at a nationwide brokerage firm so that I can get paid, get college credit, and learn how to make money in the stock market. Everything needed to overlap for me. I come from a background where my basic needs were taken care of but there was always a struggle and a want for more. More knowledge and more money.
I started my journey to be a stockbroker during the mortgage crisis of 2008, one of the most exciting financial times in modern history. And my only regret was that I didn't know more about the stock market sooner. If I knew more about the stock market a year earlier, maybe, just maybe I would have known that I could have bought anything in March of 2009, the bottom of the market, and it would have made a world of difference. It always stuck with me even in an industry where it was extremely difficult to find people who looked like me. It became more and more apparent that my background, my parents, their friends, the community, was simply looking to survive and thrive--they didn't have time to learn how to accept risk in the stock market. Why didn’t we talk about this stuff at the dinner table? Why didn't we learn this in school? Why didn't we have relatives buying us stock?
Fast forward to now, with children of my own, I wanted to create a different culture and bring others along to avoid the mistakes I made and change financial patterns of those before me. A culture of moving forward financially and passing down financial knowledge. My time as a stockbroker and financial consultant empowered me to build wealth but it isn't enough. More than that, the ability to understand my risk tolerance through knowledge and experience is just as powerful as the wealth and knowledge I will someday leave behind. Even over a decade after my journey started, I still live by the vow to make sure that I help as many people as possible to become Financially Present.