By About Her Culture Team
Before making the big switch to conquering the US stock market, Teri Ijeoma was, like many people around the world, stuck in a dead-end job with dreams of financial freedom.
Now the former elementary school assistant principal returns to the world of education as a multi-millionaire. Instead of instructing hundreds of children, her students number in the thousands — people who, in the wake of the pandemic, want to find a way out of their restrictive 9 to 5s, and bridge the wealth gap into a fulfilling life.
In this interview, Teri walks us through her heritage, her history before going all-in on trading, how the stock market can empower Black and marginalized people, advice for Black women, and what’s next for her company Trade and Travel.
Tell us about your connection to Africa.
Teri: My dad is from Nigeria, and I have 40 aunts and uncles. I have nine brothers and sisters on my dad’s side. Of the ten, only two of us live here in the States and the rest are in Africa. My mom was born here in Texas and I grew up in Texas, so I have a great mix of African and African-American heritage.
How has success through trading changed your life?
Teri: Before trading, I was an assistant principal at an elementary school. I laugh about it now, but my colleague and I would be outside in our cars in the parking lot of the school dreading the day to come! However, I was able to travel a bit, and I love to travel. Since becoming a full-time trader my lifestyle has completely changed. I get to trade and travel as I desire. Trading has changed my life, because not only have I been able to reach great success, but I am helping others and hopefully inspiring them, so they know they can have this too.
Since the pandemic it seems trading has become extremely popular in the Black community. How do you see trading as a tool for economic empowerment in our community, and are there any words of caution you’d give people who are jumping into the space?
Teri: Reports have shown that African-Americans and people of color were the fastest growing section of investors in the retailing sector last year in 2021. This year I have made it a point to do a low cost training to help more people of color get invested in the overall market. We had over 7,000 people enrolled to learn how to take their first trade and get invested in the overall indexes recently in February for Black History Month. This work is important as it helps to bridge the wealth gap. If money is just sitting in a savings account, then it is not growing. However, the S&P 500 was up 26.9% last year, so if someone only learned how to trade there, they have higher chances of success with growing their overall savings. This type of education creates positive change for individuals and society overall.
My word of caution would be to get educated before you jump into trading. Many people jump in and lose money because they haven’t taken the time to properly learn how to trade.
If you could send a mass message to Black women, giving them 3 tips on using trading as a tool for personal empowerment, what would those tips be?
1) You can use trading stocks as a way to intentionally pay for your goals. For example, I have one student who will trade stocks to make $100 to pay for a massage every month. I have another student who traded to pay for her kitchen renovation.
2) Trading is a skillset just like speaking another language or learning a new dance. When you want to use it, and you have some time, then you can really intentionally make the money grow. But, if you get busy you can put it to the side and come back to it when you are ready again.
3) Trading is something that you need to get educated on before you jump in. The barriers to entry are low. There are no commission fees on many online brokers, and it’s easy to learn some information on YouTube. But, the best way to learn is to take a course like Trade and Travel, from a trader that has a proven track record, so that you can learn a system to be consistent with your gains.
Trade and Travel has really taken off with people around the world. What’s next for you and the company?
Teri: I hope to continue to take the message to different parts of the world, and encourage a wide variety of people to build investing skills. I hope to change the narrative that investing is just for retirement, and help people to use the stock market to supplement their income and improve their current lifestyle. I also have invited some special guests and my VIP students to join me for a weekend mastermind this summer, so that will be exciting.