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Why Black People Do Not Invest in the Stock Market

Black wealth

According to data from Goldman Sachs over the past 140 years, U.S. stocks averaged over 10-year returns of 9.2%. That’s quite an attractive return, but not everyone believes the stock market is such a sure thing or is able to invest.


Research shows there are fewer African Americans investing than whites.


61% of whites participate in the stock market whereas only 28% of African Americans participate in the stock market.


Here are three reasons why people of color, particularly Black people, choose not to invest:

1. In the African American community, we’re less likely to talk about investment because we have other things to worry about like; food, safety, health, education, childcare, employment - just to name a few. There is a severe lack of stock investment knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Black people don’t have the luxury to talk about stocks and investments at the kitchen table.


2. Another reason there are fewer Blacks in the stock market: many of America’s lowest-paying jobs are filled by African Americans and other people of color. Those jobs are less likely to come with a 401(k), the retirement savings plan through which most Americans do their investing. The unfortunate outcome here is that most of the less-skilled employees in America will retire in poverty.


3. Many Blacks shy away from stocks because they believe they are too risky. African Americans in the public sector and nonprofit organizations tend to be ultra-conservative and focus on guaranteed or fixed investments that are low-risk or no risk. But there’s no growth potential! African Americans prefer investing in real estate because it’s tangible: they see it, feel it, and many believe it’s less riskier. 

Without question investing in the stock market can be risky (real estate too), but it is one of the best ways to build wealth. Historically, it has helped Americans build a solid retirement and wealth over time. Unfortunately, many African Americans have missed out on the fantastic growth in the stock market over the past decade. The racial wealth gap between Whites and Blacks continues to widen mainly because of the lack of stock ownership and retirement savings. It’s time for Black people to get serious about owning stocks.

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