Black SC Female Fellow Teaches Others How To Invest



Keywanya Williams is part of a growing trend of day trading investors using phone apps to invest individually. She encourages others to learn about stocks, especially in the black community, in order to grow the wealth of the first generation.


It started with trading penny stocks in high school, then trading options, then commodities and futures. Her parents thought she was stupid, but Keywanya Williams of Dillon, SC believed that trading in stocks was her path to freedom.

More than a decade later, Williams is a full-time day trader, online investment consultant, and advocate for increased investment education in K-12 schools. She preaches the importance of training the next generation of the black community to know that the stock market is for everyone.

According to Ozgur Ince, clinical associate professor of finance at the Darla Moore School of Business, Williams is part of a growing trend in day trading through apps like Robinhood and eTrade in recent years, which offer low or no commission fees.

Individual investment peaked a decade in the first six months of 2020, in which individual investors made up 19.5% of stocks traded on the US stock market, up from 14.9% in 2019 and around double the 2010 level, the Wall Street Journal reported in August based on Bloomberg Intelligence research.

Trends and risks in day trading

According to an Investopedia article by Justin Kuepper, only those who work in large financial institutions, brokerage houses and trading houses could do day trading, or buy and sell securities within one trading day. . With the rise of the Internet, “it has become easier for the average individual investor to get into the game,” Kuepper said.

“If children had the opportunity to earn money with their laptops or phones, and didn’t necessarily have to take on debt or a student loan to go to college, that would change the situation. gives, ”Williams said.

Williams used the Robinhood stock brokerage app last year and challenged herself to see how it could turn a $ 500 investment in a year. By the end of 2020, she had earned $ 305,000 on her initial investment. Although she knows 2020 has been an abnormal year, Williams said business has the power to change lives.

According to Ince, a perfect storm of low interest rates, high unemployment, easy access through apps, increased access to margin trading and increased options and trading information on YouTube and social media created an almost “gamification” effect on the investment. This is not necessarily all a good thing, he said: the general academic consensus concludes that “day trading is very dangerous for the financial health of people,” said Ince.

The last time Ince saw a huge trend in individual trading was in the late 90s when the dot-com boom ended “in a lot of pain when the market ended up s. ‘collapsing’ and people lost a lot of money, he said.

Although involving more people in the stock market is a positive development as it grows the economy and generates more income than a traditional savings account, Ince said, he still worries that people do risk and lose substantial amounts of money in day trading and subsequently exit the market for long periods of time or forever. More so, Ince said the risk of suicide from huge losses is a concern.

Williams maintains a risk disclosure tweet pinned to the top of his Twitter account that states that “trading in futures, stocks and options involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors.”

The typical investor

Only 33.5% of black households owned stocks in 2019 compared to 61% of white households, according to data released by the Federal Reserve. The survey also showed that the typical non-Hispanic white household had a net worth of $ 189,100 in 2019, compared to $ 24,100 for the median black household. Williams tries to reverse generational wealth gaps through trade.

“When people think of the stock market, they automatically think of an average Caucasian man working on Wall Street. They can’t imagine a 31-year-old black woman, ”Williams said.

Before GameStop stock exploded – an effort that started with the WallStreetBets Reddit page inspiring individual investors to increase GameStop stock and cause short hedge fund investors billions in losses – Williams said that ‘she had seen the plan being worked out. a year ago and is excited to finally see more people getting involved in the investment.

“I feel like a lot of teenagers are watching the stock market more now because of what happened with GameStop,” Williams said. “It’s really going to cause a boom in the number of people trying to invest and that’s what I’m here for.”

As a teenager, when Williams first asked her parents about the stock market, she was greeted with the reaction “oh this isn’t something we do” and that trading is only for the rich. Nonetheless, she learned about the stock market and started trading anyway.

“I really wish I had someone when I was learning because, let me tell you, I blew up a lot of accounts,” Williams joked.

Keywanya Williams teaches others about investing after learning herself over ten years ago. Her new Stocks2Freedom YouTube channel is one way for her to reach people. Youtube

Social networks and the stock market

In 2021, Williams said she will focus on teaching others the lessons she has learned. On her new YouTube channel, Stocks2Freedom, she posts a weekly video explaining different aspects of investing.

Williams also consults with those who want one-on-one learning opportunities, and she has already seen 250 clients since the start of December. Until now, the vast majority of her clients have been black, and Williams attributes this to people who see her trading and no longer feel the stigma that the stock market is exclusive.

“I just really want to push the narrative so that I can help more kids, and honestly break the, you know, generational curses that we as black people already have,” Williams said referring to the generational wealth gap between black and white Americans.

Williams has over 4,000 followers on Twitter, with other South Carolina notables like Varnville artist Ment Nelson promoting his work. Nelson met Williams on the Clubhouse app, an invitation-only social media app, in which Williams was leading a “room” chat about investing with thousands of people tuning in.

Ment Nelson poses with his painting “Kissin ‘Up”, which depicts President Donald Trump and rapper Kanye West after their meeting at the White House in October. Nelson recently listed the painting for $ 1 million. Darven Ridges Submitted

Nelson grew his art business through social media, and through social media he learned to invest and build first generation wealth. In the Information Age, Nelson said his take was “what would my ancestors do with a tool (cell phone) like this? “

“For me, whatever I want to learn, whether I go to YouTube or whatever outlet I have available to me, I go there and I learn and I just absorb the knowledge and that’s it. that I ran into Kiki, ”he said, using Williams’ nickname.

Williams is also working on the development of online courses, e-books, and possibly a non-profit organization to educate children about investing.

The Robinhood app doesn’t show investors their percentage of monthly returns, but Williams hopes to track its numbers this year using the eTrade app instead.

This story was originally published 11 February 2021 1:15 pm.

Laurryn Salem covers retail and business for the state. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2020, where she studied journalism and political science. Laurryn reported on Greenville News before returning to Columbia and joining The State in 2020.


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