Felicia Moon-Thomas believes that more Black people need to join the conversation about stocks, investment accounts, and real estate. In 2016, after a few of her friends responded to her Facebook post about investing, she gathered their names, met with a few financial experts for guidance, and hosted a formation meeting in her home. A year later, her idea became a reality, and the investment club, Vision Investing Partners, LLC. (VIP) was born. Today, nearly four years later, VIP, comprised of all Black members — men and women from college age to retirement — boast a diverse portfolio that has beaten Wall Street year after year.
More than 50% of the club includes its founding partners who, despite countless debates and disagreements, a handful of failed investment purchases, a few financial mishaps, and even a global pandemic, believe in the long-term buy-and-hold strategy.
“We don’t allow our disagreements to get in the way of our strategic focus. We don’t purchase stocks based on a whim,” Felicia says, “Instead, we perform our due diligence. We watch. We study. We debate. Then, we purchase.”
When asked specifically about the importance of Black women investing in the stock market, Felicia, who has served as VIP’s Secretary since the group came together, says, “Historically, Black people invest in stocks at much lower rates than White or Asian [people] with similar income and education levels. Of that group, Black women invest less often than Black men. So, clearly, more needs to be done to empower and change the financial outlook for Black women.”
She goes on to say how encouraging it is to be in an investment club where teaching is done with care and patience at every meeting.
“Our club President, a brilliant man Chip Clark, leads most of the education sessions for the group. We don’t look at it as a male / female thing, but more of a ‘we’re all in this together’ thing.” She goes on to say, now, after a few years of growing and learning most of the women in VIP have also opened their own private portfolios.
“We have a Facebook group,” Felicia explains, “called Vision Investing Partners, where we share daily investing ideas and advice.” Although every investor knows that investing in stocks doesn’t guarantee wealth, it is widely viewed as an important element of a healthy retirement plan. Felicia Moon-Thomas is proud to be a part of something that allows all Black people to learn, invest, and close the wealth gap.