At 22, Lauren Simmons became the youngest full-time female trader on Wall Street and the second African-American woman trader in the history of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). She left the NYSE to become an entrepreneur. After making $$650,000 last year, Simmons is on course to make $1 million this year.
As a trader at the New York Stock Exchange, she was earning $12,000 while her male counterparts took home some $120,000. Feeling underpaid, she vowed not to take less than $120,000 a year and left trading to establish an LLC.
Since forming her company, she has gotten deals on a book, movie, TV shows and two podcasts, according to CNBC Make It. She’s also landed speaking engagements and brand deals that can bring in six figures. She recently got a hosting gig with the streaming series “Going Public.”
Here are three investment strategies of the young female entrepreneur who is on track to becoming a millionaire, as stated by CNBC Make It.
Living a moderate life and investing
Simmons invested a chunk of her money while working at the NYSE. At the time, she was earning around $12,000 a year and saving 85% by living a frugal lifestyle. Simmons was not interested in investing but it all changed in 2020 when she opened a brokerage account with around $300. As of February, it holds around $6,000.
Her investment is guided by two principles. First, she ensured her basic expenses were covered before she began investing. Secondly, she did a thorough background search of the companies she wanted to invest in.
Not investing in crypto
Cryptocurrency has emerged as one of the fastest-growing investment platforms for millions of people. Although cryptocurrency is largely not backed by the central bank or government in most parts of the world, it is gradually gaining acceptance.
But for Simmons, staying away from cryptocurrency is one of her investment tips. While she believes it will eventually become an acceptable platform and centralised in the near future, she thinks its time has not come yet.
“I refuse to spend money on crypto,” Simmons said. “I do believe a digital currency will be permanent and it will stay within our infrastructure. But right now it is highly speculative for me.”
Investing in startups
Simmons has invested in multiple women and Black-owned startups in tech and beauty. Her advice is to look out for a good product to back or a strong founder, pointing to how people pay attention to Tesla because they believe in Elon Musk: “They are investing in his vision,” she said.
“I have the same mindset. Do I believe in the potential of this person to be able to grow their company where they say they’re going to go, as well as believe in the product?”
Simmons grew up with her mother and two siblings in Marietta, Georgia. In 2016, she graduated from Kennesaw State University with a bachelor’s degree in genetics and a minor in statistics. A report on Forbes notes that Simmons originally aspired to go into genetic counseling but changed her plans when she moved to New York.
With her qualification, Simmons worked as an Associate Business Analyst and Sales Manager at Saks Inc. and joined the investment banking and institutional brokerage firm, Rosenblatt Securities, in New York City in 2017.