In case you’ve never watched the channel or heard of it, CNBC is the cable news network devoted to finance, industry, and stock market news.
Primarily the news is focused on the U.S. stock market, but there are times when international markets are discussed, and there’s a ticker scroll at the bottom giving you information on business news around the world.
But THE MORE IMPORTANT point I want to bring up is THE WAY this news is covered on one of the most popular networks for this content.
Like most news networks, you can’t help but see the bias in the way CNBC talks to its audience.
Who in fact, is there audience?
From watching very closely over the past six months, it’s definitely not Black people.
Not to say CNBC is going out of its way to exclude Black people. But the way that news is covered takes for granted that everyone interested in stock markets or business is coming to the channel with the same level of vocabulary, experience, and resources to put CNBC’s content into practical use.
Let’s stick with stocks specifically.
To most people, it’s no secret that March was the perfect time for stock buyers to grab shares of companies at a BARGAIN price. And if you’re like me, you saw your returns hit unprecedented high levels.
ONE WORD: Tesla.
But some of you heard me say that and were like “What exactly is she talking about?”
This leads me to my point: two months ago Quartz magazine reported that the richest 10% of families in America alone own 83% of shares in the stock market.
And it’s safe to say A MICROSCOPIC percentage of those families are Black.
I have a Master’s degree in Business and attended an Ivy League school and, still, I’m looking up most of the words used on CNBC on Investopedia to figure out what the talking heads are talking about.
So what good is it for the average Black person to watch CNBC if they (a) are unfamiliar with stock market terminology, (b) may not have a legacy of investing in stocks proactively or at all, or (c) don’t have access to the money you need to make a huge return on investment?
To that last point, I have heard most CNBC commentators begin to talk about fractional shares.
Fractional shares (also known as stock slices) are pitched as beneficial to both Americans and people who live outside of the U.S. and who want to invest in the U.S. stock market.
So my audience in Africa, stay with me, this also relates to you.
When you buy a stock slice, you are literally buying a slice of a stock (or a fraction of it, whichever visual makes more sense to you).
You would do this if the stock price was WAY TOO EXPENSIVE for you to buy – for example, some folks may not have $3,000 to spend on just one share of Amazon.
So what you would do is buy a fraction that you can afford, maybe 1/10 ($300) or 1/100 ($30).
Buying stock slices does not mean you earn more of a stock for less. It means you own less of the stock at a lower price.
There should be a red flag waving in your face right now. But if not, let me try to make it clearer:
Remember when I mentioned that CNBC talks in a way that assumes everyone in the audience is coming with the same amount of resources to spend and education to make the best decision?
Well if you’re someone buying stock slices, it’s safe to assume you’re not making any of the moves that’ll get you the same results as someone else watching and using CNBC commentary to play the market.
I couldn’t find any exact data on the average ROI to expect from stock slices, but from my experience using them with Amazon, it ain’t that great.
I made 17x more owning one full share of Google than I did owning a fraction of Amazon in a shorter amount of time.
All the research I dug up said the same thing: stock slices are ONLY, POTENTIALLY, BENEFICIAL FOR LONG-TERM INVESTING.
That means you’re hoping that, by the time you’re 65 and ready to retire, those little slices add up to a decent enough pie to add to the money you need to live when you’re not working a full-time job.
But then, Michael Finke, a professor at The American College of Financial Services, had this to say about relying on stock slices for your retirement fund:
“A goal like retirement is going to require much more than spare change with today’s interest rates and expensive stock prices.”
Probably worst of all, when you buy stock slices you don’t even own any part of the company’s stock – you’re buying a fraction of what THE BROKERAGE FIRM you bought it from owns.
And we’ve been preaching #blackownership right? Sounds like that defeats the purpose.
I’m being a little sarcastic to basically say this: BLACK PEOPLE NEED THEIR OWN CNBC.
A channel that meets them where they’re at financially and gives sound advice on building wealth that they can actually act on IMMEDIATELY.
So, let’s say you’re someone who earns less than $50,000 a year, works 2-3 jobs to get that much, has two or more children to take care of, and barely have $1,000 in savings to work with. What do you do?
If you come back next week I’ll go into more detail about some ideas I have. You can subscribe to this blog and follow my accounts on Instagram and Facebook (@sosaysseun) to get quick tips a lot quicker.
But here’s where I think any Black equivalent of CNBC should begin with giving advice:
Don’t equate high stock price with more valuable stock/company! Just because a stock is selling at $400 doesn’t mean it’s a better investment than a stock trading at $100 or $50. Which means you may not have to worry about buying stock slices in the first place, because the stocks with the real opportunity for ROI don’t cost that much.
Here are some keywords to add to your investment vocabulary ASAP:
– Market capitalization: the value of a company = the total number of shares people bought in the stock market X the current stock price per share of the company.
– Operating income: where is the company making most of its money? How confident are you that they can keep doing that?
Finally, there are ways to build capital that will get you the income you need to get into the stock market without stock slices and to earn a greater ROI. Focus on a concrete money-making plan and use some of that as a way to make money out of money in stocks.
If you want more advice on that, make sure you like the YouTube video at the top of the page, then hit the subscribe & notification button on this channel so that you get alerts when the next video is uploaded for you to watch FOR FREE and get real about your journey to financial stability.