Talkin' Shop

Talkin’ Shop: Tyrone Ross Jr. And A Real Talk On Diversity

I originally posted and shared this video a couple days ago via YouTube and the response it has gotten has been bonkers!!

A little backstory on how this video came to be…

Every Friday morning Tyrone, Douglas Boneparth, and I have a Zoom video conference where we talk about what’s going on in our businesses, life, and whatever else might come up. One Friday, they shared with me a conversation they had had over coffee (FOMO of missing opportunities like that being in Fishers, Indiana is high) about our professions glaring issue: a lack of diversity and inclusion. It’s no secret and obvious to anyone who attends conferences in our profession, financial services is heavily dominated by white males–it’s been this way for so long that it will take a long time to change this. Women, people of color, and LGBTQ are underrepresented by professionals, which in turn results in groups of people feeling left out and as if financial advice is not meant for them.

That’s a pretty powerful statement, and it was not something I would have been able to say/write just a year ago.

First, and if I’m being honest, I don’t think even a year ago I would have fully understood what people see (or don’t see) subconsciously influences what they believe to be true. For example,  as Tyrone shared with us as a young black male growing up never seeing anyone who looked like him in the role of financial success or in financial services, he didn’t even know the stock market existed until he was 26–wealth was not for him and a career in financial services wasn’t even an option. Think about that…one of the smartest men I know, who is a rising star in our profession didn’t really learn about the stock market and finances until after he graduated and found himself on Wall Street. I’m so thankful he found the right people to direct him to finance and down the path he has blazed.

Second, a year ago, heck maybe even 6 months ago, I did not have the confidence to talk about this publicly. As the stereotype who has not had to overcome the struggles my peers who are women, people of color, or LGBTQ have had to deal with I didn’t think I had the right or know how to participate in the conversation. My plan was to contribute to the improvement in diversity and inclusion through actions–actions speak louder than words, right? In this case, words travel faster and spark more debate than actions.

As I’ve written more blogs, recorded more video and podcast I’ve found my voice–I’ve found my confidence to speak up.  I’ve also met and gotten close more people like Tyrone, Perth Tolle, Nina O’Neal and many others who have shared their stories and have given me the motivation to speak up.

This video is the first of what I hope to be a series of videos, podcasts, blog posts keeping the conversation going. I’ve already reached out to a handful of friends who have agreed to help me tell more stories to help more people realize there is an issue so we can see change.

And, we have seen a change in the almost 15 years I’ve been a financial advisor–attend an XY Planning Network and you will see a very diverse group of financial advisors leading this change. There were more women and people of color at the Inside ETFs conference than I remember seeing at earlier conferences in my career. So change is happening, but hopefully, I can help speed it up a little.

Please take 13 minutes to watch this video and hear (not just listen) to what Tyrone has to say.  It’s stories like Tyrone’s that led to this video; the struggles, barriers, and exclusions that many face–in life and in our profession–are unknown to many of us. They aren’t written rules. They aren’t talked about. Unless you experience them yourself or talk to someone who has experienced them, there is no way for you to comprehend what it is like. I cannot thank him enough for taking the time and having the courage to discuss this on camera with me.

Stay tuned for more…I haven’t figured out exactly where this goes, but there will be more.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.