John Rogers: Inspiring Black Investors

was extraordinarily uncomfortable and frightening,” says Rogers, whose employees all own shares of the fund.

Rogers’ dedication to investment performance and financial literacy enabled Ariel to compete against juggernauts such as Fidelity, Vanguard, and Citigroup — companies that handle trillion of dollars in assets. Ariel has also proven successful in its expansion of individual investors and in attracting market segments largely ignored by other Wall Street firms. In fact, a number of African Americans became first-time investors by placing their hard-earned dollars in one of Ariel’s funds.

For Rogers, no investor is too small or too young. Through the Ariel Education Initiative, his firm teaches public school students about the mechanics of the stock market. Consider it the second phase of his wealth-building mission — creating the next generation of black investors.

As part of our 35th anniversary salute, BLACK ENTERPRISE presents Ultimate Wealth Builders — a monthly series profiling entrepreneurs, financiers, and corporate chieftains. Through innovative thinking, these men and women have had an immeasurable impact on the wealth-building potential of black Americans. For profiles of all of our Ultimate Wealth Builders, go to blackenterprise.com.

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