Rap Competition Offering $1,000 Prize to Boost Financial Literacy of Young African Americans - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Do you have rap lyrics strong enough to inspire others to invest in stocks and win a cool grand? Find out by entering Stock Market Tracks, a new investing-themed rap competition geared to boost the financial literacy of young African Americans to expand knowledge about the finance world and Wall Street.

A fantasy finance and mobile investing app designed to educate the next generation of investors, Invstr is offering the contest that includes a $1,000 cash first prize for best song.

“Our goal is to open up finance to people who may never have considered investing as an option before,” stated Kerim Derhalli, founder and CEO of Invstr. “This competition is a great way for people to start thinking about an investment portfolio. Music is a great medium to learn and we hope that this competition opens doors to the world of finance.”

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Though some progress has been made in recent years, the event comes as African Americans under 40 are investing in the stock market at lower rates than their white peers.

The data showed the investment patterns for blacks in other age groups were also less than for whites. Another survey revealed that only 23% of American millennials aged 18 to 37 report that the stock market is the best place to put the money they won’t need for 10 years or more.

Invstr is teaming up on the competition with STEAM 16, a New York City-based youth group started by Ron Livingston. The group intends to educate youth in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) fields by using rap music.

Livingston informed Black Enterprise that the competition will boost the number of young African Americans investing in the stock market by familiarizing them with the concepts surrounding the market in a language that they already speak: hip-hop and rap.

“Once they can speak the language of the stock market, it will become less intimidating and easier to participate in.”

He elaborated why investing in the stock market is important in encouraging wealth-building in the black community. Livingston noted African Americans with as little as $1 can begin investing now and grow that dollar from one to two relatively quickly.

He added that unlike real estate, which is an investment that can take a lifetime to mature, a savvy stock market investor can see returns almost instantaneously. For instance, he says, if an investor were to have put $1,000 into Amazon stock 10 years ago, that investment would now be worth around $26,000.

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“If minority communities had access to better investment tools and resources, they would be able to put money back into their communities more effectively,” Livingston says. “Prominent rappers are investing in startups and launching their own businesses and the Invstr and STEAM 16 partnership builds on this momentum so minority groups can also successfully manage their money.”

Competition entrants must create a 1-minute song using investing terms, such as “diversification,” “cryptocurrency,” “bulls,” and “bears.”

Submissions will be posted onto the @StockMarketMusic Instagram account, where anyone can vote on the best video. Interested participants can go here to submit their video and get more contest details. The submission deadline for applications is Sept. 6 and winners will be announced Oct.1.