How Lauren Simmons Became The “Wolfette Of Wall Street”

Lauren Simmons’ name rings bells. At 22, she was the youngest full-time woman trader on Wall Street. And only the second Black woman trader in the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) 229-year history. Despite such achievements, Simmons earned a measly $12K (£8,890) as a trader for Rosenblatt Securities, while other folks on the floor were clearing six figures.

Low earnings aside, Simmons walked into the job with a plan. “I knew coming onto the trading floor that I was going to make very little money,” she says. “How I rationalised it was: This is an opportunity where I’ll put my two years in. Get my foot in the door on Wall Street and then build my career from there.”
It worked and the “Wolfette of Wall Street” learned to advocate for herself, especially when she learned that a fellow Black male trader (at another firm) earned $120K (£88,900). That number stuck in her head. “This is the minimum that I’ll always make for the rest of my life. There’s no excuse," she says. "The very next year after I left the trading floor, I was making $120,000 (£88,900).”
Being transparent about salaries or savings makes most people want to change the subject, especially if they owe six figures in student loan debt. The conversation made co-host and culture critic Ineye Komonibo “itchy.” She says, "I just have hives talking about money.”
Simmons believes that in order to be better about managing personal finance, the first thing you should do is examine and understand why you’re bad with money. If you cannot invest in stocks, Simmons says to invest in your community. “When I think of the top companies that are in the stock market, a lot of those companies are problematic,” says the podcast host of Mind Body Wealth. “Like what is the women's retention rate at the company? What are your packages for women on maternity leave? What are you doing for the community where you are building?”
To hear more about moving commas in your bank account and why society polices how Black and poor people spend their money, listen to the episode, below.

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