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Onward & Upward: Ep. 10 with JB Bryan

One Such Accomplished Woman is JB Bryan, Investment Advisor, Author, Educator. Thanks so much to JB for joining us for Season One of Onward & Upward with Leslie E. Royal, brought to you by Ashro.

Watch Episode 10: Money Talk and AfroEconomics with JB Bryan now:

What does Onward & Upward Mean to you?

“Onward and upward means, let’s keep going and let’s not go sideways. Let’s go up; advancing.” – J.B. Bryan

JB Bryan is a pioneering Investment Advisor, author, speaker, community leader and educator. 

Ms. Bryan has dedicated her entire professional life to serving the Black community. That commitment to building Black wealth drove her to launch JB Bryan Financial Group, Inc., in 1995. It was the first Black-owned Registered Investment Advisory firm in the Richmond, Virginia area and one of the first in the entire country. 

Bryan is the creator of AfroEconomics™ a strategic financial empowerment program developed for the advancement of Black wealth in America and abroad. 

AfroEconomics is based on 10 timeless financial principles, such as God, generational wealth, credit confidence, entrepreneurship and more. The program offers paid financial planning memberships and a free online level. AfroEconomics is a comprehensive financial planning system designed to give Black professionals the guidance and tools they need to develop and sustain wealth. 

JB is also the author of her powerful AfroEconomics™ books, workbooks, and AfroEconomics™ for Kids. Her firm provides motivational financial workshops, webinars, summits and teleconferences addressing current financial topics.

The AfroEconomics Financial Freedom Fest is a live annual event with 3 days of financial workshops and it’s free to attend. Coming again during Black History Month February 26-28, 2021. 

The Decision To Enter Financial Services

JB was just 3 years out of undergrad, working at an Urban Radio Station doing advertising. For her it was considerably a fun job while attending grad school full time during the evening. Although she was earning a decent income, she was ready for a new challenge. 

A thought came across her mind as she remembered that her neighbor was in the marketing department at an investment firm. JB made her neighbor aware that she had finished her Master’s degree, and was interested in financial research. 

The neighbor landed JB an interview at the firm. With the interview going extremely well, the marketing director stopped and said “You’re a Financial Advisor” 

JB recalls having no desire to be a Financial Advisor, but was convinced to consider it. Among being given several tests and passing them, she eventually believed in herself as much as they did. That’s when JB Bryan became a stockbroker. 

Becoming tired of corporate drama JB decided to take her clients with her and she started her own investment advisory firm. 

JB Bryan Financial Group, Inc. A Registered Investment Advisory firm was created in 1995 in Virginia, soon after opening a Washington, DC office. 

Why was AfroEconomicscreated? 

JB reminesis having a constant longing to help her community. IHer goal is to make the world a better place by creating economic equality. She desires that black individuals can know that there is someone focused specifically on our community. Black communities need service, insight, and consumer advocacy. 

JB created AfroEconomics because the foundation of financial well-being is knowledge and self-reliance. It’s not just about getting a great job or making one smart investment. AfroEconomics is a lifestyle of financial empowerment.

AfroEconomics is based on 10 key principles. 

One of the main key principles of AfroEconomics™ is knowledge. What we don’t know can and DOES hurt us. 

JB created AfroEconomics™ to give us a specific framework we can use to gain critical knowledge to assist in our financial success. 

JB’s favorite part of her career & what (if anything) is undesirable to her

JB Bryan states that she loves “knowing that she’s doing her part to destroy the racial wealth gap”. Our community has been harmed by past public policy, miseducated, under-informed, targeted by financial predators and have a long history of being locked out of wealth-building opportunities. And many of those negatives still exist. 

Bryan enjoys waking up every morning and serving her community. She loves educating people, and helping them reach “Aha!” moments when it comes to their own financial habits. And of course, she adores working with AfroEconomics members to create better lives for themselves and the generation following all of us.

Bryan states that there isn’t anything she dislikes about her career. There are things about the industry that she hates to see happening but nothing that prevents her from continuing in her goals. 

Here’s a big one. JB describes how frustrating it is to see advisors put their clients into bad investments — things they should NEVER have put money into. Or they sell the client a product because it’s the product that they benefit from pushing,even when it’s not the best product for the client. 

“I hate to see professionals take advantage of people who trust them.” Says Bryan

The Biggest Challenge faced in the career of JB Bryan and how she overcame it

Every challenge is an opportunity. That’s an important mindset for all entrepreneurs to adopt.

The biggest challenge JB faced was starting her firm. 

JB remembers statements from some of the people who were closest to her, telling her that she was “crazy to go off on her own”. As she was earning a decent income as a stockbroker, and there was a sense of security working a regular job. When she told them that she wanted to focus on helping black individuals, that’s when they began to think ill of her.

Another difficult part of starting her own firm was that it was the first black-owned registered Investment advisory in the Richmond, Virginia area. It may still be the only one to this day. 

Being the first to do something means no one has gone and cleared any of the obstacles out of the path. Sometimes there is no path and you have to be the trailblazer. It took her time and a lot of effort to gain awareness, earn trust and build momentum for the business. 

JB explains that the key to victory was her commitment to consistency and generosity. She found ways to consistently serve the community. She took every opportunity to educate people everywhere she could. She started getting booked as a financial expert on radio and television shows, and started hosting events in Richmond, Washington D.C.  and online.

“My consistency in showing up and my love for the Black community opened a lot of doors for me.” States JB  

What are JB’s hobbies?

“Who has time for hobbies? I’m kidding.” Says JB 

JB enjoys riding her Hayabusa motorcycle as often as she can. She also enjoys spending time with her daughter. She often spends a lot of time reading and researching.

Bryan enjoys studying and researching. “Honestly, I never thought I would be the person I am today. But when I’m not working, I’m studying.” she says. JB is currently completing her PhD in Management with a concentration in 21st Century Finance. 

The one question Bryan wishes more people would ask

The first question 9 out of 10 people ask her is, “what stocks should I buy?” The truth is, that’s the easy part, she proclaims.

Bryan states that she would love it if more people asked her “How do I start to build a legacy?” Once you decide what you want to leave behind for future generations, now you have direction. Now you can figure out what investments you can make to support and develop that legacy.

More important than that, you know what values you would like to instill in your loved ones. These are habits that you want to help put in place that will serve them in the years to come. 

Being intentional about the legacy you leave is the starting point of true wealth that goes beyond money and lasts forever.  

How would you like to be remembered by future generations?

“I’m committed to being a generous person. I work generously to build people, families, businesses, and my culture. I want my generosity to inspire generosity in others. Generosity of empowerment and encouragement. 

Education was an important value my parents passed on to me, and I want to be remembered as an educator. 

Most of all, I hope to be remembered as a tireless warrior for the Black community wealth development. I am fighting for wealth equality, wealth equality, and  a living wage for all. I am an advocate for financial justice and equality.  – JB Bryan

Thank you for inspiring us, JB!

 Would you like to be featured in future episodes? Or do you know someone who has made a significant impact on the Black community? Email us today!

Ashro Brand Ambassador Leslie E. Royal is also an author, international freelance writer, product review expert, and global travel journalist. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including: Medium, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, FORTUNE.com, AAA Southern Traveler, Upscale, Upscale Living, and The Ashro Blog. She is the creator of the Leslie’s Lane consumer information blog and author of two books. Visit her Instagram and Amazon Author page

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