BOSTON, Aug. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Commonwealth, a nonprofit organization focused on financial security and opportunity, today announced a partnership with Public.com, the investing app on a mission to make the public markets work for all people. This cross-sector partnership will combine Commonwealth’s deep research and innovation with financially vulnerable people and Public’s innovative approach to investing in a community of 1M+ members, made up of 40% women and 45% people of color. The pilot will focus on developing product innovations that will empower women of color, an underserved segment, to invest as a channel towards closing the racial and gender wealth gap and making wealth building accessible to all.
Commonwealth and Public will innovate on the investing journey with a pilot group of 300+ women of color for six months, primarily new investors who have experienced financial vulnerability but now feel financially secure. The program will provide the investors with $250 to invest in the stock market through Public, test the effectiveness of group chats and compare the benefits and outcomes of participants with and without mentor guidance. Mentors include Jannese Torres-Rodriguez (Latina Money Expert & Podcast Host of Yo Quiero Dinero), Nadia Vanderhall (Marketing and Money Strategist, Brands + Bands Strategy Group), Kevin Matthews II (founder, Building Bread: Investing Made Simple), and Millana Snow (Founder of Wellness Official). Pilot participants will also have the opportunity to earn more stock slices based on their actions during the pilot – using chat groups to learn, consistently saving via the app, and more. These tests will inform the user experience and lead to effective changes in investing products that make them more accessible to a group that has faced some of the highest barriers to entry.
"It is clear that labor income alone will not close the gender and racial wealth gap. It’s essential we unlock many pathways to make wealth building accessible to all. We are focusing on investing in the stock market through this partnership because of a lack of participation from women of color – and the opportunity to change by innovating fundamentally more inclusive product design, " said Commonwealth Co-Founder and Executive Director Timothy Flacke. "A cross-sector partnership like this work with Public is an exciting opportunity to develop the insights necessary to innovate on current investing products so that they serve a wider population, especially those who are least well-served historically and currently."
Black, Latinx and female-led households disproportionately experience financial insecurity due in large part to longstanding, systemic racism and gender discrimination. Women and single mothers of color with household incomes under $80,000 are a significant untapped market for investing that have not yet been served well by traditional investment companies.
- The gender and racial wealth gap is significant: the median wealth of white families is 10x that of Black families and 8.2x that of Latinx families, and white men’s median net worth is 100x higher than Black women’s, according to the Federal Reserve.
- Only 26% of women invest in the stock market, and they invest less aggressively than men.
- There is tremendous opportunity, with 65% of women who don’t already invest expressing interest in investing, according to recent Commonwealth research.
"Making investing and the stock market more inclusive is key to our mission to make the public markets work for all people," said Public.com VP of Marketing Katie Perry. "Commonwealth’s deep consumer research and experience innovating in the fintech space is a tremendous asset to this project, as we focus on helping more women of color build financial literacy and long-term wealth within Public’s community of investors."
Commonwealth is a national nonprofit building financial security and opportunity for financially vulnerable people through innovation and partnerships to change systems. Black, Latinx and female-led households disproportionately experience financial insecurity due in large part to longstanding, systemic racism and gender discrimination. Addressing these issues is critical to Commonwealth’s work of making wealth possible for all. Commonwealth’s collaborations with consumers, the financial services industry, fintechs, employers, policymakers and mission-driven organizations result in solutions that are grounded in real life and based on a deep understanding of financially vulnerable people. Commonwealth has designed effective innovations, products, and policies enabling over 1 million people to accumulate more than $4 billion in savings. For more information, visit buildcommonwealth.org.
Public.com is the investing social network where members can own fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, follow popular creators, and share ideas within a community of investors. Public makes the stock market an inclusive and educational place, with social features that make it easy to collaborate as you build your confidence as an investor.
The company is headquartered in New York and has raised $310 million to date from investors including Accel, Greycroft, Lakestar, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, business professor and entrepreneur Scott Galloway, Tony Hawk, The Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC, GIRLBOSS author Sophia Amoruso, Adobe Chief Product Officer Scott Belsky, business executive Dick Parsons, Advancit Capital, YouTube legend Philip DeFranco, Blavity Inc. CEO and Founder Morgan Debaun, and Worklife VC.
Public is a member of FINRA and SIPC. Visit Public.com to download the free app for iOS or Android.
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