June 21, 2024

Wealth and investment expert David Dawkins puts decades of industry experience to good use

ORLANDO, Fla. – This week on “Black Men Sundays,” host Corie Murray interviews David Dawkins.

Dawkins has more than 35 years of financial industry experience and was the first Black person to serve on the Wells Fargo Advisors’ Operating Committee, currently the managing director of National Sales within the company’s Wealth & Investment Management division.

“It is critical to talk about investing and wealth building in our community in particular. You know, today we’re going to talk about the state of Black wealth, which I refer to as the ‘Black wealth opportunity’ just so you know, and I think you should know that very often when I’m in the audience talking about these kinds of topics, while I recognize the importance of discussing the facts that face Black wealth, I’m also aware that for some it might feel alarming when we talk about disparities,” Dawkins said. “They were alarmed sometimes by data, but oftentimes they would find what I had to say not very hopeful, so I’ve committed myself over the years to find a way to share hope and empowerment while speaking to the disparity of wealth in our community.”

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Dawkins told Murray about growing up in the South Bronx projects, where $100 was a lot of money at the time.

“And so this ‘$100 is a lot of money’ guy goes to Wall Street as a career. I won’t tell you about how I got there because that’s a long story, but the bottom line was I got there and I’m living in the projects giving advice to wealthy people around the country about how to build and manage wealth,” he said.

One of the earliest lessons Dawkins said he learned in the industry is that the majority of clients he had were not trust fund babies, as he put it.

“They were not business owners or corporate executives and professionals, nor were they athletes or entertainers, they certainly weren’t lottery winners. These clients were everyday mom and pop who were just very disciplined about building wealth, budgeting and savings, and who over time also leveraged professional advice. Many times when I share this data I’m asked how many were athletes and entertainers and the truth is, I promise people that there aren’t that many people from our community who are athletes and entertainers, they’re just folks who were very disciplined about saving and learning and building wealth over time,” he said.

Another point discussed up front was Dawkins’ recognition and respect of the power of time, lauding the importance of early investing.

“If you go back to 1979, if you had invested that $1,000, it’s $38,000 today, that is significant. That’s $1,000, now $38,000. If you systematically, over that same period of time in a disciplined way saved on a monthly or at least an annual basis, what would be the power of that dollar today?” Dawkins said. “During that time, to your point earlier, we’ve had presidents, attempted assassinations, we’ve had wars, we’ve had pandemics, we’ve had all manner of things that have occurred and every one of those events that occurred — in America, anyway — people freaked out. The world was going to Hades in a handbasket, but if you stuck with the disciplined approach of saving and accumulating wealth over that same period of time, $1,000 became $38,000, or $1 million is $38 million today. That’s the importance of time.”

Hear the full interview in Season 4, Episode 3 of “Black Men Sundays.”

Black Men Sundays talks about building generational wealth. Check out every episode in the media player below.

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