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Invstr, STEAM16 Partner To Increase Financial Literacy, Awareness Among Young People

Renato Capelj

Invstr, an investment education app, in partnership with STEAM16, a New York City-based youth organization, has released a shortlist of 25 finalists in the Stock Market Tracks financial literacy competition.

How It Started

Ron Livingston, the founder and CEO at STEAM16, is encouraging kids to embrace science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. He partnered with Invstr founder and CEO Kerim Derhalli in leveraging rap music to positively impact the financial well-being of younger generations.

Cognizant of the fact that younger generations of the African American community do not invest at the same rates as other Americans, STEAM16 set out to address disparities and “encourage young African Americans to familiarize themselves with concepts surrounding the stock market through the powerful language of hip hop,” Livingston said in a press release.

How It Works

Invstr provided STEAM16 with different terms related to stock market investing.

“Some of the words are stocks, shares, sectors, commodities, cryptocurrency, going short and going long,” Livingston said. 

STEAM16 posted the terms and definitions online, encouraging singers to develop them as 16-bar rap songs.

“I did a rap song for each [term], to give people an idea. Then, we let them go crazy with it,” Livingston said. 

Next Steps

Singers film themselves and post their raps online.

The voting occurs on social media; all videos that pass the initial online review are uploaded to the Stock Market Tracks Instagram page.

At the end, the videos with the most likes win prizes of up to $1,000, in addition to three  free months of access to Invstr’s premium subscription service.

“This will change people’s minds about stock market investing and how simple it is,” Livingston said. 

"It can take $30,000 dollars to buy a franchise and hundreds of thousands in credit loans and debt to buy real estate. But, you can get on your phone right now, and for $1, buy a piece of stock. Tomorrow, especially with lower caps, that dollar can shoot up to $2, and that $2 can shoot up to $4."

End Result

The end goal is bridge the knowledge and wealth gap, the STEAM16 CEO said. 

The underlying purpose of the competition is to democratize the world of investing. Invstr has been helpful in inundating users with business news and actionable insights, Livingston said. 

"I think — I’m talking five years into the future — you’re going to start seeing your first black millionaires who listened to STEAM16 and Stock Market Tracks. They are going to say, 'I learned about the stock market from there, and I’m a millionaire now.'"

Invstr’s Kerim Derhalli told Benzinga that the company views financial education as essential, and the way to spread it is to connect with people in terms to which they relate. 

Rap music is so popular, and it allows us to reach an audience that might not have tuned in to more traditional channels." 

The winners of the competition will be named Oct. 1. 

Follow @stockmarkettracks and @Invstr for up-to-date information.

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