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Each one, teach one: educating African American about the stock market.

Ricky Jack began investing in the stock market eight years ago with. $40. Today, the 32-year-old production manager with DuPont says he has made more than $200,000 from his initial investment. Jack, who lives in Houston, is now on a mission to teach other African Americans how to invest in the stock market.

"As African Americans we have always been told to put our money in the bank and save it for a rainy day, but because of inflation that just doesn't work," he says. "We've got to get involved in the stock market." It is also necessary to learn some basic techniques, he adds.

Jack is a member of the Houston Council Board of Directors of the National Association of Investors Corp., a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating individual investors. It was founded in Detroit in 195 1.

Jack became involved with the NAIC in 1987. After moving to Houston from Baton Rouge, La., in 1991 to accept his current job with DuPont, Jack worked with the NAIC on a leadership level. He quickly noticed that few African Americans were among the local NAIC's volunteer staff. So, he became a member of the board and started giving lectures and workshops for African Americans. "I have taken it on as my personal mission to go out and seek other African Americans to join the NAIC," he says.

NAIC membership costs $39 a year, and includes a subscription to the group's monthly magazine, Better Investing. Members also are able to buy stocks from a group of about 140 companies on an installment plan.

Thomas O'Hara, a founding member of the national organization, says the group's purpose is to make individuals aware of the advantages of being a shareholder. "We're not a get-rich-quick program," he says. "We promote a philosophy of investing regularly over your lifetime. If you look at the record, holding stock has really been the most profitable investment that individuals can make." O'Hara says that the NAIC has several African American officers in local groups, which are in 65 cities across the U.S.

Jack says African Americans have been told it's difficult to invest or that it can't be done. He challenges that notion and believes that the simplest way to make money is by investing in the stock market. "If you want to acquire wealth or retire early or buy a home, you've got to increase your money at a faster rate than inflation," he says.

Many of the people that Jack teaches are either currently associated with the NAIC or interested in joining. But a lot of people come to him by word of mouth. For example, he recently advised a group of African American professionals in Houston who formed the Midas Investment Club. They asked Jack to speak to the group about some stocks to consider. "Jack gave us some great advice on growth stocks, and whenever we've needed him for additional information, he's been there," explains Midas Club member Mike Baker.

In his NAIC seminars Jack teaches how to open a brokerage account and set up an investment club. "I tailor my program to whatever is needed. I even talk about how easy it is to go to the library and find information on how well or how poorly a company is performing."

Jack provides these services at no charge. He was introduced to investing while working for Dow Chemical in Baton Rouge. There, he met four African American engineers who asked him to join them as charter members in an investment club. In 1987, the men formed Success Unlimited Investment Club and became members of the NAIC. Four years later, after moving to Houston, Jack started another investment club called 191 1 Investors. In their first two years, the group's stock portfolio rose more than 20%.

This year, the group's stocks have risen more than 30%. "Between the investment club and my personal stock portfolio, I've done extremely well," says Jack, who bought his first two homes on stock market profits.

Jack follows four rules: 1. Invest regularly, monthly or quarterly; 2. Invest in growth companies that are growing faster than the economy; 3. Reinvest all your dividends and capital gains. 4. Diversify your money in different industries to protect against downfall.

Contact the NAIC at 711 W. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights, MI 48071; 810-583-6242.
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Title Annotation:Ricky Jack is a member of the Houston Council Board of Directors of the National Association of investors Corp., a non-profit educational group
Author:Gite, Lloyd
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Feb 1, 1996
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