Meet John Henry
John Henry is a Dominican-American serial entrepreneur and investor. He is a Managing Partner at Harlem Capital Partners, a minority-owned impact venture firm on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1,000 diverse entrepreneurs over the next 20 years.
Since then, Henry has been working avidly with early stage companies to one capacity or another. Whether through his non-profit incubator, Cofound Harlem, that teaches new entrepreneurs the basic building blocks of growing a company; or through his minority-owned venture firm, Harlem Capital Partners, that invests in them.
John also hosts Open For Business, a branded podcast from eBay and Gimlet Media about building a business from the ground up. The hit show debuted at #1 on the Business Podcast charts on iTunes, and has been featured on Adweek, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and more.
Question 1: What is the biggest misconception when it comes to investing?
JH- “That you need a lot of money to start. The biggest scarcity I’ve noticed, is a lack of knowledge not resources. Put the time first into learning.”
Question 2: Where does money fit into your overall satisfaction meter?
JH- To quote Kanye West: “Having money’s not everything. Not having it is.”
Question 3: What are some investing basics that everyone should know?
JH- “The 3 time-tested wealth-building vehicles are 1) Small Businesses, 2) Real Estate, and 3) Stocks. Find out which one you like most and begin learning about it.”
Question 4: What does it take to invest in YOURSELF vs YOUR BUSINESS?
JH- “The most important thing for Millennials (and others) to understand, is that our most valuable asset is our earning potential over the next 25 years. The more pro-actively you develop your skills, tools, and network now, the more fully-realized your earning potential becomes. At 18, I was earning $30k a year. 6 years later, I can now earn over $30k per month. The more you learn, the more you earn.”
Question 5: How can we fight the fear of investing and embrace investment opportunities?
JH- “The best way to combat fear is to develop your understanding. Seizing opportunity comes down to how well equipped you are to spot them. If you don’t know what to look for, you’ll be scared of the unknown when it comes your way. However, if you get to a level where you understand when stocks are undervalued, or real estate is over-priced, or a certain business is worthwhile — you’ll jump on it. You gotta know.”
Question 6: If we have never invested before, what is a great way to get our feet wet before diving in head first?
JH- “Learn, learn, learn. Read the classic “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” to begin developing your financial literacy. It’s less about a technical understanding of numbers, and more about a common sense understanding of the basics. Once you’re ready, start with something small like stocks.”
Question 7: How is an APP like @Stash a great tool to use for tracking investments?
JH- “You essentially have the ultimate stock-broker & financial advisor in your pocket. Take advantage.”
Question 8: What is the difference between a diversified portfolio and a single stock?
JH- “Either all-in on 1 thing, or spread out across multiple. Both work well. Just depends on timing & risk appetite.”
Question 9: What should Millennials be investing in now for a strategic future gain?
JH- “There are massive cultural changes going on right now in our society, many of them to our advantage. When there’s massive change, that almost always means massive opportunity for those well-equipped to spot them. Invest in anything that plays to our natural advantage of being digital natives. ie: Social platforms, digital currencies, podcasting — anything that will be around in 10 years that didn’t exist 10 years ago.”
Question 10: Hard to wrap our head around when so young BUT, why should Millennials invest in their retirement now?
JH- “You should NOT invest in your retirement account right now. People who tell you that are losers. They’re rooted in fear. The younger you are, the more aggressively you should be investing into your career, skill-sets, and assets for right now while it’s still prudent to do so.”
Question 11: How can some in student loan or credit card debt still invest in their future now?
JH- “Don’t focus on saving, focus on 10X-ing your income.”
Question12: Why is having an investment advisor important?
JH- “Advisors are only helpful when you find an exceptional one. Don’t worry too much about getting an investment advisor when you start. If you have less than $1MM, you don’t have much money to manage anyway. And by the time you earn that much, you’ll have found a good one.”
Question 13: What is an example of a safe investment vs a risky investment?
JH- “Safe is slow – like Real Estate. Risky is volatile, like @Snapchat :)”
*This post is sponsored by Stash. All thoughts and opinions of talent interviewed is their own*