Lauren Simmons was called the “Wolfette of Wall Street” and made history in 2017 as its youngest full-time female trader when she was 22. On top of this, she was the second African-American woman equity trader since the New York Stock Exchange was established in 1792.
But while Simmons was being touted by the media, she was earning $12,000 a year in her full-time job as a trader.
“While I’m forever grateful for that opportunity and stepping stone, I appreciate it more so for the life experiences that it has lent me because truth be told, all that glitters isn’t always gold,” Simmons wrote in a Business Insider column.
Wall Street wasn’t Simmons’s first choice. She earned a bachelor’s degree in science genetics from Kennesaw State University in 2016. But when the opportunity came to work with investment banking boutique agency Rosenblatt Securities in 2017, she took it. She became an NYSE equity trader and managed customer order flow with a notational value of over $150 million daily, Black Enterprise reported.
“I fell in love with the numbers and the fast movement, and the men in the trading jackets and everything was moving so fast and I’m loving it,” she told BBC.
“At 22, I was the youngest-ever woman NYSE floor trader and making $12,000 a year. I walked away after two years and never looked back — here’s what the experience taught me,” Simmons wrote.
In 2018, Simmons left Wall Street to pursue entrepreneurship. She is now a personal-finance speaker, author, producer, and former stock trader.
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“I am a woman, African American, and young. I didn’t major in finance, nor did I attend an Ivy League school. I’m also from the South, so it’s assumed I’m inherently uneducated,” she wrote. “But despite all those things, in 2017 I made history by becoming only the second African-American woman equity trader in the New York Stock Exchange’s 225 years, in addition to being the youngest.”
Simmons has a book coming out and a film based on her life is in preproduction. Simmons will also be hosting a TV series, “Going Public,” which “aims to democratize initial public offerings by allowing at-home retail investors in on the action,” she said.