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Mellody Hobson of Ariel Investments: ‘Capitalism Needs to Work for Everyone’
July 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By David Gelles.

Mellody Hobson was raised by a single mother and endured economic hardship as a child. The phone was shut off. The car was repossessed. Her family was evicted.

Today, Ms. Hobson is one of the most senior black women in finance. She serves on the boards of JPMorgan Chase and Starbucks, and this month was named co-chief executive of Ariel Investments, the largest minority-owned investment firm.......I was in the Woodrow Wilson School of international relations and public policy at Princeton. You have to apply to get in, and I did not originally get in. I lobbied really hard and called many people. I just would not take no for an answer.

I spent a lot of my years in the Woodrow Wilson School studying systems that really oppress people. I wrote my senior thesis on South Africa, and specifically on how children ultimately led to the end of apartheid because of their uprisings.........What do you tell people who are starting on their financial journey, wherever they might be?

I start off by explaining to them that it’s never too late, literally never. I also think the most important thing you can learn about money, and Warren Buffett talks about this, is compound interest. It’s the eighth wonder of the world. If you understand compound interest, you understand money working for or against you.

We talk about long-term patient investing, and that idea that slow and steady does win the race, that time can be your best friend when it comes to investing. That’s why we have a turtle as a logo at Ariel........ I believe in capitalism. It is the best system that has existed in the world. Show me a better one. I can’t find it. But I also believe that capitalism needs to work for everyone, and so I don’t begrudge those people who’ve done extraordinarily well in our society as long as it’s a fair fight.

It isn’t always a fair fight, though, and that’s what we need to fix. That could be anything from our tax bases and how that works, our tax rates, to other issues that occur in our society around fair opportunities for education.

I am a person of color who happens to be a woman as well, and I have firsthand dealt with inequality, despite having shown up with all of the credentials. I do not sit here believing that if you’ve just gone to a great school and this, that and the other, it’s all going to be fine. It just doesn’t work like that in our society. I think about those people who were like me and are like me. That goes into the boardrooms that I’m in. I also think about the people of color who are inside of those companies, making sure they get the same opportunity as those who are in the majority population....
African-Americans  alumni  Ariel  capitalism  CEOs  finance  inequality  investing  Mellody_Hobson  money_management  Princeton  women 
july 2019 by jerryking
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