Leon Howard doesn’t fit the usual profile of a Wall Street expert. Howard grew up in New Orleans, where chaos sometimes seemed normal. At the age of nine Leon witnessed his mother being shot. From there Leon routinely found himself on the other side of the law and at the age of 16, he was sentenced to 10 years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary for attempted murder and armed robbery. But today Leon is committed to showing Black America a very different hustle, moving “From The Trap To Wall Street.”
Leon defines the “Trap” as “a state or condition of a people being financially trapped, unable to find the path to financial freedom no matter how many jobs or side hustles worked.” Further, the trap is “a place that encourages our men and women to engage in illegal activities that ultimately devour them, causing them to be funneled into a justice system that strips them of everything financially, emotionally, and mentally, creating a trapped mindset.” Wall Street, on the other hand, simply represents a place where wealth is the norm. Black Wall Street is the destination and Leon is determined to help his people understand that investing is critical to reach it. The first step is understanding how to play the game.
While in solitary confinement Leon’s life was changed when he was told that everyone in the jail was in the wrong game. The advice came from a fellow prisoner who was locked up for embezzlement. That prisoner went on to explain that the wealthy use certain keys to attain wealth and for Leon, the most interesting one was the stock market. From that day on he studied tirelessly and consumed everything he could about the stock market. After his release from prison Leon landed a job as an ironworker, where he took 70 percent of his pay and invested it. Leon continued to work and also plan his next move as an entrepreneur. Today Leon is a fulltime investor and entrepreneur who travels extensively to teach others how to achieve the freedom he has.
Investing is a major key to wealth — spending is easy but investing is real freedom. Even in a prison cell, Leon got that message and internalized it. That same message and wealth is available to all of us and Leon is committed to telling as many people as he can. You can follow Leon on Instagram and check out his most recent interview on Earn Your Leisure. Leon’s story is proof that each of us has the power and potential to free ourselves and the more we understand investing, the better off we’ll be.