In 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis, I walked through the doors of Coates to start a career that opened my eyes to a world of new opportunities. I came to Private Banking with a strong ambition to succeed and a desire to show others that a career in this industry is possible for those who never thought it was out of reach.
Growing up, I did not know the purpose and function of a private bank. I didn’t know bankers or people working in finance. The people I was looking for were people working in my local community. The men and women who worked tirelessly to provide the skills and opportunities to expand our horizons were often underfunded and underpaid. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I was young, but I knew I wanted to be someone who could offer people a different perspective. Especially for disadvantaged people who are limited to navigating the social economy that runs their world.
I come from a West African household where money was rarely discussed when the family got together. It seemed culturally inappropriate to talk about money, but we were always encouraged to work hard to make enough of it to have the life we wanted. We were reminded of its power and scarcity, but never taught how to create, grow or preserve it. It was something we had to go out into the world and discover for ourselves.
In talking with friends and colleagues in the black community, I realized that my experience was not unique. For many, the most memorable financial advice they received at home was “money doesn’t grow on trees.” Five years into my banking career, I realized that I had the potential to turn it around. A perspective that helps people in all walks of life make better informed choices. This perspective means understanding money and not just getting rich, but creating and growing wealth.
Wealth is a complex, multifaceted concept that is not like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. However, it can be achieved through individual effort as well as community effort. The concept of growing wealth in the black community is very important. There are many examples of minority groups pooling resources to create an ecosystem that has real impact on a micro and macro scale.
Lillian Chauvin, head of asset allocation at Coutts, said: “We believe it’s best to look ahead when investing – we recommend looking out five years or more. What do the markets look like in the long term? How does that match up with what you want from your money over time?” Stagflation became a financial synonym for the difficulties faced by Britain and other economies in the 1970s. The oil-producing organization OPEC has imposed an embargo on oil exports to many Western countries, sharply raising oil and energy prices. Cost-of-living increases caused by wage-price spirals coincided with stagnant economic growth, and unemployment was high when things became more expensive. This led to stagflation.
While we currently have an energy crisis, especially in Europe, as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the main driver of today’s inflationary pressures has been the pandemic. This has resulted in a huge demand for goods when the strained and closed supply chain cannot cope.