#QTPOC+ Of The Week | K. Kenneth Davis, Financial Literacy Advocate
My name is K. Kenneth Davis also known as "The Trans Capitalist" who is a proud transgender male who is passionate to educate the LGBTQIA community on the importance of Financial Literacy.
Apart from being a financial literacy advocate, I offer private counseling for personal & entrepreneurial finances, strengthen queer* businesses, & help organizations develop programs for LGBT identifying homeless youth to become financially independent.
What’s your background?
Being born with Sickle Cell Anemia, a painful genetic disease that affects red blood cells in the majority of the African American community, I grew up in Westchester, NY. I attended Rochester Institute of Technology where I graduated with a bachelors degree in Civil Engineering. I was never passionate about engineering, I was mainly focusing on figuring out my gender identity at the time. After I started my transition in 2011, I knew it would be costly, so I started researching and learning about money. This event led me to get my Masters in Finance at Pace University's Lubin’s School of Business where I graduate this coming May 2018.
What do you enjoy the most about “what you do”?
To know that I am giving people, especially LGBT people, a fighting chance to thrive in society. I am helping so many LGBT individuals rise above poverty, to help eradicate the stigma of being "LGBT equals a lesser quality of life" and provide security for their families as well. I equip them with life-long skills to break generative cycles of poverty. While also feeling empowered to handle any financial challenge that they may encounter.
Also, experiencing a heartwarming feeling when my clients and others tell me how valuable my work is to them. Think about how you feel when your money is in order, and you have money left over after paying your bills. You are not as stressed or worried, life seems just a little bit easier but most of all you have hope. Hope that you can save more and build more for your future. And I experience even greater joy knowing that my business, "The Trans Capitalist" and I is the no. 1 source of all these feelings and more.
What is the most challenging thing about “what you do”?
1. Getting people to understand the importance & seriousness of Financial Literacy.
2. Letting me in to help.
Money is the one thing that everyone wants more of, but least discussed. It's associated with shame and secretiveness as well. Also, I know painful it can feel when facing the truth of your finances. No one likes to be broke. But regardless of your economic status, there is always room to improve.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
My hardest hardship became my biggest inspiration. When I came out as Transgender to my parents, I was disowned and financially cut off. Mind you I came from a middle-class family that was pretty well off. This action was one of the most difficult things to ever experience because now I had nothing! Being the man that I am, I vowed that I would not become another LGBT statistic; being poor and homeless. From that moment on, I did everything in power to thrive. I found a way to complete my bachelors, obtained a six-figure job, and got my own place.
Although after doing this, I realized I was still living paycheck to paycheck. Then I asked myself, "what am I doing differently than all the millionaires in the world?" That's when I decided to research and study as much I learn about money & business. From this, I was able to correct my mistakes, but most importantly I learned how important it is to be financial literate in today's world. I knew I needed to share this information with as many people in the LGBT community. So I created "The Trans Capitalist."
What is your dream project?
Philanthropy. I aim to grow "The Trans Capitalist" brand so massively that I can become the leading source of funding for queer organizations and businesses. I often see so many ideas and projects shelved because they do not have the funds to bring it to life. To help foster a queer renaissance and be a patron of the arts. I want to be known for helping boost the queer economy by helping people turn their ideas into profitable businesses.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
"Start now!" This phrase was the theme of all my professors in my finance classes of business school. When you deal with money, the sooner you start anything, the better. And you can apply this advice in all areas of finance. For example, the sooner you begin to get help with your finances, you are closer to getting out of debt than the people who do nothing. Another example, If you just put away $5 a week then waiting until you can put away $50, you are much closer to your savings goals with the $5. Most people believe that you have enormous amounts of money to start any financial goal but the real secret is starting now and with what you have. By following this, I was able to build my stock portfolio with just $20 a week.
Name something you love outside of “what you do”, and why.
I love mentoring other black transmen within the community. I do this because I believe that representation is very important. There is a huge lack of trans men in the media especially trans men of color. When I transitioned in 2011 social media barely existed, and it was like finding a unicorn if you found any other transgender individuals. I had no idea what to expect or who I can talk too about my transition. It felt like I did my transition blindly but I survived. Now with the help of social media, you can connect with a lot of Trans people. Especially the people who are thinking to or just started to transition. You can see a variety of different transitions and connect with other men.
This is why I love creating YouTube videos and post on IC about what I went through, past mistakes, and how to have a better transition overall. It is rewarding when I have trans men telling me that they look up to me or I helped get them through a rough patch, and my favorite is watching them evolve into men mentally, physically, & spiritually. With my six plus years of transition, I have been through it all and still came out on top. I want other trans men of color to know you are not alone and that you can be very successful too.
What should we look out for and how can we keep up with you &/or your work?
Definitely, look out for "The Trans Capitalist: Financial Classes" & "The Trans Capitalist: Goal Crushers!". It is a principle of mine to make financial knowledge easily accessible and affordable.
I am creating classes of a variety of financial topics to give people the best possible chance to thrive! "Goal Crushers" is where I work one-on-one with people to help them achieve any financial goal that they always desired but have no idea how or where to start. Choosing "The Trans Capitalist" you can get the same education as the people on Wall St but for way less!
To learn more about the "The Trans Capitalist" and myself follow on all social media accounts:
Facebook Page: The Trans Capitalist
YouTube Channel: TheTransCapitalist