Estimate Time5 min

Turning setbacks into go-forwards

Key takeaways

  • Using free resources, low-cost investments, and the knowledge and expertise of professionals in your community can help expand your knowledge and build a financial foundation.
  • Commitment to goals and perseverance can help you achieve your goals, but it may take time to see the results of your work.

Economic empowerment is at the heart of the American dream and Fidelity works around the clock to provide resources to help everyone attain it. The opportunities that can result from financial stability and success can fuel future generations and create a cycle of compounding accomplishments.

Viewpoints sat down with one of Fidelity's private wealth managers, Braxton Rhone (pictured with his family above), to talk about financial empowerment and ways Black people and other historically economically disenfranchised groups can make financial progress.

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The statistics don't always seem very encouraging. The racial wealth gap still exists even today. How do you see it?

Rhone: There is no doubt and no debating that many individuals have been economically disenfranchised, including but not limited to African Americans. We have heard so much about the setbacks that have happened to our community. And one thing I love about Fidelity is we've done an amazing job of helping people turn those setbacks into go-forwards. When you have a setback—like I can't get this information, or I don't have this knowledge, or I wish I had somebody to teach it to me—a solution may be available to you on for free.

We have a content hub called Creating Black wealth and building a legacy. That is a phenomenal resource for building Black wealth. You have access to individuals like me, who have knowledge and years of experience that we can pass on to clients.

As a community, we have the ability to learn and to gather the skills that we need. Fidelity has an excellent platform that's extremely low cost, and you have access to professionals and individuals that look like you. We can all keep moving forward and trying to create wealth for the next generation. I think that's incredible.

Why is working with someone who looks similar or who has a similar background so helpful?

Rhone: It's about relating on a personal level and being able to speak with someone who relates to your stories.

Working with someone who can identify with some of the social or economic challenges that you face can make the conversations you need to have easier as you're customizing a financial plan for you and your family. This is a wealth plan that will ultimately transcend into the next generation and hopefully leave a good roadmap for the future.

What is your advice for people who are struggling or wondering how they can make their own financial progress?

Rhone: One thing I love about the world we live in today, is that the younger generation has shown us that you're a TikTok video away from having an immense amount of success. Some of that can be fly-by-night but it's a big change from what I grew up with where the feeling was that I had to have superior athletic ability or superior intellect to succeed.

Now you can be a regular person who works hard at what you're good at and uses the financial principles we believe in at Fidelity. You don't have to have superhuman skills that can propel you into the superstar stratosphere.

You can be John Doe or Jane Doe and have a following from doing makeup or from skincare or whatever it is. Or you can be a plumber or an electrician or an accountant—anything you can make your own. And by following sound financial principles of saving and investing consistently you can make progress.

It may not be a viral TikTok video or an extended following on another social platform but something else you've created, like a general trade. I have a close friend who's very successful, whom I'm extremely proud of, who is an air conditioner mechanic. He does extremely well.

But not only has he done well, he's also used sound financial principles to make the most of what he has: investing for growth potential over time, diversifying, living under his means, and, in his case, buying investment properties. He's really done a great job of expanding his wealth and his net worth.

Read Viewpoints on Build a financial plan in 3 easy steps

Do you have any tips for getting started and making progress financially?

Braxton Rhone: Yes, 3 things in particular.

Number one, definitely utilize the resources that are available on There's no question that Fidelity has done a phenomenal job of breaking down those barriers on behalf of all clients.

The second item I would say is, keep it simple. A plan does not have to be overly complex to be effective. Work to develop good habits and do enough of the small things in the correct manner. That means, budgeting, living below your means, and investing systematically over an extended period of time. Those can help you achieve the results that you're looking for over the long term.

Seek the guidance and help of local professionals and they'll help you to make the most of what you have.

Finally, the best advice I've ever received on finance came from Maebell Thurston at the 50th Street Church of Christ. She said, "Baby, you take a drop of water and you put it in a bucket. You keep putting a drop of water in the bucket and eventually it'll overflow."

I was 10 or 12 years old and it stuck with me for my entire life. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a master's degree in financial planning, I have a CFP certification, and I've worked in the industry now for 17-plus years. And I'm sitting here as a 40-year-old financial professional, with all the knowledge and the skill that we get but it still comes back to the same principle: Just keep putting a drop of water in the bucket. And eventually it's going to overflow. It applies to many different levels of my life and to finance, and Black history in general.

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1. Andy Rosen, "Fidelity Investments Review 2024: Pros, cons, and how it compares," 01/02/2024,, This information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific investor.

​The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, which is also referred to as a CFP® certification, is offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (“CFP Board”). To obtain the CFP® certification, candidates must pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification examination, pass the CFP® Board’s fitness standards for candidates and registrants, agree to abide by the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and have at least three years of qualifying work experience, among other requirements. The CFP Board owns the certification marks<CFP®>, <CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™>, <CFP® (with plaque design), and <CFP® (with flame design)> in the U.S.

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Views expressed are as of the date indicated, based on the information available at that time, and may change based on market or other conditions. Unless otherwise noted, the opinions provided are those of the speaker or author and not necessarily those of Fidelity Investments or its affiliates. Fidelity does not assume any duty to update any of the information.

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