Meet the Woman Helping Teach Kids About the Stock Market

Meet the Woman Helping Teach Kids About the Stock Market

When teenagers graduate from school and venture out into the great unknown of their adult lives, very few do so with a solid knowledge of the stock market. Investing is not typically part of the average middle or high school curriculum. However, if Real Life Trading President Xochitl Rodriguez has anything to say about it, stock market knowledge will become a fundamental part of young adult education.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Xochitl Rodriguez’s family immigrated from Mexico and settled in Los Angeles. Her relationship with money began from an early age. “You know how people say, ‘we were poor, but we never knew we were poor’? Well, we knew we were poor,” says Rodriguez.

Growing up in a garage and sharing a sofa bed with her brother, Rodriguez understood the extreme value of building wealth. “My parents worked extremely hard to provide for us, but I knew I wanted more than what I saw,” she says.

Not wanting to continue the cycle of poverty, Rodriguez did what many children of immigrants had done before her and sought out that often-elusive American Dream. She married her high school sweetheart at 27, and together they started several businesses. However, her American Dream quickly crumbled, and with it, the facade of a perfect marriage that Rodriguez had constructed.

“It was the worst time of my life,” she explains. Rodriguez found herself without the house, the cars, and with $100,000 in debt. She moved in with her brother and shared a bed with her mother. The devastation was palpable.

Through the turmoil of her divorce and losing everything, Rodriguez decided to focus on rebuilding. Joining forces with her brother, her partner in a poverty-stricken childhood, they built eight new businesses.

“Those businesses became very successful. I was soon living off the payment from the businesses and living a semi-retired life,” says Rodriguez.

However, after a period of the businesses flourishing, the payments stopped coming. The financial windfalls dried up, and Rodriguez found herself in dire straits again, depleting her savings and surviving off her credit cards.

She sold her businesses and got a regular job, but still struggled. Her last resort was to try making money in the stock market.

Learning the Financial Ropes

Rodriguez soon fell into a trap that many people find themselves in when seeking to educate themselves on trading stocks: spending thousands on courses offered by so-called “stock gurus.” She found herself “blowing accounts” right and left, which is slang for the complete failure of an account. Rodriguez was making no gains, and the education she was receiving from the expensive stock gurus was not translating into smart investment decisions.

“I felt like a complete and utter failure,” she remembers.

Not wanting to give up, and knowing that there had to be valuable stock market training available amid the scam artists and guru marketers, Rodriguez dug in and did a deep dive into stock market education. What she found was Real Life Trading and its CEO, Jerremy Alexander Newsome.

A successful financial mentor, Newsome started guiding students through the emotional journey with their money and stock purchases in 2010. He started Real Life Trading in 2014, bringing free and accessible trading education, live trading, and mentoring to the masses.

Real Life Trading’s mentorship program is what changed the trajectory of Rodriguez’s life. Newsome’s mentorship helped Rodriguez identify the problems with her trading. Together, they developed a plan that got Rodriguez away from emotional investing and led her to triple her retirement account in less than one year.

Bringing Knowledge to the Kids

Rodriguez saw first-hand the ripple effect of the training and mentoring she received from Real Life Trading. “It’s not just another income stream,” Rodriguez says about trading, “it’s a tool for freedom.”

As someone who grew up hamstrung by poverty and experienced her bank account fluctuating between a divorce and payment shortages from sold businesses, Rodriguez saw the value in educating young people on the stock market. She viewed it as an obvious path to quelling generational poverty and giving young people a solid foundation to leap into adulthood.

Real Life Trading developed courses tailored toward children with titles such as “What is the Stock Market?” and “How to Get What You Want.” The information was broken down into easy-to-understand lessons and completely free, like most of Real Life Trading’s courses.

In March of 2022, Rodriguez and Newsome co-authored a book on the stock market for kids called “A Stock Market Journey: Making Sure Young Adults Win in Real Life.” The book does an age-appropriate deep dive into trading stocks, supply and demand, technical analysis, and understanding sentiment in a stock chart. Aimed toward late elementary, middle school, and older, the book seeks to bridge the knowledge gap between what is often not taught in schools and what kids should know before making their way in the financial world.

While financial literacy education is becoming increasingly popular in traditional educational settings, like public schools, the concept still has a way to go before it is considered foundational as reading or basic math.

Currently, only six states require high school students to complete a stand-alone financial literacy course as a requisite for graduation. Studies have shown that teaching financial literacy, and concepts like investing and trading early, lead to better financial stability in adulthood. However, implementing the necessary programs to guide young adults toward financial stability has stalled in many states. Recent legislation has been introduced in Florida to make financial literacy classes mandatory, but other states have been slow to follow suit.

Rodriguez’s experience as a kindergarten teacher makes her a perfect fit to lead the kid’s education portion of Real Life Trading’s stellar lineup of low cost and free courses. Rodriguez and Newsome see the Real Life Trading approach to young adult financial education as groundbreaking. They have high hopes to lead the way to an education revolution.

“Real Life Trading is actively changing the narrative in financial education for children and young adults,” said Rodriguez. “We desire for everyone, regardless of age, to know how the stock market works and teach them, as early as possible, that they can be owners and not just consumers.”

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.