James Roundtree, the managing director of BNY Mellon, was present at the Wall Street Project Economic Summit, where he was recognized for his contributions to the industry. Roundtree took time to speak with rolling out about the importance of diversity and financial literacy.
What advice would you give someone looking to get into stock trading?
The most important part is education and learning about what financial services are all about. It starts from the grassroots up, and I would encourage you to go to your local communities, local banks, to understand what that process is all about and learn financial services from the ground up.
Who taught you about financial services and financial literacy?
My dad used to read the business section. He was a blue-collar guy. When I went to high school, they started to talk a little bit about the stock market. When I got to college, I started to learn more about financial services, and the rest is history.
How does it feel now to teach others about financial literacy?
It’s wonderful and it feels terrific to be able to pay it forward. That’s the most important aspect. That’s why I’m here. I’ve been in my career for 40 years, so I’m closer to retirement. What’s important to me is to be able to lay the groundwork for folks like yourself, who was able to go in and follow the footsteps of others to get to where they want to go. I just want to make it easier as much as I can.
How can people help you out, and vice versa?
It’s hard because we’re not a global bank, we’re a business bank, so we don’t have feet on the ground when it comes to branches. From my perspective, we try to help our clients who have the inroads in the community, and that’s the biggest thing that we do.