In 1962, Malcolm X told a Los Angeles audience, “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”
Despite the passage of more than 60 years, evidence continues to support his claim. A 2021 Goldman Sachs study showed that the earnings gap between Black women and their White counterparts has actually widened since the 1980s and ‘90s.
As founder of Alexander Legacy Private Wealth Management (ALPWM), Jacqueline Campbell, has made it her mission to support “the most disrespected person in America.”
“In the Black community, most folks are just happy to get to payday, especially Black women,” says Campbell, a Black woman and divorced mother of two. “They’re helping their parents, their children, their siblings . . . especially if they’re successful. So many Black women are pulled in different directions to help others that they often fail to take care of themselves. I want to break that curse. I want to get my clients to a place where they are putting themselves first, and then shift the mindset so they can plan for their children, and their children’s children.”
That goal is a large part of the reason Campbell, president, CEO, and senior wealth advisor at ALPWM, was RIA Intel’s “New RIA of the Year for 2022.”
A vision for the future
For 30 years, Andrew Alexander clocked in at the Ford Factory in Detroit at 6:00 AM and clocked out 3:00 PM. In those 30 years, he never missed a day supervising the assembly line. He knew almost innately that opportunities to make money couldn’t be squandered, because someday the opportunity wouldn’t be there. It was a straight path that provided for his family and laid the foundation for his daughter, Jacqueline, to envision and build her own journey.
The “Legacy” in Jacqueline Campbell’s firm’s name harkens to her family’s determination to do right by the next generation and to focus on providing for the next generation. At ALPWM, Campbell wants to take it one step farther, to provide for the next generation, plus one. To understand why, it helps to know what she’s seen along her journey.
Everyone needs a plan
“It doesn’t matter if you make $4 or $4,000…because I’ve made both,” Campbell says.
A big part of the reason that her clients like working her is that she walks the walk. Her money’s been making money since before she was making money.
Like many Americans, she created her first wealth when she sold her first home. The sale itself wasn’t remarkable, until you recognize the circumstances surrounding the purchase. Campbell was just 25 and single, making $37,000, when she bought the duplex in 2002. Together with her best friend, she bought the property with just 3 percent down. Two years later, they sold the house for an $80,000 profit. Campbell had more than doubled her earnings for the year, and she began looking for other investments.
[Like this article? Subscribe to RIA Intel’s’ thrice-weekly newsletter.]
Not long after, Campbell put her experience to work in the heart of one of Detroit’s poverty-riddled neighborhoods. At the time, she was working at Chase Bank and striving to do more than, in her words, “just refund overdraft fees.”
“If money were no object, what would you be doing right now?” she would ask customers at the bank. Those dreams became their North Star as Campbell led workshops on balancing a checkbook and contributing to 403b accounts. She was preparing the next generation to make even humble earnings work for them, and the message was clear: Creating wealth is not off the table for anyone. She invited kids to her workshops, too.
“Kids seem more adept at the idea of ownership and entrepreneurship,” Campbell says. “They see it on Instagram and other social media, and they want to own their brand. That’s why I reach out more to the next generation, the ones that we are passing the baton to.”
Just as she was able to build wealth with what little she had as a cash-strapped 25-year-old, Campbell challenges young people to think differently. “How can you own your neighborhood? How do you collaborate with other like-minded guys to buy the block?
Campbell’s dreams for her community are grand, but not delusional. She recognizes that for a dream to materialize, there must be a plan, and a willingness to act.
When Campbell’s stepfather passed away in 2009, he left her 18-year-old half-sister a house, a car, and a six-figure inheritance. The assets held so much promise for a young person just starting out. Six months later it was all gone, proof that without a plan, dreams vanish quickly.
Campbell senses a greater urgency these days as she works with parents to build a legacy for their children and grandchildren. Her half-sister’s experience is one catalyst, but the recognition that we are in the midst of the greatest wealth transfer in history is another. Campbell is determined to find people whose bank accounts are about to move from “$452 to $4 million in a day, because we have to make sure that they don’t screw it up.”
The vision that Campbell has for herself, for her clients, and for her community are products of deliberate planning. Her effectiveness as an advisor and investor can be attributed to those details, but also to her patience — especially in the face of uncertainty. Tattooed on her wrist is Psalm 27:14, a constant reminder to “Wait for the Lord . . . and let your heart take courage.” Or, as Campbell puts it, “Things don’t always happen when I’d like them to, but they always happen right on time.”
Campbell begins each day with a seven-step routine. The first is listing 10 things for which she is grateful.
“We are all very blessed, and if I don’t acknowledge my blessings, it’s easy to get caught up in the things that go wrong,” she says.
Step two is affirmation, where Campbell “speaks life into herself” by reciting positive phrases to remind herself who she is and what she has accomplished. “If I tell myself I’m beautiful and intelligent, I don’t have to worry about what the rest of the world is saying,”
Her daybreak routine also includes 30 minutes of physical excercise, prayer, meditation, reading (“something powerful, and often that comes from scripture”), and journal entries. “Every dream that has come true in my life, I put it on paper first,” Campbell says. “If it’s in your head and you can write it on paper, there’s something there. If it’s a dream, it can become a business plan, if you put it to work. When you envision like that, it becomes real.”
Given this divine influence and her monk-like discipline, it’s not surprising that Campbell sees herself as something closer to a spiritual guide. “When it comes to what we do as advisors, and how we help people, it’s like a ministry: We are saving families and marriages, and helping people realize things they didn’t even know about themselves,” she says. “We dig deep and explore what is stopping them from ultimate financial freedom, and that comes with understanding their mental health.”
Campbell recognized that a leap of faith was necessary if she was going to help her clients navigate the challenges and traumas of life. So, after 20 years with Chase, she left the security afforded by her tenure, a reliable paycheck, and health insurance to build ALPWM. Now, nothing could stop her from being authentic self.
Most of Campbell’s clients at ALPWM are successful, middle-aged Black women who are just starting their financial journey. Despite their professional standing and six-figure incomes, many have never been included in conversations about true wealth creation.
According to the Goldman Sachs study, the disparities between Black and White women “are present in every stage of a Black woman’s life, from education to housing to health.” A more recent Duke University study has shown that a 60-year-old Black women with a college degree has a mere $11,000 in wealth, while the median wealth among single White women that age is $384,400. While many White women are counting the months to retirement, and collaborating with financial planners to create a plan for the next generation, many Black women cannot. Campbell has seen this repeatedly, and she’s adamant that change is necessary.
“We shouldn’t have to start from zero, or raise money to bury our parents,” she says. “I realize that takes a mindset shift from, ‘I’m just happy to get to payday.’”
Campbell makes it her goal to push her clients past that place, and to recognize that they have access to creating generational wealth. Along the way, her clients trust her to help unpack a lifetime of spiritual baggage to reach their ultimate potential. At the end of the journey, tears often flow, and it’s not unusual for clients to invite Campbell to family reunions.
“I’m drawn to women who need to know that there is a bright side beyond their pain,” she says. “These are women accustomed to being the savior for everyone else, and in doing so, they often neglect themselves.”
So, Campbell takes them for a day — sometimes a weekend — and shows them how it feels to be taken care of and what it feels like to be served, and it imbues them with the belief that what they’re feeling is theirs to take if they choose to focus on themselves.
One of Campbell’s grandmother’s favorite sayings was that “Trouble doesn’t last always.” Campbell points to the tattoo on her wrist before she says, “If you wait in the waiting room long enough, at some point your name will be called.”
For Campbell’s clients, the wait is finally over.