Get All Access for $5/mo

Youngest Female Trader on Wall Street Reveals She Only Earned $12,000 Per Year Lauren Simmons made history as the youngest full-time trader on Wall Street at age 22, but she still needed her family to help support her.

By Charlene Rhinehart

This story originally appeared on Black Enterprise

Lauren Simmons

Lauren Simmons made history as the youngest full-time female trader on Wall Street at age 22. She was also the second African American woman equity trader since the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was established in 1792.

"In 2017 I said no to limiting beliefs so I could say yes to shattering glass ceilings and making history. I continue to bet on myself and stand above all the no's people throw my way. Frankly, I thrive on people who doubt me," Simmons shared on Instagram.

Simmons' story went viral. She garnered media attention and a plethora of speaking engagements. However, the young trader was only earning $12,000 per year from her full-time job.

Related: 2 Problems and 3 Strategies Wall Street Just Isn't Talking About

"While I'm forever grateful for that opportunity and stepping stone, I appreciate it more so for the life experiences that it has lent me because truth be told, all that glitters isn't always gold," Simmons shared with Business Insider.

From Full-Time Student to Female Trader on Wall Street

Simmons earned her bachelor's degree in science genetics from Kennesaw State University in 2016. According to her LinkedIn, Simmons started working at Saks Inc before she graduated. She continued to work there after graduation as an Associate Business Analyst and Sales Manager, supervising a team of employees and selling over $15,000 daily.

Then, Simmons landed an opportunity with Rosenblatt Securities in 2017. As an NYSE equity trader, Simmons managed customer order flow with a notational value of over $150 million dollars daily. She also executed across various financial sectors on behalf of buy-side and sell-side institutions.

"I fell in love with the numbers and the fast movement, and the men in the trading jackets, and everything was moving so fast and I'm loving it," she told BBC's Joe Miller.

Understanding Her Worth

After spending nearly two years as an equity trader, Simmons left the Wall Street firm to pursue her own path.

"It was a fast-paced, exciting new environment, in which I gained a lot. I was also only making $12,000/year on the floor, so my enjoyment and eagerness were pure," Lauren shares with Business Insider.

When social media followers discovered Simmons' annual compensation, they were shocked. One LinkedIn connection asked if she meant $120,000 instead of $12,000 per year. Lauren revealed that her family was able to support her during that time. Another follower asked if her job was an internship or if the $12,000 was a typo. Simmons confirmed that it was not an internship.

In her Business Insider article, Lauren opens up about the barriers that still exist for Black women in finance. "While no one was overtly racist, sexist, or inappropriate to my face, it was glaringly obvious that there was an unspoken camaraderie that I would never be privy to."

Lauren acknowledges the team of individuals who championed her success as an equity trader. But she admits that it wasn't a hard decision for her to leave the NYSE and step into her next chapter. The young Wall Street pioneer is gearing up to host a new digital series, Going Public, and preparing for the release of her book.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business News

You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch

The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.