JEFFERY WOLFE PROFILE
Some say that where you are from is based on where you attended the majority of your public education. Others say that designation is reserved for your city of birth. Semantics aside, Jeffery Wolfe grew up in the warm streets of California’s capital city; Sacramento, famous for its historic Old Town, one of the NBA’s lowliest franchises in the Kings, and laying atop the central valley which is considered among the most productive and versatile agricultural regions in the world.
It’s the summer of 2012 and Jeffery is teetering on the brink of a decision. Should he take an offer to play football at Lewis & Clarke College in Portland, OR, or remain loyal to the soil he has rooted himself to and attempt to foster success from his foundation? An uncertain mind is inevitable when forced to make such a life-altering choice. And at this point in time, the question of uncertainty would prove to loom too large for the California native. Jeffery would decide to forgo this newfound opportunity in Oregon and begin to work hand-in-hand with his father at his plumbing business.
At the core of life itself lies the principle of centripetal force. For example, the Earth orbits around the sun due to the centripetal force (circular motion) provided by gravity. On occasion, opportunity mirrors centripetal force; and it did for Jeffery in 2017. As he scrolled through his email an eye-catching sender popped up: Intel. If you are unfamiliar, Intel was founded in 1968 and is currently the highest valued semiconductor chip manufacturer based on revenue. Though delighted at the sight of a new hiring opportunity from a prestigious company, Jeffery was once again faced with a life-altering decision. Arizona, Oregon, or New Mexico. Those were the only locations available for new hires. Working for Intel would come with a price, although this time, Jeffery was ready for change.
Being familiar with the pacific northwest from official football visits from five-years prior, Jeffery decided to apply to Intel’s Oregon location. It took a bit of persistence and badgering, but his ambition did not go unnoticed. He interviewed for the job and was hired on the spot. Jeffery left California and his fathers business with a CompTIA A+ certification and the support of the man he worked hand-in-hand with in the years after his initial decision to stay home. The tide was about to change for Jeffery.
At 21 years old, working for a large company in the technology industry can feel larger than life. However, when you move past the face-value of any company you can begin to see the realities of the job. Placed on the graveyard shift, Jeffery began testing wafers, which are used as a base for fabricating electronic integrated circuits and silicon-based photovoltaic cells. After testing, these wafers are then sent out to be distributed to Intel’s clientele. He came to Oregon with an idea of what this prestigious company was about, which was selling chips. Although, his perception quickly changed after months of intensive work on the inside of the machine that is Intel. Jeffery was faced with the insufferable fact that he left his hometown for this opportunity in another state that didn’t result in what he dreamed of prior to leaving. Plagued with insomnia due to the 7pm-7am shifts he began working six-months prior, he knew something would have to give. Little did he know then, the roots of a newfound passion were beginning to sprout within the same workplace he was ready to leave.
In those same doors of the Intel building, Jeffery had learned about the company’s employee stock purchase plan (ESPP). Employees who had worked at Intel for at least a year would qualify for the ESPP and would be offered shares of Intel at half its fair market value. If calculated today, Intel’s ticker symbol (INTC) is valued at $55.52 per share. That means that an employee could grab a share of INTC at $27.76 per share, which would immediately bring in a profit. Jeffery began to fixate over this newfound knowledge and would begin to probe further into the details of this program. Even though Jeffery was ready to leave Intel, he had the inklings of financial freedom in the back of his mind. A plan was starting to form.
Feeling defeated having left a job he had risked so much for, Jeffery understood the reality of his circumstance. Like so many of us in our mid-twenties, money was at the forefront of his concerns. He knew that leaving Intel would most likely result in a new occupation that brought in less money. But when you can’t stand the work you have signed up to perform a change of scenery can be for the best, regardless of the financial toll. Doubt was starting to creep into the back of Jeffery’s mind as to why he moved to Oregon in the first place.
As time passed Jeffery picked up a few more jobs, testing which occupations could provide both money, interest, and fulfillment. Eventually he landed a job working for Amazon, a multinational tech giant who’s services touch a large chunk of the world on an everyday basis. He delivered packages for the company, serving as an essential cog in the machine that is Amazon. If there are no workers to deliver packages, there is no Amazon. Jeffery, never a stranger to hard work, began fulfilling his duties and expediting his routes so that he finished quicker than some of his peers. But he learned quickly that the hardest working employees generally don’t receive rewards for their work, but instead are handed a larger load to manage. He didn’t make any additional money for his work-ethic, but he was still being worked tirelessly. Still having Intel’s ESPP floating around in his mind, Jeffery began to truly think about how he could change his financial situation.
One night while he was laying in bed, Jeffery had a conversation regarding his desire to invest his money. He had heard of Robinhood – an app-based platform that offers people the ability to invest in stocks, ETFs, and options through Robinhood Financial – before but had never put too much thought into the company. Without thinking too much about it, he deposited $200 and embarked on his journey to financial freedom. Without any research, Jeffery had spent the entire $200 in a true trial-and-error fashion. The plan that began to form in the back of his mind prior to leaving Intel was beginning to take shape. Jeffery describes his entry to the stock market as simply “a shot in the dark.”
Then comes the summer of 2019. This is the summer that I met Jeffery Wolfe. Purely out of coincidence, I walked out of my downtown Portland apartment to find a former roommate of mine and his friend chopping it up across the street. I walked up and greeted them, introducing myself to the stranger who was accompanying my old roommate. He said his name was Jeffery. We engaged in small talk for a short time before exchanging our information and later agreeing to meet up for an episode of the Just A Moment Podcast that I was hosting at the time. In that moment, all I knew about Jeffery was that he was an ambassador of the stock market and was willing to share some of his knowledge with me. I quickly obliged.
In the months that followed that podcast episode, Jeffery took his knowledge of the market and ran with it. He began curating his Instagram profile with more stock market related content. He quickly became a source of information that many motivated and ambitious people could reach out to for financial growth. He created a brand titled, “stocktalkin” with the intent of creating a podcast or other platform in which he could convey his message to the masses. Currently, stocktalkin is an Instagram page that aims to “help others achieve financial freedom.”
What was once a vague plan is now a tangible asset.
Today, Jeffery reflects on the importance of minorities taking their financial situation into their own hands:
“I think we all have something similar in common. I think we all value time, family, and money. We all value that. Most people can knock money off that list and say that they don’t care about it. Okay, well then you have your time and your family. You can buy your time back and you can stop being a part-time parent. You go to work ten hours a day. You might be on the road, you might commute. You come home and see your wife, your girlfriend, your kid, whatever, but the reason they call it a full-time job is because most of the time you are at work. You spend two or three hours with your family and then you sleep the next eight hours. That’s your twenty-four hours in the day. I mean it just depends on what you want to do with your time. I would say most people don’t want to go work for somebody else and build that person’s dream, and get not even half of what their employer is making. And I don’t think most people think about that because [the status quo] is what we are programmed to do.
But I wasn’t raised like that. I didn’t watch my dad run out the door to get to work. I didn’t hear him say ‘I’m almost late for work, let me jump in the truck. Where’s breakfast, where’s this at.’ Rather, I watched my dad go run his business. I went to work with my dad. I loved to go and watch my dad while I sat in the truck. I never watched my parents rush to work, so that’s how I was raised. I watched my dad grind and run his business from the ground up. And he’s still doing it.”
When I asked Jeffery his thoughts on why there is a culture of black and brown individuals who are scared of the stock market and deem it to be “the white man’s field” he was quick to jump on the question:
“They would say that [the stock market is run by the white man] and make that excuse, but I don’t think that’s what it is. I think what they know to do is what they are comfortable with. Most people don’t want change and no matter what you say regarding financial freedom or getting time back with your family, they don’t care about that. It doesn’t really matter to them because they don’t want to change what they are doing. And I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a problem because that’s what they know, it’s what we are programmed to see. But it’s a process and I would never stop trying to talk to them about [the stock market], because, that’s what I enjoy.”
Changing the opinion of the masses doesn’t happen in a day. It takes a lifetime of work to truly inspire and provoke change. That doesn’t deter Jeffery’s ambition though. He’s taking things day by day and learning more about his craft by teaching the individuals who are willing to ask questions.
Regardless of where you are in life, dedicating six-months of pure focus can change your entire placement in life. It’s as simple as that. Be willing to take a risk, even if that means leaving everything and everybody you know at home. As a wise man once said, “fortune favors the bold.”