Richard Bumbury is here to change the eliminate the wealth gap, making it his mission to offer opportunities for economic mobility and generational wealth to a more diverse group of people, especially Black men like himself. 

Born in Guyana (in South America), Richard is an entrepreneur and a self-taught software engineer, also a first-generation American. 

He states, “I grew up in Brooklyn, mostly in predominantly Black and LatinX neighborhoods like Flatbush, East New York, and Bushwick. I saw firsthand how a lack of financial education and economic mobility could negatively affect people’s lives because that was my experience, and that of the people I lived with and grew up around. Now, I want to change that.”

Now, Richard is excited as ever to be launching Populemetry, the new tech startup that serves as an alternative to the Stock Exchange. Historically, the investing community has not been inclusive, as decades on decades of racism, classism, and sexism have gone on far too long – especially when it comes to Black households.With the launch of Populemetry, Richard hopes to change the financial landscape and socioeconomic statuses of financially underrepresented or economically under-resourced groups for generations to come.

Sheen spoke with Richard to discuss his background, his passion, launching Populemetry, and more!

What was it like being born in Guyana & raised in Brooklyn?

The immigrant experience anywhere in the United States can be very challenging. I didn’t know this as a kid, but as I grew older, I learned that like many people that moved here from other countries, my parents had grand ideas about what their lives could be like if they moved here.

Unfortunately, those ideas met with a reality that meant they didn’t have the same knowledge of the systems or opportunities to allow them to change their socioeconomic status in the way they saw in their dreams. We lived in the projects for a while earlier in my life and sometimes struggled financially, but my parents worked hard to make sure my sisters and I could survive. Nevertheless, they wanted more for us than just survival, and now I’m working on the grand ideas they had in their dreams.

How did you get your start in all this?

This journey I’m on now started when I was a kid and decided that my family’s lifestyle wasn’t good enough and that we deserved better. It didn’t seem fair that my parents worked so hard, and we still didn’t live in a way that looked anything like the ones I saw on TV and in movies. I wanted to change that and decided that I’d become an entrepreneur way back in high school. This passion came from my desire to make it possible for people to gain economic mobility to change their economic situations in a way that feels relatable and accessible because I experienced what it was like to feel like there’s no path to financial success.

What’s your passion for stocks and investing?

I know investing is a way to build generational wealth. It’s a well-known, proven method of economic mobility. The problem is that it doesn’t always feel accessible to everyone who wants those opportunities, so now my passion is fixing that problem so that people can be informed investors without all the trouble.

What’s special about Populemetry?

Populemetry is different because I’m building it intending to create opportunities for economic mobility for people who feel like the existing options aren’t for them. When I say I want everyone to invest, I mean everyone. Populemetry begins to break down a significant barrier preventing people from participating in existing financial markets: the fact that those markets were built on exclusivity in the first place. It makes sense that people feel excluded because, at least sometimes, that’s the point. Populemetry is special because inclusivity is baked into the mission and the goal is to give people who want to participate a fair chance to do so by creating a system that feels within reach.

How will it eliminate the wealth gap?

The current financial system works for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. The stock market is a major component of the current economic system. While it can give us some important signals about what’s going on with our economy, many people don’t think about the stock market in their daily lives at all. It might as well not exist for them because they don’t feel like they have any connection to it. I want to create a new financial market where people can invest in the popularity of things like movies, music, and TV because, for the financial systems to work for everyone, it’s crucial that they’re relatable to everyone and that people feel connected to them. People want economic mobility, but they want a system they understand and trust. I want to create that system with Populemetry.

One thing you want consumers to take away from the app?

I want people to understand that they can (and should) invest (and dream big). Investing is a proven way to build wealth, and it’s a way that all of us can gain the opportunity to change our socioeconomic status. I think some people self-exclude themselves from investing for a variety of reasons, both true and untrue. I want them to feel like they get it and that the ideas about what they need to get started are just obstacles in the way of their financial goals.

What are you most looking forward to next?

I’m most looking forward to making investing and building wealth as common as watching TV or going to see a movie and building a brand and a business that empowers people to live their best lives.