Former Wall Street Analyst Ashley Fox Is Bridging Financial Gaps for Underserved Communities


by Jolie Doggett

March 27, 2024

“Wealth doesn’t have a color. No matter what you look like or who you are, we deserve to build wealth.”

Ashley Fox believes that anyone can and should be able to have the life–and bank account– of their dreams. It’s why she started Empify, a wealth-building and investment program that empowers everyday people to get educated about money and reach financial abundance.

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After graduating magna cum laude from Howard University, the Philadelphia native pursued her dream job on Wall Street at JP Morgan. However, it was during this time that she realized the discrepancy between helping wealthy individuals maintain their wealth and the lack of resources available for others to begin their own journey toward financial stability.

“For years, I was a financial advisor. And then I got to a point where I wanted to serve people massively, not individually,” Fox told Because of Them We Can. She then started a financial wellness program, Empify, to revolutionize the way adults and children alike learn to invest and achieve financial freedom. Now, Fox’s former workplace, JP Morgan, partners with her to help people all over the world become educated and empowered and begin to build wealth that will last for generations. 

Fox spoke with BOTWC to discuss her journey of building her business from scratch and her mission to address financial trauma and fears within our community, empowering individuals to invest in themselves.


BOTWC: What inspired you to pursue a career in finance?

Ashley Fox: I’m the first person in my immediate family to go to college and graduate. My dream leaving high school was to just be a profound African American woman on Wall Street because I liked math and I liked business [and] if I’m being honest, I wanted one of the best and highest paying jobs out of school. I actually did not want to be an entrepreneur, I don’t think I even knew what that word meant. 

When I graduated from Howard University, I landed my dream career working for one of the largest banks in the world (JP Morgan). My job was to work with individuals [who] had at least $25 million or more to effectively grow their money, preserve their money, [and] protect their money so they could properly pass it down and sustain it. So, I really gotta see the ins and outs of what wealthy people do, what they did with their wealth, and how they grew it.


BOTWC: What led you to leave Wall Street and start a business in financial education?

AF: When I was at JP Morgan, I was making good money. I was around phenomenal people and I loved what I did, but I recognized that there’s no resource or Wall Street for the everyday person. There’s no education system that shows you how to build wealth. It’s not talked about in our school system, and you are not talking about it at home with your family. I asked myself, ‘How can I create something that translates Wall Street knowledge but gives it to the everyday person?’ and Empify was born.

Ninety-nine percent of the population will never get access to this information. I wanted to create something that gave the world access to what I got exposed to because of the career path that I chose. So, after four years, I ended up leaving my job with the intent to financially empower the world. If I empower you while I educate you, it will shift how you see yourself, how you see the world, and how you see money in your life. It changes the way you think about yourself in the role of money in your life. 


If I don’t do it, who will do it?

BOTWC: How does Empify work to help people begin their financial wellness journeys?

AF: We’re in 22 different countries, so adults from all over the world have access to financial tools and resources to learn [financial literacy] on their own. We’re in school systems, charter schools, and public schools. When Covid hit, we launched our Wealth Builder Community app, which is kind of like the Netflix of finance. The whole experience that I learned at JP Morgan, I brought it to an entire community of people so now they can massively learn how to build wealth on their cell phones.


So far, our members have invested over $4 million. These are people who never invested before and began investing their own money, utilizing what we’ve taught them. Some people attend our Parent Investing Bootcamp, where parents come together and learn how to invest and pass down wealth [to] their children. They’re learning how to plan for retirement [and] how to understand taxes. Empify even starts with younger children in high school and into college, positioning people so that they are making proactive decisions with their money versus reactive decisions because we’re not taught that in the school system.

They’re all learning in a safe environment with people who look just like them, who operate just like them, and who want to build wealth just like them. 

Empify founder Ashley Fox speaks at a Global Entrepreneurship conference in Bermuda / Credit: Ashley Fox


BOTWC: What’s one of the most common money mistakes you see people making in our community?

AF: Growing up, I was taught you go to school, you get this job so that you can pay for school, you work really hard, and you buy a house. I was really pushed to save and kind of just do those basic things. When I got to Wall Street, it was the complete opposite. I truly believe that one of the biggest things I learned is that the best way to grow wealth in this country is to invest in your own idea or invest in somebody else’s idea. And on Wall Street, that’s what I saw. Our clients created their wealth by investing in their own ideas, creating their own businesses, or they were investors in other people’s businesses.

You can’t work your way to wealth, and you definitely can’t save your way there. I’m sure we all know people who work really hard because that’s what we’re taught to do, who have really good jobs, who own homes, who save money, but still are not financially secure. We’re taught to work for our money versus training ourselves that our money should always be working for us.


BOTWC: Where should people begin if they want to start on their own journey to financial literacy and wealth building? 

AF: First, get crystal clear on what you want life to look like, despite your current reality. Ask yourself what do you want, not what do you need. I truly believe that needing comes from a place of scarcity, and wanting comes from a place of abundance. Then, how about we create the life that you want, show you what needs to be done, and give you access to self-paced education for you to be able to do it on your own? At Empify.com, we have free classes that people can take. We have free guides that people have access to. We also have a membership-based app where people can join, matriculate through our education, learn as much as they can, produce results, and also continue to be surrounded by like-minded people who are not afraid to build wealth–even though they may not have grown up with it.

You can’t tell me that we can’t build wealth in this country. You can’t tell me that I can’t build a billion-dollar business that is impacting the world. No matter what you look like or who you are, we deserve to build wealth. I won’t let our thought process or a lack of education stop us.


Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Cover photo: Ex-Wall Street Analyst Ashley Fox Is Bridging Financial Gaps/ Photos courtesy of Ashley Fox

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