Skip directly to Accessibility Notice
  • Trends with Benefits

    Trends with Benefits #3: Tyrone Ross on Fostering Financial Literacy

    Ed Lopez, Head of ETF Product
    March 17, 2020

    Financial illiteracy is an epidemic that afflicts many segments of our society. An InvestmentNews article highlighted a handful of different studies on the topic. Among its revelations was that the financial literacy level in the U.S. was only 57% and that financial literacy has actually declined.This is a scary thought when most Americans are being asked to take responsibility for their own retirement planning. It’s worse among the poorest of our society, where many don’t even have a bank account or trust the financial industry. This is the industry’s challenge and opportunity.

    Subscribe Now

    Apple Podcasts

    Apple Podcasts |Spotify Spotify |

    Stitcher Stitcher|

    Sound Cloud SoundCloud |

    YouTube YouTube

    Changing an Industry

    One person taking up that challenge and making it his mission is Tyrone Ross. I caught up with him at the Inside ETFs conference in January 2020. He is a financial consultant, early-stage start-up advisor entrepreneur and a 2004 Olympic Trials qualifier in track and field in the 400 meters. He was recognized by InvestmentNews 40 under 40 (2019), and as a top ten advisor set to change the industry in 2019. While great accolades, he dismisses them. He’s on a more important mission.

    If you haven’t been to the conference before it’s the largest conference for the exchange-traded fund industry with over 2,000 attendees and held at a beautiful resort on the beach in Hollywood, Florida. Hollywood is in Broward County, where Tyrone told me 20% of the children population live in poverty. So, it’s a striking paradox to think of the billions of dollars under management represented by financial professionals attending the conference in an area where so many live below the poverty level. Many at this socioeconomic level don’t know basic financial concepts much less what a stock is. Worse, as Tyrone explained is the mindset of ‘scarcity’ that prevents people from engaging with the banking system even to improve their own situation.

    Tyrone knows this situation well. He’s lived it. So while he takes it as his personal responsibility and mission to help these communities, he believes the financial industry can help lead the change to improve financial literacy and in the process help it become the “most beloved industry”.

    There is so much about our discussion I found inspiring. Listen for thoughts on the power of giving and how he stays positive. Also, his one big trend to watch is how financial advisors will be forced to change the way they run their practices.

    Trend or Fad?

    Listen for Tyrone’s take on fake meat, paper straws, blockchain, and the keto diet.

    Follow Ed Lopez @ThatEdLopez and Tyrone Ross @TR401 on Twitter.

    You can listen and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and YouTube.

    Important Disclosures

    Financial literacy: An epic fail in America, Greg Iacurci, InvestmentNews, March 2, 2019,

    Please note that Van Eck Securities Corporation (an affiliated broker-dealer of Van Eck Associates Corporation) may offer investments products that invest in the asset class(es) discussed in this podcast.

    The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker(s) but not necessarily those of VanEck. Commentaries are general in nature and should not be construed as investment advice. Certain statements contained herein may constitute projections, forecasts and other forward looking statements, which do not reflect actual results, are valid as of the date of this communication and subject to change without notice. Information provided by third party sources are believed to be reliable and have not been independently verified for accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Any discussion of specific securities/financial instruments mentioned in the commentary is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy these securities. Fund holdings will vary. All indices mentioned are measures of common market sectors and performance. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Information on holdings, performance and indices can be found at

    All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.  As with any investment strategy, there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be met and investors may lose money.  Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.  Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

     Van Eck Associates Corporation

  • Authored by

    Ed Lopez
    Head of ETF Product

    Explore My Insights