For people investing in the stock market, 2020 was a transformational year. What was once perceived as a complex way to build wealth, and as something only available to high net worth individuals, became significantly more accessible with the rise of apps like Robinhood or Freetrade. As a new crop of investors began to enter the market, they have also sought out online courses and content to learn more the stock market and develop their investing skills. The global lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have only accelerated this desire for online education as people have had more flexibility whilst working from home. Teri Ijeoma, founder of Trade and Travel, is one entrepreneur who has seen her course enrollment grow significantly over the past year. She has spent the last few years traveling while running her online course that teaches people how to trade intentionally to find financial freedom and live out their dreams.
Teri grew up in Dallas, Texas, and was raised by a single mother and her grandmother. Growing up in a modest environment, her family emphasized the value of education as a way for her to get ahead and be successful.. This led to Teri to develop an interest in the sciences, particularly physics. But after graduating third in her high school and securing a place at MIT, Teri decided to study business management, a direction neither she nor her family members expected or even knew existed..
Her coursework introduced her to economics and probability and after graduating with a 4.5 GPA, like many of her peers at MIT, Teri began pursuing a career in consulting or finance. An internship at investment bank Morgan Stanley was her first introduction to financial markets, and she found that while she enjoyed interacting with markets, she really wanted to do something a little more hands-on. While working for Monitor Group in strategy consulting, she was introduced to Teach for America, , a non-profit organization whose mission is to help create equal opportunity to access education. Given Teri’s childhood and family background, this mission resonated with her and so she ended up moving from having Teach For America as a client to working for the organization on their Houston Institute Team, planning operations for the courses and workshops they ran for their corps members.
Working for Teach For America was the beginning of a number of roles in the educational space for Teri, including working in the youth department of a church, an educational non-profit, and finally becoming an assistant principal at a newly launched school. Each role gave her experience in curriculum formulation, as well as building programming from the ground up—knowledge and skills she then was able to apply in the early days of launching Trade and Travel.
Trading And Travelling
Whileworking in the education sector, Teri continued trading on the stock market. She had learned the very basics during her internship at Morgan Stanley and had been steadily increasing her knowledge over the years through reading books and taking courses. In early 2017, a combination of burnout plus the sudden death of a close friend led her to reassess her life and make some changes. Life was too short, she realized, and something she had always wanted to do was travel the world.
She knew she needed to supplement her income to not only afford to travel, but also to replace her income so she could quit her job. Based on her calculations, she set a goal of making $300/day through the stock market. Teri invested significantly more time educating herself, doing different programs and courses, and by July of that same year, she was able to reach her goal and quit her job. She set off on a tour of Asia and Oceania in 2017, and began living out what was once only a dream.
As she posted about her travels, friends and family would reach out and ask the same questions: “How do you have the flexibility to travel like that?” “How are you earning an income?” “How can you afford all that travel?” Many were shocked when Teri would tell them she was trading. Soon she was getting requests from friends to teach them how to successfully trade so they could experience the same level of freedom. Teri realized that she could combine her passion for teaching and her passion for trading to help others build their wealth and live their best lives.
Launching A Course
Her first course cost $1000 per person. But as she refined her content and created more comprehensive packages, she was able to charge more and expand the course to a global audience. Her courses went beyond teaching trading and stock market basics to include exploring options, stocks, and shares. The course and her following continued to grow as many of her previous clients would refer friends to her course, something which still accounts for up to 50% of new sign-ups. Podcast interviews and requests to speak at conferences and community events expanded her client base further and she was named Creator Of The Year by e-learning website Teachable in 2020 after generating over $10 million in sales.
Today the format of the Trade and Travel course remains online and includes ongoing mentoring. Through her content, Teri helps her clients figure out how to find good investments, but more importantly how to manage risk. Hundreds of her clients from all over the world are now making enough money from trading to stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay off car payments and mortgages, and even paying off tens of thousands in student debt. While she is thankful to live out her dream of trading and traveling, seeing her clients achieve financial freedom is what makes Teri most proud.