HOLBROOK, N.Y. (Jan. 31, 2022)—American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (AP)—a privately-held, independent broker/dealer that provides services and support for financial professionals across the United States—announces the extension of the AP for LIFE Creative Residency, a socially responsible program that benefits creative entrepreneurs based in Ferguson, Missouri, attached to the LIFE Creative STL Ecosystem. After two successful years of sponsorship, AP is increasing funding over a two-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2022, through its nonprofit arm, The American Portfolios Foundation, Inc.
“It is said that if you save one life, you have saved the world,” states CEO and President Lon T. Dolber. “Financial literacy is a key component in that process, which is why American Portfolios decided to plant a ‘social responsibility’ flag in Ferguson, Missouri—a community that continues to be extremely underserved and one that is often referred to as ground zero for social justice. AP’s mission is to support its affiliated investment professionals in helping their clients achieve their American dreams. Everyone’s dreams matter, and it is our hope that the AP for LIFE Creative Residency turns countless dreams into reality.”
“We are excited and feel extremely blessed to be able to partner with American Portfolios once again for the benefit of young creatives and our community,” states LIFE Creative STL Ecosystem Founder Brian Owens. “We look forward to this expansion and providing even more support and opportunities for our creative residents.”
Recognized by the financial services industry in two distinct awards recognition programs (2021 ThinkAdvisor LUMINARIES and 2021 WealthMangagement.com Industry Awards), AP for LIFE benefits LIFE Arts, Inc., the non-profit arm of the LIFE Creative STL Ecosystem founded by renowned musician Brian Owens. The Ferguson-based organization provides local youth in the North County, St. Louis, region with a platform wherein they can fully express and develop their creative voices. AP for LIFE grants five talented artists (“Residents”) much-needed funding, mentorship and financial guidance, affording them the resources essential to serve as role models and leaders within their community. Five of AP’s affiliated investment professionals serve as financial literacy mentors to each of the Residents, helping them plan their futures by managing a small investment account and stipend made available through Residency funding.
“AP for LIFE has the potential to become a nationally recognized, arts-forward, financial and workforce development program—one that shapes how society understands the ‘creative,’ where ‘creatives’ are seen as ‘creative entrepreneurs’ and whose art demonstrates a purposeful life that naturally results in social impact,” states Life Arts Executive Director Darius Williams.
AP for LIFE addresses several core social challenges for young creatives, including lack of financial support and wealth generation, scarcity of workforce opportunities, and pathways for creative entrepreneurs to leverage their platforms to successfully identify and address their community’s needs. The program offers solutions to these challenges by providing financial advisement; a small investment account and monthly stipend for each Resident; social and creative mentorship; access to platform development and marketing resources; and opportunities to impact youth in surrounding communities. “For the first time in my life, I was able to be a full-time artist because of the incredible financial advising I received,” states Resident vocalist, songwriter and influencer Malena Smith. Her fellow Resident—Joshua “Paco” Lee, CEO and Founder of Crush Records Collective—concurs. “Between the stipend and advising, I’m learning how to generate wealth in a way that sustains my life and career in diverse ways.” Smith and Lee will remain Residents for a portion of the two-year program renewal; upon their graduation, two new creatives will become Residents. To date, three Residents (T. Moore, Mike Bland and Stephanie Holly) have graduated from the program.
The Residency helps drive commerce to the region, effectively creating a burgeoning revenue stream with untold tributaries. Over the past two years, AP for LIFE funding and mentorship played an integral part in producing numerous multimedia projects, artistic works and educational resources, including the Homegrown Soul concert and film series; the musicals “A New Holiday” and “An Intimate Christmas,” which stars Malena Smith; Smith’s forthcoming untitled EP; and “Midnight Rails” by AP for LIFE Creative Resident Cecil McClendon. In addition, numerous brands, businesses and platforms—including AP for LIFE alum and founder Stephanie Holly of Little Beats “Compositions for LIFE” therapeutic songwriting program for middle and high school students; Little Beats Edutainment Video Series for younger children; and AP for LIFE alum Maria A. Ellis’ Girl Conductor Edutainment Series—are among several programs and social projects within the LIFE Creative Ecosystem, directly impacting more than 100 area youth and the mentorship of more than 15 creatives. .
The nonprofit’s focus for 2022 and beyond will be on The Campus for Life, Arts, and Culture (CLAC), which is destined to serve North County, St. Louis, through educational, therapeutic and workforce development, as well as arts-forward programs at a centralized space for the sake of cultivating and empowering student, creative, entrepreneurial and community stakeholders.
About American Portfolios
Headquartered in Holbrook, New York, American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) is a full-service, independent broker/dealer and member firm of FINRA and SIPC, offering a complete range of financial services, including personal financial and retirement planning, securities trading, mutual funds, access to investment research, long-term care planning, insurance products and tax-free investing. Fee-based asset management is offered through its sister subsidiary, American Portfolios Advisors, Inc., (APA), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Both entities, along with technology entity American Portfolios Advisory Solutions, LLC, collectively reside under the legal entity American Portfolios Holdings, Inc. (APH). Full-service securities brokerage is available through a clearing firm relationship with Pershing, LLC, a BNY Mellon firm, the securities of which are held on a fully disclosed basis. The company supports independent investment professionals—inclusive of registered assistants and non-registered associates—throughout the nation.
American Portfolios has numerous recognitions by a number of industry publications and organizations. Such acknowledgment includes: multiple Broker-Dealer of the Year* (Division III) wins by Investment Advisor magazine; multiple ThinkAdvisor LUMINARIES awards; multiple finalist and award wins by WealthManagement.com Industry Award in multiple categories**; Corporate Citizen of the Year by Long Island Business News; multiple top placements as one of the Best Companies to Work for in the state of New York by the New York State Society for Human Resources Management (NYS-SHRM) and the Best Companies Group (BCG); and one of the Top Long Island Workplaces.
* Based on a poll of registered representatives conducted by Investment Advisor magazine. Broker/dealers rated highest by their representatives are awarded “Broker/Dealer (B/D) of the Year.”
** Wealthmanagement.com Industry Award finalists are selected by a panel of independent judges made up of subject matter experts in the industry. Award is based on support provided to AP’s affiliated people and does not reflect public customers nor their account performance.
About American Portfolios Foundation, Inc.
American Portfolios Foundation, Inc. (APF), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that was originally created in New York in 2004 and amended in 2018 and headquartered in Holbrook, New York, is intended as a non-profit entity designed to advance awareness, assistance and support for charitable causes. Board members include AP CEO Lon T. Dolber, president; AP Chief Administrative Officer Dalchand Laljit, vice president; and AP Chief Financial Officer Damon Joyner, treasurer/secretary. Additionally, various roles are held by members of AP headquarters staff. The board meets on a quarterly basis to discuss its existing relationships with various charities and to determine the focus for various upcoming initiatives that will require the Foundation’s services and support.
About LIFE Arts, Inc.
LIFE Arts, Inc. is 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides artistic resources, opportunities, mentoring and positive experiences to help students develop the qualities and skills they need to live up to their God-given potential. The organization believes that, through the leadership skills and discipline of the arts, the youth of St. Louis can be a driving force, modeling the change that we all so desperately desire to see manifest.