During the COVID-19 pandemic, young Americans have been submerged into stressful financial situations and many are seeking better opportunities for themselves. From huge debt burdens to tough job searches, many members of Gen Z -- the most diverse generation in the U.S. -- are making strides to break free from economic hardship. 

Anyone learning about managing their finances has a wealth of online resources that provide education about how to make money, save money, and invest money. In fact, it can be overwhelming when thinking about where to start. So Jacqueline Howard, senior director of Wealth Advisors Operations at Ally Invest (NYSE:ALLY), hosted a month-long investing challenge that provided over 40 Black and Hispanic college students with a chance to learn stock market lessons, interact with global market simulations, and test their trading ability. Howard, along with Ally Invest President Lule Demmissie, discovered the bold and sometimes risky investment moves these students were willing to take in hopes of securing financial security and building wealth. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.