How Charles Payne Taught Himself About Wall Street

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By Merrill Knox Comment

Charles PayneFox Business Network’s Charles Payne talks to the OC Register about how he first became interested in Wall Street, a passion which eventually would lead him to a job in finance, a contributor gig at CNBC and ultimately his own FBN show:

Raised the first dozen years of his life on Army bases where his father was stationed, it was an idyllic childhood, he says. “Always living on these wonderful military bases, I never knew crime, or locking doors,” Payne says. “I never really knew violence. And then I came home one day from school and my mom said, ‘Hey, we’re leaving.’ ”

His parents’ divorce when he was 12 resulted in the culture shock of Payne and his mother and two younger brothers moving into a one-room apartment in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. As the oldest kid, Payne says he started working to help his mother provide. “I sorta hustled,” he says. “Bought paper towels and Windex and cleaned windows at stoplights. I got a job in a bodega. I went door-to-door shoveling snow in winter.”

From his neighborhood he knew little of Wall Street, he says. “Except I knew that was where all the money was made,” Payne says. “And any chance I had to get the Wall Street Journal, I would read it and read it. I started learning to teach myself about it.”

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