Home > Business > Inland Valley News Launches Business Profile of the Week: Meet Money Master John Stevenson

Inland Valley News Launches Business Profile of the Week: Meet Money Master John Stevenson

John Stevenson

Rancho Cucamonga, CA — At the early age of 19, a young John Stevenson would had his first business selling products at the Roadium Swap Meet in Torrance.

John is a community leader and servant having served as the VP of the Board at The Rivers Edge Men’s Rehabilitation Facility, Vice President of membership for the International Toastmasters Club in Riverside, and heavily involved in the African American Porsche Club.

During an interview with Inland Valley News, Stevenson said that throughout his journey, he has two chief concerns: What we build and what we leave behind.

“I’m the first to buy a house, the first to put my mom in a house and the first to see my kids go to college,” Stevenson said of his legacy when he spoke with Inland Valley News.

John mission is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Early in his career, Stevenson worked for Marriott in Orange County as a trolley driver and trainer.

He saw the luxurious lives of people like the Marriott family and told himself “that’s the way I want to live.”

When starting a mortgage company with his brother, the two would meet at Coco’s Bakery Restaurant every Sunday for six months to write out what the business would look like.

“You can open up a business on paper for free,” he said. “All the businesses I have ever had, they started with just a pen and a pad.”

In 2003, Stevenson relocated from Orange County to the Inland Empire to open a mortgage and real estate company.

At the peak of his success, he had about 20 realtors on his license and started buying houses and doing loans. However, the 2008 market crash dealt a heavy blow to his business.

He lost eight homes, had $2 million in mortgages from rental properties that defaulted and had to claim bankruptcy. In his own words, he was stuck.

But he did not let that discourage him.

“The money don’t make the man, the man makes the money,” he said. “And when I realized that, I looked at myself and said, ‘who were you before you made all this money?’ I was a hustler and a grinder. I can make a way out of no way.”

He took this time to “reinvent” himself and opened up the first Metro PCS store in Moreno Valley.

Stevenson believes that the Inland Empire will always be a place where people can obtain “the American Dream.”

“This is where the boom was,” he said in regards to the Inland Empire. “Everybody was moving this way. The house I had in Orange County, I was able to sell that for double what I paid for it and then buy a much bigger house out here.”

Stevenson spoke about his job as a personal banker for Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union and how it allows him to give back to his community.

“In that role, I’m able to help people actually start their own business if they want to get into the insurance field,” he said.

Stevenson’s upbringing in Long Beach was a difficult one. He did not have a wealth of positive influences to learn from and sometimes got into trouble.

“I don’t have a lot of Black heroes that I actually knew that I could gravitate towards that wasn’t a pimp or a drug dealer,” he said.

He aims to leverage his past encounters and his present standing to set a precedent for fellow Black men. Achieving financial success is feasible through diligent effort, perseverance, and the passage of time.

“I’ve demonstrated to them the avenues for earning money ethically and striving to become the finest version of themselves. Then, they can extend assistance to another family member to pursue similar goals,” he recollected.

Drawing from his extensive experience in real estate, Stevenson has assisted numerous black families purchase their first home in the Inland Empire from 2003 to 2023.

“That is the most gratifying thing I have done for my people,” he said. “Especially when they came to me with bad or no credit and it took in some cases one year to get them in the position to purchase.”

Driven by the prospect of his legacy, Stevenson likens his ambition to the basic human imperative to survive.

“If you haven’t eaten all day, you’re going to be hungry,” he said. “And that’s the mentality you got to have when you’re trying to accomplish something.”

About Inland Valley News’ Business Profile of the Week:

IVN’s Business Profile is a weekly series where we delve into the stories behind the success of local entrepreneurs and businesses that are making waves in their respective industries. Each installment of this series will feature an in-depth profile of a standout business, highlighting their journey, challenges overcome, and the innovative strategies that have propelled them to success. From startups disrupting traditional markets to established enterprises driving positive change, our series aims to inspire, inform, and celebrate the diverse entrepreneurial spirit within our community. Join us as we shine a spotlight on the individuals and organizations driving innovation, growth, and economic impact in our region. To have your business profiled, contact the Inland Valley News office at (909)985-0072 or by email at editor@inlandvalleynews.com

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