Knowledge = Power
I remember watching an episode of “Explained”, a show on Netflix that takes a topic and digests it through various resources and interviews from experts.
This episode was about billionaires and featured guests such as Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, who shared their experiences on being wealthy. In “Explained”, they disclose that ownership, or capital, was a major key to the wealth of billionaires.
“You’re not going to earn a billion dollars pulling down regular income and paying regular income tax on it. It’s just not gonna happen. So ownership is what creates wealth”Abigail Disney
Naturally, my mind was blown. It made me wonder: do people know about this!? These keys to success? In a world where people make money in their sleep, how is it POSSIBLE that there are still so many hard-working people in the struggle?
In general, people of color tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to financial education because our elders don’t typically have the tools, insight, or resources needed to pass down to the next generation. But, I’m here to help!
Here are my recommended tips and suggestions on how we can overcome the struggle and set up our future generations for financial success.
A lot of people believe that good old-fashioned hard work and labor will eventually help them achieve their financial goals.
By a show of hands, how many of us know someone currently working 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet? It turns out that we got it all wrong. The wealthiest people in the world make less money through labor and more through capital.
Capital is anything you own that can make you money, this list includes stocks and real estate.
For example, instead of having your money waste away in a temporary rental apartment where there are no financial benefits, why not save up and own a home (or apartment) that can earn you equity?
If homeownership is too steep of a goal, on a smaller scale, you have stocks. There are apps, such as Public, where you can buy shares into your favorite companies or industries (food, automotive, marijuana). Some shares can be as cheap as $0.20!!
If you’d like to sustain your money and have it stick around for generations to come, look into ownership. There are solutions available for all walks of life.
2. Education is Key
Lack of education causes us to waste our time and money on short-term instruments that don’t come with long-term benefits. Remember, the idea is to spend our money smarter.
I know finance can seem like an intimidating topic to dive into with all the math and fancy terminology, especially without guidance, but it’s alright! When there’s a will, there’s a way and there are alternative resources that make learning about money lite. My favorite? Books.
I recommend Investing for Dummies by Eric Tyson. It breaks down topics like savings, investments, real estate, and the stock market in a way that’s simple and digestible and proves how achieving goals, like becoming a millionaire, isn’t far from reach.
As a matter of fact, according to Eric Tyson, as of the 4th edition of Investing for Dummies, there were approximately 8 million US households that had at LEAST one million dollars.
If the 430-page count scares you away, there are numerous books available on the topic of money, investing, and finance. But, if you’re looking to ingest the info in smaller bits, the next thing I recommend is doing research online.
Most of these sites, like The Penny Hoarder, NerdWallet, and The Budgetnista, also have social media accounts. Just make sure you’re getting your info from an accredited site so you’re not misled under pretenses.
Before you know it, you’ll have the knowledge you need to put your financial plans into action. All that’s left is making a conscious effort to go about things differently.
3. Smarter NOT Harder
This scenario may seem familiar, how many of you know people who have come into large lump sums of money (OK TAX SEASON!) only to blow it on extravagant, superficial things like shoes, clothes, hair, and vacations? Before you know it their money is gone and it’s back to the struggle.
I know it feels good to splurge, but, when you come down from that high, you look up and you’re left with nothing. Why not maximize the potential of these earnings?
For example, instead of holding your money in a standard commercial checking account, where there are little to no benefits (but hella fees), try a money market account that accrues interest!
Nerd wallet has a list of the best money market accounts for 2021, most of which have NO minimum balance requirements.
Have a little one? Instead of treating your child to cash or a gift card, why not buy them a savings bond? Or stocks? Acorns is an app that offers investing accounts for kids which you can open with as little as $5!
These are just some ways you can get the most bang for your buck.
4. Each One, Teach One
Lately, I’ve noticed a more aggressive push towards spreading the gospel of the importance of wealth and establishing credit in the black community. Take music for example. Financial juggernauts (and superstar couple) Jay-Z and Beyonce are good for dropping gems in their lyrics:
Financial freedom my only hopeJay-Z
Fuck livin’ rich and dyin’ broke
I bought some artwork for one million
Two years later, that shit worth two million
Few years later, that shit worth eight million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children
Gimme my check, put some respek on my checkBeyonce
Or pay me in equity (Pay me in equity)
Watch me reverse out the debt (Skrrt)
Killer Mike, a rapper and activist from ATL, is doing his part with the creation of Greenwood Bank, an online-based black-owned bank whose mission is to help circulate money in communities of color.
From seminars to how-to books it’s become a lot more trendy to share knowledge about money, finances, and the benefits of passive income. Which is great! We need more mentors in our communities!
If you have the knowledge, pass it down. Sharing is caring 🙂
I have faith that, if we learn from the mistakes of the generations before us by equipping ourselves with knowledge and make a conscious effort to do things differently, in one generation we can turn things around.
Goodbye struggle, hello financial freedom!