Here Is A Listing of Black Banks in the United States

If ever there was a time for community-building and cultivation, that time is right now. Though the need to strengthen our communities is apparent, many are left wondering exactly what can be done or what role a single person can play to ultimately generate a lasting impact. Here’s a start: housing your hard-earned money in black banks.

Black-owned banks have perhaps never before been in so bright a spotlight, nor have they drummed up so much excitement in the African American community until recently. The revived interest is considered to have been sparked by the words of rapper Killer Mike during a widely viewed Town Hall meeting held by MTV and BET. “We can’t go out in the street and start bombing, shooting, and killing. I encourage none of us to engage in acts of violence. I encourage to take our warfare to financial institutions,” he said during the event.

Killer Mike went on to propose that 1 million people should open $ 100 accounts with black-owned banks. And people did. In fact, OneUnited Bank thanked Killer Mike personally for giving rise to the #BankBlack movement. OneUnited Bank, which is the nation’s largest black-owned bank, posted on its site that 12 months after Mike’s economic call-to-arms, over $ 50 million in deposits had been made to black-owned banks.

Black banks, in turn, have been trying to modernize, and woo black millennials. Mechanics and Farmers (M&F Bank), the North Carolina financial institution founded in 1908, created a Millennial Advisory Board, to understand the banking needs of the younger generation.

The following is a listing of the headquarters of African American banks, according to the National Bankers Association:

ALABAMA
Commonwealth National Bank
2214 St. Stephens Rd.
Mobile, AL 36601

CALIFORNIA
Broadway Financial Corp. (Broadway Federal Bank)
5055 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 500
Los Angeles, CA 90036

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Industrial Bank
4812 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20011

GEORGIA
Citizens Bancshares Corp. (Citizens Trust Bank)
75 Piedmont Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

ILLINOIS
Illinois Service Federal (ISF Bank)
4619 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Chicago, IL 60653

LOUISIANA
Liberty Bank & Trust Company
P. O. Box 60131
New Orleans, LA, 70160

MARYLAND
(Harbor Bancshares Corp.) The Harbor Bank of Maryland
25 West Fayette St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

MASSACHUSETTS
OneUnited Bank
100 Franklin St., Ste. 600
Boston, MA 02110

MICHIGAN
First Independence Bank
7310 Woodward Ave., Ste. 101
Detroit, MI 48202

NEW JERSEY
City National Bank of New Jersey
900 Broad St.
Newark, NJ 07102

NEW YORK
Carver Federal Savings Bank
75 W. 125th St.
New York, NY 10027

NORTH CAROLINA
M&F Bancorp Inc. (Mechanics & Farmers Bank)
2634 Durham Chapel Hill
Durham, NC 27707

TENNESSEE
Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Co.
1917 Heiman St.
Nashville, TN 37208

Tri-State Bank of Memphis
4606 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38116

TEXAS
Unity National Bank
2602 Blodgett St.
Houston, TX 77004

 

 

 

-Editor’s Note: The BE articles cited were originally published in July 2016 and May/June 2017

 

 

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New Zealand GDP Gains 0.5% On Quarter, +2.7% On Year In Q1

New Zealand’s gross domestic product expanded 0.5 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday.
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Will General Electric Be A Comeback Story Of The Decade?

Down the line, GE has transformed from a too-big-to-fail conglomerate to a too-big-for-success albatross. The company has admitted to being too-much focused on EPS and operating profit, and not paying enough attention to cash. However, GE is certainly learning lessons from its past and refocusing its strategies to stage a comeback to its Camelot days, the key catalysts being…
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Why You Need Life Insurance for Your Child

Far too many people around the world today are talking and thinking about the nightmare of young people and children dying too soon. The passing of the late Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, is but one example and it weighs on the hearts and minds of millions.

As a parent, I can tell you it’s almost impossible to let your mind ‘go there’ and even think about the possibility of losing a child. It’s unthinkable, unnatural, and unbelievable.  Needless to say, it is very difficult to talk to people about getting life insurance for their children  I’m going to have to challenge you, however, to sit with those feelings and quiet your mind so that you can really listen to the reasons why you need life insurance for your child:

  1. The money you build up in the policy can be used for education costs
  2. Your child will have life insurance in the event he/she ever becomes ill and uninsurable
  3. You’re helping your child protect his family and have money for life events like buying a home

Black Enterprise  had a conversation with Christopher Gatty, a financial adviser for Reby Advisors, about this. Gatty explained why it’s important to keep an open mind about insuring your children as part of your effort to create financial stability for your family, for generations to come.

The concept of life insurance for a child is such a difficult topic to bring up when it comes to financial planning. What are some of the things parents should consider?

Gatty: There’s no question the concept of insuring children is morbid, but death is not really the primary purpose for this. Yes, you would get a death benefit to help cover things like funeral costs in the event of your child’s death, but there is so much more that can be done in terms of financial planning for things like education costs. It can allow you to fund future expenses that can otherwise be a shock to your or your child’s overall financial plan.

 Can you elaborate on how a life insurance policy can be used for education costs?

A good option here is a variable universal life policy (VUL). With a VUL, you’re building a cash value.That cash can be invested in different accounts and deliver the returns possible from investing in the financial markets.  If you can, you should invest the maximum allowed by the IRS. As this money grows, it is not taxed as income. Saving for college this way can also allow you much more flexibility than, say, a 529 college savings plan. That money can only be used for qualified education expenses – like tuition, books, and room and board. You also pay taxes when you withdraw money from a 529 plan. The funds you build in your VUL are not taxed.  Another important consideration when you save for college is that, in most cases, the value of the VUL is not considered an asset and does not have an impact on financial aid eligibility.

 In addition to education, you’ve said that a life insurance policy can help children pay for big ‘life’ expenses when they’re older.

Gatty: I’ve done this for my own child. He’s 10-years-old. I’m paying about $ 1,600 a year on a $ 350,000 policy. By the time he is 50, he can cash out the policy and will have enough to buy a house or provide financial security for his own family. It’s important to get over the shock value of thinking of life insurance for a child and think about the benefits it can provide to so many aspects of their lives.

No one likes to think about the possibility that their child will become ill when they’re older, but something could happen that could make them uninsurable. Can you discuss the ways in which taking out a policy when they’re young can protect them if they do become ill.

Gatty: It could be one of the best things you do for your child.  We don’t like to think about the fact that our children could develop disease or illness while they’re young or when they’re adults. The reality is, however, if that happens, they won’t be able to get life insurance for their loved ones and dependents. Think about what that would be like for them and realize how big this insurance can be in their lives.

Gatty adds that when it comes to this kind of financial planning for your children, you’re primarily looking at variable universal life or whole life insurance policies. To understand and maximize the benefits these can offer, it’s important to talk to a financial professional to see how they fit within your overall budget and goals.

-Editor’s Note: This article was originally published July 2015 

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Debenhams 15-week LFL Sales Down 1.7%; Sees FY Pretax Profit Below Consensus

Debenhams plc (DEB.L) announced, against a background of increased competitor discounting and weakness in key markets, the Group’s trading in May and early June has been below plan despite weak comparatives. For the 15 weeks to 16 June 2018, group like-for-like sales were down 1.7%; in constant currency like-for-like sales were down 2.2%. For the 41 weeks (financial year to date) to 16 June 2018, group like-for-like sales were down 2.1%; in constant currency like-for-like sales were down 2.6%.
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Four Disadvantages Causing the Racial Wealth Gap

It’s been over 150 years since slavery was abolished and we are still battling disparities in wealth that continue to impact communities of color.

Why are African Americans still at the bottom of the wealth scale? What needs to happen to change the narrative in communities that suffer from limited access to resources? How can we pool together to create more opportunities for the next generation?

If you really want to understand the origins of the wealth gap and transform the state of black America, start looking at these four disadvantages that have prevented the growth of many communities.

Four Disadvantages Causing the Racial Wealth Gap

Information Deficit

Many of the financial literacy messages that have been promoted in the African American communities are outdated and irrelevant to the wealth building process.

According to findings from Prudential’s 2015-16 “The African American Research Experience” study, most African Africans are comfortable with financial topics focused on managing household expenses and budgets, managing money, managing debt, and life protection. However, less than a third of African Americans are confident when it comes to investing and planning for wealth transfer.

While African Americans are trying to learn ancient money techniques that may not have ever been taught to them by past generations, other racial groups have access to new information that allows them to take advantage of more wealth-building opportunities as they arise.

Negative Net Worth

The 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances report shows that blacks have the lowest net worth of any racial group, sitting at the bottom of the wealth scale with a median of $ 17.6K and mean of $ 138.2 compared to a median of $ 171K and mean of $ 933.7 accumulated by whites.

One reason for the tumultuous net worth figures is education debt. While many reports applaud black women on becoming the most educated group of individuals in the United States, the desire for more degrees have caused student loan debt numbers to skyrocket. Education loan debt is the largest source of non-mortgage debt owned by families in the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances, and African Americans have outshined all others with $ 31K in debt.

Unfortunately, many African Americans have no idea that they are swimming in negative net worth numbers because many are blinded by their high levels of income. Contrary to popular belief, high income does not equate to high net worth. If the value of your liabilities (what you owe) exceed your assets (what you own), you have a negative net worth.

Occupational Segregation

African Americans don’t typically go where the money grows due to lack of representation, structural discrimination, and limited access. An analysis performed by the Associated Press has found that “black workers are chronically underrepresented compared with whites in high salary jobs in technology, business, life sciences, and architecture and engineering, among other areas.” Silicon Valley tech companies are known to be comprised of mostly white and Asian men, making it difficult for people of color to walk through the doors and gain access to a competitive salary due to implicit bias.

Not only are black workers underrepresented in the most lucrative career fields, they are also overrepresented in low-paying industries and receive the lowest paying positions within those industries. This results in an economic disparity that perpetuates a cycle of living paycheck to paycheck instead of saving and investing. According to “The Retail Race Divide” report, black workers account for 11% of the retail labor force, representing the second largest source of employment for African Americans.

How do we prepare future generations for higher-paying career opportunities? Organizations like Management Leadership for Tomorrow are raising the bar through their career and MBA prep programs.

Misallocation of Funds

According to African Americans: Demographic and Consumer Spending Trends, 10th Edition, black buying power climbed to $ 1.2 trillion in 2016. That number is expected to hit $ 1.5 trillion by 2021, accounting for more than the market capitalization of one of the most profitable Fortune 500 companies to ever exist: Apple.

If the African American population has a buying power that exceeds that of many reputable companies in the world, why isn’t our affluence on the wealth scale moving up? It’s because our money is not allocated in ways that will build wealth. The funds are not going to strengthen and rebuild African American communities; they are going toward the well-being and sustainability of other communities (e.g., Asians profit from the conglomerate of beauty supply stores in African American communities). That’s why African Americans have become the target population for various research studies and marketing campaigns aimed at acquiring more of the black dollar.

In order to build wealth, the African American spending power has to be transformed into investment power. Wherever the black dollar goes, money flows. Our money has to be reallocated to providing capital, creating institutions, and buying black to support our growth.

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Micron Technology Lifts Q3 Outlook – Quick Facts

Micron Technology, Inc. (MU), which is hosting an Analyst and Investor Event later today, said it has raised its revenue and earnings per share outlook for its fiscal third quarter, which ends May 31, 2018. The company attributed the revised guidance to strong execution of its strategy and healthy industry conditions.
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UK House Prices Add 0.4% In June – Rightmove

The average asking price for a house in the United Kingdom was up 0.4 percent on month in June, property tracking website Rightmove said on Monday.
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Why Cryptocurrency Has A Place In Hip-Hop

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is the future of finance. Just last year, Bitcoin commanded headlines when its stock rose from less than $ 1,000 a share to more than $ 17,000 a share. Six years before that, one Bitcoin was worth less than a dollar. Those with a true eye for opportunity are looking for ways to be the first to usher cryptocurrency into their respective industry. When it comes to music, super-producer Christopher “Drumma Boy” Gholson is at the forefront as a member of the board of advisors for XYO Network, the first decentralized cryptographic-location network making smart contracts possible through GPS tracking. Smart contract’s make it possible to digitally facilitate and verify transactions without third parties, like banks.

Drumma Boy believes in finding opportunity in growing markets and keeping like-minded people in your circle to circulate those opportunities. As a member of XYO Network’s board of advisors, he’s focused on raising brand awareness by circulating this cryptocurrency opportunity amongst colleagues in music and more. Ironically, he’s playing the position he’s always played. Producing the outline for others to fill with their own vision. I spoke to Drumma Boy about his foray into the tech space, and how he sees cryptocurrency impacting the music industry.

When did you first become familiar with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology?

About two years ago, I had my eye on Bitcoin for a while. Someone offered to pay for my flight using Etherum (a form of Bitcoin), and I just left it in my account and watched it grow. You have to be comfortable with investing money you’re prepared to lose. I’ll spend $ 500 on shoes anyway, so I’d rather watch it grow to $ 7,000. 

How did you end up connecting with XYO Oracle Network?

A lot of it has to do with work I’ve done with corporate companies in the past. I’ve made theme songs for the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Atlanta Hawks. I’ve done scores for Beats by Dre and SMS Audio commercials. A lot of people didn’t realize the power of working hand in hand with the actual companies. One day I got a call from a friend who knew a company looking for a producer for some music, it was XYO. They flew me out to meet the team in San Diego, and through conversation, they saw that I was tech savvy. Originally they paid me to do a theme song, and the relationship grew from there.

Can you explain your concept of combining hip-hop and cryptocurrency? In what scenarios does it apply?

It’s another option for payment of services. It could include everything from paying everyone from your engineer to your booking agent. For example, if you know you’re going to pay thousands for a beat, the coin form should be an option. The XYO coin is at an affordable price right now, why not acquire coins now to buy and sell from your account while your money grows? Atlanta is making so much money in music right now. What are we doing with these funds? Why not put $ 10, $ 20, $ 30,000 into an account and make a flip. This is a cushion you can have with the fastest growing coin I’ve ever seen. This is the first of its kind that sponsors stuff like NASCAR. That’s an indicator of profitability. 

 

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Restaurant Owners, Community Leaders Push Back On Sarah Jessica Parker’s War On Tip Credit

Activists, community leaders, and restaurant owners on Thursday gathered at the front of SJP Collections in New York as a voice of opposition against Sarah Jessica Parker’s support for ending the tipped wage credit, which they say threatens employees and restaurant owners.

In New York State, tipped workers are paid a lower minimum wage, but they must earn at least the full minimum wage when tips are included. The difference between the tipped wage and the full minimum wage is called the tip credit, which Minister Kirsten John Foy said allows restaurant owners to keep labor costs down while keeping it affordable for people to dine out.

Early in March, Parker, along with 15 other actresses invoking the #MeTooMovement, wrote a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in support of the One Fair Wage effort, noting that 70% of restaurant servers are women and that research has shown “how relying on tips creates a more permissive work environment where customers feel entitled to abuse women in exchange for ‘service.’” The actresses, including Jane Fonda, Natalie Portman, Lily Tomlin, Amy Poehler, Reese Witherspoon, Brie Larson, Debra Messing, Ashley Judd, and Sarah Silverman, urged the governor to do away with the state’s tip credit for restaurant workers.

A countereffort of 500 restaurant workers organized by Maggie Raczynski, a bartender at the Clifton Outback Steakhouse, produced a letter of their own.

“You’ve been misled that we earn less than minimum wage and that we’re somehow helpless victims of sexual harassment. “Thank you for your concern. But we don’t need your help and we’re not asking to be saved,” they wrote.

In April, the New York Post reported that a small-screen actor wavered on her decision to sign the letter to the governor. In her email sent to the Restaurant Workers of America—which opposes any compensation changes—the actress, who is unidentified, apologized, through an agent representing her. “She sends her deepest apologies and never intended to insult the restaurant professionals. She would like to rescind her signature from the letter that was sent to Governor Cuomo. Should we do that through you or where it originated from?” But she later decided to keep her name on the letter.

“Sarah Jessica Parker has weighed into a debate where she’s not fully informed. She has weighed into a debate where there is a whole swath and section of the industry, mostly people of color who are not being heard,” Foy said at a press conference in New York on Thursday.

tip credit

Minister Kirsten John Foy during a press conference on Thursday, June 14, 2018, in front of Sarah Jessica Parker’s pop store on W 52nd street. (Image: File)

According to the United States Department of Labor:

“Tip credit permits an employer to take a tip credit towards its minimum wage obligation for tipped employees equal to the difference between the required cash wage (which must be at least $ 2.13) and the federal minimum wage. Thus, the maximum tip credit that an employer can currently claim under the FLSA section 3(m) is $ 5.12 per hour (the minimum wage of $ 7.25 minus the minimum required cash wage of $ 2.13). Under certain circumstances, an employer may be able to claim an additional overtime tip credit against its overtime obligations.”

After seven different hearings and a recommendation by a wage board in 2015, Cuomo and the state’s labor commissioner, Roberta Reardon, will decide whether to eliminate the tip credit, which Cisse Elhadji, the executive chef and co-owner of Renaisance and two Ponty Bistro locations in Harlem, could potentially shut down his business.

“Minimum right now, I have 30 to 40 people working for me, imagine I shut down my place, all these people will (have to) go look for another job,” Elhadji said. “We need help, but this is not going to help us.”

Supporters of the argument for a consistent minimum wage plan say it would reduce wage theft by employers in industries with tipped workers, who are often women, minorities, and immigrants. While Foy agrees with his progressive counterparts that it is indeed time to raise wages for American fast food workers, “but to compare McDonald’s to Melba’s is a folly.”

“It is not appropriate and [it’s] unwise; neither is it economically viable to raise wages at the expense of the existence of the business,” he said.

Late in May, Parker hosted a fundraiser for the One Fair Wage campaign, an organization fighting for increased minimum wage nationally. The purchased tickets went for as much as $ 50,000 according to the release by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and the event had to move venues when the location was publicly revealed, to avoid protesters.

Thousands of servers have attended the tip credit elimination hearings, submitted testimonies. Two more hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, June 19 at Hostos Community College and Wednesday, June 27 at Hunter College.

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New Zealand Manufacturing PMI Slows To 54.5 In May

The manufacturing sector in New Zealand continued to expand, albeit at a slower rate, the latest survey from BusinessNZ revealed on Friday with a manufacturing PMI score of 54.5.
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Buffett And Dimon: No More Quarterly Profit Forecasts

Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, two of the most powerful leaders in the financial industry, have once again urged public companies to stop providing quarterly profit forecasts. According to Buffett and Dimon, the focus of companies on short-term profits run counter to the long-term interests of the business. Berkshire Hathaway does not give earnings guidance.
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South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment Law To Earn Black Investors $1.3 Billion

Vodacom Group, Africa’s second largest mobile communications company, will pay out approximately $ 1.3 billion to its black investors as part of the company’s participation in the black economic empowerment (BEE) effort, enforced by South African law.

The company said on Monday that it had “entered into an agreement of up to R17.5 billion with its existing black economic empowerment (BEE) partners and a newly formed staff scheme” that will see the partners swap their current holdings in Vodacom South Africa for shares in its parent company, Vodacom Group.

Vodacom Group has agreed terms with Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), Thebe Investment Corporation (Thebe), YeboYethu (existing BEE partners) and a newly formed staff scheme, whose combined interests will be consolidated into a new YeboYethu BEE structure that will own shares in Vodacom Group,” the company said in a news release.

In the approximately $ 1.3 billion agreement, BEE partners will exchange their current holdings in Vodacom South Africa for a shareholding of between 5.8% and 6.25% in Vodacom Group, the company said.

WHAT EXACTLY IS BEE?:

After its transition from Apartheid in 1994, South Africa’s African National Congress government decided to address the inequalities of Apartheid by redistributing assets and opportunities to South African blacks, Coloreds and Indian citizens, not available to them under White rule.

From South Africa’s own Treasury:

It is an integrated and coherent socio-economic process. It is located within the context of the country’s national transformation programme, namely the RDP (Reconstruction and Development Programme). It is aimed at redressing the imbalances of the past by seeking to substantially and equitably transfer and confer the ownership, management and control of South Africa’s financial and economic resources to the majority of the citizens. It seeks to ensure broader and meaningful participation in the economy by black people to achieve sustainable development and prosperity.”

In essence, BEE attempts to “create a degree of economic equality which would not itself be a natural market outcome” of the newly created political and socio-economic climate in the country. In plain English, the affirmative program is meant to level the playing field and spread the wealth to the historically oppressed people during Apartheid.  

VODACOM’S SHARE EXCHANGE:

Vodacom Group Limited, solely known as Vodacom, is a South African telecommunications company which provides voice, messaging and data services to over 55 million customers operating in over 40 African countries. The company is wholly owned by Vodafone Group plc, a British multinational telecommunications conglomerate.

In 2007, South Africa instituted the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment. The goal is to spread the wealth across a broad spectrum of disadvantaged South Africans, which is in contrast to the original BEE which was narrow-based and focused only on equity ownership and management representation. The new law ensured that black employees and citizens were able to purchase shares in privately held and public corporations.

The three investment groups named in the $ 1.3 billion share swap: Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), Thebe Investment Corporation (Thebe), YeboYethu (existing BEE partners) are all community, South African and black-controlled investment groups. Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), for example is a community investment company, entrusted with the unique responsibility of preserving and growing the financial capital of the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN), an ethnic homeland of the Bafokeng people. Although Thebe Investment Corporation’s ownership structure has changed over the years, the ANC still has a controlling stake in the empowerment group (investment firm) through Batho Batho Trust, founded in 1992 as an ANC investment company, ensuring that black wealth is passed down to generations of black South Africans.

The third investment group, YeboYethu Limited, a publicly traded company, was formed in 2008 as an employee stock ownership plan to buy and hold Vodacom SA shares for the benefit of its shareholders. When Vodacom formed the company in 2008, it issued 14.4 million YeboYethu ordinary shares at R25 each ($ 1.88 in 2018 USD) and as a result a public offer, more than 102,000 qualifying black investors bought a stake in Vodacom SA.

WHAT BLACK INVESTORS GET:

When October comes around, Vodacom will unwind the empowerment transaction it initiated in 2008 and there will be R3 billion ($ 226 million) dividends for participants to share. At R67.28 per share, that represents a return of 2.7 times on their original investment, Vodacom said. Also, investors will now have shares in Vodacom International group rather than Vodacom SA.

  • YeboYethu will remain listed on the BEE segment of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange
    5.8% – 6.25% deal that consolidates the BEE shareholding, through YeboYethu, at Vodacom Group level
  • Transaction delivers R7.5Bn of value to existing BEE shareholders, 6.7 times the original capital investment
  • R3.0bn special dividend to current BEE shareholders, representing 2.7 times their original equity contribution
  • Will increase Vodacom Group’s effective BEE ownership to 20%

The post South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment Law To Earn Black Investors $ 1.3 Billion appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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New Zealand Food Prices Unchanged In May

Food prices in New Zealand were steady on month on an unadjusted basis in May, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.
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Walmart Shares Rise As Q1 Results Beat Estimates

Retail giant Walmart Inc. on Thursday reported a 30 percent decrease in profit for the first quarter from last year, as higher revenues were more than offset by a loss on equity investment in JD.com. However, both revenue and adjusted earnings per share beat analysts’ estimates. The company’s shares are gaining 1.7 percent in pre-market activity.
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Japan Data On Tap For Friday

Japan is scheduled to release a raft of data on Friday, headlining a busy day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. On tap are final Q1 numbers for gross domestic product, as well as April figures for current account and May data for bank lending and the eco watchers survey.
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J. C. Penney Revises 2018 Guidance; Q1 Comps. Up 0.2% – Quick Facts

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) announced, for 2018, the company now expects: comparable store sales change to be between flat and an increase of 2.0%; and adjusted per share results to be between a loss of $ 0.07 and profit of $ 0.13. The company noted that its revised guidance reflects only the impact of the adoption of new revenue recognition and pension accounting standards.
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Sears To Close 72 More Stores; Slips To Loss In Q1

Sears Holdings Corp. said Thursday that it plans to close 72 non-profitable stores, as the retailer continues to struggle with falling sales. The department store chain also reported a net loss for the first quarter. Sears said it has identified about 100 non-profitable stores. Of this, 72 stores will begin store closing sales “in the near future.”
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Australia Construction Index Slows To 54.0 In May – AiG

The construction sector in Australia continued to expand in May, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group showed on Thursday with a Performance of Construction Index score of 54.0.
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Why ISF Bank, the Last Black-Owned Bank in Illinois, Is Changing Its Name

Come July, Illinois’ only black-owned bank, ISF Bank, will rebrand and rename itself Groupe Nduom (GN Bank).

The name change, according to Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, the Chairman of ISF Bank, is a move to become a successful, profitable African American-owned bank with a “strong operational discipline, excellent compliance record with our regulators and with a strong customer friendly reputation.”

During the recession of 2008 and the years after, many black-owned banks that were hit hard had to shut down. By 2010, the number of African American-owned banks had dwindled down from the 55 there were in 1994 to 34. Today, the number stands at just 21. Even as Unity Bank expanded to Atlanta, black-owned banks still struggle to keep themselves afloat. The same fate awaited ISF Bank. According to the Chicago Tribune, the bank had been ordered by regulators to boost its capital levels or risk being seized by the government and handed off to another bank.

The Nduom family came to the rescue in 2016. The family, which owns Groupe Nduom, a 5,000-employee conglomerate that spans West Africa and the United Kingdom and included media, hospitality, and banking interests, invested $ 9 million in the bank. And while the investment marks the group’s entry into the United States’ financial services market, Nduom told Black Enterprise that the bank will remain true to the ISF history and heritage.

In this regard, an ISF Heritage/Customer Appreciation Day should be celebrated to ensure continous connection to the community that gave it birth—history, financial management, education, entrepreneurship counseling, etc.,” he wrote in an email.

Nduom said he has informed customers, management ,and his employees that the office of the comptroller of currency has given approval to the bank to change its name. The official name change will take effect in July.

Our family has developed an internationally known banking brand called GN Bank, which started off as a savings and loans company and has grown to become an international bank with more than 300 branches,” he said. “We believe the time has come to bring that brand here to give assurance that this bank is here to stay and will remain African American-owned.”

Since ISF Bank was taken over by the Nduoms, the family has taken ample steps in “focusing on its technology, loan portfolio, and products, and to reconnect it with the neighborhood.” When the bank hosted its National Mom and Pop Day in 2017, 80 small businesses showed up. The bank has also reconnected with the community through faith-based institutions, community groups, and events with small businesses. “We plan to work with leading African American-owned businesses in Chicago to offer entrepreneurship counseling as well,” Nduom told Black Enterprise in 2017.

Besides the name change, Nduom is also setting bold targets for the year:

  • Achieve profit target.
  • Implement performance-based management with specific targets for management and departments.
  • Meet regulatory requirements.
  • Prepare a three-year business plan for significant growth from 2019 through 2021.

The post Why ISF Bank, the Last Black-Owned Bank in Illinois, Is Changing Its Name appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Why This Stock May Be Worth Watching? – G-III Apparel (GIII)

Strong brands, better-than-expected quarterly results, and upbeat FY19 outlook make this stock a near-term must-watch. G-III Apparel Group Ltd. (GIII), which owns private label brands including Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, defied the loss estimates modeled by Wall Street analysts and raised expectations for the full year.
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Japan Monetary Base On Tap For Monday

Japan will on Monday release May figures for monetary base, highlighting a busy day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. The base was up 7.8 percent on year in April.
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Toll Brothers Q2 Profit Misses Estimates; Revenue Up 17% YoY

Toll Brothers, Inc. (TOL) reported second-quarter net income of $ 111.8 million, or $ 0.72 per share, compared to $ 124.6 million, or $ 0.73 per share, prior year. On average, 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 0.76 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
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7 Money Tips to Slay Your Dream Summer Vacation

Summer is right around the corner, making this a prime time for travel adventures. According to WalletHub, 49% of Americans say they need a vacation more this year than last year, and 56% actually plan on acting on the urge. Whether it’s a simple state-to-state road trip or an international voyage, taking the time to get a bit of relax-relate-release from all the pressures of life is essential for one’s mental health and can strengthen family and friendship bonds.

Anyone who travels knows navigating the trip financially can be a bit challenging without proper research and planning. WalletHub reveals telling facts about this year’s travelers and a few insights into how to circumvent the worries and get to the fun.

7 Money Tips to Slay Your Dream Summer Vacation

  • Americans spend more than $ 245 billion on international travel each year. According to WalletHub, several banks and card issuers offer incentives including travel rewards or cut foreign transaction fees altogether. Some also offer services like insurance for lost luggage, free overnight replacement cards, and courtesy worldwide acceptance. (Check out this list on the most popular credit cards on the market that are travel-friendly for international treks.)

 

  • 47% percent of travelers worry about money, yet 35% of people think travel is worth getting into debt forExperts say planning makes perfect. Instead of going into debt, try creating a savings plan that you work throughout the year and make realistic goals for a vacation budget. Get realistic about what type of trip you can afford and try cost-saving sites like Groupon.

 

  • Search out cards that offer points for the essential purchases you make daily and you might have enough for that 2019 trek through Europe without spending a dime.

 

  • 40% of travelers have used credit card rewards to pay for at least part of a vacation. 

 

  • 50% of travelers worry about a weather issue, 45% about travel delays, 38% about theft and 33% about illness but the good news is that 70% of card issuers offer financial assistance for travel emergencies. Contact your bank or card issuer to find out your options before your trip or check out this list.

 

  • 40% of Americans think about post-vacation credit card bills while on vacay. Why struggle with future worries instead of enjoying the moment? Setting up automatic withdrawals and sticking to a true budget will help with the issue of being overwhelmed when it’s time to return to business as usual. Experts also recommend paying some bills before you leave so that you can put your mind at ease when it’s time to face upcoming ones.

The post 7 Money Tips to Slay Your Dream Summer Vacation appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Cracker Barrel Board Hikes Dividend; Declares Special Dividend – Quick Facts

While reporting its third-quarter financial results today, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL) said its board of directors increased the quarterly dividend to $ 1.25 per share on the company’s common stock, which represents a 4.2 percent increase over the previous quarterly dividend of $ 1.20.
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EU Opens Case Against US In WTO Over Steel And Aluminum Tariffs

In response to the United States’ decision to impose additional duties of 25 percent and 10 percent respectively on imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, the European bloc said it has opened a case against the US in the WTO.
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Germany Import Prices Rise Less Than Expected

Germany’s import prices increased at a slower-than-expected pace in April, after falling in the previous two months, data from Destatis showed Wednesday.
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Kohl’s Q1 Results Beat View; TJX Adj. Profit Misses Estimates

Department store chain Kohl’s Corp. reported financial results for the first quarter that beat analysts’ estimates. Meanwhile, off-price retailer TJX Companies, Inc. reported adjusted earnings for the first quarter that missed analysts’ expectations, even as its revenues beat estimates. Both the companies raised their earnings outlook for the full year.
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Tokyo Overall Inflation Slows To 0.4% In May

Overall consumer prices in Tokyo were up just 0.4 percent on year in May, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
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Leoni Q1 Profit Up 19.1%; Reiterates FY18 Outlook – Quick Facts

Leoni AG (LEOGN), a provider of energy and data management solutions in the automotive market, reported that its consolidated net income for the first quarter rose 19.1 percent to 43.6 million euros from 36.6 million euros in the year-ago period. Earnings per share rose to 1.34 euros from 1.11 euros last year.
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Amazon responds to story that couple’s private discussion was sent to random contact

Amazon says it’s “evaluating options” after recent and shocking news that its Echo device had recorded and sent a couple’s conversation to a random phone contact.
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Marks & Spencer Group FY Pretax Profit Declines; Revenue Up 0.7% – Quick Facts

Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MAKSY.PK, MAKSF.PK, MKS.L) reported profit before tax of 66.8 million pounds for 52 weeks ended 31 March 2018 compared to 176.4 million pounds, previous year. Earnings per share was 1.6 pence compared to 7.2 pence. Profit before tax & adjusting items declined 5.4% to 580.9 million pounds. Earnings per share before adjusting items was 27.8 pence compared to 30.2 pence. Profit before tax & adjusting items was down 5.4% impacted by the decrease in Food gross margin.
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The Broke Black Girl: How a Facebook Group Became A Financial Movement for African American Women

Dasha Kennedy was a wife and mother with a corporate job in her 20s but she was still broke. Broken not just financially, but emotionally.

After a short marriage, Kennedy and her husband divorced in 2015 over irreconcilable differences—mostly financial—and she began raising her two sons as a single mother. At the time, she was struggling to provide for herself and her family, living paycheck to paycheck, and depended on bonuses from her job to sustain them. Kennedy reached a turning point, however, when she broke her foot and realized how unprepared she was for a financial emergency.

Determined to make a change, she learned how to balance her finances and began documenting her journey toward economic freedom on social media. That led her to create a Facebook group in November 2017 called The Broke Black Girl where she shared tools and resources for fiscal success with other black women. The group ballooned into an active platform where African American women around the country would share their own financial trials, tribulations, and tips. Members also encourage one another and hold each other accountable. Within six months, the group had 30,000 members. Today, Kennedy says The Broke Black Girl boasts around 40,000 members from over 32 states and 68 countries and has generated over $ 10,000 in revenue.

“What was birthed from hardship evolved into the key to financial freedom for black women everywhere. A brand built on faith and social responsibility, The Broke Black Girl aims to equip every black girl, young and old, with the means necessary to live their best life, mentally, physically, and financially,” writes Kennedy on the Facebook page.

In addition to being the force behind the growing Facebook group, Kennedy works full time as an accountant for an insurance company and as a default counselor, assisting clients that have defaulted on their loans due to financial hardships. In an interview with Black Enterprise, the St. Louis native opened up about the mission of The Broke Black Girl, how she monetized the group, and the impact that it is having on black women.

black girl

Dasha Kennedy, founder of The Broke Black Girl

BE: What is the mission of The Broke Black Girl?

The mission of the group is to provide financial literacy and basic money management skills to African American women across the world all while building positive friendships with each other. The group provides a safe and supportive space for women to openly discuss their financial hardships and seek free assistance from the professionals in the group, such as myself, with credit restoration, budgeting, money management, and wealth building.

 

BE: What tips would you share with other black women about maintaining financial stability?

As black women, we face a stigma regarding our overwhelming “need” to be beautiful by another’s standards. We have to understand that the world’s definition of beauty does NOT define us. The group lives by the motto “priorities over prettiness.” What is the point of expensive acrylic nails, hair extensions, new clothes, and shoes when you are struggling to meet your basic necessities?

We have to take control of our finances by becoming conscious of our spending habits, setting a monthly household budget, and cutting back on expenses that ultimately leave us financially strapped. How can we enjoy a life of luxury when we’re struggling to pay our bills due to the expense of that luxury? The fight starts when we admit that we have made poor financial choices, decide that enough is enough and take control of our finances.

 

BE: What have you learned from managing the group? 

Watching the group grow from one member to more than 41,000 members, I have learned that we can do so much more together financially than we could ever do alone. I have witnessed women take the initiative to create budgets, update résumés, [and] donate clothes and furniture to women that have experienced fires and floods. Being in a group with so many powerful and educated women has [also] allowed me to witness black women in a light that has been dimmed for so many years.

I’ve also learned a lot about building and managing a community. We’ve established rules so that members know what is and isn’t allowed, and to ensure that conversations remain respectful. To keep members engaged, the group has a topic schedule that we stick to and the structure of the group allows continuous learning. I also use membership questions to make sure that the most relevant people who request to join the group are allowed to join so that the group remains a safe and supportive place.

I have witnessed the love between black women and their ability to educate and provide other women with a lifelong skill: money management. The group has taught me that we are all on different financial walks but we are equally capable and responsible for helping each other along the way.

 

BE: Have you monetized the group? How?

Yes, I have monetized the group and at this current time, I have earned a least $ 11,000. The largest part of the revenue comes from events such as meet and greets, speaking engagements, mass budget classes, and merchandise. The first event, [which] was held in February 2018, was a Pancake, Pajamas and Priorities-themed vision board party for 100 girls from the group.

Since then, I have worked with girls from the group one-on-one for a fee. Using my background in finances to prepare personal and business budgets, I have sold merchandise with the name of the group as well as received payments through paid partnerships. I partner with other women that offer a financial service that I do not in an attempt to create a team effort in wealth building.

By this summer, Kennedy says she hopes to become a full-time entrepreneur.

 

-Editor’s note: This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

The post The Broke Black Girl: How a Facebook Group Became A Financial Movement for African American Women appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Lowe’s Q1 Profit Misses Estimates, Comps. Up 0.6%; Affirms FY18 Guidance

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW) reported first-quarter net earnings of $ 988 million or $ 1.19 per share compared to $ 602 million or $ 0.70 per share, a year ago. On average, 25 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 1.27 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. First-quarter earnings per share increased 15.5 percent from adjusted earnings per share of $ 1.03, last year.
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COLOMBIA: Ecopetrol Tracks Oil Decline And Weighs On The Colcap

Colcap, the benchmark stock market index in Colombia, fell 0.11% to 1,370.05 points Wednesday, after WTI oil prices moved lower and hit Ecopetrol, a heavy-weight index constituent, according to Marcela Ramirez, an analyst at Acciones & Valores. The company’s shares ended 2.73% lower.
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Tiffany Updates FY18 Outlook; Authorizes $1 Bln Share Buyback – Quick Facts

Tiffany & Co. (TIF) announced, based on the strong and better-than-expected first-quarter results, management revised upward its outlook for the full year ending January 31, 2019. In addition, the Board of Directors approved a new $ 1 billion share repurchase program.
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New Zealand Q1 Retail Sales Gain 0.1%

The total volume of retail sales in New Zealand added a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday.
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Esusu App Brings The Age-Old Method Of Susu Saving Into The Digital Era

Susu—the age-old means of saving and collecting money through a partnership or savings club—has long been practiced throughout Africa and the Caribbean. But Abbey Wemimo, a Nigerian-born entrepreneur, wants to bring that process into the 21st century through the Esusu app.

Although the name “Susu,” which means “to plan” derives from the Ghanaian Twi language, Wemimo’s mobile app lets you do more than that. On the Esusu app, users can invite their friends and family members to join in, contribute weekly, biweekly, even monthly depending on preference. It’s exactly like the traditional means of rotational savings, except its digitized, Wemimo said.

To use the platform, users will have to link their bank accounts to the app. Esusu will then automatically withdraw the specified contribution on a set date. Through a partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust, Esusu is able to hold the withdrawn money in a separate account until users need to cash out. In the case where a member of any group runs short of funds, Wemimo said Esusu will step in and pay the money on behalf of the individual with the expectation that the company will be reimbursed. While pairing random individuals together may help the company grow its user base, Wemimo said its current users have overwhelmingly rejected the idea of being paired with people they do not personally know.

For Wemimo, the idea behind Esusu comes from personal experience. Raised by a single mother, Wemimo attended one of the better public schools in Lagos, but he said he wouldn’t have been able to afford the tuition had his mother not participated in rotational savings. Now living in America, the 26-year old wants to help immigrants, students, and low-income families save.

Wemimo and his co-founder Samir Goel have also put in place some safeguards to protect its users. When the company gets new sign-ups, they run through a KYC database, which he said helps fend off fraudulent users from its platform. Esusu also doubles as a credit building platform. When users deposit their portion of the contributions, Esusu holds the cash in a different account and reports it to TransUnion and Equifax with the help of Evolve. Each payment is seen as fulfilling a loan obligation to the group. While most landlords don’t report rent payments to credit bureaus, even with the launch of the FICO 9 credit framework, Wemimo said if any of its users provide verifiable proof that the rent has indeed been paid, Esusu can verify with the landlord and report this information to the credit bureaus.

Founded in 2016, and currently with just over a thousand users, Esusu Financial has just raised a $ 250,000 friends and family round earlier in the year from a Palo Alto-based VC firm, and intends to raise their seed round in Q4, 2018.

Editor’s Note: This piece was updated on May 5, 2018.

The post Esusu App Brings The Age-Old Method Of Susu Saving Into The Digital Era appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Black Founder Launches Platform That Helps You Easily Invest in Stocks, ETFs, and Options

Jellifin is a commission-free options trading platform that recently went to market and is already gaining traction. The company believes that investing should be straightforward without all the unnecessary steps, allowing users the opportunity to invest in stocks, ETFs, and options.

The upside, as compared to traditional platforms, is that the company will allow investors to diversify their portfolio without having to pay commissions or fees for each trade. The reason they can do this is that they have partnered with Third Party Trade L.L.C., a brokerage API service provider, and maintaining a low-cost overhead.

“Investing in the stock market is already complicated and pricey. Therefore, investors should have all the available tools and resources at their disposal to make an informed decision,” said Andre Norman, founder & CEO at Jellifin. “Simply offering low-cost trading with stripped away features is not the way to go. But at the same time offering an overly complicated service loaded with expensive fees adds to the core problem investors are currently facing.”

Jellifin’s wants to allow investors a suite of tools in a more user-friendly format allowing them to feel comfortable utilizing different investing strategies on the Jellifin platform. Some of the features include 1-Click Buy or Sell orders, triggers to fully automate the buying and selling of stocks and options using traditional coding IF/THEN statements, and making sure that the pricing is clear and concise, removing the guesswork while trading.

(Image: Jellifin)

(Image: Jellifin)

According to a statement from the company, ETF assets globally reached the $ 4.6 trillion mark for the first time last year. With a steady inflow of money into the industry and intensifying competition between ETF providers, ETFs will continue to act as an attractive investment option for investors.

The hope is that with Jellifin’s user-friendly interface and new stocks and ETFs trading features, they will lower the barriers to entry for investors making it so your everyday person can get involved.

 

The post Black Founder Launches Platform That Helps You Easily Invest in Stocks, ETFs, and Options appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Japan Overall Inflation Slows To 0.6% In April

Overall nationwide consumer prices in Japan were up just 0.6 percent on year in April, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
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7 Money Lessons from the Bible

The Bible is not only a source of inspiration, comfort, and a guide for living, but also a guide for how you should manage your money. Take a look at these money lessons from the bible.

7 Money Lessons from the Bible

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?”  —Luke 14:28

Lesson: Keep track of your money and think before you spend. Check out these money-saving apps that can make your financial goals a bit more doable.

money lessons from the bible

(iStock/Liderina)

 

 

“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.”  —Proverbs 13:22

Lesson: Leave wealth for the next generation. There are many resources for African Americans on building generational wealth. Rodney Sampson, founder of Opportunity Hub (OHUB), just announced at this year’s SXSW event, a number of programs he and others are launching to help the community build multigenerational wealth. Also, here is great information on how some are using life insurance to build generational wealth. Find other great wealth-building information here

(iStock/kali9)

 

 

“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”  —Proverbs 13:11

Lesson: Be honest in your financial dealings and always watch out for ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes. Here’s how not to lose money and fall victim to network marketing and pyramid schemes; multilevel marketing pitches; and scams that target those with home-based businesses.

money lessons from the bible

(iStock/RapidEye)

 

 

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.”  —Proverbs 15:22

Lesson: Don’t be afraid or ashamed to seek financial advice. Seek out a money coach, read up on great money tips, and learn about good personal finance habits from a number of experts.

money lessons from the bible

(iStock/Steve Debenport)

 

 

“A man lacking judgement strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor.”  —Proverbs 17:18

Lesson: Use caution when lending money, especially when official documentation is involved like co-signing a loan for someone. For example, here’s why you should never lend out your credit card. And these reasons will make you think twice before co-signing that loan.

money lessons from the bible

(iStock/fizkes)

 

“Give everyone what you owe him. If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”  —Romans 13:7 

Lesson: Stay on top of your debt, taxes, credit cards, loans (especially student loans)—fit payments into your monthly budget. Get some great tips from those who are ‘young, single, and free of debt’, and even greater advice on eliminating debt without going crazy.

money lessons from the bible

(iStock/:Rawpixel)

 

 

“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”  —Matthew 25:14-30

Lesson: It takes money to make money; invest, but invest wisely. Take advantage of that 401(k) at work, or, at minimum, make a commitment to put a specific amount of money away from every paycheck—even if it’s just $ 20.

money lessons from the bible

(iStock/AndreyPopov)

—Lisa Fraser, Samara Lynn, and Sequoia Blodgett also contributed to this article. 

 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2010. 

The post 7 Money Lessons from the Bible appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Report: Black Youth Unemployment Rate Down In Chicago

A new report on youth unemployment in Illinois found that the alarmingly high rate of young black men and women in Chicago who are neither working nor in school has dropped.

Data collected from 2012 through 2016 under the Obama administration and published by the University of Chicago’s Great Cities Institute, found that there has been a decrease in out of work, and out of school rates for black 20- to 24-year-olds in Chicago in recent years, but that substantial racial and gender gaps still remain. And although the newly found statistics are encouraging, researchers found that nearly a third of black 20- to 24-year-olds and 37% of black 20 -to 24-year-old men are still out of work and not going to school.

Report Highlights:

  • Joblessness and out-of-school and out-of-work rates were comparatively worse in areas of south, west, and central Illinois compared to Cook County.
  • The highest jobless rates for 20- to 24-year-olds in Illinois were located outside of the Chicago Metro Area in south, west, and central Illinois.
  • Joblessness and out-of-school and out-of-work rates for the total population, black, white, and Hispanic or Latino 20- to 24-year-olds were higher in sections of southern, western, and central Illinois than in Cook County.
  • Five subsections of Illinois had an out-of-school and out-of-work rate for black 20- to 24-year-olds above 40% and one area had a rate of 63.6%

What Researchers Learned

  • Black 20-to 24-year-olds had large improvements in out-of-work figures: Black 20- to 24-year-olds in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and the U.S. had large decreases in out-of-work rates.
  • There were improvements in out-of-school and out-of-work rates for black 20- to 24-year olds in Chicago and worsening figures for Latinos from 2014 to 2016.
  • Teen employment in mid-sized cities and rural areas declined substantially: employment to population ratios for 16- to 19-year-olds in Illinois case study counties with mid-sized cities have decreased substantially since 1980.
  • Economies of mid-sized cities and rural economies are not incorporating young people into the workforce:
  • The mix of jobs in rural economies has changed in similar ways to Chicago, resulting in fewer opportunities for young people as older populations are increasingly employed in industries that young people have historically been employed in, such as retail.
  • Middle-class occupations are leaving medium-sized cities and rural areas as income inequalities grow: proportions of individuals in poverty and in high-income groups in Illinois case study counties are growing as middle-income groups are shrinking.

To Jack Wuest, executive director of the Alternative Schools Network, the data demonstrate an urgent need for more government-subsidized jobs so young people can gain basic work skills and become contributing members of the labor force. “Getting people on their feet, doing some work, out of the house, gives them a sense of dignity and power that they can spend money on what they like as well as take care of their family,” he said.

Read the full report here.

The post Report: Black Youth Unemployment Rate Down In Chicago appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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U.S. Housing Starts Slump More Than Expected In April

New residential construction in the U.S. pulled back by much more than anticipated in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.
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Evotec Q1 Net Income Down 51%; Affirms FY18 Outlook – Quick Facts

German drug discovery solutions company Evotec AG (EVTCY.PK, EVOTF.PK) reported that its net income for the first quarter fell 51 percent to 3.46 million euros from 7.10 million euros last year. Earnings per share for the quarter declined to 0.02 euro from 0.05 euros in the year-ago period.
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ARGENTINA: Stocks Rise On Earnings Reports, But Dollar Rally Raises Tension

Merval, the benchmark stock market index in Argentina, rose 0.69% to 29,805.65 on Friday, boosted by earnings reports from local companies in spite of rising tension in financial markets due to a stronger dollar. In the week, the index increased 3.71%.
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Compass Group H1 Pre-tax Profit Declines; Affirms FY Outlook – Quick Facts

Food and support services company Compass Group Plc. (CPG.L, CMPGF.PK) said its profit before tax for the first half of 2018 declined to 792 million pounds from 831 million pounds in the prior-year period. However, earnings per share rose to 37.7 pence from 37.4 pence in the year-ago period as the impact of foreign exchange offset higher profits.
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Superior Industries Backs 2018 Sales Outlook; Q1 Results Top View – Quick Facts

Aluminum wheel supplier Superior Industries International, Inc. (SUP) on Wednesday reaffirmed its full-year 2018 outlook for net sales in the range of $ 1.45 billion to $ 1.50 billion, driven by unit shipments of 21.25 million to 21.6 million.
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What My Mother Taught Me About Gender and Money

I was recently reminded of a conversation I had a few days ago. I was with an amazing group of about eight women, including news legend Carol Jenkins, host of CUNY TV’s Black America. The conversation was “light”– gender stereotypes and the ways in which they have affected our lives. About halfway into it, we began to speak about our mothers.

My mom grew up on a farm in a small town in North Carolina near New Bern. Her family grew and sold tobacco, cotton, and lumber. They were poor, and all of the family members, including the seven children, worked on the farm.

I shared with the group how my maternal grandmother (unfortunately, we never met), insisted that the girls get a college education. The boys stayed home and worked the farm to help support their sisters.

Jenkins, whose family also grew up poor in the South, shared that she had the same experience. The group then discussed how this was a relatively common practice in black southern families “back in the day.” The reasoning, at least from my Mom’s family’s perspective, was that black women are going to be faced with so many challenges and disadvantages that being educated was crucial to their survival.

Our mothers and grandmothers “got it.” They knew that the world is not designed for women, particularly their daughters, to create lives in which they could thrive. They knew that the key to standing up to these challenges was education.

Even with education, however, the scales are greatly weighted against black women. A survey by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that black women have a harder time getting loans and paying bills than other groups.

This is not ‘breaking news.’ We all know that black women are on the losing side of socioeconomics. They are at the bottom of the pay gap, making 64 cents for every dollar that white men make, and 70% of black women are trying to raise children on their own.

It’s more important than ever to empower ourselves with knowledge, and be the financial role model our children need us to be as we honor our own mothers.

Ask yourself:

  • What are the five most important things I want my child to learn about money?
  • What would I want my child to do differently when it comes to money?
  • What changes do I have to make in order to be the financial role model my child needs me to be?

Write down your answers and share your thoughts and feelings with your children, as one day they will be reflecting on the financial lessons you taught them.

Editor’s Note: This article originally published in May 2016

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New Zealand Food Prices Move Up 0.1% In April

Food prices in New Zealand added 0.1 percent on month in April, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday – following the 1.0 percent jump in March.
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Black Venture Capitalist Explains What She Looks for When Choosing Who to Invest in

Arlan Hamilton is known as a relentless, “anything is possible” investor in the tech space when it comes to making moves. So far her firm, Backstage Capital, has invested more than $ 4 million in over 80 companies led by underrepresented founders and she recently closed a $ 36 million fund to invest in black female founders, but it hasn’t always been easy. Recently, Hamilton spoke to Quartz’s Leah Fessler as part of Quartz’s How We’ll Win, a yearlong exploration of the fight for gender equality.

Venture Capitalist

Backstage Capital Founder Arlan Hamilton

According to a recent release from Quartz, here are some key takeaways from Hamilton explaining what she looks for in a founder and how they can win with her company.

She looks for people who remind her of herself.

“Would they have done what I did to get here?” she asks, referring to the perseverance it took while cold-calling Silicon Valley investors, sleeping on the San Francisco airport floor at night, and ceaselessly justifying her worth in the face of racism, sexism, and homophobia. “I just refuse to believe there’s any room that any of us do not deserve to be in,” she says.

She prioritizes people who can embrace constructive criticism.

“Taking constructive criticism is really essential, and usually you can evaluate that skill really quickly in a meeting or on a phone call,” she says while admitting it’s something she herself sometimes struggles with. “If someone  can’t handle a 15-minute call without getting super defensive, they’re not going to be able to handle seven years of that, so that’s a big indicator.”

She places a high value on founders who can answer questions intelligently and efficiently.

“I tend to ask a lot of questions if I’m interested in something because I want to learn more and usually I’m learning something for the first time. So, I need founders who can answer many questions without defensiveness,” she says.

Equally important is founders’ disposition toward asking her and her team many questions.

Investing is a long-term partnership, so founders who want to take money without investigating how their relationship with Backstage will function are unlikely to be a good match, she says.

“It’s truly about the founders to me—their passion, drive, and reasoning.”

While it’s fascinating to watch founders interact with their teams, who is on the team is not the most important factor. Hamilton interrogates founders about their motivation for creating the product or service they’re pitching. “Usually you can tell if someone is working on something that’s their own personal pain point, or if they’re working on something that they think they’ll be able to flip in two or three years,” she says. “Flipping is a great business model on its own, and one day I’ll probably have a fund that’s just flippers, but that’s not what [Backstage] is now.”

To hear more from Hamilton, check her out on the Gimlet Media Startup series.

The post Black Venture Capitalist Explains What She Looks for When Choosing Who to Invest in appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Mylan Q1 Profit Up 31%, But Results Miss View; Reaffirms FY18 Outlook

Drugmaker Mylan N.V. on Wednesday reported a 31 percent increase in profit for the first quarter from last year as lower expenses and a tax benefit helped offset a slight decline in revenues. However, both revenue and adjusted earnings missed analysts’ expectations. North America segment net sales fell 19 percent. Looking ahead, the company reaffirmed its financial outlook for fiscal 2018.
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5 Pieces of Money Advice for Young Adults About to Face the Real World

Spring is in sight, and right about now, you’ll see that anxious look on the faces of college seniors and other young adults about to face the real world for the first time. Even if they’re fortunate enough to have a job lined up, they are far from secure financially, and often have no idea how to handle their finances.

If this is you or someone you know, adopting these financial habits now will take the stress out of newly independent adulthood and pay off big in the long run.

 

5 Pieces of Money Advice for Young Adults

 

1. Create a Spending Plan: A.K.A. Your Budget

 

It doesn’t have to be complicated–it’s just about listing and keeping track of all your expenses and income on a weekly or monthly basis. It may not be pretty, but it’s better than the stress of not knowing your financial status. Also, there are plenty of great budgeting tools that are easy to learn and use. A budget is key to gaining control of your spending, and a sense of control as you face the real world on your own for the first time will really reduce your anxiety.

 

2. Follow the First Rule of Personal Finance: Pay Yourself First

 

Begin building up your emergency savings right away, even if it’s only 20 or 30 dollars a month. Save at least 10% of every dollar you get from any source. This money should go into a fund for emergencies–i.e. job loss–only, and should be separate from all other savings and other accounts you have. Click here for dos and don’ts of creating and maintaining your emergency fund.

The earlier you get into the habit of paying yourself first, the easier it becomes, and the more secure you’ll be in the long run. Build these savings into your budget. It’s only smart to face the real world with a financial cushion, should you have to deal with an unexpected setback.

 3. Attack Your Student Loans–or, at Least, Don’t Ignore Them

 

If you have student loans, explore your repayment options, and exercise them, if you have to buy yourself time or reduce your payments. Whatever you do, don’t just ignore them. Not only are they not going to go away, they will just become bigger, thanks to interest and penalties, and even more intimidating over time. Besides, ignore them for too long, and your lenders may just take action and garnish payments from your paycheck, anyway.

Staying on top of your student loans is also important for another reason: protecting your credit, which can impact everything from employment consideration, to renting an apartment. It is much tougher to face the real world with poor credit.

 

4. Pay Your Bills–and Don’t Abuse Credit

 

Yes, paying your bills when they are due matters, as much as it matters to you that you actually get paid on pay day. In addition to avoiding late fees and other penalties you can’t really afford, 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history. (Click here to learn the other components of your credit score.)

Also, don’t abuse credit by using it to pay for things you don’t have the cash for. Keep credit card balances to no more than about 30% of the credit you have access to. That means if you have a credit card limit of $ 1,000, do your best to limit your balance owed to under $ 350.

 

5. Don’t Pass Up Job Benefits

 

If and when you get a job, don’t skip the employee benefits, including health insurance and making contributions toward a retirement savings account. Sure, your take home pay will be smaller, but the benefits are more valuable over time–especially if you get sick or injured.

 

The Bottom Line on Money Advice for Young Adults

 

The longer you put these off, the more costly it will be to you over time, and the more you will regret it. Bite the bullet and adopt good money habits early. You’ll get used to doing it sooner, and they’ll pay off in the long run. Best of all, you’ll be able to face the real world with optimism, not fear.

Editor’s Note: This article originally published February, 2017

 

 

 

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Germany’s Exports Rise For First Time In 4 Months

Germany’s exports increased for the first time in four months in March, while imports continued to drop, figures from Destatis showed Tuesday.
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Little-known Tax Facts to Help Your Business Thrive in Trump Times

There’s been more than one thing to distract Americans from opportunities to financially triumph in the times of President Donald Trump. Many Americans are more engulfed in weekly White House shake-ups and the reboot of an early ’90s sitcom with a right-wing twist than the tax advantages for businesses under this administration’s new tax plan. However, there are opportunities to “make America great again” for black businesses, according to Micah Wainwright, founder of Good Steward Accounting and Tax.

Photo Credit: Micah Wainwright

Wainwright, a 12-year tax auditing veteran who specializes in Tax Controversy, is inspiring small businesses to embrace overshadowed tax opportunities. His vision for helping African Americans financially prosper was born out of a phone call from a college friend who was writing a novel and needed an accountant. Wainwright was an auditor at a Big Four firm at the time and not interested in helping the little man. Yet, his friend’s call became something bigger for Wainwright, more like a calling. He began to research small business accounting and his research revealed an unyielding desire to tap into a value his mother instilled him as a child—good stewardship.

Author of I Want You to Finance Your Life: 7 W.E.A.L.T.H. Secrets You Need to Know About the Tax Code, Micah Wainwright sat down with Black Enterprise to share his story of ‘good stewardship’ through teaching financial literacy.

Wainwright’s Passion for Financial Empowerment

BE: Why did you choose taxes as your specialty?

Wainwright: I took an accounting elective in college where I was required to do hours with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program sanctioned by the IRS. The IRS had a wealth of training modules to learn about tax filings. Surprisingly, the modules on home-based businesses sparked my interest most. Once I began to understand Tax Law was a subject that my mind naturally wrapped around, it became an obsession for me. The marketplace had a shortage of diligent professionals who would commit to continuing education in tax law to my benefit.

BE: Why The Good Steward?

Wainwright: I wanted to help by doing the “dirty work” that the majority of tax professionals didn’t want to do. I set my eyes on Tax Controversy. I obtained a master’s of science in Tax Law, which enabled me to successfully negotiate with the IRS and state governments. At the same time, I used the training from attorneys and judges to give me the ammunition to represent my clients at a greater capacity.

Tips To Maximizing on Trump’s Tax Plan

BE: What’s one essential tax move that we need to make in today’s economy?

Wainwright: GO START A BUSINESS! If you don’t, you’re just pleading to have a high tax bill. A tax shelter (e.g., a business) has always been a good tax mitigation strategy, but this new tax plan kicks things up a notch. The easiest route is a sole proprietorship. Here’s why:

  1. C corporations’ tax rate has dropped from 35% all the way down to 21%. This is huge! However, most small businesses are not C corporations.
  2. However, the major change for S corporations is the 20% deduction for pass-through income. S corporations can now reduce their pass-through income by 20%.

Once your business is licensed:

  1. Remain in constant communication with your tax accountant about major financial decisions.
  2. Be intentional about tracking expenses.

BE: Quick tips from the Good Steward under Trump’s Tax Plan?

  • Max out your 401(k). Take advantage of tax-deferred investment growth, company matching, and profit sharing!
  • Move out of states with high property-tax rates. If you limit your property-tax deductibles to $ 10,000, this will hurt homeowners who live in high property-tax states or who own expensive property or both!
  • Get married! Make up to $ 600,000 combined, or stay single if you both are making over $ 500,000. Currently, the top tax rate is now 37% for individuals making more than $ 500,000 and married couples making more than $ 600,000.
  • Enjoy being a middle-class American. Try to double the standard deduction, whether you own or not.
  • Don’t Get Stuck in the Upper Middle. Either make less than $ 200,000 as an individual or less than $ 260,000 as a married couple or more than $ 500,000 as an individual or close to $ 600,000 as a married couple.
  • Start an S-Corp. Remember, this tax shelter is endless, so get innovative!

More About Micah Wainwright

Micah Wainwright (Lance McCoy of BeLive Photography)

Wainwright is inspired by the advice he received from his mom that “in times of peace, prepare for war.” More importantly, Wainwrightprepays expenses when revenue is flowing because of what his mom taught him. At the end of the day, he says “there is never any warning for a financial drought so lead with love and good stewardship.” Wainwright teaches, if you fall in love—even with the things that challenge you or that appear unfair on the surface—you can trump the trials and triumph all tax-year long.

Wainwright is also a dedicated volunteer with the Maryland Volunteer Legal Service where he assists low-income families with resolving complex tax issues.

 

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American Axle & Manufacturing Confirms 2018 Revenue Outlook – Quick Facts

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. (AXL) on Friday confirmed its full-year 2018 outlook for sales of about $ 7 billion on U.S. Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of sales (SAAR) in the range of 16.8 million to 17 million light vehicle units in 2018.
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Alibaba Q4 Results Beat View; Expects Sales To Surge Next Year

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) Friday reported a profit for the fourth-quarter ended March 31, 2018 that declined 29 percent from the prior year, due to a one-time gain in the previous year. But, quarterly revenue increased 61 percent, driven by the stronger revenue growth of China commerce retail business. The company expects overall revenue growth above 60 percent for fiscal 2019.
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Millennials Turning to Mobile Payments Instead of Cash for Purchases

A growing number of millennials are—and expected to continue in the future—backing away from using money to make purchases.

Over two-thirds of American and Chinese millennials say they hardly use cash anymore, a new report from The Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson Intelligence. “The Future of Money” Report reveals the disruptive global changes ahead in payments, currency and, banking. Advances in these fields led by Chinese tech firms and early-adopting Chinese consumers are now being embraced globally, particularly by millennials.

The data comes as millennials, by 2019, are anticipated to outnumber baby boomers. The 20-to-35-year-olds will become a powerful economic force for buying goods and services globally. Black millennials will be part of that game-changing purchasing trend in the United States.

The new report shows that 63% of American millennial consumers hardly ever use cash, with 75% saying they want more diverse financial products that are more suited to their needs and lifestyles. Those millennials are now twice as likely as baby boomers (aged 55+) to use alternative mobile payments and messaging payment apps such as Venmo.

Fintech startups are catering to specific needs and lifestyles of millennials that banks don’t cover, the report states. The money management app is a popular offering—over 40% of people in their twenties have downloaded one, according to global payment technology solutions firm First Data.

The report surveyed 1,000 in the United States and 1,000 in China. China is increasingly driving innovation in money and payments. Some 77% of Chinese consumers say they are interested in alternative banking and payments. 61% of Chinese millennials say they would use the Internet of Things to access banking services (vs. 36% in the U.S.). 47% of Chinese millennials are already using facial recognition as a form of financial ID (vs. 18% of U.S. millennials). Yet, according to the report, U.S. millennials are catching on fast.

“The Future of Money” survey shows how open to advances in tech the average banking customer has become, particularly in China—40% of Chinese and 34% of U.S. consumers say they would now interact with their bank using a smart speaker.

“The financial sector is going through a period of unprecedented change, presenting massive opportunities and also challenges to traditional institutions, said Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the Innovation Group. “Consumers are adopting new behaviors en masse, including peer-to-peer payments, digital-first banks, cryptocurrencies, and more.”

They expect more not only from bank brands’ services and ethics, but also from their curb appeal and branding. The axis of influence in innovation is also rapidly shifting to Southeast Asia and China, as tech companies introduce a plethora of highly intuitive, mobile-first systems that fit with dynamic lifestyles. But these behaviors are being adopted worldwide.

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Crypto Weekly – May 4

Cryptocurrencies were higher for most part of the week and continued the trend amid lot of optimism regarding the outlook for Ethereum, which breached the $ 800 mark Friday morning. The most optimistic view this week was that Ethereum would replace Bitcoin as the top cryptocurrency in due course. The crypto market braved the FUD surrounding Bitcoin and is now looking forward to a breakout.
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The 10 Most Diverse Cities in America (and the 10 Least Diverse)

If you live in one of these places, you live in three of the most diverse cities in America: Jersey City, NJ; Houston, and New York. That ranking is from a new report from WalletHub, a personal finance and credit website. Jersey City is the most diverse city in the country with New York City and Houston; the 2nd and 3rd most diverse.

The other most cities on the top 10 list of most diverse cities in America (in descending order) are:

Silver Spring, Maryland

Dallas, Texas

Gaithersburg, Maryland

Los Angeles, California

Germantown, Maryland

Long Beach, California

Arlington, Texas

The study looked at five key diversity factors for cities to determine rankings: socioeconomic diversity; cultural diversity; economic diversity; household diversity; and religious diversity. A city’s population, number of educated residents, and age of residents were some of the other weighing factors in the rankings.

WalletHub also asked several diversity experts to provide insight on the pros and cons of living in a very diverse city.

“Job opportunities,” was one of the benefits cited by Hilary Green, an associate professor of history in the department of gender and race studies, at the University of Alabama.

“Second, there is an increased quality of life through schools, jobs, green spaces, and cultural events,” stated Green. She said there are no cons to living in a diverse city, “except if the city structure does not embrace the diversity of its populace and [in] providing services and housing for all.”

Shari L. Parks, vice president for strategic initiatives at the Maryland Institute of Art (MICA) in Baltimore said, “Historically, racial and ethnic diversity has been tied to economic growth as people moved from monolithic communities to work in industrial places in the city.” Parks also commented, “Diversity drives innovation.”

However, “forced assimilation is very unhealthy for any community,” cautions Chiquita Howard-Bostic, chair of the department of sociology and geography and associate professor of sociology at Shepard University.

“When one expects another person to merge their cultural identity and divorce their own, there are a series of psychological and emotional events that follow,” says Howard-Bostic. She says “the pace for progress can never be predetermined.”

On the flip side, WalletHub also ranked the least diverse cities in America. They are, in descending order:

Huntington, West Virginia

Morgantown, West Virginia

Lewiston, Idaho

Kalispell, Montana

Barre, Vermont

Keene, New Hampshire

Rochester, New Hampshire

Orem, Utah

Provo, Utah

Bangor, Maine

Other key findings from the study:

  • Badger, Alaska, has the highest income diversity, which is 2.7 times higher than in Youngstown, Ohio, the city with the lowest.
  • Oakland, California, has the highest racial and ethnic diversity, which is four times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the lowest.
  • Thornton, Colorado, has the highest industry diversity, which is 2.7 times higher than in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the city with the lowest.
  • Hobbs, New Mexico, has the highest occupational diversity, which is 2.6 times higher than in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the city with the lowest.

 

See how your city ranks by viewing the entire list of rankings; read more expert analysis; and key findings from the report at WalletHub.

 

 

 

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New York Times Q1 Profit Up 66%; Results Beat View

New York Times Co. on Thursday reported a 66 percent surge in profit for the first quarter from last year on higher revenues reflecting strong growth in the company’s digital subscription business. Subscription revenues increased 7.5 percent, primarily due to growth in recent quarters in the number of subscriptions to the company’s digital-only products.
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Mastercard Q1 Profit Up 38%; Results Beat View

Payment card processor Mastercard Inc. on Wednesday reported a 38 percent increase in profit for the first quarter from last year on strong revenue growth that reflected increases in switched transactions and gross dollar volume. Both revenue and adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates. Mastercard’s shares are rising more than 4 percent in pre-market activity.
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Study: 6 in 10 Homeowners Don’t Plan On Moving Anytime Soon

The most recent S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index shows that home values have increased by 6.3% over the past year. Wages have increased 2.7% in the past year, and the unemployment rate is at the lowest its ever been post-recession, which is why most homeowners say they don’t plan on moving anytime soon.

A new Bankrate.com report found that over 6 in 10 homeowners (62%) say they do not ever plan to move while the remainder anticipates that they’ll be staying in their current home for at least another five years.

“Americans are essentially staying put in their homes for the foreseeable future, either by choice, or by necessity or some combination,” said Bankrate.com senior economic analyst, Mark Hamrick. “Because of this, prospective homebuyers are finding a real lack of quality, affordable inventory, which can lead to bidding wars and risky overspending.”

Source: Bankrate.com

While the majority of homeowners (79%) don’t plan on moving in the next half-decade, 35% say they are more likely to remodel, upgrade, or add to their current home during that time. Over the next five years, the likelihood of making improvements to their current home exceeds the likelihood of moving to a new home across all age and income brackets.

Statistics:

  • More than 1 in 5 Americans (21%) own their primary home without a mortgage.
  • Another 32% are currently paying off their mortgage.
  • The median reported mortgage rate is 3.95%
  • Nearly 3 in 10 mortgage holders (29%) either don’t know or won’t say what their mortgage rate is.
  • For groups who could benefit from a good refinancing opportunity like millennials, the statistic is higher at 37% and Gen Xers at 35%.
  • Thirty-nine percent of both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers (ages 54–72) say they have a mortgage on their primary home.
  • Twenty-seven percent of younger Boomers (ages 54–63), 38% of older Boomers (ages 64–72), and 51% of The Silent Generation (ages 73+) own a home without a mortgage.
  • Sixty-one percent of those ages 18–30 say they do not own their main home. However, older millennials (ages 31–37) are equally as likely to own a home than not (43%).

For those unaware of their mortgage rate, Hamrick urges them to “immediately take time to learn that rate as well as whether they have an adjustable or fixed-rate mortgage.” To find the answers, it might require logging onto a website, calling a mortgage service, or digging through paperwork.

At issue is whether one should consider refinancing, including  going into a fixed-rate mortgage, before rates and monthly payments head higher from here,” Hamrick said.

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Bitcoin Could Rise As High As $35000: Survey

A survey conducted by a start-up Cryptocurrency mining firm about Bitcoin found that majority of the respondents have an optimistic future for the leading cryptocurrency. Miner One conducted a survey of more than 1,500 community members, and reported that 31 percent believe bitcoin will go higher than $ 15,000 this year. Twenty six percent of those who were surveyed believe bitcoin will cross $ 2
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Crypto Weekly – Apr. 27

Cryptocurrency prices had a strong opening to the week and the upward momentum lasted till Wednesday, when some profit-booking set in. A rebound was witnessed late Thursday that has sustained into Friday thus far. The price of Bitcoin crossed $ 9,000 at the start of the week and cryptocurrency market capitalization crossed $ 400 billion early Monday for the first time since March 8.
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Exxon Mobil Q1 Profit Misses Estimates

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) reported estimated first-quarter earnings of $ 4.7 billion, or $ 1.09 per share compared to $ 4 billion or $ 0.95 per share, a year ago. On average, 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 1.13 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
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More Mortgage Loans Being Approved, But Blacks and Hispanics Still Likely to Be Denied

There is bittersweet news on the home loan approval front for African Americans, a new report reveals.

Mortgage loans are denied at the lowest rate in the past 20 years, but a stark divide remains between potential home buyers of different racial groups, according to online real estate firm Zillow.

The share of applicants nationally who are denied for conventional mortgages has dropped to 9.8%, according to data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), down from 18.1% in 2007.

Though a smaller portion of loan applicants overall are rejected, white or Asian borrowers are more likely to get mortgage approval than black or Hispanic borrowers.

In 2016, 8.1% of white applicants were denied for a conventional loan, as were 10.4% of Asian applicants.

In contrast, 20.9% of black borrowers and 15.5% of Hispanic borrowers were rejected for a loan. The report showed blacks are still twice as likely as whites to be denied a conventional loan, a racial gap disparity that has existed for decades. The gap is significant because owning a home can help most people, regardless of race, accumulate assets to boost their net worth.

Yet another report uncovered the wealth gap between black and white families across the country is not improving.

One finding disclosed African Americans are less likely to be homeowners, to own their own business, and to have a retirement account than whites.

In 2016, based on the most recent data available, when African Americans owned such assets, they were worth significantly less than assets owned by whites. For instance, 41% of African Americans were homeowners in 2016, versus nearly 72% of whites. Furthermore, blacks who did own homes had half as much home equity as whites.

For all groups, the Zillow report identified denial rates are down sharply from 2007. For that year, 34.3% of black applicants and 30% of Hispanic applicants were denied for mortgages. White and Asian borrowers were denied 12.7% and 16.2%, respectively, of the time.

The lingering disparity among races is visible in homeownership. Black homebuyers had the least purchasing power last year. They could afford 55% of homes for sale, while whites could buy about 78% of listed homes.

And while coming up with a down payment is the biggest hurdle to homeownership for all potential buyers, black Americans were more likely than those of other races to say qualifying for a mortgage was a barrier.

“Mortgage approval data point to both progress and stubborn inequities in the American housing market,” said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas.

“By some measures, the gap in mortgage approval rates between whites and blacks is as narrow as it has ever been.

However, black mortgage applicants are still more than twice as likely as whites to be denied, a visible legacy of historical discriminatory policies. For the large majority of homebuyers, getting approved for a loan is the first step on the road to homeownership, and these continued disparities represent an ongoing barrier to housing and social equity in America.”

Another interesting discovery surfaced in the Zillow report. For all racial and ethnic groups, borrowers in suburban areas had the best chances of being approved for a mortgage—8.4% of suburban homebuyers were denied for a loan. Ten percent of urban borrowers and 11.5% percent of rural borrowers were denied.

 

 

The post More Mortgage Loans Being Approved, But Blacks and Hispanics Still Likely to Be Denied appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Most Credit Card Companies Will Get Rid Of Your Fees If You Simply Ask

It’s easy to get rid of credit card fees. All you have to do is simply ask, according to a new CreditCards.com report. The terms of one’s credit card, which most people do not read, may be in black and white, but the newly released survey found that those terms aren’t set in stone. Looking to reverse a late fee, increase your credit limit, reduce your interest rate or even skip paying an annual fee, the survey found that when one asks, the credit card company is highly likely to say yes.

The report found that 84% of major credit card holders who asked for a late fee waiver were successful the most recent time they requested and 56% who asked for a lower interest rate got one. Seventy percent of participants in the survey were able to get an annual fee lowered or eliminated.

“The competition for credit card customers among banks has been increasing, and that puts customers in a stronger negotiating position,” says Alex Johnson, director of solution marketing at FICO. “The lesson is, it never hurts to ask. The worst thing that can happen is they say ‘no.’”

So Why Aren’t More People Asking:

Simply put, lack of knowledge, the survey found. For one, many just don’t know that it’s an option. The survey of 1,589 adults in the U.S. found that 60% of cardholders have requested at least one of the listed perks. Only 43% of credit card holders have asked for a higher credit limit.

The most popular request was for an increase in credit limit; the request for an annual fee waiver, the rarest request, was requested by just 18% of the participants.

Millennials Are More Likely To Be Affected:

Compared to other generations in the survey, millennials and Gen Xers had the highest percentages saying they weren’t aware that they could ask for each type of request.

About 1 in 3 millennials who didn’t ask for an interest rate reduction said they didn’t know that they could make such requests, while 1 in 5 said the same thing about a credit limit increase.

The survey found that millennials and Gen Xers are especially likely to be in the dark. Compared to other generations, they had the highest percentages saying they didn’t know they could ask for each type of request. While baby boomers and members of the silent generation in the survey said they didn’t ask because they were happy with the terms of their cards.

Poll findings:

The poll surveyed 1,589 adults in the United States who currently are credit card holders. They were asked if they ever attempted to reach out to their card issuer to either waive or reduce a card’s annual fee, reverse a late payment fee, lower a credit card’s interest rate or raise a card’s credit limit. The number of cardholders who make such requests is small, even though the survey shows that when you ask, you have a good chance of getting what you want.

The survey found that:

85% who asked received a higher credit limit.
84% who asked got a late fee waived.
70% who asked had an annual fee waived or lowered.
56% who asked got a lower interest rate (APR).

The post Most Credit Card Companies Will Get Rid Of Your Fees If You Simply Ask appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Exxon Mobil Q1 Earnings, Chevron Revenues Miss Estimates

Oil major Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) on Friday reported a 16 percent increase in profit for the first-quarter, while Chevron Corp. (CVX) posted a profit that grew about 36 percent from the last year, reflecting higher production and prices. Exxon Mobil’s earnings missed analysts’ expectation, while Chevron’s revenues missed their estimates.
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Germany Jobless Rate Drops In March

Germany’s unemployment rate decreased slightly at the end of the first quarter, the labor force survey from Destatis showed Friday.
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