Swiss Re FY17 Profit Down, Says Carefully Assess SoftBank Deal; Stock Up

Reinsurer Swiss Re (SSREY.PK) reported Friday a sharp decline in fiscal 2017 profit, hurt mainly by $ 4.7 billion losses related natural catastrophes, as well as weak premiums written. However, the company announced higher dividend and said its Board will propose a further share buy-back program of up to 1.0 billion francs. Swiss Re shares were gaining around 3 percent.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Japan Overall Nationwide Inflation Advances 1.4% In January

Overall nationwide consumer prices in Japan climbed 1.4 percent on year in January, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Black Dollars Matter: The Power of African American Consumers

Black consumers currently wield unprecedented power over brands, according to a new report from Nielsen.

The seismic shift in how important black dollars have become is credited to social media and the vocal and voluminous online entity known as Black Twitter. More African American consumers are demanding products and marketing that embrace diversity without pandering and that are culturally relevant.

The report reveals that black spending power has reached $ 1.2 trillion. In some markets, black consumers have a considerable spending footprint. Although African Americans make up only 14% of the U.S. population, they spend $ 573 million on personal hygiene items; $ 810 million on bottled water; and $ 151 million in the luxury non-essential products market (which includes items such as watches and fragrances).

“Our research shows that Black consumer choices have a ‘cool factor,’” said Cheryl Grace, senior vice president of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, Nielsen, in a released statement.

“These figures show that investment by multinational conglomerates in R&D to develop products and marketing that appeal to diverse consumers is, indeed, paying off handsomely.”

Smart companies will purposefully target African American customers, it says in the Nielsen study. Black consumer choices are increasingly becoming mainstream.

The study also found that black consumer brand loyalty is based on a brand’s perception as authentic, culturally relevant, socially conscious, and responsible. Thirty-eight percent of African Americans ages 18–34, say they expect the brands they purchase to support social causes. Forty-one percent of those African Americans over age 35 expect the same.

“When it comes to African American consumer spend there are millions, sometimes billions of dollars in revenue at stake,” said Andrew McCaskill, senior vice president, Global Communications and Multicultural Marketing.

“With 43% of the 75 million millennials in the U.S. identifying as African American, Hispanic, or Asian, if a brand doesn’t have a multicultural strategy, it doesn’t have a growth strategy.”

 

 

 

The post Black Dollars Matter: The Power of African American Consumers appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

European Economics Preview: Germany’s Economic Sentiment Data Due

Economic confidence from Germany is due on Tuesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

HSBC FY17 Pre-tax Profit More Than Doubles; Maintains Dividend

Asia-focused lender HSBC Holdings Plc reported late Monday a significant growth in fiscal 2017 profit, reflecting higher revenues and the absence of loss related to Brazil operations. The company noted that all of its global businesses grew adjusted profits and three main global businesses generated improved adjusted revenue. Further, the company maintained its dividend.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Estate Planning For Millennials: The Key To Black Wealth

Estate planning for millennials sounds counterintuitive. However, before you jump to that conclusion, consider this: No matter how much money you make in your lifetime, it’s not real wealth if you don’t effectively transfer it to future generations. To put it bluntly, if it’s not multigenerational wealth, it’s not wealth at all.

Unfortunately, estate planning remains the most neglected aspect of personal finance and wealth building, even among successful entrepreneurs and high-income professionals—an increasing number of whom happen to be millennials. This is in part because most people believe that they are neither old enough nor rich enough to make estate planning a priority. Ironically, millennials, who despite conventional wisdom are managing their money just as effectively as Generation X and baby boomers, may have the most to lose by buying into this misassumption.

“Estate planning is somewhat of a misnomer because it does imply that it’s only for the wealthy,” says family law and estate planning attorney Lori Anne Douglass, a founding partner of the New York law firm Douglass, Rademacher & Brown L.L.P. “But quite frankly, anybody who’s going to die, which is everybody, needs to put their affairs in order.”

“If you literally have nothing, and you have no children, then you have nothing to plan for,” she adds. “But if you have family members, and you have any assets at all—tangible personal property, you own a home, you have a retirement plan, you have money in the bank, life insurance—any assets at all, if you don’t have an established plan, it’s going to be a disaster.”

“Whether your estate is worth $ 100,000 or $ 100 million,” Douglass asserts, “the planning is critical, not just for wealth building, but to maintain family harmony, to administer the estate effectively and efficiently to save on costs and attorney’s fees.”

Douglass offers these five reasons why estate planning for millennials not only makes sense but needs to be a top priority.

No Estate Planning For Millennials Equals No Black Wealth

Each year, millions (perhaps even billions) of dollars are lost due to poor estate planning, as assets are inefficiently transferred from one generation to the next, if they are passed on at all. This is one outcome that African Americans can ill afford, with at least one study predicting that black households are on a path to zero wealth by the year 2053. Without estate planning for millennials, however, this prediction is all but guaranteed to become reality.

“People seem to think that when someone dies that their assets just automatically go to the next generation,” says Douglass. “They don’t. It’s a complex process, and without process planning and input from the individual who owned those assets, it can be messy, time-consuming and costly, it doesn’t matter how much money you have.”

Your Obligations Don’t Go Away When You Do

Douglass offers this reality check: “The Internal Revenue Service, your state taxing authority, your debt collectors and your creditors are not going to just let your debt go because a person passes. If there are assets here to pay the debt, they have to be paid.”

“The first people to get paid are the taxing authorities,” she explains. “When someone dies, whether it’s the next of kin or the executor under a will, that person has an obligation to pay the final income tax returns of the decedent. If you own real property, real estate taxes are going to come due at most six months from the time anybody dies. That has to be paid. If you have an income tax due from prior tax years, that has to be paid. Also, there are states that have state inheritance tax and state estate tax.”

Keep in mind: Taxing authorities will take what is due them from your loved ones even if they haven’t received a penny from your estate yet, especially if they’re locked in battle contesting a non-existent or poorly executed estate plan.

Estate Planning Is Not A DIY Project

Though it’s easy to download documents to do your own will, it’s not wise, and could result in financial disaster. Sure, you could get it done quickly and inexpensively today, but your loved ones will likely pay a high price later for you taking the do-it-yourself option.

“If you try to do too much estate planning on your own and you make a mistake it can really cost a lot of problems for your loved ones” Douglass explains. “I would never advise anyone to do their own will or to do their own trust because it’s so complex. There are different kinds of trusts, there are tax ramifications, there are gifting issues, there are issues related to whether you want to give property to your children outright or hold that in trust.”

The Important Exception to the No-DIY Rule

There is an aspect of estate planning for millennials that is an exception to the previous point. One thing that Douglass says millennials and everyone can and should immediately do on their own is to execute medical and financial directives, in case you become disabled.

“Now that people are living for so many years—people are regularly living into their 80s and 90s—a large percentage of us will become disabled, if not permanently, then for some period of time during an adult life,” says Douglass. “Therefore, you really need to have a power of attorney and medical directives such as a healthcare proxy and a living will, that people can help you make those decisions. And those documents are statutory, which means every state has in its own statute for how the language for those documents should be written, and you can get those documents right off most states’ websites.”

What Will Happen To Your Digital Assets?

“Younger people need to do estate planning just as much as anybody over 50,” says Douglass. “Younger people should think about their beneficiary designations for their 401(k) or insurance, and other basic assets when they start to acquire them.”

But there is another reason estate planning for millennials needs to be a priority: wealth is no longer just physical and financial (money and real estate); it is also intellectual and digital, including the emergence of cryptocurrencies.

“Especially, you need to be thinking about your digital assets,” she emphasizes. “That’s the new thing in estate planning. When somebody passes, who can access your Facebook account? Who can access your PayPal account and deactivate that? All those are the kinds of things you would put in a will or a revocable trust, designating someone to handle your digital assets for you. This is especially important for the young people thinking about their digital assets and intellectual property, [such as a revenue-generating blog].”

“It’s sad,” she continues. “I had a client, a young person in his 30s who died unexpectedly. And one thing that is very difficult is that his social media still continues. On his birthday, a LinkedIn message goes out inviting people to send him a birthday wish, and it’s very distressful to the family. But he passed at a time when he didn’t do any planning and before people were really thinking about what happens to digital assets and intellectual property when someone passes.”

The post Estate Planning For Millennials: The Key To Black Wealth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

TEMER: Intervention In Rio Will End When Reform Is Ready To Be Voted

The military intervention in Rio de Janeiro state’s security system will cease when pension reform is ready to be voted on, said Brazilian President Michel Temer in signing the decree on the issue.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Study Shows Black People Support Family, Friends More Than Other Groups

African Americans do not just care about their finances, they also care about the communities they live in—and the people they live around.

For African Americans, community begins with friends and family—and sometimes money. A new survey reveals that a whopping 80% of African Americans agree that community involvement is important compared to only 66% of whites.

“Throughout history, African Americans have had to rely on each other, oftentimes to survive,” said Evan Taylor, African American market director, MassMutual, in a press release. “Therefore it is not surprising that helping each other lies at the heart of their beliefs about community and finances. Although no strangers to tough economic times, sacrificing to support each other, particularly family and friends, is a huge part of black culture and community.”

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. said it conducted the nationwide survey to explore the intersection of community involvement and financial well-being.

While the survey reveals that both blacks and whites are equally anxious about their current financial well-being, the differentiating factor are the views African Americans have toward financially supporting others. In spite of these financial concerns, 90% believe it is important to look out for one another. More than 60% have supported someone else in times of financial need and almost a third have been supported by someone else.

“What this shows is what people care about and the philanthropic role of finances in their lives,” said Taylor. “There is significant opportunity to adopt new attitudes, habits, and actions to strengthen personal financial health as a way to build what can be shared with the communities most important to them.”

Participants ranked family, friends, and schools as their top three when asked to define communities. Religion, children, professional networks, and towns/city or region are also important, in that order.

“This indicates there is a need for African Americans to open up dialogue with each other and their communities about the steps necessary to build strong financial foundations and create generational wealth that can help the larger community in the long-term,” Taylor added.

The survey also reveals that only 32% of African Americans share information about their finances with other people compared to 55% of whites.

The post Study Shows Black People Support Family, Friends More Than Other Groups appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Coca-Cola Q4 Adj. Profit Meets Estimates, Revenues Beat

Beverages giant Coca-Cola Company on Friday reported a net loss for the fourth quarter, reflecting a one-time charge related to the U.S. tax reform and a double-digit decline in revenues. However, adjusted earnings per share matched analysts’ expectations, while revenues beat their estimates. The company’s shares are rising more than 2 percent in pre-market activity.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Top 5 Cities That Would Benefit the Most by the ‘LeBron Effect’

With three NBA championships and four MVP awards under his belt, LeBron James is arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all time. But the league’s most dominant player has much more to offer a city than an NBA title; his mere presence can change the immediate area’s entire economy.

Where the King Goes, the Money Follows

A 2017 study published by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) quantified the effects that the 33-year-old forward had in Cleveland with the Cavaliers and his brief stint in Miami when he played for the Heat from 2011 to 2014. The data revealed that James’ presence in both of these cities had a huge impact on their local economies by boosting restaurant revenue, ticket sales, and job creation. According to the report, the number of eateries and bars within a mile of the stadium where James was based at the time increased by 13%. In turn, employment within those establishments increased by 23.5%. While, on the other hand, those numbers dropped when James was not on either team.

“James has a statistically and economically significant positive effect on both the number of restaurants and other eating and drinking establishments near the stadium where he is based, and on aggregate employment at those establishments,” wrote the co-authors of the report, Daniel Shoag, an associate professor of Harvard Kennedy School and Stan Veuger of AEI.

Likewise, James’ return to Cleveland in 2014 had an immediate effect on his hometown’s economy. Shortly after James announced his return, ticket sales spiked by more than 100 times, jumping from $ 25 at one point to a staggering average of $ 386. Nonetheless, season tickets sold out within hours. Plus, Cleveland.com reported in 2015 that James’ return to Ohio resulted in a nine-figure economic boost for downtown Cleveland.

The LeBron Effect On Other Cities

James, who currently has a $ 100 million contract with the Cavaliers, will have the option to head to free agency following the 2018 season. Naturally, there’s speculation about his potential new destination and how the city would benefit economically. A new study released Thursday exclusively to Black Enterprise took a look at the cities that would benefit the most if King James joined their NBA team. The study, which was conducted by FormSwift and aptly titled the “LeBron HQ3 Sweepstakes,” analyzed data based on the following criteria:

  • The number of new jobs potentially created for LeBron’s chosen city
  • The local economic impact (including state tax revenue) over a five-year contract
  • What the city should offer LeBron in its bid to bring him to their team

New York City

The results found that New York would gain the biggest economic boost if James signed a five-year contract with the Knicks. According to the report, James would have a $ 1.7 billion economic impact in New York, bringing the state $ 1.2 million in tax revenue and over 12,000 new jobs over a five-year period.

In comparison, if the NBA star signed with the Brooklyn Nets, the state’s economy would receive about $ 441 million, 3,334 jobs, and $ 32 million in state tax revenue.

Washington, D.C.

Should the All-Star athlete join the Washington Wizards, he would bring the nation’s capital over $ 66 million in state tax revenue, 3,200 jobs, and more than $ 444 million in total local economic impact in five years.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles would benefit from a $ 396 million economic impact if James joined either the Lakers or the Clippers. In addition, the city would gain about 3,000 jobs and $ 29 million in state tax revenue.

Boston

Should the superstar athlete decide to join the Celtics, then Boston would gain a $ 24 million tax revenue boost, along with a $ 376 million, five-year local economic impact, and more than 2,500 new jobs.

Toronto 

If James moved to Toronto to play with the Raptors, the Canadian city would gain $ 20 million in tax revenue and almost 4,000 jobs. In total, James would have a $ 397 million economic impact within five years.

Hence, no matter where James goes in 2019, one thing is for sure: business will follow.

Check out the LeBron HQ3 Sweepstakes ranking below.

Lebron James

The post Top 5 Cities That Would Benefit the Most by the ‘LeBron Effect’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

U.S. Business Inventories Climb More Than Expected In December

A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed business inventories in the U.S. rose by slightly more than anticipated in the month of December. The Commerce Department said business inventories climbed by 0.4 percent in December, matching the increase seen in November.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

The Money Behind Winning a Grammy

Many have wondered if artists get paid for performing at the Grammy’s or if they take home extra cash after winning an award. Black Enterprise did a little digging  to find the answers.

Turns out that the Beyonces and Rihannas of the world who cash in millions for their world tours don’t get paid a cent when they grace the esteemed ceremony. They don’t get a check for winning either; but we’re sure those golden trophies could auction off for a hefty dollar amount should they ever need the funds.

The live event is far from a loss though. Forbes reports that performers and producers see a “‘Grammy Bounce’ of at least 55% in concert ticket sales and producer fees during the year following a Grammy win.” David Banner told the source that his producer fee jumped from $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 after his work on Lil Wayne’s single “Lollipop.”

Co-producer Jim Jonsin, who also worked with Beyonce, told DailyFinance.com that the rewards were “life-changing.” “If I really wanted to, I could charge a good 20% to 30% more. I didn’t raise my prices, though,” he said of his Grammy win. Before winning a Grammy, producers on average charge $ 30,000 to $ 50,000 per track. If you’re fortunate enough to snag an award, though, Jonsin says that the starting figure is in the $ 75,000 area and super-producers like Timbaland and Pharrell can demand twice that.

Thanks to the high-profile night, stars benefit in mainstream visibility and in their pockets too. After winning his first Grammy, “Bruno Mars’ average nightly gross swelled from $ 130,000 to $ 202,000 (+55%).” Esperanza Spalding went from $ 20,000 to $ 32,000 (+60%) and Taylor Swift jumped from $ 125,000 to $ 600,000 (+380%).

And because it would be so tasteless for Hollywood to send its multi-millionaire guests home empty handed, celebrities leave the occasion with a gift bag worth more than some people’s salaries. TorontoSun.com reports, “Gifts include Tiffany cat collars, Gibson guitars, trips to deserted islands, cashmere sweaters, teeth whitening products, jewelry, sunglasses and designer leather bags.” The very generous goodies in 2010 reportedly came to about $ 50,000 in value.

So, no, music’s superstars don’t walk away with a physical check in tow. The association to the Grammy’s, however, does fatten their wallets long after the special airs.

The post The Money Behind Winning a Grammy appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Fossil Group Nearly Doubles FY Wearable Sales, Q4 Profit Tops; Shares Jump 72%

Fossil Group, Inc. (FOSL) reported that in fiscal 2017 the company generated progress toward its strategic initiatives, which included driving growth in wearables across its portfolio of brands, aimed at accelerating the evolution of the business to position Fossil for long term profitable growth. The company announced, over the next several years, it will continue to transform business model to address changes in consumer behaviors and their purchases of traditional watches and connected devices, as well as jewelry and leathers.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Tyson Foods Q1 Profit Tops Estimates, Sales Up 5.2%

Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN) reported first-quarter adjusted EPS of $ 1.81, up 14% from last year. The company said lower enacted tax rates positively impacted the first-quarter adjusted EPS by $ 0.21 and expects a fiscal 2018 benefit of approximately $ 0.85 on an adjusted basis. On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 1.50 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. First-quarter GAAP EPS was $ 4.40, up 177% from last year. Net income to Tyson was $ 1.63 billion compared to $ 593 million.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

What You as an Investor Need to Know About the Stock Market Plunge

On Monday, the Dow plunged more than 1,500 points throughout the day, finally losing 1,175.21 points, placing the stock market in correction territory. According to CNN, the drop in the market made it the single worst day ever for the Dow since August 2011.

The Dow lost approximately 4.6% in value and impacted the stock markets around the globe, causing many global markets to decline.

Reason for the Drop

There is not one single reason, but a few things rolled into one.

First things to consider, the economy is strong and healthy. A recent jobs report indicated wages have increased approximately 2.9%, up from the previous year and more than 200,000 jobs were added to the workforce. In addition, the unemployment rate has remained steady overall (although black unemployment went up to 7.7%).

Because of the healthy economy, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates throughout the year. When interest rates increase, the cost of borrowing increases as well. As rates rise, stock prices begin to fall.

Also, bond yields have risen, which could be disturbing news for stocks. Investors are likely to pull money out of risky investments such as stocks and bonds when there is turbulence in the market.

Lastly, the Federal Reserve has just sworn in the new chairman, Jerome Powell, to replace Janet Yellen. This also brings slight uncertainty to the market.

What Should Black Investors do?

Stick to your retirement goals. You have to understand your long-term purpose. If you are investing in the stock market for retirement and it will be several years or more before you will need the money, then you should stay put and keep the money invested. The market has seen corrections and declines before, therefore it is important to stay the course.

Make certain you are well diversified – The next thing to keep in mind is to make certain you are well diversified, meaning that you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket. And, of course, this will depend on your risk tolerance, but if you are a younger investor, you should consider investing in a portfolio that consists of a higher percentage of stocks and a smaller percentage of bonds. However, if you are moving toward retirement, it may be a good time to review your portfolio to ensure you are not investing too aggressively, since you may need your money soon.

Finally, this is a great time to meet with your financial adviser. Discuss any concerns you have regarding your investments and what steps you should take.

The post What You as an Investor Need to Know About the Stock Market Plunge appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Singapore Retail Sales Data Due On Monday

Singapore will on Monday release December figures for retail sales, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. In November, retail sales were up 5.1 percent on month and 5.3 percent on year.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Don’t Underestimate Us Millennials; We’re Saving More Money Than You Think

We’ve all heard the stereotypes about millennials being a generation of lazy, entitled narcissists who spend way too much time on social media. Although these stereotypes have been debunked, I can personally testify that millennials are hard-working, creative, and more financially literate than many expect. But for the naysayers, there’s a new study that proves it.

According to a survey conducted by Bank of America, millennial-aged Americans between 23 and 37 years old are serious about financial planning, budgeting, and saving for retirement. The study shows that 16% of millennials have saved at least $ 100,000, while nearly half have $ 15,000 in total savings. That’s a big jump from 2015, when only 8% said they stashed away $ 100,000 or more and 33% said they saved $ 15,000.

This shows that despite making a few trips to Starbucks each week, going out to brunch, and splurging on avocado toast every now and then, we deserve more credit for being financially savvy and long-term planners. We’re also more resilient than previous generations, if you ask me.

Older millennials entered the workforce during or shortly after the 2008 economic downturn, a time when we were forced to compete with older Americans in their 40s and 50s for a limited amount of job openings. Meanwhile, our generation is straddled down with an unprecedented amount of student loan debt: $ 1.3 trillion to be exact. Yet, in spite of these obstacles, we’re proving that we can overcome by launching our own businesses and starting and capitalizing off of social media trends.

Even though 26% of millennials work in the gig economy as independent contractors or freelancers, this has not stopped our generation from thinking ahead. Rather, not having access to a traditional employer-sponsored retirement fund such as a 401(k) has forced us to become more proactive about saving on our own. I, in fact, opened a personal IRA account after spending years of freelancing and doing gig work.

Furthermore, because we’re focused on our future, many of us are intentionally postponing starting a family. Like the survey shows, 30% of millennial parents say financial considerations have played a major role in their decision to have children.

Don’t be dismayed: We’re proving to be a generation of innovative, entrepreneurial-minded people who are more financially savvy than expected.

 


Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that “6% of millennials have saved at least $ 100,000.” 

The post Don’t Underestimate Us Millennials; We’re Saving More Money Than You Think appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Here’s An Opportunity to Invest in a Promising Tech Startup

There was once a time where you wouldn’t be able to get in on the ground floor of an early-stage company because those perks were reserved for accredited investors. Well, times have changed. Now, with equity crowdfunding, you can invest in companies that already have traction, and the due diligence is done for you. One standout that is currently raising is Whose Your Landlord, a startup we’ve previously covered.

Ofo Ezeugwu, the founder and CEO of Whose Your Landlord, saw a problem in the market when it came to tenants understanding who they were actually renting from. He solved it by creating a platform that provides aggregated data from both current and previous tenants that consists of reviews and a rating system.

The company attempted to raise on SeedInvest with a threshold of $ 125,000. They hit $ 64,000 coming up short of their goal. Having scaled and grown the company from the previous raise, they are back at it again on Republic with a goal of $ 50,000, which they feel confident that they will reach.

“We had several investors at the last minute that could have gotten us across that finish line but it was too rushed,” Ezeugwu told Black Enterprise. “Because it was such a public raise, all of our stats went up. We’re in the prime position to raise capital now as a result of us trying to raise capital before.”

If you are interested in investing in Whose Your Landlord there are a couple of general points that you should know. Investments are not a quick flip. It takes time for them to convert into actual equity and sometimes that’s years out. Additionally, the company may fail and they may never convert at all, so keep that in mind.

With Crowd SAFE, the instrument that the equity crowdfunding platform uses, you do not have equity in the company until the company actually converts it into such. Until then, you have a SAFE which is essentially saying that you have the opportunity for your investment to convert to equity.

According to the site, if the company gets acquired or has an IPO at a valuation higher than the one at the time of your investment, you will earn a return. Additionally, if the company has another financing round, it can decide to issue Shadow Shares to you, with economic rights that provide a return.

 

 

Who's Your Landlord (User Interface)

User Interface (Image: Whose Your Landlord)

The post Here’s An Opportunity to Invest in a Promising Tech Startup appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

European Economics Preview: UK Industrial Output, Foreign Trade Data Due

Industrial production and foreign trade from the UK are due on Friday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 1.45 am ET, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is scheduled to issue Swiss unemployment data. The jobless rate is seen unchanged at 3 percent in January.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Old Dominion Freight Line Q4 Results Beat View; Hikes Dividend – Quick Facts

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. (ODFL) on Thursday reported a surge in profit for the fourth quarter from last year on double-digit growth in revenues. The results for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates. In addition, the company’s board of directors increased the quarterly dividend by 30 percent.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Best Merchant Cash Advance for Small Business Advice: Should Black Entrepreneurs Use This Option?

Traditionally, African American business owners have always had a tough time obtaining financing to grow, develop, and sustain their businesses. When business owners cannot obtain the capital they need from traditional financial institutions, they usually turn to alternative ones.

One of the growing sources of alternative business capital since the Great Recession, has been that of the Merchant Cash Advance (MCA), along with its sister product, the Alternative Business Loan. A company by the name of AdvanceMe (today the company is known as Can Capital) brought the MCA concept to the marketplace in the very early 2000s and even tried to patent the concept, but wasn’t successful.

But it wasn’t until the credit crunch of the 2008 recession that business owners began turning to the MCA product in high numbers, leading to an explosion of said industry. You have to be cautious using these alternative means of capital, so I am going to present the best merchant cash advance advice to you.

 

The Best Merchant Cash Advance for Small Business Info

Here’s how the MCA works: A business is doing $ 60,000 a month in credit card processing volume, for example. That business could be approved for about $ 60,000 in terms of the advance amount, which can be used for any business purpose, such as covering payroll.

The lender might set up the business with what is known as a  “factor rate,” which translates into a total payback amount of $ 72,000. To pay back the advance, the lender might hold 20% of the daily credit card processing volume of the business (which, in this example, comes to around $ 400) and apply this amount to the total outstanding payback balance.

As long as the business maintains the same level of monthly credit card processing volume, then the entire payback amount would be satisfied in six months. An MCA offer based on the above example would look like the following:

  • Advance amount: $ 60,000
  • Factor rate: 1.20
  • Total payback or purchase amount: $ 72,000
  • Holdback percentage: 20%

Note that the MCA is not considered a traditional loan with fixed terms, so if the monthly credit card processing volume of the business in this example drops to $ 50,000, then instead of six months to pay off the total payback amount, it might take just over seven months to complete. As a result, this product works best for businesses that are seasonal.

 

The Alternative Business Loan

Unlike the MCA, an Alternative Business Loan is structured as a real business loan with origination fees and fixed terms. Approval is based on 5% to 10% of the annual gross sales of a business, so if a business is doing $ 2 million a year in gross sales, it might get approved for $ 150,000. To pay back the loan, the lender will set up a fixed payment that comes out of the business owner’s bank account every business day. For the terms, let’s say the lender offers the business owner a 15-month option with a 28% interest rate. Here’s how the complete offer would look:

  • Loan amount: $ 150,000
  • Origination fee: $ 4,500 (based on 3% of loan amount)
  • Final disbursement amount: $ 145,500
  • Cost expense (interest): $ 42,000
  • Total repayment amount: $ 192,000
  • Daily business day payment: $ 508 (represents 378 business day payments over the next 15 months)
  • Term: 15 months

Should You Use One Of These Products?

Many experts believe business owners should never use the MCA or Alternative Business Loan, calling the products “payday loans for small businesses,” due to the fact that, at times, the annual percentage rates (APR) of the products can get up to 350%.

Having offered both of these products to numerous small business owners across the country, I believe the products can work for certain business owners in certain situations. For example, I have normally recommended the products as a form of bridge financing, which is just a tool to help get a business owner over a short-term/temporary “hump,” but with a focus on eventually getting them back into a position where they are able to take advantage of traditional (and more cost-effective) business financing options.

As a business owner, you would have to determine whether or not the MCA or Alternative Business Loan product might work for your current financing needs. As a financial professional, I recommend using the products for short-term/temporary financing issues rather than as a long-term, business financing strategy.

The post Best Merchant Cash Advance for Small Business Advice: Should Black Entrepreneurs Use This Option? appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

GM Q4 Results Beat Estimates

Automaker General Motors Co. on Tuesday reported a net loss for the fourth quarter, reflecting a non-cash charge related to the U.S. tax reform as well as lower revenues. However, both revenue and adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates. The company’s shares are rising more than 1 percent in pre-market activity.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

NFL Players Reportedly Looking To Invest In Cryptocurrency

Leading National Football League or NFL, players are looking to invest in the emerging market of cryptocurrency even though it looks risky in a bid to secure their future, according to a CNBC report. Surprisingly enough, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2015 had found that about one in every six NFL players files for bankruptcy within 12 years of their leaving the sport.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Emerging markets suffer $4 billion outflows, biggest since U.S. election, IIF says

LONDON (Reuters) – Investors have pulled nearly $ 4 billion out of emerging markets since Jan. 30, according to data from the Institute of International Finance (IIF) – the biggest slump since the…


Reuters: Money

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Save $ 50 on select PCs with coupon code 50OFF499.

New Jobs Report: While Unemployment Went Down Overall, Black Unemployment Went Up

The African American unemployment rate is up by almost 1%, according to the January jobs report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The monthly report showed that black unemployment, which was at an all-time low of 6.8% in December, went up to 7.7%, indicating a new high since May of 2017.

The unemployment rate remains at 4.1% while 200,000 new jobs were added; beating Wall Street’s forecast by 20,000. Average earnings rose by 9 cents an hour and are up 2.9% over the past year.

The new jobs report muddles President Donald Trump’s claim that his policies were responsible for the all-time decrease in black unemployment.

“Presidents routinely take credit for any good news, and so there is little difference here,” Kent Smetters, a professor of business economics and public policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told FactCheck.org. “In reality, it is very challenging to trace economic outcomes so early in a presidential term back to a specific policy. Historically, the black unemployment rate often decreases after the general unemployment rate decreases, which has been happening over the past several years.”

In a tweet on Jan. 28, Trump attacked rapper Jay-Z while also taking credit for the continued drop in African American unemployment rates.

“It is not about money at the end of the day,” Jay-Z told Van Jones. “Money does not equate to happiness. You’re missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings… Treat me bad and pay me well; it’s not going to lead to happiness.”

Although the unemployment rate among African Americans has dropped to a record-breaking low, economists said it was inaccurate to credit the achievement to Trump’s economic agenda. For one, the downward turn began long before he entered the White House as the rate had been in steady decline for about the last seven years.

The African American unemployment rate is now more than twice the rate for whites, which stands at 3.5%.

Kate Bahn, an economist at the Center for American Progress, released this statement about the jobs report:

The top-line figures from today’s jobs report are, at first glance, generally positive, with wage growth reflecting increases to the minimum wage that are effective in January. However, black workers—who historically have been left behind in the job market—continue to see high rates of unemployment. President Donald Trump’s claims of record-breaking improvements to the employment situations of “the forgotten men and women” is incorrect.

Recently, on the eve of Black History Month, Trump lashed out at criticism over how his administration has interacted with the black community by taking credit for a temporary dip in black unemployment in December, at 6.8 percent. Trump’s retort reflects a fundamental ignorance of statistical significance; for instance, month-to-month changes, such as the 0.4 percentage point drop from November to December, are not statistically significant—nor verifiable—for subgroups of workers. It also overlooks the full picture of the labor market outcomes facing African Americans. Unemployment is still twice as high for black workers than it is for white workers, at 7.7 percent compared with 3.5 percent. Young black workers, ages 16 to 19, have an unemployment rate of 24.3 percent compared with 12.4 percent for white teen workers, which often leads to long-term reduced opportunity.

It has become common to acknowledge the declining labor market opportunities facing American workers with less than a college degree. But since the labor market’s peak in 2000, black men, black women, and white women have all suffered greater employment rate declines compared with white men. On top of this, black workers continue to face wage discrimination, leading to significant racial wage gaps and reduced economic security. These persistent historical trends constrain the potential of the American economy and can only be overcome through proactive economic policy that breaks down the barriers facing black workers, rather than relying on overall trends of a tightening labor market.

 

The post New Jobs Report: While Unemployment Went Down Overall, Black Unemployment Went Up appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Bristol-Myers Q4 Results Top View; Meets Primary Endpoint In Lung Cancer Trail

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) posted loss for the fourth-quarter 2017, compared to profit in the prior year, reflecting impact from U.S. tax reform. Both adjusted earnings per share and quarterly revenues topped analysts’ expectations. It also announced positive results for its Opdivo and Yervoy cancer drug combination in a late-stage clinical trial.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

JAY-Z’s 4:44 Inspires Personal Finance Book to Build Black Wealth

In addition to revealing raw emotion and intimate revelations about his family, Jay-Z packed his critically acclaimed 13th studio album, 4:44, with inspirational gems about economic empowerment. Ash Exantus, a financial expert and author popularly known as “Ash Cash,” has transformed the lessons in financial literacy from the album into a new book titled The Wake Up Call: Financial Inspiration Learned from 4:44 + A Step by Step Guide on How to Implement Each Financial Principle.

In the book, Exantus decodes the messages and offers readers a blueprint on credit management, entrepreneurship, collective economics, and smart investments. The overall purpose of the book is to empower the African American community to manage money more effectively and build generational wealth.

In the following excerpt, Exantus explains the correlation between financial freedom as a means to fight systemic racism and build political capital and power.

When Jay says Financial Freedom is our only hope he is not exaggerating. Even before #45 took office we began to see a resurgence of racism. Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Kalief Browder and the countless other injustices are examples of what happens when our collective power is not respected. When there is no real consequence for injustice then we are simply begging for mercy, and no one respects a beggar! The truth of the matter is that money is power! Those who control the money, control everything else… Politics, Schools, Business, Police, Community and everything else in between.

 

Just to be clear racism isn’t what the dictionary and the media want you to believe it is; which is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. The true definition of racism (as stated by Dr. Claude Anderson in his powerful book #Powernomics) is when one group holds a disproportionate share of wealth and power over another group then uses those resources to marginalize, exploit, exclude and subordinate the weaker group. That’s why when you turn on the television it seems like African-Americans are losing every-day! Because of systemic and institutionalized racism!

 

Without getting too deep into the history of black economics, we must realize that most Blacks have only been able to create ‘real’ wealth and financial freedom for the last 50 years – slavery lasted 223 years from 1640-1863, then reconstruction and Jim Crow laws lasted 102 years from 1863-1965. It wasn’t until the post-civil rights era that we began to see the tides change. And to be clear most of this was LEGAL and sanctioned by the government. For a more in depth look at the government’s involvement in wealth disparities and inequities please read “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” by Richard Rothstein.

 

I can go on and on about how we got here but 4:44 is the first step in making things right. A recent report titled “The Road to Zero Wealth,” looks at the past 30 years of wealth accumulation across racial lines, as well as what the future will bring if current trends continue; it comes to the conclusion that by 2053, just 10 years after the country is projected to become majority non-white, black median families will own zero wealth and twenty years later, Latino median families will follow suit. White median families will continue to own six figures. The key words here are “If current trends continue!” That’s why it’s imperative that we get our collective economic lives together!

 

The following lessons in this book will give you a step by step guide on how to begin to create financial freedom for you, your family, and community. This is probably not the first or last time we will have this conversation and I can assure you that we have a steep mountain to climb, but if we all get on the same page then we can tip the scale and reach the mountain top faster.

 

You will learn about credit; what it is, how it works and how you can use it to build wealth. There is a step by step guide on how to buy real estate and the power it holds in the wealth creation process. We discuss appreciation and depreciation and how to spend your money wisely. We discuss starting a business, and creating multiple streams of income. We tackle spirituality and discuss how “This Spiritual S#@t Really Works” especially when it comes to your finances. You will learn about the importance of cooperative economics, how to pass down wealth to the next generation, and how to protect your ASSets through insurance, wills and trusts. This guide will give you the jump start needed to right the wrongs of economic inequality.

Check out Ash Cash’s personal finance book here.

 

The post JAY-Z’s 4:44 Inspires Personal Finance Book to Build Black Wealth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Merck Q4 Adj. Profit Tops View, But Sales Miss; Sees 2018 Adj. EPS In Line

Merck (MRK) on Friday reported a loss for the fourth-quarter that widened from last year, reflecting a $ 2.6 billion provisional charge related to the U.S. tax legislation. Worldwide sales increased 3 percent. Adjusted earnings per share topped analysts’ expectations, while quarterly sales missed their estimates. It expects adjusted earnings per share for 2018 to be in line with analysts’ view.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

ARGENTINA: Merval Plummets 5.73% Due To Collapse Of Central Puerto Shares

Merval, the main index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, closed the last round of the week with a sharp fall (-5.73%), at 32,652.97 points Friday, driven by the collapse of the Central Port stock, which lost 16.76% in the day. During the week, the stock market fell 7.04%.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Exxon Mobil Q4 Results Miss View, But Chevron Revenue Beats Estimates

Oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. reported sharp increase in their fourth-quarter profits from last year, boosted by benefits related to the recent U.S. tax reform and on higher revenues. However, Exxon Mobil’s revenues and adjusted earnings missed analysts’ expectations, while Chevron’s revenues beat their estimates. Chevron’s board approved an increase in the quarterly dividend.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Smart Money Moves: Tax Reform Bill Brings Bigger Paycheck and Uncertainty

One of the most significant promises of the recent tax reform bill was to cut taxes for most Americans. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), about 90% can expect to see bigger paychecks this February! And of course how much will depend on your situation.

Just recently, the IRS released its new withholding tax tables. These tables are used by employers and payroll companies to determine the correct amount of taxes based on an individual’s income and filing status. The new withholding tax tables are expected to assist with the latest updates in the recent tax reform bill. As such, the IRS encourages all employers to start using the tables as soon as possible, but no later than Feb. 15.

But while the tables are updated, employees are reminded to review their withholdings.

When individuals file their tax returns in 2019, having too much withheld can allow Uncle Sam to use your money interest-free throughout the year, whereas having too little withheld can create additional taxes due. As such, the IRS encourages users to utilize the new withholding calculator to determine whether or not you should update your tax withholdings.

The new tax withholding calculator would allow individuals to enter their tax deductions, expected income, and other vital information to determine the correct amount to withhold. It is expected to be available by the end of February.

If an employee discovers he or she is withholding too little or too much, a new W-4 form should be submitted to the human resources department. A W-4 form allows employers to determine the correct amount of taxes to be withheld from an employee’s paycheck. Employees can adjust withholdings based on dependents, deductions, and other relevant information. But keep in mind, the IRS has not issued the W-4 form that reflects the changes to the tax law, so for now, employees should hold tight and monitor their withholdings throughout the year.

The post Smart Money Moves: Tax Reform Bill Brings Bigger Paycheck and Uncertainty appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Trump Brags Yet Again About Black Unemployment Rate at #SOTU18

On Monday, the White House defended President Donald Trump’s weekend tweet attacking Jay-Z while taking credit for a historic drop in African American unemployment.


In the tweet, the president snarked that someone should inform the platinum-selling rapper that his policies caused black unemployment to fall to 6.8% in December, marking the first time that the rate for black workers dipped below 7% in four decades. Trump cited the black unemployment rate in response to Jay-Z’s criticism of the president during an appearance on Van Jones’ show.

When asked about Trump’s early Sunday morning tweet, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders argued that Trump has driven economic prosperity through the tax plan he recently signed and by cutting regulations on businesses. “Look, I think you can see from the steps that we’ve already taken that we’re trying to fix unemployment for all Americans,” she said. “That’s the point that the president has made time and time again, is that he wants it to be better for everybody.”

Trump’s “Missing The Whole Point”

Jay-Z, however, has fired back at Trump, saying his comments about the labor market “are missing the whole point.” The hip-hop star also pointed out that economic gains will not justify the hurtful and racist rhetoric that Trump has made about black and brown populations in the past.

“It is not about money at the end of the day,” Jay-Z told Van Jones. “Money does not equate to happiness. You’re missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings… Treat me bad and pay me well; it’s not going to lead to happiness.”

He’s Also Missing The Facts about Black Unemployment

Here’s another thing that Trump is missing: the facts. Although the unemployment rate among African Americans has dropped to a record-breaking low, it’s inaccurate to credit that achievement to Trump’s economic agenda. For one, the downward turn began long before he entered the White House. Rather, the rate has been in steady decline for about the last seven years.

“Presidents routinely take credit for any good news, and so there is little difference here,” Kent Smetters, a professor of business economics and public policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told FactCheck.org. “In reality, it is very challenging to trace economic outcomes so early in a presidential term back to a specific policy. Historically, the black unemployment rate often decreases after the general unemployment rate decreases, which has been happening over the past several years.”

And two, the African American unemployment rate is still about twice the rate for whites, which stands at 3.7%. That’s nothing to brag about.

Read more about black unemployment here.

 

The post Trump Brags Yet Again About Black Unemployment Rate at #SOTU18 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Daimler Q4 Profit Climbs, Lifts Dividend; Warns On FY18 Earnings; Stock Dips

Shares of Daimler AG were losing around 2 percent in German trading after the automotive giant on Thursday cautioned on fiscal 2018 earnings due to high spending on new technologies. This was despite reporting significant growth in fourth-quarter profit. The company also lifted its dividend.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Australia Export Prices Rise 2.8% On Quarter In Q4

Export prices in Australia were up 2.8 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Infineon Q1 Profit Climbs, Trims Outlook For Rest Of Year; Stock Dips

Shares of Infineon Technologies AG were losing around 3 percent in German trading after the manufacturer of semiconductors and system solutions cut its forecast for margin and revenue growth for the remainder of fiscal 2018, despite reporting better than expected first-quarter profit. In the quarter, adjusted gross margin was weak.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Don’t Believe The Hype: Millennials Are Actually Good At Managing Money

Millennials get a bad rap when it comes to many things, including managing money. Even they seem to have bought into the stereotype that theirs is an indulgent generation, prone to overspending.

But new research from Bank of America is poking holes through those assumptions. Millennials, according to the survey, are just as good at managing money as the Generation Xers and baby boomers who came before them.

“Young adults deserve more credit—from others and themselves—for the way they are handling their finances,” said Andrew Plepler, global head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America, in a statement. “They’re on par with or even better than older generations, which defies common stereotypes.”

The 2018 Better Money Habits Millennial Report, which questioned 1,500 respondents about their views on matters of personal finance, shows that today’s 23- to 37-year-olds are just as good at budgeting and saving. Specifically:

  • 63% of millennials are saving, just slightly less than 64% of Gen X, though both lag significantly behind 75% of boomers
  • 54% are budgeting, exactly the same percentage as Gen X and slightly less than 57% of boomers
  • 59% feel financially secure, sandwiched right between 54% of Gen X and 63% of boomers

In terms of planning, millennials may actually be doing better than previous generations: 57% have a savings goal, outpacing the 42% of both Gen X and baby boomers that have a goal.

All comparisons aside, young people seem to be doing just fine when it comes to managing money. Almost three-quarters of those with a savings goal and those with a budget stick to it (67% and 73%, respectively).

And they’re getting better—quickly. Almost half of millennials (47%) have at least $ 15,000 in savings, up from 33% only two years ago. And even though only a small number (16%) have managed to save $ 100,000, that number has doubled since 2015.

Millennials’ money management wins go beyond saving and budgeting. The report also noted that they are more likely to ask for raises at work and to consider finances as part of the decision to start a family.

 

The post Don’t Believe The Hype: Millennials Are Actually Good At Managing Money appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

SAP Q4 Profit Climbs, Sees Growth In FY18; To Buy CallidusCloud For $2.4 Bln

German software giant SAP SE reported Tuesday strong growth in fourth-quarter profit and new cloud bookings. Looking ahead, the company projects higher profit and cloud subscriptions and support revenues for fiscal 2018. The firm also reiterated its 2020 outlook. SAP announced late Monday that SAP America, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Callidus Software Inc.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Singapore Producer Prices Fall In December

Singapore’s producer prices declined for the first time in one year in December, figures from the Department of Statistics showed Monday.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Invest in These 5 Stocks Now, Says Top African American Investment Manager

The stock markets have been sizzling, fueled largely by a stronger economy, rising corporate profits, and attractive valuations for equities: During 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 28.5%, the Nasdaq composite index jumped 27.2% and the S&P 500 was up 21%, says Noland Langford, founder and CEO of Left Brain Capital Management, a Chicago-based black-owned investment firm.

Langford also owns Left Brain Capital Wealth Management, an advisory firm for executives and families.

The major stock indexes had their best performance since 2013. Langford says there are at least five good places to invest your money in the stocks given the current economic conditions. A former Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo adviser for a combined 15 years, Langford launched Left Brain Wealth Management in 2014 and Left Brain Capital Management in 2016.

 

Noland Langford

 

Langford manages assets for 30 individual investors through the Left Brain Capital Appreciation. The fund invests in stocks, bonds and other securities.

Left Brain Capital’s flagship fund was ranked as one of the world’s top-performing funds in 2016/2017 by Preqin, a research firm that tracks global hedge fund performance. Additionally, Left Brain Wealth advises over 150 wealthy individuals on their investment, retirement and tax-planning needs.

Here is a peek at what he projects will be among the top-performing stocks in various business sectors in 2018 and the next one to three years:

 

Dollar Tree (Nasdaq: DLTR)

Dollar Tree is one of the nation’s largest operators of variety stores in the consumer discretionary spending sector. It now has nearly 14,000 stores in 48 states with plans to add hundreds more. There’s a resilient demand for the company’s products because people move from big retailers to Dollar Tree when economic times are tough. And when the economy is strong like it is now, shoppers visit Dollar Tree more often and spend more. Langford also says Dollar Tree is a shareholder-friendly company, often returning capital to investors via share buybacks.

 

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)

The U.S. entertainment company is Langford’s pick in the media industry. He says the Netflix continues to be a disruptor. After shutting down the video rental market, it is now upending cable and network TV. Profits are going straight back into the company, signaling a strong commitment to growth that longer-term investors should be keen on. The company’s subscriber base is growing especially fast internationally. That is really good news for shareholders because it not only expands Netflix’s lead versus competitors, but also gives the company extra revenue to keep funding its original programming. That momentum should keep driving the stock upward in the years ahead.

 

Teladoc (NYSE: TDOC)

Teladoc, the nation’s first and largest telehealth platform, is a dominant player in the fast-growing space of healthcare. Langford says the company presents a disruptive, time-efficient model for healthcare provision. Users can log in and see a doctor in about 10 minutes; the ROI for clinicians on the platform was 5-to-1. The platform records millions of users per year, with an extremely high satisfaction rate. Because of the need for convenient and cost-effective healthcare, Teladoc’s annual growth rates are expected to be around 30% for at least the next five years.

 

Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq: SWKS)

Skyworks Solutions, a semiconductor company that designs and makes chips for smartphones, is Langford’s pick in the tech space. Forty percent of the company’s revenue comes from Apple devices, cellular infrastructure, broadband networks, the auto industry, etc. Skyworks Solutions offers many opportunities for long-term growth potential: the chips are essential for 4G mobile services and the impending rollout of 5G. Further, the company’s chips are vital for smart technology (smart cars, in-home smart devices, and other connected/Internet of Things devices), enabling the connection to WiFi, Bluetooth and routers, to name just a few. The stock is very cheap compared to the company’s growth rate.

 

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN)

The nation’s largest online retailer has been making news and grabbing headlines on the retail side. But Langford says one of the more exciting aspects of Amazon’s business in the tech space is Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud computing platform. The business offers strong growth potential, even in an economic downturn, as more and more businesses migrate their computing and server needs to the cloud.

The post Invest in These 5 Stocks Now, Says Top African American Investment Manager appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Colgate-Palmolive Q4 Adj. Profit Meets View, But Revenues Miss

Colgate-Palmolive Co. on Friday reported a 47 percent fall in profit for the fourth quarter from last year, as growth in sales was more than offset by higher one-time charges related to its Global Growth and Efficiency Program as well as the U.S. tax reform. However, adjusted earnings per share matched analysts’ expectations, while revenues missed their estimates.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Malaysia CB Unlikely To Hike Rates Until 2019

With growth set to slow, inflation benign and the currency continuing to strengthen, Malaysia’s central bank is likely to leave its rates unchanged for the rest of this year and next, Alex Holmes and Krystal Tan, economists at Capital Economics, said.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Report Sheds Grim Details on Black Women’s Net Worth

A recent report from the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, shed another dim light on the current wealth inequality gap in America by highlighting the current state of black women’s net worth. Some sobering takeaways include:

-Single black women without a bachelor’s degree ages 20–39 have a net worth of $ 0.

-Single black women without a bachelor’s degree ages 40–59 have a net worth range of just $ 1,000 to $ 2,000.

-Single black women without a bachelor’s degree age 60+ have a net worth of just $ 12,000.

-Single black women with a bachelor’s degree ages 20–39 have a net worth range of -$ 11,000 to $ 0.

-Single black women with a bachelor’s degree ages 40–59 have a net worth range of just $ 6,000 to $ 9,500.

-Single black women with a bachelor’s degree age 60+ have a net worth of just $ 11,000.

In Contrast, Single White Women Are Doing Better

The report shows that numbers for single black women are in stark contrast to that of single white women, especially those with a bachelor’s degree:

-Single white women with a bachelor’s degree ages 20–39 have a net worth range of $ 3,400 to $ 7,500.

-Single white women with a bachelor’s degree ages 40–49 have a net worth of $ 25,000.

-Single white women with a bachelor’s degree ages 50–59 have a net worth of $ 117,500.

-Single white women with a bachelor’s degree age 60+ have a net worth of $ 384,400.

What’s Causing Black Women’s Financial Struggles?

The report attributes a portion of African American women’s economic woes to The Great Recession as well as to the significant pay gap between black women and white male workers. With the pay gap, research shows that black women had to work seven months into 2017 to be paid the same amount as white men for the entire year of 2016.

Additionally, the report also shows that neither a college education nor a lifetime of work has provided the true solution to closing the wealth inequality gap between single black women and single white women, as single white women have benefited far more from wealth being passed down to them from their families in contrast to that of black women. This leads white women to rely less on debts like student loans, in comparison to black women. A member of a white family is twice as likely to receive an inheritance in comparison to a black family member, and the inheritance received is usually three times larger than what the black family member would have received. For those families with inheritances to give, the white family’s wealth is likely to be 7.5 times larger than that of the black family’s wealth. For every dollar of wealth owned by a typical white family, the median black family owns just five cents.

The state of black women’s wealth and their role in politics and the workplace have been dominating subjects in 2018. Black women were lauded for turning out in droves to vote in the Alabama election to help Democrat Doug Jones defeat Republican Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate seat.

The recent Women’s March—a movement where people took to the streets across the country to mostly protest Donald Trump’s presidency—stirred debate over whether the march and mainstream feminism were inclusive enough about issues uniquely pertaining to African American women and girls. Black Enterprise’s Caroline Clarke took a look at this debate in her piece “#WOMENSMARCH: WHOSE MARCH IS IT, ANYWAY?”

And, there has been a ton of controversy over comedienne Mo’Nique’s call for the boycotting of Netflix, for what she says was an attempt to pay her less for a performance than white female and male comics received—sparking further debate about black women’s economic value. You can read the full coverage by Alfred Edmond Jr. in his piece, “MO’NIQUE VERSUS NETFLIX: FOCUS ON THE MESSAGE, NOT THE MESSENGER.” 

The post Report Sheds Grim Details on Black Women’s Net Worth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Government Shutdown Disproportionately Hurts Black Families

It’s the year 2013, redux. Now, as in that year, the United States’ government has officially shut down due to a policy impasse between the Republicans and the Democrats. This means thousands of federal workers may be furloughed indefinitely without pay. According to a report from American Progress, African Americans make up 18% of the civilian federal workforce  (not including military) while only comprising 13% of the population. The impact of the shutdown is likely to wallop the black community financially.

At the heart of the shutdown is a difference in how to tackle illegal immigration. Democrats are calling for guaranteed protections for 700,000 immigrants (“dreamers”) who were previously shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act.

President Trump and most Republicans refuse to sign off on a bipartisan proposal to tackle immigration and the dreamers. Making matters worse was news last week of the President referring to nations from which black and brown immigrants hail as “shithole countries.” 

In 2012 before the last shutdown, American Progress broke down the data as to how many African American government workers would be affected by the government closing shop.

According to the report, the top five states with the most federal civilian African American workers during the last shutdown were Texas, Georgia, California, Florida, and Alabama.

Here is an excerpt from the American Progress article and a shutdown’s impact on people of color:

Even though their salaries have not kept pace with inflation, many Americans choose to work in the federal workforce out of a sense of service and a commitment to their country. People of color are not only suffering the consequences of partisan gridlock in Washington but are also bearing the brunt of cuts in services, including delays in obtaining Federal Housing Administration home-buying loans, and economic losses to small businesses that rely on federal workers’ patronage, such as restaurants and lost access to Head Start programs for children.

 

 

 

The post Government Shutdown Disproportionately Hurts Black Families appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

More than 10 percent of $3.7 billion raised in ICOs has been stolen: Ernst & Young

NEW YORK (Reuters) – More than 10 percent of funds raised through “initial coin offerings” are lost or stolen in hacker attacks, according to new research by Ernst & Young that delves into the risks…


Reuters: Money

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Save $ 50 on select PCs with coupon code 50OFF499.

Why Is Kimberly-Clark Cutting 5,000 Jobs?

While reporting its fourth-quarter financial results on Tuesday, Kimberly-Clark Corp. said it will cut 5,000 to 5,500 jobs, or 12 to 13 percent of its workforce globally, under its 2018 Global Restructuring Program. In addition, Kimberly-Clark will close or sell about 10 manufacturing facilities and expand production capacity at several others to improve overall scale and costs.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Goldman Sachs Warns High Networth Clients Of Bitcoin Bubble

Global investment giant Goldman Sachs has warned its high networth clients that Bitcoin’s price surge has pushed the virtual currency it into the bubble territory, that dwarfs the past bubbles in dot-com companies and tulip bulbs. Still worse, the price rise in Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency in market cap, dwarfs even Bitcoin’s jump, the bank added in a client note.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

At What Age Should Kids Pay Rent? One Mom Says 5 Years Old Is Not Too Young

At just 5 years old, one little girl is learning more than the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic. She’s being taught how to manage her finances, save, and budget from her mother, who makes her pay rent each month. According to her mom, Essence Evans, it’s never too early to teach a child real life skills and a lesson in financial responsibility.

Last week, Evans received international attention after she revealed on Facebook that she gives her daughter a $ 7 allowance each week, but requires her to pay $ 5 toward the family’s rent, food, and living expenses. Her daughter gets to keep $ 2 for herself or put the money away for saving. The Georgia mom said she’s doing this to teach her child about “the real world.”

 

“I explained to her that in the real world most people spend most of their paycheck on bills with little to spend on themselves,” Evans wrote in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. “So, I make her give me $ 5 back. $ 1 for rent, $ 1 for water, $ 1 for electricity, $ 1 for cable, and $ 1 for food.”

The money that Evans is charging for rent is not just being used to teach her about money management. She’s actually saving the money for her daughter’s future.

“Now, what she doesn’t know is the $ 5 is actually going away in her savings account, which I will give back to her when she turns 18,” she wrote. “So if she decides to move out on her own she will have $ 3,380 to start off. This strategy not only prepares your child for the real world. But when they see how much real bills are they will appreciate you for giving them a huge discount.”

The post sparked an internet debate over whether Evans is exhibiting good parenting skills or being too hard on her daughter.

“I think this is absolutely amazing! It is a great way to teach her how the real world works and to get her a little savings account of her own so she has a good start when she moves out or goes to college or whatever she chooses to do,” Jennifer Barfield wrote in response to the post.

One social media user shared a story of how his father used a similar tactic on him as a child. “My father did that with me. I never complained. But when he died, he left me close to $ 28,000. I was shocked,” wrote Jim Koloski, according to WSB-TV.

Others, however, criticized Evans for being too harsh. “Poor kid stressing already. Can just telling your child and showing them the way not do the same justice without elimating [sic] the joyful carefree days of childhood,” wrote Kezi Chinekezi.

“Although I agree with the lesson, I think 5 is too young. Let’s let kids be kids,” added Scott Kays. “Teach life lessons by example. I just think a 5 year old should get to live in a magical world where lessons are taught through amazing adventures and creativity! It would be a good way of introducing economic responsibility at a later time! Good idea though.”

 

The post At What Age Should Kids Pay Rent? One Mom Says 5 Years Old Is Not Too Young appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Thyssenkrupp Q1 Income To Be In Line With Its Guidance – Quick Facts

Thyssenkrupp AG (TYEKF.PK) reported that its income in the first quarter will be in line with the company’s guidance. The company confirmed its full-year targets. In the current fiscal year, Thyssenkrupp aims to increase sales in the low- to mid-single-digit percentage range. The company expects net income to be clearly positive and projects a significant increase in adjusted EBIT from continuing operations to be in a range of 1.8 to 2.0 billion euros from the current level of 1.7 billion euros. The company also expects to bring free cash flow before M&A back to a positive figure.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

CCR: Company May Bid For Subway Lines In Peru And Colombia

Brazilian infrastructure firm Companhia de Concessoes Rodovi rias (CCR) may take part in the bidding process for subway lines in Colombia and Peru, said Leonardo Vianna, the company’s vice-president for mobility.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Senators Scott and Booker Secure Community Investment in New Tax Bill

New legislation spearheaded by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), created to encourage investment in the communities that need it most, was included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress last year. The Investing in Opportunity Act (IIOA) makes $ 2.3T in unrealized capital gains from stocks and mutual funds available for investment in communities that have not benefited from the post-Recession recovery. Senator Scott ensured the new program was included in the final bill.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession started in December 2007. A decade after the economic downturn began, the U.S. Economy has strengthened significantly by many traditional measures. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics put the national unemployment rate at 4.1% in December 2017: a 16-year low. The unemployment rate for African Americans was 6.8%. While almost three points higher than the national average, this is the lowest unemployment rate for African Americans since 2000.

During the Great Recession, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a low point of 6,443 in March 2009. At the end of 2017, the Dow is trading well above 24,000. That equates to trillions of dollars in market value, some of which the IIOA seeks to repurpose for investment in distressed communities.

Although the U.S. economy as a whole has recovered, wages have stagnated and income equality has increased. The Economic Innovation Group reports that America’s wealthiest ZIP codes prior to the Great Recession have reaped a greater benefit during the recovery. In fact, many of the poorest ZIP codes before the Great Recession have become worse off during the recovery. These ZIP codes that have not fully shared in the economic recovery are often in the South and in inner cities; this is what the IIOA seeks to address.

Investment growing - investment in opportunity act

Image. Shutterstock

 

The IIOA allows would-be investors to defer capital gains recognition, and the associated tax, from the sale of an appreciated asset if they invest the gains (profits) in new Opportunity Zones located in “low-income community” census tracts. In other words, if you bought stock in a company and that stock gained value, you can sell the stock for a profit and defer capital gains tax if you invest the gains in an Opportunity Zone. This approach provides an incentive for investing in communities that have, historically, not received investment.

Opportunity Zones are designated by the Governor of each State. Governors can designate up to 25% of the total number of qualifying census tracts that meet the IIOA standard. Finally, the IIOA creates Opportunity Funds “O Funds” that may be used to pool funds from around the country to investment in Opportunity Zones.

Senators Scott and Booker were joined by Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) in introducing the bipartisan legislation in 2016. After being reintroduced in 2017, the IIOA was shepherded through the U.S. Senate Finance Committee by Senator Scott and was included in the Senate Tax Package. Scott serves on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and was the only black lawmaker appointed to the House-Senate Conference Committee for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Senator Scott leveraged his position on the Conference Committee to ensure the IIOA was included in the final version of the new tax reform bill. He also advocated for doubling the child tax credit. The credit was eventually increased to $ 2,000, something that should benefit families.

Senator Booker and his Democratic colleagues have questioned the efficacy of the “trickle down economics” in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Senator Scott and Congressional Republicans have promised a 73% tax cut for the average single-parent family making $ 41,000/year and a $ 2,000 cut for an average American family of four making $ 73,000/year. The proof will be in pay stubs and consumer spending/saving this year.

 

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., right, shakes hands with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Investing in Opportunity Act

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) shakes hands with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). Image: AP/ Jacquelyn Martin

 

Senators Booker and Scott both agree that more investment is needed in our communities. Entrepreneurs, developers, and innovators need resources and infrastructure to grow businesses and hire. If Republican claims about the new tax reform bill are fully realized, black families will have more cash in their pockets—money that can be used to invest in their local communities via equity crowdfunding or by other means. Even if this does not happen, the IIOA’s inclusion in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act means communities that need it are getting something from the bill.

This is not the first time Senators Booker and Scott have worked together. Among other things, they cosponsored the LEAP Act—encouraging apprenticeships—in 2014, they joined a bi-partisan group of lawmakers in co-sponsoring the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, and toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture together in 2016.

A template for black lawmakers, from both sides of the aisle, working together to impact communities that need it most. And, a legislative victory for Senator Scott and his team.

 

The post Senators Scott and Booker Secure Community Investment in New Tax Bill appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Morgan Stanley Q4 Profit Declines On Tax Provision

Morgan Stanley (MS) reported net income applicable to company of $ 686 million, or $ 0.29 per share for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017. The results for the current quarter included a net discrete tax provision of $ 990 million or a loss of $ 0.55 per share. Excluding net discrete tax items, net income applicable to Morgan Stanley was $ 1.7 billion, or $ 0.84 per share compared with net income of $ 1.5 billion, or $ 0.74 per share, for the same period a year ago. On average, 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 0.77 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Bitcoin Investing: Golden Opportunity or Fool’s Gold?

Bitcoin investing as a key to black wealth is a hot topic on social media. Thanks to skyrocketing valuation of the world’s first decentralized digital currency (there is no central bank or single administrator), interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrency reached a fever pitch as last year drew to a close, and will likely continue into 2018 and beyond. As a result, bitcoin investing has spilled over into mainstream awareness, driving often breathless discussion and debate. There’s no doubt about it: bitcoin is hot. Is it foolish not to invest in it now? Or are you a fool if you do?

Much of the social media discourse around bitcoin investing, particularly among African Americans, falls into two distinct camps:

Bitcoin Investing Is A Golden Opportunity to Build Wealth

This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get in on the ground floor of the first major wealth-creation opportunity of the 21st century and to close America’s racial wealth gap. African Americans need to invest now or get left behind—again.

Bitcoin Investing Is Fool’s Gold—A Bubble Waiting To Pop

The rapidly escalating valuation of bitcoin has all of the markings of the past tech and real estate bubbles that burst, causing financial devastation for millions of Americans and leaving our economy in a shambles. Only fools would buy into bitcoin as a get-rich-quick investment opportunity.

Whether you’re in one camp or the other, or somewhere in between, before you consider engaging in bitcoin investing, you need to be clear about what, exactly, you’re investing in. The fastest way to lose your money—and to be ripped off by the many cryptocurrency scam artists crawling out of the woodwork and slithering across the internet—is to put your money into bitcoin (or any investment that you don’t thoroughly understand). Cryptocurrency multi-level marketing scams have already emerged. If you’re not willing to spend time and energy to become thoroughly educated about bitcoin or any potential investment opportunity, you shouldn’t be putting your money into it. If you don’t get it—really get it—don’t invest in it.

(My standard for my comprehension of just about anything is whether I can explain it to an average 12-year-old. I can’t seem to explain the term blockchain so far, so I’m far from an expert, and have no plans to add bitcoin to my portfolio at this time).

For now, here’s a very elementary explanation: A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange, control the creation of additional units of currency (kind of how the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve decide when to print new money and how much to keep in circulation), and verify the transfer of assets. Think of it as digital money. However, unlike U.S. tender (i.e., cash), buying and selling bitcoin and other cryptocurrency is far more complex. By the way, while bitcoin was the first, there are more than 1,300 digital currencies and counting. You can check out “How To Invest In Bitcoin” by Sequoia Blodgett to learn some of the basics. However, the question being addressed here is not ‘how to?’, but ‘should you?’

The answer? It depends, of course. The best investment options are different for each individual, depending on current lifestyle, future needs, and short- and long-term financial goals. However, building wealth is never about finding that hot, can’t-miss investment opportunity. It’s about considering every investment option within the context of a broad, diverse investment strategy and overall financial plan.

That’s why the first step to becoming an investor is not finding that can’t-miss investment. (Yesterday, it was that hot tech IPO; today, it’s bitcoin; tomorrow, who knows?) It’s about developing a financial plan, personalized specifically for you, and managing and adjusting it over time as your circumstances change, ideally with the help of a qualified financial planner.

The primary role of a good financial planner is planning, not just selling investment products, though they may do that, too. He or she should help you to set your financial goals, which will determine which types of investments and what asset allocations make sense for your particular circumstances. Think of them as your financial navigators, paid to help you create a roadmap and to keep you on course with your current savings, tax positions, investment returns, and future financial needs.

That way, when the chance to buy bitcoin or any investment opportunity comes up, you’ll have a way to tell if it’s right for you, and if so, exactly how much money you should put at risk. Just check it against your plan. On the other hand, if you don’t really have a financial plan—much less a financial planner—you have no way to judge whether or not bitcoin investing—or any investment opportunity—makes sense for you.

Yes, bitcoin is hot. It is also new, largely unregulated, difficult for the average person to trade and even banned or restricted in some countries. Therefore, it’s a speculative investment—there is a good chance that you will lose every penny you invest—which means you should not be raiding your emergency fund, taking out a second mortgage or 401(k) loan, borrowing against your credit card, or going to other extremes to pour money into bitcoin. And if you have no other investment assets, are carrying high-interest debt, have no emergency savings and/or haven’t fully funded your retirement, you have no business putting all of your money into bitcoin or any cryptocurrency—no matter how hot it is.

In any case, the total amount invested in bitcoin and other speculative, high-risk investments combined should not comprise any more than 3% to 5% of your total portfolio. The other 90-plus percent should be a diversified mix of mutual funds, index funds, stocks, bonds, insurance and other more traditional investments with predictable returns. The goal, as always, is to spread your risk. That way, if bitcoin continues to boom, you’re in a position to be rewarded with an appreciating asset, and maybe even cash out with a major capital gain at some point. On the other hand, if it goes bust, the net damage will be minimal.

The post Bitcoin Investing: Golden Opportunity or Fool’s Gold? appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Dutch Export Growth At 5-Month High

Dutch export growth accelerated in November to the highest level in five months, figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed Thursday.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Goldman Sachs Q4 Adj. Profit, Revenues Beat View

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Wednesday reported a loss for the fourth quarter, reflecting lower trading revenue in fixed income, currencies and commodities as well as a charge related to the recent U.S. tax reform. However, both adjusted earnings per share and revenues for the quarter topped analysts’ expectations.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Citigroup Q4 Adj. Profit Beats Estimates

Citigroup Inc. on Tuesday reported a loss for the fourth quarter, reflecting the impact of a non-cash charge of $ 22 billion due to the recent U.S. tax reform that more than offset an increase in revenues. However, adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates, while revenues were in line with expectations.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Four Ways to Benefit from the Federal Reserve’s Interest Rate Boost

Interest rates across the country are moving higher once again. The Federal Reserve on Dec. 13 boosted the federal funds rate to a range of 1.25% to 1.5%, marking the third increase for the benchmark rate this year. The action will mean higher rates on everything from consumer loans to credit cards to some mortgages.

The Fed cited job gains, declining unemployment, more household spending and larger investments by businesses in recent quarters among reasons for the hike. The nation’s central bank anticipates increasing rates three more times in  2018 and twice in 2019.

Of course, higher borrowing costs is not popular. But extraordinarily, here are some ways individuals and entrepreneurs might benefit from the Fed rate hikes:

Potentially more loans for small businesses

Interest rates that banks charge small businesses for loans will move higher. That gives banks greater motivation to lend money, potentially increasing the number of loans they make to small businesses.

Greater returns for savers

A Fed rate hike often translates into higher rates on a certificate of deposit and other savings accounts. Individuals perhaps can now hunt for higher-yielding savings accounts even though the gains might be small. Yet, any increase on low-yielding interest accounts for savers is a plus.

More interest income for seniors

Senior citizens who put money into CDs and savings accounts can reap more income from a boost in interest rates. The modest gain can provide older Americans more income for retirement savings and give them more income to live on, experts say.

Prompt homebuyers to get off the fence sooner

The Federal Reserve’s plan to keep boosting rates will eventually mean higher rates on some home mortgages. That expectation can compel buyers to buy homes sooner rather than potentially face paying higher mortgage rates later. Also, getting a mortgage pre-approved now also might get them the home they want and make an offer quicker than buyers who don’t act as fast.

The post Four Ways to Benefit from the Federal Reserve’s Interest Rate Boost appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Ireland Trade Surplus Shrinks In November

Ireland’s foreign trade surplus decreased in November, as exports fell and imports rose, data from the Central Statistics Office showed Monday.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

How to Survive an IRS Audit

You receive the letter many dread, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has requested to audit your tax return. It could be for many different reasons. Maybe your income on your tax return did not match the amount reported to the IRS, or your expenses seem to be a bit questionable. If so, you could be the lucky winner of a full IRS audit. No matter what reason the IRS decides to come knocking, one thing is certain—you must be prepared.

As a former Internal Revenue Service agent, I have had the opportunity to participate in a host of audits, and time and time again, the key to surviving these unwanted ordeals is to make certain you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Fight Back

You should first get an understanding of what items are being audited and review the examiner’s document request. This request will outline items needed to substantiate the amount claimed on the tax return. Remember, during a civil tax audit, the burden of proof is on you.

Gather documents to substantiate questionable items on the tax return. If you do not have any records, there is still hope! Remember, there are other methods of substantiating items on the tax return. For example, if you are a home health nurse and you previously claimed vehicle expenses, consider obtaining patient records for the appropriate taxable year and estimate mileage based on these visits. Examiners are allowed to accept various types of evidence to substantiate items, including third-party testimony, affidavits, and other types of verification.

Get Help

If you are uncomfortable with the mere mention of the letters I-R-S, it may be a good idea to obtain an agent to work on your behalf. This may include a certified public accountant (CPA), an enrolled agent, or even a tax attorney. Once you inform the IRS examiner you wish to obtain representation and the IRS has received your completed Form 2848, Power of Attorney, the IRS must make all future contact with the representative only, thus alleviating you from speaking to the IRS.

Do Not Settle for Defeat

If you are not in agreement with the examiner’s position, you do have rights. First, you should raise concerns with the examiner. Most often, the examiner will be willing to compromise on certain issues, if you are willing to sign an agreed report. However, if you are unable to come to an agreement with the examiner, you can request a meeting with the examiner’s manager or request that the case is heard by appeals.

Remember, the ultimate goal of both the examining group and appeals is to close the case without a subsequent trial. Therefore, if you stay persistent, chances are you will be able to obtain favorable results.

 

The post How to Survive an IRS Audit appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Bank execs sing praises of new tax law as windfall looms

Two of the nation’s biggest banks _ JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo _ indicated Friday that they expect to see significant future benefits from the recently enacted GOP tax bill, through both lower taxes and increased business
ABC News: Money

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Fast Funding. Lower Interest. More Personal. Up to $ 4K tomorrow with OppLoans!

Sun Life Financial Expects $200 Mln Charge To Q4 Net Income On U.s. Tax Reform

Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF, SLF.TO) said that as a result of the recent U.S. tax legislation, it expects the tax expense included in its 2018 underlying net income to decrease by approximately $ 130 million and also expects to incur a charge of $ 200 million to its net income in the fourth quarter.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

JPMorgan Q4 Profit Down, But Results Beat Estimates

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) reported a profit for the fourth-quarter declined 37% from last year, hurt by $ 2.4 billion impact as a result of the enactment in the fourth quarter of 2017 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. However, both adjusted earnings per share and revenue for the quarter beat analysts’ expectations.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Spendwith is Allowing You To Become An Investor

So many new startups seek Venture Capital to finance their companies but, Spendwith, a social impact company focused on increasing commerce within cultures, is taking a different approach.  Not only is the company allowing its users to spend with culturally relevant companies, but it is also allowing you to spend with it by investing in the company itself. That’s what you call a multiprong approach, keeping the dollars in the community.

 

Black Enterprise caught up with the founder, C. Jibril Sulaiman II to talk about why he started Spendwith, how he compares to the competition and why he decided to use equity crowdfunding to raise his “Friends and Family” round.

(Image: C. Jibril Sulaiman II)

(Image: C. Jibril Sulaiman II)

Tell me about your background.

I’m a 16-year entrepreneur that previously ran an Inc 5000 ranked tech company for 6 years.  Before that, I owned several “mom & pop” wireless stores for 10 years.  The technology behind my tech company was based on a problem I personally experienced in accepting prepaid wireless payments as a wireless store owner.

Why did you decide to start Spendwith?

I actually started the first iteration of Spendwith in 2015 after serving with a local African American Chamber of commerce.  I wanted a way to curate the commerce of Black Business, after unsuccessfully launching a local black business directory.  So I began working on a “Black Amazon” or a version of a black e-commerce site.  Because the growth of my tech company was occurring at the same time, I wasn’t able to fully commit the time needed to finish Spendwith.  Over the next few years, my perspective began to evolve on the type of platform needed and who the technology needed to also serve. After the decline of my tech company in 2016 and consequently filing for personal bankruptcy, I sought out for a job in web development. However, the lure of entrepreneurship was still strong, and I decided to bring a previous idea back to life, in a new form.  That’s the version of the Spendwith App we have today, one that encourages spending with the seller and businesses associated with 8 different cultural groups, with more to come.

Spendwiths mission is to increase commerce with cultures and across cultures. In short, I wanted to create a platform that gave people a way to feel good about targeting their spending towards multiple cultures. Until now, no platform like this existed.

Spendwith (Image: C. Jibril Sulaiman II)

Spendwith (Image: C. Jibril Sulaiman II)

How does your company compare to other competitors in the market?

There are some mainstream competitors like Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, Offerup and 5miles.  They offer the ability for any user to list a product or service.  But none offer the ability to associate with a culture or demographic.  This factor is important for those who want to target their support of local businesses.  There’s definitely validity in what we are doing.  Facebook alone has over 40,000 cultural groups.  These groups host posting from 16+ million users.  They post things for sale, offer services, and discuss new business ventures. These groups are described in various ways, some are called “networking” others are called, “marketplaces”, “online flea markets”, “buy/sell/trade” groups and more.  On Instagram and Twitter, users hashtag business related posts under “#blackbusiness”, “#womeninbusiness” and more.  Our goal is to organize and display this culture/demographic related activity in our app in addition to the organic listings that will be posted.

I see that you are currently fundraising, how much have you raised so far and what number are you aiming to hit?

Yes, we are raising under the 1-year-old Title III, Regulation CF rules, that formed as a result of the 2012 JOBS Act. These rules allow a private company to raise money from non-wealthy investors by selling shares.  This is important because black founders of businesses get about 1% of the private equity investments that are made.  This means we have to find alternative ways to raise the capital needed to fund our companies. Regulation CF is the future of fundraising for many of the businesses with Black and Brown founders.  In our offering, we are raising a minimum goal of $ 10,000 and a Maximum goal of $ 500,000.  One of the catches with Regulation CF offerings and the new SEC rules, is I’m not allowed to discuss most of the details of the offering, only to say that you can view it on our StartEngine.com page.  Start Engine is a company that hosts Regulation CF offerings.  They sent our company through a rigorous due diligence process and vetted the company before we were able to launch the offering.

What are some of the challenges that you are experiencing fundraising?

Raising under Regulation CF is similar to the “friends and family” round that most startups begin with.  This important money that is vital to getting the startup off the ground. However, as a black founder, my ability to raise is only as strong as the net worth of my network.  Statics shows that the average net worth of a Black family is less than $ 10,000, versus $ 150,000 for a white family.  This adversely affects startups during the crucial “friends and family” round, it also affects a Regulation CF offering depending on diverse your online network is.

Another challenge is false promises.  I’ve had many people say they would invest, however for unknown reasons they’ve not done so.  I can’t and I don’t let those people subdue my optimism.  For the first time in 80 years, many average working people have the opportunity to buy early shares in a startup.  Some may not understand the gravity the opportunity and that’s why education about   Regulation CF so powerful, is important.  This is not a Kickstarter or GofundMe guys, these are real shares in an early startup!

How are you getting past those challenges?

I get through these challenges with, faith, perseverance, and technology.  I have faith that the story behind our startup and the interest this unique idea will grow.  I also have faith that, through some act of God,  the people who are meant to see our offering will see it, believe in our story, believe in our mission and believe that I and our other founders will create something great.  I’ll say that technology enables my ability to persevere. I’ve leveraged my LinkedIn contacts by sending out email blasts, used Instagram and Twitter for daily postings to old and new followers, and utilized programs like FB Virtual assistant (a software created by another Black founder) to send automated messages to my Facebook friends about the Spendwith offering.  I reach out beyond my network to even wealthy investors using platforms like Angel.co, Gust.com, and F6S.com

How do people access your platform?

Users can post their business, sell, or find businesses/sellers by downloading the app at https://spendwith.in/dl

If investors are interested, how do they gain access to your round?

Because of our type of offering, anyone can be an investor.  Interested investors can see our offering at https://spendwith.in/invest

The post Spendwith is Allowing You To Become An Investor appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

U.S. Business Inventories Rise More Than Expected In November

Business inventories in the U.S. increased by slightly more than anticipated in the month of November, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday. The report said business inventories climbed by 0.4 percent in November.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Wells Fargo Q4 Profit Rises, Beats View; But Revenues Miss

Wells Fargo & Co. on Friday reported an 18 percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter from last year, reflecting a net benefit from the recent U.S. tax reform and a gain on sale of Wells Fargo Insurance Services, in addition to higher revenues. Earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ expectations, while revenues missed their estimates.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Spendwidth is Allowing You To Become An Investor

So many new startups seek Venture Capital to finance their companies but, Spendwith, a social impact company focused on increasing commerce within cultures, is taking a different approach.  Not only is the company allowing its users to spend with culturally relevant companies, but it is also allowing you to spend with it by investing in the company itself. That’s what you call a multiprong approach, keeping the dollars in the community.

 

Black Enterprise caught up with the founder, C. Jibril Sulaiman II to talk about why he started Spendwith, how he compares to the competition and why he decided to use equity crowdfunding to raise his “Friends and Family” round.

(Image: C. Jibril Sulaiman II)

(Image: C. Jibril Sulaiman II)

Tell me about your background.

I’m a 16-year entrepreneur that previously ran an Inc 5000 ranked tech company for 6 years.  Before that, I owned several “mom & pop” wireless stores for 10 years.  The technology behind my tech company was based on a problem I personally experienced in accepting prepaid wireless payments as a wireless store owner.

Why did you decide to start Spendwith?

I actually started the first iteration of Spendwith in 2015 after serving with a local African American Chamber of commerce.  I wanted a way to curate the commerce of Black Business, after unsuccessfully launching a local black business directory.  So I began working on a “Black Amazon” or a version of a black e-commerce site.  Because the growth of my tech company was occurring at the same time, I wasn’t able to fully commit the time needed to finish Spendwith.  Over the next few years, my perspective began to evolve on the type of platform needed and who the technology needed to also serve. After the decline of my tech company in 2016 and consequently filing for personal bankruptcy, I sought out for a job in web development. However, the lure of entrepreneurship was still strong, and I decided to bring a previous idea back to life, in a new form.  That’s the version of the Spendwith App we have today, one that encourages spending with the seller and businesses associated with 8 different cultural groups, with more to come.

Spendwiths mission is to increase commerce with cultures and across cultures. In short, I wanted to create a platform that gave people a way to feel good about targeting their spending towards multiple cultures. Until now, no platform like this existed.

Spendwith (Image: C. Jibril Sulaiman II)

Spendwith (Image: C. Jibril Sulaiman II)

How does your company compare to other competitors in the market?

There are some mainstream competitors like Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, Offerup and 5miles.  They offer the ability for any user to list a product or service.  But none offer the ability to associate with a culture or demographic.  This factor is important for those who want to target their support of local businesses.  There’s definitely validity in what we are doing.  Facebook alone has over 40,000 cultural groups.  These groups host posting from 16+ million users.  They post things for sale, offer services, and discuss new business ventures. These groups are described in various ways, some are called “networking” others are called, “marketplaces”, “online flea markets”, “buy/sell/trade” groups and more.  On Instagram and Twitter, users hashtag business related posts under “#blackbusiness”, “#womeninbusiness” and more.  Our goal is to organize and display this culture/demographic related activity in our app in addition to the organic listings that will be posted.

I see that you are currently fundraising, how much have you raised so far and what number are you aiming to hit?

Yes, we are raising under the 1-year-old Title III, Regulation CF rules, that formed as a result of the 2012 JOBS Act. These rules allow a private company to raise money from non-wealthy investors by selling shares.  This is important because black founders of businesses get about 1% of the private equity investments that are made.  This means we have to find alternative ways to raise the capital needed to fund our companies. Regulation CF is the future of fundraising for many of the businesses with Black and Brown founders.  In our offering, we are raising a minimum goal of $ 10,000 and a Maximum goal of $ 500,000.  One of the catches with Regulation CF offerings and the new SEC rules, is I’m not allowed to discuss most of the details of the offering, only to say that you can view it on our StartEngine.com page.  Start Engine is a company that hosts Regulation CF offerings.  They sent our company through a rigorous due diligence process and vetted the company before we were able to launch the offering.

What are some of the challenges that you are experiencing fundraising?

Raising under Regulation CF is similar to the “friends and family” round that most startups begin with.  This important money that is vital to getting the startup off the ground. However, as a black founder, my ability to raise is only as strong as the net worth of my network.  Statics shows that the average net worth of a Black family is less than $ 10,000, versus $ 150,000 for a white family.  This adversely affects startups during the crucial “friends and family” round, it also affects a Regulation CF offering depending on diverse your online network is.

Another challenge is false promises.  I’ve had many people say they would invest, however for unknown reasons they’ve not done so.  I can’t and I don’t let those people subdue my optimism.  For the first time in 80 years, many average working people have the opportunity to buy early shares in a startup.  Some may not understand the gravity the opportunity and that’s why education about   Regulation CF so powerful, is important.  This is not a Kickstarter or GofundMe guys, these are real shares in an early startup!

How are you getting past those challenges?

I get through these challenges with, faith, perseverance, and technology.  I have faith that the story behind our startup and the interest this unique idea will grow.  I also have faith that, through some act of God,  the people who are meant to see our offering will see it, believe in our story, believe in our mission and believe that I and our other founders will create something great.  I’ll say that technology enables my ability to persevere. I’ve leveraged my LinkedIn contacts by sending out email blasts, used Instagram and Twitter for daily postings to old and new followers, and utilized programs like FB Virtual assistant (a software created by another Black founder) to send automated messages to my Facebook friends about the Spendwith offering.  I reach out beyond my network to even wealthy investors using platforms like Angel.co, Gust.com, and F6S.com

How do people access your platform?

Users can post their business, sell, or find businesses/sellers by downloading the app at https://spendwith.in/dl

If investors are interested, how do they gain access to your round?

Because of our type of offering, anyone can be an investor.  Interested investors can see our offering at https://spendwith.in/invest

The post Spendwidth is Allowing You To Become An Investor appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

JetBlue Airways December Traffic, Capacity Rise; Load Factor Declines

JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) reported that its traffic and capacity rose in the month of December 2017 from the prior-year period, while load factor declined. In addition, the company raised its outlook for fourth-quarter revenue per available seat mile or RASM.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

It’s Important to Diversify Your Portfolio With Human Capital, Too

With any investment portfolio, diversification is critical to maximizing return. Diversification can merely be defined as “not putting all your eggs in one basket.” Here’s an example of why not diversifying is bad: when too-big-to-fail energy company Enron collapsed, so did its employees’ retirement plans. Why? According to The New York Times, Enron’s 401(k)’s asset value was approximately $ 2.1 billion before the collapse, with more than half of its assets invested in the company’s stock. Although employees had the option to choose other financial assets, satisfied with Enron’s financial performance, many invested heavily in the company’s stock. Therefore, when the company’s stock plummeted, employees’ retirement accounts were wiped out in little to no time.

A well-diversified investment portfolio should not only include financial assets but human capital as well. What exactly is human capital? Human capital is the present value of all potential earnings during an individual’s lifetime. So for instance, the compensation you expect to receive during your lifetime is considered your specific human capital.

More importantly, your human capital is, in fact, a traditional asset and should be taken into consideration when diversifying. Like other assets, human capital can be considered either safe or unsafe. A tenured professor at a university may be deemed to be “safe” human capital because he has a steady stream of income. Therefore, it may be more appropriate for that professor to invest in riskier assets, such as stocks. In contrast, a person whose salary fluctuates, such as a retail sales associate, may be considered to have “unsafe” human capital. It may be more appropriate for that individual to invest in less risky assets, such as bonds.

Also, if a person is working for a company and is investing heavily in the company’s stock, that person’s investment portfolio is poorly diversified. If the company has a bad financial year, that employee may be overly exposed to the company’s risks and may experience an economic mishap similar to those experienced by Enron’s employees.

Managing the Risks

Just as there are risks associated with stocks, bonds, and other investments, there are also risks related to your human capital. Human capital is exposed to both earnings and mortality risks. Some things an individual can do to reduce his earnings risk is to establish an emergency fund or create a credit line to withstand periods when there is a disruption of income.

Human capital is also exposed to mortality risk. Mortality risk is the chance an individual may die prematurely at a time when their dependents need their financial contributions the most. Maintaining life insurance is one way to address this concern as it helps protect against the risk of depleting human capital at the time of death.

So, before developing your investment portfolio, take time to understand your specific human capital. Understanding your particular human capital may allow you to build financial freedom for yourself and generations to come.

The post It’s Important to Diversify Your Portfolio With Human Capital, Too appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

China Inflation Data Due On Wednesday

China will on Wednesday release December figures for consumer and producer prices, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Acuity Brands Says Tax Reform Legislation To Positively Impact Net Income

While reporting its first-quarter financial results today, Acuity Brands Inc. (AYI), a provider of indoor and outdoor lighting and energy management solutions, said that the recent passage of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may have a favorable impact on future demand for many end markets served by the company, as positive business sentiment may lead to further investments in facilities and infrastructure in the U.S.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Helpful Tips to Relieve Anxiety of Returning Holiday Gifts

An astonishing $ 90 billion in goods from the 2017 holiday season will be returned or exchanged, according to Optoro.

On average, 25% of all returns annually occur during the holidays. All told, Americans return roughly $ 380 billion in merchandise each year.

Roughly 40% of consumers who returned gifts last year did so the day after Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But the returns season is certainly not over. Some 50% of consumers waited to return holiday gifts in January last year, Optoro reports. This year, consumers are expected to return everything from online clothing to cell phones and tablets until late January.

Some returns don’t make it back to stores shelves and are not resold. Returns in the United States amass 5 billion pounds of landfill waste a year, Oporto reports. The Washington, D.C.-based technology company helps retailers and brands manage, process, and resell returned and excess inventory.

Return rate much higher for online items

About 20% to 30% of items purchased online are returned, giving them a return rate that is about three times higher than brick-and-mortar stores. Most people physically return items they bought online back to the retailer they purchased them from.

Consumers favor stores with flexible return policy

And returns are not necessarily sour grapes for merchants. Many retailers now view having a flexible return policy as a competitive edge. Some 71% of consumers say that a positive return experience greatly encourages them to shop at a store again, Optoro reports. Fifty-four percent of consumers make an additional purchase when returning an item to a store.

Interestingly in the past year, 46% of shoppers abandoned an online shopping cart because the retailer didn’t offer free shipping on returns.

If you are returning holiday gifts there is good news. Some 6 in 10 consumers say they include a gift receipt some or most of the time when they give a Christmas gift, based on surveys by the National Retail Federation. So, if you got another pair of leather gloves or a trove of watches not on your wish list, don’t have a meltdown.

Some tips to consider before beginning your post-holiday return quest:

 

Check the Policy

Frequently, items bought on sale or during a promotion have a special return policy. Before heading to the store or the post office to send back returns, check the return policy and see if there’s a special return window or requirements. Optoro says 52% of consumers check the policy before making a purchase.

 

 Take your ID

Many retailers may ask for your identification, so be sure to carry it with you in case they do. A government-issued ID often works the best, so keep that in mind.

 

Keep Returns in Good Shape

When returning items, do your best to keep items and packaging in good condition. That doesn’t just mean just leaving the tags on. The better shape the item is in, and the sooner it gets back to the retailer, the quicker you will likely get a refund.

 

Check out the options

If a store has brick-and-mortar locations, check out the retailer to see if you can walk-in to return the item. The research can potentially help you avoid shipping fees and repacking.

 

When to Return Gifts?

Every retailer has a different policy for the time frame items can be returned. The best time to take a gift back is in January when foot traffic is lower and potentially new deals are being offered.

 

To re-gift or not to re-gift?

An American Express survey found that 75% of Americans think it’s socially acceptable to re-gift items. The most popular items to re-gift are kitchenware, sweaters, and electronics.

 

Buy returns, save money and help the environment

Consumers can get great deals by buying returned and excess items. Websites such as  blinq.com sell returned items at a big discount, sometimes as much as 50% off. Blinq sells goods from major name brands, including Apple, Dell, Bose, Hunter boots, Lenovo, Adidas, Cole Haan, Kenneth Cole, and Levi’s to name a few. The items are sold in sealed packaging and checked for quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Helpful Tips to Relieve Anxiety of Returning Holiday Gifts appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Monsanto Q1 Profit Misses Estimates; Agricultural Segment Sales Up 11%

Monsanto Company (MON) reported that its first-quarter EPS on an ongoing basis was $ 0.41, well above the prior year’s $ 0.21, driven by the strong start to the business in South America. On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 0.42, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
RTT – Earnings

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

12 Great Apps To Save More Money and Jump-Start Your Financial Freedom in 2018

New Year, new you? How about New Year, new ways to save your money? Every start of the year gives us another chance to implement better money-saving habits or to improve upon the ones we’ve already adopted. It’s no surprise that the top resolutions for Americans often include financial-oriented goals.

At the start of 2017, digital marketing company, iQuanti, compiled a list of the most popular resolutions based on Google search terms the year prior. Rounding out the top five was the resolve to “spend less and save more.” In a recent PNC Financial survey of employed U.S. adults, when asked which financial-related resolutions they are most likely to make in 2018, 40% stated save more money each month, 31% said reduce spending each month, and 27% wanted to save more for retirement.

But as quickly as we make them, many of us are also more likely to break financial resolutions due to circumstances or plain lack of discipline. Each year, money-related resolutions make multiple lists of common New Year’s resolutions that people break. But not all hope is lost—there are some worthy financial apps sitting in your smartphone’s app store that can help make your financial resolutions stick or at the very least, provide you with a fresh, empowered way of thinking about your money.

Whether it’s the resolve to save an extra $ 100 a month, put money toward a travel or emergency fund, increase your credit score, or buy into that stock you’ve been eyeing, these money-saving apps can make your 2018 money-saving goals a bit more doable and motivate you to not ditch your financial resolution three months or three weeks in.

Empower

Photo: Empower (Apple iTunes Store)

Featured by Forbes and Time Magazine as among the best apps in finance, Empower helps you build wealth by paying down debt, improving your credit score, canceling unwanted subscriptions, and keeping track of all your finances in one place. The app also tracks your spending patterns and makes customized suggestions catered to your lifestyle. For a more complete overview of your finances, Empower also allows you to sync any investment and borrower accounts.

Acorns

Photo: Acorns (Apple iTunes Store)

This app is a force in the microsavings realm. Simply link your credit and debit card to the app so that it could track your purchases. It rounds those purchases up to the nearest dollar and invests the difference for you into exchange-traded funds. Acorns designs an investment portfolio for you based on the information you provide upon signing up, but there are other portfolios to choose from. It costs $ 1 per month and .25% of the balance once your portfolio hits $ 5,000. It’s free for college students.

Mint

No list of best apps for saving/managing money is complete without Mint. It claims to take the hassle out of budgeting by creating a personalized budget and auto-categorizing your transactions after you sync your bank account. Just link your account to the app and it does the work for you. Mint also sends you alerts when bills are due and notifies you of any unusual charges. It can also tell you how you can reduce money on bills and monthly fees.

Photo: Mint (Apple iTunes Store)

Clarity Money

Is that Planet Fitness membership just languishing month after month while you automatically give away $ 10 that could be used for something else? Then Clarity Money will happily remind you of that. It is a financial ally that helps you cancel wasteful or forgotten subscriptions and alerts you if you are spending more than what you allotted for in your budget. The app also displays how much you’ve spent, keeps track of your monthly income, advises you how to use your credit card responsibly, and tells you the days until your next paycheck. It can also help you discover better credit card deals based on your spending habits and can generate your credit score for free.

Photo: Clarity Money (Apple iTunes Store)

Credit Karma

For those who want to increase their credit score, the popular Credit Karma app is the best free app that allows consumers to see how high or low their score is without getting a hard credit check and causing damage to the current score. You can also monitor your reports and receive alerts when there are fluctuations. The app also allows you to challenge any errors and offers suggestions on how to increase your score.

Photo: Credit Karma (Apple iTunes Store)

Digit

Photo: Digit (Apple iTunes Store)

Digit is great if you’re new to the budgeting game or if you’re not too good at sticking to a money-saving plan. After you sync your checking account, it automatically determines a feasible amount of money that you can afford to save and places that amount into your savings account. The best part is that it comes with a no-overdraft guarantee, so you can carry on without worrying that the app will take more out of your account than you can afford. Each morning you receive a text informing you of your current balance, and with a weekly status report on how much you’ve saved, you can soon be on your way to hitting your financial goals. It’s free for the first 100 days and $ 2.99 a month after.

You Need a Budget

(Image: Google Play)

Investopedia.com calls YNAB the best app for getting out of debt. It allows you to create a budget based on a few ground rules: give every dollar a job, embrace your true expenses, plan for infrequent expenses, roll with the punches if you end up overspending, and learn how to live on last month’s income. In other words, it works with what you have in order for you to attain more and gain control of your finances. If you overspend, it provides you with a snapshot of what you need to do differently to get back on track with the built-in “accountability partner.” After the free 34-day trial, it costs $ 50 a year and also offers online classes with live instructors to help you learn or brush up on the basics and best practices of budgeting.

Simple

Photo: Simple (Apple iTunes Store)

This online banking app includes tools that allow you to budget and save, all with no fees. Once you set a goal, your Simple account automatically sets aside what you need to save. Goals also work as digital envelopes to store money for all your budget categories. Their Safe-to-Spend feature ensures that you don’t overspend by informing you of what’s left after your goals, scheduled bill payments, and pending transactions. The app does require you to sign up for a Simple Visa® Card and Banking Services are provided by Compass Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Mvelopes

If you or someone you know has ever designated envelopes with cash for specific purposes, example: groceries or entertainment, think of Mvelopes as the digital equivalent of that method. It allows the user to categorize their savings and fosters discipline by not allowing you to borrow money from one envelope if another is empty. Mvelopes also sets up a monthly financial plan for you. The basic version costs $ 3.99 a month and a free one month trial ends Jan. 26, 2018. The plus version grants access to coaching sessions and the debt-reduction center.

Photo: Myvelopes (Apple iTunes Store)

Wally

If creating a monthly expense sheet in Excel is intimidating at all to you, Wally makes it easy and manageable by giving you a view of what goes out and what comes in. The creators of the app aim to “give you the tools to understand where your money goes, and empower you to set and achieve financial goals.” The app tracks your expenses by allowing you to take photos of your receipts—a much easier way than having to input every amount you spent.

Photo: Wally (Apple iTunes Store)

Unsplurge

If you want to make that business idea a reality, buy that new smartphone, or finally take a trip to your dream destination, Unsplurge can help by allowing you to save up for that specific splurge expense. It contains a social component where you can share your financial goals and progress to the app’s social community, including your friends or family. If you’re falling short of meeting that goal, they can give you a reminder or tips, motivating you once again to keep your eyes on the prize.

Photo: Unsplurge (Apple iTunes Store)

Qapital

NerdWallet dubbed Qapital as best for goal-setting. Whether it’s a dream to head somewhere or simply become better at saving, this app moves your money automatically using various methods or rules that keep you accountable. Just input your goal and how much you need to reach it.  After that, you can choose to place loose change from your credit card into an FDIC-insured savings account, set up daily, weekly or monthly automatic deposits toward your goal, save a percentage each time you get paid or opt for the 52 week rule where you save $ 1 in week one, $ 2 in week two and so on until you reach 52 weeks.

Photo: Qapital (Apple iTunes Store)

The post 12 Great Apps To Save More Money and Jump-Start Your Financial Freedom in 2018 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

BRAZIL: Ibovespa Surpasses 79,000 Points, Pulled By Global Risk Appetite

The Ibovespa reversed an initial decline to end up 0.54% Friday at 79,071.46 points – a new record closing level. The index had a weekly gain of 3.5%, amid rising global risk appetite after disappointing employment data in the U.S. increased bets that interest rates in the country would grow more slowly.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Get Your Mind Right: The Budgetnista Talks Tips For Increasing Your Net Worth

Ready to increase your net worth this year? Believe it or not, improving your finances and building wealth is more about mastering your mindset than anything else. To help you get your mind right, we tapped Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, the award-winning founder of the Live Richer Challenge and leader of Dream Catchers, a massive group of people who are collectively working toward a better financial life together. In 2014, she initially launched the Live Richer Challenge with a focus on savings. Since then, the challenge has progressed from savings to credit and currently, the 2018 edition focuses on net worth. Below she details a few money mindset tips to boost your income as well as your wealth.

 

What are three mindset shifts people need to make when it comes to increasing their savings, improving their credit, and increasing their net worth?

  • The mindset shift for saving – Many people think of savings as missing out. But to save effectively, you have to switch that mindset from saving is depriving yourself to saving is a reward. Meaning, if you save, you can have more of the things you want.

 

  • The mindset for credit – You have to shift to one of empowerment. People think credit is something that you don’t have control over or once you make a mistake, that’s it, and that is not true. Credit is simply a series of rules; and if you know the rules, you can abide by them, and you can even tweak them to your benefit. Credit is actually one of the easiest things to fix. Make the shift to learning the rules so you can play a different game. Shift your mindset to empowerment and knowledge when it comes to credit.

 

  • The mindset for net worth – Shift away from this idea that more is more. True wealth is not just about income because your net worth is how much you own minus how much owe. So let’s just say you own a million dollars’ worth of things (woohoo you’re rich!): NO. If you owe $ 2 million, you have a net worth of $ 1 million minus $ 2 million, which is negative $ 1 million.

 

Make a shift that more is not more and that your net worth is truly about balance. Yes, we all want to earn more, but we also have to take care of what you have because it is earn versus owing.

The post Get Your Mind Right: The Budgetnista Talks Tips For Increasing Your Net Worth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Brazil Factory Price Inflation Accelerates Further

Brazil’s industrial producer prices continued to accelerate in November, preliminary data from the statistical office IBGE showed Thursday.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Millennials and Gen Xers are Twice as Likely to Save More Money in 2018 Than Baby Boomers

At the end of each year, many Americans vow to save more money and spend less as a New Year’s resolution. However, achieving this goal often requires a commitment to learn and practice smarter money habits and lots of discipline, which, of course, is easier said than done. Saving more, however, may be even more challenging for the majority of older Americans, who are less likely to make that a priority than for those who are middle-aged or just graduating from college.

A newly released survey conducted in October by Harris Poll on behalf of CIT revealed that Generation X and Millennials are at least twice as likely as Baby Boomers to prioritize saving in 2018. According to the study, 67% of Millennials and 54% of Gen Xers plan to include savings as a goal next year compared to just 27% of Boomers. The majority of all generations, however, say they will prioritize savings for emergencies: 63% of Gen Xers, 61% of Millennials, and 51% of Boomers. (The survey defined Millennials as those between the ages 18 and 36, while Gen Xers are considered 37 to 51 years old, and Boomers are 52-plus.)

“Gen Xers are in the prime earning stage of life and understand the importance of saving for both short- and long-term expenses,” said Ravi Kumar, head of Internet Banking at CIT Bank, in a statement. “High Yield Savings Accounts can be a smart choice to allow your savings to grow, while still having access to funds for short-term goals or emergencies. CDs are a good solution for longer-term savings goals.”

Gen Xers and Millennials are also more likely to take advantage of money-saving strategies and innovative products like software-based apps. Thirty-nine percent of Millennials and 35% of Gen Xers agreed that new bank programs make it easier to save compared to only 21% of Boomers. Meanwhile, 41% of Millennials and 21% of Gen Xers consider lower interest rates on loans as a good tool to save versus 16% of Boomers.

 

The post Millennials and Gen Xers are Twice as Likely to Save More Money in 2018 Than Baby Boomers appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Managing Relatives Who Want to Manage You out of Your Money

You’re used to being the bigger breadwinner in the family. You enjoy helping out when you can. You don’t even mind being the dependable go-to in emergencies—the one called upon to solve someone else’s financial crisis, or help prevent it.

 

Then your niece calls to ask you to help her buy a car. She has no other way to get to her new job. She can afford a Toyota on her own, but not the tricked-out Lexus she wants. That’s where you come in. Or, do you?

 

Here are the best tips ever for managing the moment when loved ones come to beg, borrow, or bulldoze you out of your cash. They are sourced from finance pros, as well as those who’ve learned the hard way—by doing.

 

Create a budget.

Protect your long-term financial security (aka retirement funds) no matter what. Askers can be persuasive and their needs can be compelling. A budget helps you remain clear about what you can and can’t do.

 

Only “loan” what you can give.

Even if you set up a detailed repayment schedule that you intend to enforce, assume that you’ll never see your contribution again. Then you’ll avoid (or, at least minimize) animosity and bitterness, even if that schedule isn’t met.

 

It’s okay to pick a lane and stay there.

In order to contain the scope and number of requests, you might limit your assistance to a specific area or two that you feel is most important—say education, healthcare, or housing—and let folks know that anything else is beyond your reach.

 

Don’t be condescending.

If you were writing a check to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or the United Way, you wouldn’t resent it. Adopt the same attitude here. Charity begins at home.

 

Use an intermediary.

Take some of the difficulty out of negotiating with loved ones by having all requests—and responses—go through a neutral party like an accountant or financial adviser.

 

 

 

 

The post Managing Relatives Who Want to Manage You out of Your Money appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

German Inflation Slows Less Than Expected; Annual Average At 5-year High

Germany’s inflation slowed less-than-expected in December and the annual average for 2017 was the highest in five years, preliminary data from the statistical office Destatis showed Friday.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!