10 of The Most Affluent African American Suburbs In The Nation

 

The 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, came under fire with his attempt to “reach out” to African Americans asserting that blacks were “living in hell” in the inner cities; so much so that they could barely walk down the street without getting shot.

However, as data reported by The New York Times shows, there is actually a strong upward mobility trend among African Americans, with nearly 40% residing in the suburbs.

 

(Image: iStock/FatCamera)

 

The ‘burbs are often valued for great local economies; neighborhoods with high median incomes; high household values; low crime and great public schools.

Below are a few of the most thriving African American suburban neighborhoods:

 

 

 

Black Beverly Hills

personality (Image: iStock.com/gruizza)

 

Nicknamed “Black Beverly Hills,” these suburbs lay within the Ladera Heights and View Park–Windsor Hills, California, area, with nearly 75% of the population being African American according to statistics compiled by City-Data.

Median household incomes and home values are more than the entire state of California averages, with house values coming in at nearly $ 900,000 and incomes averaging over $ 100,000. The area is famous for its many wealthy and successful African American residents including many doctors and attorneys—making it one of the most coveted of black suburbs in the country.

As per Best Places, the area has low violent and property crime rates, but the cost of living is very high. While City-Data reports a small population of only 6,500, nearly 100% have high school diplomas, 44% are married, and nearly 54% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

 

Black Wall Street

 

commute (Image: iStock/monkeybusinessimages)

 

An NBC affiliate reports that nearly 60% of the businesses in the DeSoto, Texas, suburb are owned by African Americans. Seventy percent of the population is black in DeSoto, according to City-Data, with median household incomes over $ 61,000 and house values nearly $ 164,000—more than the state’s average. Approximately 50,000 people reside in DeSoto, with nearly 50% of the population being married, 90% are high school graduates, and over 30% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Best Places also reports that DeSoto also has very low violent crimes and very low property crime rates. Compared to Black Beverly Hills, DeSoto has a low cost of living index, which means your purchasing power will go a lot further in DeSoto.

 

Other Great Options

 

Here are other American suburbs which City-Data reports as having a majority black population (where 70% to 85% of the population is black), high household incomes ($ 60,000 to $ 90,000), high home values, a 90% population with high school diplomas, and a population with 30% to 50% earning a bachelor’s degree or higher; and low crime rates:

 

  • Olympia Fields, Illinois
  • Wheatley Heights, New York
  • Hillcrest, New York
  • Woodmore, Maryland
  • Kettering, Maryland
  • Fort Washington, Maryland
  • Mitchellville, Maryland
  • Friendly, Maryland

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UK Budget Gap Widens On Debt Servicing

The UK budget deficit increased in October due to higher debt costs linked to rising prices, the Office for National Statistics reported Tuesday. Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, increased by GBP 0.5 billion from the previous year to GBP 8 billion in October. The deficit was forecast to narrow to GBP 7.1 billion.
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The Road to $1.5 Trillion in Black Buying Power and Dispelling a Common Myth

Black buying power currently stands at over $ 1.1 trillion and is on the road to hit about $ 1.5 trillion by 2021. This collective buying power means that nearly $ 2 trillion will be flowing through black America annually very soon, making us the centerpiece for various researchers, marketers, advertisers, and other campaigns designed to influence black spending patterns.

(Image: iStock/RaStudio)

 

But the question is, with so much buying power, can we as African Americans influence and direct said spending ourselves? Do we have the power directly, indirectly, and strategically to determine where that money flows and if so, could directing that flow help rebuild the black community?

 

Road to More Buying Power and Influence

 

The data comes from a recent Nielsen study that also reports that African American households earning $ 75,000 or more per year are a fast-growing segment that will have more influence going forward than ever before.

Within the next 45 years, by around 2060, black America might be represented by 75 million in the U.S., holding about 20% of the U.S. population. In terms of black-owned businesses, that number sits anywhere from 2.5 million to 3 million enterprises and is projected to grow in larger numbers going forward.

All of this data points to the trend that African Americans will be very important contributors to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) along with the creation and sustainability of U.S. jobs.

The Myth of the “Six-Hour Black Dollar”

 

While black spending power increases, how that money is best put to use to rebuild the black community is always in question. For example, there has been a lot of informal discussion about how long a dollar remains in the black community. Some claims have been a dollar lasts no longer from one to six hours before it leaves.

While such information has been widely circulated, analyzed, and discussed, researchers from Howard University have looked into the claims and could not properly substantiate the statistics. Howard University analyzed credible data and research tracking sources, such as The Federal Reserve, Bureau of Labor Statistics, SBA, and even other reports from Nielsen, and none of these sources track how often money circulates within a particular community.

There are suggestions that the rumors of the quickly-circulating black dollar originated in the book, Talking Dollars and Making Sense: A Wealth Building Guide for African-Americans.” Howard University reports that they reached out to the book’s author, Brooke Stephens, for further comment and she was unable to provide where she obtained her information other than citing a six-month study of which she could not actually provide.

Yet, there is hard research being done on the issue of how the vast spending power of African Americans can be used to help communities of color.  The Empowerment Experiment was conducted as a research project via a foundation set up by a black, middle-class Chicago couple, who partnered with Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management’s Levy Entrepreneurship Center for the study.

The Empowerment Experiment shed great insight into economic trends of black people.  For example, it showed that less than around 3% of the current black buying power is spent in black-owned enterprises and if black America were to redirect just about 10% of total black spending to black-owned enterprises, that could translate into the creation of about 1 million jobs centered around communities of color.

—Additional reporting by Alfred Edmond, Jr. 

 
 
 

 

 
 

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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Wal-Mart Q3 Profit Tops Estimates; Comps. Up 2.7%; Raises Adj. EPS Outlook

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) reported third-quarter adjusted EPS of $ 1.00. On average, 30 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 0.97 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. Consolidated net income attributable to Walmart declined 42.4% to $ 1.75 billion from $ 3.03 billion, a year ago. Net income per common share attributable to Walmart was $ 0.58 compared to $ 0.98. Third-quarter operating income declined 6.9% year-over-year to $ 4.76 billion.
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Baltimore May Sell Homes for $1 to Revive Neglected Neighborhoods

In order to revitalize distressed neighborhoods in Maryland, councilmembers and local community advocates are pushing for a government program that would sell thousands of vacant buildings in Baltimore for $ 1 each. In turn, buyers would have to promise to refurbish and live in the properties for a certain period of time.

 

Baltimore [Abandoned inner-city corner store in Baltimore, MD. (Photo Credit: iStock/eeterv)]

 

According to a bill adopted by the Baltimore City Council last month, the program would revitalize “marginal neighborhoods by matching construction ability at the grass roots of Baltimore to production of affordable housing for workers’ families and neighbors.” The idea is modeled after the 1973 “Dollar House” program, which sold rundown, city-owned houses for $ 1 and helped rebuild ravaged neighborhoods in the city throughout the 1980s. The original program also granted buyers low-interest loans to rehabilitate the properties as long as they lived in the homes for a certain amount of time.

Now, advocates want to restore the program to curb the city’s blight epidemic and prevent more homes from becoming vacant. The program would also create construction jobs, say advocates.

 

Baltimore [Vacant buildings, 400 block of Park Avenue (west side), Baltimore, MD (Photo Credit: Flickr/Eli Pousson)]

 

On the other hand, the housing commissioner argues that the program is outdated and that there is not enough government funding to address the estimated 16,000 to 46,000 vacant homes in Baltimore, reports The Baltimore Sun. That’s triple the amount in the ’80s. Plus, about 250,000 fewer people live in the city compared to when the program first started.

Nonetheless, real estate agent and affordable housing specialist Mable Ivory applauded the idea, arguing that city governments have implemented similar programs to revitalize distressed areas in Detroit and Harlem. “It has been proven that when home ownership increased among residents in neighborhoods like Harlem and Detroit, which were once plagued by urban blight and flight, crime declined and the communities became more beautiful as owners took pride in their neighborhoods and took better care of them,” she said in an email. “Baltimore seeks to mirror the success that has been experienced in Harlem and Detroit by creating a similar, discount homeownership program.”

Whether interested in buying a vacant property in Baltimore or purchasing an affordable home elsewhere, Ivory advises potential purchasers to “do their due diligence and research” before taking on the cost of homeownership. “If possible, before bidding on the properties, homeowners should do a property inspection with licensed professionals, such as contractors, architects, and engineers, to have a clear and full understanding of all the repairs needed to make the home inhabitable; the cost of the repairs; as well as the time it will take to complete the entire renovation. The good news is that there are mortgage loan programs available like the FHA 203(k) mortgage loan program, which provide financing for the total renovation of a home.”

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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U.S. Housing Starts Jump 13.7% In October, Much More Than Expected

New residential construction in the U.S. jumped by much more than expected in the month of October, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday.
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Abercrombie & Fitch Q3 Results Beat Estimates; Shares Rise

Apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. on Friday reported a 28 percent increase in profit for the third quarter from last year on higher sales. Both revenue and adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates. The company’s shares are gaining more than 20 percent in pre-market activity.
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The American Dream? One In Five Blacks Says Fuhgeddaboudit

white man, black man, race, struggle

Only 17% of blacks believe they have already achieved the American dream, compared with 32% of Hispanics, 36% of people overall, and 41% of whites.

white man, black man, race, struggle (Image: iStock/Erstudiostok)

 

Even more concerning, 19% of blacks feel it is out of their reach, according to a survey by Pew Research Center. That’s more than the 17% of Hispanics and 15% of whites who feel the same. Overall, that number is 17%.

But the vast majority of blacks, 62%, feel they’re on the way to achieving the American dream.

What, exactly, does the American dream even mean these days? The research asked respondents to use their own definition when determining whether they’d achieved it, were on their way, or felt it was out of reach. However, most people agreed on three essential elements:

  • Freedom of choice in how to live
  • Have a good family life
  • Retire comfortably

Almost half believed that making valuable contributions to your community was essential to their view of the American dream, while 43% ranked owning a home and having a successful career as must-haves.

Only 11% included becoming wealthy in their essentials. In fact, four in 10 said becoming wealthy wasn’t even important.

 

black and the American dream (Source: Pew Research Center)

 

Politics also seemingly plays a role in people’s perceptions of where they are in life, as there are significant differences in how the various parties say they’re doing.

More than half, or 53%, of core conservatives feel their family has achieved the American dream. Just 8% feel it’s out of reach. That’s compared with 42% of solid liberals who already feel they’ve made it and 15% who feel it’s out of reach.

The outlook is bleaker for the groups Pew labels “Disaffected Democrats” and “Devout and Diverse.” Both groups are majority-minority, with people of color making up 59% of Disaffected Dems, and 56% of Devout and Diverse Dems—the most religious of the Democratic groups.

Both groups are financially stressed, which may be why 24% of Disaffected Dems and 21% of Devout and Diverse Dems feel the American dream is out of reach.

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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Target Q3 Profit Down, Comps Rise; Sees Highly Competitive Q4; Lifts FY17 View

Discount-store operator Target, Inc. reported lower profit in its third quarter, despite growth in comparable sales. Adjusted earnings per share, however, topped market estimates. Further, the company said it expects the fourth-quarter environment to be highly competitive, yet lifted its forecast for fiscal 2017 earnings. In pre-market activity, Target shares were losing 5.6 percent..
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The 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America [2017]

NeighborhoodScout is a data intelligence platform providing real estate analytics. Using a proprietary algorithm, it provides detailed insight into American neighborhoods including those that are the most dangerous.

(Image: iStock/DenisTangneyJr)

 

The analysis is based on data from a number of government agencies including the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Geological Service, and others.

 

Here are the 10 most dangerous neighborhoods based on NeighborhoodScout’s most recent data analytics (from least to most):

 

10. Kinston, North Carolina (E Bright St / S Queen St)

According to NeighborhoodScout’s data, Kinston has a greater percentage of children living in poverty than 99.6% of all U.S. neighborhoods. Only 5% of the adult population holds a four-year college degree. Per capita income is lower than that found in 99.9% American neighborhoods. Based on NeighborhoodScout’s crime index scale from 100-1—(with 100 being “safest”) Kinston scores a 1.

 

9. Indianapolis, IN (E 38th St / Sutherland Ave)

This neighborhood has an income level lower than 94.9% of all other American neighborhoods. More than 50% (55.7%) of its children live below the federal poverty level and its residents have one of the highest divorce rates in the nation. Violent crime increased by 7% in Indianapolis last year, despite a downward trend nationally.

 

8. Chicago, IL (S King Dr / E 60th St)

Chicago’s disturbing crime rate—and the fact that it is one of America’s largest cities—makes it a favorite talking point of politicians when advocating legislation over gun control and the penal system. This area in Chicago is a particular hotspot with 82% of the children here living in poverty. The income level is lower than 98.7% of U.S. neighborhoods.

 

7. Anniston, AL (W 15th St / Boynton Ave)

According to NeighborhoodScout’s analytics, you have a 1 in 37 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime in Anniston (and a 1 in 212 chance for the entire state of Alabama). The per capita income of this neighborhood’s residents is lower than 99.2% of the neighborhoods in America. 84.6% of children live in poverty here.

 

6. Indianapolis, IN (E 34th St / Sutherland Ave)

This area has more single-mother households than 99.0% of the all American neighborhoods. Sixty-eight percent of the children live in poverty and over 96% of residents do not have four-year college degrees—a lower rate than 97.7% of all other neighborhoods. In a for sale listing on homefacts.com—this area is ranked with a high crime rate and a “C-” for its school district.

 

5. Kansas City, MO (Independence Ave / Prospect Ave)

This neighborhood, sadly, has an extremely high child poverty rate—90.5%. The area also has one of the highest rates of rentals than other neighborhoods with almost none of the residents owning their own homes. There is also a high immigrant population, per NeighborhoodScout’s data crunching; the number of residents who have been in the United States for five years or less is a greater rate than in 96.4% of U.S. neighborhoods. The chances of becoming a crime victim in that area in one year are 1 in 12 with 81.97 violent crimes per 1,000 people.

 

4. East St. Louis, IL (Caseyville Ave / N Park Dr)

This neighborhood has a higher vacancy rate than 80.6% of all other American neighborhoods. The per capita income is lower than 99.9% of others. The area also has some of the highest rates of people living alone—81.2%, which NeighborhoodScout found to be higher than 100% of all other neighborhoods in the country. East St. Louis is safer only than 3% of other cities.

 

3. Atlanta, GA (McDaniel St SW / Mary St SW)

More than 60% (65.7%) of this Atlanta neighborhood’s children live below the poverty level. Per capita income is lower here than in 99% of other neighborhoods. According to the data analytics, the neighborhood residents are subject to a “brutal” commute to work—averaging more than two hours per day. Real estate site Trulia rates the area as having the highest crime rate of its entire county.

 

2. Springfield, IL (E Jackson St / S 11Th St)

With high divorce and vacancy rates, this neighborhood also suffers from high levels of child poverty (74.1%) and a per capita income lower than 98.9% of other neighborhoods in the country. Realtytrac.com rates the area as having “moderately high crime,” below average schools, and an abundance of registered sex offenders living within a small radius.

 

1. Washington, DC (S Capitol St SE / Livingston Rd SE)

This neighborhood holds the unfortunate distinction of being ranked NeighborhoodScout’s most dangerous, based on its platform’s algorithms. It has more single-mother households than 98.5% of other neighborhoods. While its location in the nation’s capital keeps employment levels steady (and unsurprisingly, a majority of residents are government workers) this neighborhood has an income rate lower than 82% of other neighborhoods in the U.S. You also have a 1 in 12 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime here with a statistic of 83.46 violent crimes committed per 1,000 people.

 

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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Australia Jobless Rate Slips To 5.4% In October

The unemployment rate in Australia was a seasonally adjusted 5.4 percent in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.
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K+S Turns To Profit In Q3, EBITDA Climbs; Reiterates FY17 View

Potash maker K+S Group reported Wednesday a profit in its third quarter, compared to loss last year, and EBITDA climbed 37 percent. Revenues were benefited by improved results in Potash and Magnesium Products segment, partly offset by weak salt revenues. Further, the company reiterated its fiscal 2017 forecast, expecting a tangible increase.
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Study: 11 Percent of African Americans Hope Lottery Wins Will Pay for Kids’ College

Research conducted by insurance company Mass Mutual reveals disturbing insight: Almost 11% of those surveyed about financing an education cited winning the lottery as a means of paying for their kids’ college.

 

 

 

(Image: iStock/ChrisGorgio)

According to learning website ThoughtCo., the chance of winning a Daily 4 or Pick 4 lottery game is 1/1000, or 0.01%. The probability of winning the common lottery game where six numbers are chosen at random is 1 out of 12,271,512.

“MassMutual’s College Planning & Saving Study—African American/Black Families” report offers other insight:

  • 82% of black parents and guardians agree that college is important.
  • 50% believe they will be able to afford college when it’s time to send their kids.
  • African American parents and guardians are the least likely among other ethnic groups to have their kids acquire a student loan.
  • Nearly half surveyed expect their children to receive scholarships.
  • 35% encourage their children to participate in work-study programs.
  • One-fourth surveyed say having their kids attend a community college then transfer to a four-year school is a way to keep college affordable.
  • Four in 10 black parents plan to use Pell Grants to help pay tuition.
  • More than one-third expect to use their own savings; two-thirds began saving when their child turned 10.

Student loan debt is a financial burden across all ethnicities. Recent data shows that the national student loan debt is increasing by $ 2,726.27 every second.

African American students are particularly at risk for financial turbulences due to school loans. Black Enterprise education editor Robin White Good reported that nearly half (49%) of all black student borrowers default on their student loans 12 years after entering college.

Mass Mutual offers three essential tips to pay for kids’ college education:

  1. Apply for scholarships. Look for some available through local community organizations, foundations, corporations, and nonprofit groups. Online tools to help you: FederalStudentAid and TuitionFundingSources.com.

 

  1. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Completing the form is the first step toward getting financial aid for college, including aid that doesn’t need to be paid back, such as federal grant money. It only takes 30 minutes to complete online and provides access to grants, loans, and work study programs. More information can be found on fafsa.ed.gov.

 

  1. Encourage monetary gifts (including 529 plan gift cards) from family members and friends to put toward college savings plans.

 

 

 

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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Intermediate Capital H1 Pre-tax Profit Down 24%; Hikes Interim Dividend

Specialist asset manager Intermediate Capital Group plc (ICP.L) reported Tuesday that its first-half Group profit before tax declined 24 percent to 95.5 million pounds from 126.2 million pounds last year due to a lower finance income. Earnings per share decreased 11 percent to 33.1 pence from 37.4 pence a year ago.
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RBA’s Debelle Says Non-Mining Investment Gains Strength

There has been a solid upward trajectory in non-mining business investment over the past couple of years, Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Guy Debelle said Monday.
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Macy’s Q3 Adj. Profit Beats View; Reaffirms FY17 Outlook

Department store chain Macy’s Inc. on Thursday reported a profit for the third quarter that more than doubled from last year as lower costs and expenses more than offset a decline in sales. Adjusted earnings per share beat analysts’ expectations, while revenues missed their estimates. Looking ahead, the company reiterated its financial outlook for fiscal 2017.
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J. C. Penney Q3 Loss Wider Than Estimates, But Comps Up; Stock Surges

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) reported Friday a wider year-over-year net loss for the third quarter of 2017, hurt by increased cost of goods sold, restructuring charges associated with the store closures and a charge related to settlement accounting on the Company’s pension plan. But, comparable sales increased 1.7 % for the third quarter, resulting in a positive two-year stack of 0.9%.
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India September Industrial Production Growth Misses Expectations

India’s industrial production grew less-than-expected in September, preliminary data from the Central Statistics Office showed Friday.
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Allianz Group Q3 Profit Declines, Revenues Up 2.1%; On Track For FY Target

Allianz Group (AZSEY.PK) reported that its third-quarter net income attributable to shareholders decreased 17.3 percent to 1.6 billion euros from 1.9 billion euros, prior year, affected by high claims from natural catastrophes and partly offset by lower tax expenses. Earnings per share was 3.52 euros compared to 4.17 euros. Operating profit declined to 2.5 billion euros from 3.0 billion euros, largely due to 529 million euros losses from natural catastrophes.
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$52 Million Lottery Winner’s Plans to Rebuild Historic Black Community

Lottery Winner

After winning a $ 52 million lottery jackpot in 2010, Miguel Pilgram used his winnings to launch his own real estate company, The Pilgram Group, and invest in properties across South Florida. Now, the successful businessman is committed to reviving Sistrunk Boulevard, a notorious corridor in downtown Fort Lauderdale once known as a thriving Main Street for African Americans.

 

 

Lottery Winner (Image: Facebook/pilgramgroup)

 

 

Known as the “historical heartbeat of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest black community,” Sistrunk Boulevard runs through the city’s black business district. It was named after James Sistrunk, a black physician who helped establish the first African American hospital in Broward County in 1938. During this time, segregation laws banned African Americans who lived west of the tracks from crossing over to the east side after dark.

After desegregation, Sistrunk Boulevard gradually declined into an area plagued by gun violence and riddled with drugs and abandoned buildings. To restore the distressed community to its original days of glory, Pilgram has purchased three buildings and plans to build a jazz lounge, blues lounge, restaurants, and a center for performing arts.

“For me, it’s [about] preserving the community as a whole,” Pilgram told an NBC local affiliate station in South Florida, adding that Sistrunk was once a hub of “success for businessmen.”

According to community activist and legal specialist Edduard Prince, foreign developers are “drooling” to invest in Sistrunk. However, far too often, areas like Sistrunk are then stripped of their cultural identity while native residents are pushed out through gentrification.

“The black residents of the community know that they’re in [a] prime location, they know that they’ve been fighting for years, and developers are drooling over the property,” Prince told the station.

Pilgram’s plan for development, however, is to preserve the area for local residents. “I was raised in a similar environment,” he told The Sun-Sentinel. “There is a need, and in my mind, an obligation, to invest there.”

 

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Credit Agricole Group Q3 Profit Up, But Credit Agricole S.A Falls; Stock Dips

French lender Credit Agricole Group, comprising Cr‚dit Agricole S.A. and Regional Banks, Wednesday reported higher profit in its third quarter with increased revenues. Credit Agricole S.A, meanwhile, reported a sharp decline in third-quarter profit mainly on the absence of prior year’s gain. Credit Agricole shares were losing around 5 percent in Paris trading.
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Report: Gen Z, African Americans Buying Gifts Mostly for Themselves This Holiday

 

With the 2017 holiday shopping season approaching fast, the nation’s largest retail trade group is forecasting jolly sales for traditional retailers and online merchants.

(Image: iStock/Wavebreakmedia)

 

The National Retail Federation is anticipating sales for November and December at $ 678.75 billion to $ 682 billion, representing a gain of 3.6% to 4% from last year. The figures exclude sales from automobiles, gasoline, and restaurants.

African Americans More Likely to “Self-Gift”

 

The NRF also analyzes shopping trends from the previous year. If 2016 is any indicator, more African Americans and young people are splurging on themselves this holiday.

Some 2,040 consumers—including African Americans—were polled by the NSF to understand what influences their gifting decisions and their experiences shopping in 2016.

About 71% of consumers overall said they made at least one purchase to treat themselves over the holidays. But it’s particularly popular among younger, Gen Z shoppers (93%), and among African American consumers (84%) according to the data.

Other findings from last year’s shopping trends include:

  • African American consumers tend to start researching holiday gift ideas earlier in the season. Some 63% said they start researching holiday gifts as early as October, versus 54% of consumers overall. However, most shoppers still hold off on making purchases until November or December. Television also tends to be a more influential source of gift inspiration for black consumers during the holidays.
  • Self-gifting—anytime a consumer buys a gift for his or herself—during the holidays has become more popular the last two years. It can be everything from buying a new outfit for a holiday party to taking advantage of seasonal promotions to make a purchase a person has been holding off on.

This year’s shopping projection is even more cheerful for retailers without brick-and-mortar outlets. The forecast includes online and other non-store sales, which NRF projects to climb between 11% and 15%, totaling $ 137.7 billion to $ 142.6 billion.

Robust Consumer Confidence, Longer Shopping Season Boost Sales

 

“Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay stated. “Although this year hasn’t been perfect, especially with the recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday season.”

An outlook from Deloitte’s Retail and Distribution practice is favorable as well. It expects holiday sales—seasonally adjusted and minus motor vehicles and gasoline—to reach $ 1.04 to $ 1.05 trillion between November and January, up 4% to 4.5 % from a year ago.

“Sentiment and spending indicators are firing on all cylinders, but the question is: How will retailers respond given the profound disruption across the industry?” Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte L.L.P. and U.S. Retail and Distribution sector leader,  stated. “The good news is retail is thriving, and it is the proliferation of new, niche retailers that is resulting in share constantly changing hands.”

Further, Deloitte predicts an 18% to 21% gain in e-commerce sales in 2017 versus 2016. E-commerce sales are expected to reach $ 111 to $ 114 billion during this year’s holiday season.

Retailers will get some help with Christmas arriving 32 days after Thanksgiving this year, one day more than last year. Christmas also falls on a Monday instead of Sunday, providing people an extra weekend day to wrap up their shopping.

Holiday Shopping Season Key Driver of Annual Sales for Retailers

 

The holiday shopping season is a big deal because consumer spending can make up as much as 30% of a retailer’s annual sales, regardless of the retailer’s size.

The NRF’s outlook is being fueled by some key economic indicators lining up.

“Consumers continue to do the heavy lifting in supporting our economy, and all the fundamentals are aligned for them to continue doing so during the holidays,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz stated. “The combination of job creation, improved wages, tame inflation and an increase in net worth all provide the capacity and the confidence to spend.”

   

Money – Black Enterprise

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Rising Trend In Australia’s Building Approvals Unlikely To Last

The recent unexpected rise in Australia’s building approvals is a bit of a head fake and that approvals will show a clearer softening trend into year-end, Matthew Hassan, an economist at Westpac Institutional Bank, said.
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Regal Beloit Q3 Profit Increases, Narrows Q4 Outlook; CFO Regal Beloit To Retire

Regal Beloit Corp. (RBC) Monday announced third quarter net income attributable to the company of $ 62.2 million, up from $ 59.6 million in the prior year. On a per share basis, earnings increased to $ 0.26 from $ 0.24 in the prior year. Adjusted earnings per share was $ 1.37.
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The Top 3 Richest Dead Black Celebrities of 2017

Richest Dead Black Celebrities

Michael Jackson

 

Image: Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

 

Michael Jackson reigns supreme as the highest paid deceased celebrity of 2017. According to Forbes, the iconic singer earned $ 75 million over the last 12 months, which was driven by a variety of business ventures that includes a new CBS Halloween special released earlier this week, a new greatest hits album, a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas, and a stake in the EMI music publishing catalogue.

This marks the fifth consecutive year that Jackson topped Forbes’ list of top-earning dead celebrities. The annual list “measures pretax income from Oct. 15, 2016, through Oct. 15, 2017, before deducting cuts for agents, managers, and lawyers,” states the Forbes website. “Sources include Nielsen SoundScan, IMDB, Pollstar Pro, and interviews with celebrity estate experts.” Altogether, the Gloved One has been ranked No. 1 on the list seven times since his passing in 2009.

Last year, the King of Pop raked in a whopping $ 825 million, which made him the highest earning entertainer dead or alive. Jackson’s earnings were primarily driven by the $ 750 million deal Sony inked in order to purchase the singer’s stake in a jointly owned catalog of nearly 4 million songs.

 

Bob Marley

 

Image: Wikimedia Commons

 

Bob Marley ranked as No. 5 on the list with earnings of $ 23 million that were boosted by  House of Marley, a line of environmentally-friendly audio products, and the Marley Beverage Co. “When we decided to start that movement, it was [to] add relevancy to who we are as a family,” Marley’s son Rohan told Forbes. “We started that to really hone in on our legacy and protect what our father has given us.”

The international reggae artist follows behind legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, who came in second with $ 40 million; Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, who was listed as third with income of $ 38 million; and Elvis Presley, who finished in fourth place with $ 35 million thanks to the new multimillion-dollar Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment complex and the recent opening of The Guesthouse at Graceland Hotel.

 

Prince

 

Image: Wikimedia/Creative Commons

 

Earning $ 18 million placed Prince as No. 7 on the list. The musical innovator died in April 2016 without leaving a will. His estate, however, has been valued between $ 100 million and $ 300 million before taxes.

Prince falls behind rocker Tom Petty, who died on Oct. 3 and earned $ 20 million. Other celebrities who rounded out the top 10 list include Dr. Suess who earned $ 16 million; late Beatles singer John Lennon with $ 12 million; and Albert Einstein with $ 10 million.

Money – Black Enterprise

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Gilbraltar Industries Sees Q4 Results Below View; Narrows FY17 Earnings Outlook

While reporting its third-quarter financial results, building products manufacturer Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (ROCK) forecast financial results for the fourth quarter below analysts’ estimates. In addition, the company lowered its full-year revenue guidance and also narrowed its adjusted earnings outlook.
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U.S. Service Sector Growth Unexpectedly Accelerates In October

Activity in the U.S. service sector unexpectedly grew at a faster rate in the month of October, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Friday. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index inched up to 60.1 in October from 59.8 in September.
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Insider Tips for African Americans Looking to Purchase a Home

Whether it’s finding a home in a neighborhood they like, affording the home they want, or obtaining financing, African American homebuyers have a more onerous time in the home-buying process than their white counterparts, according to a new report.

 

(Image: iStock/Feverpitched)

 

The Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017 revealed some startling discoveries when it comes to people with different backgrounds buying homes.

The Challenges for Black Home Buyers

 

African American and Hispanic homebuyers are roughly twice as likely to be rejected on a pre-approval loan application than whites. Black and Hispanic buyers have a much more difficult time navigating through all aspects of mortgage financing than any other group.

The overall Zillow survey for this year collected data from 13,125 key household decision-makers who self-identified in different consumer groups in recent months. One of those groups, buyers, included 2,965 respondents. Among the findings:

-Forty-three percent of Caucasian/white buyers are satisfied with the entire home-buying process and wouldn’t change a thing. That compared with 37% of African American/black buyers, 33% of Asian/Pacific Islander buyers, and 25% of Hispanic/Latino buyers.

-Eighty-four percent of African Americans and 86% of Hispanics apply for pre-approval home loans, versus 80% for white buyers. Though they try to gain a mortgage ahead of purchase time and be competitive buyers, the pre-approval denial rate for blacks is 6% and 5% for Hispanics. Only 3% of white buyers were not able to have their pre-approval applications approved.

-When it comes to applying for a conventional loan, African American are 2.6 times and Hispanic applicants are 2 times more likely than white applicants to be denied, according to Zillow’s latest analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Non-white buyers did a little better with FHA mortgage loans. African American are 1.8 times more likely and Hispanic applicants are 1.4 times more likely than white applicants to be turned down.

-The denial rates are potentially causing an overall drop in mortgage applications by African Americans and Hispanics. Though African Americans account for 12% of the adult U.S. population, they filed just 6% of all mortgage purchase applications in 2015. Hispanics consist of 16% of the adult population and filed 10% of the applications. In contrast, whites total 64% of the nation’s population and also filed 64% of mortgage purchase applications.

Home-buying Is a Path to Multigenerational Wealth

 

Skylar Olsen, a senior economist for Zillow, told Black Enterprise by email that there’s been a persistent gap between the homeownership rates of white and black people for more than 100 years. She says African Americans are less likely to own, and much of that is driven by pervasive gaps in other economic measures, like education and income.
Olsen added homebuying is a path to multigenerational wealth, so past discriminatory practices are still affecting homebuyers today. If your parents’ or grandparents’ generation didn’t have access to a mortgage or a neighborhood, then that will make it harder for you to buy a home today.

She says Zillow research shows that about 25% of first-time homebuyers rely on a gift from friends or family in order to make a down payment. “We find that that strategy isn’t available to lower-income Americans whose communities can’t afford to offer that kind of support.”

Another possible reason that can’t be ruled out is the role that discrimination plays in the disparity between white homeowners and homeowners of color.

In competitive markets, sellers could have multiple qualified buyers, and at the end of the day, they choose one. It’s a popular tip, in a bidding war, to send a photo of your family to help persuade sellers you’re the right buyer.

“If you don’t look like the seller, that personal connection could be harder to solidify,” Olsen says.

Here are some tips Olsen offered to first-time homebuyers—often people of color—to boost their chances of getting approved for a home mortgage:

Be realistic with your budget

 

Once you set it, stick to it: first-time homebuyers are more likely to exceed their budget than repeat buyers (32% vs 27%). Before you meet with a lender to determine how much mortgage you’ll be approved for, take a good look at your individual finances and spending preferences to determine the monthly payment range that you feel you can comfortably afford. Use Zillow’s mortgage calculator to help with the math.

Safeguard your credit

 

Poor credit is easily the most common reason why one might be denied a mortgage. Building your credit history—or recovering from a few mistakes—takes much longer than most realize. While little mistakes such as forgetting to pay your credit card on time here and there or raking up a bit too much debt on a card feel like they shouldn’t be a big deal, they are. Blemishes stay on your credit report for seven years.

Get your financing squared away early

 

Plan to meet a few lenders four to six months ahead of when you’re planning to buy to ensure you can make a competitive offer quickly when you find your dream home. Some 79% of buyers get pre-approved, meaning 79% get pre-approval from a lender before finding a home in which they are interested in placing an offer.

Avoid other “big changes”

 

Prospective homebuyers should think twice before making any big changes or large purchases. Mortgage lenders value a stable work history and changing jobs before or during the loan process can raise red flags from a qualification perspective. Major purchases and new lines of credit can also cause hurdles when qualifying for a home loan.

Find an agent with a winning track record.

 

Seventy-four percent of today’s buyers have an agent on their side. Take the time to find an agent who has expertise in fast negotiation, leveraging escalation clauses, and winning bidding wars.

Additionally, only 47% of millennial buyers got the first home on which they made an offer, demonstrating that competition is now part of the process. Use search tools, like Zillow’s Agent Finder, to choose an agent based on sales and listing activity, areas of expertise, and reputation.

Money – Black Enterprise

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European Economics Preview: Bank Of England Likely To Hike Interest Rate

The Bank of England is widely expected to lift its key rate for the first time in a decade despite Brexit uncertainties, as inflation continues its upward trend on a weaker pound.
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StanChart Q3 Profit Soars, Expenses Up; Sees Margin Pressure; Stock Dips

Standard Chartered Plc reported Wednesday more-than doubled profit in its third quarter with improved income, despite growth in expenses. Regarding the outlook, the company noted that the global economy is recovering slowly but competition is strong with asset margins remaining under pressure. The shares of the British banking company were losing around 7 percent in London.
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This Org Is Building Up Black Communities and Curbing Gentrification One Block At a Time

block

Earlier this year, Jay-Z released 4:44, which was critically acclaimed as one of the most transparent and prolific studio albums that he ever recorded. In addition to spilling intimate details about his marriage to superstar Beyoncé, he rapped about entrepreneurship, the advantages of saving, and economic empowerment, especially for people of color.

 

Jay-Z (Image: Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

 

“F— livin’ Rich and Dyin’ Broke” – Jay-Z

 

In the track “The Story of OJ,” the retired street-hustler-turned-music-artist stresses the importance of ownership as a means to financial freedom. “Please don’t die over the neighborhood that your mama rentin.’ Take your drug money and buy the neighborhood, that’s how you rinse it,” he raps. That one powerful lyric advises hustlers not to risk their lives over property that is either owned by the government or other; rather, Jay tells them to use their earnings to make investments back into their communities. Not only does this build equity and wealth, but it can also be used as a tool to stop gentrification in urban areas from pushing minorities and working class folks out of prime real estate neighborhoods where they live. While real estate investment is an intimidating and risk concept for many, Lynn P. Smith is showing people how to put Jay’s invaluable advice into practice through her organization, Buy The Block.

 

 

Buy The Block

 

Buy The Block is a crowdfunding intermediary platform that connects real estate developers seeking to crowdfund any type of property. It is also one of the only black-owned platforms in the country that is dedicated to making investments in real estate as a group more accessible. With the focus on the black communities around the nation, Buy The Block is currently on track to raise millions of dollars in funding for development projects in communities of color. It projects that it will eventually change the face of crowdfunding real estate investing in America by taking on more significant projects and contracts. Another goal is to curb gentrification by empowering African Americans to purchase property and remain in their communities.

“Indeed, we have loads of challenges, but I am determined to educate our community and make this work… thanks to everyone out there that united as one to embrace and support this unique concept,” said Lynn, the founder and CEO, in a statement.

 

 

How It Works

 

A press release published on BlackNews.com further explains how the Buy The Block model works.

This enviable initiative offers every Black American an opportunity to invest as little as $ 100, and connect with other investors – with an added advantage of helping every member buy a piece of their first block. Having a growing database of BlockVestors and Block Developers, all it takes to be a member is by signing up on their website.

With the platform, acquiring property or block of choice in one’s local area is achievable. Getting the funds to make such a big difference can also be without hassles. All that is required of a member is to; find a property, make an offer, bring the property to Buy The Block, get the needed funding from other investors if they so desire, and then purchase the block.

The ability to share wealth depending on each person’s investment makes it a win-win situation for all block investors. Buy The Block can manage any project from concept to end, and they aim to develop a large number of construction projects, in areas such as; residential, manufacturing, retail, multi-family, medical, religious, and pre-engineered building construction.

With the focus on the Black communities in America, Buy The Block is on track to raise millions of dollars in funding for development projects in these communities. Having the capacity to take on more significant projects and contracts, they project that they will soon change the face of crowdfunding real estate investing in the country.

They intend to do this by committing their time to getting great projects and making it a win-win for all sponsored projects. Their mission as stated on their website is to “change investing from confusing and frustrating, to an accessible and enjoyable social experience.”

 

For more information, head to www.BuyTheBlock.com.

Money – Black Enterprise

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Pfizer Lifts FY17 Adj. EPS View Above Market As Q2 Profit Tops Estimates

Drug giant Pfizer Inc. on Tuesday raised its forecast for fiscal 2017 adjusted earnings per share, above market estimates, while narrowed revenue forecast after reporting strong third-quarter results. In the third quarter, attributable net profit more than doubled, and adjusted profit topped market estimates, while sales were in line their view.
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Study: Even African Americans Making Almost Six Figures Feel Financially Insecure

A new study reveals that nearly half of African Americans with yearly household incomes between $ 35,000 and $ 150,000 feel financial worry. Forty-five percent of African Americans making incomes of $ 75,000 a year and up say they feel more financially insecure than Americans of other races in the same income bracket.

 

(Image: iStock/FatCamera)

 

The study was conducted by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual). The data also showed that black people were more likely to say they had under-funded retirement savings. Forty-one percent are even concerned about making ends meet.

The majority of the survey respondents did not feel that they lacked money management skills, however 7 percent said they would be interested in receiving financial planning services from their employer.

 

Education to Combat Feeling Financially Insecure

 

“Across the board, African Americans are more likely to say they are unprepared for retirement and feel less financially secure but are more open to education and financial guidance,” said Evan Taylor, head of MassMutual’s African American Markets.

“The findings demonstrate a real need to reach more people, make financial education and guidance more readily available, and focus on financial wellness.”

Some other key takeaways from MassMutual’s study include:

  • Middle-income African Americans are more likely to report difficulty managing their households monthly finances
  • Debt, lack of income, and cost of living are the top African American financial concerns
  • Black Americans are less worried about the cost of healthcare compared to other groups
  • Negative outcomes from financial issues (including the inability to eat healthily, pay for a child’s education, or stress in a marriage or relationship) are reported more by middle-income African Americans

“The African American community is very open to education, information, and advice about financial matters from their employers, financial service firms, and financial professions,” said Taylor. “It’s an opportunity for financial service firms, financial advisers, and employers to make a difference.”

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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HSBC Q3 Pre-tax Profit Surges; Says On Track To Achieve Cost Savings Target

HSBC Holdings Plc Monday reported significantly higher pre-tax profit in its third quarter, mainly on the absence of prior year’s hefty loss on items as well as strong growth in revenues. Further, the company said it remains committed to achieving positive jaws for the full year. HSBC remains on track to achieve around $ 6 billion of annualised cost savings by the end of the year.
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U.S. Personal Spending Jumps More Than Expected In September

While the Commerce Department released a report on Monday showing U.S. personal income rose in line with economists in the month of September, the report also showed a bigger than expected jump in personal spending.
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Merck Slips To Loss In Q3, Adj. EPS, Sales Miss View; Lifts FY17 Forecast

Drug major Merck Friday reported a loss in its third quarter, compared to last year’s profit, hurt by a hefty charge and weak sales. Both adjusted earnings and top line missed market estimates. However, sales of KEYTRUDA and animal health increased from last year. Further, the company lifted its forecast for fiscal 2017 earnings and revenues, above market view.
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Wedding Attendance Can Strain Your Relationship With Your Finances

Most of us know that weddings can get really expensive. Turns out wedding attendance can be costly, too.

 

(Image: iStock/ManoAfrica)

 

A wedding can be a major financial endeavor, costing an average of more than $ 35,000 last year, according to wedding site TheKnot.com. According to a new survey by LendEDU, a company that markets student-loan products, wedding attendance can get pricey, too, if you’re not mindful of the costs. LendEDU published the results of a recent poll it commissioned of 1,000 Americans who attended a wedding in 2017.

Among the key findings:

  • The average wedding attendee spends about $ 1,386 per wedding. Multiply that by three to five weddings a year, and wedding attendance can take a serious bite out of your budget.
  • Within that expenditure, about $ 529 goes toward travel (including plane tickets, gas, hotel room), about $ 329 goes toward the wedding gift, nearly $ 224 goes toward clothing (a suit or dress, dry cleaning), and about $ 304 goes toward miscellaneous expenses.
  • A third of respondents said they purchase a wedding gift off the registry, 32% said they either give cash or check, while 3% said they do not give a gift.

To control spending on wedding attendance, keep these tips in mind:

  • Budget for gifts in your annual household spending plan, for weddings, as well as holidays and other occasions. Consider who is likely to get married in the coming year, and which weddings you’ll want to attend, and then save, budget, and plan accordingly.
  • Don’t give in to social or familial pressure to attend every wedding you are invited to (especially destination weddings, which may include travel, lodging, and other costs that fall outside of your budget). Save by attending only those most important to you, and sending an affordable gift or just a nice card of congratulations for the others.
  • Don’t get caught up in competition with family members or other attendees to buy the most impressive gift. Don’t give anything, including cash, that is more than what you budgeted for.

To learn more survey results, check out “The Average Price of Going to A Wedding in 2017” at LendEDU.com.

Money – Black Enterprise

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Exxon Mobil Q3 Profit Up 50%, Results Beat View – Quick Facts

Oil company Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) on Friday reported a 50 percent surge in profit for the third quarter from last year, as commodity prices improved and performance in the upstream and downstream segments strengthened. Both revenue and earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ expectations.
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Is Your Kindergartner Learning About Stocks?

Today I spoke with John Rogers, founder and CEO of Chicago-based Ariel Investments, a B.E. 100s company. Rogers is also known for founding Ariel Community Academy, a public school—not a charter—on the South Side of Chicago that teaches neighborhood youngsters about the intricacies of investing.

 

(Image: iStock/eli_asenova)

 

The 20-plus-year-old K-8 school has reportedly produced graduates that have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and financial services professionals—not bad for an urban, predominantly black school that doesn’t use any selectivity criteria to screen its students.

But maybe introducing stocks to kindergartners and equity investing to fourth graders has something to do with the alumni’s remarkable successes.

Rogers spoke to me about his goals for partnering with Chicago Public Schools to open Ariel Community Academy.

“First, we wanted our students to be really comfortable with the stock market,” Rogers told me, explaining that now that traditional pension plans have all but disappeared, putting most Americans “in charge of navigating their own financial ship,” as Rogers says, it’s critical for young people to start out with a sound financial footing.

“We wanted the students to grow up to be good investors, to prepare themselves for retirement, for college tuition, and for a first house.”

Second, Rogers wants Ariel students to start thinking about careers in financial services. Because the students work with professional analysts, “they learn about career paths that they might have never been otherwise exposed to.” Two graduates work full time at Ariel Investments.

 

(John W. Rogers. Image: File)

 

A third goal of the school is to produce better, more effective entrepreneurs. “We need to have strong minority-owned companies,” Rogers says. He told me about one grad who has an online business teaching financial concepts.

Rogers’s fourth goal isn’t for the students, but for other successful businesses: “We want to be a role model for other financial services companies, to show how they can partner with urban public schools,” he says.

President Obama had appointed Rogers to chair the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, which in the second term the council changed to Financial Capability for Young Americans.

“It presented a cool opportunity to convene the power of the White House and the Treasury and the Department of Education to pull together a great board, speakers, and national leaders in financial services,” Rogers says.

A key recommendation that came out of it: to see more financial services and local businesses partnering with urban public schools to teach kids about investing, entrepreneurship, and the lucrative financial services sphere.

Exactly what Ariel Investments is already doing.

To learn more about Ariel Community Academy, go here.

Money – Black Enterprise

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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves Slightly Less Than Initially Estimated

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by slightly less than initially estimated in the month of October, the University of Michigan revealed in a report on Friday. The report said the consumer sentiment index for October was downwardly revised to 100.7 from 101.1.
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Exxon Mobil, Chevron Q3 Profits Rise; Results Beat Estimates

Oil major Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday reported a 50 percent increase in profit for the third quarter from last year, while Chevron Corp. reported a 52 percent increase in profit. The results, which reflect higher crude oil prices as well as improved refining margins, beat analysts’ expectations.
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ARGENTINA: Merval Climbs 0.87% And Breaks 28,000-point Barrier

Merval, the main index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, rose 0.87% Tuesday, breaking the 28,000-point barrier for the first time following the ruling coalition’s
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Hasbro Q3 Results Rise, Top Estimates; Sees Higher Revenues In Q4

Play and entertainment company Hasbro, Inc. reported Monday higher profit in its third quarter, benefited by strong revenues in all regions. Both earnings and topline beat market estimates. The improvements were partly offset by negative impact of the Toys”R”Us bankruptcy in the U.S. and Canada. Looking ahead, the company projects higher revenues for the fourth quarter.
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Is Social Security an Asset?

Back in July 2016, I wrote an article in relation to the concept of “Financial Freedom,” which is the process of acquiring assets that produce cash flow, while simultaneously keeping your personal expenses low (or manageable) to where the cash flow from your assets can cover your personal expenses. But a major debate within personal finance circles centers around Social Security along with its sister program Medicare, in regards to if these programs are indeed “assets” or are they just another form of taxation that the government imposes on the American people to waste on fruitlessly.

 

(Image: iStock/Thornberry)

 

It is of my personal opinion that Social Security and Medicare are assets, and for this article, I will discuss both programs, along with why I believe these assets can be efficient tools for retirement planning, estate planning, disability insurance, estate planning, and health insurance benefits.

What Is Social Security and Medicare?

Social Security was signed into law back in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as an attempt to provide for Americans who were living longer than prior generations. The Medicare program was signed into law in 1965 by President Johnson, as an attempt to provide health insurance benefits for older Americans along with younger Americans who were suffering some sort of disability related ailment.

Both programs are funded through payroll taxes that are paid through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) when there’s both an employer and employee contribution, or paid through the Self Employment Tax when there’s just an employer contribution. The taxes are paid into two Social Security Trust Funds and two Medicare Trust Funds.

  • When there’s an employer and employee situation, FICA is divided up as 6.2% for the employer and 6.2% for the employee, up to $ 127,200 of income (for 2017) that’s paid into the two Social Security Trust Funds, with 1.45% paid by the employer and 1.45% paid for the employee into the two Medicare Trust Funds with no income cap.
  • When there’s just an employer situation (self-employment), the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds are funded through the Self-Employment Tax. This tax is broken down by 12.4% up to $ 127,200 in income for the Social Security Trust Funds and 2.9% for the Medicare Trust Funds, with no income cap.

Social Security Trust Funds

There are two Social Security Trust Funds. They include The Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and The Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund.

  • The Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund: This covers both the retirement benefits along with the survivors benefits, which provides pay-out to the spouse and children of a deceased American that paid into the social security system. This fund operates using a credit system to determine when one qualifies for potential payouts in the form of retirement benefits. 1 credit is provided for $ 1,300 of earnings, with up to a maximum of four credits per year. Once you hit 40 credits, you now qualify for retirement benefits, which means, you’ll need at least 10 years of work in order to build enough credits to qualify.
  • The Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund: This covers disability payments to Americans that paid into the social security system, which can help with living expenses and other expenses while being disabled. This fund also operates using a credit system to determine when one qualifies for potential payouts in the form of disability benefits. If you are disabled before the age of 24, you need to have built up six credits, which translates into about 1 1/2 years of work history. If you are 24 to 30, you need credits that equate to half of the time between the age of 21 and the time you became disabled. If you are 31 and older, you need to have built at least 20 credits and the credits increase as your age increases

Medicare Trust Funds

CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) is a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services that helps to run, monitor, and manage the Medicare program. The Medicare program has three main parts to it that are managed by the Federal Government, these portions include Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and Medicare Part D. Medicare Part C gives Americans the option to get their Medicare benefits from a provide health insurance company rather than through the Federal Government. Taxes for Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D are paid into two different trust funds of the Federal Government, and include the following:

  • The Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund: This covers Medicare Part A benefits which include medically required inpatient hospital services, nursing facilities, hospice care, and home healthcare services. Similar to Social Security retirement benefits, this fund operates using a credit system with 1 credit being provided for $ 1,300 of earnings, with up to a maximum of four credits per year. Once you hit 40 credits, you now qualify for Part A benefits without having to pay a premium for them.
  • The Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund: This covers Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D benefits. Medicare Part B benefits include medically required outpatient hospital services, doctor care, preventive care, medical equipment, testing/X-rays, mental health services, and home healthcare procedures not covered under Medicare Part A. Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs that are provided through private insurance companies that the Federal Government is contracted with.

Are These Assets?

Social Security and Medicare are indeed forced retirement, disability insurance, and health insurance plans that you are paying into, which will be a great complement to your IRA and other retirement vehicles down the line. For that reason alone, you should view these programs as Assets.

But Will They Still Be Around?

A recent Social Security Trustees Report is showing that Social Security has nearly $ 3 trillion in reserves and might continue to run a surplus until 2019 (a surplus streak that’s been running since 1982). But by the middle of 2020, estimates are showing that the program could begin to show deficits that by the year of 2034, could deplete all surpluses to the point where the program can only survive based on the amount of annual tax revenue that’s coming in (which won’t cover the number of retirees at that time).

In relation to Medicare, a recent Medicare Trustees Report is showing that Medicare will be solid until 2029, when during said year it’s estimated that the fund will only be able to cover about 90% of claims.

The reasons for these issues are due to longer life spans and the significant amount of Baby Boomers that will be filing for Social Security and Medicare related benefits. Politicians in charge of these programs must begin to pay attention to the trends, estimates, and reports, so that those of us paying in today (which includes my generation, The Millennial generation) will be able to benefit from these asset based programs come 2042, when the oldest of our generation begin to file claims.

More from Nav

This article originally appeared on Nav.com.

Money – Black Enterprise

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Procter & Gamble Q1 Adj. Profit Tops View; Backs FY18 Outlook

Procter & Gamble Company (PG) Friday reported a profit for the first quarter fiscal year 2018 that grew 5 percent from last year, while quarterly net sales increased one percent. Adjusted earnings per share topped analysts’ expectations. The company maintained its expectation for fiscal year 2018.
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U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Rebound In September

After reporting U.S. existing home sales at their lowest level in a year in the previous month, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Friday showing an unexpected rebound in existing home sales in the month of September. NAR said existing home sales climbed by 0.7 percent.
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Black Students Need Financial Knowledge Now

Yesterday, I wrote about the distressing news that nearly half (49%) of all black borrowers default on their student loans within 12 years of entering college.

Unfortunately, even those who had earned a bachelor’s degree were more likely to default than degree holders of other races. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, which for the first time examined long-term outcomes for student borrowers, and through a racial lens, only 9% of all borrowers who hold bachelor’s degrees default on their loans. However, a stunning 23% of black degree holders default.

 

(Image: iStock/svetikd)

 

I spoke with Ben Miller, senior director for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress, who has written about the implications of this new federal data. He notes that employment discrimination is a likely factor in the high default rates of black borrowers. Clearly if you’re un- or underemployed, it’s difficult to pay back school loans.

I also spoke about the data with college financial expert Jessica Brown, known as the College Gurl. She pointed out a lack of financial knowledge as another part of the problem.

“Some students are not just paying their loans, but the loans that their parents took out on their behalf,” Brown told me by email. “Most black students come from low-income families who were unable to save for college. Therefore, they exhaust and apply for student loans without understanding the future financial impacts.”

 

Lack of Understanding

 

“Without understanding” may be operative words here. In fact, it was from Brown that I learned about so-called loan refunds—borrowing more money than you need, receiving a “refund,” and using that excess cash to fund a lifestyle.

Brown says, “Refunds play a huge role in student loan debt. If you are receiving a refund from an excess of loans, it is imperative to spend it wisely or send it back to the loan servicer to minimize your debt. It is critical for students to borrow what they need and not what they want so defaulting doesn’t happen.”

If students were taught sound financial management throughout grades K-12, would they make better choices about student loans, at the very least not default on them?

For the most part, we don’t know since according to the Council for Economic Education, only 22 states require high school students to take a course in economics, and only 17 require a personal finance course.

Take matters into your own hands. At the very least, read Black Enterprise. Then commit to reading books, listening to podcasts, and following financial gurus on social media. Even without having taken a course in personal finance, there’s enough free and low-cost information available to keep borrowers from defaulting on their loans.

Money – Black Enterprise

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Ericsson Q3 Loss Widens, Adj. Gross Margin Rise; Stock Up

Ericsson reported Friday wider than expected third-quarter loss on higher charges and weak sales. However, adjusted gross margin improved and the company sees positive effects on gross margin in 2018. Ericsson further said the general market conditions continue to be tough, yet it is starting to see some encouraging improvements. Ericsson shares were gaining around 5 percent in Stockholm.
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Now is the Time to Buy Real Estate and Create Significant Wealth

wealth

Despite the explosive outcry against the political sentiment and executive orders being pushed under the Trump administration, Shawn Baldwin, chairman of the AIA Group, says there are plenty of ways for African Americans to prosper in our current economic and political environment. In fact, Baldwin explained 4 Ways Black People Can Thrive Under the Trump Administration earlier this month. In a follow-up phone interview with Black Enterprise, the internationally renowned investor discussed how and why African Americans should purchase property while Trump is in office as a means to generate wealth.

“For most people, the acquisition of real estate is one of the best ways for them to become wealthier,” he told BE. “For the average person, their wealth is concentrated in their home and non-depreciating assets,”—unlike a car or “retail jewelry, which is purchased at a markup and not worth as much as fine jewelry. However, now is a prime time for people of color to invest in urban re-development, which he says will be a primary focus under Trump’s administration. In turn, this will create opportunities for people of color.

“The acquisition of additional real estate can create wealthmainly because [Trump] will try to make the focus of the development of communities a prioritythis is going to create two opportunities: One, to add to your balance sheet, [and] two, to create places where other people of color are going to want to come and live.”

According to Baldwin, rather than just applying for a small business loan, people of color should invest in property and then use it as a stream of revenue to fund their business ventures. “Systematically, we have been denied loans, but we can do other things that can create significant wealth,” he said. “It’s more difficult to get a bank to fund you as a business.”

He continued, “They’re not going to give us money that they deem is risky. [Banks] are going to want to give a loan that is based on collateral,” he said, adding that 25 percent of all bank activities are commercial real estate based. “Most of the time, the loans that most people of color can get is a home or real estate loan.”

Rather than applying for a business loan, he advises entrepreneurs to what he calls the “backdoor method.” After you accumulate real estate, he says you can mortgage it and use that money to fund your own ideas. “If you acquire a bunch of real estate and it’s cheap, then use it as cash flow by leasing it out to people,” he adds.

Baldwin also suggests that people of color focus on areas “where there have been significant mortgage defaults because the banks will have pressure to lend in those areas. They don’t have pressure to lend in development because it is incredibly risky.”

“We’re not going to get back to prices that there were set in 2007, but the prices will climb and if you can get the properties on a discounted basis, then you can make significant wealth doing that.”

Money – Black Enterprise

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Philly Fed Index Unexpectedly Climbs To 27.9 In October

Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity unexpectedly grew at a faster rate in the month of October, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday.
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For Valentine’s Day, Stop (Overspending) in the Name of Love!

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is the official holiday for celebrating love. However, because it’s almost exclusively a commercial holiday, it is also about spending money. This combination often leads to bad money decisions, because it encourages emotional spending out of love, obligation, and even guilt.

Before you get caught up, listen up: Love is not a legitimate excuse for irresponsible spending. So, choose to avoid these unloving financial behaviors for Valentine’s Day:

 

Do Not Spend More Than You Can Afford

 

Being overly generous when money is tight does nothing good for the giver or the receiver. More importantly, don’t get caught up in trying to impress your friends and relatives. Honesty, including financial honesty, is key to any healthy relationship. So, don’t pretend to have money you don’t have by playing the “big spender” role.

 

Do Not Use Love as a Justification for Emotional Spending

 

Love is not about making financial decisions with your heart, instead of your head. Even though emotional spending can give a temporary high, it can also lead to guilt, buyer’s remorse, and even resentment between partners. Many a relationship have been destroyed by this cycle.

 

Do Not Blackmail Your Sweetheart Into Spending

 

Never pressure anyone to purchase financially irresponsible Valentine’s Day gifts, in order to “prove” their love to you, or worse, to impress your friends and family.

Giving and receiving as an expression of love is not about price tags, but about meaning. The most meaningful gift does not have to cost an arm and a leg, and an expensive gift without meaning will be soon forgotten, on top of being a waste of money.

 

To be financially responsible without coming off as cheap or insensitive, take my advice:

 

Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute!

 

Desperation or impulse spending nearly always results in spending more money than intended, or getting a less than ideal gift—or worse, both. People can tell when you didn’t put thought into their gift, no matter how much you spend at the last minute. The key to getting the best products and services for the lowest prices is to plan your purchases and shop for them in advance. This also gives you more options, including shopping online, with enough time to order items for arrival before Valentine’s Day, without incurring hefty shipping charges.

 

Budget for Valentine’s Day, as You Would for All Gift-Giving Occasions

 

If you can, take the time to get buy-in, and manage the expectations of your Valentine. Openly discuss what you can and can’t afford in advance, and set mutually agreed upon spending limits that fit into your respective budgets.

 

Use the Most Powerful Aphrodisiac: Your Imagination

 

Instead of a big expensive purchase, think of a thoughtful, affordable gift, along with romantic ways to make the day special. Invest your time and attention instead of more money. Often, overspending is really just an expensive cop-out to avoid investing genuine emotion and true meaning into Valentine’s Day.
Focus on four areas:

  1. Things you can personally do for your sweetheart.
  2. Things you can do together.
  3. Things you can make for your Valentine.
  4. Places you can go together.

For example, gift your partner with a spa day, with you personally giving the mani/pedi, massage, shampoo, and several hours of your undivided attention. If you are artistically inclined, compose a song, or dedicate a handmade book of poetry or an original painting to your Valentine. How about enrolling in a class together, such as ballroom dancing, which could enhance your sense of teamwork and ensure you are in each others arms at least once a week. Of course, this kind of stuff will take thought, planning, preparation, and time (see “Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute!” above) to pull off.

The Bottom Line: Spending irresponsibly is no way to say “I love you,” even on Valentine’s Day. No one who really loves you would want you to do it. With advance planning and communication, you can have Valentine’s Day romance without blowing your finances.

 

 


Black Enterprise Executive Editor-At-Large Alfred Edmond Jr. is an award-winning business and financial journalist, media executive, entrepreneurship expert, personal growth/relationship education coach, and co-founder of Grown Zone, a multimedia initiative focused on personal growth and healthy decision-making. This blog is dedicated to his thoughts about money, entrepreneurship, leadership and mentorship. Follow him on Twitter at @AlfredEdmondJr.

Money – Black Enterprise

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ASML Q3 Profit Climbs, Margin Down; Confirms FY17 Sales Growth View

Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding NV reported Wednesday higher profit in its third quarter as sales were boosted mainly with strong demand for DUV Systems. Meanwhile, margin declined. Looking ahead, the company projects sequentially lower sales in its fourth quarter. For fiscal 2017, the company maintained forecast for higher sales.
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Ruby Tuesday To Be Acquired By NRD Capital For $2.40/share; Q1 Loss Narrows

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (RT), which is struggling with lower traffic at its casual restaurants, said Monday that it has agreed to be acquired by a fund managed by NRD Capital, an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in franchised and multi-location business investments.
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These Financial Vices Keep You Broke and Make You Sick

simple tips

We all have vices. Whether big or small, overt or secret, these nasty little habits can cause major problems when it comes to your finances. The definition of a financial vice is any unnecessary regular expense that you are willing to include in your budget. Often, these financial vices aren’t just draining your wallet they are also deteriorating your health. Here are the top five vices:

 

  1. Coffee.

Basic math tells us that if you buy a latte or specialty coffee every morning—or at least five days a week—for around five bucks then you are spending $ 1,000-$ 2,000 per year. Buying premium coffee and brewing it at work will save you money. Ground coffee may cost $ 7.28 per pound, or just over 16 cents per cup, and $ 8-per-pound for whole beans or about 18 cents per cup. So, a 6-ounce cup of coffee at about 17 cents a cup per day that you brew yourself adds up to $ 1.19 a week or $ 62.05 a year.

 

2. Fast Food.

 

Those value menus might be cheap and quick, but add up over time. The costs of $ 5 to $ 7 at a fast-food restaurant versus cooking at home, which averages out to $ 1.50 to $ 3 per person, works out to a 40% to 79% savings in favor of homemade food, making it much cheaper to bag your lunch for the job. Think about it. If each month you spend $ 350 on groceries and $ 650 eating out (between lunches at work and dinner with friends), you are spending $ 12,000 a year on food alone. Plus, when cooking at home, you’re able to control what ingredients are going into your body.

 

3. Alcohol.

 

Don’t drink your money away. That buzz could cost you, especially if you hang out at bars or clubs, where prices are usually in the double digits. If a sip of wine now and then does the body good, consider drinking at home. A bottle from your local store is less expensive than a glass at your local hot spot. If you drink three days a week, and have an average of two drinks at each sitting, at $ 9 a drink, you’re spending $ 234 a month on alcohol. If you drink four or five drinks per sitting that number rises to $ 468 or $ 585.

 

4. Cigarettes.

 

Lighting up may not only kill you, it is expensive. Quitting smoking is like giving yourself a pay raise. Albeit, the cost of smoking cigarettes varies greatly by state and the number of packs smoked. Notwithstanding, someone smoking a pack a day at $ 5.25 will spend $ 1,916 each year, while at the cost of $ 12.85 a pack that yearly amount adds up to $ 4,690. Double these amounts if you are a two pack a day smoker. In 10 years, you’re wasting about $ 50,000 on a bad habit. That’s enough to buy a brand new BMW.

 

5. Lotto.

 

Yes, Powerball and Mega Millions tickets have rendered grand prizes as high as $ 243 million and $ 415 million. But playing the numbers isn’t a last-minute retirement plan. Stop dreaming and start saving more. There’s nothing wrong with putting a couple of bucks toward a lottery ticket every once in a while. Let’s say you’ve gone from shelling out $ 2 every month on the lottery to spending $ 20 a week. That adds up to $ 1,040 over the course of a year. Don’t stress out, confusing fantasy with reality. The odds of hitting the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338; Mega Millions, 1 in 258,890,850.

Money – Black Enterprise

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Belgium August Trade Deficit Narrows

Belgium’s merchandise trade deficit for August narrowed from a year ago with exports growth exceeding the rise in imports, preliminary data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Monday.
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Ivascyn’s Pimco Income fund surpasses $100 billion despite fee hike: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Pimco Income Fund (PIMIX), widely seen by investors and analysts as Pacific Investment Management’s new flagship fund, surpassed $ 100 billion in assets under management this…


Reuters: Money

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Egypt Sherrod’s 3 Keys to Making Money in Real Estate

Egypt Sherrod

Egypt Sherrod knows how to make money in real estate.

“I grew up knowing that real estate was the foundation of wealth,” says the host of HGTV’s Property Virgins and author of Keep Calm…It’s Just Real Estate. “I came from a family of real estate brokers, so I don’t need to tell you what holidays were like, [and] what the conversation was.”

With two decades of experience, Sherrod shares her real estate success secrets:

 

1. First, You Have to Be in It to Win It

 

Sherrod says she knows many people, especially blacks, may have been scared away from home ownership.

“‘The American Dream,’ I think, for a lot of people has started to disappear. They [have] lost faith. But, what we have to know is that everything that goes up will come down—but it’ll also go back up again.”

She says you can still make money in real estate, and that home ownership is still one of the best ways to build long-term wealth. So, get off the sidelines and get in the game!

“What we were taught early on was that real estate is the foundation of wealth. Real estate is what built middle-class America—that’s what built our 401(k)s, and that’s what set us up for retirement. It was: you go to school, you get a good job, you get married, you buy a house,” she says.

 

2. When You Have Extra Money, Put It in Property

 

Are you making significant money for the first time? Sherrod says that for her, real estate was the answer to her ability to hold on to more of her money.

“I got my real estate license when I was 24 or 25. I flipped my first property when I got my first big paycheck in radio, when I moved to New York City from Baltimore. You know, when I first started making money and realized, ‘I have to do something with my money, and make my money work for me’—my first default was real estate.”

“So, I bought investment property in Newark, New Jersey, and flipped those babies. Honestly, it was fun. It’s a rush. That’s what flipping properties was like for me,” she says.

 

3. Take a Long-Term Approach

 

Flipping houses isn’t for everyone. Sometimes, it makes more sense to hold on to a property. If you’re looking for a more traditional approach to make money in real estate, consider becoming a landlord.

“Every property you buy, don’t sell it. If you hold on to your property, rent it out, and keep raising the rent. As long as you’re paying your bills, you could go and find something else [to invest in] now—and, that’s the way to do it. Hold on to it. Use it as your retirement plan. Let someone else pay off your mortgage.”

Money – Black Enterprise

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Alcoa Terminates Power Contract Tied To Rockdale Operations; Sees Q4 Charge

Alcoa Corp. (AA) said that the company and power provider Luminant Generation Company LLC have terminated the electricity contract tied to Alcoa’s Rockdale Operations in Texas. The smelter at Rockdale has been fully curtailed since the end of 2008.
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Wells Fargo Q3 Profit Tops Estimates; Revenue Down 2% YoY

Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) reported net income applicable to common stock of $ 4.2 billion, or $ 0.84 per share, for third quarter 2017, compared to $ 5.2 billion, or $ 1.03 per share, a year ago. The company noted that its third-quarter EPS of $ 0.84 included the impact of a discrete litigation accrual of $ 0.20 per share for mortgage-related regulatory investigations. On average, 28 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 1.03, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
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ARGENTINA: Country Should Cut Inflation And Fiscal Deficit – IMF

Argentina’s priority should be to fight inflation and cut its primary deficit by two percentage points by 2018-2019, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a report.
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4 Money Lessons Entrepreneurs Need To Survive

money

Entrepreneurship sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  Waking up when you want, making your own rules, and most importantly, being “your own boss.”  On the outside, it looks amazing, but behind closed doors, there is so much the world does not know.

No matter how many degrees or certifications you have, what matters most in entrepreneurship are those invaluable life experiences; also known as the million mistakes you WILL make.  If you are a young entrepreneur, or if you’re ready to quit your job to become an entrepreneur, here are four money lessons you can learn from:

Entrepreneur Lesson #1: Don’t make financial decisions based on future income

 

Entrepreneurs are visionaries, who believe that the inevitable is possible. This is actually what makes them amazing!  However, sometimes we believe that we can do so much more than what our bank accounts allow us to do.  During the beginning phases of your business, both money and people are unpredictable.  Don’t over estimate your limit, because you’re overly ambitious.  Make business decisions based off what you have been consistently doing, and not by what you could one day have.

Tip: For every investment, always make a spreadsheet that outlines all your needed expenses.  If you are able to cover those costs as well as your fixed costs with a little cushion, move forward.

Entrepreneur Lesson #2: Strive for the best, but plan for the worst

 

I hate to break it to you, but you are not invincible.  You are human, and things can and will happen while building your dream.  We often hear those horror stories from other entrepreneurs, and we think to ourselves, “That’s not going to happen to me!” Now, it is great to be optimistic, however, it is also important to understand that you will make mistakes.

When building a startup, always remember that nothing is constant.  One day you’re expecting revenue, and the next day, the deal doesn’t go through.  What you thought would cost one price, ends up costing you double. During the early stages, you must be open to irregularity.  Be ready for things to financially fall apart right when you need them to be perfect.

Tip: Invest in physical activities to help stabilize your mind when things go wrong.  Take mental time away from the problem.  Try taking a walk outside, and then come back. This allows you to clear your mind and develop a solution.

Entrepreneur Lesson #3: Sometimes having a physical location isn’t always the smartest idea

 

I know you want the nice shiny location.  The thought of not only seeing your hard work, but also being able to touch it makes it that much better.  Having an actual brick-and-mortar site feels amazing, but it is not always the best financial investment. Working out of your home, a library, or somewhere that doesn’t require a lease can significantly cut the amount of money needed to get started.

When you do not have to pay monthly rent, get computers, or buy new office furniture, you can use the extra money to implement additional plans for your business.  It is okay to use your cell phone for a while. It’s quite alright if you use someone else’s copier or printer, if you do not have one. DO NOT commit to a lease just because it makes you “feel” or “look” good.

Tip: As you grow, there are many spaces to work, and they do not require large investments (i.e. community work spaces and church office spaces).  Additionally, ask your friends and family about space. Working in these communal spaces often help you to network with other like-minded individuals, who are also growing their businesses.

Entrepreneur Lesson #4: Don’t wait until you “start making enough money” to get an accountant

 

Just because you have never created a budget for your personal funds, it does not mean that you shouldn’t build one for your business.  It is important to know where every dollar is coming from, and to also know where every dollar is going. If you are not keeping track of your business cash flow, how do you know if you are making a profit?  How will you know where to make changes if you have no structure?  When it comes time for you to get funding for your business, your financial statements will be required.  Why wait until you’re making more money in business to begin tracking the money within your business.  Hire a certified public accountant that will guide you in the right direction.

Tip: Many community centers offer free accounting services.  There are also many accountants that will assess fees based on the size/annual revenue of your company.  You can even utilize your network to see if they can refer you to someone they trust.

 

 

 


Ashley M. Fox is a former Wall Street analyst, a Howard University grad, and she is now an expert in her field as a Financial Education Specialist. She is the founder of Empify (merging of the words EMPower and modIFY), an education- based organization created to help both adults and children understand financial literacy.  Since leaving her Wall Street career, Ashley has become an award-winning financial coach who has helped her clients collectively save and invest over $ 1.4mm. She is a highly-sought after speaker who has been featured on empowerment tours, college campuses, and keynote speaking platforms. She has been featured on Jim Cramer’s “The Street”, Yahoo Finance, AOL, Philly.com, Huffington Post, and Glamour Magazine.

Twitter: @_Ashleymfox

Instagram: @_Ashleymfox

 

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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Image or Economics? Success in Business Begins With a Solid Foundation

image

When you attend conventions or business meetings, you’ve probably seen those impressive, young, entrepreneurs wearing expensive clothes and driving luxury cars. At first glance, they appear to be pictures of success—all the signs of material wealth are there. If you’re working hard and trying to build your business, you may feel envious. You may ask yourself, “What are they doing right that I’m doing wrong? Where are my luxuries?” Want to know the truth? Chances are, they can’t afford them either. They’re in debt. They’re choosing image over economics.

I know a man who was an entrepreneur that, when he first met the woman who eventually became his fiancé, he owned a house in the “hood” that was paid for, and a fifteen-year-old truck, which was also paid for and ran fine. To impress her, he chose image over economics. Soon, she bragged as to how she “upgraded” him, as he now had a new Mercedes (with a note), a four-story townhouse in a fancy neighborhood (not paid for, doubling his monthly expenses), and a Rolex.

When he lived in the hood, he had a net worth over $ 50,000. Now it was zero, but he looked good—and she called it an “upgrade.” Had he chosen to save and invest, he would have built a solid financial capacity; but to impress her and others, he bought liabilities. His business had no firm foundation, and at the first economic downturn, he was wiped out.

 

Designer Logos Versus Lasting Value

 

Choosing image over economics is a big mistake. I speak from experience. When I began my real estate investment firm, I worked diligently and was thrifty. My net worth slowly increased and my passive income covered all the monthly bills, but I felt neither rich nor wealthy.

In 2014, I took my wife to Italy for our 10th anniversary, and we posted pictures on Facebook. I was soon inundated with affirming comments like, “I see you big-timer,” and, “One day, I want to be like you.” While in Italy, I found an outlet mall where I got tons of name brand stuff—Ferragamo, Valentino, Armani—so, when I came back, I was all name brand. Prior to that, nothing I owned was name brand.

With all the pats on the back and praise, I felt like I had taken a wrong turn. I knew that the external symbols weren’t building my wealth, but it sure felt good. My real estate business built economics, but name brand living was about image. I realized that many people say they want success, but settle for the symbols which they define as success. Unfortunately, I began to drink the kool-aid.
Building a business and wealth takes time. It’s not pretty, and you aren’t always going to get the pats on the back, but if you remain focused you can be successful. You’ll find that it’s better to build a solid foundation on which to put your business, even if the foundation is invisible to the eye.

 

Tips for Making Good Financial Choices

 

When contemplating a purchase, avoid choosing image over economics by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Is this something necessary to increase my wealth? Things on which you spend your money should directly contribute to your economics. For example, if you’re a realtor, then clothing may be an investment that will boost your career. But if you’re a graphic designer, wear jeans, and invest in better equipment.
  2. Do I want this to impress others, or is it a need? Put your money to work for you. Don’t throw it away on purchases that don’t directly increase your earning power.
  3. Can I get the same result at lower cost? If you have to drive to work every morning, will an expensive luxury car get you there more quickly than a more affordable car? If you need to know what time it is, will a watch encrusted with gold and diamonds keep better time? Probably not!

 

The Real Truth About Business Success

 

None of the wealthy people I know and respect are concerned about image. While they live in small houses and their clothes come from regular stores, they have multimillion dollar real estate portfolios and other income producing investments.

You have to make a choice as to what you want—image or economics. To build a strong foundation for your business, understand that success is not based on symbols. Luxuries are benefits of success, not signs of success. If you’re striving for the so-called symbols of wealth, then you’ll have difficulty building your business, because you’ll always be trying to keep up. Don’t try to impress people who really don’t matter. Instead, invest your money in things that will help you achieve long-term success. Choose economics over image.

 

 

 


Jerome D. LoveJerome D. Love has been an entrepreneur and professional speaker for 20 years and founded the Texas Black Expo in 2002. He was named a Multi-Million Dollar Top Producer (Prudential Texas Realty), Entrepreneur of the Year (National Black MBA Association, Houston Chapter), and Pinnacle Award Finalist (Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce), and is a popular keynote speaker for both corporate and collegiate events.

Love and was selected as keynote speaker for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Economic Development Summit and the New Mexico State Leadership Conference. He has also shared the speaking stage at conferences with business icons like Priceline founder Jeff Hoffman, Chuck E. Cheese founder Gene Landrum, NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and others.

To learn more about Love or to book him for a speaking engagement, visit his website.  

You can also follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Money – Black Enterprise

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Romania Inflation Accelerates In September

Romania’s consumer price inflation accelerated in September after easing in the previous month, figures from the National Institute of Statistics showed Wednesday.
RTT – Economic News

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5 Financial Basics Anyone Over 35—and Single—Must Have

financial basics

The author of Growing Up and Saving Up, financial planner, Erin Baehr, says, “Once you get into your thirties, and you have the financial basics—such as an emergency fund and other necessities—settled, you can take on more risk overall.”

The twenties are mostly filled with less complication, for some people.  Saving for retirement or taking care of aging parents may not be at the top-of-mind when you’re 22.  However, you reach a point in life where you have to change and give the topic of finances priority attention, asking yourself, “Where do I start?”

Well, it’s actually easier than you think, if you keep these financial basics in mind to help build a solid future in your thirties—particularly if you’re single and have no one to help.

 

1.      Your Budget

 

Establishing a pre-set budget may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of people that don’t have a budget. This goes beyond just making money and spending it.  You need to examine where your money goes, what is left over, and how you can cut expenses for future planning.

This analysis will give you the ability to make some hard choices. Your reality review should include:

  • Getting out of debt by paying off high-interest credit cards and loans. The same Forbes article stated, “You may have the income now to really attack any student loans or credit card debt that may be lurking. Don’t just pay the minimums and keep those balances for decades. Get aggressive and knock out high-interest debt now, since later you’ll probably be balancing saving for your own retirement and for college if you have kids.”
  • Cutting back on all of the waste. Suze Orman, the famed financial consultant, offers advice in a webcast on Oprah.com that helps on this topic: “Listen to me—stop focusing on the big picture. Macroeconomics matter, but your security depends far more on microfinance—the small choices you make with your money. Every financial worry you want to banish, and financial dream you want to achieve comes from taking tiny steps today that put you on a path toward your goals.”
  • Managing your personal finances on a serious level.

 

2.      Your Financial Health Status

 

This includes the other layers that go beyond your budget and can affect each of the next steps you want to take.

You should make sure that you have the following:

  • Both a checking and savings account in good standing.
  • A good credit score on all of the credit reporting agencies.
  • Contribute to a retirement plan, either through your employer or with a Roth IRA.

 

3.      Focus on ‘Value’

 

This is a subset of the ‘budget’ topic, but it is one that you face on a daily basis. Everything that you buy or consider purchasing should be evaluated. It doesn’t mean getting the ‘cheapest,’ but it does mean making every attempt at spending less to get the most, and can include:

  • Shopping smartly and looking for discounts and deals.
  • Using coupons, loyalty programs, and all avenues to get the best bang for your buck.
  • Buy based on financials, not emotions, and understand that ‘waiting’ can save more in the long run.
  • Throwing away some of those preexisting ideas, such as ‘only buying new’ for a car.

 

4.      Invest in a Home Now

 

You are at the perfect age to make a real estate investment, but to do it the right way, you need to use common sense on your purchase.Don’t invest in an area you can’t afford to rent.  Rent cheap and invest low in another city for cash flow. Remember that this home can be a stepping stone to the next, and you want to make sure that your payment matches your income, so that you don’t go over your head.

This decision should include:

  • Having a nice amount of money for a down payment to reduce your principle.
  • Being prepared for the many home operating expenses that will show up, including repairs and upgrades.

 

5.      Mentoring From Someone Who Has Been Successful

 

There are many people within your network that have achieved successful planning, and you need to tap into those relationships for advice and counseling. While their circumstances may be completely different from yours, you can streamline the information to fit your conditions. This can take your financial journey in a lot of different directions, many of which you might not have thought about:

  • Making sure that you have sufficient and the right kind of life and health insurance coverage in case of an emergency.
  • Looking into other potential investments, such as rental property.
  • Making sure that you have your retirement savings set up, before you begin saving for college for your children.
  • Establishing a Will, and choosing the right one that will protect your family and all that you have worked for.

This is a prime moment in your life, and these financial basics will pay off in ways that you might never think of for the future. Your future self will thank you.

 


maryann reid

Maryann Reid is the digital managing editor of BlackEnterprise.com and the author of several books published by St. Martin’s Press. For more, please follow her @RealAlphanista.

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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Richard Thaler wins Nobel for work in behavioral economics

The Nobel economics prize has been awarded to Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago for research showing how people’s economic choices _ whether on savings or game shows like "Deal or No Deal" _ are not always rational
ABC News: Money

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6 Simple Budget Tips to Follow When You Become Self-Employed

self-employed

Taking the leap and becoming self-employed can be both exciting and scary. After you’ve prepared financially to become self-employed, you’ll need to maintain control over your finances and possibly tweak your spending plan to ensure you’ll have enough to meet your expenses each month.

Here are 6 simple budget tips that will help contribute to your success.

 

1. View It as a Spending Plan

 

The word ‘budget’ can make people feel tense. Budgeting can seem limiting and no fun which is why you don’t have to commit to a strict monthly budget even when you become self-employed and have a fluctuating income.

If it’s easier for you to loosely plan out your spending, you can still stay on track take care of your necessities without running short.

 

2. Estimate Your Monthly Earnings

 

Sometimes counting your chickens before they’ve hatched isn’t always a bad thing. Even though your self-employment income may vary, there’s nothing wrong with estimating your monthly earnings as long as you aren’t spending money before you actually receive it.

Determine how much you need to earn each month and how much work you have lined up. If have contracts established for client work, you can easily estimate how much you will earn each month. That way, you’ll have an idea of how much you can spend and what you may need to do in order to hit your monthly projections.

 

3. Separate Business and Personal Expenses

 

It’s imperative that you keep business and personal expenses separate once you start working for yourself. Determine how much you need to spend on your business each month and deposit the money into a business checking account. Then, keep the rest of your income in your personal bank account.

This will help things run smoother during tax time, and allow you to get a clearer view of how much money you have to use each month.

 

4. Set Aside Enough Money for Taxes

 

Paying taxes will be your sole responsibility when you become self-employed. With that being said, be sure to talk to your accountant or a CPA to determine what your tax rate is and how much you should set aside each month for taxes.

You should also keep a record of what you pay in quarterly taxes and keep track of all your expenses as well.

 

5. Make Savings Contributions a Fixed Expense

 

It’s important to get into the habit of saving a portion of your earnings if you haven’t already. While self-employment provides lots of freedom and opportunity, it also can create many income risks.

If you lose a client or source of income, you want to have enough emergency savings lined up to fall back on. This is why you should choose a fixed amount of money to transfer to your savings account each month.

Include the savings contribution in your monthly spending plan just like you would for your rent or mortgage.

 

6. Create a Bare Bones Budget as a Backup

 

The first few months of self-employment may seem like the scariest as you start to notice that your money is being dragged in all these different places whether it’s business expenses, savings, taxes, etc.

This is why you should develop a bare bones budget early on which lists out just the basic expenses you need to meet to survive. During slower months, you may need to start using your bare bones budget in order to make ends meet.

During profitable months, you should be saving extra if you can but your bare bones budget should always be there to use as a last resort. The basic budget you create will help eliminate financial stress as you work through the feast or famine seasons of self-employment.

 

Summary: Secure Your Financial Situation Step-By-Step

 

All of these money management tips are very important to consider when you become self-employed and they are simple to implement. Don’t let income and budgeting hold you back from launching a more profitable career and running your dream business.

Realize that you can develop better money management habits to eliminate financial stress by implementing each of these tips step-by-step.

 

 

 


Choncé Maddox is a professional writer who recently left her job in the web design industry to produce killer content and manage her own writing business full time. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs be more productive and create a life they love by doing fulfilling work. On the side, she runs a podcast and blogs about getting out of debt at MyDebtEpiphany.com.

Due is a payments, eCash, online invoicing, time tracking, global payments, and digital wallet solution for freelancers, small business owners, and companies of all sizes.

Money – Black Enterprise

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