Talking money with Suzy Welch: ‘You don’t have to be an expert to get into the market’

Investing is a great way to grow your money, but the fear of not knowing enough about the market and losing money tends to scare people off. But life management expert Suzy Welch says you don't need to be an expert to win big.
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China Economic Growth Steady In Q1

China’s economy grew at a stable pace in the first quarter of this year, defying expectations for a modest easing, led by robust investment, preliminary data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday. Gross domestic product grew 6.4 percent year-on-year, same as in the final three months of 2018. Economists had expected 6.3 percent growth.
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PepsiCo Q1 Results Top Estimates, Reaffirms FY19 Outlook

Snack and beverage giant PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) on Wednesday reported an increase in net income for the first quarter, reflecting higher revenues. Both adjusted earnings per share and net revenues for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates. The company also reaffirmed its earnings and organic revenue growth outlook for the full-year 2019.
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America’s wealthy investors say Fed-induced stock rally has plenty of life left — maybe years

Millionaire investors began 2019 worried about the market, but as the Fed's about-face on interest rates takes hold as the new normal in monetary policy and stocks surge, an E-Trade survey finds that the wealthy expect the rally to continue.
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Australia Unemployment Data Due On Thursday

Australia will on Thursday release March figures for unemployment, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
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Rapper and Fyre Festival Co-Founder Ja Rule Reportedly in Tax Trouble

Ja Rule may be in tax trouble once again. The rapper and Fyre Festival co-founder, born as Jeffrey Atkins, reportedly owes the IRS more than $ 2 million in back federal taxes on liens over the course of a decade. According to an exclusive report from Bossip, public documents show that the IRS issued a lien for $ 443,442 for back taxes from income that the hip-hop star earned in 2016. A separate lien issued on March 4 shows that he also owes back taxes from 2005 through 2008, bringing his total amount owed to a whopping $ 2,031,753. His wife, Aisha, is also named on the liens obtained by Bossip.

The 43-year-old rapper was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison back in 2011 for tax evasion after admitting that he did not file taxes on more than $ 1.1 million in income over a period of five years, reported CNN.

From 2004 through 2008, Atkins received royalties from ASJA Inc. and performance income from Rule Tours Inc., but failed to file returns that would have mandated he pay the government $ 1,137,912, the release said. Though he pleaded guilty to charges related only to the first three years, he will pay back taxes and penalties for all five.

Atkins served the prison term concurrently with a sentence for gun possession. At the time, he said one of his biggest regrets was being separated from his children. “I’ve got three kids,” he said. “If there was anything that I regret, I regret that they have to go through this with me, and I’m not going to be there for them.”

In 2017, Atkins teamed up with notorious serial entrepreneur Billy McFarland to create the Fyre Festival, which was marketed as a luxurious music fest and beach getaway on a private island but turned out to be a complete sham. The highly-anticipated and expensive event was advertised by social media influencers like Kendall Jenner as an immersive art and musical experience. However, attendees paid up to $ 12,000 a ticket for cheese sandwiches and were forced to sleep in tents.

Although Atkins had not responded to the liens by April 15, he shared photos on Instagram of himself and his wife celebrating their 18-year anniversary in Thailand.

The post Rapper and Fyre Festival Co-Founder Ja Rule Reportedly in Tax Trouble appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Badger Meter Q1 Profit Surges, But Results Miss Estimates – Quick Facts

Badger Meter Inc. (BMI), a provider of flow measurement, control, and communication solutions, on Wednesday reported a surge in profit for the first quarter from last year as a decline in sales was more than offset by lower costs and expenses. However, both revenue and earnings per share for the quarter missed analysts’ expectations.
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Morgan Stanley Shares Rise After Q1 Profit Beats Estimates

Morgan Stanley (MS) reported first-quarter earnings that surpassed the analysts’ estimates. Shares of the company were up more than 2 percent in premarket trade. The bank reported earnings of $ 1.39 per share compared with $ 1.45 per share a year ago. Total earnings declined 9 percent year-over-year to $ 2.34 billion. During the quarter, it recorded certain tax benefits of $ 101 million, or $ 0.06 per share. Excluding this, earnings were $ 1.33 per share. On average, 20 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 1.16 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. Wealth Management delivered pre-tax income of $ 1.2 billion reflecting strong expense management.
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Bank Of America Q1 Profit Tops Estimates; Revenue Relatively Stable

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) reported first-quarter earnings per share of $ 0.70, up 13 percent from $ 0.62, a year ago. On average, 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 0.65 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. Net profit applicable to common shareholders increased year-over-year to $ 6.87 billion from $ 6.49 billion.
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Japan Has Y528.5 Billion Trade Surplus In March

Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 528.5 billion yen in March, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday.
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The Best Way to Electronically File Taxes, Plus, Deductions You May Have Missed

Today is the day that all taxes are due. So how do you digitize your taxes and claim your deductions? For starters, use online services like TurboTax. It makes filing extremely seamless. Here is a list of deductions that you should look into and take full advantage of:

1. Home Office Tax Deduction

The eligibility rules for claiming a home office vary, but remote workers and self-employed filers make sure you claim this break. You are also eligible to write off expenses that are associated with the portion of your home where you exclusively conduct business. These expenses include rent, utilities, insurance, and housekeeping.

2. Business Expenses

If you drive for Uber on the weekends or rent out your house on Airbnb, you could qualify as a business owner and should be filing a Schedule C tax form. As a general rule, freelancers can write off business-related expenses but they have to be necessary.

3. Student Loan Interest Paid

You can deduct up to $ 2,500 of student loan interest per return, per year. You can claim the student loan interest tax deduction as an adjustment to income. You don’t need to itemize deductions to claim it. Go to your student loan provider to access the forms and upload them on TurboTax.

4. Moving Expenses

Don’t be fooled. The moving expense deduction is no longer available in tax years 2018 – 2025 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) but there are some exceptions to the rule. If you moved to a new location because of work and are a member of the military, you may qualify to use IRS Form 3903 to claim the cost of your moving expenses as a deduction on your federal income tax return.

5. Claim your Dependents

New tax laws allow you to claim a dependent credit, either $ 500 or $ 2,000 depending on the status of the dependent.

Don’t be late and remember if you need to file an extension, you can do so here.

The post The Best Way to Electronically File Taxes, Plus, Deductions You May Have Missed appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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$590 million Powerball winner sues son, claims he and advisor mismanaged winnings

A lawsuit in Florida claims that the winner's money has earned less than 1% and that she has suffered $ 10 million in damages.
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25-Year-Old Nigerian Entrepreneur Is One of the Top Young Wealth Creators

25-year-old Nigerian fintech entrepreneur Odunayo Eweniyi was voted one of the Top 100 Inspirational Women in Nigeria. Forbes Africa named her one of the top 20 young wealth creators in Africa.

In under three years, her startup PiggyVest has helped over 230,000 African millennials invest and save over $ 15 million, reversing the trend of not just millennials (20% of which think they’ll die in debt), but also narrowing the black/white wealth gap.

“PiggyVest actually exists because 80% of Nigerians—and probably Africans—need to save at least 40% of their monthly income to survive,” Eweniyi says. “The black dollar—or in my case, naira—is so important, much more important than most realize.”

In the business of finance and tech, Odunayo—as a woman—sits in the minority. This is exactly why her story is so important. In this Q&A, Odunayo breaks down the importance of black savings, her advice to aspiring founders, and why a broken financial system helped create a quarter million black investors.

BLACK ENTERPRISE: What made you want to become an entrepreneur?

Odunayo Eweniyi: I’ve always wanted to make an impact. I didn’t know how I would do it, but I felt a compulsion to. After graduating from university and trying and failing to get a gig that fit, it became clear that the only thing that’ll fit is something I started on my own. So, my journey as an entrepreneur started the same year I left university.

You’ve managed to effectively change how young Africans invest. How did the idea come about?

Piggybank.ng (now PiggyVest) started as a sustainable alternative to actual, physical piggy banks. People had been using that to save and the process was so flawed. But it also showed that there clearly was a gap in the finance industry that we could bridge.

How did you bridge it?

Piggybank.ng was built as an automated savings platform that helps Africans better manage their finances by making it clearer and more transparent. Our platform helps Africans save automatically. We focus on low-to-middle income earners who are struggling to meet up with their responsibilities and payments because they have no way of saving up. We automatically deduct fixed amounts of money from our users’ accounts periodically, according to their instructions toward a target.

Here in the U.S., we see Millennials and Gen Z who never invested now doing so through Robinhood, Qapital, and so on. Is there an appetite for this in Nigeria? 

Huge! Piggybank.ng actually exists because 80% of Nigerians – and probably Africans – need to save at least 40% of their monthly income to survive. Because we have no credit system most of our payments are done in bulk, upfront, and in cash. The current African banking system, as it is, is heavily transactional—and the charges you incur when you interact with your account form part of a commercial bank’s revenue.

Right.

That doesn’t apply to Piggybank.ng. Our platform is personal, but yet super disciplined. Unlike the banks, Piggybank actually encourages saving by automating the savings process and creating a barrier to access.

How so?

You get four free withdrawal days in a year. Outside of that, withdrawal attracts a penalty. We also offer savings interests rates that are more than 50% better than that of commercial banks.

What’s the traction so far?

We now have over 230,000 users whom we have gathered organically, with about 50% of them actively saving on our platform. And we’ve so far saved over $ 15 million with about $ 7 million in assets under management. We concluded our seed funding round in March last year closing $ 1.1 million from local and international investors.

What’s your advice to young entrepreneurs of color, especially young women? How can they do what you’ve done? What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give?

Embrace the failures and the mistakes; they are opportunities to learn. Persevere; almost everything that is worth it takes time — and aim big. Don’t let anyone place limits on you, and more importantly don’t place any limits on yourself! Whatever you dream of, focus – like laser focus – and then go get it.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

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New Zealand Food Prices Rise 0.5%

Food prices in New Zealand were up an unadjusted 0.5 percent on month in March, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday – following the 0.4 percent gain in February.
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Rite Aid Provides FY20 Outlook – Quick Facts

Rite Aid Corp. (RAD) announced, for fiscal 2020, the company expects sales to be between $ 21.5 billion and $ 21.9 billion with same store sales expected to range from flat to an increase of 1.0 percent over fiscal 2019. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $ 500.0 million and $ 560.0 million. Adjusted result per share is expected to be between a loss of $ 0.01 and income of $ 0.04. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report profit per share of $ 0.02 on revenue of $ 22.09 billion. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
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TOP WNBA SALARIES VS. NBA SALARIES [2019 UPDATE]

WNBA top draft pick Jackie Young is living out her childhood dreams. “As a kid, it was always my dream to be the first pick. I can’t even put it into words. I can’t believe it’s real,” she told Sports Illustrated after it was announced Wednesday that she was selected No. 1 overall by the Las Vegas Aces. Now, she’s working toward her next lifetime goal: winning a WNBA championship.

The Aces have had the No. 1 pick for the third straight year. In 2017, they drafted Kelsey Plum and then A’ja Wilson last season with the No. 1 pick. Wilson, however, triggered a firestorm of debate a few months after joining the league when she addressed the huge pay gap between professional women and men basketball players. “154M ……….. must. be. nice. We over here looking for a M 🙃 but Lord, let me get back in my lane,” she tweeted in July after NBA star LeBron James signed a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers worth $ 154 million. Wilson followed up with a few more tweets expressing both her affinity for James and her dissatisfaction with the pay discrepancy between male and female players. She noted that even the most skilled WNBA players make just a fraction of what a frequently benched player in the NBA can earn. The power forward also criticized the WNBA’s pay model, which pays players about 25% of its revenue compared to the NBA, which pays players about 50% of its generated revenue.

Even though WNBA players will enjoy a modest salary increase in the upcoming 2019-20 season, they will still earn about 20% of the minimum salary of an NBA player even though they’re essentially doing the same job, according to CNBC. Young, for example, will gross a mere $ 53,537 despite being the No. 1 draft pick and a standout player during her collegiate career at Notre Dame. Meanwhile, most of the other rookies will earn even less with a starting salary of $ 41,965. That’s nearly $ 20,000 less than the median U.S. household income. In comparison, the starting salary for the NBA for the 2018–19 season was $ 582,180. Overall, the average WNBA players make around $ 79,000 while the maximum salary caps at $ 117,500. The minimum player salary for players with three or more years of service is $ 56,375.

Critics, however, argue that WNBA players earn less because the league only generates $ 25 million in annual revenue while the NBA rakes in a whopping $ 7.4 billion. The WNBA also receives less money in broadcast rights than the NBA. WNBA teams also play 34 games in a season for about four and a half months if they don’t make the playoffs. By comparison, NBA teams play 82 games in the regular season for six months while the finals can stretch the season another two months.

Still, top talent in the women’s league plays overseas during the offseason in order to earn extra money. In fact, they can earn up to 15 times more than the salaries offered by the WNBA. As a result, they are forced to play basketball all year long without a break.

Former WNBA President Lisa Borders weighed in on the debate, telling Forbes that bias against female athletes is at the heart of the pay disparity. “Let’s be clear, there is a lot of sexism that still goes on. People do not believe that women can be superb professional athletes. That frankly is an ignorant perspective, but if you haven’t had the opportunity to see a game, a player, or experienced the game, then perhaps you have an uninformed perspective. We invite folks into the area to actually see a game.”

 

 

 

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Tesco Plc FY Pretax Profit Rises; Sales Up 11.5% – Quick Facts

Tesco Plc (TSCO.L, TSCDY.PK) reported pretax profit of 1.67 billion pounds for the 52 weeks ended 23 February 2019 compared to 1.30 billion pounds, previous year. Earnings per share from continuing operations was 13.55 pence compared to 12.11 pence. Statutory operating profit was 2.15 billion pounds, up 17.1% year-on-year. Group operating profit before exceptional items and amortisation of acquired intangibles was 2.21 billion pounds, up 33.5% at constant exchange rates and up 34.0% at actual rates. EPS before exceptional and other items increased to 15.40 pence from 11.90 pence.
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New Zealand Food Prices Advance 0.5% In March

Food prices in New Zealand climbed an unadjusted 0.5 percent on month in March, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday – following the 0.4 percent gain in February.
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The $1 Menu Is the Quickest Way to Being Broke – 5 Lies That Keep You in Debt

We all have those lies, large and small, we tell ourselves to justify why we do the things that we do. The reality is, however, that every single decision we make is either helping us or hurting us. There really isn’t much grey area there. Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not now, really doesn’t matter. Our long-term financial standing will inevitably show us what we found important during our short-term decision making.

5 Lies That Keep You in Debt

1. I deserve it.

Do you work hard? Of course you do. Do you deserve to indulge every once in awhile?  Maybe. The question is, however, whether a new dress is really worth you staying in debt? Sometimes you may need to ask yourself, “As much as I deserve… don’t I deserve to be debt free even more?”

If you answer,No, I deserve to work my entire adult life and still end up with nothing at the age of retirement,” then continue on. Buy all the dresses you want. Remember It’s the constant conversation you have with yourself to justify unnecessary spending on an ongoing basis that hurts you.

2. But, this is an emergency. . . isn’t it?

Let’s be clear about what emergencies are. Merriam-Webster defines the term emergency as “A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.” With that being said, dipping into your emergency fund for items that you were fully aware were coming up is not an emergency. It’s important to make every expense a line item on your budget, even those things that are quarterly or annual expenditures such as car registration or dues.

3. It was on sale!

We’ve all fallen for this one at one time or another. The reality is most people are in debt because of stuff. It’s impossible to get out of debt if you are committed to buying more and more stuff instead of truly being financially free.

One way to avoid this trap is to stop walking around the mall and “window shopping” or curtail online shopping. Perhaps it’s time to unsubscribe from tempting emails with the “great deals” in your email box  or texted to you each morning. Instead of convincing yourself that you’re saving, begin to ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”

Remember that buying something you don’t need is never better than saving money for your actual needs.

4. A couple of bucks won’t hurt.

I heard someone say once that the $ 1 menu is the quickest way to being broke. It’s the small charges that add up and inevitably break the bank. I have more clients that get caught up in $ 34 overdraft fees for a quick $ 5 swipe at the gas station than anything else.

Again, it’s important that even with the small purchases, you ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”

5. If I made more money, this would be easier.

No it wouldn’t. Without discipline, you could double your income and still have tons of debt and no savings. Don’t assume that more money is the answer. We’ve all heard of the entertainers, athletes and my favorite, lottery winners, who end up flat broke and in deep debt despite having access to tons of money at one point.

Wealth is about a mindset. No matter what your financial goals are today, get real with yourself.

-Editor’s note: This post was updated from its original publish date in 2012. 

 

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10 Questions to Ask Before Signing on With a Debt Settlement Company

Debt settlement might seem like an easy out, but there are many risks involved. If you’re considering hiring the services of a debt settlement company, get as much information as possible about the process. Before you sign on the dotted line, here’s a list of the top 10 questions you should ask.

10 Questions to Ask a Before Signing on With a Debt Settlement Company

1. What are your fees?
Most of the fees should be based upon performance and results. Many companies charge a flat fee based upon a percentage of your debt amount. Their fees are collected in the beginning months of the program, even if no settlements are completed. If fees are based upon a percentage of the debt and not tied to results, this is a big red flag.

2. How long have you been in the debt settlement business and how much debt have you settled?
Many companies don’t settle much debt at all, and young companies have very little experience. If the company cannot demonstrate experience, this is another red flag.

3. Can you stop my creditors from calling me?
It is not possible to stop all creditor calls. If they say they can, beware.

4. Will you be making monthly payments to my creditors?
Settlement companies do not make monthly payments to your creditors. They should not claim to do so or give you the impression that they do.

5. Can I get sued?
Yes, there is a possibility that you could get sued. Don’t believe it if the settlement company acts like it can’t happen to you.

6. Will this have a negative effect on my credit report?
The correct answer to this question is “Yes.” Settled debt will have a negative impact on your credit report.

7. When can I expect my first settlement?
Your first settlement should be made well within the first 12 months of your program. If it takes any longer than 12 months, this is an indication that your settlement is not being handled correctly.

8. Can you tell me exactly how long this will take and exactly how much this will cost?
Debt settlement is not an exact science and there are too many variables to come up with exact time frames and figures. Many companies will tell you anything to get you in the door. They should not make any attempt to provide exact information.

9. Are there tax consequences I should be made aware of?
Yes. The IRS considers forgiven debt to be taxable income, though you may be able to get the taxes waived if you can show the IRS you are insolvent. This should be explained.

10. Who is holding my money while I’m waiting on a settlement?
Your funds should be held at a third party escrow company in an FDIC-insured trust account. The company should not tell you to send the funds you are saving for the settlement to them.

Source: Credit.com

For more information, check out these debt settlement companies. 

RELATED: 6 COMMON LIES DEBT COLLECTORS WILL TELL YOU

-Editor’s Note: This article was updated from it’s original publish date in 2011. 

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Shaw Communications Says Remains On Track To Meet Its FY19 Guidance

Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR_B.TO, SJR, SJR_A.TO) confirmed Tuesday that it remains on track to meet its fiscal 2019 guidance, which includes consolidated operating income before restructuring costs and amortization growing 4 to 6 percent over fiscal 2018. The expected growth rate is based on adjusted fiscal 2018 results that include the impact of IFRS 15.
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Japan Household Spending Rises 1.7% On Year In February

The average of household spending in Japan was up 1.7 percent on year in February, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday – coming in at 271,232 yen.
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Signet Jewelers Issues FY20 Guidance; Maintains Quarterly Dividend – Quick Facts

Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG), a retailer of diamond jewelry, announced, for fiscal 2020, the company expects: non-GAAP EPS of $ 2.87 – $ 3.45; total sales of $ 6.0 billion – $ 6.1 billion; and same store sales to be in the range of a decline of 2.5% to flat. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report profit per share of $ 3.12 on revenue of $ 6.1 billion. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
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Acuity Brands Q2 Profit Beats Estimates; Sales Up 2.7% – Quick Facts

Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI) reported that its adjusted EPS for the second quarter of fiscal 2019 increased 5.3 percent, to $ 1.99 compared with adjusted diluted EPS of $ 1.89 for the year-ago period. On average, 9 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 1.81 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. Adjusted operating profit increased 6.7 percent, to $ 112.4 million from the year-ago period adjusted operating profit of $ 105.3 million.
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Millionaire activist group looks to squeeze politicians who don’t support higher taxes on the rich

"Patriotic Millionaires," which describes itself as "proud traitors to their class," wants to meet with every member of Congress.
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Australia February Trade Surplus A$4.801 Billion

Australia had a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade surplus of A$ 4.801 billion in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.
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Delta, American Express renew credit card deal through 2029

American Express and Delta Air Lines are extending their credit card partnership through 2029, a significant extension of one of the larger financial partnerships between a major U.S. airline and a credit card company
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Tokyo Overall CPI Steady At 0.9% In March

Overall inflation in the Tokyo region was up 0.9 percent on year in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday – in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month.
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U.S. government weighs social-media snooping to detect Social Security fraud

Getting followed on social media could soon gain a new meaning for workers applying for Social Security disability benefits. The Trump administration is working on a plan to let the Social Security…


Reuters: Wealth

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New Zealand Business Confidence Survey On Tap For Thursday

New Zealand will on Thursday see March results for the business confidence survey and activity outlook from ANZ Bank, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
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FactSet Updates FY19 Expectations – Quick Facts

FactSet (FDS) updated its GAAP EPS and adjusted EPS outlook for fiscal 2019. GAAP EPS is now expected to be in the range of $ 8.70 and $ 8.85. Adjusted EPS is now expected to be in the range of $ 9.50 and $ 9.65. The mid-point of the guidance represents a 12% growth over the prior year. In December 2018, the company projected: GAAP EPS to be in the range of $ 8.70 and $ 8.90; and adjusted EPS in the range of $ 9.45 and $ 9.65.
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Don’t Let Just Anyone Handle Your Money: Use Caution When Choosing a Financial Adviser

African Americans may do well to check out a financial adviser’s credentials thoroughly before hiring one to manage their investments. New data shows what you need to know before choosing a financial adviser.

Some 48% of Americans mistakenly believe all financial advisers are required by law to always act in their clients’ best interest, a new survey by digital wealth manager Personal Capital shows. The finding comes after the Securities and Exchange Commission this month settled charges against 79 investment advisers who must return over $ 125 million to clients tied to mutual fund sales, with a large chunk of the money going to retail investors, DI Media reports.

The Personal Capital 2019 Financial Trust Report further disclosed that 65% of investors who work with a financial adviser incorrectly believe that financial advisers only make recommendations that are in a client’s best interest, a rise from 46% in 2017.

A startling discovery was that just 44% of Americans know the fee amounts they pay on all their investment accounts. And 20% do not know how their adviser is paid. Personal Capital claims hidden fees can add up to more than an eye-popping $ 400,000 in an investor’s lifetime.

This report stemmed from a CARAVAN survey by Engine among a sample of 2,007 adults—1,004 men and 1,003 women—18 years of age and older. The online interviews were conducted in December 2018 and entailed responses from 202 African Americans.

Though 30% surveyed think a financial adviser is likely to take advantage of a consumer, 97% trust that their own financial adviser will act in their best interests.

A Lack of Awareness When Choosing a Financial Adviser

Accentuating the lack of awareness pertaining to advisers’ legal obligations to clients, 18% were unable to identify if their adviser is a broker/dealer or a fiduciary. The 26% who indicated their advisers are broker/dealers should reconsider if they are receiving unbiased financial advice, Personal Capital says.

Questioned about who they would trust their money with, 28% said a registered investment adviser, 21% a big bank/brokerage firm, 14% a local advisory company, 8% an online platform. Thirty-three of the respondents said none of the above.

On the loyalty front, millennials surprisingly were the most devoted with 80% declaring they would follow an adviser to a new firm. Seventy percent of Gen Xers and 66% of baby boomers felt that way. Respondents reflected on the usefulness of technology in financial services and cybersecurity concerns.

The overall findings come after years of public debate among regulatory bodies over the fate of the fiduciary rule focused on arguing the definition of “best interest,” which Personal Capital claims may be contributing to the increased public confusion.

“While we hope all financial services professionals and firms are working with Americans’ best interests in mind regardless of fiduciary designations, this simply isn’t the case,” said Jay Shah, CEO of Personal Capital. “When it comes to wealth management, anything less than advice that meets the fiduciary standard simply isn’t acceptable. Investors deserve more.”

How to Find a Reputable Adviser

Responding to the Personal Capital report, Kevin Mayeux, CEO of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, said, “Broker-dealers and their registered representatives provide affordable, trustworthy financial services and products to clients at all income levels, from the wealthy to those with more modest means.” The NAIFA is the nation’s largest membership association of insurance and financial professionals.

Mayeux added,  “Fiduciary regulations, such as one imposed by the U.S. Department of Labor before it was struck down by a federal court, can create burdensome and costly requirements that make it difficult or impossible for advisers to provide individualized, human-on-human advice and services to middle- and lower-income consumers. Many registered investment advisers charge fees and require account minimums of $ 200,000 to $ 1 million or more while relegating people who cannot maintain those balances or afford those fees to one-size-fits-all computerized models or call-centers.”

“The truth is, insurance and financial advisers are highly-trained and licensed professionals. They are governed by state and federal securities laws, and every securities transaction they complete with a client is subject to compliance reviews by their broker-dealers and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.”

Mayeux pointed out NAIFA members agree to abide by a code of ethics that includes a promise to promote their clients’ interests. He says the vast majority of these advisers build and maintain enduring relationships with clients that often last decades and would not be possible if the advisers were not looking out for the best interests of their clients.

“Nonetheless, NAIFA supports an ongoing effort by the Securities and Exchange Commission that would further require advisers to serve in the best interests of their clients and is working with the SEC to ensure that the final rule benefits consumers of all income levels and allows them to continue to receive needed services and advice.”

A “Staunch Advocate”

Geoffrey Brown, CEO of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, said the findings from Personal Capital’s 2019 Financial Trust Report are not surprising. He said because of efforts to mislead and confuse the public by non-fiduciary financial services professionals, consumers often don’t have the clarity needed to evaluate the relationship they have with their chosen professional.

He added this leads to a lack of understanding about the true cost of the engagement and the duties owed to the client under the law. Since its inception, Brown claims NAPFA has been a staunch advocate for fiduciary principles, something he maintains is the most transparent way of serving the public. The NAPFA calls itself the country’s leading professional association of fee-only financial advisers.

“In today’s marketplace, it’s virtually impossible to distinguish a salesperson from an adviser, or between those advisers who are legally obligated to provide advice under a fiduciary standard versus those who are not. When working with an adviser or salesperson, consumers need to be clear about the nature of the relationship,” Brown says.

 

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Japan Overall Inflation Rises Just 0.2% On Year In February

Overall nationwide inflation in Japan was up 0.2 percent on year in February, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
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Tilray Shares Rise On Better-than-expected Sales In Q4

Shares of Tilray Inc. rose more than 2 percent in after-hours trading on Monday after the Canadian marijuana company’s fourth-quarter revenue more than tripled from the prior year and beat analysts’ expectations. The company also said its strategic partnerships and acquisitions position it to accelerate global sales growth and drive long-term shareholder value.
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How to Reach Your Retirement Savings Goal in 2019

How much do you have saved for retirement? If you’re an employee, you probably have a 401(k) or other sponsored retirement plan, but you don’t have to stop there—there’s more to retirement savings. Depending on your annual income, there are different types of retirement vehicles. One that is often overlooked by many young professionals and self-employed entrepreneurs is the Roth IRA.

A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that allows you to use after-tax dollars to fund life during retirement. The tax-free factor provides a tax-free stream of income (including gains) when you retire. It’s important to take advantage of this when you’re younger because this tax-free retirement vehicle is not available to you after you reach a certain income threshold.

The IRS also raised the annual Roth IRA contribution limits from $ 5,500 in 2018 to $ 6,000 in 2019 (for individuals under 50). That means you can contribute $ 6,000 to retirement this year and enjoy the benefits of tax-free withdrawals when you retire. If you contribute $ 500/month, you can max out your retirement account goals in 12 months. That adds up to a retirement savings goal of $ 125 a week! Below, are additional steps you can take to reach your retirement goals this year.

Reach Your Retirement Goal in 2019:

Make it Automatic

Are you disciplined enough to automatically set aside a specific dollar amount or percentage of your money and allocate it toward retirement every time you get paid? Most people aren’t. And there’s no point in adding another task to your to-do list when you can automate it. All you have to do it set up recurring transfers from your checking account to your retirement account to ensure you are consistently making contributions.

Allocate Lump Sum Payment Amounts Wisely

Are you going to receive a year-end bonus, tax refund, or another fat check? Have a plan for your money or it can quickly disappear right before your eyes. You can use this money to jump-start your retirement goals, which will decrease the amount of money that you have to save monthly to max out your Roth IRA retirement contributions.

Invest Your Spare Change

Don’t abandon your pennies because they are the foundation of nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars. A little can go a long way if you are consistent. Your spare change can be used to build your retirement savings. You can use apps that help you invest your spare change, or you can do it yourself.

Manage Income and Expenses

If you’re strapped for cash, you need to decrease your bills or increase your income. Knowing where your money goes will help you determine which expenses are necessary and which can be cut. If you want to increase your income, do yourself a favor and accumulate profitable skills or find ways to profit from your passion as a freelancer or small business owner. A work promotion or a salary increase can also give you something extra to add to your retirement savings.

Take Advantage of the Saver’s Credit

According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies annual survey, only 12% of American workers who meet the income requirements are aware that they can take advantage of this retirement benefit. The Saver’s Credit was designed to reward low- and moderate-income taxpayers for their retirement contribution. What’s the benefit? This credit can reduce your tax bill or allow you to eliminate it.

The best thing you can do right now to prepare for retirement is to start now. Although retirement may sound like it’s eons away, you should get started right away or risk being left behind scratching your head while retirement creeps up on you.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

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Skittish investors pull more than $20 billion from stocks, rush into bonds: BAML

Global equity funds saw massive outflows this week, a sharp reversal from last week’s inflows as pessimism over economic growth gripped investors once again, driving them instead to search for yield…


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Wood Group FY18 Operating Profit Before Exceptional Items Rises 68%

Wood Group (John) plc (WDGJF.PK, WG.L) reported a loss of $ 7.6 million for the year to 31 December 2018 compared to a loss of $ 30.0 million, prior year. Loss per share was 1.3 cents compared to a loss of 7.4 cents. Operating profit before exceptional items increased by 68% to $ 357 million from 2017 proforma of $ 212 million. Profit before exceptional items was $ 175.2 million compared to $ 135.1 million. Adjusted EPS was 57.4 cents compared to 53.3 cents.
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OneUnited Bank Introduces ‘Queen Card’

OneUnited Bank, the largest black-owned bank in the nation (and No.1 on the ‘Banks’ list of the BE 100‘s listing of the nation’s largest black businesses) just launched The Queen Card.

The card is a Visa debit card with the image of an iconic black woman from history. The Queen Visa Debit Card is part of the bank’s Royalty Campaign.

From a press release about The Queen Card:

The Bank is celebrating a new generation of Queens in America who are claiming their thrones. From scientists to activists, from educators to entertainers, Black women are changing the world.

 

The impact of #BlackGirlMagic cannot be denied. Some of the most important political and civil rights leaders have been Black women such as Harriet Tubman, Shirley Chisolm and Angela Davis. Some of the most important artists and entertainers have also been Black women, such as the late Queen of Soul (Aretha Franklin), Queen Bey (Beyoncé), Queen Latifah, Q.U.E.E.N. Janelle Monae, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison and of course Oprah Winfrey.  And from 2007 to 2018, the number of businesses owned by black women grew by a stunning 164%. According to Forbes, in 2018 there were 2.4 million Black women-owned businesses. In almost every sector, Black women reign!

 

“We agree with Maya Angelou,” states Teri Williams, President & COO. “If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be. We encourage the Black community to celebrate the amazing past, present and future Queens in our community.”

 

OneUnited Bank introduces the Queen Card and the Royalty #WearYourCrown Campaign to take the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack Movement to the next level.

OneUnited has been at the forefront of promoting economic empowerment in the black community. In 2014, it launched the Unity Visa Card, offering those trying to rebuild their credit a secured credit card, as opposed to a prepaid debit card.

The financial institution also made news after partnering with the team from the urban radio show, The Breakfast Club, in an effort that raised over $ 700,000 to support social justice initiatives and activists.

 

 

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New Zealand Q4 GDP Advances 0.6%

New Zealand’s gross domestic product expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday.
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Kingfisher Plc FY Pretax Profit Declines; LFL Sales Down 1.6%

Kingfisher plc (KGF.L) reported that its statutory pre-tax profit for year ended 31 January 2019, which includes the impact of transformation costs and exceptional items, decreased by 52.8% to 322 million pounds. Earnings per share was 10.2 pence compared to 22.0 pence. Underlying pre-tax profit was 693 million pounds, down 13.0% from prior year. Underlying EPS was 23.8 pence compared to 25.4 pence. Adjusted pre-tax profit declined 16.1% to 573 million pounds. Adjusted earnings per share was 19.7 pence compared to 21.7 pence.
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General Mills Now Expects FY19 Adj. EPS To Exceed Initial Targets – Quick Facts

General Mills (GIS) announced, for fiscal 2019, the company now expects constant-currency adjusted EPS to range between flat and up 1 percent from the base of $ 3.11 earned in fiscal 2018, which is ahead of the previous range of flat to down 3 percent. Constant-currency adjusted operating profit is expected to finish toward the upper end of the initial guidance range of 6 to 9 percent growth from the base of $ 2.6 billion reported in fiscal 2018.
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What Black Investors Need to Know about Opportunity Zones

Black investors have historically invested in land to build wealth. Real estate is generally seen as a solid investment because property values typically rise over time. Property can be passed from one generation to another; used to diversify an investment portfolio; and is considered less risky than the stock market. Now, there is a new option for blacks to become investors and receive tax breaks with a new real estate asset class: Opportunity Zones.

Opportunity Zones are low-income areas the U.S. Treasury classifies as “qualified opportunity zones.” Investors can make these asset investments through Qualified Opportunity Funds.

The investments are geared to accelerate economic development in almost 9,000 designated areas in America and Puerto Rico, says tax attorney Steve Moskowitz, a founding member of the San Francisco-based tax law firm Moskowitz L.L.P.

Opportunity Zones were added as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They allow investors to defer tax on any capital gains until 2026 and avoid a capital gains tax on the sale of an Opportunity Zone. Those funds are then invested in property and businesses located or operated within the designated QO Zones.

What Exactly are Opportunity Zones?

According to the Economic Innovation Group, the 2017 tax provision provides “a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into dedicated Opportunity Funds.” African American Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) played an integral part in including the zones in the tax law.

The ante is high as there is a massive amount of capital gains that could be invested in Opportunity Zones. Based on estimates that U.S. households and corporations possess over $ 6 trillion in unrealized capital gains, some officials contend that the program has great potential to trigger an influential change in distressed communities.

Even if a portion of that amount of money was committed, it could possibly mean billions of dollars for poor areas across the country. That is because the program is specifically designed to increase economic opportunity by incentivizing new development in low-income urban and rural areas, says Leslie Anderson, president and CEO of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA).

opportunity zones

Leslie A. Anderson, executive director, NJRA

The NJRA is a multimillion-dollar independent financing New Jersey authority created to transform urban communities through direct investment and technical support.

In New Jersey, where the NJRA is based, many of these designated neighborhoods are predominantly black and have suffered from systemic inequality, Anderson says.

How Low-Income Communities Could Benefit

Anderson says Opportunity Zones give residents in these communities a chance to benefit in several important ways. First, the program can create new development with the potential to generate increased employment opportunities, more affordable housing, improved property values, and more comprehensive and higher quality services.

Unfortunately, without incentives, Anderson says investors often see low-income areas as too high-risk, making it very difficult for needed projects to attract the capital necessary to move forward.

“Opportunity Zones offer investors an incentive to invest in projects that can help to redevelop and transform these neighborhoods,” explains Anderson.

Yet, concerns remain from community advocates who feel the program could create gentrification pitfalls in some neighborhoods populated by low-income residents and minority groups.

For instance, these advocates foresee rising prices for housing or other new real estate development in targeted Opportunity Zones forcing current residents to leave those areas.

Anderson says she understands those concerns as does New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver. She says that New Jersey created an inclusive process that intentionally engages the communities that have been designated as Opportunity Zones.

The governor’s office is holding a series of community forums to educate residents and local businesses, answer questions, understand community needs, and address concerns.

Additionally, the NJRA will meet with local mayors to advise them on leveraging Opportunity Zones to generate projects that directly impact the people who need them most.

Anderson says the NJRA has used its financial resources to leverage nearly $ 4 billion in new investments, helping to redevelop some of New Jersey’s most economically challenged neighborhoods.

“We are also working to ensure that community-based organizations and existing businesses are full participants in the local implementation of the program and can partake in development opportunities.”

Another issue the NJRA is addressing is one of investors mainly focusing on larger cities to the detriment of smaller urban areas.

“We are making a major strategic push to help investors understand the value and importance at looking at all of the designated zones in the 75 municipalities in the state of New Jersey,” Anderson says.

The NJRA, in partnership with the Governor’s Office and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), recently launched a website that serves as an online mapping tool and a comprehensive resource for residents, local governments, and potential businesses and investors.

Information for Black Investors and Taxpayers

Black investors looking at Opportunity Zones may do well to ponder these questions:

How does one become an Opportunity Zone investor?

Is there a minimum amount of income or capital gain from the sale of stock or other assets they must have to become such an investor?

In order to invest in an Opportunity Zone, Anderson says an investor must create a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund, which is any investment vehicle organized as a corporation or partnership with the specific purpose of investing in Opportunity Zone assets.

The fund must hold at least 90% of its assets in the qualifying Opportunity Zones property.

Any tax-paying individual or entity can create an Opportunity Fund, through a self-certification process, which is an IRS form submitted with the taxpayer’s federal income tax return for the taxable year.

Anderson says it is important for black investors to know that they can pool their resources and form a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund, something the NJRA can assist with.

If you are interested in how such an investment may impact your portfolio and taxes, contact a tax attorney and also get more information here.

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Oil major Total CEO’s compensation drops 17 percent in 2018: company document

The board of French oil and gas major Total has proposed total 2018 compensation for Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne of 3.1 million euros ($ 3.55 million), compared with 3.8 million in 2017, company…


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BMW Stock Dips On Weak FY18 Profit, Cautious FY19 Pre-tax Profit View

Shares of BMW Group declined around 5 percent in German trading after the auto giant reported Wednesday weak profit in its fiscal year 2018, despite a 0.1 percent growth in Automotive revenues with higher deliveries. Looking ahead for fiscal 2019, the company expects Group profit before tax will be well below the previous year’s level. BMW said it is confident of volume growth in Automotive unit.
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South Africa Retail Sales Rebound In January

South Africa’s retail sales rose in January after falling in the previous month, preliminary figures from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.
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While You’re Getting Paid for NCAA Brackets, A New Bill Proposes College Athletes Get Paid

A Republican congressman is pushing to pass a new bill that would allow student-athletes to make money off of their image and likeness. Introduced days before the start of March Madness and NCAA brackets-madness, the Student-Athlete Equity Act would amend the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bylaws that prohibit students from receiving any form of outside payment for the use of their name, image, and likeness. Under current NCAA rules, student-athletes are not allowed to sign endorsement deals, accept gifts from fans, or even sell their autograph. Duke’s Zion Williamson, for example, can’t earn a dime despite the fact that his athletic prowess has high-profile celebrities and fans pouring into the stands to see him play.

“Signing an athletic scholarship with a school should not be a moratorium on your rights to your name, image, and self-worth,” reads a statement by the bill’s legislator, North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker. “It’s time to bring equity to student-athletes and fix the injustices that exist in the current NCAA model. After nearly two years of discussions with players and leaders, we are introducing legislation that won’t cost the NCAA or our schools a single dollar, while empowering college athletes with the same opportunities that every American should have in a free-market.”

Similar to how superstars like LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Serena Williams have made millions from lucrative endorsement deals, the Student-Athlete Equity Act would allow student-athletes to get paid when they appear in video games and other public media by amending the definition of “an amateur” in the NCAA tax code. The bill, however, does not advocate for students to receive direct payment from NCAA member schools.

The bill is the latest action in the ongoing “pay-to-play” debate. For years, critics have argued that players are being exploited by colleges, which rake in millions of dollars from fans who pay to watch them play. Colleges and universities are also allowed to profit off the student-athletes’ likeness by selling promotional items like jerseys. The NCAA, on the other hand, argues that athletes are rewarded with sports scholarships, free education, and other perks.

“To be able to profit off the backs of many of the students, some which come from underprivileged or impoverished areas, to me, that’s not fair,” Walker told WFMY News, “If everybody else has access to the free market, they should as well.”

Walker’s bill comes just days before the start of March Madness, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, on Tuesday. During the Division I tournament, CBS and Turner Sports, sponsors, NCAA, universities, and coaches, will earn a mint.

“We’re not asking the NCAA or the schools to spend a dime on these athletes,” Walker told ThinkProgress. “We’re asking for them to have the same rights to the free market that you and I have.”

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The 5 most — and 5 least — innovative states

The U.S. is projected to spend more than half a trillion dollars on scientific research and development this year, but the wealth isn't spread evenly. Here's a look at the top and bottom five states in WalletHub's ranking of innovation in America.
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Symrise FY18 Profit Rises; Lifts Dividend – Quick Facts

Symrise AG (SYIEY.PK, SYIEF.PK), a supplier of fragrances, flavorings and cosmetic active ingredients, reported Wednesday that its fiscal 2018 net income increased 1.9 percent to 275 million euros from 270 million euros last year. Earnings per share improved to 2.12 euros from 2.08 euros last year.
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Adidas 2018 Profit From Cont. Ops. Rises; Currency-neutral Sales Up 8%

adidas (ADDYY.PK, ADDDF.PK) reported that its fiscal 2018 net income from continuing operations, excluding the negative one-time tax impact recorded in 2017, increased 20% to 1.71 billion euros from 1.43 billion euros. Basic EPS from continuing operations grew 20% to 8.46 euros from 7.05 euros. The company’s operating profit grew 14% in 2018 to 2.37 billion euros, representing an operating margin increase of 1.1 percentage points to 10.8% from 9.8%. Gross margin increased 1.4 percentage points to 51.8%.
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Japan Rate Decision On Tao For Friday

The Bank of Japan will wrap up its monetary policy meeting on Friday and then announce its decision on interest rates, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at -0.1 percent.
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Dignity FY18 Profit Declines; Says FY19 Outlook Unchanged – Quick Facts

Dignity Plc. (DTY.L), a provider of funeral related services, reported that its preliminary profit attributable to equity shareholders for the 52 week period ended 28 December 2018 declined to 31.5 million pounds or 63.0 pence per share, from 57.8 million pounds or 115.6 pence per share last year.
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Far-left ideas from AOC and some 2020 candidates are ‘really dangerous’: Ex-House GOP leader

"I worry as an American about the direction of one of our two major parties going toward socialist," says former congressman Eric Cantor.
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Wm Morrison Supermarkets FY18 Pretax Profit Declines; Proposes Special Dividend

Morrison(Wm.)Supermarkets PLC (MRW.L) on Wednesday reported profit before tax of 320 million pounds for the 52 weeks ended 3 February 2019, down 15.8 percent from 380 million pounds in the previous year. Earnings per share were 10.11 pence, down from 13.03 pence a year ago.
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America’s Black Billionaires: The Richest African Americans in 2019

Earlier this month, Forbes published its annual World’s Billionaires list, which ranks the richest people around the world based on the wealth they’ve accumulated using stock prices and exchange rates as of February 2019. By no surprise, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was named no. 1 due to his staggering $ 131 billion net worth. However, out of the 607 Americans featured on the list, just four were black. Here’s a list of the handful of African American billionaires.

David Steward

black billionaires

World Wide Technology Founder and Chairman David Steward

With a net worth of $ 3 billion, David Steward ranks as no. 745 on Forbes’ list of global billionaires. In 1990, Steward invested $ 250,000 that he earned from two auditing ventures to launch World Wide Technology (WWT), an IT provider that offers hardware and software products and services to large public and private customers in various sectors. Its clients include Citi, Verizon, and the U.S. government. Last year, WWT earned $ 11.2 billion in sales and was ranked as no. 1 on the BE100sBLACK ENTERPRISE’s annual list of top black-owned companies in the nation. The 67-year-old business tycoon also graced the cover of BLACK ENTERPRISE in June 2001.

Steward, the chairman and majority owner of WWT, grew up during segregation in a poor neighborhood in Missouri. His father worked as a mechanic, janitor, and trash collector to provide for him and his seven siblings.  

 


Oprah Winfrey

black billionaires

Oprah Winfrey (Flickr.com/photos/disneyabc)

The “Queen of All Media” has accumulated a massive net worth of $ 2.5 billion, according to Forbes, thanks in large part to her partnership with Weight Watchers. Back in 2015, Oprah Winfrey bought a 10% stake and became an ambassador for the company. By June 2018, her stake was estimated at $ 427 million. Winfrey also generates revenue through several business endeavors, including ownership of the cable network OWN, Harpo Films, a multi-year content partnership deal with Apple, and her iconic talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show.

 


Robert F. Smith

Vista Equity Robert F. Smith

Vista Equity founder, chairman, and CEO Robert F. Smith

Robert F. Smith is the founder, chairman, and chief executive of Vista Equity Partners. His company was recognized as the top private equity firm on the BE100s last year, generating $ 14 billion in capital. And, with a $ 5 billion net worth, he is currently the richest black person in the country.

Heralded as a private equity titan and Wall Street wiz, Smith started his early life out as a computer geek working in STEM before earning a degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University. He also attended Columbia Business School and ended up serving as co-chief of the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs. Smith founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000, which focuses on investing in technology companies.

In 2013, BE named the firm BE100s Financial Services Company of the Year and Smith as one of the Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street. Smith made a shrewd move in acquiring Sunquest Information Systems Inc., for a relative bargain price of $ 327 million–$ 200 million in equity and $ 127 million in debt.

In a recent transaction, a Vista Equity-acquired company, Marketo, was sold to Adobe for $ 4.7 billion.


Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan net worth

Michael Jordan (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Although considered the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan only made about $ 90 million during his stellar career in the NBA. However, thanks to lucrative endorsements, like his lifetime deal with Nike, and big investments, like his purchase of the Charlotte Hornets, he has amassed a $ 1.9 billion net worth.

 

 

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Chinese Data Due On Thursday

China is scheduled to release a raft of data on Thursday, headlining a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. On tap are February figures for fixed asset investment, industrial production, retail sales, unemployment and property investment.
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Inditex FY18 Profit Up, Lifts Dividend; Sees Higher FY19 LFL Sales; Stock Dips

Spanish fashion retailer Industria de Diseño Textil SA or Inditex reported Wednesday higher profit in its fiscal 2018 with increased net sales and like-for-like sales. The company also lifted its dividend. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that the owner of the Zara apparel chain reported the weakest earnings growth in five years. Inditex shares fell around 4 percent in the morning trading.
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Schaeffler To Increase Efficiency Of Automotive OEM Division – Quick Facts

Schaeffler AG (SCFLF.OB) announced its program RACE, which is designed to sustainably increase the Automotive OEM division’s efficiency and optimize its portfolio. The company said the program was made necessary by a number of external and internal factors that had significantly weakened the division’s EBIT margin before special items for 2018. The company said the overriding goal of RACE is to sustainably improve the margin over the next three to four years and to generate an EBIT margin percentage in the high single digits going forward.
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New Zealand February Overall Credit Card Spending Rises 0.1%

Overall credit card spending in New Zealand added a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on month in February, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday – in line with expectations following the 2.0 percent gain in January.
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French tycoon on trial over $450 million arbitration deal

French tycoon Bernard Tapie is facing a criminal trial over a fraudulent 404 million-euro ($ 450 million today) arbitration package linked to his sale of sportswear company Adidas in the 1990s.
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Japan Household Spending Jumps 2.0% On Year In January

The average of household spending in Japan was up a discontinuity-adjusted 2.0 percent on year in January, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday – coming in at 296,345 yen.
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7 Black Millennial Financial Experts to Follow on Instagram in 2019

Based on Bank of America’s research, millennials are more financially savvy than we give them credit. They are actively seeking ways to experience FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). As more mature adults continue to connect on Facebook, millennials are leaving this social platform and gravitating to other social networks, like Instagram.

Instagram is not just selfies and food pics. This social network is also a great place to access practical and fun tips about personal finance, credit, and investing. Since 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35, businesses are using this platform to connect with millennial spenders, savers, and investors.

Even financial experts are using Instagram as financial influencers to educate followers about economic empowerment. Here are a few financial experts that are changing the IG financial literacy game for millennials.

7 Black Millennial Financial Experts to Follow on Instagram in 2019

Ash Exantus: @IAMAshCash

Black Millennial Financial Experts

Image: Instagram @iamashcash

Ash Exantus, aka Ash Cash “The Financial Motivator,” is the author of numerous books, including The Wake Up Call: Financial Inspiration Learned from 4:44 + A Step by Step Guide on How to Implement Each Financial Principle and Making Sense of Kanye (West): A Spiritual Guide to Financial Freedom, Peace, Love, and Happiness. Exantus’s energy combined with his financial expertise excites everyone who listens to his personal finance and credit strategies.

“I blend psychology and personal finance with music, pop culture and relevant news to help people manage their money better in order to live the life that they want.” shares Exantus.

If you are in need of some serious money motivation, check out Exantus’s personal finance, credit, and mindset posts on Instagram at @IAmAshCash.

Anthony Copeman: @SharesTV

Black Millennial Financial Experts

Image: FinancialLituation.com

Anthony Copeman, a certified financial education instructor and founder of Financial Lituation, is the creator of $ hares TV. $ hares is an animated series dedicated to helping millennials make money work for them. The animated lessons are not only informative, but they are also funny and entertaining. $ hares TV uses original music and gives different money tips via weekly episodes on Instagram. Each episode shares money tips based on the characters’ individual storyline and experience.

“I believe that our mindset is the primary currency for building wealth and money is second,” explains Copeman. “Through my animated series, I help viewers start the journey toward financial freedom through mindset, movement, money, and maintenance.”

If you love animated television shows and movies just as much as I do, you will love learning about money with Copeman’s animated series on Instagram at @SharesTV.

Choncé Maddox Rhea: @MyDebtEpiphany

Black Millennial Financial Experts

Image: MyDebtEpiphany.com

Choncé Maddox Rhea, a certified financial education instructor (CFEI) and personal finance coach, has overcome many financial challenges. Rhea shares helpful tips to help ambitious millennials regain control of their money and live a life with more possibilities and fewer financial limitations. She uses her experience of paying off over $ 40,000 of debt to help people break through doubts and setbacks to restore financial confidence.

“I believe that we were meant to do more than just work and pay bills until we roll over and die. The real challenge is choosing your values and intentions for your future wisely,” explains Rhea. “Then, regaining control over your money so you can use it as a tool to create the life you truly want.”

For information, advice, and resources about improving your money mindset and managing your finances better, check out Rhea’s posts on Instagram at @MyDebtEpiphany.

Courtney Richardson: @TheIvyInvestor

Black Millennial Financial Experts

Image: Instagram @TheIvyInvestor

Courtney Richardson, the founder of The Ivy Investor, is an attorney and former stockbroker and investment adviser. Through “The Ivy Investor,” Courtney provides resources for women seeking to learn about the investment world in ways that are easy to understand. Her unique and engaging style of breaking down the stock market, retirement, and college savings encourages everyone to take action.

“I have fun giving Wall Street advice in simple terms,” says Richardson.

For easy to understand investment advice for women, check out Richardson’s posts on Instagram at @TheIvyInvestor.

Kevin L Matthews II: @BuildingBread

Black Millennial Financial Experts

Image: BuildingBread.com

Kevin L. Matthews II, a former financial adviser, is the author of Starting Point: How to Create Wealth that Lasts. Matthews has helped individuals and couples plan for their retirement in addition to managing more than $ 140 million in assets during his career as a financial adviser. Matthews, named one of the 2017 Top 100 Most Influential Financial Advisors by Investopedia, shares why he launched Building Bread® …

“My goal is to inspire millennials to set, simplify, and achieve any financial goal.”

If you are ready to take your finances to the next level, check out Matthew’s helpful investment and financial planning tips on Instagram at @BuildingBread.

Tela Holcomb: @TelaHolcomb

Black Millennial Financial Experts

Image: TelaHolcomb.com

Tela Holcomb teaches how to “Trade Your 9 to 5®” by trading on the stock market. Holcomb, a six-figure stocks and options trader, believes that “anyone can learn the stock market when it’s put in plain English.” She uses her knowledge, experience, and every encounter with people whose lives she has touched to show how anyone can do what she has done.

Holcomb shares, “I’m not a stockbroker. I’m simply an ambitious mom and wife who will stop at nothing to build a legacy of wealth for my family without hustling so much that I never get to spend time with the people who matter most to me.”

To learn more about how to “Trade Your 9 to 5®” through stock market trading, check out Holcomb’s posts on Instagram at @TelaHolcomb.

Eric Patrick: @Black_Market_Exchange

Black Millennial Financial Experts

Image: Facebook

Known as the Hip-Hop Stock Doc, Eric Patrick is the founder and chief investment educator of Black Market Exchange L.L.C. Patrick uses hip-hop and urban media to make investing fun and easy to understand.

“Whether I explain that choosing a broker is like choosing a music streaming service; or elaborate on how a company’s IPO (initial public offering) is like Lil Wayne dropping another Dedication or No Ceilings mixtape,” explains Patrick, “your boy has got you covered so you can understand the stock market and can start investing with confidence.”

For stock and investment tips with a hip-hop twist, check out Patrick’s posts on Instagram at @Black_Market_Exchange.

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African American Economics: Real Facts

Black families are more confident about achieving the American Dream than the general population. However, African Americans fall short on executing life-changing measures such as accumulating wealth, being better prepared for retirement and building up savings. Here are a few facts (and advice) about African American economics:

Some 84% believe the American Dream means financial security; 78% in not living paycheck-to-paycheck; and 77% in owning a home.

Still, based on a new State of the American Family Study by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual), many African Americans don’t have tangible assets needed to make those goals happen now.

The study revealed a disconnect between African Americans’ financial situations and their hope toward the future. The report disclosed some pitfalls tied to African Americans’ personal finances including high debt, low savings and a lower likelihood of wide financial product ownership. In turn, the financial disparities and the wealth gap possibly explain why 31% surveyed are convinced the American Dream may be fading away.

Some key findings from the survey:

  • Outside of retirement accounts, only 37% of African Americans own wealth-building products such as stocks and mutual funds.
  • Only 35% believe they are doing a good job of preparing for retirement.
  • 33% have less than one month of funds saved for a crisis and less than 25% have amassed more than six months’ of emergency savings.
  • 58% are actively involved in educating their children on finances versus 48% of Caucasians. Forty-percent rely on family members for information

“The study shows African Americans want to improve their financial situations and are hopeful about the future,” said Evan Taylor, African American market director, MassMutual. “At the same time, it sheds light on the financial struggles and inequities that the African American community continues to battle. Those contradictions indicate a need for greater financial education and discipline for the whole family to achieve economic success. In fact, the biggest financial regret expressed by respondents was that they wished they had started saving and investing sooner.”

The State of the American Family survey consisted of 3,235 total interviews with Americans, including 482 African American respondents. The vast majority of these interviews (2,730) were conducted with men and women aged 25-64 with incomes equal to or greater than $ 50,000 and with dependents under age 26 for whom they are financially responsible. Respondents had to contribute at least 40% to decisions regarding financial matters in their household to qualify.

Shavon Roman, a financial adviser at Atlanta-based The Piedmont Group, shared how she overcame financial havoc. Her journey included becoming an entrepreneur in real estate and franchising, where she ended up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. To rebound, she created a debt reduction strategy and lived below her means. The result: Within five years she was debt free. “You can accomplish anything with a plan,” Roman says.

african american economics

Shavon Roman

Her experience with financial challenges—and now on the path to wealth-building—led Roman to help others professionally. Her clients at Piedmont mainly include women in their 30s and 40s, and pre-retirees working in corporate America. Piedmont is affiliated with Mass Mutual. She focuses on helping clients increase their net worth.

To help African Americans get on the right path to financial independence, Roman offers advice on the following:

  • Financial education: It’s imperative to have a savings and spending plan, allowing you to tell your money where to go and keep track of it. Consider working with banks that have online tools to monitor your spending and create budgets. Also, know your credit score. Roman says a helpful tool to do that is the “Credit Karma” app. If buying a home is an objective, look for a prime rate loan with a nonprofit homeownership organization like the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.
  • Financial planning and execution: So what should African Americans do before investing in stocks or other asset classes like real estate or starting a new business? Roman’s first suggestion is to do your research. She advises knowing your risk tolerance, asking yourself if you can stomach a financial setback. Monitor the investment and its performance regularly. When it comes to achieving wealth-building goals, eliminate high-interest debt, reduce debt, and establish a savings fund.
  • Professional help as opposed to taking a do-it-yourself approach with finances: Seek advice from a financial professional equipped to help you establish and reach your financial goals. When looking for help with investment planning, retirement planning, or insurance purchases, partner with an expert. Check out their background, references, and makes sure they are licensed in the state they work in. A financial professional can guide you to the right solutions to help achieve wealth-building goals.

“As minorities, we have the ability to improve our economic positions using ideas that may seem so small,” Roman says. “My biggest lesson in life is that hope is not a plan. We have to put action with a plan and do the work. I did the work and I hope that my transparency inspires others.”

MassMutual also offered some “NEXT STEPS’’ to help black families secure their financial future:

MAKE FINANCIAL PLANNING A FAMILY PRIORITY. Teach the next generation about finances. Involving your children in discussions of family budgeting and monthly bills can help them understand what is involved in managing money.

PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED. Protect your family with appropriate amounts of life insurance and disability income insurance. These precautions can provide a measure of security for your family should the unthinkable happen.

PAY DOWN DEBT. It’s a good idea to pay off the loans and credit cards with the highest interest rates first, then the smallest balances or the highest minimums. If you can make extra payments or pay more than the minimum, do so. This will reduce the total cost of the loan.

ESTABLISH SAVINGS. Open a separate savings account designated for your emergency fund and add to it every paycheck. Use automatic deposit so you don’t forget. As a rule of thumb, target 3 to 6 months of salary for your financial cushion.

PLAN FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION. Create a plan for how you will pay for college. In addition to your income, there are opportunities to pay for college including 529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, student loans, permanent life insurance loans, financial aid, grants, and work-study programs.

SAVE FOR RETIREMENT. The amount of income needed to maintain a standard of living in retirement varies from person to person and family to family. Think about your current and future expenses to see if you are saving enough right now. If you’re not, or if you’re not sure, talk with a financial professional.

Visit this link to learn more details about the financial state of African Americans.

african american economics


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U.S. Trade Deficit Widens To Ten-Year High In December

With imports jumping and exports slumping, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing the U.S. trade deficit widened by more than anticipated in the month of December. The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $ 59.8 billion.
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JPMorgan Kicks In Another $15 Million to Advance Economic Growth in Detroit

JPMorgan Chase has committed $ 15 million in Detroit to help more black residents benefit from the continued economic recovery in the Motor City. The new investment is geared to expand economic opportunity across some Detroit neighborhoods.

The nation’s largest bank will combine a $ 10 million, long-term low-cost loan and $ 5 million in philanthropy to enable the Strategic Neighborhood Fund to finance critical neighborhood projects, lacking access to conventional financing. The bank claims funding will help attract extra capital, and eventually provide local residents further access to affordable housing, grocery stores, schools, and commercial space.

The bank’s investment is part of its $ 150 million five-year commitment in Detroit’s economic recovery, which includes helping women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs.

A city project backed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, recently was expanded to 10 neighborhoods from three. The new commitment will revitalize commercial areas in the 10 neighborhoods, allowing residents to gain new jobs, start businesses, and have access to business services.

JPMorgan Chase invested $ 5 million into the Strategic Neighborhood Fund in 2016. Commenting on the latest commitment, Duggan stated in a news release, “With the help of partners like JPMorgan Chase, we are taking the successful strategies that worked in our Downtown and Midtown areas, and scaling it to bring physical improvements and development to neighborhoods across our city.”

Duggan continued: “We’ve got a lot more work to do, and together we’ll expand the good work being done to ensure more Detroiters are participating in the comeback.”

Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase, added, “There are so many clear signs of recovery across Detroit. The leadership of the Mayor and the strategic focus of so many partners has truly been the key to this progress. “We want this growth to benefit all Detroiters, especially those who have lived here their whole lives. That’s why we continue to invest our long-term capital in more neighborhoods.”

In 2014, the bank says it helped launch two community development loan funds in the city; the Detroit Neighborhoods Fund and Chase Invest Detroit Fund. Both were set up through Capital Impact Partners and Invest Detroit, two community development financial institutions.

These funds, including a $ 40 million in low-cost debt from JPMorgan Chase, helped finance the construction of mixed-use real estate development, affordable multifamily housing, and high quality residential, commercial, and retail developments as well as provided flexible capital for small and medium-sized businesses in Detroit.

All told, the funds have leveraged over $ 230 million in additional funding from outside sources to support residential and commercial development.

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Powerball jackpot surges to $381 million. Here’s what the winner would pay in taxes

If you manage to beat the odds and nab the top prize, you can expect to pay tens of millions of dollars to Uncle Sam right off the bat.
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Australia Building Approval Data Due On Monday

Australia will on Monday release January figures for building approvals, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
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New Bill Could Help Black Banks Raise Capital, Cut Costs, and Attract Black Investors

A new bill could help black banks raise more capital and boost small business lending in the African American community.

U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, D-Illinois, has introduced the Rescue Act for Black and Community Banks. The bill–initiated in January 2019–aims to, along with other measures, bring regulatory relief for black banks from Congress, boost wealth-building for black consumers and businesses, and help save black banks from failing.

The number of black banks in America totaled 22 in 2017, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data shows. That number is down an eye-popping 42 percent from 38 in 2012. The most recent number reveals there were only 23 black banks as of the third quarter of 2018.

Ryan Johnson, communications director for Congressman Rush, and William Michael Cunningham, an economist and banking expert who worked with Rush’s office on the bill, shared with BLACK ENTERPRISE some key points of what the legislation would do.

black banks

Rep. Bobby Rush

Johnson says Rush believes black-owned community banks play a vital role in communities because they reinvest in the people that live, work, and worship with one another.

“These financial institutions stimulate economic development and spur innovation amongst our entrepreneurs, augmenting the economic wealth African-Americans so desperately need. For black, minority, and rural communities to thrive, a new focus must be placed on the financial institutions serving them,” Johnson said.

The communications expert added that the bill establishes within the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an office to be known as the “Office of Black and Community Banks.” It authorizes the comptroller to provide them with the regulatory flexibility to encourage affordable small dollar lending.

He says the bill further establishes the “Minority Bank Deposit Program” to expand the use of minority banks, women’s banks, and low-income credit unions and requires federal agencies to develop plans to use these institutions, to the extent possible, for their banking needs.

The bill also could help African American banks boost black entrepreneurship where they operate and become stronger financial services providers.

“The push to solve the economic crisis in the black community will require fighting on several fronts: education, health, fighting discrimination, and the creation of wealth building opportunities,”  Johnson said. “The goal of this bill is not to make black banks compete with other banks, but to increase access to capital and credit for the black community. By doing that, this legislation will significantly increase entrepreneurial activity in the black community by supporting the development of many community financed small black businesses.”

Interestingly, Cunningham maintains the bill is an extension of the Black Lives Matter and Bank Black Movements. He said the bill seeks to partially or completely exempt black banks and community banks from a majority of federal banking regulations, helping level the playing field with larger white-owned banks. He noted regulatory relief for black banks would be done to the extent the comptroller determines appropriate without endangering the safety and soundness of the overall banking system.

Plus, he said the legislation requires a study on the use of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) by black and community banks. The program could potentially bring new investment into black banks through tax credits. Cunningham said it would allow individual and corporate investors to receive a credit that reduces federal income tax owed. Investors make debt and equity investments in specialized financial intermediaries, including some black banks, called Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Community Development Entities (CDEs).

According to Cunningham, for every $ 1 million invested, an investor gets a tax credit of 39 % or $ 390,000 over 7 years, in addition to keeping any returns generated by the original investment.

The tax credits, which are scarce and limited in amount, are distributed by the U.S. Treasury. He added black banks, CDFIs and CDEs have not been able to get these tax credits from Treasury, claiming they have gone instead mainly to white nonprofits and firms like Goldman Sachs.

Simultaneously, Cunningham says the bill could make black banks much more profitable by reducing compliance and operating costs as well as removing unneeded regulations.

He estimates that each black bank could increase in market value by 25% if the bill passes in its current form.

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Japan Jobless Rate Climbs To 2.5% In January

The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in January, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
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Investors favor equity ETFs, junk bonds as risk appetite grows: Lipper

Investors poured money into equity exchange-traded funds and high-yield “junk” bond funds in the week ended on Wednesday, as U.S. President Donald Trump said he would extend a deadline to delay…


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Here’s your tax bill if you hit $322 million Powerball or $267 million Mega Millions jackpots

If you hit the jackpot, you can expect to pay 37 percent of your income to the IRS, along with typically ponying up for state taxes.
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Liberty Global Q4 Operating Income Up 73.2% YoY; Rebased Revenue Up 1.2%

Liberty Global (LBTYA, LBTYB, LBTYK) reported that its fourth-quarter operating income on a continuing operations basis increased 73.2% year-over-year to $ 252.2 million. Rebased operating cash flow from continuing operations improved 2.9% to $ 1.30 billion. Net earnings attributable to Liberty Global shareholders was $ 25.1 million compared to a loss of $ 992.0 million, prior year. Reported operating cash flow increased 0.9%, for the quarter.
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Macy’s To Streamline Management Structure; Targets Annual Savings Of $100 Mln

Macy’s, Inc. (M) announced the company has launched a multi-year program focused on growing its profitability rate by improving productivity across the enterprise. As an initial step in this productivity plan, the company has announced a restructuring that reduces the complexity of the upper management structure to increase the speed of decision making, reduce costs and respond to changing customer expectations.
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German Consumers Undeterred By Slowing Economy

Germany’s consumer confidence is set to hold steady in March, as income expectations remained stable, though households increasingly worry that the biggest euro area economy would slip into recession. The forward-looking consumer confidence indicator showed a reading of 10.8 for March, same as in February, survey data from the GfK revealed Tuesday.
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Air France-KLM Q4 Loss Narrows, Plans Higher Capacity; Stock Up

Shares of Air France-KLM Group were gaining around 4 percent in Paris trading after the airline reported Wednesday narrower net loss in its fourth quarter with improved revenues. For fiscal 2019, Air France-KLM Group plans to selectively grow capacity for the Passenger network by 2 percent to 3 percent compared to 2018. The company also said it will pursue initiatives to reduce unit costs.
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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with soliciting prostitution

The 77-year-old billionaire is among more than two dozen people accused in a police sting as part of a human trafficking probe, authorities say.
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Report: Queen Latifah Plans to Build Affordable Housing in Newark

NJ.com is reporting that rapper-turned-movie-star Queen Latifah (born Dana Owens) is planning a $ 14 million dollar project to build affordable housing in her hometown of Newark.

From NJ.com:

Latifah, a co-president of BlueSugar Corporation, is working with GonSosa Development on the project, which is anchored outside of the city’s downtown, spanning the West and South wards.

The project includes 20 three-family town homes and a three-story mixed-used building with an additional 16 units. Plans for the building include a fitness center and 1,900 square feet of commercial space that will be rented to nonprofits. The 60 units in the townhouses will be market rate; the 16 units in the building will be affordable.

The hip-hop icon, has dedicated much of her time and resources to philanthropic efforts. Last year, she helped women crack the glass ceiling in Hollywood by funding and producing two independent projects created by women, reported The Shadow League.

She has become a bona fide movie star, after appearing in the acclaimed TV show Living Single in the 1990s, with such roles as Matron Mama Morton in the musical Chicago, and was nominated to receive an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her outstanding performance. She has also starred in Hairspray (2007), Secret Life of Bees (2008) and Mad Money (2008), and acted alongside critically acclaimed actors such as Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning, Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes, Ice Cube, Will Ferrell, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, and many more.

Queen Latifah is also a sought-after spokesperson and ambassador for several leading corporate brands. She served as the face of Cover Girl’s makeup for women of color with the company’s Queen Collection of cosmetics.

In 2016, she partnered with Ahold USA, one of the world’s largest food retail groups, to create a collection of hand-picked, sustainably-sourced floral arrangements.

And recently, Owens was honored in AT&T’s “Dream In Black” Black Future Month — a celebration of people who are making history, now, while shaping the new future. Black Future Month highlights inspiring black creators including Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Reginae Carter, Terrence J, Phoebe Robinson, DeVon Franklin, Zendaya, Van Jones, Vic Mensa, Lena Waithe, Omari Hardwick, Jamil Smith, Angela Yee, Baron Davis, and a slew of others.

 

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