Germany Producer Price Inflation Slows In May

Germany’s producer price inflation slowed in May, figures from Destatis showed on Wednesday.
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6 Steps to Take If a Debt Collector Tries to Sue You

One minute you’re going about your day, not a care in the world. The next, you get a call from a debt collector about a debt you long forgot about. But the nightmare doesn’t end there. Soon after, you discover you’re being sued for the debt.

“Typically, a creditor or collector is going to sue when a debt is very delinquent. Usually it’s when you’re falling at least 120 days, 180 days, or even as long as 190 days behind,” says Gerri Detweiler, personal finance expert for Credit.com, and author of the book Debt Collection Answers.

If you owe a large amount, like several thousand dollars to an individual debt collector, that makes it more likely they’ll want to invest in suing you. They also might choose to sue if the debt is reaching its statute of limitations. “Once the statute of limitations on a debt has expired, depending on state law, they either can’t sue you, or if they sue you, you can show up to court and tell the court that the debt is outside the statute of limitations or it’s too old, and they would lose the lawsuit,” says Detweiler. Sometimes a collector might sue right before the statute of limitations expires, so if they get a judgment against you, they can still collect.

What Should You Do If a Debt Collector Tries to Sue You?

Don’t panic. Stay calm if you receive a legal notice from a debt collector. But don’t ignore the notice and toss it to the side. You have to address the problem because it won’t go away on its own. Without the proper response, the situation will get worse as the collector will try more drastic measures to get their money.

Consult an attorney. You could benefit from consulting a consumer law attorney.  Many attorneys will provide an initial consultation for free, or they might be able to help you prepare for the lawsuit or answer your questions about the lawsuit for a reduced fee. “Bankruptcy attorneys are also familiar with the debt collection lawsuit process. They understand what happens if a collector gets a judgment against you. They’ll also know what property is safe from creditors and what’s not. They can help you understand what the consequences would be if you don’t respond to the lawsuit and you get a judgment,” says Detweiler. The National Association of Consumer Attorneys website allows you to search by area of expertise as well as location.

Be careful about how you respond to debt collectors. Although it’s your right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to write a letter to a debt collector stating you don’t wish to be contacted, this could potentially cause more harm than good. “Sometimes you’ll hear people say you should send a letter to the debt collector stating you don’t want to be contacted anymore. But sometimes sending that letter leaves them with no other option but to sue you because they can’t call you, talk to you, or try to work something out. At that point, especially if the amount is large, the collector will file a lawsuit in order to protect their interest in collecting that debt.” So unless you know for sure you don’t owe the debt and there’s nothing they can go after, use caution when sending this type of letter.

Organize your documents. In order to prove that your debt is past the statute of limitations, if this is the case, have at least your last six months of payment statements before you stopped paying available. “This will show where the statute of limitations should be calculated from,” says Sonya Smith-Valentine, a consumer rights attorney and author of the forthcoming book How to Have a Love Affair with Your Credit Report. Smith-Valentine notes that a credit report by itself is not enough to prove that a debt is past the statute of limitations because the information is not reliable. “The court will also say that the information was prepared by a third party. You need to have information that was provided directly from the creditor, not a third party. A credit report may help as far as throwing the statute of limitations in question, but it might not be enough to automatically win your case.”

Show up for court. “If you don’t show up, the court will probably issue a judgment against you for the amount that the debt collector is suing you for. Consequently, the debt collector can attempt to find out where you work and garnish your wages. They can also attempt to find out where you bank and freeze your bank account,” says Smith-Valentine. Furthermore, the judgment will end up on your credit report for seven years. Even if you pay off the judgment, it doesn’t remove the judgment from the credit report, it just changes how it is reported. Before you pay, the judgment is reported as unsatisfied and unpaid, but even after you pay it, the judgment is reported as paid. “It doesn’t come off just because you paid it,” says Smith-Valentine.

Pay attention to your credit reports. You’ll know if a collector has gotten a judgment against you because it will usually appear on your credit reports. “If you discover you have a judgment against you, that would be the time to talk to a consumer law attorney to see whether you might have some rights in terms of getting that judgment vacated,” says Detweiler.

-Editors’ Note: This article has been updated since its original publish date in 2011

Money | Black Enterprise

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Here’s where Americans are vacationing this summer — and what they’re spending

Just about half of Americans are hitting the road in the next three months. Where are we headed and how will we get there? For the most part, it's somewhere we can drive to.
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China Data On Tap For Friday

China is scheduled to release a raft of data on Friday, headlining a busy day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. On tap are May figures for industrial production, retail sales, fixed-asset investment, unemployment and property investment.
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Best Buy Q1 Results Top Estimates, Reiterates FY20 Outlook

Electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY) reported Thursday a 27 percent increase in profit for the first quarter from last year, which was impacted by restructuring charges, and higher revenues. Both adjusted earnings per share and revenues for the quarter topped analysts’ estimates. The company also provides guidance for the second quarter and reiterated its outlook for the full-year 2020.
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Will Smith Invests in App that Helps Teens with Financial Literacy

Will Smith recently became an investor in Step, a mobile-based banking service app for teenagers, through his Dreamers fund. Step allows teens to easily send and receive money from their family and friends, get real-time notifications, and they don’t have to deal with the monthly or overdraft fees and no minimum balance that traditional banking customers incur.

The platform’s lead investor is Stripe. Other investors include Nas, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Wndrco, Ronnie Lott, Matt Rutler, Kevin Gould, and Moat founders Noah and Jonah Goodhart. Those investments translate into $ 22.5 million in funding.

This isn’t the company’s first round raised, however. Prior to this, the company closed a previous round with Crosslink Capital, Collaborative Fund, and Sesame Ventures.

“Schools don’t teach kids about money,” CJ MacDonald, the CEO, and co-founder said in an interview with TechCrunch. “We want to be their first bank accounts with spending cards, but we also want to teach financial literacy and responsibility. Banks don’t tailor to this, and we want to be a solution for teaching the next generation of adults to be more responsible with money in the cashless era. It was easy with cash to go to the mall but now everyone is using their phone for Uber and more.”

The funding will be used to bring Step’s first product to market, banking accounts with payment cards attached. This will be done in partnership with Mastercard and Evolve.

Will Smith

(Image: Step)

Step currently has a waitlist of over 500,000 potential users waiting for access to the product.

Step isn’t the first company attempting to tackle this problem. Other startups include Current and Greenlight. What makes Step different? The offerings. Step directly addresses teens by giving them ownership over their finances. The parents still have access but, Step puts the teen in control. Those under 18 can sign up for accounts without parental or guardian consent gaining access to an account with extremely limited functionality. The overarching goal for Step is to financially empower the youth.

 

Money | Black Enterprise

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Making Opportunity Zones Work for Black Communities

The IRS and the Treasury Department recently released a second set of proposed regulations on the federal Opportunity Zone program, which was created by the 2017 tax law to spur investment in economically distressed census tracts.

The Opportunity Zone law provides significant long-term tax benefits for investors who put capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Funds, investment vehicles set up to deploy funds into eligible property and businesses in designated Opportunity Zones.

Most Opportunity Zones are in majority black and brown neighborhoods, giving rise to concerns about risks of gentrification and displacement of low-income families from their neighborhoods if the program does not adequately protect the interests of existing residents. Some worry that struggling communities will continue to be left behind, while outside investors enjoy the rewards of Opportunity Zone tax preferences.

As this debate plays out, those concerned about ensuring the democratization of the benefits to be provided by the law should be strategic about making the most of the potential benefits, rather than simply throwing up our hands in despair. Through creativity and collective action, black and brown investors and social entrepreneurs can make use of the most favorable aspects of the Opportunity Zone legislation to launch innovative investing initiatives aimed at building wealth in our communities.

Long Timelines for Acquiring Capital Gains

At face value, possessing capital gains is the minimum requirement to take advantage of the tax incentives in the Opportunity Zones program. This ultimately creates an effective barrier to entry for many black and brown people. Capital gains are generated by sales of stock, other equity interests or assets, or real estate (generally investment properties, since the first $ 250,000 of proceeds from sale of a primary residence is not recognized as capital gains).

However, the long timelines built into the legislation provide an opening for participation down the road, even for those not currently sitting on unrealized capital gains. Investments made within a 10-year period of the Opportunity Zone’s designation can potentially reap tax benefits until 2047, provided the regulatory requirements are met. This offers a substantial time period for generating capital gains over the short or long term for later Opportunity Zone investment.

opportunity zones

Fully interactive Opportunity Zones map available here from eig.org. 

Collective Action to Build Wealth

So much of the black experience in America has been about the organizations that connect our community, such as churches, black fraternities and sororities, and service clubs. These groups have played crucial roles in various social movements throughout our history.

The Opportunity Zone legislation offers a unique opportunity for these organizations to make strategic investments aimed at both financial return and social impact.  The law in its design incentivizes pooling of resources: for an Opportunity Zone investment to receive tax benefits, it must be made through an Opportunity Fund, which is defined as a corporation or a partnership. (Limited liability corporations taxed as partnerships also qualify.)

Collective action to address systemic barriers to advancement is often discussed within these communities. With Opportunity Zones, incentives for collective action are actually built into and align with the legislation.

Cycling the Dollar

Along with collective investing, the Opportunity Zone program allows for cycling of investment dollars — the second set of regulations served to confirm this.

Imagine a scenario where an organization pools resources, in compliance with required securities laws, acquires properties and renovates them for sale to members of the community. Each home sale would help the homebuyer begin to accumulate assets that might even be passed on to the next generation.

At the same time, assuming a profitable transaction, the group selling the home could generate capital gains that could then be reinvested in an Opportunity Fund, which would then be utilized for additional investments not only in additional housing but also potentially into businesses of the neighborhood residents or other businesses interested in the reaping the benefits of being located in an Opportunity Zone. In keeping with the regulation, investments would need to be held for the required time periods to reap the full tax benefits of the law, but this strategy could be utilized to truly be transformative for these communities and the people who live there.

Cycling investment funds in this way has the potential to increase returns on various fronts: making money for the investment collective, expanding homeownership in low-income communities, strengthening neighborhood stability, and promoting intergenerational wealth transfer that can help to close the wealth gap.

Although the Opportunity Zones program will almost certainly lead to gentrification as property values increase in areas targeted for investment, it can also offer new paths to black economic empowerment. With innovative approaches, a solid understanding of the risks and rewards of Opportunity Zone investing, and careful attention to regulatory requirements for maximizing tax benefits, we can leverage the Opportunity Zone program to build wealth for black families and revitalize our communities.


Disclaimer: This is for general information and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice for any particular matter. It is not intended to and does not create any attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed and any legal positions asserted in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Miles & Stockbridge, its other lawyers or Black Enterprise.  

 

Money | Black Enterprise

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Australia Unemployment Data Due On Thursday

Australia will on Thursday release May numbers for unemployment, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
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Feds block SALT workarounds that high-tax states favored

The feds blocked a move by blue states to craft a workaround to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limiting state and local tax deductions, saying receipt of a SALT credit in return for making such a contribution would constitute a quid pro quo.
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Cree Cuts Q4 Guidance; Shares Down – Quick Facts

Cree, Inc. (CREE) reduced its guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 due to the impact from Huawei matter, and also due to the softer than projected demand for the company’s LED products. In May, the Bureau of Industry and Security of the U.S. Department of Commerce added Huawei Technologies Co. to a Entity List.
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Dollar General Shares Jump As Q1 Profit Tops Estimates; Affirms Outlook

Dollar General Corp. (DG) reported a strong top- and bottom-line growth, for the first-quarter ended May 3, 2019. Same-store sales were up 3.8% due to increases in both average transaction amount and customer traffic. Looking forward, the company reiterated fiscal 2019 financial guidance and store growth outlook.
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Japan M2 Money Stock Jumps 2.7% On Year In May

The M2 money stock in Japan was up 2.7 percent on year in May, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday – coming in at 1,029.8 trillion yen.
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Warning: College Scholarships May be Subject to Income Tax

Did you or someone you know receive a scholarship? Congratulations! Now, double check the details of your scholarship proceeds to ensure it doesn’t turn into a major tax liability later.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 brought many changes to American households – including the way scholarships are taxed for low-income college scholarship recipients. When students filed tax returns this past tax season, they were hit with a tax bill they didn’t see coming.

“Low-income students are already struggling to pay for college tuition, books, and living expenses. Now they must contend with this,” says Theresa Harris, a Chicago-based scholarship strategist at ScholarshipMomma. “Parents and students should inquire about the purpose of each award and the applicable tax treatment associated with all educational proceeds when they receive their financial aid award letters. Seek the assistance of a tax preparer for further guidance.”

If you are a degree candidate at a qualified institution, scholarships covering tuition and fees are tax-free. However, scholarships that cover non-qualified expenses, including room, board, and travel are taxable.  For grad school students, assistant-ships and fellowships may also be subject to taxes.

How is a taxable scholarship classified? It can be considered “unearned income” and is subject to the rules of the Child’s Investment and Other Unearned Income, also known as the “Kiddie Tax.” These rules are applicable if the child is under 19, or is a full-time student under age 24.

The Kiddie Tax was enacted in 1986 to prevent wealthy parents from transferring money to their children tax-free. Parents would take advantage of their children’s lower tax bracket to shift wealth and avoid paying taxes on some income. That’s why the kiddie tax classified these funds as “unearned income” and subjected the funds to the same tax rate as a child’s parent. This rule also went into effect for taxable scholarships.

For example, a student from a single parent household with an income of $ 30,000 who received a scholarship that covered $ 13,000 in room and board would be taxed at their parents’ rate of 12%.

All thanks to the new rules in place for applying the kiddie tax, scholarship recipients coming from economically depressed communities are now being taxed at the rates applicable to trusts and estates. The student who was previously taxed at their parents’ rate of 12% would now be taxed up to 37 percent – the same rate used to tax single filers with incomes over $ 500,000.

Here is the new tax structure for trusts and estates. This applies to unearned income (including scholarships) for those in the “kiddie tax” category:

  • 10 percent on amounts up to $ 2550
  • 24 percent on unearned income over $ 2,550
  • 35 percent on amounts over $ 9,150
  • 37 percent on amounts over $ 12,500

So, students who receive unearned income over $ 12,500 will be taxed the same as a single person with over $ 500,000 in taxable income.

A new bill is on the table that would completely change the unintended consequence of the 2017 tax law.  If the bill passes, college students won’t be punished with a tax rate as high as 37 percent. Instead, scholarship money would be taxed at a lower rate.

“Scholarships are a critical component of the financial aid package that is meant to make college more affordable,” says Harris. “This tax is an added burden, causing additional financial stress for students. Congress needs to act quickly to correct this error.”


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

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Someone hit the $530 million Mega Millions jackpot. Here’s how winners can protect their privacy

A single ticket sold in California — which does not allow winners to remain anonymous — matched all six numbers in Friday night's drawing.
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Cities With the Highest Percentage of Black Homeowners: Report

Even though housing discrimination has been outlawed for 50 years, studies show that the U.S. black homeownership rate isn’t any higher than when the Fair Housing Act initially passed in 1968. In fact, the racial gap between white and black homeowners today is significant. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate among white Americans is 73.2%, while the black homeownership rate stands at 41.1%. In comparison, 42% of black households owned their homes back in 1970, two years after housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, and national origin was outlawed.

These staggering statics demonstrate that the obstacles blocking African Americans from buying homes extend beyond federal barriers – the issues are systemic. Economic disparities, for instance, put many communities of color across the country at a disadvantage, especially when it comes to homeownership. A new analysis conducted by LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, reveals how race impacts homeownership rates in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. The study found that black Americans tend to own a disproportionately low number of homes relative to their overall population.

According to the report, the U.S. cities that have the highest percentage of black homeowners are San Jose, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Portland. On the other hand, the cities where black homeownership is lowest relative to overall population are Memphis, New Orleans, Baltimore, Virginia Beach, and Milwaukee, where the median household income for black residents is a mere $ 28,928.

The study also found that the average median household income for black Americans is $ 41,571, which is more than $ 30,000 below the average median household income for whites. “Because lenders evaluate a potential borrower’s income, this can pose challenges when it comes time to qualify for a mortgage,” states the report.

Here are other key findings from the report:

In each of the nation’s 50 largest metros, black Americans own a disproportionately small percentage of homes.

Americans who identify as black make up an average 15% of the population in each of the metropolitan areas featured in our study, but they only own an average of about 10% of owner-occupied homes.

Black Americans own the smallest percentage of homes relative to their overall population in Memphis, Tenn.

Although they make up nearly half (47%) of the total population and are the largest racial group in Memphis, black Americans only own about 35% of the owner-occupied homes in the metro area.

Homeowners who identify as black own the largest percentage of homes relative to their total population in San Jose, Calif.

Black Americans account for only 2.33% of San Jose’s overall population. The percentage of homes owned by black homeowners is nearly 1.5%, which is still a disproportionately small percentage.

Black Americans have the lowest incomes of any racial group in the nation’s 50 largest metro areas.

Across the metropolitan areas featured in our study, the average median household income for black Americans is $ 41,571. This is more than $ 30,000 below the average median household income for white Americans. It’s also nearly $ 6,000 less than the incomes of Americans who identify as Native American or Alaskan Native. Because lenders evaluate a potential borrower’s income, this can pose challenges when it comes time to qualify for a mortgage.

Viiew the full study here: Homeownership Among Black Americans in U.S. Cities

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Japan Household Spending Gains 1.3% Om Year In April

The average of household spending in Japan was up 1.3 percent on year in April, the ministry of Communications and Internal Affairs said on Friday – coming in at 301,136 yen.
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Changing the Game of Financial Literacy for Black Kids

Goalsetter is a new financial literacy platform for kids. The platform lets the whole family get in on the savings action. Family members can use birthdays and holidays to send kids GoalCards instead of gift cards so kids receive real money towards real dreams.

Parents can also set up round-ups or auto-save to help kids save for big goals over time, and children can earn money via a Goalsetter Allowance.

“Goalsetter is a goal-based FDIC-insured savings, gifting and allowance platform made just for kids and powered by those who love them,” explained Tanya Van Court, founder of Goalsetter. “Goalsetter lets kids save in three big categories: saving for their future, sharing with others, and spending on things or experiences that matter to them.”

As an African American mother, Van Court understands the importance of teaching kids about money and saving early on. As per the company’s website, “The seed for Goalsetter was planted by Gabrielle, who told her mom, Tanya that she only wanted two things for her 9th birthday: a bike and enough money to start an investment account.”

“Kids who have savings accounts in their names are not only six times more likely to go to college; they’re also four times more likely to own stocks by the time they are young adults,” said Van Court. “Goalsetter’s mission is to get every household in America saving, one kid at a time.”

Forging relationships with national non-profits, school systems, and corporations — Goalsetter helps create the next generation of savers, investors, and wealth-creators. The company’s partners include Morgan Stanley, New York City, and Boston public schools, as well as the Center for Changing Lives.

Before creating Goalsetter, Van Court served as senior vice president of partner marketing at Discovery Education, where she launched digital textbooks to schools across the country. She also led Nickelodeon’s digital preschool and parenting businesses, including NickJr.com. Prior to Nickelodeon, Van Court served as vice president of new media products for ESPN, where she led the launch of ESPN3.


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The Richest Self-Made Black Women

In addition to being the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, black women are securing the bag and stacking their coins like never before. Several women of color were named on America’s Richest Self-Made Women list, recently published by Forbes. Here’s a look at the black women who made the list.

Rihanna

Rihanna

(Instagram/TheFentyIdol)

At just 31 years old, Rihanna is officially the wealthiest female musician on the planet, according to ForbesThe publication estimates her net worth at $ 600 million, trumping the wealth of fellow music superstars Madonna ($ 570 million), Celine Dion ($ 450 million), and Beyoncé ($ 400 million).

A large part of the singer’s wealth has been generated through her cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, which launched in collaboration with luxury giant LVMH in September 2017. Noted for its inclusive range of 40 shades of foundation, Fenty reportedly racked up $ 100 million in sales within weeks due to the Bajan artist’s mass appeal and social media following. Since then, sales for the beauty brand have continued to soar.

“Fenty Beauty generated an estimated $ 570 million in revenue last year, after only 15 months in business. The entire operation is worth, conservatively, more than $ 3 billion. Forbes estimates that LVMH owns an estimated 50% of it, while Rihanna has about 15%, a figure a spokesperson for the artist disputed but wouldn’t clarify further,” writes Forbes.

In May, LVMH announced that it was opening a fashion house under Fenty name. This makes the style icon the first black woman to head a major luxury fashion house. Her new clothing line with LVMH, which includes high-end clothes, shoes, accessories, and jewelry, launched in Paris on May 24. In addition, the pop star co-owns the Savage X Fenty lingerie line with TechStyle Fashion Group.

Janice Bryant Howroyd

Janice Bryant Howroyd

Act-1 Group Founder and CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd (Image: Courtesy of Black Enterprise Business Report)

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the founder and CEO of ACT-1 Group and the first African American woman to run a billion-dollar business. Her company, which provides workforce solutions such as temporary staffing, raked in a whopping $ 2.8 billion in revenues in 2017 and placed as No. 2 on BLACK ENTERPRISE’S annual BE 100s list of the nation’s largest black businesses.

Bryant Howroyd launched the business back in 1978 with just $ 1,500, a $ 900 loan from her mother, a fax machine, and a phone. Today, the agency has over 17,000 clients and 2,600 employees in 19 different countries.

Sheila Johnson

BET

Sheila Johnson

Sheila Johnson is a business titan most known for co-founding Black Entertainment Television (BET) with then-husband Robert Johnson and selling it to Viacom for roughly $ 3 billion in 2000. Following their divorce in 2002, Johnson launched the Salamander Resort & Spa in 2005. The luxury hotel company owns two properties and manages five others around the Southeastern region of the United States. Its growth strategy has resulted in an impressive 24% jump in revenues, from $ 170 million in 2016 to $ 210 million in 2017.

Today, Johnson’s net worth is estimated at about $ 820 million while her resort company was recognized as the 2018 BE 100s Company of the Year.  

Oprah

OPRAH

(Image: ABC/Rick Rowell via Flickr.com/photos/disneyabc)

With a net worth of a $ 2.5 billion, Oprah Winfrey is ranked as no.10 on the Forbes’s list and is one of just five black billionaires in the country. The “Queen of All Media” accumulated her staggering wealth thanks in large part to her partnership with Weight Watchers. Back in 2015, 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 other business endeavors, like her cable channel OWN. “Her 25.5% of the network is worth about $ 75 million,” reports Forbes. Last year, she inked a multi-year content partnership deal with Apple to create original content that will include a book club, documentaries, and TV series.

Beyonce

Beyonce

(Image: Instagram/Beyonce)

Although married to the first hip hop billionaire, Beyonce Knowles Carter is a business mogul who earns her own money and an unsurprising spot on the list. According to Forbes, the superstar is worth $ 400 million. Earlier this year, she announced a new partnership with Adidas to relaunch her activewear line, Ivy Park. She also stars in Disney’s 2019 Lion King remake.

Beyonce’s On The Run II stadium tour with husband Jay-Z grossed more than $ 250 million. The superstar singer also signed a deal with Netflix reportedly worth $ 60 million to release Homecoming, a live album and special documenting her groundbreaking 2018 performance at Coachella.

Furthermore, it is rumored that Beyonce scored big money when Uber went public last month. People magazine reports that Queen Bey received $ 6 million in restricted stock units (RSUs) from Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick to perform at an event. With the IPO, speculations abound that she made $ 300 million from her shares.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Serena Williams (Wikimedia Commons)

Serena Williams is known for her prowess on and off the tennis court. The 23-time Grand Slam winner has made a number of boss business moves. She launched Serena Ventures, an investment firm focused on companies founded by women and minorities, which has invested in 34 startups in a portfolio worth at least $ 10 million.

In 2018, the tennis champ launched a self-funded clothing line called S by Serena. She also owns stakes in the Miami Dolphins and UFC and has signed multiple endorsement deals with major brands throughout her career, including Gatorade, Delta Air Lines, Aston Martin, Pepsi, and Beats by Dre.

Money | Black Enterprise

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U.S. Private Sector Job Growth Slows Much More Than Expected In May

Private sector employment in the U.S. crept up by much less than expected in the month of May, according to a report released by payroll processor ADP on Wednesday. ADP said private sector employment edged up by 27,000 jobs in May after spiking by a downwardly revised 271,000 jobs in April.
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Mounting climate change fears push U.S. investors to assess geographical risks

With an above-average percentage of its power generated from renewable sources and one of the largest battery storage operations in the United States, utility Sempra Energy seemed to check all the…


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Jay-Z Becomes Fifth Black Billionaire in the U.S.

Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter has won the race to become the first billionaire in hip-hop, beating music moguls Sean P. Diddy Combs and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young to the threshold, according to a new cover story published in ForbesThis also makes Carter just the fifth African American in the country to reach this historic milestone.

Forbes reports that Carter “has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $ 1 billion” thanks to his savvy business acumen and diverse portfolio of lucrative investments, acquisitions, and deals. “Jay-Z’s steadily growing kingdom is expansive, encompassing liquor, art, real estate (homes in Los Angeles, the Hamptons, Tribeca) and stakes in companies like Uber,” it reads.

The publication then explains how they came to this conclusion, listing a breakdown of Carter’s major assets. “To calculate his net worth, we looked at the artist’s stakes in companies like Armand de Brignac champagne—applying our customary discount to private firms—then added up his income, subtracting a healthy amount to account for a superstar lifestyle,” states the report. His assets are as follows:

  • Armand de Brignac champagne – $ 310 million
  • Cash and investments, including a $ 70 million stake in Uber – $ 220 million
  • D’Ussé cognac – $ 100 million
  • Tidal streaming service – $ 100 million
  • Roc Nation – $ 75 million
  • Music catalog – $ 75 million
  • Art collection – $ 70 million
  • Real estate – $ 50 million

In 2018, Forbes listed Carter as the wealthiest rapper with a $ 900 million net worth, while Combs came in second with a net worth of $ 820 million. Young ranked third with $ 770 million. At the time, it was hard to predict which of the artists would hit the billion benchmark first. But, as time would tell, the Brooklyn-born rapper became the first to join the ranks with the four other black billionaires in the U.S.

The Black Billionaire’s List

Robert F. Smith

Vista Equity

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

Robert F. Smith, the founder, chairman, and chief executive of Vista Equity Partners, is reportedly worth $ 5 billion. Last year, Vista Equity Partners was recognized as the top private equity firm on the BE 100s (BLACK ENTERPRISE’S annual list of the top black-owned companies in the nation), generating $ 14 billion in capital. Earlier this year, Vista Equity-acquired company, Marketo, was sold to Adobe for $ 4.7 billion. Smith’s firm was also recognized as the BE100s Financial Services Company of the Year in 2013.

In May, the generous philanthropist donated $ 40 million to the graduating class of Morehouse college to cover their student loans.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah's speech

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

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 other 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.

Michael Jordan

(Image: File)

Although considered the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan only made about $ 90 million during his stellar career in the NBA. Today, however, the basketball legend is worth an estimated $ 1.9 billion thanks to lucrative endorsements, like his lifetime deal with Nike, and big investments, like his purchase of the Charlotte Hornets.

David Steward

most successful black businesses

World Wide Technology Founder and Chairman David Steward

With a net worth of $ 3 billion, David Steward ranks as No. 745 on Forbes’ 2019 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. In 2017, WWT earned $ 10.2 billion in sales and was ranked as No. 1 on the BE 100s list. The business tycoon also graced the cover of BLACK ENTERPRISE in June 2001.

 

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TJX Companies Boosts FY20 Outlook As Q1 Results Top Estimates – Quick Facts

Off-price retailer TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX) reported Tuesday a decline in profit for the first quarter from last year. However, both earnings per share and sales for the quarter topped analysts’ expectations. The company also raised its earnings outlook for the full year 2020.
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NFI Group Acquires U.K.-based Peer Alexander Dennis In $405 Mln Deal

Bus and coach manufacturer NFI Group Inc. (NFI.TO) on Tuesday acquired U.K.-based peer Alexander Dennis Ltd. or ADL for a total transaction value of 320 million British pounds or about $ 405 million on a cash-free, debt-free basis, subject to certain adjustments. The acquisition complements NFI’s product offering, diversifies its business model and creates a platform for international growth.
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South Korea Industrial Output Rises 1.6% In April

Industrial production in South Korea climbed a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent on month in April, Statistics Korea said on Friday – down from 2.1 percent in March.
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Tokyo Overall Inflation Climbs 1.1% In May

Overall consumer prices in the Tokyo region were up 1.1 percent on year in May, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
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10 Top Personal Finance Books by Black Authors

If you are on an economic empowerment journey to financial freedom and love a good read, there are thousands of personal finance books that provide useful strategies. However, it is important to read books written by experts who understand our uniqueness and challenges as African Americans. In the midst of the well-known personal finance books, here are the top 10 personal finance books by black authors you should add to your reading list and library.

10 Top Personal Finance Books by Black Authors

“The 21-Day Financial Fast” by Michelle Singletary

top personal finance books

Fasting is good for the soul and body, but who knew it was also good for financial health as well. Michelle Singletary, award-winning columnist for The Washington Post, gives a tested financial challenge in her book “The 21-Day Financial Fast.”

For twenty-one days, readers eliminate excessive spending habits, stop using credit cards, and only buy the bare necessities. Singletary gives guidance for the three-week challenge, as well as practical ways to achieve financial freedom, financial peace, and prosperity.

Regardless of your income level, this book is a great tool to help you make better financial choices.

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“Perfect Credit: 7 Steps to a Great Credit Rating” by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

top personal finance books

Having poor or no credit will inhibit the ability to obtain loans and credit cards or make interest on credit extremely high if approved. If you need or are ready to improve your credit, Lynnette Khalfani-Cox teaches simple steps to take in her book “Perfect Credit: 7 Steps to a Great Credit Rating 2nd Edition.”

“Around 220 million Americans have their credit information maintained and shared through three major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.” states Khalfani-Cox. So what information is being reported about you, and how does it affect you financially?

Khalfani-Cox provides an easy-to-follow blueprint on how to get excellent credit, as well as how to sidestep many credit traps and pitfalls along the way.

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“Live Richer Challenge: Learn how to budget, save, get out of debt, improve your credit and invest in 36 days” by Tiffany Aliche – The Budgetnista

top personal finance books

Are you ready to live richer, but your finances are a mess? Tiffany Aliche, known as The Budgetnista, teaches how to make the shift from messy money to financial freedom in her book “Live Richer Challenge: Learn how to budget, save, get out of debt, improve your credit and invest in 36 days.”

Through simple daily financial tasks, readers learn about money mindsets, budgeting, saving, debt versus credit, insurance, and investing.

Even if you don’t have a budget, a savings account, or investments, Aliche’s five-week challenge is ideal for beginners who want to achieve financial success.

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“The Money Manual: A Practical Money Guide to Help You Succeed on Your Financial Journey” by Tonya Rapley – My Fab Finance

top personal finance books

Who said you needed degrees or certifications to master money management? Tonya Rapley, known as My Fab Finance, proves that all we need is the right information to empower us to take action in her book “The Money Manual: A Practical Money Guide to Help You Succeed on Your Financial Journey.”

Many people feel anxious and overwhelmed when thinking about money management. Rapley addresses these emotional challenges and gives the readers the skills and knowledge they need to improve their financial situation within six months.

If you are looking for the best way to tackle financial basics such as budgeting, saving, improving or building credit, and eliminating debt, this book will help you move from financially insecure to secure.

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“Real Money Answers for Every Woman: How to Win the Money Game With or Without a Man” by Patrice C. Washington – Money Maven

top personal finance books

Whether you are single or married, if you are ready to get out of debt, rebuild your credit, and fulfill your financial dreams, Patrice C. Washington, known as the Money Maven, gives practical strategies in her book “Real Money Answers for Every Woman: How to Win the Money Game With or Without a Man.”

Women face unique challenges when it comes to finances not just because of poor spending habits, but because women make less than men, contribute more to care-giving of children and aging parents, live longer, and most live in a single income household because they choose to stay single.

Washington uses a Q & A format to provide relatable and easy to understand and implement advice from everything from managing credit cards, home ownership, student loans, affordable childcare, and even negotiating a higher salary.

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“#MoneyChat THE BOOK: How to Get Out of Debt, Successfully Manage Your Money and Create Financial Security” by Dorethia Conner-Kelly

top personal finance books

Have you ever read a financial book and nothing changed in your financial life? That is because the application of principles learned is essential for success. Financial coach Dorethia Conner-Kelly’s provides how-to strategies to fill the gap between the financial information and application in her book “#MoneyChat THE BOOK: How to Get Out of Debt, Successfully Manage Your Money and Create Financial Security.”

Conner-Kelly shares simple strategies with a sense of humor to explain complex financial concepts in easy to understand language.

If you are wondering about the best place to put your savings, how to come up to extra money when you need it without going to a payday lender, or how to save towards college in under ten years, this book is the missing link to help you change your #MoneyChat.

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“The Frugal Feminista: Unmasking The Strong Black Woman” by Kara Stevens

top personal finance books

Feeling the pain of the superwoman syndrome? Sometimes, it is best to take off the cape, put your oxygen mask on first, and practice self-care. Kara Stevens, known as “The Frugal Feminista,” shares the importance of self-care to improve your finances in her self-titled book “The Frugal Feminista: Unmasking The Strong Black Woman.”

Many women are exhausted from being the woman everyone expects them to be, and it is negatively affecting their finances. Stevens shares secrets of financial and emotional self-care that every woman needs to live in her greatness.

If you are sick and tired of playing small and ready to claim a deliciously prosperous life you deserve, this book gives down-to-earth money and life advice.

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“4 Financial Languages: The Secrets to Communicating About Money” by Tarra Jackson – Madam Money

top personal finance books

Are you sick and tired of arguing about money with your partner? There is a logical reason why savers and spenders argue about money, and it is not what you think. I explain this as well as the solution in my latest book, “4 Financial Languages: The Secrets to Communicating About Money.”

Financial fights are the leading cause of divorce. The reason most money misunderstandings occur with couples is that they are speaking in different financial languages. I use relatable stories and conversation examples to teach the four dominant financial languages: Saving, Spending, Investing, and Giving. I also teach how to communicate in the different financial language for a fun, sexier, and healthier financial relationship with your partner.

If you never want to argue about money again, this book will teach you how to go from having budget battles to enjoying fun cash conversations about your financial dreams together.

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“The Wake Up Call: Financial Inspiration Learned from 4:44” by Ash Exantus – Ash Cash

top personal finance books

Jay-Z’s 4:44 imparted several financial lessons that were undeniable. Ash Exantus, known as Ash Cash, brilliantly extracts these financial lessons in his book “The Wake Up Call: Financial Inspiration Learned from 4:44 + A Step by Step Guide on How to Implement Each Financial Principle.”

Exantus teaches African Americans how to manage money more effectively and how to build generational wealth. Cooperative economics and how to start a business, creating multiple streams of income, and how to pass down wealth to the next generation are just a few lessons taught.

If you love hip hop and are ready to move the next level with your money, this book will help you decipher all of the financial concepts you need to build generational wealth.

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“The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires” by Dennis Kimbro

top personal finance books

The Black community has faced and is still facing difficult financial times. “The weight of the continuing housing and credit crisis disproportionately impacts the African-American community.” explains Dr. Dennis Kimbro. To help break this cash crisis cycle, Dr. Kimbro shares the secrets of the financial success of 1,000 of the wealthiest African Americans in his book “The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires.”

Kimbro uses these inspiring stories of men and women at every stage of life and in every industry to introduce the strategies that millionaires practice.

If you are ready to invest in your personal development growth to achieve your financial goals, this book will teach you what it takes.

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[RELATED: 7 BLACK MILLENNIAL FINANCIAL EXPERTS TO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM IN 2019]

[RELATED: ‘Your Money, Your Life’ podcast with Alfred Edmond, Jr.

Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 


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Money | Black Enterprise

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[PODCAST] YOUR MONEY, YOUR LIFE: EPISODE 7 – ‘Talk Money Before Committing Financially to Love’

The Money Coach Lynnette Khalfani-Cox gets real about the important financial conversations a couple should have before they make a serious relationship commitment, such as cohabitation or marriage.

The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests, including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

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Preview: German GfK Consumer Confidence Seen Stable For Second Month

GfK Consumer Confidence Index
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Babcock FY Pre-tax Profit Down 39.9%, Warns On Outlook – Quick Facts

Aerospace and defence company Babcock International Group PLC (BAB.L) on Wednesday reported profit before tax of 235.2 million pounds for the year ended 31 March 2019, down 39.9 percent from 391.1 million pounds in the previous year. Earnings per share were 39.5 pence, down from 66.6 pence last year.
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The Investing Habits of Wealthy Black People

Black households earning $ 200,000 or more are among the fastest growing groups in the U.S.  This is rarely addressed in discussions about black wealth, as the media and politicos focus so much attention on the bottom of the wealth gap, that they fail to highlight the strides that so many blacks are making. There is no intention to minimize the need for solutions to socioeconomic issues, but we can also learn a lot from the behavior, especially the investing habits of wealthy black people.

A study by Credit Suisse Research and The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University found that the top 5% of African Americans, those with a median net worth of $ 739,000 or more, have a more conservative approach than their white counterparts; owning less in stocks and bonds, and more in CD’s savings bonds, and life insurance. The study also found a higher level of investment in real estate outside of the primary home, 41% of non-financial assets, versus just 22% for whites in the same income bracket.

“This more conservative approach of the top 5% of African Americans to investing is understandable when looking at the constrained social mobility trends of the African American population and lower levels of overall economic security,” study researchers say.

“Owning land is what many of our forefathers experienced as a way to gain wealth. Also, the black community understands homeownership,” says Shelly-Ann Eweka, a certified financial planner with TIAA.

“We should focus on portfolio diversification for wealth building. This is not to say that real estate and entrepreneurship do not produce great wealth for individuals. You want to make sure that you are well-diversified when deciding on how to invest your assets to meet your financial goals,” she adds.

Eweka and others also emphasize the importance of working with a financial planner so that you can determine a productive asset mix that allows you to sleep at night.

-Editors’ Note: Updated from original publish date in March 2016

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Japan Overall CPI +0.9% On Year In April

Overall nationwide consumer prices in Japan were up 0.9 percent on year in April, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
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Goldman Sachs: Apple Earnings To Be Hit If China Retaliates With Ban

An analyst at Goldman Sachs Inc. has warned that Apple Inc.’s earnings could drop by 29 percent if China were to retaliate in the trade war against the U.S. with a ban on sales of Apple products in that country. The iPhone maker’s China business accounted for 17.6 percent of its total sales in the recent second quarter.
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Is Social Media Impacting Your Net Worth?

Are you tempted to travel to Bali, so that you can capture some Instagram-worthy photos? How about purchasing a new car or home to keep up with the fast and glamorous lifestyles of the million-dollar real estate agents? With over five billion combined users, sharing highlights of their lives on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, it’s hard not to fall into the comparison trap that forces many to compete for “likes”. There’s no doubt about it: Not only is social media influencing major lifestyle decisions, but social media may impact your pockets.

According to the 2019 Modern Wealth Survey conducted by Charles Schwab, people are spending more than they can afford to avoid missing out on all the fun they witness on social media.

Social Media Impact on Net Worth

The annual survey examines how 1,000 Americans aged 21-75 think about saving, spending, investing, and wealth. More than half of Americans are interested in how their friends spend compared to how they save, while 72% of millennials wonder how friends can afford expensive experiences posted on social media.

Is social media a distraction for those who want to build their net worth? It may be. Survey respondents rank social media as the biggest “bad” influence on their money management goals.

In today’s digital world, many people measure their financial success based on the experiences they can afford and the items they can consume. Americans believe it takes an average $ 2.3 million in personal net worth to be considered “wealthy,” according to the survey.

“The old definition of wealth is focused on dollar amounts that feel unachievable for most people,” said Abel Oonnoonny, financial consultant at the Charles Schwab branch in New York City. The modern approach to wealth is more about pursuing passions and experiences. Those are more important financial goals for clients rather than a number.”

Survey participants were asked what they would do with a $ 1 million windfall and the top three uses of money included homeownership, car purchase, and travel goals.

Oonnoonny shares how the pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses has been heightened because of social media, but you don’t have to put all spending to a halt in order to reach your financial goals. “Spending is not the enemy, but it’s important to balance saving and spending so we can both enjoy life’s experiences along the way and achieve long-term financial security”.

If you want to block the digital noise and avoid the guilty habits that come with frequent social media scrolls, you should create a financial plan. Studies have shown that those who write their goals down have a better chance of sticking to them and achieving them, but the survey reveals that only 28% of Americans have a financial plan in writing. So what’s your next line of defense? Work with a financial coach or adviser who can keep you on track. When you are focused on your financial goals and progress, you don’t have time to worry about what everyone else is doing.

“One of your goals should be to have an emergency fund,” says Oonnoonny as he discusses ways to counter the negative influences of social media. “Having cash set aside in a checking or savings account that will help you pay for up to six months of expenses in the event you lose a job or something happens. That also translates into [the importance of] having a financial plan. People who have a financial plan are more likely to be on-time with their loan payments or completely debt-free.”

He adds, “Sometimes you’re competing with the idea of putting extra [money] towards student loan debt or going on vacation. Having your goals up front and center is key for millennials.”

Social media can be very influential on your spending habits, but you don’t have to shut down all your accounts to gain control over your financial situation. Sometimes all it takes is a financial plan and a coach to keep your self-worth and net worth intact.


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Money | Black Enterprise

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Fed Expects Patient Approach To Rates To Remain Appropriate For Some Time

Members of the Federal Reserve are in no rush to alter the path of interest rates, according to the minutes of the central bank’s latest monetary policy meeting. The minutes showed members agreed that a patient approach to determining future adjustments to rates would likely remain appropriate for “some time.”
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‘Toxic cocktail’ brewing for U.S. asset managers: hedge fund investor Kass

Hedge fund investor Doug Kass said on Tuesday that he is shorting several investment managers, including T. Rowe Price Group Inc and Franklin Resources Inc, as they could be “the next group to feel…


Reuters: Wealth

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