Updated: Feb 5, 2020
People say the money of the future is cryptocurrency. Some might tell you to invest in Technology, while others may say that investing in a new startup company that will “change the world”. Which this is something that even the “top dogs” on Wall Street have not even got a grasp on. Finding the right startup or small cap company that will actually give you a return on your investment. Although I made a couple of A’s in my asset management class, I am not here to give you investment advice. “Also, when I can, I’ll charge you for it.”
I am here as young African American student who is trying to help other African American students and young professionals navigate the financial system that was not necessarily built for us to really understand or even succeed in. My hope is to share some of the wisdom I have accumulated during my time in the financial planning and financial counseling community. I hope that others will feel empowered in their ability to tackle the struggle of finances- the struggle that every person deals with. I believe that my message is applicable to all of my readers. This is an opportunity to understand some of the realities of being young and black in our professional world.
Do not be afraid to work for “The Man”
Trust me, I get it. The black community has felt oppressed by our country for centuries, and we absolutely have been. Our grandparents and those who came before us were not given a fair chance. In some ways, today, we still have not been given a fair chance. However, we cannot let this reality hinder us from obtaining our financial freedom. In comparison to any other ethnic group, African Americans are more likely to start a business. This is encouraging but not surprising because entrepreneurship is almost in the DNA of our community. This is something to be celebrated! As young professionals, I think it is actually wise to work for a company, pay off debt, and learn from your superiors what it looks like to run a company or corporation. Remember: You are young. Your human capital is high and you have a lot to offer. I know listening to, “Dreams and Nightmares”, by Meek Mill makes you feel like you must be on your Dame Dash game by 25. But it is okay to be on your Dame Dash or even Oprah energy… maybe just wait until you are 43. All I am saying is have aspirations to own, and communities needs Black ownership and leadership. Let the ownership have vision and some patience.
Now that you worked for the man, Be “The MAN”
To take true ownership, we must be leaders in our communities. Our community and the generations after us need us. They need Black leaders to be examples for the younger generations. The actions and leadership of us will help schools become places of learning. These schools will allow students to express themselves as opposed to being institutions that throw black students away. Society and statistics say that, “The school to prison pipeline is real”. Communities need black leaders who are willing to pour into the young, black community, providing mentorship and scholarship funds. We need to show others that everyone is capable of going to college and succeeding, regardless of race and income. We must be willing to sacrifice our time and attention to younger generations, just like the generations before us made sacrifices so that we may succeed. We must make sacrifices so that black children will not be stereotyped and labeled based on the color of their skin.
My advice is work and do it well. Be the absolute best in your industry, outwork everyone because our community is depending on you. Pay off your debt aggressively, if possible. Build credit ASAP, build capital, and set your family in a place where you can take a risk, and then own. Own as much as you can in a financially responsible way. I say this because I know we live in an individualistic society. However, we cannot live as individuals, but rather as a community. “Ownership” is not limited to having a company with YOUR name on it. This can look like being the hiring manager at a Fortune 500 company or the senior VP of marketing at an established firm. Have a position that allows you to drop the Instagram caption we all wanted to post Spring of 2019,
"You asked to see the boss, so they sent me, dawg” – Aubrey Graham “Drake”
Look I believe that melanated money is the money of the future!
Be a leader in your life and in your community.
“Happy Black History Month”
Mari Kate Northcut
Drake, Meek Mill, Going Bad. Maybach Music Group LLC, 2018