All Articles Tagged "personal finance"
Michelle Thornhill is the Senior Vice President and African American Segment Manager at Wells Fargo/Wachovia. Michelle has over 15 years of experience developing consumer initiatives for diverse audiences in the financial services and non-profit sector. Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science from Virgina Polytechnic Institute and State University, a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University, the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Michelle resides in Charlotte, N.C. with her husband and two sons.
Michelle Thornhill will provide personal finance tips to get you and your family on the right track when it comes to money management. This financial tip is sponsored by Wells Fargo. Here’s Michelle Thornhill.
Wells Fargo is providing tips to help your children learn about money management. At each stage in your child’s life, consider ways in which you can help them prepare for a successful financial future.
1.) When you have newborns, be sure to update your own health and life insurance policies to benefit them or even start a college fund.
2.) When your child gets older, start teaching them about saving, budgeting, and setting small financial goals that they can reach.
3.) Give teenagers more money management activities and teach them about how credit works. High school students can benefit from learning about financial aid, student loans, scholarship qualifications and salary ranges for different careers.
Set your children up for financial success tomorrow by setting the standard today.
For more financial tips and information, visit www.handsonbanking.org
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Ladies and gentlemen of romantic relationships, there comes a time when money starts to matter in those relationships. And, how you deal with money doesn’t have to be a big deal…as long as you follow these key steps.
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According to Forbes, “The richest 400 Americans got even richer this year.” With household incomes plunging for the second year in a row, fewer families earning over $100,000 a year and the ranks of the poor rising, one must contemplate how the super-rich were able to increase their wealth amidst such a gloomy backdrop. According to CNN, “The top 400 saw their combined wealth increase by 8 percent, which means that they account for about 2.6 percent of the nation’s private wealth.”
In a capitalistic society, is the above-mentioned wealth inequality just? Are these super-rich individuals somehow evil for amassing their wealth, while so many individuals are struggling? Absolutely not. But one has to contemplate the public policies and tax initiatives (i.e., Bush tax cuts) that enable the rich to get richer, while the majority of the remaining society continues to suffer. For a number of years, commentators across the board have stated that Reagonomics and “trickle-down” economics have largely been responsible for the robust transfer of the lost income and net worth among the “bottom” 98 percent for the last 30 years.
And, this is likely very true. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of the debate, I do believe there are some things that most of the 98 percent, including myself, can learn from the top 2 percent in order to help us progress toward more economic freedom. To be sure, these principles that are practiced by the super-rich may not help everyone in the middle class earn millions or billions or assist every poor individual in overcoming oppressive and institutionalized practices. But, the following principles may help one reach some financial freedom upon implementation:
1. Build a personal moat. As Warren Buffett indicated to Jay-Z during their Forbes-related interview, it is essential to establish a personal moat or a deep, wide trench between you and your competition. And, the ways that you build the moat is to do what you are really passionate about and to learn everything you can about the field in which you are naturally talented. Bill Gates, Buffet and most of the other super-rich can attest to being “wired” for what they do and loving their area of expertise so much that they would do it for free every day.
2. Be comfortable on your own path. Although there are some exceptions in the top 400 where inheritances come into play, most of these super-rich individuals continue to amass wealth, because they follow their own thinking and do what others are not doing. While political parties continue to bicker and cable chatter persists to incite unnecessary fear, the super-rich are comfortable with going against the odds, which ultimately has benefited them. To be sure, it is very easy to be comfortable when you have billions stashed away. But, importantly, many of the individuals on the Forbes 400 evolved from very humble beginnings and decided to walk their own path when it probably did not make any sense.
3. Surround yourself with positive people. In a rough economy and in tough times, it essential to surround yourself with value-adding people who will speak life around you and help you to progress despite your economic situation. People in our everyday microcosm who are negative all the time and who do not believe in you or your goals will not add value to your life. Rest assured, the super-rich individuals always surround themselves with people that they can share their goals, visions and next moves and who will offer them positive feedback, advice and criticism.
4. Develop a concrete plan of action. A relatively good plan can not only help the super rich but can also help the remaining 98 percent. It is very easy to establish goals and plans when you are extremely wealthy. But, again, most of the super-rich did not get where there are now without a concrete plan of action. It is imperative during tough economic times to define your short-term and long-term goals, your preferred future, your current reality and a specific plan of action.
(AOL Black Voices) — We’ve all heard the expression “each one, teach one.” It’s a call to action urging us to spread whatever knowledge we might have to someone else. That’s what I do every day as a Money Coach. I teach people how to get financially fit.
But with unemployment at 9.5%, credit card debt and student loans in the trillions of dollars and foreclosures on the rise, there is perhaps no better time for every one of us — professionals and lay persons alike — to spread some financial know-how. All of which which explains why I was particularly interested in a just-released survey from Northwestern Mutual.
On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced the recession ended in June 2009. NBER is a nonprofit group appointed by the government to examine business cycles and long-term economic growth. The recent report was merely to mark the dates of the business cycle in question, not to give a thumbs up to overall economic conditions. NYBER reported that the period of decline (starting in December of 2007 until June of 2009) was the longest since World War II. The report did not confirm that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity.
Most Americans have cut spending to reduce their debt or increased their savings, and the unemployment rate remains high. Banks are not giving loans to small businesses to expand operations or create new jobs and businesses are not spending money. Meanwhile, the President’s proposed health care and tax reforms remain uncertain. According the NBER report, an expansion started in June of 2009 when economic activity began to rise. Regardless of the expansion, the overall population is waiting to exhale. Growth and recovery have yet to flow evenly across the board.
Obama commented on the report at a CNBC forum in Washington saying, “Even though economists may say that the recession officially ended last year, for the millions of people who are still out of work, people who’ve seen their home values decline, people who are struggling to pay the bills day to day, it’s still very real for them.”
According to NBER, in both recessions and expansions, brief reversals in economic activity may occur. A recession may include a short period of expansion followed by further decline; an expansion may include a short period of contraction followed by further growth. CNNMoney surveyed top economists who calculate that there is a 25% risk of a double-dip recession within the next year. This figure is up from a 15% chance just six months ago.
The NBER report acknowledges the risk, but said “the committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007.”
Since NBER reflects on past business cycles, if a business or individual has generated more money, obtained financing and economic expansion since last June, then the NBER validates your experience. Congratulations and I wish you continued luck. For those of us that are waiting to exhale, I wish you a speedy recovery. We won’t know until the other shoe drops.
Candi Sparks is the author of the “Can I Have Some Money?” books series.
(CNN Money) – The Great Recession ended in June 2009, according to the body charged with dating when economic downturns begin and end.
But the news is little comfort to the millions of Americans still out of work, underwater on their mortgages or uncertain about the future.
The National Bureau of Economic Research, an independent group of economists, released a statement Monday saying economic data now clearly point to the economy turning higher last summer. That makes the 18-month recession that started in December 2007 the longest and deepest downturn for the U.S. economy since the Great Depression.
President Obama declared this week National Black College and University week (HBCU week from September 12-18). He indicated the reason for this declaration is to honor the past in recognizing those that took extraordinary risks to create HBCUs and to move these organizations into the future by making HBCUs accessible and by improving graduation rates to meet his 2020 goal of making this country a global leader with the highest percentage of college graduates.
Obama recognizes that these institutions are up against enormous challenges, particularly during these trying economic times. In February he signed an executive order that allows governmental collaboration among the educational, philanthropic and private sectors to increase a school’s ability to “to offer a college degree to as many students as possible.”
His initiatives include $850 million over 10 years for HBCUs and legislation that eliminated billions of dollars in subsidies to banks and financial institutions, “making it possible for millions of more students to attend colleges and universities and community colleges all across the country.” Unfortunately, college enrollment does not always result in college graduations. According to Dr. Robert Franklin, President of Morehouse College, “The national graduation rate for African-American men is lower than any other segment of the population.”
Marybeth Gasman, an associate professor at Penn’s Graduate School of Education, will present her research about HBCUs at the White House Initiative’s national conference in Washington, D.C. this week. “When the graduation rates are higher, they’re due to black women. And a lot of people are trying to answer this question because if you look at the graduation rates for African-American men, they tend to be about the same at black colleges and historically white institutions,” she said. “What our research recommended is that HBCUs take a closer look at the black men on their campus and try to create initiatives.”
In attempting to reach more students, select HSBC’s have opted to offer online courses and distance learning that would provide graduates with an HBCU certificate or degree. The program, HBCUsOnline is an educational initiative/company in collaboration with celebrity Tom Joyner. This collaboration is promoting the benefits of having access to the social environment of an HBCU, getting a certificate or accredited degree from a recognized HBCU, and of graduating into the ranks of famous HBCU alumni like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Tom Joyner, Ann Bradley, Spike Lee and others. HBCUsOnline is set to begin classes in January 2011. Joyner first announced the online program for students who want to study at HBCUs during a speech at Fayetteville State University in February, around the time of Obama’s executive order.
HBCUsOnline appears to be tapping into a market dominated by for-profit education companies and career colleges by offering them a better value. It has been reported that more than 200,000 black students are pursuing online degrees with the University of Phoenix alone, which has high tuition and a low reputation. Any HBCU offering online education is likely to have a positive effect on the community, as they are already primed for online education. Hopefully, the HBCU programs will be more affordable than the for-profit schools. The saving grace of the program would be if HBCU students are not forced to dropout due to financial considerations.
It is noted that the HBCU collaboration with Joyner is not being adopted by all HBCUs, but given the financial support Obama is extending to HBCUs, we are likely to see more historically black colleges offering online programs and degrees. Hopefully, distance learning won’t detract students from taking advantage of the on-campus experience but nevertheless an alternative to the low-reputation schools of many online programs is a healthy initiative.
Candi Sparks is the author of the “Can I Have Some Money?” books series.
(Smart Money) – Although the fall typically brings a seasonal uptick in trading volume after a summer lull, the current lack of major market jolts may well continue until the November elections are over and the economic outlook becomes clearer. As market watchers wait, their comments reflect a slow but widening difference of opinion between the doomsayers and what passes for optimism in a half-speed recovery.
(Smart Money) — With hurricane season and wild fires raging, gaps in basic homeowner policies are becoming more evident. Most policies cover a limited amount in damages caused to personal possessions and some even have caps on the amount they’ll pay if the home is destroyed—and they’re typically far less than the cost to rebuild or buy new.
(Black News) — Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program will host the 15th Annual Booker T. Washington Economic Development Development Summit on September 15-17, 2010. Held at the TU Kellogg Conference Center the conference theme is: “Revitalizing Entrepreneurship and Procurement Opportunities in Small Towns and Rural Communities”.