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[Personal Finance] What Wealthy Blacks Can Teach Us About Investing

An Intimate Look At How Race & Cultural Influence Our Investment Choices

It’s important to consider the historic aspect of the place homeownership holds in Black culture. Owning land is what many of our forefathers experienced as the only way to gain wealth, conditioning many of their children to believe the same.

While experience and evolution have breathed space around those deep-seated beliefs – Black millennials are entering the stock market at a higher rate than any other group in the United States – changing attitudes about where to park wealth is a challenge for many.

Wealthy Blacks and Real Estate

Even when it comes to investments other than their primary home, affluent Blacks have tended to move towards real estate.

Those with a median income of $739,000 or more invest 41 percent of their non-financial assets in real estate, compared to just 22 percent of Whites in the same income bracket.

The researchers who conducted the study concluded that 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 community, and the lower levels of overall economic security.

Socioeconomic disadvantages like predatory lending practices and other historic events have left some Blacks distrustful of the financial services industry.

In addition, many Blacks who fall in the top wealth categories are the first generation of wealth – which may also lead to a cautious approach to investing.

[Are Your Early Lessons About Money Hurting You Now? Read THIS to Find Out]

Lessons Learned

The 2008 financial crisis was a financial disaster for many Americans – particularly those in the Black community – because the vast majority had their net worth locked up in their primary residence.

Analysts say that’s one of the reasons we are seeing more Blacks, particularly millennials and Gen Z, diversify their investment holdings into assets like stocks.  Case in point, Black Americans invested in the stock market 3 times more than white Americans last year, according to an Ariel Investment and Charles Schwab survey.

In addition, 70 percent of Black millennials under the age of 40, earning at least $50,000 a year invest in stocks.

[ Angela Yee, On The Importance of Knowing Your Worth. Click HERE.]

What Happens to Wealthy Black Men

Blacks experience affluence, and its financial benefits differently than other groups, particularly Black men.

Researchers at Stanford & Harvard Universities, working with the Census Bureau,  conducted a sweeping study that traced the lives of millions of children and found that Black Boys raised in America, even in the wealthiest families, earn less in adulthood than White boys with similar backgrounds

 Researchers concluded that if this inequality cannot be explained by individual or household traits, much of what matters probably lies outside the home — in surrounding neighborhoods, in the economy and in a society that views black boys differently from White boys, and even from black girls – as Black women do not experience this same dynamic.

Some of the researchers even went so far as to say that what happens to these affluent Black boys and men is the major cause of the wealth gap.

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Building Wealth

These socioeconomic tragedies make investing even more imperative for the Black community. The financial markets can help us empower ourselves and level our own economic playing fields.

The world is changing in every way. Political and economic structures are changing.  Long standing racial, religious, and gender stereotypes are being disrupted. This is forcing many of us to take a long, hard look inside, and take personal responsibility for patterns that no longer serve our well-being.

Money’s greatest gift is that it can reflect back to us where we are not using our resources in ways that reflect our highest ideals and values.

Stacey Tisdale, a more than 20-year veteran TV broadcast financial journalist, and financial behavior expert, is one of the first women, and the first African-American to report from the New York Stock Exchange, in her role as a reporter/anchor for Dow Jones' Emmy Award winning, Wall Street Journal Television. She then went on to become one of the first on-air reporters for CBS MarketWatch and business/personal finance correspondent for CBS News, The Early Show, CBS Evening News, and CBS Radio. From 2002 to 2004, Stacey filed business and consumer reports for all of the CNN networks, including, CNN, CNNI and HLN. Stacey also reported for “Inside Africa,” a weekly news magazine show on CNN International, where one of her reports, identifying a rape camp in the hills of Liberia, brought attention, funding, international support, and helped bring eventual freedom, to women and girls imprisoned in the camp. Stacey - named by Top 100 Magazine as one of 2019's Top 100 People in Finance - was Business Correspondent for Al Jazeera America from 2013 to 2014. Before joining Al Jazeera, she reported for PBS national news magazine show Need to Know, and PBS Newshour Weekend, as well as hosting her own live daily show, Tech Live, on Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Tech TV cable news network. Ms. Tisdale, former senior editor of personal finance for Black Enterprise, was also a financial expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and is an expert for O magazine. After a 6-year research project into what drives financial behavior, Stacey authored the critically-acclaimed book, The True Cost of Happiness:The Real Story Behind Managing Your Money (John Wiley & Sons), and became one of the pioneering journalists in behavioral finance and financial psychology. Soon after, she became a financial expert on NBC's Today Show. The research, which focused on financial behavior, also inspired her Winning Play$ financial education program, winner of the U.S. Department of Education’s Excellence in Economic Education award, and the National Association of Black Journalists Community Service award. Stacey’s broadcasting career came after her work on Wall Street as a cash manager for the commodities firm Balfour Maclaine International, investing as much as $90 million per day in global financial markets on behalf of the firm. In addition, she has created a personal finance curriculum for college students on behalf of the White House, and conducted research for the United States Congress on the financial behavior of professional athletes. Stacey creates financial education and life skills programs for professional sports teams and corporations including the WNBA”s Washington Mystics, the NFL Super Bowl champion, New York Giants, and the female employees of Microsoft. In 2019, Stacey joined the prestigious ranks of The HistoryMakers, - the United State’s largest African American oral history collection. Her story, as well as a documentary about her life, will be forever housed in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. She is a graduate of Marymount College, winner of the 2018 Marymount College Alumna Achievement award, and a member of the Butler Society. She also attended Polytechnic of Central London in England. Stacey is on the advisory committee for The Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair for Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University, and she sits on the communications committee for the gender parity movement, Paradigm for Parity. Stacey is the co-chair of Take the Lead, aimed at preparing women for leadership positions. As founder and CEO of multi-media content provider, Mind Money Media Inc., international speaker, contributor and expert for some of the leading media outlets in the world – including Time Magazine, Good Morning America, the Breakfast Club, and AJ Impact - Stacey uses her personal finance and media platforms to educate her audiences about all aspects of our complex relationship with money, as well as the ways in which socioeconomics, gender, race, age, orientation, and culture, play out in our financial experiences and careers. She also co-hosts the monthly social media personal finance event, Wealth Wednesdays, with IHeartMedia, Power 105.1 Breakfast Club host, Angela Yee. Stacey is the daughter of renowned educator Jettie Tisdale, whom there is a school named after in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Charles Tisdale, executive director of ABCD, the largest anti-poverty agency in the state of CT, former economic policy advisor for U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and former field director of World Vision, which brings humanitarian aid to refugees worldwide.


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