Black Women, It’s Time to Get Wealthy and Wise About Investing!

I will admit it. My parents taught me absolutely nada about investing, despite the fact that they had successfully managed a rental property four duplex houses in Los Angeles that generated a tidy supplemental income for them. In the early 80’s we would take the one-hour trip down to Los Angeles from the Antelope Valley and collect the rent, and my father dutifully conducted maintenance for the tenants. Years later, they sold the property for many times over what they bought it for (unwisely done because they paid an ungodly amount of capital gains taxes) all without telling my brother and me anything. We found out in passing that a rich uncle of my mother advised them to buy the property back in the day (the 1970s?) for $20k, and when it was time to sell, we found out afterward that they sold it for over $200k.

They never told us how and why they bought the property, or how they managed it into their portfolio, or ever gave us any advice on how to do it ourselves. It was as if teaching their children such “trivialities” was a waste.

What my parents did sounds about right. A recent study conducted by Charles Schwab and Ariel Mutual Funds revealed that African Americans are 35% LESS LIKELY to invest in the stock market, leading to devastating wealth disparities between us and other races. Ariel Mutual Funds has a personal stake in this study: Melody Hobson, the wife of billionaire George Lucas, is also president of Ariel Capital Management. (As an aside, this is a prime example of a black woman married interracially and with lots of resources picking and choosing the causes she wants to get behind a-la-carte, because, well…she can).

“We’re under-invested in the stock market, which over the years has generated the best returns of any investment,”  Hobson said.

The survey found that the average wealth of blacks making over $50,000 a year was $158,000 while the average wealth of whites over that income was $273,000. As for retirement savings, blacks averaged $44,000 while whites had $69,000.

But children — not retirement — was an impetus for black investment, Hobson says. Blacks tend to want to invest in educating their children to improve their futures, over saving for their retirements.

Fact is, African American families lag behind in joining the stock market and teaching our children about investing. Even I am guilty of that.

But that is going to change. Part of living a Pink Pill life is leveling up financially, and that’s what I and hundreds of other black women are about to do.

Your Finances Affect How People Perceive You

Your financial fitness can determine so much more than whether or not you can afford a house or car. Increasingly companies are running credit checks on potential candidates and using the scores to determine your honesty, integrity, and dependability. Your relationship with money can also cost you a relationship. If you are a financial mess, potential romantic connections can, and often do, pass on getting involved with your chaos.

On the other hand, becoming debt-free, with solid credit and a little (or a lot) of savings gives you a certain level of swagger and confidence that reduces any air of desperation for a wealthy man to come and save you from your poor decisions. Potential long-term partners will look at you as someone they can merge their resources with and build together. Kind of like Melody and George.

I continue to be in awe at the level of amazing the women in our private Facebook Pink Pill group have. We had our first hour-long “level-up” investment live video discussion and realized so many have the expertise and resources to contribute so that we ALL win. There’s even talk about forming an investment group where a group of us go in on endeavors together. It is truly a beautiful thing.

General Tips On Leveling Up Financially

Know what you’re working with, credit-wise. You need to know what your score is and work with companies who can help you resolve your debt. Services like and work to help you resolve your current debts and build up your credit score. This service does require some commitment, however. Membership is $69 per month.

Another option for paying off loans and high-interest credit cards is signing up for credit lines with 0% interest for a fixed amount of time. I used such a service with Discover Card to pay off my credit cards. I can say with certainty that I will NEVER be a slave to credit card debt ever again. The $500-$1000 a month I was dumping into payments that never shrunk quickly enough is now being used for savings, investing and…FUN!!

You also might look into taking out a personal loan to immediately pay off high-interest credit cards, on the condition that you can get a lower (or no) interest rate for a period of time so that you can hustle down the debt. For example, The Loan Exchange offers personal loans from $7500-$100k with an interest rate as low as 16.64%. If your current credit card debt is at a higher rate, you’ll absolutely save on interest. There’s also not a lot of waiting involved. The company claims to give applicants answers the same day they apply.

Save in Places Where You Can Actually Make $$

Savings should be part your monthly distribution of pay. You wouldn’t think to skip paying your rent, mortgage or car payment, so why would you skip on squirreling away for the most important person (you) in your world? Saving for yourself should come even before you save for your kids. Do you really want your kids having the burden of taking care of you indeterminately because you saved ever cent for their college and none for yourself?!

Problem is, most bank savings accounts give pitiful returns. Instead of going that route, go with something that will give you a little (or a lot) more. Savings plans like what CIT Bank offers can give you a yield twice the national average for a conventional savings account.

Money Market Accounts: 
– Earn a 1.85% APY on all balances.
– Minimum deposit of $100 to open
– No account opening or maintenance fees
– Daily compounding interest
– Free online & mobile banking with Bill Pay
– FDIC insured

CIT Bank 1-Year CD

Premier High Yield Savings Accounts: 
– Earn a 1.55% APY on all balances.
– Minimum deposit of $100 to open
– Personal account only; not available for IRAs
– No account opening or maintenance fees
– Daily compounding interest
– Free online & mobile banking with Bill Pay
– FDIC insured

No Penalty 11-Month CD: 
– Earn 1.85% APY
– Minimum $1,000 deposit
– FDIC insured up to $250,000
– Security and Flexibility
– No Penalty for early withdraw
– Daily compounding interest
– No monthly maintenance fees

Certificate of Deposits (CD):
– Competitive rates
– Terms up to 5 years
– Low minimum opening deposit
– Daily compounding interest
– No monthly maintenance fees
– FDIC insured

So to recap: Finances matter! Investing is a thing, and you need to get on it. One extremely helpful site I have found is Lots of free advice that highlights the pros and cons of a variety of investments–some a little as $5 initial cost to join.

*Some links in this article are affiliates.

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