Sunday, January 13, 2008

Young Money: Getting Financially Fit as a Young Person

by Dr. Boyce Watkins -

There’s nothing wrong with a little shine in your life, especially since you have worked hard to get that degree. But shining too hard can have you rolling on 24s to bankruptcy court. Whether you earn 10 dollars per year or 10 Million, you are a financial slave if you are not saving, investing and letting your money grow. As I like to say, “To ‘floss’ at 23 is human, but to floss till you’re 90 is divine”.

As a Finance Professor and your personal Financial Physician, let me give you a list of rules to live by, so that your grandkids will be riding high on the hog after you have cooked up the pork chops. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and you are wasting your mind if you have not used it to build, invest and teach in your community:

Rule #1: The easiest way to stay poor is to never own anything. Renting an apartment will help your landlord get a house, not you. Buying cars helps the auto dealer get a new limo, not you. The candy apple paint on their new Mercedes is being peeled right off your black butt. Get on the other side of that deal! Buy a house as quick as you can, buy stocks, buy bonds, own ASSETS. Don’t believe the hype about having a high paycheck; It means nothing if you don’t own anything.

Rule #2: The quickest path to getting pimped is to always work for someone else. Don’t just try to find a job, put yourself in position to CREATE a job. Start your own business as soon as you can. Remember: when you are working for someone else, they are usually earning 10 dollars for every dollar they pay you. Now THAT’S pimpin. Get with the GRAND hustle, not the BLAND hustle by using the PLANNED hustle to start your own business.

Rule #3: Save at least 10% of your money every time you get paid, NO EXCUSES. You should pay yourself first by having the money come right out of your check. A person who saves $200 per week starting at the age of 22 and invests that money in the stock market for a 10% return every year will have roughly $43,000 by the time they are 32, $434,000 by the time they are 52, and $1.6 million when they are 65. That’s enough money to help Flava Flav get a new girlfriend.

Rule #4: Create multiple streams of income. Your salary should only be one. I don’t care if you sell comic books, Avon or rotten fish. Remember the words of the rapper TI: “If the grapes don’t sell, I dry em up and sell raisins.” Side hustles provide job security, in case your boss hands you the pink slip. If you are smart, you can hand the pink slip to your boss.

Rule #5: Love is creepy sometimes, so watch who you hook up with. Merging your money with someone is like having sex with them: it can be an amazing experience, or it can leave you burned and bitter. Whether it is marriage or starting a business together, only merge your money with someone who cares about your best interest. In other words, don’t waste your life with losers.

Read my lips and follow these tips, and your future will have so much shine that Stevie Wonder will need to put on his sunglasses. Now that’s pimpin.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

BET 25 Events that misshaped black america

I was on this show with BET called "The 25 Events that Misshaped Black America". It was shortly after I'd done some other relatively controversial stuff with CBS Sports, ESPN, CNN and other places. I've worked with BET on a number of occasions and I usually feel relaxed when I am in their space....sometimes too relaxed.

I have let things loose on their network that might be truthful, but could still get me in trouble. My mother used to say that the truth will set you free, but when you are a black man, the truth can also get you locked up!

They asked me alot of financial questions, which I appreciate. I am not usually asked financial questions when I am in the white media, since they usually just ask me "black people stuff". But what I love most about dealing with BET, Black Enterprise and Essence is that I am a professional first and foremost and I get the respect earned from my doctorate. I haven't felt that way when I've worked with Fox News, which is why I have refused to work with them since last summer. Most of their shows are incredibly racist.....except Family Guy, which is one of my favorites (I had to tell the truth about that one).

At any rate, what I loved about this show was that they went head-on into the issues that really matter most for black people. They talked about Ward Connerly, the man who is single-handedly dismantling affirmative action by allowing himself to be used like a "Mega-hoe" by the racist establishment. Yep, I said it....."Mega-hoe". That's like a prostitute with really large sex organs.

Connerly is one of the most negative and destructive forces in American history and one of the human beings I respect the least on this planet. He makes Clarence Thomas look like Malcolm X. How a black man can go through this much effort to destroy educational opportunities for black youth is beyond me.

BET also confronted the prison system, which is destroying black families, killing black men, getting black women infected with HIV, you name it. No one is doing anything about it, and it sickens me that our society has allowed Jim Crow to creep back into our culture by disguising it as a fair justice system. The justice system is not fair and it never has been. Get that straight right now.

The show was great, and the people behind it were not only of the people, but very intelligent to boot. Much respect to the folks at BET. It was a good experience.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Randy Moss and Terrell Owens - The Best Players in the NFL

I wanted to make this point (in the video) about Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. These guys get alot of heat for their "character", and the consistent pattern is that America feels that it has the paternalistic right and obligation to consistently judge the character of black males. People do not understand how this concept is universal: it happens to black boys in the school system, which is why they are nearly 5 times more likely than other kids to be placed in special ed. It happens to black men in the criminal justice system, which is why black men are tried and convicted at a much higher rate than men and women who commit the same crimes. It happens on the job market, which is why we don't get promotions as regularly even when our qualifications are the same. I go through it at Syracuse University, as I have been labeled a "dangerous black man" for being honest about racial inequality in America. Rather than ask itself why it has dozens of departments that have NEVER in over 100 years, granted tenure to a black male or female, it is easier for the administration to point their hostility toward me for being the one who brought such a startling fact to their attention.

I understand. Racism makes you do this.

Due to the long history of extreme racism that created the roots of nearly every institution in our society, many Americans today are unaware of just how powerful their racist history is in determining their outlook on nearly every aspect of American society. The outrage Americans had toward Michael Vick is very similar to the rage that Americans felt 100 years ago if a black man was accused of hurting a white woman. Americans felt that because Vick had been deemed a "monster", it was within their rights to take everything from him. The same was true of OJ Simpson. Not to say that these men were perfect,they are clearly flawed. But this notion that "a monster has no rights and therefore should be subject to vigilante justice" is nothing new, and has been historically applied to black men.

I am not surprised when I see the backlash that comes when I speak on issues in this way. Racism trains us as Americans to squash the voices of people of color, even when they are telling the truth.