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Where are all the Black people?

moneyThis is a bit of a departure from hair, but more important… Last night, the husband and I went to an investment seminar. There were plenty of Asian and South Asian young people, but we were the only Black folk in the building – young, old or otherwise. The white woman at the door who bum rushed us was probably thinking, “We don’t see Black people here!! These two sneaking in? What’s going on???”

Why is that?

Now, I know that this isn’t the only investment or financial seminar in the city, but I expected to see at least a couple of Black people in the building. This is the second seminar that we’ve attended and there were no Black people attending that time either.

This boggles the mind.

I know plenty of upwardly-mobile Black people with good jobs who have never thought about their finances – aside from paying bills and saving in a regular savings account. While paying bills and saving are great, making your money work for you is better. If you can sit down with an advisor – someone who is trained to know what to do with your money – you’ll be in better shape when you’re ready to buy a house, send your children to university or retire. I’m all about the retirement, folks! For y’all who don’t know me, I’m counting down the years (I’ve got a long way to go) until Freedom 55 or, more likely, 60.

My husband and I have a plan. We can’t do everything we want to do and our plan isn’t complete, but we do know what we’d like to achieve in the next few years.

The more you know

Remember that from Saturday mornings on NBC? It’s the truth. The more you know, the better off you are. So, what do you know about the financial savings and investments tools that are available to you?

My young Black people, have you started putting money into your Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP)? Young parents, do you have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for your babies and school-aged children? Have you opened a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)? This is only the tip of the iceberg, people. There are a number of products that can help you save and make money in a safe way.

It ain’t hard, people.

You don’t have to be making big money or rolling like Jay-Z or Diddy to start planning for your future goals. Go to any bank and tell them that you’d like to speak to a financial advisor. Make an appointment and talk to the person – you don’t have to share anything major, just see what s/he can do for you.

Many of our parents came to this country without much. They scrimped and saved so that their children could do better. They may not have known about these financial tools, but we do. There ain’t no excuse to be 30 years old and not have an RRSP. Ya heard? No excuse! Don’t use ignorance as an excuse – if you didn’t know, I’m telling you now.

I’m not here to condemn or curse, but many of our white, Asian and South Asian counterparts are getting ahead financially because they are doing simple things like making their money work for them. What are we doing? Give yourself and your family a chance to do better by making some good money decisions now.

FYI, my hair looked fantastic!

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