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Posted under: Business

Black Wealth Is On The Rise, But We Still Have Work To Do

What's better than 1 billionaire?

Black wealth in America is seemingly at an all time high.We see celebs like Cardi B rising to superstardom and making money moves, Queen Oprah continuing to represent us at the billionaires’ roundtable and we cannot forget the reigning prince of pop, Michael Jackson, who on October 31, 2017, topped Forbes list of the 13 highest-paid deceased celebrities for the fifth year in a row--with earnings of $75 million. Now, let’s take a closer look at our weatlh- and keep in mind the words of the famous black philosopher, Sir Shawn Carter, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”.

When hearing and reading about all the wealthy blacks in America, we tend to puff out our chests, adjust our crowns and swag surf on down the yellow brick road. Before we get too LIT, let’s check some numbers.  According to Business Insider, there are 563 billionaires in the United States of America with a combined net worth of $2.8 trillion dollars.  Out of the 563 billionaires, only three are black: Oprah Winfrey, Robert Smith, and Michael Jordan. For my fellow number geeks, that’s point five percent (0.5%) out of 100, not even one percent (1%) of blacks represented on the list.This is quite alarming when blacks make up 12.6% of the U.S. population.  But before panic starts to set in, let’s look at the number of millionaires. In the U.S., according to CNBC, there are 10.8 million millionaires nationwide. Now, I just know our numbers have to be much better than the top one percent and they are but not by much. Out of the 10.8 million millionaires in America, blacks only account for 1.9%, which roughly estimates to 205,200. Blacks have been below the two percentile since 1992. We need to rise up!

I do not want us to start worrying; I want us to start educating ourselves and then start acting! What is wealth? Before I give you that definition, I want you to understand that wealth is not being rich.  Having six figures in the bank isn’t really anything to brag about if the money stops with you.  With this volatile financial climate, we really need to get our coins together. Wealth is being able to pass it down to at least two generations after you. This not only goes for bank accounts but businesses, stocks, property, etc. The three pillars of wealth building in the U.S. are stock investments, real estate investments, and passive income. I highly recommend having all three.  There are some simple ways to start building wealth in the black community. Instead of lavish first birthday parties, use that money to buy your children stock in an up and coming or solidified company.  I guarantee that when they are 21 years old, they’ll appreciate the money in the bank versus pictures of all their grown cousins at their first birthday party. Buy land, build your own houses and leave it to your children in the will. However, don’t just leave it to them, teach them how to manage it and ensure they keep up with the land tax, which is one of the leading causes of black Americans losing their land that had been in the family for generations.

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JUSTIN KEY is an actor, entrepreneur, mathematician and speaker residing in Los Angeles, CA by way of Rossville, TN. He is an alumnus of LeMoyne-Owen College, AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Mount Saint Mary’s University and The American Conservatory Theater. Justin is an avid reader, world traveler, lover of french fries and red wine and dedicated to scholarship and mentorship for all.