DAVID FONTAINE: 10 Guiding Principles for Building Wealth

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The Minority Financial Literacy Center offers the following 10 Guiding Principles for Building Individual, Family and Community Wealth:

1. Pay 10% of your net pay to the church or other worthy charitable organizations.  If you put this principle first, the other ten will be much easier to follow. Those that give first receive much more back .The pleasure of saving and giving must equal or exceed the pleasure of spending.

2.  Always live below your means. If you can afford a $1800 house payment .Buy a

house where your payment is only $1300 per month. If you can afford a $ 500 car payment, purchase a car where your payment is only $ 350 per month. If you save $ 500 a month and earn 7% interest it will net you over $613,544 in 30 years.

3.  Have a budget and stick to it .Make a budget of your household income and   expenses .Track your income and expenses monthly. Allow yourself a 5% cushion monthly for unexpected emergencies.

4. Pay yourself first.   Save at least 10% of your monthly net income. This will be your saving vehicle for retirement, funding a new business or your children’s education. Then you won’t feel quite as bad  making those required  expenditures

such as taxes and other monthly obligations.

5. Support and encourage relatives and friends who strive to be entrepreneurs. Give them your moral and financial support Make sure they have a sound business plan. 80% of all millionaires in this country are small business owners. They didn’t inherit   that wealth .They earned it the old fashion way, through hard work and investing over time.

6. Make financial and economic  literacy education a regular part of the  family  conversation  .We have academic and professional education  there is no financial literacy education within our K-12 school system. Therefore we must teach our children and family members the basic fundamentals  of saving  , investing , entrepreneurship and wealth building.

7. When   investing diversify your investment portfolio. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket .Don’t   invest all your savings in you’re employer company stock. Investors whom had most of their investments in real estate over the past 5 years have experienced a substantial decline in financial wealth. Sell when the market is high and buy when it’s low .When investing buy when everyone is fearful and sell when the stock market or real estate seems to do nothing but increase. In October  of 2008 at the height of the financial crisis ,you could have purchased Bank of America for $4.00 per share. In December of 2012 it sold for almost $12.00 per share. In 4 years your money would have tripled .

8. Start savings early for your children, nieces and nephew’s education.  Every time you buy your son or daughter a $100 pair of sneakers or dress they don’t need. put $25.00 in a savings account or buy them a $25.00 savings bond they will mature to $ 50.00 in 20 years. We all know people who dress their sons and daughters’s in the finest designer clothes, but have no savings account for themselves or their children, Give your nieces and nephews saving bonds on their birthdays and other gift giving family occasions. They already have more material possessions   than they need.

9. Frequent businesses and give support to community organizations that reflect your values.  If you go to a main stream restaurant like Red Lobster or Chili’s make sure your third night out is at a minority owned restaurant .Frequent businesses and restaurants they employ people that look like you and mirror your values. They also tend to hire people that look like you. Where else can our children and relatives gain the experience and entrepreneur skill to be successful in business.  These are the building blocks   for a growing and prosperous community.

10. Join or start an investment club or organization that pools its money to invest in new or existing businesses. Many churches and fraternal organizations have established   corporations to promote job creation and economic development. If one does not exist ,    join with like minded  members and start one at your church ,  fraternity or sorority .

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