Financial Empowerment 101


            African Americans have consistently been big spenders.  Many young African Americans spend their money on bling-bling items such as jewelry and rims, but have no clue when it comes to investing their money and turning huge profits from entrepreneurial efforts.

NBA Hall of Famer, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, recently addressed a seminar about building wealth and investing in the African American community. 

Johnson opened his presentation by stating that there are more Black millionaires today than ever before, but less Black business owners.  The reason for this phenomenon he explained is that African Americans stopped investing in Black companies when many migrated to the suburbs.  Having knowledge of that fact, Magic decided to invest in the Black community. 

“Owning a business is more common sense than book sense,” Johnson said.  He started Magic Theaters because African Americans are the number one moviegoers in this country.  He decided to put things in his businesses that many African Americans like such as particular types of food and music that appeal to Black culture.

Despite his business success, Magic informed the crowd that the Black community is losing African American franchisee owners and Black owned car dealerships at a high rate.

 “Kentucky Fried Chicken is present in almost every Black neighborhood, but KFC does not have any Black franchisee owners,” Johnson said.  He said that it is time that African Americans stop being just consumers and start becoming owners. 

When you hire people to work for you must make sure they have the same work ethic as you, he said.  “Your customer service has to be exemplary.  Don’t take for granted that African Americans will support you just because you are Black,” Magic said. 

He warned that business owners should have an exit strategy to sell their business if it becomes extremely profitable. 

Finally, he said African Americans should start investing in land and homes and not jewelry and cares, because land is where the money is. 

Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

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