Don't invest your time or money in "Side Chicks" or "Side Fellas". In the end, you will only lose more than you gained.
This past weekend, we got a major dose of reality after hearing the alleged personal beliefs of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. He reminded us that there are powerful people in this country that embrace racism and classicism , and they don't plan on doing anything to stop it. He also revealed the peer pressure to uphold separatist values that exist within certain financial and social elite groups of people. Now that this information has been made public, what should we take from it. Most people that I've encountered are not surprised that an NBA owner is capable of holding such racist views. Others wondered how it was possible for Sterling's beliefs to remain hidden from the general public. However, these were not my thoughts after hearing about this matter.
After allegedly hearing Sterling's private conversation, I began to think about the truth about wealth and influence. While we may believe that wealth can gain everyone access to almost anything in this world; this secret recording reinforced the truth about wealth, money can only take a person but so far in the United States.
Irvin Magic Johnson is a well known for his Hall of Fame basketball career, but his reputation as a business mogul has been gaining traction for the last 15 years. Today, he is allegedly worth $500 million dollars, which can mostly be attributed to his business activities after retiring from the NBA. He has invested in Starbucks, the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson Enterprises (which includes restaurants, movie theaters and a movie studio), and is now a partial owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite these great business accomplishment's, Donald Sterling has reminded us that there are certain elite groups of business professionals that would never accept Magic as a member.
While many people may believe that wealth can open all doors and grant access to any club, reality has once again proven this to be untrue. There are some barriers that can never be broken with wealth because money was never the basis of those barriers. They were created from hate and selfish ambitions, and the only way to rid ourselves of these separatist groups is to limit their influence. How can this be done? We must learn to accept this truth; consumers determine which people in society are allowed to create barriers in society. While consumers may not be able to take back the money they've contributed to the bank accounts of people like Donald Sterling, they can refuse to empower them in the future.
The truth about American business is that consumers hold the power of influence only when they chose to use it. When it isn't used, the Donald Sterling's of the world will gladly use it to create hate.
Over the last several weeks, the annual richest/wealthiest celebrity lists have been posted and the biggest moguls have been crowned. We now know that P. Diddy has earned an estimated $100 plus million dollars from his business endeavors and Floyd Money Mayweather is once again the top earning professional athlete (minus endorsements). We know that Jay-z and Beyonce are one of the richest couples in the United States, but while all this has been great news for those celebrities, have you paid attention to your own net worth?
Many people have no idea how to estimate their net worth because of the focus on bill payment. When people are struggling to pay off student loans, mortgages, auto loans, credit card balances, and still provide food and clothing, it is difficult to pay attention to this figure. Despite these challenges, it is more important than ever before to not only know what your net worth is, but to work on increasing it annually. The cost of obtaining a college degree is rising. The cost of purchasing a home is rising. Fuel and home energy costs are rising. This all means an increase in cost of living for most U.S. citizens, and if it isn't paid attention to, the aftermath will be ugly. Not paying attention to personal or household net worth can result in having little money for retirement and increase the need to work beyond the age of 67. It often leads to more home foreclosure and loss of family estates. If you don't know how to estimate your net worth, now is the time to learn.
What is net worth? In short, it is a numerical figure that represents what is left over if a person were to sell all his/her assets and attempt to pay off all his/her debts. The exact formula used to obtain net worth is: Assets - Liabilities = Net worth. Assets are possessions under your ownership that hold value and can be exchanged for cash, such as houses, automobiles, cash, investment accounts, furniture, electronics, gold, silver, patents, and anything else that is generally accepted as valuable. Liabilities are unpaid financial obligations to banks, businesses, governments,and individuals, such as mortgage loans, auto loans, unpaid credit card balances, service bills, and any other unpaid debt. You can use this calculator to help you obtain your net worth.
Don't go another day without knowing where your net worth stands, and work on improving it. Being on the positive side of this equation can be the difference between traveling the world and enjoying a stress free life in your 60's and working well into your 70's.
Don't lend money to those that are not likely to pay it back. You should either give them the money or or turn down their request. The last thing you want is for someone to owe you money that you need for bill payment purposes.
Today, you show up to work, begin your normal routine, and your boss calls you into a meeting. After telling you how much the company appreciates your hard work, your boss informs you that your services will no longer be needed. Before you can ask questions about being let go, your boss begins to explain why this is happening. He/she informs you of a recent class action lawsuit settlement that directly effects your work status. It has been determined that the company did not sufficiently provide a safe work-space for you and a few of your teammates, and must now pay you 1 million dollars based on the court settlement. By accepting these funds, you agree to leave the company and sign a non-disclosure agreement. You sign the agreement without hesitation, and thousands of ideas about what you will do with your new found wealth race through your mind. You start to think about all the debts that could be paid off and how much money your going to give to family members. Next, you think about how much money you would like to keep in savings and invest for retirement. It only took you a few minutes to create an initial financial plan, and you didn't even need the help of a financial adviser. Making sure you use your new fortune wisely has become a top priority, but why wasn't it already a top concern?
Most people in the United States will earn over 1 million dollars in gross income before the age of 55. While few will earn this amount within 10 years of starting their first job, most will still earn it over their lifespan. So why don't we plan for the 1 million we are due to earn over a 20-30 year period, like we would if we were to receive these funds at one time? I'm sure some financial expert has told you that planning for so much money over a short period of time requires different thinking because of investment opportunities, but the basic concept is the same. In both cases you should want to use these funds with consideration of your long-term financial well-being, but recent U.S. household net-worth studies prove the opposite. The median U.S. household has not seen a significant increase in net-worth while income levels have continued to rise. This means most people are not prioritizing debt management and personal financial well-being at a high level. While many may pay great attention to bill payment, the numbers prove most are not concerned with building real net worth. If you don't think you are one of these people, I challenge you to answer one question.
How much of the first 1 million dollars in gross income that you've earned or are on pace to earn have you been able to retain? (Make sure to consider all future earnings you've already promised to your lenders) If the answer is less than the amount you would have kept had you instantly received 1 million dollars, it's time to re-prioritize.
Avoiding D.E.B.T. Tip of the Day
Don't base all of your credit decisions on the ability to make monthly payments. Always consider the long-term effects of any loan contract you sign. While you may be able to afford monthly loan payments, you could be giving up too much of your lifetime earnings in the long run.
Here are your latest scam alerts for April 2014
MD police warn of red light camera scan: This scam involves a caller claiming to be with the local police department requesting credit card payment for the fine. If you refuse o pay you will be threatened with imprisonment. Be wary of anyone calling and demanding payment without proper authorization.
Grandparent Scam: The FBI is warning consumers that the "grandparent scam" has continued to successfully target elderly citizens. If you haven't heard of this popular scam, familiarize yourself with it. This scam involves a caller using public information to claim to need money for a grandchild or great-grandchild. While the caller doesn't always pretend to be a relative, they do use credible information to convince listeners to send money for the purpose of helping this relative.
National Grid Scam: Fraudulent callers are tricking consumers into paying fake electric bills by claiming to be National Grid representatives. These scam artist have been running this scam for months now, and you need to be aware. Never pay a so called "electric company representative" over the phone, unless you call them yourself.