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Guest Column: Building and managing wealth

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By Rev. Michael Robinson

Times Guest Columnist
Last night, I had a discussion with my son about wealth and affluent African Americans.

In my lifetime, Robert Johnson became the first Black billionaire, selling BET to Viacom for $3 billion in 2001. Since then, there has be an exponential growth of African American billionaires in the Black community: Oprah, Kanye, Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, Tyler Perry, Robert F. Smith, and David Steward.

Though super impressive, “There are 614 billionaires in the United States, and only 7 of them are Black,” according to Business Insider.

For us regular 9 a.m.-5 p.m. mortals (LoL!), we have to be smart about our earned income, investments, insurance, and savings. Especially true for African Americans, a community that experiences great economic disparity compared to other racial groups.

“A close examination of wealth in the U.S. finds evidence of staggering racial disparities. At $171,000, the net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150) in 2016,” reports the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC.

Yahoo Finance says, “In 2021, many financial advisors and estate planners are recommending a new way to pass down generational wealth—and it might not be what you expect. It’s life insurance, but here’s the catch: you’d have to die to actually pass it on.”

Insurance policies are a great way to build generational wealth for your family. When you die, your insurance death benefit gives your family (church, loved ones, special charity, etc.) a payout that can give them financial security.

In 2019, Celebrity Net Worth published an article about how rap music artist and business mogul Master P “built a $250 million business empire off a $10,000 Life Insurance settlement” he received as a beneficiary from his uncle’s death.

Wealth management, wealth building, investments, savings, innovation, smart business sense, business ownership and insurance are all part of financial literacy; it’s so important to teach this to our youth. And as adults, it’s important for our own edification and financial fitness to embrace continuous learning surrounding money management and wealth building.

Read books, connect with experts, partner with others, invest wisely, get insurance, learn as much as you can about financial wealth building and financial fitness.

Rev. Michael Robinson, M.S. is a Delco resident of Lansdowne PA, pastor of an urban ministry in North Philadelphia, award-winning college administrator and business leader, and member of the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association.