Recommended Reading For African American Financial Starters
· April 18, 2012
The way to wealth is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do; with them, everything. – Benjamin Franklin
Capitalism & Slavery by Eric Williams
Comments – This book is tied for one of the most important books I have ever read period with Miseducation of the Negro. It is by far the most important financial book I have ever read. To understand the history of system you are engaging is vital. One of the most important lessons I came away with in this book is that capital within the capitalist system will always seek to find the cheapest labor.
Comments – The biography of arguably one of the greatest business men to ever grace America’s soil. His story of entrepreneurship and building of an empire is worth the read. He owned a bank, insurance company, along with many other businesses, and before his death was proposing an African American owned stock exchange. His rise from humble beginnings that would make many of us blush today gives one a role model of perseverance.
The 3 TYPES OF INCOME
Comments – Robert Kiyosaki explains the three types of income. He is also the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. A book that is worth reading but there is much of it that must be taken with a grain of salt.
Mr. Kiyosaki, while I respect his opinion in a lot of areas of his book, primarily that your house is not an investment, some of his book is a sales job to get you to buy more of his products so reader beware.
The median net worth for African Americans is $2,170.
The median net worth for European Americans is $97,860
And more can be found here:
Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham & David Dodd
Comments – This one will put your mettle to the test. Its long. Its boring. Its fundamental. Its imperative. Benjamin Graham was Warren Buffett’s teacher and that alone makes it a must read. Beyond that this book will provide the discipline needed to make you understand the need for long-term value investing and not subject to the whims of the ups and downs of the daily market.
Comments – If Warren Buffett is known as the greatest value investor of all-time then Philip Fisher is arguably the greatest growth investor of all-time. Again, focused on long-term investing but this time in growth companies. Mr. Fisher did not believe in diversification investing but finding a few (7 to 10) really good stocks and being dedicated to them over the long-term.
These are websites that I check with some frequency on a weekly if not daily basis. Now while I wouldn’t expect anyone to check them at the rate I do these are websites that should at least find your eyeballs at least once a month. Also check newspapers from around the world. This is important because you want to start to see trends. The reality is that geopolitical and geoeconomical events can echo strongly into financial markets at times. No, reading CNN is not enough. You want to read events from others point of view about the world. CNN gives you the world view from European America’s perch. Understanding the difference can and will give you an edge when examining your company if it has a multinational operation.
This is just the start of a long road of wealth building but a foundation to begin you on your way. All of these avenues will potentially lead you to other avenues of information. Don’t invest in isolation either. Conversations about companies and their long-term potential with other investors can help you see things you might miss.
MOST importantly – SHARE this information with your family, friends, and community.
Make more money than you spend and don’t spend that much.
Mr. Foster is the Interim Executive Director of HBCU Endowment Foundation, sits on the board of directors at the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy, & President of AK, Inc. A former banker & financial analyst who earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics & Finance from Virginia State University as well his master’s degree in Community Development & Urban Planning from Prairie View A&M University. Publishing research on the agriculture economics of food waste, full-time contributor at HBCU Money, and guest contributor for a number of African American media outlets.