by Dr Boyce Watkins
Warren Buffett is a great man and a great investor, no question about that. But my grandmother Felicia, in her own way, could have gone toe-to-toe with Warren when it comes to investing in her children and managing her financial life in a way that would allow her to survive and thrive in a world that is designed to do unspeakable harm to her and her family.
It’s tough to become a multi-billionaire, no question about that. But it’s even tougher to get ahead with no inheritance, no husband, very little education and a virtually non-existent monthly income. Oh yea, let’s add five kids in that equation, along with mammoth amounts of institutionalized racism. In fact, studies show that the median net worth of a single black woman in America is about $5, compared to over $100,000 for white Americans. This is an awkward contrast to the fact that black women are among the most highly-educated women in America.
I remember my grandmother telling me that even though she graduated at the top of her class during training with the government, she was the only person in the class who was unable to find a job after she finished training. It was no coincidence that she was the only black person in the class as well. Warren Buffett don’t know nothing about that.
Not only was my grandmother a great woman, she was also one of my most prominent teachers. As I worked through nearly a decade of graduate school learning finance, math and statistics at the highest levels, her simple, yet effective approaches to money management stuck with me and kept me grounded. I learned from her that having a high income can have almost nothing to do with being rich, and that being rich has almost nothing to do with making good life choices.
Many of us don’t understand how the financial seeds we plant in our children at an early age go on to later impact the way our children view money and wealth building. Setting a bad example can create a lifetime of misery, but setting the right example can turn your child into a financially-healthy, prosperous economic engine who can later go on to become one of your greatest financial assets.
In this video below, I give a snippet from my upcoming film, “The commandments of black economic empowerment,” which is part of The Black Wealth Bootcamp interactive lecture series. I talk about my grandmother Felicia and a few things she taught me about money at an early age. I then explain how this led to outcomes later in life that improved my ability to put myself in a desirable economic situation.
The video is below, take a look.