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How About a Guide to Money for Us Brothas?

Men need financial education, too. Our problem: too often, we won't seek it out

While we’re sitting there pretending no one can teach us anything about money, the sisters are flooding financial literacy seminars, reading books, devouring magazine articles and frequenting web sites on investing specifically tailored to their needs. (Meanwhile, too many of us wouldn’t be caught dead in a seminar unless we were teaching it—even if we can’t even balance our own checkbooks.) No wonder magazines like Black Enterprise love to do packages such as “A Woman’s Guide to Managing Money.” As the Chinese philosopher Confucius said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” Brothas, if we want real financial knowledge, we have to swallow our pride and admit that we don’t know money, and then seek that knowledge as aggressively as the ladies do.

2. Trying to “get rich quick” or “hit it big” with the latest fad, wealth-building “secret” or “hot” stock. Let’s face it: When it comes to investing, we love the long ball. We want to swing for the fences—forgetting that home run kings also tend to be strike out kings. Women, on the other hand, are much more likely focus on getting on base, relying on singles, doubles and the occasional triple to consistently bring in runs—that is, returns. I believe that this is another reason why the portfolios of all-female investment clubs have historically earned better returns than those of all-male clubs. I can’t think of one time a woman ever called or approached me with a “hot” stock tip or can’t-miss business idea—but I get such breathless pitches from brothas on the regular. I don’t know about you, but that tells me something.

3. Not exchanging credit reports before “putting a ring on it.” I’m not picking on you; I’ve failed to do this myself (and paid the price—don’t ask), and I give the same advice to the sisters. (Yes, that’s where your woman got that crazy idea from.) As soon as you decide that she might be “the one,” you need to pull your credit reports (from all three major credit reporting agencies) and share them with her, and she needs to pull hers to share with you. Don’t try to be shy now. Most of you have shared far more intimate things with your woman by this point; now’s not the time to play coy. If she refuses to show hers (or you won’t show yours), you probably don’t have the trust and openness necessary to sustain a long-term relationship, much less a marriage. (‘Til debt do you part.)

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  • julian

    iam getting so tired of reading so many articles on women issues.ok lets be real blackmen are struggling alot more then sisters out there and they get more understanding and help.the article i just read dont take in account that society in itself sets up what it is to be a man and what is not.we are constantly being bombared with things that tells us we have to have this car,house and make this amount money to get the girl.we are taught that boys dont cry or show emotion.men arent encouraged to show emotions or express them in a healthy manner.black enterprise dont get me wrong i know that most of ur readers are women and u dont want to angry them.i know most black women are buying the books and are big consumers, so we have to carter to them but aleast be honest about it.

  • william robinson

    Well brothas i am a brotha to and i want yall to know about something it is called the estell richardson murder case look under gus puyer this sista was beaten to death by three white gaurds and one brotha beleive it or not if you wanna know more look under gus puyer george bush was best friends with the defense attorney for these scum and he even tried to get the defense attorney gus puyer a federal judge seat go figure chack it out lets stand up for our sistas and they will do the same for us

  • http://www.efoxworth.books.officelive.com E.Foxworth

    Mr. Edmonds, Thank you for this article. Women do a great job a creating social groups, networking and professional discussions on topics that relate to women, which is cool! I’ve often wondered when will we see more of this from men. Even at major conferences, there is a serious need for male oriented forums and discussions on serious topics like finance, health, lifelong learning and entrepreneurship. Sign me up whenever there is a planning session on these topics.

  • Alfred Edmond Jr.

    In my humble opinion, we do not need a “planning session.” Sisters don’t create new stuff; they take advantage of what already exists, demonstrating a demand that prompts the market to respond with events, books, products and web sites designed to meet that demand.

    To change things, each brotha must commit to two things:

    1. Make financial education a priority for yourself (setting an example for the rest of us)

    2. Encourage other brothers in your circle to do so as well.

    That’s where I think we should begin: exemplify and encourage. Or, as the Word says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

    Whatever we do, please, please, please don’t use this as an excuse to start another unprofitable, unsustainable, disorganized, non-profit organization! There are too many good ones (such as http://www.betterinvesting.org) around that already provide what we need. We just need to support and engage these existing resources.

    Anyway, that’s my take. What does everyone else think?

  • Dewrann Stelring

    I think this is a great article and you’re absolutely right when you mentioned that too many article are directed toward the empowerment of women and finance, though it’s great to recognize women who are the cornerstone of our society but there needs to be a balance of information directed to men as well, so that both sexes will be equally informed to make a more productive and informative society! Great article Mr. Edmonds.

    p.s. I would like to subscribe to B.E. but more importantly if you are aware of any upcoming events, seminars etc.. please shoot me an email at sdewrann@hotmail. I reside in the DC metro area. Again, thank you

  • http://www.teenentrepreneurblog.com Shonika Proctor, TeenBizCoach

    I am a teen entrepreneur coach and surprisingly (completely by chance) all the young people I work with except for 1 are boys. I find that by default society sets up men (in general) in a position of omniscience. By default they are supposed to know everything and if they don’t then it certainly shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. The pressures and expectations they have are overwhelming and of course there is no room for mistakes.

    It is evident with the teens I work with so it definitely starts early. In order for it to be done all it takes is someone organizing the initiative and taking ownership of it. You are Black Enterprise Magazine. Why not you? Why not now?

    @teenbizcoach

  • cedrick smith

    http://www.marilynlogan.com

    author of book: “I Can’t Afford To Marry You!: a guide to understanding the true cost of love”. great read for men and women. It is based on a true story – self published and referenced in Black Enterprise.