Black Investment for the 21st Century

As calls for blacks to invest more aggressively become more insistent, our Board of economists examines the potential for building wealth in the new millennium

distribution coordinator for Fujisawa Healthcare.
Household income: $25,000-$50,000

Are you invested?
“Yes. We have two boys and one daughter: our older son is 21 and in his third year in college, our other son is 18 and our daughter is four. When our boys were growing up, we didn’t know about investing in the market like we do now. My wife and I are saving for our retirement, but we also want to be able to provide for our daughter’
s college education. We’ve been investing in the market for 13 years and altogether we have about $50,000 invested in various plans.”

What’s the makeup of your portfolio?
“I have a 401(k) plan, about 70% of which is invested in stocks and 30% in bonds. My company is deducting 15% of my salary, and matching 6%.”

How did you get introduced to the market?
“I started out investing for short-term goals. My wife quit working after we had our daughter and we started a business and I started to look at in terms of long-term savings. Even though we borrowed from the 401(k) plan to help launch the business, we don’t plan on touching the money; we know it’s for our retirement. ”

AARON HENDERSON, 37, St. Louis, quality engineering manager with Boeing.
Household income: $75,000-$100,000

Are you invested?
“Yes. I have individual stocks, mutual funds, Roth IRA, 401(k), company stock purchase plan. For the last five years, I have probably invested about $10,000 a year in the stock market. I have invested over the years more than $70,000 in the market.”

How did you get introduced to the market?
“My family background. I’m the youngest of four, and I have older brothers and family members investing in the stock market. Early on, I dabbled in penny stocks and then moved into mutual funds. I did a lot of research on stocks in high school and college. I started investing in the market in college.”

Are you concerned about the downturn in the market?
“Historically, when the stock market had a bad downturn, you would see a turn around in12-24 months, and you would gain 15%-25% in some cases, depending on how you invested. So, I look at this as a favorable time.”

What’s the specific makeup of your portfolio?
“The majority of my investment dollars are in about 16 mutual funds-mostly aggressive growth funds. About 70% are domestic and about 30% are international funds. I have about six individual stocks, mostly blue chips-Boeing, AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Anheuser-Busch and Lockheed Martin.”

What’s the purpose of your portfolio?
“The majority of the funds are intended for the long term, meaning retirement. That’s the purpose of my IRAs, mutual funds and the 401(k). I also have two children, ages 10 and eight. So I’m planning now for college funds. ”

ROXANNE BANKS, 37, single, Anaheim, California, cold drink sales development manager for Coca-Cola.
Household income: $75,000-$100,000

Are you currently invested in the stock market?
“Yes. I have my money in mutual funds, individual stocks, and a 401(k). The total amount invested is about $50,000.”

Why did you decide to invest?
“I wanted to build for my future.

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