The Browns’ Advice:
Find the right planer. Bruce says that their previous financial adviser was “impersonal.” The couple prefers Chandler, whom Bruce had known for several years, and whose judgment he trusts. “She made us comfortable with her approach and style” he says. “She doesn’t sugarcoat the situation, and she keeps us grounded.” Contact the Financial Planning Association or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors for information on finding a planner.
Consult your planer often too evaluate your progress. The Browns meet with Chandler quarterly to check the status of their portfolio, their short- and long-term financial objectives, and to make adjustments to maximize gains.
Go beyond your investments when speaking to your adviser. Bruce admits that talking about money can be somewhat unsettling; however, he’s determined to make the best financial decisions for his family. “Each year, we meet with [Chandler] and talk about our budget and how much we plan to save and spend.” The couple has even agreed to tell their adviser about any purchase over $10,000.
Wealth For Life Principles
1. I will use homeownership as a foundation for building wealth.
2. I will be proactive in managing my budget, credit, debt, and tax obligations. I will maximize my earnings potential, live within my means, and commit to saving and investing at least 10% of my income.
3. I will ensure that my investments are properly diversified and correspond to my current financial goals.
4. I will immediately commit to a program of retirement planning and investing.
5. I will preserve and protect my assets through proper financial and insurance planning.
6. I will ensure that my children receive a thorough education on financial and business matters.
7. I will ensure that my wealth is passed on to future generations through proper estate planning.
8. I will actively support the creation and growth of viable, competitive black-owned enterprises.
9. I will use a portion of my wealth to strengthen my community.
10. From this day forward, I declare my vigilant and lifelong commitment to financial empowerment and hereby pledge the following.
This story originally appeared in the July 2008 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.