Make The Change Today

Our revised wealth-building principles emphasize homeownership and retirement planning

In January 2000, BLACK ENTERPRISE introduced the Black Wealth Initiative with the goal of making you wealthier. Since then, we’ve given out approximately 87,000 wealth building kits, spreading our message of fiscal responsibility through paying yourself first, making every dollar count through enlightened consumerism, and implementing a systematic program of investing to keep your family financially secure for generations to come.

By your testimony, it’s been working. The 10 wealth-building principles that have anchored our Declaration of Financial Empowerment have helped many of you move closer to your financial goals. But we want to do better.

That’s why, as we enter 2004, we are re-introducing the 10 Wealth Building Principles of the Black Wealth Initiative. The new Declaration of Financial Empowerment (see “A Home is the Foundation for Wealth,” this issue) has two major revisions. First, we’ve placed an emphasis on homeownership. Principle No. 1: to use homeownership to build wealth drives home what the wealthy have known for generations: that real estate is a linchpin to building a fortune. We’ve also placed greater emphasis on mastering your money with our new Principle No. 3: to commit to a program of retirement planning and investing. We want to reinforce the idea that only a planned approach to saving can safeguard your future and help you achieve your financial goals.

You’ll find other minor adjustments, but the motive of The Black Wealth Initiative is still the same-to help you become wealthy. We hope the new and improved Declaration of Financial Empowerment will be even more effective in meeting the goal Publisher Earl G. Graves Sr. intended for African Americans: to create wealth by building the cornerstones of economic empowerment through education, equity, enterprise, and excellence.

A Home Is The Foundation For Wealth
Daphne and Gary Dixon have used real estate to ensure their prosperity
By Lisa Armstrong
Daphne Dixon has a secret she’d like to share: It doesn’t always take money to make money. Sometimes you can use real estate.

Daphne, 43, a word processor, and her husband, Gary, 46, a mechanic, make approximately $50,000 a year combined. That’s the most the Dixon’s have ever earned, but they’ve managed to buy eight properties throughout their 25-year marriage. In fact, the four properties they currently own are worth between $130,000 and $400,000 each.

The Dixons have indeed used their home as a foundation to create wealth. Their strategy has been to build equity, refinance, and take the equity out of the home to buy other properties.
The Dixons used rental income to pay the mortgages on their properties, building equity that can be used to make future acquisitions. A commercial property the couple co-owns with Gary’s brother will also create future wealth.

Daphne says that making money through real estate is something anyone can learn to do. The Dixons have a son in college and their daughter will enter college next year, but “neither of us has a college degree. We weren’t able to do this because we made a lot of money,” says Daphne, modestly. “We just used what little we

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