“We seriously lag behind our counterparts in education, savings, retirement savings, cash reserve, and insurance. Education and economic power leads to political power.”
Thomas, who recently became a charter member of an investment club in her area, also weighed in on its importance. “We, as a people, have to be educated in the stock market. That’s how we create wealth. We need to take advantage of those opportunities and resources. People need to get involved in investment clubs. You’re learning together, and everyone has something to bring to the table.”
And White adds, “We all have the power to create our own economic self-sufficiency. By taking care of our family first, we contribute to the community.”
Murphy adds that a good strategy is educating our youth across a number of different disciplines and fine arts. “Passing the legacy to our kids is a lost art. If we’re going to be a strong force, we have to take our role as parents more seriously than we have been. Teaching our kids financial strategy and understanding money is paramount to understanding how to retain wealth.”
Has technology improved your life? How knowledgeable do you think you are about new technology (tech-savvy) compared to the average person?
Nearly the entire audience agrees that technology has improved their lives (97.3%), which makes it no surprise that over 97% categorize themselves as either very or somewhat tech-savvy. Unsurprisingly, nearly the entire sample reports to have Web surfed and sent or received e-mail within the past three months. Additionally, over 70% have bought a product or service online, with a little more than 21% having bought stocks online. Of those, 28.3%, are male versus 16.3% female. Similarly, there is a slight disparity between the sexes for Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) usage. Nearly a third of the entire sample routinely uses them. However, usage for males is slightly higher, 34.9%, versus 28.4% for women.
While respondents are highly tech-savvy, a majority (64.1%) do not feel that technology has invaded their personal privacy.
Thomas, who owns an online company and understands technology well, says that with the last century, there are a lot of challenges that African Americans have had to face, and it’s going to be a difficult journey. “Technology is important for African Americans. If we don’t embrace it as a people, we’re going to be left behind. A lot of company positions are being replaced by robots, so we need to embrace [technology] and be afforded the opportunities to take advantage of the way we learn technology in order to become more marketable in the workforce. We, as African Americans, can obtain wealth through technology and businesses in technology. A lot of companies are looking for solutions, and if you’re a minority business and can provide solutions that have to do with technology in some way or fashion, it means you’re able to make it.”
White also agrees that technology is key. “It’s the great equalizer for those who have access and knowledge. A Website shows no color.”
But technology has its challenges