The couple saved a portion of their earnings mostly through bank certificates of deposit, varying the maturities and interest rates. Each time a CD came dueâ€”every six to nine months or one yearâ€”they left the earnings but reinvested the rest of the money in another CD to garner higher rates of return. Brenda points out that at the time, in the 1970s and 1980s, CDs were earning 9% or more. The Brelands held about 25% of their investments in stock mutual funds and blue-chip stock through ING and Barclays; the other 75% was in CDs, savings accounts, and U.S. Treasury bonds.
Through diligent saving and investing, the couple covered the tuition costs of the first three years of Larry IIâ€™s and Larendaâ€™s undergraduate studies, about $28,000 each. The couple had their children take out loans their senior year to help them establish credit. Their youngest, Lorenzo, received a full four-year athletic scholarship worth about $36,000, so his parents needed to contribute little to his college costs. Overall, the Brelandâ€™s diligence has paid off. They have done a fine job of fulfilling Wealth for Life Principle No. 6: I will devise an investment plan for my retirement needs and childrenâ€™s education.
See an expanded version of this article in the October 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.
Wealth For Life Principles
1. I Will Live Within My Means
2. I Will Maximize My Income Potential Through Education and Training
3. I Will Effectively Manage My Budget, Credit, Debt, and Tax Obligations
4. I Will Save At Least 10% of My Income
5. I Will Use Homeownership as a Foundation For Building Wealth
6. I Will Devise An Investment Plan For My Retirement Needs And Childrensâ€™ Education
7. I Will Ensure That My Entire Family Adheres To Sensible Money Management Principles
8. I Will Support the Creation and Growth of Minority-Owned Businesses
9. I Will Guarantee My Wealth Is Passed On To Future Generations Through Proper Insurance And Estate Planning
10. I Will Strengthen My Community Through Philanthropy