According to the <a href="http://www.arielinvestments.com/content/view/1774/1173/"><em><strong>2010 Ariel Black Investor Survey</strong></em>,</a> African Americans consistently saved and invested <em>less</em> than whites of similar incomes over the past decade. As <strong>BLACK ENTERPRISE </strong>CEO Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr. wrote in a recent <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/01/make-a-commitment-to-invest-in-yourself/" target="_blank"><strong>Executive Memo</strong></a>: "Make money work for you, not against you. We must reverse this trend by taking a disciplined approach." For the February issue of <strong>BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine</strong>, I charged our Finance Editor John Simons and our Consumer Affairs Editor Sheiresa Ngo with wwweloping 10 power moves to improve our readers' finances. Follow these tips to better manage your money today an dreap huge benefits tomorrow!–<em>Derek Dingle</em>
Close-up of a young businessman looking at camera
1. Make sure your investment portfolio has exposure to emerging markets like China and India. They recommend that no more than 10% of your portfolio holdings should be invested in these assets.
Couple with financial advisor
2. When applying for a mortgage, use a small mortage banker instead of a mortgage broker to get a better deal on home loans.
Loan Officer Shaking Woman's Hand
4. Have a professional prepare your taxes this season if you're self-employed or have had a major life event like purchasing a home or having a child.
5. Purchase stocks or funds that take advantage of the resurgence of the auto industry.
Businessman with newspaper
6. Always negotiate to get the best deal when it comes to big-ticket items like a home, car or appliances.
7. Regularly check financial statements such as billing documents and credit reports.
8. Pay for items in cash to help you curb impulse buying.
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9. Purchase items during the time of year when you can get the deepest discounts. For example, the best time to buy a gas grill is during winter months.
Happy couple at grill
10. As a consumer and investor, always fight for your rights. <ul> <li><strong>For more tips on managing your money, read:</strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/10/4-11-get-your-money-right-for-the-new-year/">11 Ways to get your money right this year</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/06/5-steps-to-a-richer-2011/">5 Steps to a richer 2011</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2010/12/21/get-out-of-debt-checklist/">Your get-out-of-debt checklist</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/31/tips-for-raising-money-smart-children/">4 Tips for raising money-smart kids</a></strong></li> </ul