Wealth For Life

When BLACK ENTERPRISE unveiled its Declaration of Financial Empowerment nearly a decade ago, the idea was to create a program to help African Americans build wealth. Since then, the dynamics of wealth building (and perhaps more importantly in these times, wealth preservation) have changed significantly. To that end, we unveil in this issue the next step in the evolution of wealth creation: the Wealth for Life Principles.

The 10 Wealth for Life principles are meant to serve as a step-by-step guide to responsible saving, investing, and spending in order to build wealth and pass it on to future generations. Wealth preservation goes hand-in-hand with wealth accumulation. Consequently, the new principles place greater emphasis on financial discipline. Through consistent application of these principles, you and your family will be well on your way to establishing a financial legacy that will survive the test of time. We resolve to give you the tools you need to not just survive but thrive, regardless of what the economy and financial markets look like.

Former Olympic sprinter Derrick Adkins outpaced the competition and ran away with the gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. As an international track and field star, Adkins enjoyed a whirlwind lifestyle that included plenty of cash, first-class travel to exotic locations, a nice house, and a fancy car. But after his career ended, so did the posh lifestyle and lavish living. Now, more than 10 years after his last official top-level competitive race, Adkins is applying his winning ways from his track and field days to managing his personal finances.

During his storied career between 1991 and 1999, Adkins’ speed and agility kept him ranked as one the best hurdlers in the world. At the peak of his career, the now 38-year-old earned an annual salary ranging from $200,000 to as much as $350,000 through a combination of endorsement contracts, appearance fees, and other financial rewards for winning international sprint events.