When I am around a whole bunch of Black folks we tend to come to the same conversation: The wealth gap in America is becoming wider and wider and we are at the bottom of the caste system. Everyone gets quiet for a moment and brainstorm’s ideas on how we can turn things around. Someone will yell “We need to invest in more Black Businesses,” or “We need Revolution,” or “First, Black people need to come together,” but the reality is that we live in a capitalistic system where money equates to power and if we don’t have any power then we don’t have the means to protect ourselves from further marginalization and inequality.
What is Economic Freedom?
Economic Freedom is the freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services. It is the fundamental right of every human being to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please (Definition Link).
You might be thinking “Well, the Generations before didn’t set it up in a way where we can actually do this,” or “The Generation after us will not continue to take up the torch because they are so distracted.” I understand this frustration, but I’m telling you with all the love I have DO NOT LET YOUR FEARS GUIDE YOU…mhm kay. Now lets begin.
Why Do You Want To Invest?
One of my good friends Roszella always ask me “Are you working smart?” So I’m going to ask you: Would you work forever with little to no benefits for your future or would you rather have your money work for you? This is a no-brainer for me, but if you still have some doubts then maybe you shouldn’t continue reading this. When you invest your money you have your money generate more money by earning interest on what you put away or by buying and selling assets that increase value (I’m still learning this myself and working on building a foundation in which I can start investing and will talk about this later). If this is something that interests you I challenge you to look deeper into investing and starting your own community in which you collaborate to discover new social data and figure out how to follow trends and work smarter.
Here is 4 ways that you can start gaining economic freedom:
- Build Your Foundation
Before stepping into the daunting world of Stock Trading you need to see what your finances are and where you can spare a couple of dollars. You can track your spending for a month and plan to create a budget for the next month. The month in which you budgeted you will have a clear amount of money left over (who cares if it’s just $2.00, this isn’t a race). Next, make sure that you are up to date on credit card debt and/or any loans and finally, make sure that you have an Emergency Savings Fund (Google states that your Emergency Fund should be enough to cover your major expenses for up to 6 months). Once, you complete these three steps you are well on your way to investing (YASS).
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Do you know that you can just call up the customer service area of a Brokerage Firm and get your questions answered? Now, they won’t give you specific investment advice but can direct you to the tools that will help you make a clearer choice.
- Continue Researching
There are free apps available that allow you to look up stocks and stock news in order to stay up to date with the trends and what’s going on around you.
- Learn: An in-depth informative guide that teaches you how and why you should invest
- YAHOO! Finance: Allows users to synchronize portfolios and quotes across multiple devices, following stocks, currencies, commodities and a lot more.
- Bloomberg: The Bloomberg app combines breaking money news and real-time stock tickers for major and minor stock exchanges that both moderate and conservative investors will appreciate.
- Robinhood: Free Stock trading app
- CNBC: Delivers breaking news, real-time stock exchange quotes, stock charts with customizable time-frames, and access to full-length CNBC programs
4. Start Small
You don’t have to wait until you have $500 to start investing. Apps like Acorns takes $5 out of your checking account and invests small sums into many different companies which may be a great way for you to begin. You can set up automatic payments or put small amounts of cash into your account when you have some extra money. Remember, the goal isn’t to get rich quick, but to make sure that you’re investing in your future.