Here's What We Can Do to Close The Wealth Gap In America

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I can remember giving a detailed presentation on wealth within the Black community during my freshman year in college. This wasn’t a one-off situation; most students at my PWI knew they could count on me for an unsolicited lesson in Black history & culture.

Surprisingly, though, the wealth project was my first deep dive into the why of our community’s financial struggle. Of course, I knew about redlining & the undeniable income gap, but 2009 was the first time I began to understand the value of a privilege most of us did not have access to: wealth.

Fast forward to 2019, the generational wealth discussion seems to be the new wave amongst Black millennials. According to Fast Company, our generation is the first with an opportunity to close the racial wealth gap in the United States. That means, if we play our cards right, closing that gap could be the biggest contribution we make to American culture. Our generation brought an influx of corporate achievers, serial entrepreneurs, & a million variations in between. We’re finding new ways to make money while we sleep, make money while we travel, and make money while we make money. But the real magic is in what we do with the bags after we secure them. Read on to learn what Jamilah McCluney of Black Wealth Financial recommends.

Develop a plan.

Jamilah was born into an entrepreneurial family. Her parents ran several businesses and made plenty of money to support the family. While their business models earned them a comfortable living in the moment, poor planning and money management eventually derailed all of their hard work. According to Jamilah, “we lost everything…luxuries vanished as we experienced the struggle.” Jamilah is a strong believer that you can’t do anything without a plan. Black Wealth Financial was founded to offer her clients a financial blueprint to follow as they build their wealth.

Find a relatable advisor.

Choosing a financial advisor is like choosing a therapist. You want someone who you can relate to! By serving her own community, Jamilah is able to peel back the layers of learned financial habits with her clients. “I understand because I had to teach myself, too.” Part of learning money management is un-learning unhealthy behaviors you’ve picked up throughout your life. Without a guide or coach who understands where you started, it’s hard to establish short-term goals to get you to where you’re going.

Make haste.

Every day of doing nothing with your money is a day spent hustling backwards. Wherever you are in your financial walk, it’s important to take action now. Prior to becoming the resource she now is, Jamilah made the decision to “face [her] music,” and considers that the day her life changed. What you don’t know can’t be changed; choosing awareness & solid planning can point you in the right direction.