Black personal finance influencers focus on financial freedom

Troy Millings, left, and Rashad Bilal from Earn Your Leisure

Source: Earn Your Free Time

Social influencers focused on financial education for the black community are emphasizing a message of financial freedom this Juneteenth as the nation commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

“I definitely feel that Juneteenth’s memory should have some level of economic understanding as part of it,” Rashad Bilal of the Earn Your Leisure podcast told CNBC. “But I think the problem with the holidays is that no matter what they are – Christmas, Easter, New Year – it’s all just done as a celebration and you lose its meaning.”

Bilal, a former financial advisor, added: “The importance of both economic and social freedom in Juneteenth is something that people should keep in mind every single day.”

Earn Your Leisure, which focuses on financial literacy, has more than 1 million followers on Instagram and is part of a growing movement of content creators providing insights and tips on markets, real estate, cryptocurrency, entrepreneurship and more.

“Let’s see where it goes. Maybe it’s not just this vacation or a week or black history month. What if we could have this business conversation on a daily basis?” said Troy Millings of Earn Your Leisure, a former physical education teacher.

They are also making an explicit link between the goals of financial freedom today and the economic impact that slavery has had on America and its black citizens.

“You understand that people have literally died for finances,” Bilal said. “That’s what slavery really was. It was a financial system set up for free labor. “

“So when you see that our ancestors actually sacrificed their lives and that was done for economic emancipation, it forces you to look at your finances,” he said. “You don’t want to just waste your money. You can actually use that money to change your family’s trajectory.”

Black Americans are at a disadvantage when it comes to wealth. According to a Federal Reserve study published in 2020, the average net worth of black households in the United States was approximately $ 24,000. The approximate average net worth for white households was $ 188,000.

Ian Dunlap aka Master Investor, center, with Troy Millings and Rashad Bilal.

Source: Ian Dunlap

Other influencers spreading the message of economic emancipation this Juneteenth include Ian Dunlap aka The Master Investor, Kezia Williams, Wall Street Trapper, Philip Michael and Ross Mac. They have millions of followers on social media and each have their own niche but the same goal of help the black community balance their books and build wealth.

Dunlap told CNBC that he thinks economic freedom is as important as social justice. “If we don’t have economic freedom and financial literacy, we really don’t have justice,” he said.

Dunlap urges black Americans to pay close attention to a 2017 report that predicts the average wealth of black households will drop to $ 0 by 2053 and to look for opportunities to invest. “I don’t want our people, our children, our grandchildren to become destitute, and that’s the challenge we face if we don’t act collectively,” she said.

Kezia Williams

Kezia Williams | Black up

Williams describes himself as an “emancipation activist” as well as an influencer. Williams is the CEO of Black upStart, a company that provides education and support to early stage entrepreneurs.

In previous years, Williams has urged black consumers to see Juneteenth as an opportunity to support black businesses and publish their receipts with the hashtag #myBlackReceipt.

“Invest in those black entrepreneurs who will use those dollars you spend with their business to give back to their communities and create products and services our community needs and also create wealth for their family that can produce generational returns,” he said. Williams.

Michael, meanwhile, has a goal of helping 100,000 blacks become millionaires by 2030 through real estate. He boasts a $ 250 million real estate portfolio created from $ 850,000 in starting money from a relative.

“The asset class that has created more millionaires than any other is real estate. This is one of the” easiest “ways to get that point,” Michael told CNBC. “Really, what I want to do is normalize those conversations into a casual format where we can talk about our investment portfolio as easily as we talk about a trip we’ve taken or the shoes we’ve bought.”

Filippo Michele

Source: Filippo Michele

The Earn Your Leisure podcast is considered a pioneer in the emerging financial influencer space and has scored many high-profile people in business, sports and entertainment to discuss their financial plans, mistakes and goals. These guests included Mark Cuban, Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Harvey.

The host couple also created the hashtag #AssetsOverLiabilities, which has become the philosophy of their content and a motto used on T-shirts and other merchandising items. Bilal and Millings began their podcast in January 2019 with the goal of demystifying Wall Street for the black community.

“We wanted to make learning about finance and generational wealth an interesting thing. We wanted to make it a common conversation,” Millings said. “I didn’t grow up with such conversations at the table. But imagine if we did. Imagine if at the barber we weren’t discussing the best basketball player but talking about the best companies: what could they do in a neighborhood.”

Bilal and Millings say Earn Your Leisure has now evolved from content creation to true black community education on wealth creation.

“Education is something that is sustainable in the long run,” Millings said. “In the formal environment, the way you understand someone’s learning is that you value. Our evaluation is when we listen to the feedback, when we go out and see people and they tell us stories or when they email us saying: ‘ This changed my life. ‘”


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