Monthly Archives: July 2012

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Buyology: Truth And Lies About Why We Buy

How much do we know about why we buy? What truly influences our decisions in today’s message-cluttered world? An eye-grabbing advertisement, a catchy slogan, an infectious jingle? Or do our buying decisions take place below the surface, so deep within our subconscious minds, we’re barely aware of them?

In BUYOLOGY, Lindstrom, who was voted one of Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2009, presents the astonishing findings from his groundbreaking, three-year, seven-million-dollar neuromarketing study, a cutting-edge experiment that peered inside the brains of 2,000 volunteers from all around the world as they encountered various ads, logos, commercials, brands, and products. His startling results shatter much of what we have long believed about what seduces our interest and drives us to buy. Among the questions he explores:

Does sex actually sell? To what extent do people in skimpy clothing and suggestive poses persuade us to buy products?
Despite government bans, does subliminal advertising still surround us – from bars to highway billboards to supermarket shelves?
Can “Cool” brands, like iPods, trigger our mating instincts?
Can other senses – smell, touch, and sound – be so powerful as to physically arouse us when we see a product?
Do companies copy from the world of religion and create rituals – like drinking a Corona with a lime – to capture our hard-earned dollars?

Filled with entertaining inside stories about how we respond to such well-known brands as Marlboro, Nokia, Calvin Klein, Ford, and American Idol, BUYOLOGY is a fascinating and shocking journey into the mind of today’s consumer that will captivate anyone who’s been seduced – or turned off – by marketers’ relentless attempts to win our loyalty, our money, and our minds.

The HBCU Money™ Weekly Market Watch

Our Money Matters /\ July 27, 2012


African American Publicly Traded Companies

Citizens Bancshares Georgia (CZBS) $3.75 (UNCH)

Carver Bank New York (CARV) $5.23 (8.79% DN)

Radio One (ROIA) $0.87 (UNCH)

African Stock Exchanges

Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM)  142.61 (0.66% UP)

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)  7 320.10 (UNCH)

Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE)  1 021.17 (0.08% DN)

Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE)  84.32 (N/A)

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)  Unavailable

International Stock Exchanges

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) 8 115.64 (0.6% DN)

London Stock Exchange (LSE)  2 906.88 (0.37% UP)

Tokyo Stock Exchange (TOPIX)  726.44 (1.61% UP)

*All quotes reported as of 2:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

Just How Much Is Apple’s $117 Billion Cash Pile

“Cash is king.” – Unknown

Let’s compare the amount of Apple’s cash holdings to a few things:

If divided over all 40 million African Americans it would average out to $2,925 per person. The median net worth of African America is $2,170 (the lowest among all diaspora groups in the US).

It is 3.7 times the size of Harvard’s endowment (largest HWCU endowment and largest U.S. college endowment) and 216.7 times the size of Howard’s endowment (largest HBCU endowment).

It is 265.9 times the size of all HBCU research budgets combined.

It is 7.8 times the size of Jamaica’s GDP and 15.9 times the size Haiti’s GDP.

It is 6.2% of Africa’s entire GDP.

This is not to take any particular shot at Apple. It just happens to be the company with the largest corporate cash holdings at the time. US companies as a whole have $1.24 trillion in cash currently combined according to Moody’s which is 66% of the GDP of entire Africa. We’re talking “straight cash, homey” as Randy Moss said once.

Disclaimer: There is no ownership of any of the companies mentioned in this article by myself, my business, or my family as of this article’s publishing.

HBCU Money™ B-School: Dividend

1. A distribution of a portion of a company’s earnings, decided by the board of directors, to a class of its shareholders. The dividend is most often quoted in terms of the dollar amount each share receives (dividends per share). It can also be quoted in terms of a percent of the current market price, referred to as dividend yield.

Also referred to as “Dividend Per Share (DPS).”

2. Mandatory distributions of income and realized capital gains made to mutual fund investors.

1. Dividends may be in the form of cash, stock or property. Most secure and stable companies offer dividends to their stockholders. Their share prices might not move much, but the dividend attempts to make up for this.

High-growth companies rarely offer dividends because all of their profits are reinvested to help sustain higher-than-average growth.

2. Mutual funds pay out interest and dividend income received from their portfolio holdings as dividends to fund shareholders. In addition, realized capital gains from the portfolio’s trading activities are generally paid out (capital gains distribution) as a year-end dividend.

Learn more terms at

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – The Library of Babel

“The Library of Babel” is one of the most memorable stories by the great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. This slim book contains Andrew Hurley’s English translation of the story, eleven illustrations by Erik Desmazieres, and an introduction by Angela Giral.

“Library” is the quintessential “Borgesian” tale. The story concerns an infinite library, composed of endlessly connected hexagonal galleries, and populated by inhabitants among whom have risen various weird belief systems and subcultures. The first-person narrator is one of the library’s residents. “Library” is a masterpiece of the fantastic and the metaphysical.

Giral notes in her introduction that Desmaziere’s engravings are not literal representations of scenes from the story, but rather “the product of a parallel imagination, inspired to create in visual images his own, equivalent universe.” The etchings have an elegant, majestic, and sometimes whimsical quality that effectively complements Borges’ unique imagination. This book would make a nice gift for lovers of Borges, or of fantastic literature in general.

Courtesy of Michael J. Mazza