Monthly Archives: December 2016

Personal Finance Tips From Warren Buffett


The HBCU Money™ staff also adds some commentary to the subjects of Mr. Buffett’s quotes to provide more depth and better understand the points.

  • EARNINGS: There are three different types of income. Earned, passive, and investment income. Guess which is taxed the highest? The one you go to work for. Passive income (e.g. rental property, limited partnerships, intellectual property) if properly managed can be taxed at near zero income. Investment income (e.g. dividends from stock ownership) falls under 0, 15, or 20 percent based on taxable income. More importantly, these incomes are not based on you leaving the house or your boss liking you.
  • SPENDING: It is not how much you make, but what you do with what you make. There is nothing wrong with having nice things, however, in an era where people do things to project a social media lifestyle, keeping up with the Joneses, Smiths, and everyone else has become even more problematic. Use personal finance tools like or others to help you track your spending and give yourself a grade on a month by month basis.
  • SAVINGS: Why is it so hard? Wages have been flat for a long time that is for sure, but we must play the hand we are dealt. The question is does pride get in the way of many people saving.  Most people’s biggest expense is housing, yet how many are willing to take on a roommate or two for a year or two to save? Saving must become a habit that can start small and snowball with time with discipline. Find a friend and compete with them if that helps, but find the thing that pushes your button to do it.
  • RISKS: Are you 50/50 about a coming raise and decide to buy that car you always wanted or put that foreign vacation on the credit card? Then you just failed at risk management. Risk is always about understanding the pros and cons of any financial decision and finding ways to mitigate that risk. You bought the car? Okay, so you Uber and add extra income until you get the raise. If you do not, then keep Ubering. Again, risk management is vital to one’s long-term financial planning.
  • INVESTMENT: When do you need a financial advisor? When you are rich you say? Think again. The moment you have a job you need a financial advisor and probably not just one. Checks and balances (risk management). Is your only investment account your retirement account? There are multiple financial investments to consider from owning stocks, owning a stake in a small business, to even owning land. All of these make up the ingredients that is your financial pie. How one distributes them is up to your own risk tolerance, but you have never eaten an apple pie using only apples. No one thing is going to make you wealthy or preserve it.
  • EXPECTATION: This is something that we must reflect on within ourselves and from those around us. We expect to be wealthy, but is our behavior matching it? Are we surrounding ourselves with likeminded people in our pursuits? We can not expect to be financially sound and surrounded by those who want to go to the mall every weekend. Are we patient with our investments? Or do we chase “get rich quickly” schemes because we have not educated ourselves properly to have the proper expectation of savings, budgeting, investing, and the TIME it takes to accomplish those goals.

Need in depth help on all of the above?

Watch this staff recommended Youtube video by Dan Griffin, CPA entitled “Saving & Investing Basics: A Guide for Young Adults” here.

Be sure to also read HBCU Money’s “Recommending Reading for African American Financial Starters” here.

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership


Barely two centuries ago, most of the world’s productive land still belonged either communally to traditional societies or to the higher powers of monarch or church. But that pattern, and the ways of life that went with it, were consigned to history by the most creative and simultaneously destructive cultural force in the modern era: the idea of individual, exclusive ownership of land.

Spreading from both shores of the north Atlantic, it laid waste to traditional communal civilizations, displacing entire peoples from their homelands, and brought into being a unique concept of individual freedom and a distinct form of representative government. By contrast, as Linklater demonstrates, other great civilizations, in Russia, China, and the Islamic world, evolved very different structures of land ownership and thus very different forms of government and social responsibility. The history and evolution of this concept is a fascinating chapter in the history of civilization, offering unexpected insights about how various forms of democracy and capitalism developed, as well as a revealing analysis of a future where the Earth must sustain nine billion lives. Owning the Earth presents a radically new view of mankind’s place on the planet and the history behind it.

The Fed & Tech Week In Review – 12/10/16


Every Saturday the HBCU Money staff picks ten articles they were intrigued by and think you will enjoy for some weekend reading impacting finance and tech.

These 10 conflicts have forced 65 million people to flee their homes l @wef

Job openings in the U.S. declined in October by 97,000 to 5.53 million l @stlouisfed

These are the things that successful crowdfunding projects do l @wef

FC investment commitments in South Asia totaled $2B in FY16 l @WorldBank

This engineer had a life threatening heart condition. So he fixed it himself l @wef

Drones are helping us to better understand the status, and life, of trees. l @nwtls

Cities, central in the fight against #climatechange l@renewablecities

Healthy and creative meals don’t have to be complicated. The simpler the menu, the less money & stress! l @MyPlate
A ‘New Deal’ For Energy l @cleantechnica
Lazy coders are training artificial intelligences to be sexist l @newscientist

Baker Hughes November Rig Count – HBCU Territories


HBCU states and territories are vital to the energy production of United States and the world these days. The latest Baker Hughes rig count shows that the U.S. currently has 597 active rigs, with 478 or 80.1 percent of those being in HBCU territories. Energy continues to be a vital part of the economic landscape where HBCUs are located and is a barometer for how the economies of those states may very well be doing now and going forward.

Gas rigs are denoted by an orange triangle. – 98

Oil rigs are denoted by a blue triangle. – 380

African America’s November Jobs Report – 8.6%


Overall Unemployment: 4.6% (4.9%)

African America Unemployment: 8.1% (8.6%)

Latino America Unemployment: 5.7% (5.7%)

European America Unemployment: 4.2% (4.3%)

Asian America Unemployment: 3.0% (3.4%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: Overall unemployment dropped 30 basis points to its lowest since August 2007. All groups except Latino America saw a decline in their unemployment rate, who saw their unemployment rate go unchanged. African, Asian, and European America saw declines of 50, 40, and 10 basis points, respectively.

African American Male Unemployment: 7.7% (8.7%)

African American Female Unemployment: 7.1% (7.1%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 26.6% (27.6%)

African American Male Participation: 67.5% (67.5%)

African American Female Participation: 62.6% (62.3%)

African American Teenage Participation: 28.0% (28.3%)

Analysis: African American men saw a 100 basis point decrease in their unemployment and no change in their participation rate. African American women saw no change in their unemployment rate and 30 basis point increase in their participation rate. African American teenagers saw a 100 basis point decrease in their unemployment rate and a 30 basis point decrease in their participation rate.

CONCLUSION: The overall economy added 178 000 jobs in November. A noticeable difference from the 161 000 in October. African America added a substantial 154 000 jobs in November. Leading to the highest African American employed numbers in the past five months. Unfortunately, despite such robust jobs growth in the month, the participation rate for African American moved only 10 basis points. The participation rate simply refusing to break from this five month bandwidth. All key variables were in the green in an unprecedented fashion, participation rate aside. The labor force increased, employed increased, and unemployed went down. December looms with a rate hike on the horizon and just how it will impact economic planning by small and big businesses alike will not be known for months. The psychological impact of the moment alone will be of significant given one has not happen in almost ten years. Also of note, for the first time since December of 2015, average hourly earnings took a dip.

African America currently needs 505 000 jobs to match America’s unemployment rate. A decrease of 218 000 jobs from October.