Tag Archives: new level investment

Financier & Norfolk State University Alumnus Ralph Newsome Publishes Children’s Financial Literacy Book

What was the inspiration behind writing this book? I’m a financial book worm and I was trying to find a good introduction book on finances for my daughter and all the books that I came across were either to basic or flat out incorrect.  So, I felt the need to address the problem. 

Your book is definitely targeted at the youth, which we know is a great time to teach about finances. Why did you decide to tackle this age group?  This age group is essential to really move the needle for the next leaders of the world to be totally financially independent. Let’s be honest most kids will receive little to no financial education while in school and at home. Most kids will have to play catch up the rest of their lives.  Repeating the same statements or questions: “If only I would have known this” or “why didn’t someone tell me about that”. I call that the generational trap or curse; most kids do not have the rich uncle to rescue them from a life of financial mishaps so this book will be their rich uncle, mentor, parent if you will. 

You live, eat, and breathe finance and investments, was there anything particularly new or challenging you experienced while writing the book? Yes! Where do I draw the line? There was so much I wanted to add to the book because I believe people are only given the bare minimum of information and then they are left to make critical decisions with very little data. I wanted to break the cycle of a lack of information with a powerful packed book.  I would rather have people complain that the book is overkill than to complain about it being like every other basic book on the market. 

Is there something you would like to see HBCUs and HBCU Alumni Associations do to help further financial literacy and aptitude in our community? Absolutely; it starts with a conversation on finances. I believe people either are too prideful to admit that they need help with finances or they are afraid of being ridicule for not knowing something.  A lot of times, in the Black community, money talk is taboo. Either because family members or friends get offended if someone well off brings up money or it’s perceived as though the well-off person is bragging.  Lastly, the well-off person may not want to bring up money because they may feel as though people will beg for money or the “you too good now” or “money really changed you” statements may come.  I know that was a little off topic but we have to address these issues.  More specifically HBCUs need to be open to using Alumni that have proven to be thought leaders on the subject.  Also, HBCUs (like Frats and Soros) need to collaborate on pulling resources to for investments in real estate, gold, small businesses, etc.  No disrespect but “fish fry” plates will not get it done. If the community could see HBCUs investing, building, and teaching on finances, there will be a 100fold return. 

And last but not least, how can teachers, parents, mentors, etc. go about keeping children engaged in financial learning as they grow up? The teaching must begin early and never stop. Kids will be interested in whatever the adult figure in their life is interested in.  If the adult is playing video games daily, the kid will play daily; if the adult is stuffing their face binge watching their favorite Netflix show the kid will follow suit. If the adult is on social media daily, smoking, drinking, cursing, etc….the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Every day is a teachable moment for kids so find little things each day to tie to finances.  Train up the child the way they should go.

Ralph Newsome is Managing Director of Acquisition– a proud graduate of Norfolk State University with a BS in Accounting. He has been buying assets and returning profits to investors for about a decade. He was invited to attend Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Investors Conference in 2016. What Ralph likes to do the most is help educate others in the complicated world of wealth building. Whether its advising portfolio management, educating on the use of leverage, or distress asset purchasing, Ultimately, he enjoys helping others. Visit his firm at New Level Realty Group.

The HBCUpreneur Corner – Norfolk State University’s Ralph Newsome & New Level Investment, LLC


Name: Ralph Newsome II

Alma Mater: Norfolk State University

Business Name & Description: New Level Investment Management, LLC

As an investment company we practice value and growth investing (we coined the term GrowU which is a combination of growth and value). We look for companies with a competitive advantage in their sectors, good financial backing, and good fundamentals, trading at a discount. We also enjoy the benefits of finding growth companies, who grow 20% and more a year. We help investors realize big gains.

What year did you found your company? 2008

What was the most exciting and/or fearful moment during your HBCUpreneur career? Meeting and dating my now wife. In addition to meeting my wife, I also met my two best friends who are also my business partners on other ventures.


What made you want to start your own company? I’ve always had a passion for business and a knack for numbers; I graduated from Norfolk State University with a BS in Accounting, thus I stayed true to my passion. After taking a course in investing in undergrad, I developed a strong liking for financial markets. My curiosity and love grew from there. I thought that I could help educate people about the market while also help them plan for a better financial future.

Who was the most influential person/people for you during your time in college? Tough question: I don’t have one person or a group of people, I will just say the shear experience of college was the most influential aspect to me.

How do you handle complex problems? Strategically. I try to analyze as much as possible to take as much emotions out of my problem solving.

What is something you wish you had known prior to starting your company? Good question: It’s tough for folks to be financially conscience about their financial wellbeing. Only 9% of blacks invest their funds and/or have savings. In my line of business, I’m already limited to 9% of the African American market of investors or savers so my job is cut out for me; however, I’m up for the challenge.

What do you believe HBCUs can do to spur more innovation and entrepreneurship while their students are in school either as undergraduate or graduate students? Another great question: I think schools should be more influential on promoting entrepreneurship; such as inviting business owners to speak during class sessions or connecting students to do volunteer work for small business owners. Also HBCUs have to become involved in being more fiscal responsible for the students wellbeing. Examples: Don’t allow credit card companies to setup booths in student unions to prey on college kids; explaining the cons of taking out private student loans (Sallie Mae); encourage students to budget, save, and invest!!!! It’s a cycle, if the students are able to maintain more of their wealth, more than likely they will give more back to their school. This will generate more endowment funds for the school to build better facilities, invest in reach and development, and spawn more innovation.

How do you deal with rejection? It is kind of cliché-ish but each rejection is a learning experience. That gives me the motivation to improve on all levels.

When you have down time how do you like to spend it? I’m a gym rat and I try to reach the markets as much as possible. Whether that includes reading financial books, Bloomberg TV, or Yahoo Finance. I eat, sleep, breath finance.

What was your most memorable HBCU memory? Being around so many different people at one time all the time. I will never get that back; I may be around a lot of people say for an event but that will just be for a few hours. College gave me the ability to be around people from different walks of life all the time.

In leaving is there any advice you have for budding HBCUpreneurs? Absolutely: Work hard and then work some more. Everything and anything can be improved, thus don’t every get complacent. Build a top notch network. Your network = your net worth, thus get out and meet someone. Thank you.