It is Not What You Make, But How Much You Keep – Wealth Building 101

Are you tired of working long hours, and sacrificing to have nothing to show for it? If you do not have a plan for your money, someone else will. Wealth building is not a fast process. In order to have and keep wealth you must understand the process of building wealth. Wealth is the value of assets, either physical or intellectual, that can be passed on through your generations. I was at the barbershop, Fair Deal’s, on E Berry in the late 80′s. One of the barbers said to a customer, “you have been working for 25 years, and you have nothing to show for it, but a broken up old body.” The customer laughed as he walked out the door. I knew him through the neighborhood, and knew over the last 25 years he had bought 10 homes and numerous vacant lots all over the city. No one knew he had accumulated wealth until after he died. The biggest tragedy was he never taught his four children the process of wealth building. The children sold it all upon his death. Sound familiar? This is why wealth is intellectual as well as physical. We all know or have heard of stories such as this. This is why I am creating THE BLUE PRINT to Wealth Building. Not just African American families, but other Americans as well, have a history of wealth building through business and land ownership, and intellectual capital. It is time for it to become a way of life again, through sharing ideas and sharing resources and taking action on our dreams. Living it every day out loud.BLUE PRINT of Wealth Building: Phase 1• HAVE A PASSION THAT IS WORTH YOUR BEST EFFORTS
Have no fear when it comes to realizing your dreams. Whatever you dream is, it can become reality faster than you think. Once you come to grips with the fact that it is your dream, and not anyone else’s (i.e.: your dream killers) it will come faster. 1) Decide to do it, 2) Plan how to get there, 3) Take Action on your plan, 4) Stay Focused. You may say I make it sound too easy. It is not! You have to believe in you, and give it your best efforts every day. LIVE IT through YOUR everyday life; not by watching others live your dreams.
In order for you to build physical wealth you have to know who or what is taking it away. Some of the hands we can’t avoid such as cost of food, the mortgage, taxes, and health care costs. You have at least three hands reaching at your money. Identify the hands and prioritize them according to your dream.

Hand 1- Wealth Building – The money that goes into investing in your dream. Investing in your saving accounts, retirement plan, real estate, higher education, or small business.
Hand 2- Responsibilities – Anything that can go on your credit report if not paid. Children do not go on your credit, but they are a privilege and a responsibility. Mortgages, rent, car payments, cell phone bills, child support are responsibilities you must pay.
Hand 3- Wants – Are the icing on the cake. The vacations, the cars, and clothes are great. Life is short, so live it and enjoy it. But do not make your wants your number priority. There is nothing like a well-dressed, but broke person.
Do your research on any investment you put your money in to. Investments are more than stocks and mutual funds. Going back to school is an investment. The background research you do will make you more confident of your choices. Believe me any person making an investment presentation will be ready for you and your questions.
The best investments are the ones you understand. Consider these tips as rules of thumb before investing your money.

Know how the investment makes money
Know how you make money
Know your exit strategy (cost, time restraints)
Know how much it will cost you
Know the history of performance, lawsuits, etc.
Know your decision to commit to this for the full time frame required to see growth
In the following weeks I will continue adding to the BLUE PRINT of Wealth Building. This approach may or may not work for you. Explore your options and start the dialogue of wealth building. You may be amazed of what will happen once you make it a priority. Market BlurbOne of the most common questions I hear is: “what do you think about the market?” “Or what is a good investment now?” Here is your answer:Like a perfectionist that is never satisfied, when presented with some of the best fundamental data in years, the market chooses to find faults and be picky. Not that there aren’t a number of things to be critical of, including the situation in Greece, lack of job growth, high budget deficits, and slowing loan growth in China. These are all reminders that risks to the economy and earnings still exist. Expect volatility, much like what has been experienced already this year. Volatility will continue as the economy and markets transition from a stimulus-driven recovery to an environment of self-sustaining growth.Also, there are two very different ways of considering risk: opportunity or danger. Some would argue the latter is far more likely than the former at these levels in the market and at this stage of the market recovery. With a little patience, the commitment to a well thought out investment plan and a willingness to follow Warren Buffet’s sage advice “be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy,” could result in turning the tone of this market pullback from danger to opportunity.Live Your Dream!JDGJamie D. Grant

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