College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Building Black Wealth: A Q&A

Your questions are being answered by:

Lisa Martin, Ph.D.
instructor, Family Financial Planning Certificate Program
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Danielle Winchester, Ph.D.
and Associate Dean
Deese College of Business and Economics


For business established as sole proprietorships, the separation between business and personal credit can be tricky. Generally speaking in a sole proprietorship the owner's credit and credit rating and that of the business are one in the same. To begin unwinding the two, you might consider implementing a plan of action to improve your personal credit situation, trying to keep all of your personal finances separate from the business, and investigating a different ownership structure such as a limited liability company (LLC).

In most cases, if you are considering incorporating your small business, you will want to investigate S corporations. These are corporations especially designed for small businesses. S corporations are not usually required to pay corporate taxes; instead they only pay taxes on dividend earnings. You might also want to investigate limited liability companies (LLCs).

Series I savings bonds, or "I bonds" for short, come with guarantees, tax-deferred inflation-adjusted interest, and, after one year, liquidity. They are currently offering a 7.12% return with little risk.

A small income should not deter one from engaging in wealth-building strategies. It is typically suggested that before investing in the stock market one should have their day-to-day finances taken care of as well as an emergency fund. There are numerous online brokers to consider for your investment needs. Keep in mind that profitable investing requires you use a brokerage service that aligns with your investing goals, educational needs and learning style. Selecting the best online stock broker that fits your needs can mean the difference between an exciting new income stream and frustrating disappointment.

Start with a budget and closely track your income and expenses. There are numerous apps that can help you in this process. Once you know where your money is going, you can identify areas to cut back. Finding ways to reduce your expenses (or increase your income) will provide you with the funds to save for emergencies and ultimately begin investing.

It is never too soon to start saving for retirement. The more time you have between beginning to invest and the time you retire, the greater reward you can earn due to compounding. If you are employed, consider contributing to your company's 401(k) plan if your employer matches your contributions, be sure to contribute at the maximum level. For your personal retirement strategy, start with a budget and closely track your income and expenses. There are numerous apps that can help you in this process. Once you know where your money is going, you can identify areas to cut back. Finding ways to reduce your expenses (or increase your income) will provide you with the funds to save for emergencies and ultimately begin investing.

Talk with your accountant.

There are a multitude of resources online that discuss cryptocurrency and investing in it. Be sure to evaluate your information sources prior to making any investment decisions based on the provided information.

"Before considering investing in stocks and other financial securities, it is always advisable for an individual to have an adequate emergency fund. An emergency fund is typically a cash reserve that is set aside for unexpected expenses or financial emergencies. Although the amount of your emergency fund is dependent on your personal situation, financial advisors recommend having savings equal to three to six months of your expenses. This would mean, if your household expenses per month are $1500, you would have at least $4500 in savings that are easily and inexpensively accessible.
The types of investments that a beginning investors, or any investor for that matter, makes should take into consideration their individual risk tolerance, their investment time horizon, and the risk-return profile of the investment. Some financial advisors suggest investing in the stock market only if your investment time horizon is five years or greater. Regardless, keep in mind that diversification is very important. By spreading your investment dollars across a variety of investments, you can reduce investment risk. This makes mutual funds and Exchange-traded-funds attractive to many beginning investors. These instruments allows an investor to purchase a ""basket of securities"" instead of individual stocks and bonds."

As you enter this stage in life and are playing catch up you would need to determine how risky you want to be and what types of investment you are comfortable with. There are some very good mutual fund who have a horizon which coincide with your retirement age which you can look at as possible investments.

At 55 you can take advantage of catch-up provisions when investing in IRAs also.

That depends on the friends. You need to make sure your fellow investors are likeminded investor with similar risk tolerance, investment styles, etc. Most of all you need to make sure you can TRUST them.

You should invest in risky investments when you are younger.

Property is less suspectible to market volatility but it is also affected by many market factors such as inflation and interest rates.

No, it is not. Cryptocurrency is like any other investment. You have to do your research and understand the market.

529 and other Coverdall programs

Yes, a college degree is still a good idea.  Wealth building involves knowledge and exposure which can be gained by pursuing a 4 year degree. If you do not know you cannot grow.

Have you checked it any of the student loan forgiveness options? Here is a link with more information:

I would not recommend not paying your student loans. That debt will haunt you forever and you cannot get away from it.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University does not provide tax, accounting, or legal advice. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, accounting, or legal advice. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date financial resource or other information.  Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader. The University, its administrators, faculty, and staff do not recommend or endorse the content of the third-party sites. Visitors and readers are strongly encouraged to consult and seek information and advice specific to their personal circumstances, and interpretation of the applicable federal and state laws from their own financial advisor, accountant, licensed tax professional, or attorney with expertise and/or experience in the area of inquiry before engaging in any transaction. NC A&T bears no responsibility or liability for reliance on the information provided on this website.