The Dallas Examiner
As the U.S. economy continues to grow by 3.1 percent this year, possibilities of an economic downturn threatens the nation by the start of 2019, according to a Congressional Budget Office report.
The 2.4 percent slow down could stunt financial gains, especially for African Americans. However, veteran investment adviser Angela E. Matthews has a myriad of strategies that could usher in prosperity and affluence for minorities.
“In the 2008 downturn, we had no idea what was coming when it hit,” Matthews said. “When it came, it came strong. But, now, I think they’re learning about that and the Congressional Budget Office is saying, ‘Hey, we want to start looking out for this. This could be coming.’ So, now we can actually prepare ourselves.”
Currently, the economy is doing well, with an increase consumer optimism with help from online platforms, which citizens could capitalize off of into the new year.
“One of the best things I always say to do is take more part in your investing,” Matthews advised as she discussed how to profit from the present upturn. “So, people have 401(k)s; they should actually check in on that and make sure that it is going in the right direction. Because the stock market has been doing so well and our economy has been doing so well, if you’re in your 401(k) and you see that over the past six months it hasn’t been doing well, then there’s something wrong about that. If you do see that, then you can make a change now while the market is still pretty good.”
The African American community and the stock market don’t have a close relationship. Black people are 35 percent less likely than Whites of similar means to invest into the market, which creates shattering effects to their ability to accumulate wealth, according to a Clarks Schwab and Ariel Mutual Funds study.
“I think it’s only a matter of time before we as a community start trusting ourselves,” the investment strategist said.
Black wealth would progress greatly once the community shifts from its intense consumer and budgeting mindset to the mindset of a stockbroker.
“If people would reduce that increase savings and invest more, they’re going to be ahead of the game,” Matthews expressed. “We don’t have as much consumer debt. I think we’re getting more educated, but it’s not about just looking at your money, stock up [and] every payday you’re putting something in your savings, but at some point you’re going to start getting frustrated.”
The former Ralph Lauren marketing expert affirmed that the growing African American economy makes the market more available to the community, especially with the use of technological advances.
“Our economics are growing as a community,” she said. “As African Americans, we may not make as much money as our Caucasian counterparts, but we are still having major growth within our personal income, especially as we’re getting more and more educated.”
The stock market is completely different than it was in the past. Now, stocks are priced at as low as five dollars to $1,000, according to Matthews. With trading apps such as Acorns and Robinhood, which she prefers, everyone could invest with little to no startup fees in companies such as Nike and Walmart for possibly $20 a share.
The year 2019 is only three months away and the financial coach advises that everyone follows her three recommendations: cut down on debt, reduce the amount of money you spend and look into potential side hustles or business.
African American buying power is $1.2 trillion, noted by a 2018 Nielsen report, and Black citizens could leverage this power by investing into a company and buying from that business to increase stock revenue.
“I like to buy things I own,” she conveyed. “If I own a company, I have no problem purchasing something separately. For example, if I own Amazon, I don’t mind buying things from Amazon.”
It is also a good time to start a business in order to accrue more income and counter the downturn. Matthews, for instance, started her business during the 2008 recession with $500 and now has a six figure business and multiple streams of income.
“Once you have that money coming in from your business, when the downturns happens you could actually make this an opportunity for growth for you,” she said. “It’s when a recession or a downturn happens that you can really go above and beyond with your wealth.”
Matthews encourages all who take her advice to have confidence and not “overthink into paralysis.” She also expressed that potential business owners shouldn’t be so quick to get loans but pace themselves by promoting themselves through social media and websites as they build their business to present to investors.
“You could take the steps in monetizing yourself and then with your own personal business, in terms of you, it’s profitable,” the business consultant said. “They, you can go out and build a bigger platform. So, you don’t have to worry about funding. Don’t let that stop you from pursuing your dreams.”