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Wall St. and Business Wednesdays: BEEU Semester Two – “Personal Finance – Financial Literacy And Turning Money Into Wealth” (May 24th to May 29th)

Last year around this time I was approached by a very professional and articulate young lady about a money-making opportunity. She described what she presented as an opportunity for me to market the services of another company. She explained how I could make money selling these services and that I would also be able to share in the money made by others who I introduced this opportunity to, who were also persuaded to sell to others. All along the way I would benefit from the work of myself and others. She framed her current role and my prospective role as that of 'having my own business.' The process she explained has historically been defined as 'multi-level' marketing, by some, even a 'pyramid scheme' by other observers, but to this young lady, what it was did not matter as much as the fact that the process 'worked' for her and others. They were making money.

She was not alone.

In the past four years I have been approached by many individuals I know and respect who also have been involved with this company and been very excited about the results that the experience yielded for them. The company they were in, selling these services, also seemed to be as much about personal empowerment, fellowship, and social networking, as it was money, and in that way, many of the members all seemed to believe they were part of a movement as much as a business.

One of the selling points the young lady presented to me in favor of the company she represented was that it was listed on the stock exchange. That got my attention, and I used that information as an opportunity to make a point to her as well as evaluate the opportunity she presented. I was by a personal computer at the time and when she gave me the symbol of the company, I went to The Wall St. Journal website and began to look over and show her the financial condition of the company she represented.

She told me she had never seen any of this information. And she was further struck by the names of the leaders of the company which she recognized in the data and documents I examined.

In about ten minutes I showed her how much the company was worth, the movement of the stock price, how many people were betting that the stock would go down, who among the company insiders was selling their stock and when, what recent deals the company had made with other businesses, and the overall financial condition of the business based upon financial statements it had filed with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

I then, gave her my opinion of the opportunity she presented me with.

She was a little surprised, sincerely thanked me and told me she would like to learn more about how I was able to learn so much so fast about what she was involved in. She felt the information not only helped her understand what she was doing personally, but that it would allow her to improve her sales pitch to others.

She had a wonderful attitude and I am sure she is doing or will do well for herself in that business or any other.

The point I was making to her is one that I make at Black Electorate Economics University (BEEU). There is more to making money than just seeing it in your hands as a result of hard work, however worthwhile and rewarding that may be as a personal experience. One can be involved in seeing money in the present time, but be unaware of the context in which they are 'making' it. This may, as a result, place them at a disadvantage relative to others who are connected to them in ways they do not even realize. By being as financially literate as possible and understanding the difference between money and wealth, a person is in the best position to determine how best to spend their time, offer their labor, invest their capital and evaluate any business opportunity.


“You have the makings of something very special and unique, never done before,” I was told recently by a Black businessman who makes money in America and all over the world. I knew that his recognition of what makes Black Electorate Economics University (BEEU) different was on point and it was nice to hear confirmation from an outside observer.

“Would you say this is the equivalent of an MBA program?” I was asked just this past Monday by a member enrolled at BEEU. I answered that there were of course some formal advantages to MBA programs but that there was without a doubt something presented in every Semester at BEEU that you could not receive elsewhere. And that is partly because the curriculum revolves around a mixture of a personal experience and perspective; the 6- year history and network of; and a commitment to apply theory, insight, history and principle to real scenarios, problems and opportunities.

In Semester One, “Doing For Self Through The Science Of Business,” we apply theory, insight, history and principle to the personal ambitions and vision of BEEU members as entrepreneurs and business owners. In Semester Three, “Venture Capital, Private Equity and Investment Banking: Yesterday’s Black Wall Street(s) and Today’s Black Publicly Traded Firms,’ we apply the same to the evolving challenges facing those Black-founded firms - like Radio One (symbol ROIA) - now trading on publicly on market exchanges or backed by Black venture capital and private equity. In Semester Four, “Economic Development and an Urban Agenda – Rebuilding The Wasted Cities,” we compare and contrast the recommendations and insights of Black economic development models and programs like the economic blueprint of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; Powernomics of Claude Anderson and The Harvest Institute; “The prosperity preachers”; the MATAH network with one another and that of other ethnic communities – for example the Jewish community – and apply them to the massive challenge of rebuilding the innercities of the United States of America. In Semester Five, “Fiscal, Monetary and Trade Policy – Establishing The United States of Africa,” we accept the challenge of mastering a history (of success, mistakes and errors) and the principles that have guided fiscal, monetary and trade policies across continents and applying it to the vision and status of the current effort to build an African Union – the “United States of Africa.”

Now on July 12th, 2006 we begin Lessons in our Semester Two, “Financial Literacy and Turning Money Into Wealth.” This Semester has the dual objective of 1) facilitating a tremendous leap in the comprehension of financial instruments, strategies, and business journalism by those enrolled and 2) enabling BEEU members to deeply understand how relevant numerous investment vehicles are to their current and desired financial condition. This semester is built on the premise that overcoming ignorance and a lack of confidence on the subject of finance starts with being able to understand the most popular and influential financial media and the knowledge of self – understanding one’s wants and needs and how those relate to various financial instruments, investment vehicles and strategies. As a result, this Semester revolves around 1) gaining comfort; becoming familiarity with; and dialoguing around financial media like The Wall St. Journal newspaper; Black Enterprise magazine; “The Color Of Money” Washington Post column of Michelle Singletary; the Kudlow and Company and Mad Money With Jim Cramer television programs 2) learning how to study ‘self’ and others from the paradigm of finance and the difference between capital, money and wealth 3) and becoming skilled at comparing and contrasting financial instruments, investment vehicles and strategies offered by various outlets. Everything from the housing market; understanding how the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ work; reading Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings; reviewing your retirement and pension programs, getting involved in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs); investing in gold coins; the emerging popularity of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs); the most common ways small investors are deceived; African stock markets and American Deposit Receipts (ADRs); valuing fine art; following foreign exchange markets; and investing in the growing industry of import and export business are examined.

Here are the six Lessons:

Semester Two: Personal Finance - "Financial Literacy and Turning Money Into Wealth"

Lesson 1: The ABCs of Financial Literacy and Business Journalism.

Lesson 2: Saving, Pooling, Compounding and Multiplying

Lesson 3: The Investment Portfolio: Balancing Wants, Needs, Risks and Rewards Over Time

Lesson 4: Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate

Lesson 5: The Trader, The Investor, and The Speculator in Capital Markets.

Lesson 6: Coins, Commodities, Currencies, and African Stock Markets


Semester One is closed now, but those who have not done so already and are interested in enrolling for both Semesters Two and Three can do so at a considerable savings of 25% .

To enroll click here:

I look forward to seeing you at BEEU soon.

Cedric Muhammad

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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The views and opinions expressed herein by the author do not necessarily represent the opinions or position of or Black Electorate Communications.

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