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There is one hard and fast role that everyone should follow about investing: start early. Unfortunately, too many African Americans have been tripped up getting out of the starting gate. "When I was a kid, investing was not part of my family's dinner table conversation," says Vice President and Executive Editor Derek T. Dingle. "My mother, who raised four children, imparted the value of education, hard work, and saving for emergencies. But maximizing dollars through stocks, mutual funds, or dollar-cost averaging--the investor's version of a layaway plan--was a foreign concept to us. It wasn't until college that I learned about and embraced the concept of investing."

Dingle and his family do not represent a unique example among black households. For years, this outsider status has been a common experience shared by legions of African Americans. In our financial health survey, only 14% of those polled learned about investing from their parents vs. 40% who learned from reading financial publications. Moreover, 66.2% represented first-generation stock investors and 54.9% started investing between the ages of 20 and 29.

That's why this issue, our annual investment special, is so important to us--and to you. It will furnish you with the tools to fully exploit the financial markets and achieve your goals, whether they are to buy your dream home, send your kids to the best schools, or retire rich. But while you're applying our advice, we urge you to adopt principle No. 6 of the BLACK ENTERPRISE Declaration of Financial Empowerment: teach business and financial principles to your children. And you don't have to take the statement literally: If you don't have children, you can mentor a niece or nephew, educate your neighbor's child, adopt a school, or give a child a subscription to one of our financial newsletters, KidpreneursNews and Black Enterprise For Teens.

Douglas W. Coe, president and CEO of Moody Reid Financial Advisors, a Kansas City, Missouri-based investment advisory firm, is one African American who truly believes in the philosophy of "Each One Teach One." He has created the Bull & Bear Investment Camp, which he describes as "an exciting five-day adventure that will teach fourth- to 12th-grade students to become masters of money." At the beginning of the camp, students are divided into two groups: bulls and bears, of course. Then, the groups designate members as portfolio managers, economists, analysts, and traders, and use market research and moneymaking strategies to maximize returns and avoid capital losses. Throughout the course, they learn about different investment vehicles, analysis of financial markets and the economy, and evaluation of corporate takeovers and mergers. Moreover, students are rewarded for punctuality, attendance, and participation with "Douglas Dollars," which they may use to purchase gifts during an auction on the final day of the camp. So Coe's model not only fosters investment savvy among its participants but also promotes discipline, the cornerstone of sound financial management.

"We need to give our children a head start in achieving their financial and life goals," says Dingle. "As for adults, if you haven't begun the investment process, the best time to start is now."

--The Editors
COPYRIGHT 2001 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2001
Previous Article:Let's not panic.
Next Article:Letters.

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