Category: Finance

The Value of the Pre-Launch

What you need before launching your rewards campaign:

As you raise crowdfunding capital, it’s your job to answer your audience’s questions and build their confidence, persuading them to support and share your campaign. It’s up to you to identify some of the specific needs and questions that your customers will have, but there are several universal components of any successful campaign. The good news is that nobody knows your business better than you do, so these are pieces you can start gathering today as you plan your upcoming campaign.

Compelling Pitch – You already know your business inside and out, so now you just have to wrap it in a meaningful package for your potential backers. Your pitch should be a lean, well-rehearsed narrative about:

  1. Where you came from
  2. What you do
  3. What you need

Your goal is to change the world with your product or service. While the goal is to tell a story that resonates with your specific audience, every successful pitch does 3 things:

  • State the problem – The first and most important part of a great pitch is to identify a painful problem.  The more severe the problem or need that you address is, the more valuable your business’s solution will be.
  • Introduce the solution – Once your audience understands the problem on an intellectual and emotional level, you can present your product or service as its best solution. Remember, be clear and concise—focus on your solution’s big picture, not every last feature.
  • Define the market size – Once your audience understands the problem and how you’re uniquely equipped to solve it, you need to put the opportunity in perspective. The bigger the market, the greater the potential value of your company is, and the more enticing the opportunity becomes for backers and investors.

Elevator Pitch – Adapt your pitch into a ready and rehearsed elevator pitch, a condensed version that can be delivered in the span of 30 seconds to a minute.  In the same way that you never know who you’ll run into and have a chance to pitch to in the real world, you can’t predict how distracted a potential backer might be when they happen upon your page, and you definitely shouldn’t assume you have their full attention. For these situations, it’s best to have a short, 3-4-sentence elevator pitch at the top of your page and keep it focused on the problem, solution, and market size.

Email Pitch – Email marketing is just one of the approaches you should be thinking about for promoting your campaign. Similar to your elevator pitch, craft a brief version of your pitch that the recipient can skim in under 2 minutes.

Social Media –  is crucial to the success of crowdfunding campaigns for individuals, brands, and nonprofits. Focus on creating shareable content and cultivating a community on social media so you can reach new audiences and build an email list.

Campaign Video – Campaigns that include an overview video have been shown to perform better, and the reason why is understandable: the average user would rather watch a short, well-produced video than take the time to read the same content. Invest the time (and production cost) to produce a professional video that features your company’s founder or core team, explains the unmet need that sparked your idea, details your product and how it’s different than anything else out there, shows where your business is at right now, and hints at its long-term potential. This is the sort of content you can build into your campaign that’s not only more likely to get seen, but also get shared online.  

Product Overview – Write a detailed description of your product or service, how it works, and why people would want to see it brought to market. Since you’re likely to be offering a pre-order of this product as a crowdfunding reward, you should be “selling” the product as much as you’re explaining it.

Rewards – At the heart of any rewards-based raise are, of course, the rewards. Although a small number of backers will support your business solely out of personal affinity or the desire to see you succeed, the vast majority will decide to pledge based on what they get out it. What you offer your backers is entirely up to you, so it’s worth thinking long and hard about what would incentivize your customers. Rewards generally fall into 3 main categories:

  • Pre-orders – By far the most popular type of reward, this approach simply involves selling pre-orders of the product you’re raising money to produce. This is a great mid-level reward and is an exciting way for backers to experience the impact of their contribution.
  • Services – If pre-orders aren’t available or don’t fit your business model, you can offer special services in exchange for support. We’ve seen everything from Founders preparing a home-cooked meal for backers, to developers offering to write code for fans and supporters.
  • Recognition/Swag – A perfect entry-level reward for donations under $20, this category offers backers some sort of personal recognition for their support.  This can include a company t-shirt commemorating the campaign or the backer’s name on the company website.

Whatever rewards you choose, it’s best to have at least 7 rewards tiers—a small price point that offers some sort of simple recognition, a mid-sized price point that offers a pre-order, and a large price point that offers special recognition for generous backers.

The Ask – You’re here to raise money, so it all comes down to the ask. Always remember this rule: be crystal-clear about exactly how much money you’re raising, and know exactly how you plan to spend it. Detail is the key here—the more information you can provide, the better. In as much detail as possible, be able to explain how you plan on spending the crowdfunding capital you raise, and explain specifically what milestones it’ll help you reach.

This is a great chance to build backer confidence by showing that you’ve spent the time to chart your business’s course forward. Some common categories we see in rewards campaigns are product development, sales and marketing, recruitment of key personnel, legal and accounting, and operating expenses. You can use these broad categories as a starting point, but be sure to expand upon them where you can. For example, explain which product features this funding will help you develop, or which key team members you’ll be able to hire, and what they’ll do for your business.

The Benefits of Crowdfunding

Introduction

Both rewards and crowd investing offer a wide range of advantages over traditional business financing. With benefits ranging from a wider pool of potential investors to more nimble fundraising options, crowdfunding is going to continue to evolve into more popular, and more powerful funding method for startups, local businesses, and inner-city real estate development.  Though funding is almost always the main goal of a crowdfunding campaign, it can also be a fantastic way to gain visibility, validate your business, grow your customer base, and more.

It’s more efficient than traditional fundraising

When you’re an early-stage company, local retail business, or real estate development focused on building your business and attracting seed capital, you might not be able to afford all the time and attention that pursuing traditional financing demands. Compared to applying for a loan or seeking out accredited investors yourself, setting up a successful crowdfunding campaign on Buy The Block or another platform is far more efficient and effective in getting your message out to the right people. With the right platform, you can tell your business’s story, produce a quick video, set up some enticing rewards, and benefit from having everything in one centralized location where potential backers can find you.

It’s a place to build traction, social, proof, and validation

A strong, highly visible crowdfunding campaign can provide validation and social proof that’s vital in charting your path forward. When potential customers show interest in your startup’s product or service, you’ve generated social proof—demonstrating that other people believe in what you’re doing. Once early adopters vet and buy into your idea, others are more likely to follow suit. Social proof is translated into traction—whether it’s a large number of backers, pre-orders, or media attention—that’s invaluable as you pitch to other investors.

It’s an opportunity for crowdsourced brainstorming to refine your idea

Hear your would-be backers poking holes in your business plan or asking some tough questions? Take it in stride and accept it as free, crowdsourced brainstorming. The basis of a startup is finding some important, unmet need that your customers have, and deciding to be the one to do something about it. Thus, it’s important to seize any opportunity for customer feedback and consider it in planning your startup. One of the greatest things about crowdfunding is how close it gets you to your customers, giving you a chance to engage them and field questions, complaints, feedback, and ideas. You never know—your company’s next great idea could come from somebody who is a staunch member of your crowd.

It gains you early adopters and loyal brand advocates

The people that power your idea’s social proof are your early adopters and potential brand advocates. They’re the people who believe in your story, product, or service, enough to stake their money on its longevity and long-term success. These early adopters are key to the success of your crowdfunding campaign and the momentum you keep after closing, being the ones most likely to share your vision with friends and family and promote it through their social networks.

It doubles as marketing and media exposure

Press coverage will create more eyes on your campaign and create lasting brand awareness for your startup. This can come in the form of a feature story on a popular news station, blog, or print publication, and is a great way to bring in backers outside of your personal network. A good feature story or Twitter mention can create a powerful snowball effect, putting you in touch with major investors you might not have otherwise reached. Whether they read about your new product or development on a popular blog or hear about your innovative campaign from a friend, a successful crowdfunding is a great way to capture new investor interest.

Crowdsourcing has grown into an excellent way for entrepreneurs, local business owners, real estate developers, and early-stage companies to validate their business, find capital and early adopters, and get the exposure they need to grow. To recap, some of the most powerful ways a crowdfunding campaign can help build more startup momentum than other financing methods are:

  • It’s more efficient than traditional fundraising.
  • It generates traction, social proof, and validation.
  • It’s an opportunity for crowdsourced brainstorming to refine your idea.
  • It gains you, early adopters and loyal advocates.
  • It doubles as marketing and media exposure.

Crowdfunding for the Black Community

Crowdfunding for the Black Community

Crowdfunding is essentially the opposite of the mainstream approach to business finance. Traditionally, if you want to raise capital to start a business, launch a new product, or develop real estate you would need to pack up your business plan, market research, and prototypes, and then shop your idea around to a limited pool or wealthy individuals or institutions.

These funding sources included banks, angel investors, and venture capital firms, really limiting your options to a few key players. In the Black community, the number of Black founders obtaining funding from these sources is dismal at best.  Black Americans’ entrepreneurial experiences contrast dramatically with these groups. Modern disadvantages experienced by blacks include racial segregation, low levels of earnings, lack of wealth, poor education, lack of experience in a family business, employer discrimination and difficulty in getting a loan.

In April 2000, a congressional study found that “Most banks largely ignored African-American neighborhoods, even those with above-average incomes,” forcing many blacks to depend on expensive and abusive lenders. In addition, while the average white family’s wealth in 2009 was $113,000, the average black family’s wealth was a fraction of that, $5,700. These liabilities make it harder for blacks than other groups to obtain loans, lines of credits and other financial services which are crucial to starting and running a business.

You can think of this fundraising approach as a funnel, with you and your pitch at the wide end and your audience of investors at the closed end. Fail to point that funnel at the right investor or firm at the right time, and that’s your time and money lost.   

Crowdfunding platforms, on the other hand, turns that funnel upside down. By giving, the entrepreneur, a single platform to build, showcase, and share your pitch resources, this approach dramatically streamlines the traditional model. With crowdfunding, it’s much easier for you to get your opportunity in front of more interested parties and give them more ways to help grow your business, from investing thousands in exchange for equity to contributing $20 in exchange for a first-run product or other rewards.

The 5 Benefits of Crowdfunding

 

  • ReachBy using a crowdfunding platform like Buy The Block, you have access to thousands of non-accredited and accredited investors who can see, interact with, and share your fundraising campaign.
  • PresentationBy creating a crowdfunding campaign, you go through the invaluable process of looking at your business from the top level—its history, traction, offerings, addressable market, value proposition, and more—and boiling it down into a polished, easily digestible package.
  • PR & Marketing – From launch to close, you can share and promote your campaign through social media, email newsletters, and other online marketing tactics. As other media outlets cover the progress of your fundraising, you can double down by steering traffic to your website and other company resources.
  • Proof of Concept – Presenting your concept or business to the masses affords an excellent opportunity to validate and refine your offering. As potential investors begin to express interest and ask questions, you’ll quickly see if there’s something missing that would make them more likely to buy in.
  • Efficiency – One of the best things about online crowdfunding is its ability to centralize and streamline your fundraising efforts. By building a single, comprehensive profile to which you can funnel all your prospects and potential investors, you eliminate the need to pursue each of them individually. So instead of duplicating efforts by printing documents, compiling binders, and manually updating each one when there’s an update, you can present everything online in a much more accessible format, leaving you with more time to run your business instead of fundraising.

Understanding Crowdfunding for The Black Community

What Is Crowdfunding

The passing of President Obama’s JOBS Act in April 2012 ushered in crowdfunding as the word of the day. While this concept has arguably been around for centuries, it is still formally recognized as a new industry to many consumers, particularly those outside the United States. Crowdfunding is, by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”  

Why Crowdfunding Developed

There is a seemingly nonstop global recession, and small businesses are struggling more than ever to stay afloat, and entrepreneurs are facing terrible odds.  Small businesses finding capital for expansion from the banking industry has been unfeasible for the last seven years, and startups finding the needed funding in the more traditional venues of Angel Investors or VCs seems to be impossible. But, in this financial environment Crowdfunding offers these individuals an increased probability of success by showcasing their businesses and projects to the entire world via the Internet and social media.

How Crowdfunding Works

There are numerous crowdfunding platforms where consumers can safely ask for or donate money. While each site offers their unique culture, the general concept is the same across the board. Project creators can create a profile typically containing a short video, an introduction to their project, a list of rewards per donation, and some text and images to elaborate. The idea is to create a compelling message that will resonate with the readers.

Why Crowdfunding Works

The idea of “it’s not what you do, but why you do it,” is the message that drives crowdfunding. By focusing on a bigger purpose, the impact of a brand or project will be able to create a unique community of like-minded individuals. Each campaign is set for a goal (a publicly stated amount of money) and a fixed number of days. Once the project is launched, each day will be counted down and the money raised will be tallied up for visitors to follow its success.

How It Works in Practice

 

Instead of traditional investors, crowdfunding campaigns are funded by the general public. Typically, most successful projects receive about 25-40% of their revenue from their first, second and third degree of connections. This could include friends, family, work acquaintances, or anyone that the owner is connected to, including their second and third-degree connections. Once a project has seen some traction, unrelated consumers start coming out of the woodwork to support campaigns they believe in. There is a huge misconception that creating a successful crowdfunding campaign is as simple as hitting submit and waiting for it to go viral. While this has happened to many brands, the vast majority of projects require an immense amount of marketing and management skill and phenomenal effort on the part of the project creator. Utilizing social media, creating email distribution lists before the project launches, contacting local media, are all necessary steps to take if you are serious about your goal. Remember, this is not a platform to ask for a handout. If you expect people to join your cause, you had better be prepared to prove your salt.

Influencer Marketing on Twitter

Introduction

Influencer/Blogging marketing involves a collaboration between crowdfunding campaigns and a select number of experts in a relevant field who have a large following on social media specifically Twitter for this post. Influencer marketing distinguishes individuals who have a significant influence on a potential group customer. When the right influencers endorse your product or brand, it can create a huge impact!

The way audiences interact with content continues to shift, making influencer/blogger marketing an even more effective and efficient model to exciting and engaging your crowd. Millennials purchase based on endorsements, reviews and ultimately trust. They view authenticity as one of the most, if not the most, essential elements of purchasing. For example, 33% of millennials read blogs and expert reviews before buying a product, so it makes sense for crowdfunding campaigns to highlight these expert opinions.

A quick review of your Twitter feed will show that people don’t always flock to companies for information about their products and services. Instead, they’re seeking influencers – popular, personable, and independent content creators who aren’t afraid to share opinions on social media. More than 90% of consumers trust earned press – characterized as word-of-mouth and recommendations from trustworthy sources – more than all other types of advertising

As founders building crowd investing campaigns how do we harness the power of earned media through Twitter influencers/bloggers to build our engaged and excited group of investors. These are the steps we use to tap the influencer/blogger marketing on Twitter

DEVELOP INFLUENCER MARKETING GOALS

  1. Expand brand awareness- Influencers have the power to rapidly increase your brand awareness because they have an established and engaged audience.
  2. Generate leads – A simple way to implement influencers into your marketing plans is to partner with them to share your brand’s blogs, features, products.
  3. Check influencer contribution – It is essential to quantify the overall reach and impression of your content. Use these numbers to calculate the ROI of your campaign by different parameters such as followers gained.

IDENTIFY INFLUENCERS

Identify relevant influencers/bloggers who are affiliated with your industry. Find your target audience and the influencers’ followers should be mutually inclusive. You can use Twitter Advanced Search to search Twitter and keep an eye on specific hashtags, mentions, and conversations about your brand.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH INFLUENCERS

After identifying several leading influencers/bloggers, reach out! Rather than sending a cold email with your interest, go the extra mile by engaging and showcasing the fact that you have mutual interests.

  • Start following them on Twitter and start a casual conversation
  • Retweet their content to introduce them to your audience
  • Discuss something they have tweeted recently
  • Share their blog posts on Twitter
  • Connect on other social media platforms
  • Offer to write a guest post on their blog
  • Send products to them as free samples to review

Take time to source valuable influencers/bloggers and cultivate a professional relationship. When trust is established, and you’re confident that there is a mutual fit, you’re in a high position to launch an influencer/blogger marketing campaign.

DEVISE A MARKETING STRATEGY

From creating brand awareness to boosting sales, influencer/blogger marketing on Twitter has the potential to drive amazing results to your crowdfunding campaign.

  • Keep these things in mind before creating an influencer marketing campaign:
  • Prepare a list of leading influencers/bloggers you are in touch with
  • Define your target audience and goals for the campaign
  • Create a call-to-action and several achievable deliverables
  • Come up with a hashtag for the campaign and keywords
  • Research what your competitors are doing and what they have done previously

Going through this process will help clearly define what you want to get out of an upcoming campaign and ensure that you can meet those goals.

START RUNNING YOUR INFLUENCER/BLOGGER CAMPAIGNS ON TWITTER

After developing a clear strategy concerning the influencers you are going to work with, start implementing your campaign. Have the content of your campaign ready and prepare the tools your influencer/bloggers need to succeed before the campaign launch.

TAKEAWAY

Measuring the outcome of the Twitter Influencer/blogger marketing campaign using keywords and anchor hashtag from the campaign to track its overall reach and performance. Use a Twitter monitoring/social listening tool to do the individual analysis:

  • check the retweet count
  • calculate impressions/reach
  • gauge other relevant data-oriented results.

Not only will it help you judge the overall efficiency of your present campaign, but it will also let you identify leading influencers for your next campaign. This will be vital to maintaining an effective and efficient process for developing and implementing a Twitter Influencer/Blogger marketing campaign.

Place-Based Impact Investing and Crowdinvesting

Introduction

For far too many years we, as a distinct demographic, have been looking to government and philanthropy to help relieve the vast concentrated poverty and benign neglect that has been signature of inner-city communities of color for the last 60 years. Today crowdinvesting has ushered in a new day that will allow our communities to pool our extensive purchasing power to begin the investment process and lead our communities into decades of economic and political prosperity.

Place-Based Impact Investing

Place-based impact investing has a focus on specific local or regional communities and is seeing renewed interest with the growing community capital, local investing, and crowdinvesting movements. Place-based initiatives for poverty alleviation and economic development are not new, but decades of philanthropic and public policy initiatives have rarely yielded the scope and scale of impact required to reverse decades of neglect and economic policies that crippled inner-cities. An impact investment goes a step further, it must offer to reduce homelessness, or break a pattern of criminal behavior, for example.

Multi-Stakeholder Approach

A major component of place-based investing is that it involves diverse, coordinated sources of capital that require multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Using a multi-stakeholder approach and the layering of capital from diverse entities reduces the risk and inserting Regulation Crowdfunding campaigns into the mix opens the investment to the community that will be impacted to participate and build wealth along side of the impact investors.

Community Development

This will also provide an opportunity for the development of human by allowing to community member to be developers, contractors, and the bulk of the workforce. This empowers the community in multiple ways that teaches a person to fish! Crowdinvesting supported by impact investing and community capital provides an infrastructure for a worthwhile approach for job growth, innovation and business development.

Takeaway

There is also the wealth building and market principles that will allow corporations, banks, and foundations to invest as partners that have an incentive to see these communities become successful and not to view them as charity cases that will never become sustainable. The impact investment in entrepreneurship and real estate development creates a new dynamic between stakeholders and communities of color in inner-cities. Community capital, localism, and crowdinvesting  working together to improve the quality and functioning of local economies will improve cities all across the nation.

Regulation CF and Small Business Finance

Small Business Drives Economic Growth

Despite being the strongest drivers of growth in the U.S. economy, small businesses face immense challenges garnering funding from traditional sources like venture capital firms, angel investor groups, or debt financing. 90 percent of small business owners still believe that banks are the first stop for business financing, despite more than a 30-year history of banks decreasing the number of their loans going to small businesses. Since small businesses aren’t the only ones struggling for financing – startups, entertainment projects, musicians, and others face similar challenges – the new (and popular) crowdfunding industry has increasingly filled the funding gap. 

Traditional Lenders Overlook Small Business

New business owners usually aren’t the best candidates for traditional small-business loans from banks or other funding sources, which typically require collateral, years of successful operation and excellent personal credit. Even if funding were approved, new entrepreneurs may not have the resources to begin making loan payments immediately. Rewards-based crowdfunding is an alternative to traditional small-business financing and provides the means to transform promising ideas into a profitable reality — without having to pay back a penny.

The Crowdfunding Model Works Well For Small Business

Small businesses that have a loyal customer base or large following can investigate the newly passed Regulation Crowdfunding. This new form of equity crowdfunding — which is the result of the new Title III of the JOBS Act — allows companies to raise up to $1,000,000 each year, from investors for their businesses, using crowdfunding platforms. You agree to sell stock in your business and can offer those shares to anyone. However, there are limits on what individuals can invest based on their income. The transactions are done through Web-based platforms — which will both help keep you compliant with all of the laws and rules and will also take a commission on the sale of the stock.

Regulation CF is Perfect for Small Businesses

This form of capital raising is especially attractive to “main street” businesses — which may have a great history and engaged customers, but find that banks aren’t willing, or able to lend to them. This model exists in many other countries, and we see local food-based businesses, bars and pubs, art and creative studios and other product based companies taking advantage of these models and raising on average about $700,000.

Crowdfunding Can Be A Catalytic Funding Event

Crowdinvesting can supply needed capital for equipment, growth capital or for strategic hires. In many cases, it becomes the on-ramp to other more traditional models of financing as a catalytic event. Some savvy small business owners have learned to leverage small early-stage investments through crowdinvesting to increase their bargaining power and get more money from venture capitalists or others later. Whether a tool to provide small funds to launch a startup or as an alternative to the high costs of IPOs, these new rules expand the financing options available to startups and small businesses across the USA.

Black-Female Serial Entrepreneur Raises over $110 Thousand Through Crowd Investing To Create The first Black-owned Real Estate Crowd Investing Platform In The United States

The JOBS Act of 2012

Crowd investing is being made possible by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, a law intended to encourage funding of small businesses and real estate development in the United States by easing many of the country’s securities regulations. It passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 5, 2012.  

Crowd Investing for Everyone

On May 16th, 2016 Title III, the regulation crowdfunding act went into effect and the floodgates of capital aggregation have been open to the Black community for the first time in History.  Rodney Sampson, an entrepreneur, educator, and journalist calls “Title III Regulation Crowdfunding the single most important legislation for African-Americans since the Emancipation Proclamation!”

Buy The Block

Crowd investing through Buy The Block allows community members to invest in businesses, residential and commercial real estate with their community peers to build a self-sustained business/investment ecosystem for disenfranchised communities and neighborhoods to build community equity and personal wealth. Buy the Block is the first foray for the Black community into the multibillion-dollar global real estate crowd investing industry as an owner.

Why Crowd Investing

Businesses new and old, small, and large, are now incorporating crowd investing to change the paradigm of urban economic development.  The capital formation playbooks have changed under the weight of the rising tide of “crowd capitalism”. The interest in how to effectively implement crowd investing to is reaching new and dizzying heights every day and Buy the Block is at the forefront of this innovation.

Funding “Black Girl Magic” Through Nail Spas

According to Nielsen Black women have experienced steady growth in income, population, and educational attainment, according to the study. Between 2007 and 2012, Black female entrepreneurs have grown by 67 percent. In education, 64 percent of Black women graduating from high school go straight to college, while 23 percent over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher. But On average, black female-led startups raise just $36,000 of outside funding which amounts to 1 percent of VC funding.

Buy The Block intends to transform the relationship between Black female entrepreneurs and access to capital through with their Nail Spa Initiative. Buy The Block is on a mission to fund 12 Black-owned nail spas over the next 12-24 months including the commercial real estate where the spas sit.   

Why does CrowdInvesting matter in this market?

Many inner-city Black communities are retail and food deserts, which means that they lack access to some of the most basic necessities in their communities. These communities have very low Black-owned retail businesses and own even less commercial real estate. Black homeownership is at its lowest level since the 1960’s fair housing laws were enacted, and even though Black start businesses at a high level over 75 percent of them are undercapitalized. The best thing about CrowdInvesting with Buy The Block is that it focuses on solving issues on the inner-city market and allow people to become investors for just $100.  

If you want to find out more about CrowdInvesting or you want to support the 12 Nails Spas initiative, just visit Buy The Block to find all the details and information needed to bring our community project to reality!

JOIN THE MOVEMENT!

Did you join the movement? 

www.buytheblock.com 

Posted on December 13, 2017 By Staff With 0 comments

It’s True! More African Americans Are Investing in the Stock Market

african_americans_investors_stock_market

A recent national study by Chicago-based Ariel Investments shows that more black Americans are investing in the stock market. For years, blacks stayed away from stock investments, but that trend is beginning to change.

67% of Blacks are investing

According to the study, stock market investing has grown among the black population over the years. In 1998, 57 percent of blacks were investing in stocks or stock mutual funds. By 2010, that number had grown to 60 percent, and today 67 percent of blacks invest in stocks or stock mutual funds. One reason suggested is that more employers are offering 401K programs for their employees. Since employers match 401K deposits up to various amounts, black employees consider this a very important reason to invest and grow wealth.

Investment attitudes different based on race

Investment attitudes and behaviors differ between blacks and whites. Blacks and Hispanics invest less money, and their investments are in safer yet low-returning assets, making their wealth levels about 90 percent lower than the wealth levels of median whites, even when their level of income is only 40 percent lower. This has an effect on the growth of overall wealth.

But wait, there’s more!

In addition, while blacks always considered their homes to be their “best overall investment,” that, too, is changing, falling from 61 percent in 2004 to its current level of 37 percent. How they view stock investing, however, is changing in the opposite direction. In 2004, only 28 percent of blacks felt that stocks were their best overall investment. But in the recent survey, that number increased to 41 percent.

What all of this may point to is closing the gap in wealth inequality between black and white Americans as the upward trend for more black investors in the stock market continues.

Would you like to join an investment group? Click here.
For more details about the study, visit www.arielinvestments.com/content/view/3006/1850/

 

Posted on December 6, 2017 By Staff With 1 comment

FIRST BLACK-OWNED REAL ESTATE CROWD INVESTING COMPANY IS SHOWING EVERYONE HOW TO BUY BACK THE BLOCK; BLACK COMMUNITY IS EXCITED

Crowdfund Your Way to the Top!

Little drops of water can run into great pools, and there is power in numbers and these form the premise of crowdinvesting. Recall those charity dinners where lots of money is realized for a good cause because loads of different individuals or organizations contributed their widow’s mite to the coffer? A similar scenario plays out in crowdinvesting. The good part is that the whole process is regulated and backed by laws to protect all the players.

Now, even though crowdinvesting, especially real estate crowdinvesting is a relatively young venture, it has gained many grounds in that short period. Why do you think that is the case? It offers the average person the opportunity to own properties that they would not have been able to hold or sell otherwise. A few years back, you hardly find individuals venturing into real estate, except, of course, the bourgeoisie and the corporate multimillion enterprises. Things have changed since then.

You can make more money, in the long run of course. You get to invest and contribute positively towards the betterment of the lives of numerous people. You would be helping to keep the dream of shelter for ‘all,’ a reality. You would have done something you and your future generation would be proud of for years to come. You can beat your chest in years to come and say ‘yes, I was here,’ in addition to making money.

Although it sounds risky, and it probably is, but come on, what worthy undertaking in life is not fraught with risks? However, as I mentioned previously, the laws and regulators are there to guide and protect you. Besides, BuyTheBlock.com wants to be around in this business for years to come, leading investors like you to greatness.

Own The Block

The real estate investors on BuyTheBlock.com are called BlockVestors, apt right? I love the title myself.

BlockVestors can invest as little as $100 in equity or debt securities. You or anyone else can participate, and you do not need to be accredited.

You pay nothing to register as a BlockVestor. All you need do is register on the website, browse, review any of the available offers, get whatever information you need about the offer with a click, and sign any agreement electronically. Then you purchase your shares whenever it suits you. Social media can be used to publicize the properties you are buying, owning or selling. Very simple right?

Oh, what if you change your mind? There is room for a refund so far as you do that 48 hours before the offer closes. Oh, I almost forgot this tiny piece of information, your returns! This is distributed to all the BlockVestors within the specified period, depending on whether the investment is equity or debt.

Sell The Blocks

You know, there is this freedom associated with Buy The Block kind of crowdinvesting. Another interesting point you should know is that you have the opportunity of becoming a Block Developer at Buy The Block. As such, you can raise $1.07 million for any real estate project and or business that includes real estate over a year period via Buy The Block.

Simple step too, create an online account, provide the property information, followed by some paper works, then after the due diligence protocols and approval you are on your way to becoming a Developer on Buy the Block. Afterwards, you publicize, notify your group of BlockVestors who in turn can invest once the property becomes open for investment.

The whole process is something you can begin once you make up your mind, it does not take much to create your online profile or start block offer.

Offer Categories

Variety is the spice of life. Take a look at the various categories available on Buy The Block.

  • Office category
  • Retail category
  • Industrial category
  • Multi-family residential category and
  • Single-family residential category

No matter your tastes and interests, you are covered. These types, along with the latest offers are beautifully and proudly displayed on BuyTheBlock.com so you can quickly make the right choices.

Why not take that leap of faith? You have nothing to lose really. You can carry out your research on all the other parties involved just to be sure you are at the right place with the proper investment.

Please visit www.buytheblock.com to get all your burning questions answered.

Knowledge is power. Whatever you decide, Buy the Block will work with you every step of the way. If you encounter any problem along the way, they are only a click away. You can also email or call customer care representatives.

Finally, be sure to invest and invest wisely to secure your future and that of many others.

BUY THE BLOCK  A SPACE TO INVEST IN REAL ESTATE WITH YOUR PEERS

Posted on November 22, 2017 By Staff With 0 comments

The #1 Financial Principle YOU MUST KNOW

The #1 Financial Principle YOU MUST KNOW

 

Financial literacy is not just about knowing how to save your money.

Anybody can do that.

Financial literacy is about knowing how to — USE money.

Look, we know that the average White family in the U.S. has 13 times more wealth than the average Black family1 with Whites at $144,200 compared with Blacks at $11,200.

The income of the average educated Black income is $43,300. For Whites, its, $71,300.

Do not be confused by the difference in wealth and income.

Wealth is the total sum of your assets (things you own with value i.e. houses, businesses, stocks) MINUS your total debt.

Annual Income is merely the amount of money you make in a year.

Of course, most of that wealth gap can be attributed to historical racial oppression:

The long history of Black exclusion by Whites from homeownership2, education3, and jobs4 worked to keep Black folks from generating and maintaining wealth.

But you knew the wealth gap existed before you read this.

That’s not why I’m here.

I’m here to tell you that real financial literacy is about knowing how to — USE money & how to THINK with money. It’s using your money like little soldiers, sending your dollars out on a mission to recruit and capture more dollars.

Let me let you in on an often forgotten secret…

Black people save.

Black people are responsible.

Black people are tremendously intelligent.

The problem is not that we don’t know how to save money or that we only care about Jordans’.

The problem is that saving is not enough.

Saving is only one aspect of financial literacy.

It’s like you’re learning to read and write again- you finally learn where the Period goes in the sentence…Good. But there are key principles that you still need to know in order to actually become literate.

I want to share with you the # 1 key financial principle that you must know. It’s time to learn the rules of money. I’m so grateful someone shared the game with me back when I thought that if I just play by the rules, get my Master’s degree, then I’ll be alright.

SMH.

Back when I didn’t understand the Rules of Money, I found myself standing in the EBT line like so many of our people. I was demoralized… I mean, I never went to jail, I got an education, a Master’s, networked, treated people nicely….

 

I never knew The System was not built to reward Black people for being educated and hardworking. The system was built for people who know and play well by the Rules of Money.

 

Like it or not.

 

That’s why I’m sharing this with you.

Still though, I hear too many people talking about how Black folks will never be able to overcome the wealth gap, how Whites will destroy whatever Black people build, or how there is nothing Black people can do to live better if government does not intervene. It’s infuriating to me.

The problem: These naysayers are often right.

However, this Does Not Mean that Black people should be doing NOTHING but marching.

Why? Because there ARE ways to GENERATE WEALTH for the average Black family if we understand the Rules of Money.

White folks are not stopping you from reading this. They will not stop you from investing, either.

You have tremendous Power.

If you start with the #1 financial principle, you can enhance what you know and generate wealth for yourself and our community.

The #1 financial principle I want to share with you is: LEVERAGE.

Let me ask you a question:

I want you to really imagine that debt collectors are knocking down your door, you’ve been stressing for months, your debts fall into default mode. You can’t sleep.

Let’s say your total debt is $60,000 (student loans, credit cards) & your total annual expenses are $40,000. You’re having a hard time finding work.

If you had $60,000 dollars in debt and you were given $100,000 to use any way you want, how would you spend the money?

Would you pay the $60,000 debt, then invest the rest in a business?

Bad Idea.

This decision shows a lack of understanding of financial principle #1- LEVERAGE.

Here’s why:

If you completely pay off the debt right now, you just lost $60,000 and now only have $40,000 to work with.

$40,000 in free money sounds great don’t it? Especially to someone who couldn’t sleep only nights before because of crushing debt.

However, there is a bigger picture at work.

Financial Leverage= using a small amount of money to acquire assets that generate larger amounts of money.

You are going to purchase an ASSET. Assets are things that make you money. For example, when you purchase a stock, every year that stock will pay you just for owning it in the form of interest and dividends. This is what makes the stock valuable.

After you purchase the asset, you are going to make that asset pay off your debt for you.

Here’s What You Do With The $100K:

First, pay down your debt to the point where it falls out of default. THEN STOP. Let’s say this requires $10K.

You will keep up monthly payments so that you are slowly paying down your debt. Your monthly payments on this loan are $800.

Now you have $90K left. You are about to create a debt plan that applies LEVERAGE.

With the $90K, you go to a bank and finance a rental property. You will put 20% down on a property in a great, affordable location. The property cost $200K.

20% of 200K means that you will put down $40K to purchase the home. You’ve done your research and see that the mortgage payment plus all expenses is $950 (assuming a 3.5% interest on the mortgage).

You also know that you can rent out this property for $1950 a month.

This will create a profit of $1000 each month.

That means that you just used $40K to acquire a $200K asset. You generate $1000 each month off of the asset ($1950 rent-$950 you owe to the bank for the mortgage).

You use this $1000 a month to pay down your $800 monthly debt in credit cards/student loans. This is applying LEVERAGE.

Think about it- If it cost you $800 a month to pay down your $50K credit card and student loan debt, that means you will pay off the debt in 5.2 years.

Now how long will people be renting your house?

You will still be able to rent out your property even after your debt is paid off.

This means you have an asset consistently working for you even after it pays down your credit and student loans debts.

This is applying Leverage- you have purchased an asset that consistently generates money for you and you didn’t have to spend a lot to do it.

You spent $10K to get out of default, $40K to finance a property. You still have $50K left to invest in another property, stock, business, or seed through crowd-sourcing to your community.

If you would have paid off the $60K right away, you would only have $40K left, and no assets that are making you money. You would be in a financially worse position.

Much better than just paying down ALL your debt outright.

Right now, you’re thinking- “That’s smooth and all, but no one is about to give me $100K”.

Fair enough.

The point is for you to get busy thinking about how you can LEVERAGE the money you do have in order to improve your future financial position.

Here’s what you can do today:

Purchase some stock– From the privacy of your own home, you can put money in the S&P 500 ETF (purchase thru Vanguard or any online trading platform). Interest is around 7%. That means that every 10.2 years, your money will double. So if you only put $1K in today AND NEVER PUT ANY MORE MONEY IN, in 10 years (on average), that $1K will turn into $2K.

However, if you put $1K in EVERY Year for 10 years consecutively, you will have $14,783. At the end of another 10 years, $43,865.18, if you continue for another 10 years, $101,073.05. This keeps on going.

In a total of 30 years, you will have generated $100K.

Keep in mind that only $30K is money you put in directly- $70K is pure earned compounded interest.

Let me put it another way:

At the end of 30 years…

you would have generated more than $100,000…

for less than $2.80 a day…

That’s using rule #1- Financial LEVERAGE in order to create large sums of money with very few dollars. Your money is working like little soldiers for you now.

Now, maybe some of you are saying- “I ain’t got 30 years to wait.”

First, you don’t need 30 years. Imagine if you could put $10K into the market instead of just $1K.

Or…

Imagine if you began crowd-sourcing to raise money directly for your business today.

Or…

Imagine doing both. Having a long-term strategy of disciplined investment in the stock market and a short-term strategy of starting your own business to generate income.

For people who think that Time is STILL a problem…

I’m sorry, but it’s not really about you.

Never invest in the market just for yourself.

If you have children, in 30 years, they may be able to use $100K to fund real estate, businesses, and invest in stocks.

Invest NOW for THEM.

The wealth gap between Blacks and Whites is staggering. This will likely remain the case.

That does not mean that you are powerless to enhance your financial future. If you understand the #1 financial principle- you can take steps to build Generational Wealth today.

We Black folks are good at doing a lot with a little.

Luckily, the rules of money DEMAND that you learn to do a lot with a little…

Sounds like you already got a leg up. 

 

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