Updated: Sep 20
A financial call to action by Sid Morrison Washington also published in Harlem World Magazine
Myth - Money is not the root of all evil.
Money goes by many names such as feathers, bones, seashells, cloth, notes, greenbacks, stocks, bonds, gold, silver, and many more. But what exactly is it? Often referred to as currency, money can be seen as a form of energy or current, as M’Bwebe Aja Ishangi suggests in his book - A Pot To Piss In: Intergenerational Wealth Planning for Black People. Money has no fixed destination and is attracted to those who respect the freedom and control it brings. It holds no morals, ethics, or intention to harm or control society. Instead, money holds spiritual essence and power, given intrinsic value by us.
As Hosea 4:6 states, "People perish for lack of knowledge." Rather than sharing my opinion on why we are in our current financial situation, I want to offer possible solutions by sharing information about how money works. There's no better time to start than now, and when you hear this new information, you'll want to start thinking differently and taking action.
The first thing I learned about money is that if you're not financially independent, you must change the way you think about money immediately. To break down what I've learned about money, let's start with some questions:
1. What is most important financially to you right now?
2. What do you want from life?
3. What is your financial independence number (FIN)?
4. What are the two types of income?
5. What is the rate of inflation?
6. What rate is your money growing?
7. What is credit?
8. How soon will you act?
Upon reflecting on the questions I posed, I realized I needed to obtain answers. To save you time, I have included various sources in this article for your convenience. Once I found the answers, I began implementing them and sharing them with my family. My first step was to create simple life goals, which are action steps that can be integrated into your conversations with family and friends:
1. Aim to own at least one property, which can be passed down through generations by placing it in an irrevocable trust. This is particularly important given the historically low levels of black home ownership.
2. Create future sources of income, such as a 401(k), IRA, or a business that generates residual or passive income.
3. Increase your earning potential by automating sales and replicating successful strategies.
4. Establish a trust to protect assets, ensuring that every tangible asset is owned by the trust, with the grantor controlling it and designating trustees and beneficiaries. Financial education is crucial for all beneficiaries to secure a lasting legacy.
While these goals may seem daunting at first, remember that learning is a process. This article contains ample resources to help you get started, and I am available to provide further guidance (calendly.com/moorwashington). Keep in mind that change is necessary for growth and development, and may require patience, conflict resolution skills, and adaptability.
When it comes to income, it is important to pursue activities that bring you joy and generate passive income. By starting early, you can establish multiple streams of passive income for an extended period, resulting in a larger financial independence number. This number reflects your freedom, with more zeros equating to greater independence. While there is no magic formula, the key is understanding how money works. There exists a significant gap between how much we earn and how much we know, but by working to generate passive income faster, you can bridge that gap.
Entertainers and athletes may not necessarily understand the time value of money, but they practice the principle of making money faster daily. You don't need to be an entertainer or athlete to achieve financial independence, but you must grasp the fundamental principles of money management. While employee savings plans such as pensions and 401(k)s are effective ways to make money work for you, keep in mind that you must first work for the money for 20-30 years. As someone who has gone through this process for over 50 years, I can attest to the importance of gaining new knowledge and applying it. I am not an expert on this topic, but a lifelong learner who is passionate about sharing my knowledge of how money works. Remember: "Learn about a thing, learn how to do the thing then do the thing!" - Myron Golden. The rapid pace at which I am acquiring knowledge about money management is invigorating, and my passion for this subject is growing stronger with each passing day. Understanding the mechanics of how money works is a gateway to freedom for me, my family and friends, and I am determined to continue expanding my understanding in this area.
“Umi Says - I want my people to be free, to be free, to be free!” - Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def
How does your money work -
As you work hard to achieve your goals in life, it's important to prioritize your own benefit first. Your unique labor is something that only you can produce, so it's only fair that you reap the rewards before anyone else. A principle that I've encountered in various books over the years is that 10% of your earnings should go directly to you - this is not a suggestion, but a fundamental principle for making your money work for you. However, before you decide where to put that 10%, it's crucial to have an understanding of compound interest. “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.” - Albert Einstein
In the interest of word count here is a great article on Compound interest in Forbes magazine online - Click here!
Two Types of income: Passive Income vs. Active Income
Passive income refers to money earned with little or no effort, whereas earning active income necessitates a significant amount of time and energy. While the former does not require physical or active involvement to generate an income, material participation is a must in the latter case. After working most of my life and understanding this, passive income is the subject of my desire. The plan is to create multiple streams of passive income, invest the profits, rinse and repeat.
Here are a few terms to learn, they will help you understand how money works:
The Rule of 72
Rate of Return
Time Value of Money
Wills and Trusts
The Rule of 72 is a useful mathematical tool in financial planning that estimates the time it will take for an investment portfolio to double in value, assuming a fixed rate of return (ROR). This concept is particularly relevant for retirees and active savers who rely on fixed-rate investments as the primary source of returns from their savings. Understanding the Rule of 72 is also helpful for calculating interest on debts such as mortgages, car loans, and credit cards, as it can show you how much interest will accumulate over time and how long it will take to double the amount owed.
The Time Value of Money (TVM) refers to the idea that money available immediately is worth more than the same amount worth some time in the future. This is because the money can earn interest, hence is worth more the earlier that it is received. For example, if interest rates were 5%, then $100 that is invested today will become $105 in a year.
Inflation shows up differently depending on your business type, but it can affect everything from your supply chain to the discretionary spending of some of your most loyal customers. A manufacturer, for example, might be dealing with upstream issues related to the price of lumber, while a furniture store may be feeling the downstream costs of free delivery.
Here’s your how money works, homework -
Start by expanding your knowledge by exploring the cited sources and adding new vocabulary to your lexicon. Begin your financial journey by determining your FIN and working towards passive income. Applying these concepts in your daily life is essential to understanding and mastering them. Teach your children about money early on to set them up for success. The present moment is where we establish habits and prepare for our future. My hope is that we create positive patterns that become second nature and ultimately benefit us greatly. Be innovative in finding ways to combat inflation and remember that compound interest can be a powerful ally.
“Nothing beats a try, better than a failure!”, “If we’re not failing, we’re not trying!” - Harlem sayings
It is important to note that financial outcomes are often influenced by a wide range of factors, including individual choices and behaviors, market trends, economic conditions, and other unforeseeable events. To improve financial outcomes, individuals can take steps to increase their financial literacy, save and invest wisely, and make informed decisions about their financial goals and priorities. Seeking the guidance of a financial advisor may also be helpful in achieving financial stability and success.
Strive to improve each day, learning and applying something new whenever possible. Recognize that you are intimately connected to every cell in your body, and that you hold the power to shape your own destiny. You are the placebo - belief can be a powerful tool in creating positive change. By understanding both your own nature and the nature of money, you can move closer to true freedom. It is our responsibility to establish a legacy of trust and wealth creation that will benefit future generations. Family businesses often hold the greatest longevity and wealth, so starting with your own family can be an effective way to build a lasting legacy. For more information on how to better understand money and achieve financial success, visit https://livemore.net/sidwashington.
Sid Morrison Washington
“African American Homeownership Falls to 50-year Low - National Association of Real Estate Brokers.” NAREB, 2022, https://www.nareb.com/african-american-homeownership-falls-50-year-low/. Accessed 4 February 2023.
FERNANDO, JASON. “Time Value of Money Explained with Formula and Examples.” Investopedia, 28 September 2022, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/timevalueofmoney.asp. Accessed 3 February 2023.
Golden, Myron. B.O.S.S. Moves: Business Mastery Secrets from a Million Dollar Round Table. Wesley Chapel, Skillionaire Enterprises LLC, 2021. https://bit.ly/bossmovesbook-2
“How to stay grounded in times of inflation.” Chase, 10 August 2022, https://www.chase.com/business/knowledge-center/manage/inflation?jp_cmp=bb/105693/ema/ENGNL020223B/Body_Textlink_4. Accessed 13 February 2023.
Ishangi, M'Bwebe Aja. A Pot To Piss In: Intergenerational Wealth Planning for Black People. New York, M'Bwebe Aja Ishangi, 2020. http://www.cryptowokemovement.com/
Moneymow.com. “How To Calculate Your Financial Independence Number.” Moneymow, 30 June 2022, https://www.moneymow.com/calculate-financial-independence-number/. Accessed 2 February 2023.
Porteous, Chris. “The Rule of 72 Explained: How Long Will it Take to Double your Savings?” Entrepreneur, 11 February 2023, https://www.entrepreneur.com/finance/the-rule-of-72-explained-how-long-will-it-take-to-double/444860. Accessed 12 February 2023.
Vaidya, Dheeraj. “Passive Income vs Active Income - Top Differences with Infographics.” WallStreetMojo, 2023, https://www.wallstreetmojo.com/passive-income-vs-active-income/. Accessed 3 February 2023.
“WHAT WE DO AND WHY.” Primerica, 10 August 2022, https://primerica.com/morrisonwashington. Accessed 5 February 2023.
Sid Morrison Washington's article titled "The Benjamins, The Jones and You!" is a call to action to take control of your financial future. Morrison explains that money is a form of energy or current, with no fixed destination, and is attracted to those who respect the freedom and control it brings. Morrison urges readers to learn how money works, understand inflation, and identify their financial independence number (FIN). He suggests creating simple life goals, such as owning property, creating future sources of income, and increasing earning potential by automating sales and replicating successful strategies. Morrison stresses the importance of pursuing activities that bring joy and generate passive income. He explains the two types of income - passive and active income - and emphasizes the benefits of compound interest. Morrison believes that understanding the mechanics of how money works is a gateway to freedom, and encourages readers to learn, apply and do, to achieve financial independence.