Are you interested in investing your money? Do you want to learn the ins and outs of the stock market? Maconomics star Ro$ Mac is all about his coin and doesn't mind sharing his knowledge either. Not only is he the first Wall Street rapper but his weekly segment on Revolt TV has really set the bar for what it means to pour back into the black community. Mac secures the bag, but also makes sure to pay it forward by spearheading a message of black wealth and providing the keys to the kingdom through financial literacy on social media.
Together, money and knowledge is true power and Mac's platform is proof of that fact. His videos are short, direct, and most importantly informative when it comes to the dos and the don'ts of all things investing. Mac is advocating for breaking generational curses and building generational wealth one post at a time. Recently, xoNecole had the privilege of chopping it up with the financial expert about Maconomics, the stock market, and why black wealth matters.
xoNecole: How did you make the transition from working on Wall Street to becoming a Wall Street Rapper?
Ro$$ Mac: When it came to making a transition, it wasn't that I had to choose one or the other which I was extremely grateful for. I was able to balance both roles and it was a blessing. I was able to hear myself on the radio on my way to work on Wall Street. To be honest, when I first started working on Wall Street while making music, I was very self-conscious about my co-workers knowing about the other side of me. Being a black person working in corporate America, you are very conscious of how you are perceived. Being a rapper was not how I wanted to be perceived.
What inspired you to become so well-versed with the stock market?
What truly inspired me was when I moved back home to Chicago and I was still working in finance at the time. After reconnecting and interacting with my homies that I grew up with, I realized there was a vast difference where people were in their lives based on exposure. I was considering how I could give back to my community in a dope way while simultaneously still being myself. I created Maconomics to bring Wall Street to the main street. I wanted to drop the same gems that I've been exposed to with the same people that come from where I come from. If someone is my brother, they don't necessarily have to travel the same path that I've traveled to benefit from the knowledge that I have. Life for me is about passing on the knowledge and not being selfish with it.
"I created Maconomics to bring Wall Street to the main street. I wanted to drop the same gems that I've been exposed to with the same people that come from where I come from. If someone is my brother, they don't necessarily have to travel the same path that I've traveled to benefit from the knowledge that I have. Life for me is about passing on the knowledge and not being selfish with it."
At what age did you invest in your first stock?
I was 18 and in college when I first invested in the stock market. I saw a kid trading stocks in one of my classes. I asked my economics professor what would be a good stock to invest in and she told me that no matter what, people will always need their utilities. I ended up buying G.E. for 7 bucks and it didn't really make me any money but it was a good start.
What can people expect to learn from your show 'Maconomics'?
People can expect to learn financial literacy for black culture. Maconomics allows people to learn about themselves by me addressing questions that people are too afraid or shy to discuss. Black people don't like discussing finances which are taboo in certain communities. Maconomics is a platform to bring financial literacy with a twist. I'm able to make people laugh while also educating and informing you. I'm able to give you the facts and tell you what other communities are doing and why they are richer. Maconomics is all about financial literacy and bringing it to my audience in both a comedic and entertaining way so that it will stick with you and be easy to digest.
You have started the campaign “Black Wealth Matters”. How has that decision contributed to your life and others? What does black wealth mean to you?
Black wealth is the solution to racial injustices. Living in a capitalist society, those without capital tend not to have any power. The moment that black people have more access to attaining wealth and capital, and better knowledge about getting it and keeping it. I believe from a social justice standpoint we will get a lot further in life by expanding our financial literacy. Black wealth has been kept from us in a very systematic and intentional way. When you look at what happened on Black Wall Street, redlining, and bank loans. Everything that was done in the past was done with great intent. The average black household net worth is less than 10 times of a white family. There are a lot of things that will make it right and black wealth is one of them. Black wealth is the equalizer and will take us a lot further in life.
"Black wealth has been kept from us in a very systematic and intentional way. Everything that was done in the past was done with great intent. The average black household net worth is less than 10 times of a white family. There are a lot of things that will make it right and black wealth is one of them. Black wealth is the equalizer and will take us a lot further in life."
What are some of the biggest mistakes that you have made financially?
I don't have too many financial mistakes but I have made bad investments. My biggest mistake would be the lost revenue that I missed from not investing in certain stocks.
What is the biggest misconception about investing in stocks and finances overall?
The biggest misconception is thinking that you need to be rich to start investing. You can literally start investing with $25-$50. The other misconception is that you have to be a rocket scientist to invest and that saving money is enough. All you need to do is buy an index, the S&P 500, or Nasdaq and over the long haul, you can make about 10% annually. People need to understand that saving money is not enough considering the power of inflation. Money is losing its value every year. You need to be investing your money as well.
"You can literally start investing with $25-$50. The other misconception is that you have to be a rocket scientist to invest and that saving money is enough. All you need to do is buy an index, the S&P 500, or Nasdaq and over the long haul, you can make about 10% annually. People need to understand that saving money is not enough considering the power of inflation."
What do you have to say to people of color that have a strong interest in breaking generational curses and building generational wealth?
Key practices when it comes to building generational wealth is starting now and being unselfish when it comes to thinking about the next generation. It can just be helping your kids not graduate with thousands of dollars in debt. Paying $20 a month for some type of life insurance policy in order to potentially leave your children $500,000-$1 million. Or you can open a 529 plan to invest in the stock market so that you will be investing in the stock market and your money will be growing tax-free. Try owning some type of real estate to pass to the next generation. There are so many ways to build generational wealth, you just have to get started.
It’s a fact that most Americans aren’t saving and live paycheck to paycheck, how do you advise someone who doesn’t prioritize savings to start doing so and build their emergency fund? What’s your golden rule when it comes to emergency funds?
Everyone should have at least 6 months worth of emergency funds. Start treating savings like it's a bill. Don't just pay your bills without paying yourself first. Automation makes it easier to save. Before you have the opportunity to spend that money, it's already set aside and you're able to invest in your retirement without even thinking.
Let’s say, we want to retire as millionaires, what are some seeds we could be planting now to ensure that we reap the fruits of our labor when we’re ready to retire?
If you want to retire a millionaire, practice investing every month. Investing $300 every month in an equity portfolio that will get you on average 8-10% which is a million dollars in 30 years. Making investing easy and not hard by automation. Try to invest a few hundred dollars every month. Find power through the power of compounded interest. Interest on interest is equivalent to racks on racks.
"Find power through the power of compounded interest. Interest on interest is equivalent to racks on racks."
With this being a season of unemployment in epic proportions and a recession looming, answer this important question: should you be dating while broke?
Dating while broke is very crucial. I don't think you should do anything beyond your means. Dating while broke is the same as clubbing while broke. Why would you be in the club spending money you don't have? I believe you can date on your way to being financially free but I don't think you need to incur unnecessary debt while dating. Date within your own budget and means. You can date for free. You have to be honest with the person you are dating. Don't lose track of your financial goals because you are trying to impress someone. The issue is when people don't stick to their financial plan. It's all about having a conversation about your dating expectations.
For more of Ross, follow him on Instagram and catch him on Revolt TV's Maconomics.
Featured image courtesy of Ro$ Mac
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Thinking About Hiring A Life Coach? Read This Before You Do.
As a life coach myself, I’m not shocked in the least that it is currently a market that is going totally off the rails as far as evolution and demand are concerned. For instance, over the past few years, the industry has reportedly grown over 33 percent as more individuals are looking for other ways to seek mental health solutions and/or achieve various goals in life.
Here’s the thing, though — even though life coaching is a billion-dollar industry, did you know that there are currently only 23,000 certified coaches in the United States (and only 71,000 in the world)? How is that possible? For one thing, it’s one field that currently isn’t regulated (although that’s about to change), which is why you see people everywhere — and I do mean everywhere — saying that they are a life coach even if they are more like a media personality, an influencer, a public speaker or someone who just wants to sound like they are an authority on something (even if they technically aren’t).
That’s why I thought it would be important — critical even — to share with you what it means to be a life coach and how it could benefit you to work with one. Because if you’ve been giving hiring one some serious consideration as of late, you need to make sure that you know just what you’re getting into and if it’s actually a wise investment (for you personally).
What’s the Difference Between a Life Coach and a Therapist?
I won’t lie to you — this first question really is its own article which is why I provided you with the handy chart (above). However, if I were to summarize things, I would say that if you want someone who will help you to dive into your past in order to figure out layers of “whys” in your life, a therapist is who you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you want someone who is trained in how to ask the kind of questions that will assist you in tapping into what you need to do in the present as it directly relates to your future, a life coach can make that happen.
In fact, one of the things that a life coach is taught while getting certified (and credentialed if they decide to pursue that as well) is that when it comes to the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” list of questions, the one that they actually are supposed to avoid (as much as possible) IS the “why.” Why? Because, again, the past is not their job; the present is.
A better way to explain this is, say you want to figure out why you keep dating the same kind of men who only prove to be unhealthy for you. If it’s been years of the same pattern, you should probably see a therapist. On the other hand, if you’re pretty self-aware of your cycle and you’re basically needing some assistance on receiving some ah-ha moments that can help you to put a plan together to date differently in the future, this is where a life coach can help you out.
My opinion? If you know that you need to unpack your past and you want to be proactive about your present and future, it can’t hurt to see a therapist and life coach at the same time, especially since, if a life coach is good at their job, you shouldn’t need to see them for years on end anyway. Solid ones can help you to get the insight that you need, typically after just a few sessions (like maybe 5-7), so that you can feel confident in making future decisions on your own. Or you can look for a hybrid of a therapist and life coach, which is slowly yet surely becoming a popular phenomenon in the world of mental health as well.
How Can a Life Coach Benefit You?
A married couple who I’ve just started working with was just about at their wit’s end before getting referred to me by another client of mine. They’ve actually seen several therapists, yet they feel like it’s been a complete waste of their time and money because pretty much all those people did was stare at them with a notepad and take their coins.
Yeah, it really is another article for another time, how there are some licensed therapists who ain’t really worth a damn (#sorrynotsorry). Hell, some of them are ranting on TikTok as we speak. SMDH. That’s why you should never assume that just because someone has letters behind their name that they will automatically be good at their job. A therapist/client relationship is a serious one and a big investment mentally, emotionally, and financially on your end, so definitely make sure to vet a potential therapistthoroughly before officially signing on to work with them (a therapist’s blog that has a list of 22 good questions that you should ask prospective therapists is located here).
As far as the new couple goes, we’ve been thriving, in part, because my knowledge of marriage has given them some new things to think about. Also, since I’m not the most conventional coach on the planet (which is kind of an understatement), they like that I’m not comfortable with sessions ending without them getting some real clarity and having some short-term goals to work on. More than anything, though, what they have told me is they appreciate how much more confident they feel about their relationship since coming to my sessions.
And why is that? Because it’s a wise person who once said that wisdom lies not so much in having the right answers but in being asked the right questions. And why is that? Because questions help you to slow down and think. Questions help you to gain more internal clarity. Questions take the emphasis off of the person you hired (a lot of mental health professionals will talk more than listen, which can sometimes be super counterproductive) and back onto yourself. Questions can urge you to tap deeper into your curious, creative, and even organized sides of being. Questions can reveal to you the answers that you didn’t even know you had. And a life coach (a properly trained one) can help you to learn how to see all of this by asking you the right — meaning most beneficial — questions.
I mean, just think about it. While there is something to be said for seeing a professional who will just listen to you (if that’s what you’re looking for) and/or can provide you with some solid tips and tools, think about how good you’ll feel after having a session with someone who helped you to see that you oftentimes have, just what you’re looking for, within yourself? It’s all about working with someone who knows how to guide you along the way — and that’s just what a life coach does (or should be doing).
Aside from that, life coaches can:
- Help you to set and reach goals
- Get you to understand what your current needs are
- Support you in becoming a more effective communicator
- Offer up a different perspective on matters
- Boost your self-esteem
- Reframe your negative thought patterns
- Reduce your stress levels and provide some mental and emotional stability
Yep, they can be bomb on a few different levels…as you can see.
What Are Some Questions You Should Ask Before Officially Hiring a Life Coach?
Did you notice how on the chart above the first question, it said that life coaches don’t need to be certified or credentialed (which is actually similar to doulas, although some formal training in both fields is a good idea)? While that is indeed true, word on the street is that fact will be changing over the next few years. The reality is that as life coaches are growing in popularity (and let’s be real, they are competing strongly with therapists and counselors), many in the mental health field are standing up and saying that they should be required to have some sort of professional training. Whether their reasons are rooted in jealousy, pettiness, or accountability, this is where we are now, and honestly, there are some benefits to the soon-to-be mandate becoming the case.
Again, because life coaching is still not regulated en masse, anyone with an opinion and a website can call themselves a life coach. And while I won’t name no names (the list is quite frankly too long at this point anyway), a lot of these people aren’t coaches at all. How do I know? Because they don’t do what I just shared that life coaches are supposed to do — ask you the questions that will empower you to find your own answers (in a nutshell).
That’s why, before just paying for a life coaching seminar from someone who offers them on YouTube or TikTok or even hiring someone who was referred to you by someone else, be prepared to ask the following questions:
Are you certified and/or credentialed through an ICF-accredited school? ICF stands for the International Coaching Federation. It’s where the serious life coaches go to get qualified. Although you can find some outstanding coaches who didn’t go through ICF, if you do work with someone who did, you can be confident that they know what a life coach is actually supposed to do and that they’ve been trained in exactly how to do it.
How long have you been working as a life coach? Even if they aren’t certified or credentialed, it helps to work with someone who has some experience underneath their belt. Try not to just take their word for it, either. Ask them if they have some referrals who would be willing to personally vouch for them.
What is your niche? Although a niche is not necessary, it can be beneficial to work with someone who has a “specialty.” For instance, I study marriage on a daily basis, like someone is paying me a million dollars annually to do it, and that has been the case since my 20s. So yeah, my niche is marriage with a subset of dating and relationships, first and foremost. At this point, even though I’ve never been married before (half of all marriages end in divorce, so don’t automatically assume that married folks are full of marriage wisdom just because they’re married…feel me?), there are husbands and wives who will send couples my way because they know how engrossed into the topic of marriage (including intel, stats, books, podcasts, studies, etc.) that I am. Can I also “life coach someone” into making a decision about their finances? Sure, because, again, it’s about knowing what kind of questions to ask. Yet am I better at helping folks with their marriage? Hands down, because it is my “lane.”
Do we have to work together in an office, or are there other options? Most of my clients, we meet by phone. Mostly it’s because many of them are out of town; however, even with the ones who live in my city, I find that a phone call takes some of the pressure off when it comes to them not being stared down for an hour or more at a time. Either way, ask a potential life coach what session options they offer, including in-person, phone, or video chatting (like a Zoom meeting). Sometimes the convenience of chatting from home can make the experience well worth your while (even more so).
Do you plan on getting certified/credentialed at some point? I live in Music City (the real ones know where that is), and so, since Tennessee is leading the charge in people having some formal/professional training, that’s a part of the reason why, even with almost 20 years of experience in working with married couples (and even getting referrals from therapists and pastors), I decided to recently get certified/credentialed as a holistic life coach and trauma recovery coach as well (I will be certified in both by May and credentialed by late fall).
However, if you are working with someone who isn’t certified or credentialed and has no plans on becoming that way, it can’t hurt to ask why. Again, there are some folks who are great without the training — yet knowing the method to their madness can prove to be highly beneficial.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
Personally, I don’t charge as much as I should. I know it. My instructors say it. Other coaches in my life berate me about it. I’ve honestly heard it enough that it’ll probably change by the end of the year. And while I won’t put my own rates on blast (email me at email@example.com if you’re curious/interested), what I will say is the current going rate for life coaches typically averages somewhere between $75-200/hr.
Usually, what I will do is charge half of that amount for the first session to see if a potential client and myself would be a good fit but different life coaches approach the initial meeting in a variety of ways. Just make sure that you ask all of the questions that will make you feel comfortable about moving forward, and don’t feel bad about “interviewing” several before making a final decision.
How Long Should Working with a Life Coach Last?
Last point. Remember how I said towards the top of this article that life coaching tends to be a shorter-term type of (professional) relationship? Because the ultimate goal of life coaching is to help you to find the answers within yourself that you need for your current and/or future decisions, oftentimes, you may not need more than a few sessions.
On the other hand, some life coaches will assess your situation (it’s normal for them to either give you an intake form) and then recommend a three, six, or 12-month commitment. Bottom line, life coaching really shouldn’t require a super long dynamic — unless you, as the client, would like for it to be that way (for instance, if you have several different things that you would like to be assisted with/supported in).
Hopefully, I was able to provide you with some insights into the world of life coaching so that you now have a better understanding of what one is and how one could serve you. Plus, now you know that whenever you hear someone call them a coach, you have a proper guideline to go by.
Even though I happen to be one (which does make me a lil’ bit biased), I think everyone could benefit from seeing a life coach at least a couple of times in their lifetime. After all, anything that encourages you to think for yourself in ways that you never had before is definitely not time or money wasted. Straight up.
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Featured image by Luis Alvarez/Getty Images