Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they spend it.
Lately, there's been a lot of chatter around Forex and cryptocurrency, but do we really know what it is or how to use it? Thankfully, Umanagement Public Relations' lead publicist Milan Mobley is a business coach, Forex trader, and investor willing to dispel any myths about the system for us. Though the D.C. native is well-known for her work as a full-time entertainment and corporate publicist, she has developed a passion for teaching millennials how to build generational wealth and deeper understanding of multiple streams of income. "I entered the Forex market almost three months ago, my girlfriend Che` introduced me to it. She's been in this space for a few years now. She ended up taking a break to focus on her career full-time, but she never lost touch," she told xoNecole.
During the pandemic, Milan's business slowed down and she began to fall into a depression due to the unexpected pivot of her business thanks to COVID-19. From there, her friend began to show her the ropes and through following by example, Milan is now developing a steady cash flow and effortlessly recouping from any financial loss she may have suffered. "Now I am still growing to be a master of the art but it is a skill that I am forever grateful for. It changed my life when life was changing the most."
Courtesy of Milan Mobley
Now with a current ranking of P1000, meaning she's been able to mentor and educate over 31 new investors, Milan is able to pay the education forward by passing along any and all information that was once given to her by her partner Che. "I made this choice based on Che`. Her mentorship and guidance made me the trader I am today, and allowed me to be educated in a space I was unfamiliar with. Becoming an IBO, I've been able to educate others on the Foreign Exchange Market who were in the same space of wanting to build generational wealth, needing an additional stream, and wanting money working for them. I do not have the conversations of becoming an IBO (independent business owner) with my mentees until I see they are being successful in the FX market."
In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole spoke with the Atlanta, Georgia resident on being a "Frugal Fran" when it comes to spending habits, her worst money decision, and why she believes most people think Forex trading is a scam. Check it out below!
On myth-busting Forex and why most people believe it’s a scam:
"People believe it is a pyramid scheme because they are uneducated of what the difference is between Forex and the iMarkets Academy. The Academy is the number one educational platform/software for Forex Traders. This platform was designed to assist traders in their learning about the market, learning how to trade, software and strategies to assist in developing signal points for profitable trading and a special chart known as the Harmonic scanner. All of this is to help you earn while you learn. In an illegal pyramid scheme––or scam as we like to call it––there is no way for anyone who is under the head honcho to profit as much as that one person or to exceed them. Forex trading is a skill and trait you obtain and become successful with, on your own with the proper teachings."
On what being a trader and investor has taught her about her business and personal financial habits:
"It taught me how to capitalize financially. When you first start trading, not everyone has thousands to invest. In trading, you commonly use the word 'compounding', meaning you take what you invest and you build your account over time. For example, Che' and I encourage our Mentees who are afraid of the process or have lower capital to invest $50 but only trade with $20 and build your account slowly. With those teachings, our mentees have taken $20 and turned it into $95.00 in a day. We also tell them to focus on growing your account by 10% daily.
"All in all, teaching them has taught me to focus on compounding my personal finances and act always as if I have the lowest capital possible. Using money management on your investment amount will take you further as long as you are patient and not looking to get rich overnight. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is wealth. In the business aspect, there's a strategy and system known as S&S for everything. Based on the S&S you select/determine, your journey in business or trading can be either very simple and profitable or it can be complicated and a struggle."
"Using money management on your investment amount will take you further as long as you are patient and not looking to get rich overnight. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is wealth."
On questions she wished people would stop asking her about Forex:
"'How early can you actually start seeing profit coming in for yourself?' And, 'How much have you made?' It's a common question and I get it. However, that is like asking a fitness trainer, 'How soon am I going to see results?' The answer a trainer would give is the same answer I give. Everyone is different, no one person is the same. How early you start seeing profit and how much profit you see is how much effort you put forth to see results."
On how much she makes per year and her savings habits:
"It is very hard for me to say how much I make a year or a month honestly, being an entrepreneur that fluctuates so much––last year after the dreading amount of taxes, I made over $90,000. Normally, I don't share numbers in my finances since I am so private but I am comfortable to share that because that was my most profitable year in business. I try to save at least $2,000 to $3,000, that way it can be split between my business and added to my personal account. I have both my high-yield savings account through Marcus by Goldman Sachs and my Roth IRA is through my long-time bank Navy Federal."
On her definitions of wealth and success:
"Health is wealth and having much abundance in your life through happiness and prosperity brings great success. Wealth to me is being able to live the way I choose to––not working countless hours and working about how much I've made or haven't made or what's to happen next. Living the kind of life that makes you happy and fulfilled. Success is truly being open-minded and opening yourself to a new level of life that challenges you to grow and develop mentally, spiritually, and professionally forever."
Courtesy of Milan Mobley
"Wealth to me is being able to live the way I choose to––not working countless hours and working about how much I've made or haven't made or what's to happen next. Living the kind of life that makes you happy and fulfilled."
On the lowest she’s ever felt when it came to her finances and how she overcame it:
"The end of last year and the start of this year was the lowest I've felt – I was tapping in and having to drain my savings and not being able to replenish it for a while due to the decline in business from COVID-19. As stated previously, I was depressed from being in this unfamiliar state. I wasn't sure which way to turn for a while. Then I started focusing more on S&S and developing residual streams and being open to learning new skills. I could have counted myself out but a big part of my system was letting go and letting God. I started doing what I could and allowing Him to do the rest."
On her biggest splurge to date:
"I have never been a 'splurger'. My friends will tell you I am very financially responsible. I don't purchase much designer, I don't shop much, I don't spend money unnecessarily. I don't spend money that I can't spend two times over. HOWEVER, I did 'treat myself' last September for my birthday and that's because I didn't go out of the country or on a trip like I normally do. So I showered myself with the Louis Vuitton boots, red bottoms, one of the top suites at the W and a private chef all weekend. I can say that was a properly planned splurge I had prepared for that moment. It's OK to 'splurge' as long as you've properly planned for it."
On whether she’s a spender or a saver:
"I am Frugal Fran––I am very much a saver. It wasn't training, I just looked at my environment and listened to mistakes others made and used that as my guide to not repeat the same steps."
On her savings goals and what retirement looks like to her:
"I make contributions to my Roth, to my 401k, business and personal savings, Digit (the savings app I use it takes money from your account daily without a notification), I want each to represent and hold six- to seven-figures in them. Retirement to me looks like never having to work again, fully enjoying life, my family, and all that it has to offer, without the worry of making money. Also, retiring in my early 40's late 30's, not the time that has been placed on us. If I can retire before my desired time frame, that is even better!"
On the importance of investing:
"It is very important to invest in my opinion––you don't become wealthy by having zero investments. The goal is to be wealthy and have a strong net worth, not to be rich. I invest in, of course, my trading, but I also have stock investments, life insurance investments, and plans to invest in property and other assets in the upcoming years."
Courtesy of Milan Mobley
"I make contributions to my Roth, to my 401k, business and personal savings, Digit, I want each to represent and hold six- to seven-figures in them. You don't become wealthy by having zero investments. The goal is to be wealthy and have a strong net worth, not to be rich."
On her budgeting must-haves:
"At one point I would have said my nails. After the shutdown from the pandemic and not having that luxury, I realized how I didn't need it in my budget. My budget must-haves now are groceries, daily incidentals, emergency fund, household maintenance, bills, work wardrobe, subscriptions for business, [and] gas."
On the intention behind creating her multiple streams of income:
"In my business, I have both live and digital courses, pop-up consultations for various aspects in business, whether it be social media, marketing, etc., e-books, digital products, business coaching, and more. When developing those streams, I wanted relief for myself––where I didn't always have to be so hands-on. I had those residual pieces and money working for me all days of the week, even when I'm sleeping. My intention behind having multiple ways to make money was to have financial freedom, build generational wealth, and to grow my companies."
On her money mantra:
"God will bless me abundantly financially if He sees I can manage a little. He will not give me a lot If I can't handle the little."
On the craziest thing she’s ever done for money:
"I haven't had to do anything crazy––I just had to learn to be still and fully rely on faith. God gave me everything I needed; I just had to use what was in front of me to pivot."
On the worst money-related decision she’s ever made:
"Investing in t-shirts was the worst money and business decision I've ever made. The sayings on the shirts were great––but it wasn't the right product, right audience, or the right timing."
On her budget breakdown:
How much do you spend on rent?
"For an entire year on rent––$20,280.00."
Eating out/ordering in?
"Monthly, around $500 eating out/ordering in and $530 on groceries. I cook for the majority of the week. But Thursday-Saturday is up-for-grabs for eating out! [There's] two of us, so it is very hard to eat out/order-in and stay with a $20 minimum."
"I don't have a car note any longer and I don't drive much because I don't go anywhere since COVID is still a thing. I spend about $26 monthly on gas. I pay $110 monthly in car insurance."
"$160 monthly on personal expenses [including] nails, lashes, personal items."
For more of Milan, follow her on Instagram!
Featured images by @heytobs and @Toontyvisuals.
Unapologetically, Chlöe: The R&B Star On Finding Love, Self-Acceptance & Boldly Using Her Voice
On set inside of a mid-city Los Angeles studio, it’s all eyes on Chlöe. She slightly shifts her body against a dark backdrop amidst camera clicks and whirs, giving a seductive pout here, and piercing eye contact there. Her chocolate locs are adorned with a few jewels that she requested to spice up the look, and on her shoulders rests a jeweled piece that she asked to be turned around to better showcase her neck (“I feel a bit old,” she said of the original direction). Her shapely figure is tucked into a strapless bodysuit with a deep v-neck that complements her décolletage.
Though subtle, her quiet wardrobe directives give the air of a woman who’s been here before, and certainly knows what she’s doing. At 24 years young, she’s a “Bossy” chick in training— one who’s politely unapologetic and learning the power of her own voice.
“I'm hesitant sometimes to truly speak my mind and speak up for myself and what I believe,” she later confessed to me a couple of weeks after the photoshoot. “It's always scary for me, but now I'm realizing that I have to, in order to gain respect as a Black woman— a young Black woman— who's still navigating who she is. And you know, I'm realizing that closed mouths don't get fed. And if I keep my mouth shut just because I'm afraid of what people's opinions of me will be or turn into, then that's not any way to live.”
For Chlöe, the journey into womanhood is about embracing who she is, without succumbing to the perceptions of what others think of her. From the waist up she’s everything you’d imagine. A gorgeous goddess with the kind of sex appeal that some work hard to embrace but fail to exude. But unbeknownst to anyone not on set, her bottom half is covered by a white robe, surprising coming from the girl who boasts “'Cause my booty so big, Lord, have mercy” on her first hit single “Have Mercy.”
But that’s the beauty of Chlöe. There’s more to her than meets the eye. More than what a few sensual photos sprinkled throughout an Instagram feed could ever tell you. Just like the photo-framing illusion of her portrayed from the waist up, what we know about the songstress is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more beneath the surface.
Some hours later Chlöe leans back in a high chair as her locs are transformed from a formal updo to a seemingly Basquiat-inspired one. It’s pure art, and at her request, no wigs are a part of the day’s ensemble. She’s fully embracing her natural hair, a decision that wasn’t always a socially accepted one.
In the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, (Mableton, to be exact) Chlöe began to explore the foundation of her self-image. At an early age she and her younger sister, Halle, demonstrated a vocal prowess and knack for being in front of the camera that caught their parents’ attention. Soon after, they were sent on a parade of local talent shows and auditions, and eventually broke into the digital space with song covers on YouTube.
It was during these early years that Chlöe first learned that the entertainment industry could be unforgiving to those who didn’t fit a particular beauty standard. Despite the then three-year-old snagging a role as the younger version of Beyoncé’s character, Lilly, in Fighting Temptations, casting agents requested that her natural locs be exchanged for more Eurocentric tresses. Ironic, considering that growing up Chlöe saw her hair as no different than that of her peers. “I remember specifically in pre-K we had to do self-portraits and I drew myself with a regular straight ponytail, like how I would put my locs in a ponytail,” she says. “I just never saw myself any different.”
Chlöe would also learn the true meaning of a phrase that would later become an affirmation posted on her bedroom mirror: “Don’t Let the World Dim Your Light.” After attempting to wear wigs to fit in, the Bailey sisters instead chose to rock their locs with pride, which undoubtedly cost them casting roles. Yet they would have the last laugh when making headlines as the “Teen Dreadlocked Duo” who landed a million-dollar contract with Parkwood Entertainment, and the coveted opportunity to be groomed under the tutelage of a world-renowned superstar.
Credit: Derek Blanks
While that could be the end of a beautiful fairytale of self-empowerment, the reality is that it’s just the beginning of the story of her evolution. For most girls, the transition into womanhood takes place in the comfort of their own worlds, often limited to the number of people they allow to have access to them. But for Chlöe, it’s happening in front of millions of critiquing eyes just waiting for an opportunity to either uplift or dissect her through unwarranted commentary.
Many in her position wouldn’t be able to take that kind of pressure. But Chlöe is handling it with grace. “I feel like all of us as humans, we have the right to interpret things how we want,” she says. “I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
Chlöe isn’t the first artist to receive criticism for her carnal content, and she certainly won’t be the last. In 2010, Ciara writhed and rode her way to banishment on BET when the then 24-year-old released her video for “Ride.” In 2006, 25-year-old Beyoncé received backlash for “Déjà Vu."
"I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
So much so that over 5,000 fans signed an online petition demanding that her label re-shoot the video because it was “too sexual.” Even 27-year-old Janet didn’t escape critical headlines when she shed her image of innocence for a more risqué appearance with the 1993 release of janet.
It’s almost as if public reproach is a rite of passage for young Black women R&B singers on the road to stardom. Good girls seemingly “go bad” whenever they embrace the depths of their femininity, and fans only like you on top figuratively. But Chlöe has learned not to bow down to other people’s opinions, but to boss up and control the narrative. As the saying goes, well-behaved women seldom make history. If sex appeal is her weapon, she wields it well.
On set, Chlöe exudes the energy of Aphrodite in an apple red, off-shoulder dress with a sexy high split. In between shots, she mouths the lyrics to Yebba’s “Boomerang” as it echoes throughout the space in steady repetition at my recommendation. The hour grows late, yet Chlöe is heating things up as eyes stare in deep mesmerization of the girl on fire.
Credit: Derek Blanks
Through music, she explores the depths of her being, a journey that seems to be, at its foundation, rooted in self-discovery. Whereas their debut album The Kids Are Alright (2018) boasts a young Chloe x Halle empowering their generation to embrace who they are while finding their place in the world, their second album Ungodly Hour (2020) shows the Bailey sisters shedding the veil of innocence for a more unapologetic bravado.
What fans looked forward to seeing is who Chlöe shows herself to be on her debut solo album In Pieces. In an interview with PEOPLE, she confesses that releasing her first project without her sister was “scary.” "It was a moment of self-doubt where I was like, 'Can I do this without my sister?’”
Chlöe has never been shy about sharing her insecurities or her vulnerabilities, all of which are laced throughout the 14-track album. “I want people to have fun when they listen to it and to just realize that they're not alone and it's okay to be vulnerable and raw and open because none of us are perfect; we're all far from it. And I think it's healing when we all admit to that instead of putting up a facade.”
The gift of time has given the self-professed “big lover girl” more encounters with romance and heartbreak. Love songs once sung for their beautiful riffs and melodies become more than just abstract lyrics and are replaced by real-life experiences, which she tells me is definitely in the music.
In her single “Pray It Away,” for example, she contemplates going to God for healing instead of going at her ex-lover for revenge for his infidelities. “With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable,” she says. “I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
Has Chlöe been in love? That still remains to be said. Of course, she’s been linked to a few potential baes, but dating in the digital age isn’t as easy as a double tap or drop of a heart-eyes emoji. It requires a level of trust and vulnerability that’s hard to earn, and easy to mishandle. To let her guard down means to potentially set herself up for disappointment. “It’s difficult dating right now, honestly, because you really have to kind of keep your guard up and pay attention to who's really there for you. And you know, I'm such an affectionate person and I love hard.
"So when I meet the one person that I really, really am into, it's hard for me to see any others and I get attached pretty easily. And you know, I don't know, it's…it's a scary thing.”
Credit: Derek Blanks
“With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable. I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
While broken hearts yield good music (queue Adele), what’s in Chlöe’s prayer is the desire to be happy. What does that look like? Well, she’s still figuring that out herself. “Honestly, I'm the type of person who I don't truly learn unless I experience it. So it's like I can view and watch my parents and watch the loving relationships that I see in my life and be like, ‘Oh, I want that. I would love to have that.’ But then I also have to experience [love] on my own and see what my flaws or my faults might be or see what my good things about myself are. I feel like it's really all about self-reflection. And even though our base is our family and that's our foundation, we are still our own individuals and we have to find out specifically the things about ourselves that may be different from what we saw from our parents when we were growing up.”
Her ideal beau, she tells me, is someone she can feel safe to be her fun, goofy self with, but who also gives her the space to be the boss chick chasing her dreams. A man who understands that just because the world compliments her doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hear those words from his lips or feel it in his touch. A bonus if he shows up on set after a long hard day of work with vegan cinnamon rolls. You know, the basic necessities. “I like whoever I'm with to constantly tell me they love me and that I look beautiful because I do the same. I am a very mushy person, and if I see something or you look good, I will never shy away from saying it out loud. And I want whoever I'm with to do the same, be very vocal. Tell me that you love me. Tell me what you love about me because I'm doing the same for you because that's just the person I am.”
Until she meets her match she’s married to the game, and for now, that seems to be perfect matrimony.
Credit: Derek Blanks
On stage at the 2021 American Music Awards, Chlöe solidified her position as a force to be reckoned with. It was a full-circle moment. In 2012, bright-eyed and baby-faced Chloe and Halle would walk onto the set of The Ellen Degeneres Show and blow the audience away as they bellowed out their future mentor’s song. Ellen would present the sisters with tickets to attend the AMAs, assuring them that they would be back and had a promising future. Nine years later, Chlöe descends from the sky cloaked in a snow-white cape and matching midriff-baring bodysuit for her debut performance. It’s the first time she’s graced the stage of the very award show that she was once an audience member of.
As she shakes and shimmies and boom kack kacks out her eight counts, it’s clear that she’s in her element. Just like her VMA performance a couple of months prior, and the many more stages she’ll continue to grace, she brings an energy that has earned her comparisons to the beloved Queen Bey herself. An honorable statement, considering few R&B songstresses are getting accolades for their entertainment capabilities. It’s on these very stages, in front of hundreds of astonished eyes and millions more glued to their televisions at home, that she tells me she feels most sexy. Powerful, even.
But off stage, it’s a different story.
It’s more than just the commentary about her image and media-flamed rumors that get to her. Mentally, she’s in competition with herself. The desire to be the best burns at the back of her mind with every performance, every production, and every time she steps into the booth. Before, she could share the weight of this burden with her sister. Being a part of a duo meant she could turn to Halle for quiet confirmation and encouragement without a word being exchanged. But lately stepping on the stage means stepping out on her own. And despite being a breathtaking, five-time Grammy-nominated star, Chlöe doesn’t escape the reality that sometimes we can be our own worst critics.
Over the last year, she’s been coming to terms with who she is on her own while overcoming the fear of failing to become who she’s destined to be. While the world waits to see how Chlöe wins, the real triumph is in every day that she chooses herself and continues to walk in her purpose. “I don't really have anything all figured out, honestly. But what I try to do, a lot of prayer. I talk to God more and I just try to do things that calm my mind down and just breathe.”
To whom much is given, much will be required. She’s been chosen to walk this path for a reason. Once she fully embraces that everything she’s meant to be is already inside of her, she’ll be an unstoppable force. “My grandma, Elizabeth, she just passed away and my middle name is her [first] name. So I feel like I truly have a responsibility to live up to her legacy that she's left on this earth. I hope I can do that.”
There’s no doubt that she will. With a role in The Fighting Temptations at three years old, a million-dollar record deal, a main role on five seasons of Grown-ish, five Grammy nominations, a number one solo record in Urban and Rhythmic Radio, a debut solo album, and starring roles in recently released movies Praise Thisand Swarm (just to name a few), Chlöe’s certainly already made her mark, and she’s just getting started.
Photographer & Creative Director: Derek Blanks
Executive Producer: Necole Kane
Co-Executive Producer: EJ Jamele
Producer: Erica Turnbull
Digitech: Chris Keller
DP: Alex Nikishin
Gaffer: Simeon Mihaylov
Photo Assistant: Chris Paschal
2nd Photo Assistant: Tyler Umprey
Features Editor: Kiah McBride
Special Projects: Tyeal Howell
Hair: Malcolm Marquez
Makeup: Yolonda Frederick
Fashion Styling: Ashley Sean Thomas
For More: Cover Story: Issa Rae Comes Full Circle
"I Have Truly Survived the Unimaginable." Megan Thee Stallion Is Ready To Resume Her Next Chapter.
Megan Thee Stallion is ready to resume her life, not as a victim but as a survivor of gun violence.
In a recent as-told-to essay for ELLE, the 28-year-old mega-star took time to reflect on her experience surviving the shooting incident involving rapper Tory Lanez in July 2020.
In the piece, Megan described her traumas in the aftermath of the shooting and the drawn-out legal case and trial that brought on the public's negative reaction to the incident.
“Imagine how it feels to be called a liar every day?” Megan says. “Especially from a person who was once part of your inner circle.” She notes that many people were quick to doubt her story and blame her for how the incident unfolded. For nearly three years, she went through the weight of public humiliation, while being the brunt of jokes, memes, and “sneak disses” as her humanity was ignored.
“The truth is that I started falling into a depression,” the rapper says. “I didn’t feel like making music. I was in such a low place that I didn’t even know what I wanted to rap about. I wondered if people even cared anymore.”
She adds, “There would be times that I’d literally be backstage or in my hotel, crying my eyes out, and then I’d have to pull Megan Pete together and be Megan Thee Stallion.”
Megan wrote how not fitting “the profile of a victim” played a role in the dismissal of her traumas in the public eye and emphasized the importance of believing women when they come forward with their own stories of violence and abuse. “But my heart hurts for all the women around the world who are suffering in silence, especially if you’re a Black woman who doesn’t appear as if she needs help,” she says.
“So many times, people looked at me and thought, ‘You look strong. You’re outspoken. You’re tall. You don’t look like somebody who needs to be saved.’ They assumed that, per preconceived stigmas, ‘I didn’t fit the profile of a victim,’ and that I didn’t need support or protection.”
With time, the Houston fem-cee has been able to take a step away from the public eye to heal, spend time with her dogs, and “doing a lot of praying” to recover from the incident. “The physical and mental scars from this entire ordeal will always sting, but I’m taking the appropriate steps to resume my life,” Megan says.
And while she is “in a happier place,” there are still moments of anxiety that come up from time to time. “Talking about being shot still makes me emotional. I’ve started journaling as a way to better process my thoughts, hopes, and fears,” she says. “Prayer has also played a therapeutic role in my healing, because I can have honest and unfiltered conversations with God without any judgment.”
Megan concluded her essay by expressing her hope for a future where people can live without fear of gun violence and victims of trauma and abuse can receive the support and healing they need.
“My purpose is for these words to serve as the final time that I’ll address anything regarding this case in the press,” Megan notes in the article. “I understand the public intrigue, but for the sake of my mental health, I don’t plan to keep reliving the most traumatic experience of my life over and over again. I’m choosing to change the narrative because I’m more than just my trauma.”
With new music to come, we look forward to seeing Megan back on her healed, hot girl ish.
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Featured image by Hubert Vestil/WireImage