When it comes to personal finance advice, it can often feel difficult to find information that is relevant to the black experience. Black Americans often face financial hurdles such as pay inequality, predatory lending and hiring discrimination, all of which have contributed to a racial wealth gap.
“People are working hard, but if every part of their life is discounted, how can they catch up?” says financial educator Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche.
According to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve, as of 2016, the median black household net worth was just over $17,000, while for the same year the median net worth for white households was over $170,000. And while the median household income for black Americans has risen between 2013 and 2018, it is still 33% lower than the national average.
Marcus Garrett, co-host of the podcast “Paychecks & Balances,” says the answer to closing the wealth gap between black and white Americans is multifaceted. “First, we must address what is in our immediate control — salary negotiation, living within our means, resisting lifestyle inflation, and keeping our debt, including credit cards, as low as possible.”
Going beyond individual action involves diligent awareness and advocating for policies that provide equal opportunities and access to wealth. “Individuals cannot overcome a system that is not designed for them to prosper, and we don’t have another 200 years to wait for this equal opportunity to arrive in the future,” he said.
“In my opinion, the future is now.”
14 black financial experts who can help you build wealth
The latest data from the Certified Financial Planning Board shows as of 2018, black Certified Financial Planners made up only 1.5% of the profession, while black Americans made up 13% of the U.S. population and an estimated 8% of the nation’s consumer buying power. As with many other industries, financial planning has a lot of catching up to do in terms of equal representation.
Garrett and Aliche are two leaders in the black financial community aiming to help Americans take control of their financial futures by paying down debt, following a budget and becoming homeowners. From podcasts to best sellers, we’ve compiled a list of 14 black experts who focus on making financial security accessible to all.
Marcus Garrett & Rich Jones
Over a decade as an internal auditor and the experience of digging himself out of $30,000 of debt inspired Marcus Garrett to help others do the same. Rich Jones uses his 10 years of experience in recruiting to help people level up their careers. Together, they host Paychecks & Balances, a podcast where they share tips for millennials to make more money, get out of debt and build savings.
Author, influencer, blogger behind MyFabFinance
The creator behind MyFabFinance.com, Tonya Rapley is passionate about helping people get their finances together. Since 2014, Rapley has been inspiring consumers to tackle debt and build wealth. Her blog features financial advice across different real-world money situations, including the impact of race on your finances.
Financial coach, Sage Financial Solutions
Founder of Sage Financial Solutions, Saundra Davis is passionate about making financial services accessible to low-income communities. Davis uses her years of experience in financial planning and coaching to address the wealth gaps across racial and gendered divides.
For nearly two decades, bestselling author Anthony O’Neal has been creating financial resources such as scholarship guides, debt payoff calculators and educational videos to help younger adults build strong financial foundations.
Blogger behind YesIAmCheap
Since 2009, Sandy Smith has been delivering personal finance advice on everything from investing to side hustles to saving on her blog, YesIAmCheap.com. Smith also helped found Elevate, a collective for financial influencers of color working to better serve their communities.
Financial educator, founder of The Budgetnista
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche realized there was a huge educational gap keeping neglected people from leading financially healthy lifestyles. Through her Live Richer Challenge series and podcast “Brown Ambition,” Aliche is teaching people how to budget, save and build generational wealth.
Vlogger, author, speaker, host of Redefining Wealth podcast
Financial maven Patrice Washington has built a following by inspiring people to not only chase financial wealth but also mental, spiritual and physical wealth. Through her books, speaking engagements and podcast “Redefining Wealth,” Washington teaches her followers to find their true passions in life.
Personal finance coach, Finances Demystified
Working at a major brokerage firm made Dominique Broadway want to help creators and entrepreneurs who didn’t have the capital to get their dreams off the ground. Her brand, Finances Demystified features a blog, podcast, events and workshops to help you reach your goals.
Founder, Financial Lituation
Financial education instructor Anthony Copeman is passionate about teaching millennials financial topics. Through his company, Financial Lituation, he offers 1-on-1 coaching to get you out of debt. Additionally, Copeman created “$hares,” an animated financial education series on Instagram.
Speaker, author, The Money Coach
A notable career reporting on personal finance has established Lynette Khalfani-Cox as a highly recognized expert worthy of her moniker, The Money Coach. With more than a dozen money-management books, including the bestselling Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom, as well as hundreds of TV appearances, Khalfani-Cox has been helping consumers take control of their cash for years.
Author, columnist behind The Color of Money
For more than 10 years, award-winning columnist Michelle Singletary has been giving financial advice through her nationally syndicated column “The Color of Money” as well as several books. Her advice and reporting have won her critical acclaim including a Pulitzer nomination. Every week The Washington Post hosts “The Color of Money Live” where Singletary answers readers’ personal finance questions.
Author, speaker, financial coach
The challenges that often come with being a woman of color, such as loneliness in your field and lack of financial and emotional support, inspired Kara Stevens to start The Frugal Feminista. The site aims to create a community and space for black women to support each other and learn about personal finance through trainings, blog posts and Kara’s books.
Host of Popcorn Finance podcast
Financial analyst Chris Browning uses his expertise to make finance more digestible. On his award-winning podcast Popcorn Finance, Browning discusses all things money in short episodes. He aims to cut out the stuff listeners don’t need and give them just the facts they need to be successful.