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GRIOT Informing the Young Professional

The

Vol. VI Issue I Spring/Summer 2012

Turning over a new leaf

Obama’s position for re-election Bridge da Gap!

Hip hop producer creates a special music influenced curriculum Young & uninsured? Avoid living without health insurance

MICROFINANCING FOR ENTERPRENEURS

Maximize your membership dollars 2011 National YP Chapter of Excellence


SPRING/SUMMER 2012

GRIOT The

Editor-In-Chiefs Kenyatta Joseph Tealeda Nesbitt

Lead Designer Jamar A. Morris

Layout Designers Jamar A. Morris Dwayne Neckles Tealeda Nesbitt

Copy Editors Kimberly Parris Mariama Todd

Executive Board President

Secretary

Jemar T. Ward YPPresident@nyul.org

Treasurer

Symone Edwards YPSecretary@nyul.org

Membership Committee Chair

Chadwick W. Roberson YPTreasurer@nyul.org

Communications Chair

Aisha Taylor YPMembership@nyul.org

Dwayne Neckles YPCommunications@nyul.org

Civics & Economics Chair

Community Service Chair

Olubunmi Awofeso YPCivicsEcon@nyul.org

Clarence Johnson YPCommunity@nyul.org

Fund Development Chair Will Platt YPFundDev@nyul.org

Want to write or do layout design for The Griot? E-mail: ypcommunications@nyul.org 2

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Spring/Summer 2012 Griot (pronounced grEE O) -

“A storyteller in West Africa; perpetuates the oral traditions of a family or village”

Contents CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: position for re10 Obama’s election

Former Governor David Paterson gives his opinion on the upcoming presidential 2012 election

LIFESTYLE:

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Beauty Behind the Scenes See who’s charged with creating the flawless makeup of your favorite celebrities

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: of Membership: 14 Benefits Learn about some of the benefits of membership for the New York Urban League Young Professionals your Membership 16 Maximize Dollars: Professional Organizations: Getting the most out of your membership

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: for 20 Microfinancing Entrepreneurs

Dont let lack of capital keep you from starting your business

Benefits of Life 22 Living Insurance:

Showing the Way: Interview with Wealth Relationship Manager Vidal Peoples

HEALTH & QUALITY OF LIFE: and Uninsured: 26 Young Avoid living without health insurance.

In Every Issue

5 Letter from the President 5 Letter from the Editor 6 Contributors 7 Upcoming Events

EDUCATION AND YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: da GAP: 18 Bridge Hip Hop Producer creates a special music influenced curriculum

Do you have suggestions or story ideas? We would love to hear them. Email us at : YPCommunications@nyul.org

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President’s Message Friends,

Thank you for an incredible year so far! If there is one thing that I love about residing in Harlem it’s the cherry blossoms that bloom come springtime. Springtime signifies a fresh start; a time to evaluate the past, enjoy the present and prepare for the future. It was a unique year YP leadership wise and I’m proud to say we are right where we need to be. Performing. Growing. Leading. Time and time again we execute with precision. This year’s events have included our most successful Bragging Rights party, a new means to engage budding entrepreneurs with ‘Starting Your Own Business featuring the Elevator Pitch’, launching a policy subcommittee that went to Albany for the Black Latino Caucus weekend and with NYUL President & CEO Arva Rice advocating for parents in education, building partnerships with other organizations like Access AJC to mentor high school students in the Oliver program, a plethora of personal and professional development based general body meetings, and an ‘even better than imagined’ State of Young Urban New York that featured politicians, personalities, experts and some of our very own YP members. I’m also proud to say that we are rapidly approaching 300 members! I’m proud to be leading this charge right now. The best is yet to come! I look forward to partnering with you all in the future! Yours in the Movement,

Jemar T. Ward President, New York Urban League Young Professionals

Letter from the Editors

Spring cleaning is not only for your closets. The Spring is a great time to clean up the clutter in your life. As young professionals, we tend to get caught in the momentum of living – education, career, relationships – only to look up one day and find ourselves in a place we didn’t intend to go. We buckle under the pressures of our fast paced lives and make decisions that take us away from who we really are and into a cookie-cutter box that others define as successful. If you could redesign your life right now, from scratch, what would it look like? Take time to reflect on where you are and on your intended destination. Figuring out how to close the gap between your dreams and reality can be therapeutic. Count today as a fresh beginning, and turn over a new leaf in your life. Take action to change your life for the better and do something different to help your community. There is power in change and life in new movement. As you flip through the pages of this Spring issue, start thinking of the things in your life that are boxing you in and strategize how to free yourself of the mess. Let the redesigning start now!

Kenyatta Joseph

Managing Editor, The Griot

Contact: ypcommunications@nyul.org

Tealeda Nesbitt

Managing Editor, The Griot

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Contributors

Orane Williams

Orane Williams is a graduate of William Paterson University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business AdminÂŹistration and Management. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of D.R.E.A.M. Inc., a non-profit organization that provides financial literacy workshops for urban youth, ages 13-25. He has led a number of presentations on financial basics, understanding credit and life after college at various schools and universities. As a proud member of NYULYP, he serves on the Communications Committee.

Kenyatta Joseph

Kenyatta Joseph is an adventurous jet setter who loves all things journalistic, photographical, and cultural as she is of Caribbean decent. In addition to her career within the healthcare administration and policy industry, Kenyatta loves community service and leads a number of projects in health & wellness, hunger and job readiness with New York Cares. She is currently completing an M.P.A in Healthcare Management.

Sophia Brewer Sophia Brewer is a recent transplant to NYC from Atlanta, Georgia. She obtained an M.A. in Public Affairs Journalism from Columbia College in Chicago and received a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Clark Atlanta University. Throughout her studies, she interned at top news stations in Chicago and Atlanta. In addition, she served as a Publicity Assistant for a NFL player.

Lakisha Youngblood (not pictured) Lakisha Youngblood currently works as a freelance Wardrobe Stylist & Fashion Show Dresser. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Bowie State University and a B.F.A. degree in Fabric Styling from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Lakisha not only has a passion for fashion but is also pursuing her interest in theater and film. You can now find her acting in local theater productions. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking and reading.

Are you a talented writer?

Yusuf Wilson

Yusuf Sharif Wilson is new to the Griot as a contributor but considers himself a continuing student of rendering service and-giving-back. Yusuf has committed to crafting a life that involves, among other things, serving and helping others. Community-Building , Mentorship, and Philanthropy are corner-stones of Yusuf’s guiding principles. He is strongly led by the notion that all embody limit-less potential and is on a life- journey to discover that in himself. Yusuf is a Global Citizen having visited 15 countries and lived in Paris, France. In addition to his career in law, Yusuf is an aspiring entrepreneur with multiple projects serving as his professors. Yusuf holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from The University of South Florida and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Additional Contributors Binjamine Maurice

Sherice Brammer

If you would like to be a contributer to this publication, please contact ypcommunications@nyul.org.

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2012 National Urban League Conference

up coming EVENTS

This year, the National Urban League heads to New Orleans for the 2012 annual conference! Taking place in an important election year and themed “Empower the Nation”, the conference will tackle the issue of double digit unemployment affecting urban communities reminding each of us of the power and responsibility we share in making our country better and the integral role education plays in enabling that change. Bringing together thought leaders, business leaders, and YOU, the conference will feature informative workshops, plenary sessions, and a plethora of networking opportunities. This year’s N.U.L. Experience Expo Hall will also feature a Career Fair, College Fair and exciting exhibits and entertainment all in the great city of New Orleans! Don’t miss it, Register Today!

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CIV I C E N G A G E ME N T

With November quickly approaching, President Obama’s approval rating is back to 50 % for the first time in over 8 months. In a one-on-one interview with former New York Governor David Paterson, I had the chance to hear his opinion on the state of Obama’s reelection for 2012.

Will we recapture the excitement of the first race?

Governor Paterson: I think the excitement in 2008 was unprecedented & unparalleled for a long period of time. With the difficulties of recession and the worldwide economic crisis, the American public was frightened and anxious. I expect a more sobering message from the president as opposed to the poetry of his promise in 2008.

Is Obama in a vulnerable position for 2012? Governor Paterson: No, given the GOP candidates he’s in a great position. Republicans would only vote for Romney because there is no other choice. Gingrich has too many issues to overcome. Their heart is with Santorum but he’s an amateur and you’ll see it if he has to debate Obama.

Are African-Americans relevant to this race? Governor Paterson: Yes, but the question is do the Democrats know it? For black votes if you want that support you better work at it. Black candidates that won first term lost the second time around because blacks stayed home and that’s the issue for 2012.

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Do you think Obama still has the black vote? Governor Paterson: When Blacks votes, his percentage will be 95 percent, but you only get to be a first time once. By the second time, black voters are saying “what have you done?” Loyalty will ensure 95 percent turnout for Obama, but the question for black voters is, how many people will come to the polls?

Black president has the same problems that a White president, Hispanic president or a woman president would have. When measured as a human being as opposed to a Savior, I believe the Black community would overwhelmingly support President Obama.

What are the issues he should focus on during this campaign?

Governor Paterson: If he gets unemployment under 8 percent, if the market slopes upward, and his job creation rate stays as is, I believe he would be reelected with a 50 electoral vote margin.

There’s a high concentration of African-Americans living in the South, which are mostly ReWhat do you think Obama’s publican states. Should Obama spend more time campaigning in campaign strategy should be this time? those states? Governor Paterson: He better campaign in Florida because whoever wins Florida will win the election.

Will the string of foreign policy wins be a key factor in his 2012 elections?

Governor Paterson: I think the loss of George H. W. Bush is a stunning reminder that as impressive a president can be with his/her foreign policy, the public is reacting to the simplest of concerns:; Where’s my job? How much is my housing? Why is my health care so expensive? What are the opportunities to educate my children?

Governor Paterson: Run against the right-wing and force the Republicans to defend it, which will lose votes in the center or he can oppose it and lose votes on the right. For example, if he says “I think the Tea Party is crazy, what do you think Romney?” Now Romney’s stuck.

If reelected what policies can we expect for the next four years? Governor Paterson: He will try to reorganize the country’s consumption of energy, begin to address the dilemma of immigration and will try to house more jobs in the U.S.

How can the Obama Administration reenergize Black voters?

Governor Paterson: Most communities romanticize the scenario of seeing their member obtain power. However, the discriminating policies in this country have allowed so few blacks to reach statewide or national prominence, that we are unfamiliar with the roles of the offices and the limitations of their power. Thus, many wonder why the election of President Obama has not resulted in the eradication of injustice, the end of the mortgage foreclosure crisis and the beginning of utopia. The answer is that a

Former New York Governor

David Paterson The Griot

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LI FE S T Y LE

SPRING/SUMMER 2012

We don’t often hear about the team of people behind celebrity actors, models and musicians who make them look beautiful, especially when they are African-American. Meet celebrity make-up artist Bisheaba Swain, who has worked with the likes of Keyshia Cole, Tyrese, Ashley Judd, Angela Simmons, Carson Daly, Mandy Moore and David Justice, to name a few. Get inspired by this amazing businesswoman and pick up a few make-up tips along the way!

Lakisha: How long have you been a make-up artist? Bisheaba: I have been a make-up artist for over 15 years. Lakisha: What was it about make-up artistry that attracted you to this profession? Bisheaba: My attraction to make-up is having the ability to transform a person’s looks and the instant gratification I feel when I make someone look beautiful. Lakisha: What challenges have you faced as an African-American woman in getting ahead in this industry? Bisheaba: One of my main challenges is dealing with the attitudes of some photographers and agencies in the business. I can submit an electronic information kit showcasing my range of talents and quickly receive a phone call back, with the person on the other end of the phone so excited and interested in working with me. Yet, when they receive my photo and realize that I am African-American, next thing I know, no article, no email replies and no return phone calls. 12

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Lakisha: What projects are you currently working on? Bisheaba: I created my own brand of lip gloss over six years ago and I’m working on developing a make-up tour.

TYRESE

Lakisha: What inspired you to create your own lip gloss line? Bisheaba: As a make-up artist and businesswoman, I was at a point in my career where I needed to expand my brand. With lips being my favorite feature on a person and the lack of available options for women of color, I decided to create my own product, Bisheaba’s Liquigloss. Lakisha: What are some hot trends in make-up for spring/summer? Bisheaba: The spring/summer trends that I’m seeing is dewy skin, bright fun colorful lips with minimal mascara.

KEYSHIA COLE


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You can find out more about Celebrity make-up artist Bisheaba Swain at www.bisheaba. com. It’s time to swap out your winter staples and cleanup your makeup bags/grooming kits with these spring essentials.

2.

Ecotools Bamboo 6-pc Makeup Brush Set

5.

1.

Clinique Quickliner

Olay Wet Cleansing Cloths

4.

Maybeline Mineral Powder Bronzer

3.

COVERGIRL Blast Flipstick Lipcolor

2.

Gillette Fusion Proglide Styler

6. 7.

Rocawear “Evolution” Cologne

Nivea for Men Double Action Face Wash

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Nature’s Blessings Hair Pomade

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Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm The Griot

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P R OF ESS I O N A L D E V E LO P ME N T

SPRING/SUMMER 2012

Maximize your

Membership Benefits

By Binjamine Maurice

Are you looking to further your career? Are you seeking to expand your network? Did you recently move to a new city and are looking to meet new people? Do you want to attend exclusive events? Are you looking to learn new professional skills? Are you actively seeking a mentor? If you answered “yes� to any of these questions, you should consider joining a professional organization. Professional organizations can play a vital part in your career development. Most importantly, they give you an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and provide an informal atmosphere for networking. If you are considering joining an organization or are already a member, be sure to select one that reflects your interests, future career and educational aspirations. Although these organizations can be beneficial, they often require you to pay a membership fee in order to participate. Here are some ways to help you get the most out of your membership.

1. Enhance your network

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Make your presence known by attending events, socials and meetings. These forums will allow you to network with others, while obtaining valuable information and learning more about the organization. Some organizations like New York Urban League Young Professionals (NYULYP) host a networking segment before the start of their meetings. This gives you the opportunity to meet multiple people. Be sure to bring ample business cards for distribution at events and meetings.


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2. Become an “active” member

Joining a committee or serving on the Executive Board shows your dedication to the organization. This is a great way to learn more about the organization, contribute and acquire a wide range of skills. Joining a committee can also serve as a great resume builder.

3. Don’t be a stranger

Networking is more than exchanging business cards. Always send a follow-up email to keep the lines of communication open. You can also send an invite on LinkedIn. Be sure to do this after a few conversations. This can be beneficial to you if you are seeking or considering a mentor. A mentor can provide you with information and advice to advance in your career or level of education.

4. Take advantage of membersonly perks

Many retailers provide discounts to organization members. Think of these discounts as a thank you for your membership. Be sure to search the websites for member-only discounts. You may also have the opportunity to attend events for free. The National Association of Professional Women provides their members with free admission to conferences.

5. Career Development

Your membership can provide you free or reduced cost to webinars, training courses and informational meetings. This information is helpful when deciding your next career move or goal. Regardless of your reasons for joining a professional organization, be sure you are getting the most out of your membership.

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BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP Personal And Professional Development A consistent assortment of networking opportunities • Promotional and marketing opportunities for member-owned businesses • Career, financial and entrepreneurial training • Health & Wellness and Fitness education • Social engagement while developing friendships bonding with peers

Community Involvement • Political awareness and civic engagement programing • Mentoring, tutoring, and educational volunteer opportunities

Participation In Our Signature Events: • AIDS Walk, NY Cares Day, HBCU College Fair • Back to School backpack and supplies drive, fundraising for college scholarships • Whitney M. Young Football Classic

Corporate Perks Discounts at major corporations including: • 1-800-Flowers • RedEnvelope.com • Barnes & Nobles • ProFlowers.com • The Popcorn Factory

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EDUCA T I O N A N D Y O U T H EMP O W E R ME N T

SPRING/SUMMER 2012

What is

?

By Orane Williams Born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, Kevin “Khao” Cates took his phenomenal music production skills and created a curriculum. Khao, as he likes to be called, has worked with T.I., Young Jeezy & Pharell Williams, just to name a few. He also has several platinum albums to go with his accomplishments. Despite this success, Khao wanted to do more with his talents. Some felt he was crazy for taking a year and a half off from music. Contrary to popular opinion, however, his hiatus was well spent and from that, Bridge DA Gap was formed. I had the pleasure to have a conversation with Khao on his program. OW:

What encouraged you to start the Bridge DA Gap movement? KC: My father always lived by the phrase, “It’s one thing to be successful but you want to be significant.” I wanted to make that mark, and leave something behind that means something. I have all these plaques and awards but when my father passed away I took his motto more seriously. I asked myself, “How do I make a difference?” … I was being honored at an award show when Dr. Charles Steele stated on behalf of Dr. King and his generation that he apologized for not passing the torch. What he said held so much weight. (I thought) this is what I’m supposed to do.

celebrities come into these schools and then the kids are left with no blueprint. OW:

What is Bridge DA Gap? KC: It is a curriculum placed in schools with a textbook, music, & DVD. It teaches character building traits. Kids are able to hear the music, read the book and see video. We are reaching them through all the various angles. OW:

What are the key elements of your curriculum? KC: Character building and life skills that show how to persevere through the problems they face at home. OW:

How have you used your Hip Hop influence to help make a difference with Bridge DA Gap?

KC: As I speak to the kids and at performances, they easily relate to me. When they hear I took a year and a half off to do this and spent a million dollars of my own money they say, “Wow he didn’t have to do this”. I get their attention. I produce the Everyone is running and chasing to get the records at the same level as when I work with money and not helping these young kids. I took major artists. They are able to learn from the a year and a half off from music. At first, I put songs included in the curriculum. together the Million March 2 Vote in 2008 along with Dr. Steele and that was the testing water. In OW: doing this, I learned from him that we mixed the Who’s your target market? younger generation with the older generation and got some news coverage on it. KC: We are working with a mix of high schools and Bridge DA Gap came to me in a dream. I woke up junior high schools. We wanted to catch them saying, “I have to write a book.” Sometimes we as before high school. We have been getting a lot 18

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of elementary schools reaching out to us as well. of beat making and produced tracks to help inspire We are working on some Dr. Seuss-like children’s the behavior of today’s troubled youth. Bridge DA books to capture the young audiences too. Gap is a unique program that is making changes in the schools and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the country. OW:

What is in the future for Bridge DA Gap? KC: We want to make it into a new age Disney -meets -Nickelodeon –meets- BET. We are working on a network that will exist in the schools where students will watch certain shows. We are working on a radio station as well. In the near future you will see Bridge DA Gap schools and centers. We want to be right there at every city we are active in and give the kids a hub to uplift them socially and emotionally.

Kevin “Khao” Cates is definitely a person of vision. He has taken what he saw in a dream and is pushing it across several cities. Khao took his musical talents

To learn more about Bridge DA Gap, visit

www.bridgedagap.com The Griot

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ECON O MI C E MP O W E R ME N T

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The Model: Four individuals living below the poverty line form a group. They enter a five-day training program and borrowers open a savings account. Each borrower gets a loan to start or expand their own small business and generate income. Weekly peer support and group meeting are held with Center Managers. Borrowers begin to repay loans and deposit savings. Upon full repayment, borrowers can apply for another loan to expand their businesses.

Microfinancing for Entrepreneurs by Sherice Brammer

For high quality small businesses with potential, securing loans from traditional lenders remains a challenge. Millions of Americans have no banking relationship. Microlending provides an alternative to costly financing through payday loans and pawn shops. These programs provide seed money for projects without access to traditional lenders. Funds are used to start or expand businesses providing financing for inventory, equipment, working capital, real estate and seasonal lines of credit. Grameen 20

America The Griot

(www.grameenamerica.com)

and Project Enterprise (www.projectenterprise. org), operating under the Grameen model, are two leading nonprofits effectively equipping lowincome American dreamers with capital regardless of a lack of minimum credit scores or collateral. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen organization, started lending small sums to poor entrepreneurs in Bangladesh to help them grow from a subsistence living to a livelihood thirty-three years ago. Yunus was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work. The model has continued to see upwards of a 90% repayment rate.


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Living Benefits of

ECON O MI C E MP O W E R ME N T

Life Insurance Showing the Way

Interview with Wealth Relationship Manager Vidal Peoples

By Yusuf Wilson

T

oday, more than any other time in history, Americans are in need of greater financial protection. Insurance allows an individual to transfer the consequences of risk and threats from their personal balance sheet onto the insurance company’s. However, many folks are still uninsured in 22

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these uncertain economic times. According to a recent LIMRA (Life Insurance and Market Research Association) study*, the number of households with life insurance is at a 50-year low. More than half of American households don’t have life insurance, and fewer than half (44%) have individual plans.

Financial Expert Vidal Peoples


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The Griot recently sat down with Vidal Peoples to get some insight. How did you get your start in the insurance and financial service industry?

Vidal: My education is in Business. I have my MBA from Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business. I’m licensed to sell Life, Health, and Disability insurance. I offer comprehensive financial and insurance planning.

Can you discuss the difference between Term and Whole life insurance?

Vidal: The strategy behind term insurance is that you never let it go to full term. You acquire it to protect one’s insurability. Once you have a term policy in force, you can convert it to a superior whole life product without taking another medical exam. This is important for young people to know that if they get term now while they are young they can convert the term that they have over to whole life when they have increased cash flow and can afford whole life premiums. If you let the term go to full term the money is spent, you have no asset and now, no insurance. With whole life insurance, you have the living and death benefits. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the least important, people in the know buy whole life insurance because of the asset, not because of the death benefits. The most important thing to now about whole life insurance is that it’s a contract based on mortality tables and actuarial science that will always increase in value and can never go down in value.

What are some of the dynamics you’ve seen of a person who is uninsured or unprotected?

Vidal: There are a lot of people who are trying to pay credit card bills, yet they don’t have any money saved. They are obsessed with credit scores yet not in any position to buy anything anytime soon. They have kids, but no life insurance or any protection for that matter. If they go and get hit by a bus, how are they protected? They are more concerned with lifestyle than legacy. They’re busting their hump paying credit card bills and they don’t even have a cheap term policy, which would at least leave something to take care of their kids. With that mindset, it’s a repetitive cycle; the financial entrapment continues. I’m not advocating that anyone not pay their bills, but if I die, I can’t leave my child $250,000, $500,000, $1,000,000 with credit. I can do that via life insurance. A young person in their twenties with the proper hierarchy of cash flow, can spend $30 a month. It’s pennies on

the dollar to have $400,000 worth of term insurance and pay down debt.

Can you talk about the hierarchy and balance sheet concept?

Vidal: The hierarchy/balancesheet concept is that there are four interdependent domains (Protection, Assets, Liabilities and Cash Flow) to one’s balance sheet. There is the protection domain that sits on top of the assets and liabilities like a roof of a house with the contents of the house being the assets and liabilities. What happens to a house with no roof? All of the things inside are exposed to the elements. And as you know with any house, a house has to be built on a solid foundation and not on sand. So, the proper hierarchy to one’s cash flow has five tiers gross income, protection, assets, liabilities and net income. The Griot

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1

GROSS INCOME: The engine that fuels the balance sheet. If there is a loss of income, assets go down and liabilities go up. That is why protecting one’s ability to earn an income and to always have an income coming in is tantamount to anything else.

2

PROTECTION: The first dollar in one’s world should go to protecting one’s balance sheet. The protection should be first (where the first dollar goes), full 100%, full replacement value. If you own a car, would one want all or some of their car replaced? If you owned a home, would you want all of some of the home replaced? The same should hold true for one’s income and their full economic value to their family, and forever.

3

ASSETS: Systematic savings. One should save at least 20-25% of their gross income. If one has systematic savings and has short (liquid), mid (wish list), and long term savings (college planning and retirement), they can then say they have earned the right to invest in products that have risk associated with them (i.e., mutual funds, stocks, bonds etc.).

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LIABILITIES: Being responsible and paying your bills and having a healthy relationship with credit and consumer debt.

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NET INCOME: Is what is left over after protection is in place. Protecting the income and the balance sheet, savings and liabilities are paid. Once the proper hierarchy is in order the net income is free to be spent on one’s lifestyle.

Can you talk about the hierarchy that needs to be in place? Vidal: Whether or not a person realizes it or not, we all have a balance sheet. The balance sheet is the true measure of one’s financial health. The first step of a proper hierarchy is to make sure that you’re protecting the engine that drives your balance sheet. If there’s no income coming in, everything ceases. So the most important thing to talk about is protecting their greatest asset, which is their ability to earn an income. Some of the questions I ask people are: What would happen if you were sick or injured and you 24

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couldn’t work? Do you know what your group long-term disabilities benefits are or if your company provides them to you? I provide this example: I have client who is a doctor. He has a substantial income of $12,000 per month. When we looked at his long-term disability coverage, it would only provide 30% of his base income to a maximum of $5,000 per month with a 180 day waiting period for the taxable benefit is received. That policy would mean $7,000 worth of his income is gone. His lifestyle is predicated on $12,000 per month. Protecting the engine that drives your balance sheet is tantamount. Next, is protecting your balance sheet, in totality, from financial threats. Financial threats can be; liability, disability, longevity, pre-mature death or market volatility. It is not about what the market is doing. What is most important is making sure you don’t run out of money before you run out of breath. The market is going to do what the market is going to do. The first dollar in your world should go to protecting your world. The third priority in the hierarchy is to pay yourself first. There should be a systematic saving in plan in place. You should have a rainy day fund(short term savings) with 8-10 months of living expenses. You’re not really worried about growth here, just liquidity and accessibility. If something hits the fan, you know you can go to that. One of the best vehicles for long term, once short term saving has been established, is in a whole-life policy. You’re putting money in a safe place that’s going to grow systematically over your lifetime. Making sure you’re living in a budgeted lifestyle, taking care of your obligations. These are the important conversations that need to be had before chasing a rate of return. Vidal Peoples can be reached via email and website: vidal_peoples@strategiesforwealth.com http://strategiesforwealth.com/vidalpeoples


HEAL TH A N D Q U A LI T Y O F LI FE

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Young and Uninsured?

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oung adults aged 19 to 29 make up nearly one-third of the uninsured population and have the highest uninsured rate of any age segment. According to healthreform.gov 30% of young adults do not have health insurance, compared with 17% of older adults. Many people choose to ignore these statistics, believing that young people are healthy and simply choose not to have insurance. The truth is they simply can’t afford it.

Avoid Living Without Health Insurance By: Kenyatta Joseph

million young adults get health insurance through the age 26 provision, allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance. Unfortunately, this option isn’t available to everyone. With the erosion of employer sponsored coverage, many young people still find themselves falling between the cracks.

Fortunately, help is available. The NYC Health Insurance Link, a user friendly online resource, provides detailed comparative info about the costs and benefits of plans available in NYC. Young adults can find strategies to make coverage more affordable and get a basic overview of health insur1,930 deaths occurred in ance, definitions and consumer proNYC Health Insurance Link 2000 among adults aged tections. also helps small businesses find af25-34 solely due to being fordable coverage for their employees.

Contrary to popular belief, young people do get sick. One in six young adults have a chronic condition. Almost one in ten has a mental health issue. They also have the highest rate uninsured. of injury-related emergency room Expensive medical bills can be visits among all age groups. The Inavoided because the emergenstitute of Medicine estimated that 1,930 deaths occurred cy room is not the only alternative. Neither is forein 2000 among adults aged 25-34 solely due to being going care. Health is an individual’s most valuable uninsured. Young adults are in need, which means they asset. need affordable insurance and access to health services.

According to a 2011 report by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Affordable Care Act helped 2.5 26

The Griot

Learn how to better safeguard your asset with health insurance by visiting: www.nyc.gov/hilink today!


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Griot Spring Summer 2012 Issue  

The magazine for the New York Urban League Young Professionals and its supporters.

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