How About a Guide to Money for Us Brothas?

Men need financial education, too. Our problem: too often, we won't seek it out

(Image: Thinkstock)

It’s okay, brothas. I know what you’re thinking. You just got your copy of your April 2009 issue of Black Enterprise, featuring the latest installment of the magazine’s Women & Money series, and you’re thinking: “Where is the love? Who’s getting hit the hardest by the current economic crisis? Who has the highest unemployment? Who is under the most pressure to provide for the women and children of our community, and who is more vilified when he fails to do so? Black men! That’s right: Us brothas! Where’s the series on Men and Money?”

Hey, I’m guilty of it too. Three weeks ago, I devoted my weekly Your Money segment on The Ride with Doug and Dede syndicated radio program to the “Five Mistakes Women Make with Their Money.” Okay, to be fair, I devoted the following week’s segment to money mistakes made by men, several of which I outline below. But it’s partly our fault–we don’t get a lot of financial advice because we are often too prideful to ask for it. So here is my expanded summary of the biggest money mistakes made by brothas, along with what we need to do to correct it–namely, admit we don’t know and take action to learn:

1. Ignoring good financial advice. Brothas, let’s be honest. Women get a lot of financial education directed toward them because they tend to be the most receptive to it. In fact, they demand it. While we wouldn’t be caught dead publicly admitting that we really don’t know the difference between a growth investment and a value play, women don’t mind admitting that they have no idea–which is the first step to being open to learning. This is one of the reasons why the portfolios of female investors often out perform those of male investors. Investment pro Larry E. Swedroe, in his book The Only Guide to A Winning Investment Strategy You’ll Ever Need, put it this way: “It appears that a common characteristic of human behavior is that, on average, men have confidence in skills they don’t have, while women simply know better.”

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  • julian

    iam getting so tired of reading so many articles on women issues.ok lets be real blackmen are struggling alot more then sisters out there and they get more understanding and help.the article i just read dont take in account that society in itself sets up what it is to be a man and what is not.we are constantly being bombared with things that tells us we have to have this car,house and make this amount money to get the girl.we are taught that boys dont cry or show emotion.men arent encouraged to show emotions or express them in a healthy manner.black enterprise dont get me wrong i know that most of ur readers are women and u dont want to angry them.i know most black women are buying the books and are big consumers, so we have to carter to them but aleast be honest about it.

  • william robinson

    Well brothas i am a brotha to and i want yall to know about something it is called the estell richardson murder case look under gus puyer this sista was beaten to death by three white gaurds and one brotha beleive it or not if you wanna know more look under gus puyer george bush was best friends with the defense attorney for these scum and he even tried to get the defense attorney gus puyer a federal judge seat go figure chack it out lets stand up for our sistas and they will do the same for us

  • Mr. Edmonds, Thank you for this article. Women do a great job a creating social groups, networking and professional discussions on topics that relate to women, which is cool! I’ve often wondered when will we see more of this from men. Even at major conferences, there is a serious need for male oriented forums and discussions on serious topics like finance, health, lifelong learning and entrepreneurship. Sign me up whenever there is a planning session on these topics.

  • Alfred Edmond Jr.

    In my humble opinion, we do not need a “planning session.” Sisters don’t create new stuff; they take advantage of what already exists, demonstrating a demand that prompts the market to respond with events, books, products and web sites designed to meet that demand.

    To change things, each brotha must commit to two things:

    1. Make financial education a priority for yourself (setting an example for the rest of us)

    2. Encourage other brothers in your circle to do so as well.

    That’s where I think we should begin: exemplify and encourage. Or, as the Word says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

    Whatever we do, please, please, please don’t use this as an excuse to start another unprofitable, unsustainable, disorganized, non-profit organization! There are too many good ones (such as http://www.betterinvesting.org) around that already provide what we need. We just need to support and engage these existing resources.

    Anyway, that’s my take. What does everyone else think?

  • Dewrann Stelring

    I think this is a great article and you’re absolutely right when you mentioned that too many article are directed toward the empowerment of women and finance, though it’s great to recognize women who are the cornerstone of our society but there needs to be a balance of information directed to men as well, so that both sexes will be equally informed to make a more productive and informative society! Great article Mr. Edmonds.

    p.s. I would like to subscribe to B.E. but more importantly if you are aware of any upcoming events, seminars etc.. please shoot me an email at sdewrann@hotmail. I reside in the DC metro area. Again, thank you

  • I am a teen entrepreneur coach and surprisingly (completely by chance) all the young people I work with except for 1 are boys. I find that by default society sets up men (in general) in a position of omniscience. By default they are supposed to know everything and if they don’t then it certainly shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. The pressures and expectations they have are overwhelming and of course there is no room for mistakes.

    It is evident with the teens I work with so it definitely starts early. In order for it to be done all it takes is someone organizing the initiative and taking ownership of it. You are Black Enterprise Magazine. Why not you? Why not now?


  • cedrick smith


    author of book: “I Can’t Afford To Marry You!: a guide to understanding the true cost of love”. great read for men and women. It is based on a true story – self published and referenced in Black Enterprise.