Nov28

On the Money: Pilar Sanders

pilar deion saunders

Well the judge has spoken and Pilar Sanders will not see one dime more than the $1 million she agreed to in the prenup she signed when she married Pro Football Hall of Famer/NFL Network Analyst Deion Sanders.  At least that’s the ruling of Collin County Judge Ray Wheless, who concluded that Pilar Sanders had willingly signed the prenuptial agreement.

Pilar’s attorney had argued that the original premarital agreement signed by both parties was forged, accusing the former Dallas Cowboy of  tricking and defrauding her at the time she signed the agreement, which came with a $100,000 signing bonus.

“It’s greed. You signed a contract,” Deion Sanders told reporters while referencing his wife once outside of the courtroom. “We had a prenuptial and now you don’t like the terms of it, because of the realization — it’s over. Your lifestyle will no longer be the same way. It’s greed.” Pilar countered on Twitter: “Do u even know what GREED Means since u couldn’t even define the word IGNORANT.”

Though she won’t receive spousal support, the former model will still, however, receive $10,550 a month in child support and $3,500 a month for the home where the couple’s three children stay when they’re with her. That’s in addition to $275,000 in legal fees the judge ordered that Sanders pay as well for the children’s extracurricular activities and health care.

 

Nov28

On the Money: Judy Sharpe

judy sharp

The Judy Sharpe Collection: Success Through Faith

“I received prophecies,” says Judy Sharpe-Savannah, designer and owner of the Judy Sharpe Collection, whose playfully dramatic hats have been worn by the likes of Gladys Knight, and first ladies Pastor Debra Morton (wife of Bishop Paul Morton) and Elder Serita Ann Jakes (wife of Bishop T.D. Jakes).

“I would go to different venues and church functions etc and people walk up to me and they say, ‘Oh, you’re going to be very wealthy.’ “It seemed like every time someone said that, I would get poorer,” laughs the Columbus, OH-native. “I was like, Lord, why is everybody telling me I’m going to be rich? Lord, I don’t see it!”

Turns out, those prophecies hit their mark. Almost thirty years after starting her business, Sharpe-Savannah’s success has allowed her to pay for her son’s undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as help people in need all around the world.

 “You can go through a lot in life,” she says, “but that doesn’t mean you’re ready for wealth. God will give it to you when He knows that you can really handle it.”

She admits that owning your own business is very challenging, “but you’ve got to hold on and one day you’ll be a success story.”

The business grew out of a desperate situation. Twenty-eight years ago, while living in Los Angeles, Savannah Sharpe was fired from her job as concierge and regency club manager with a major, upscale hotel chain. Not only was it a lucrative career, but she loved doing it.

 “During my distress, the Lord told me, ‘I am going to make you my designer. Everything you make and people who wear them and look upon them are going to be tremendously blessed.’ ”

But Sharpe-Savannah was “going through” and couldn’t absorb the encouragement. Add to that the fact that she didn’t know how to sew, design or create much of anything, and the promise seemed all the more distant.

Finally, while crying on her mother’s couch one day, Sharpe-Savannah says the Lord told her get up, go to Sears, and ask the sales clerk to show her how to thread a sewing machine. She left the department store that day with her very first sewing machine.

Working with her mother, Sharpe-Savannah started off making hair bows. That eventually grew to a collection of accessories that include belts, scarves, fans, fascinators, and hats that range in cost between $40 and $400 dollars. 

She now sells about 2,500 hats a year and at times employs up to twenty other milliners during her busiest seasons.

She also displays her creations at some of the nations biggest venues for hats, including the Kentucky Derby where once Queen Elizabeth was in attendance and gave one of her hats a nod of approval. But the biggest highlight of her career came when she asking to participate in the NAACP’s 100th Anniversary Fashion Show in New York.

Despite all her success, it was only five years ago that she began to see what she does as a business.

“I looked at it as survival,” says the mother of one. “Just as a hustle.”

Then the pastor of fifteen years, who credits her artistic vision to divine inspiration, realized it was time to think of herself as a serious entrepreneur.  

Now living in Richmond, VA with her new husband, Bishop W. R. Savannah Jr of Mt. Zion Outreach Ministry, Sharpe-Savannah says her next move is to “multiply herself” and open a showroom and a factory where she can provide jobs in her community. Proudly calling herself a fashion historian, she also plans to teach young people not just millinery, but how to create opportunities for themselves.

“We have to create jobs for our people,” she says. “We cannot just sit back and wait for people to give us those jobs. We have to now take the role of creating wealth.”

But the most important piece advice she has for young entrepreneurs is to do what you love.

“Whether you make a whole lot of money or not, be passionate about it. When you love it, it’s going to come to you. 

lebron jamesOn The Money: Most Expensive Basketball Shoes In History

If you feel $300 is too much hard earned cash to pay for a basketball shoe, brace yourself for the pending LeBron X sneaker. Fans got a glimpse of Nike’s most expensive shoe to date during the London Olympics—where LeBron James, the Miami Heat all star, wore a version of the motion sensor sneaker as he helped the U.S. win gold.

The Wall Street Journal has estimated that the LeBron X will range from $180 to $270, which has us wondering if the price for other quality court shoes will skyrocket.  

Looks like they already have. The most popular basketball shoe of all time, the Air Jordan is expected to release a new version in December for $185. (The priciest version of the Jordan goes for $290). A pair of basketball Nike Air Force 1's will also retail for as much as $180 and the new Nike Kobe IV are expected to hit shelves for no less than $240. Reebok will re-release Allen Anderson’s signature Question “blue tip” shoe this October for a cool $125. And as for the lightest shoe on the market, the Adidas Crazy Light 2 collection will retail for $140.

Nov28

Money Matters: George Fraser

george fraserTake the Pledge of Financial Freedom

In the 400 year history of black people in America, the baby boomer generation is the only generation to raise another generation that will be financially worse-off,” says George Fraser, Chairman and CEO of FraserNET, recalling a front-page article he read last year. 

“It’s an insult to our forefathers.”

Wary of seeing the black community “just not doing the right things with our money,” Fraser who had been speaking and writing about this problem for 25 years decided to do something about it.

His Solution: The Making Our Selves Economically Successful, or MOSES, Movement.

 “Our vision,” says Fraser, “is to significantly improve financial literacy and money management skills. Our goal is to get one-million black people to pledge to the Ten Commitments of Financial Freedom, begin saving at least $50 a month, and then to become debt free.”

The NYU graduate and founder of the annual PowerNetworking Conference describes the Ten Commitments of Financial Freedom as something people can grab onto and use to guide their financial decisions. 

When first conceiving the idea of the MOSES Movement, Fraser spent two years engaging other top black financial experts. These commitments are the result of that collaboration and include ideals that range from personal financial welfare to community mindedness.

Also important to the program are strategic partnerships. Among then are churches, other financial literacy programs, a credit union, and several community minded sponsors, including Prudential Financial, Inc.

 “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with such an inspirational and iconic leader like George Fraser to change so many lives,” says Gloria Goins, vice president, Business Diversity Outreach for Prudential. “This makes sponsoring the Moses Movement particularly special.”

A church-based training program, The MOSES Movement operates on multiple fronts. Their community outreach begins by asking a church to host their $19.95 all-day financial literacy seminar, which includes lunch. Besides educating the attendees, Fraser asks the audience to sign a pledge to commit to the goal of financial freedom.

“We are a consuming culture and not a saving culture,” says the popular speaker and bestselling author. “I’ve been trying to convince my community to stop living above your means, which means you live above what you earn, and stop living even within your means, which means you spend everything you earn.

“Living below your means and put money away. Ultimately you’ll be able to fulfill the dream of every generation: the generational transfer of wealth.”

Additionally, they offer a follow up option. “Money Mastery: The 7 Keys to Your Financial Freedom” is a year-long course taught by financial powerhouse Cheryl Broussard. It includes a booklet, teleconferences, and workshops and can be purchased for $39.95. 

 “We don’t make our money by charging people for instruction and services,” says Fraser. “Whatever fees we collect basically covers the cost, if it even does that.”

What is more important, says Fraser, is that African-Americans learn how to become debt free.

 “There’s a system for everything and I taught my sons that if you want to learn how to get an A, hangout with people who are getting As because they have a system for that,” says the Cleveland-based father of two.

“There’s a system for becoming debt free. It’s not a complicated system. It does require discipline, but once you learn the system and you apply it, your whole life will change. When you have little to no debt and you have money in your savings account, you have a whole different attitude and air about you.”

This system includes three essential steps, detailed at Moses project.frasernetpnc.com, that start with a one-month goal but offer the prospect of financial freedom in three years.

“One of most pressing needs within the American African community is the need for financial education coupled with corresponding financial action,” says Goins. “My hope is that the participants will get the necessary education, support and confidence to realize their financial dreams.”

The Moses Movement offers no quick fix. “It’s not some hype, it’s not some scam,“ says Fraser, “It’s easy to get caught up in a whole lot of BS in the financial industry. You have to be very, very careful.”

Fraser espouses that becoming financially free is not a matter of luck or skill. Attaining the goal requires an investment of time, effort, discipline and a course of action. 

Having a support group, which is what Fraser calls his program, also helps.

 “This is much easier to say than it is to do obviously or everybody would be debt free,” he says. “It’s not easy, but if you have a support group that is giving you the information the timely information you need and cheering you on, it just makes it easier.”

To take the pledge and take your first step to financial freedom visit: MOSESproject.frasernetpnc.com or call (216) 691-6686

Nov28

On the Money: Gabby Douglas

gabby douglasGabby Douglas' gold worth millions in endorsement deals 

U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas made history in July when she  became the first African-American to win a gold medal during women’s  gymnastics all-around event. The 16-year-old—dubbed “the flying  squirrel” also helped her team to win gold medal in the women gymnasts  all-around team competition.

History, world records and medals aside, Douglas’ gold triumph at the  London Olympics is also expected to rake in a great deal of green for  the Virginia native. Fact is, the multi-million dollar endorsements are already coming in.  Douglas inked her first deal with P&G’s digital series “Raising an  Olympian,” which features footage of her competing as a child followed  by a deal with Kellogs that will immortalize her on boxes of Corn  Flakes.

Industry experts estimate that Douglas will make $2 million to $4  million in each of the next four years, and are speculating her  sponsorships to generate $9-$10 million.

"She's the new darling of America," said Bob Dorfman, executive  creative director of Baker Street Advertising and author of Sports  Marketer's Scouting Report. "She has the look, the great smile, and  seems like someone who could be a compelling pitch woman of products to  teens and pre-teens."

Take the Pledge of Financial Freedom

In the 400 year history of black people in America, the baby boomer generation is the only generation to raise another generation that will be financially worse-off,” says George Fraser, Chairman and CEO of FraserNET, recalling a front-page article he read last year.

“It’s an insult to our forefathers.”

Wary of seeing the black community “just not doing the right things with our money,” Fraser who had been speaking and writing about this problem for 25 years decided to do something about it.

His Solution: The Making Our Selves Economically Successful, or MOSES, Movement.

“Our vision,” says Fraser, “is to significantly improve financial literacy and money management skills. Our goal is to get one-million black people to pledge to the Ten Commitments of Financial Freedom, begin saving at least $50 a month, and then to become debt free.”

The NYU graduate and founder of the annual PowerNetworking Conference describes the Ten Commitments of Financial Freedom as something people can grab onto and use to guide their financial decisions.

When first conceiving the idea of the MOSES Movement, Fraser spent two years engaging other top black financial experts. These commitments are the result of that collaboration and include ideals that range from personal financial welfare to community mindedness.

Also important to the program are strategic partnerships. Among then are churches, other financial literacy programs, a credit union, and several community minded sponsors, including Prudential Financial, Inc.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with such an inspirational and iconic leader like George Fraser to change so many lives,” says Gloria Goins, vice president, Business Diversity Outreach for Prudential. “This makes sponsoring the Moses Movement particularly special.”

A church-based training program, The MOSES Movement operates on multiple fronts. Their community outreach begins by asking a church to host their $19.95 all-day financial literacy seminar, which includes lunch. Besides educating the attendees, Fraser asks the audience to sign a pledge to commit to the goal of financial freedom.

“We are a consuming culture and not a saving culture,” says the popular speaker and bestselling author. “I’ve been trying to convince my community to stop living above your means, which means you live above what you earn, and stop living even within your means, which means you spend everything you earn.

“Living below your means and put money away. Ultimately you’ll be able to fulfill the dream of every generation: the generational transfer of wealth.”

Additionally, they offer a follow up option. “Money Mastery: The 7 Keys to Your Financial Freedom” is a year-long course taught by financial powerhouse Cheryl Broussard. It includes a booklet, teleconferences, and workshops and can be purchased for $39.95.

“We don’t make our money by charging people for instruction and services,” says Fraser. “Whatever fees we collect basically covers the cost, if it even does that.”

What is more important, says Fraser, is that African-Americans learn how to become debt free.

“There’s a system for everything and I taught my sons that if you want to learn how to get an A, hangout with people who are getting As because they have a system for that,” says the Cleveland-based father of two.

“There’s a system for becoming debt free. It’s not a complicated system. It does require discipline, but once you learn the system and you apply it, your whole life will change. When you have little to no debt and you have money in your savings account, you have a whole different attitude and air about you.”

This system includes three essential steps, detailed at Moses project.frasernetpnc.com, that start with a one-month goal but offer the prospect of financial freedom in three years.

“One of most pressing needs within the American African community is the need for financial education coupled with corresponding financial action,” says Goins. “My hope is that the participants will get the necessary education, support and confidence to realize their financial dreams.”

The Moses Movement offers no quick fix. “It’s not some hype, it’s not some scam,“ says Fraser, “It’s easy to get caught up in a whole lot of BS in the financial industry. You have to be very, very careful.”

Fraser espouses that becoming financially free is not a matter of luck or skill. Attaining the goal requires an investment of time, effort, discipline and a course of action.

Having a support group, which is what Fraser calls his program, also helps.

“This is much easier to say than it is to do obviously or everybody would be debt free,” he says. “It’s not easy, but if you have a support group that is giving you the information the timely information you need and cheering you on, it just makes it easier.”

To take the pledge and take your first step to financial freedom visit: MOSESproject.frasernetpnc.com or call (216) 691-6686

Nov28

On the Money

morgan freemanHow the mortgage meltdown permanently impacts many blacks’ finances

Recent Washington Post article examined how the meltdown in the mortgage market has led to a sharp decline in credit scores for blacks. The Post article emphasized how poor credit makes it much tougher to secure loans and gain access to credit, especially for African-Americans. The significant loss of black wealth through foreclosures following the disproportionate number of costly sub-prime mortgages granted to blacks might place many African-Americans in a permanent bad credit underclass.

“At issue are the largely invisible but profoundly influential three-digit credit scores that help determine who can buy a car, finance a college education or own a home,” the Post said. But talking about credit scores exclusively in the context of credit and loans is incomplete and misses the mark. In reality, the financial fallout from having bad credit touches a person’s life in many more ways – not the least of which includes:

  • Renting an apartment in a decent neighborhood
  • Purchasing inexpensive homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
  • Qualifying for reasonably-priced car insurance
  • Getting a job
  • Securing a promotion

These things may be out of reach – or far more difficult and costly – if you have a poor credit rating. And now that so many African-Americans have lost their wealth through losing their homes, many more may also face the fallout the resultant poor credit scores will bring. And that aftermath may unfold indefinitely.

The problem is that Americans, by and large, tend to only pay attention to their credit ratings when it’s time to apply for a loan or credit.

“If you walked up to 100 people and asked: ‘Do you know your credit score?’ I’ll bet less than a quarter of them do,” says Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of LowCards.com. “Unfortunately, the credit score doesn’t get the attention it really deserves even though it has so many far-reaching ramifications.”
To be ignorant the information contained in your credit report is a shame these days, especially when you can readily obtain both online.  You can even get your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – free of charge each year at AnnualCreditReport.com.
If you want to get ahead in your career, it’s vitally important to review your credit. The link between credit and jobs can’t be overstated, particularly in the current tough job market. With unemployment rates for African-Americans in the double digits, black job-hunters need to do everything they can to make themselves more attractive to potential employers. You don’t want a spotty credit report to take you out of the running for a new job – or a promotion at an existing job. Yet, that’s exactly what happens every day.
The Society for Human Resources Management reports that nearly 60 percent of employers in the U.S. now use credit checks as part of their screening process for either some or all job applicants. That’s just one reason why some blacks – and others with shaky credit records – are having trouble landing work.
“Bad credit will make your insurance cost more or will render you ineligible except for the most expensive coverage,” says Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., owner of Greaves Financial Services and The Bridge Insurance Agency in Brooklyn, New York.
In the case of some higher insurance premiums, blame what Greaves calls “the five credit sins”:

  • Bankruptcy in the last five years
  • Foreclosure
  • Repossession
  • Judgment
  • Any collection items at all

According to Greaves, if you have any of the above five items on your credit report, it’s going to hurt your insurance credit score and cause you to pay considerably more for things like auto, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
In my book, Perfect Credit, I told the story of Bill and Skip. Bill paid his financial obligations on time, managed debt wisely, and had great credit. Skip routinely missed payments, mismanaged his finances, and had lousy credit.
Over the course of a lifetime, Bill saved or earned more than $1 million compared to Skip, who constantly paid more for everything – including mortgages and loans, and was passed over for promotions and other job opportunities because of his bad credit track record.
Bill and Skip are hypothetical figures. They’re not portrayed as black, white, Asian or Hispanic. The point is to highlight how much you can save or earn by having great credit – and how you go about achieving perfect credit. (Here are my 6 ways to maximize your credit score.)
Besides, it’s important to note that amid the Great Recession, a FICO analysis found that nearly 50 million people saw their credit scores fall by more than 20 points amid the peak of the financial crisis.
But Blacks appear to have borne the brunt of this credit deterioration – primarily because African-Americans were disproportionately impacted by job losses and the wave of foreclosures that have swept the country in recent years.
The lesson here is simple: We all need to stay on top of our credit at all times. Otherwise, you risk being financially penalized and disenfranchised for decades, in ways you may not even realize.

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®, is a personal finance expert, television and radio personality, and the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller ‘Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.’ Follow Lynnette Khalfani-Cox on Twitter at @TheMoneyCoach.

ON THE MONEY
Black Celebrities Who Monetarily Support Obama

It seems black celebrities are willing to put their money where their mouth  is when it comes to their support for President Obama’s election bid. Last month, Morgan Freeman donated a whopping $1 million of his own money to ensure Mr. President’s reelection.

Spike Lee and Tyler Perry come in close behind with separate fundraisers that totaled at least $500,000 each. Oprah Winfrey has quietly forked over $70,000. Dennis Haysbert and Jamie Foxx donated $35,800 and John Legend handed over $20,000.

Jada Pinkett Smith, Omar Epps, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Hudson and Nick Cannon have individually donated $2,500 to $30,000.

Powerful NBA players have publically endorsed the Obama Victory Fund. Miami Heat’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers gave $30,000.
The super-PAC supporting President Obama pulled in $6.2 million

In total, $36.45 million for his re-election bid during the second quarter of the year and at least $142.85 million throughout the 2012 cycle.

First Ladies High Tea
November will mark the 20th Anniversary of our Annual First Ladies High Tea, honoring the contributions of female leaders and women of faith to the Los Angeles community. For more information, visit www.firstladieshightea.com
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