I have a passion for education around generational wealth. Why?
An estimated 70% of generational wealth doesn’t make it past the second generation.1 According to the Institute for Policy Studies, the median wealth of Black families is expected to go down to zero by 2053.2
I recently spoke with three Black women who own seven-figure businesses and are determined to build generational wealth for their families and future generations. They believe that it’s important to build assets and teach kids about personal finance.
Following are the stories of Arnita Johnson-Hall, Ellie Diop, and Rachel Rodgers.
1. Teach kids about financial leverage
Arnita Johnson-Hall is a credit expert and financial coach who lives in Dallas, Texas. Johnson-Hall built her seven-figure business, AMB Credit Consultants and Luxurious Credit, teaching people about credit and helping them reach their financial goals. She shared some of the methods she uses to build generational wealth.
Johnson-Hall and her husband are real estate investors. “I buy investment properties in cash and rent them out,” she said. She then sets aside the rent collected for her children. “When my kids graduate, they will receive deeds to investment properties along with the money collected on rent over the years.”
She also plans to invest some of the money collected from rent in the stock market through a child custodial account. Johnson-Hall believes that access to that money when her kids graduate from school can help them build more wealth.
As a credit expert, Johnson-Hall understands how to leverage credit to build more wealth. “I added my kids onto my credit card as an authorized user so that they can begin to establish credit and leverage it when they become adults,” Johnson-Hall said.
2. Emphasize life experiences
Ellie Diop is a business and strategy coach who lives in Los Angeles. She founded her coaching company, Ellie Talks Money, in 2020 using a $1,200 stimulus check and scaled the business to multi-millions in less than a year. During an interview, Ellie Diop shared how she’s assisting her kids in building wealth.
Diop said that it was crucial for her to teach her kids how to earn money, so they started making money together. They started a lemonade stand because Diop wanted to show her kids that you can take an idea and turn it into an enterprise.
“We started by making our own colored lemonades; then we added cookies. We obtained vendor permits to sell at local farmers’ markets. I taught my oldest kids about customer service and how to upsell. So, before the pandemic, when people would come to buy the lemonade, I would teach them to recommend a cookie and sell them as a bundle,” Diop said.
Diop also hired her oldest child as an office assistant in her business. “He’s responsible for making sure that there are enough supplies like paper at the office and for keeping things neat,” Diop added.
She shared that she wanted to teach her kids the importance of creating their wealth. “I don’t want to make things hard for them. But I want them to know that, even if you have money, it doesn’t mean you can’t get more.”
Saving and investing
Diop pays her kids through the Greenlight kids debit card. “I want them to be able to know what it’s like to have money in their account and have the discipline to hold on to their money,” Diop said. She teaches them delayed gratification by saving up their money to purchase the things they like. She also talks to her kids about saving half of whatever money they receive.
Diop invests for her kids using custodial accounts. “I have some index funds and dividend accounts growing for them right now.”
As the children get older, Diop plans to pay them more and put a portion of their salary towards a custodial Roth IRA, which will grow tax-free until their retirement.
Diop owns a rental property in Dallas. She also plans to acquire more properties for her kids in places like Missouri, Alabama, and Senegal, where her father is originally from. She can afford much more for her investment in those areas than in Los Angeles, where she lives.
“I want my children to have assets in their name when they become adults, but also understand what to do with those assets,” Diop said. So, she talks to them about real estate and the importance of passing down properties to future generations. “I explain to them that the properties will go to them. And then, when they’re older, they’ll pass them down to their kids. I want them to understand the generational aspect of things. So, I never really talk about selling anything,” Diop added.
As a child, Diop lived a year in Senegal, an experience she’s very grateful for. She would like her kids to spend time in Senegal to help them have an even better appreciation for what they have. For her, it’s also important that her kids travel and learn to talk to and relate to different people. This knowledge has helped on her own wealth-building journey.
3. Encourage a long-term view
Rachel Rodgers is an intellectual-property lawyer and business coach who lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. She’s the CEO of Hello Seven, a multi-million-dollar company she founded to help women scale their business to seven figures. Rodgers shared some of the tools she’s using to help her kids build wealth.
Teaching the fundamentals of finances
Rodgers believes that money shouldn’t be a taboo in the home. She encourages them to earn money and save and invest.
“We talk to our children about money all the time,” she said. “They earn money from different school activities. They can spend that money to buy things they want. They also have accounts set up where they’re saving and investing.”
She believes in having open conversations about their family’s money story so her children can better appreciate the life they live.
Investing in real estate
Rodgers believes in purchasing assets that appreciate over time. Along with her husband, she has purchased several properties. Last year, they also bought a 53-acre ranch where the family currently lives. “That’s one of the reasons why we bought this ranch. It’s an asset that we can pass down to our children,” she said.
Planning for retirement
Rodgers and her husband are proactive about investing for their retirement, using avenues like the stock market. By investing for their retirement, the couple is removing a responsibility faced by many financially successful adult children: taking care of their parents.
“Making sure that our kids only have to worry about themselves, and the future generations, is important to us,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers shared the importance of planning for her children to inherit the wealth that she created with her husband. “I see the active creation of wealth as me contributing to my children’s well-being,” she explained. “By having a will, setting up a trust, I’m helping them have wealth for the future.”
Teaching an abundance mindset
Rodgers teaches her kids that money is abundant and available and that they have to work hard to earn it. “I want them to see money as a resource and a tool that they can use to create whatever it is that they want in life, change in the world, positive impact, and have the lifestyle that they want,” she said.
However, she confessed that she had to unlearn her scarcity mindset. “I think people underestimate how much the stories in their head are contributing to the lack of money in their bank account,” Rodgers said.
Building wealth that stands the test of time is a challenging task that most people can’t accomplish. Having a plan to acquire assets and teach your children along the way gives you a better chance of accomplishing that goal.