By Robert Stitt
Prudential’s South Florida Financial Group conducted a survey to see how people of different backgrounds and races felt about their financial future. Prudential released their findings at the National Association of Black Journalists conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The survey was viewed through rose-colored glasses because the numbers showed an up-tick from prior years, but the percentages were still not cheery. According to the survey, “58 percent of African Americans indicated they expect the next generation of their family will have a ‘better financial situation than their own,’ compared to only 46 percent of the general population.”
It’s easy to expect the next generation to do better than you if you aren’t doing too well. Further, since the sampling error is 3 percent on the top and 4 percent on the bottom, that could put the numbers for both groups right near 50 percent which is statistically insignificant.
Black respondents had a “greater sense of advancement and optimism about their financial situations.” More than half of those surveyed made less than $50,000 with only 4 percent earning upwards of $150,000. Therefore, nearly half of those surveyed earn between $50,000 and $150,000 a year. That matches well with the 56 percent of African Americans who feel “significantly or somewhat better off now compared to five years ago.” It is likely this same 50 percent who feel “very well-prepared to make wise financial decisions.”
What the numbers also say is that half of black Americans make less than $50,000 and do not feel that their lives have been improving over the last years. They do not feel prepared to make financial decisions.
Black respondents also said that they were savers and not investors, which shows a lack of trust in the financial markets. While 74 percent of those surveyed contributed to their retirement plan, the average for non-black Americans was 85 percent, which more trust in the banks and less trust in the system. It also reflects lack of financial education as the vast majority feel they have a strong knowledge of managing household budgets, but only one-third feel confident about investing, leaving money to the next generation, or saving for education. Twenty percent give themselves an “F” in this area.
In general, the survey up-ticks were 2-4 percentage points from the 2013 study across the board. Those are also the sample error rates. It’s often been said that statisticians can make numbers say whatever they want them to. In this case, are the percents a sign of a positive trend, or simply a hiccup. Truly, it depends on what message you want the numbers to support.
This is truly disturbing but it is also an eye opener! In my thinking I say make your time on earth mean something! We are always hearing that we are inventive people….well get off the chair and off the computer and invent sometime. Learn how to hustle the right way so you can have extra money to pay off bills, invest into something, and have that better life.
I hate hearing people with excesses. The biggest problem we all face is not enough money, right? So I decided to follow what the Bible tells us to do about that problem. The Bible says, “Use What You Have”.
I am doing that and I have a business from it. I am not ready just yet to reveal it but it is working and the money is slowly coming in and building. You can do it as well. Think about it!