Fortune magazine’s upcoming live chat with Warren Buffett gets ESSENCE Senior Editor Tanisha Sykes thinking: What advice could he give to hard-working Black women?
What would I ask a rich guy? The first thought that pops into my head is: "How can I make more money without working so damn hard?!" It sounds almost silly, but people often mistake working hard for working smart. I'm all for being a playa playa, but having 17 jobs simultaneously gets old fast!
So when I heard that Fortune magazine would be doing a live chat with Warren Buffett, the self-made CEO of Berkshire Hathaway who is reportedly worth $53 billion, I thought, “Here's my chance to turn my 'coins' (did y’all see that crazy episode of Married to Medicine?) into cash.” As Black women, our experience with money is different than that of our white counterparts. For example, trends indicate that a higher percentage of us are the primary breadwinners in our households. What’s more, African-American women are feeling a stronger financial pinch, having to care for grown children, elderly parents and random relatives with too many money emergencies. (If they call three times in one month, it's not an emergency, it's a bad habit!) So what would I ask Buffett, a.k.a. the Oracle of Omaha? While channeling some of your innermost thoughts about money, a few questions came to mind:
1. I've invested in my 401(k), IRAs and CDs, but I don't know the first thing about individual stock investing. Where should I begin?
2. Some think they have a better chance at winning the lottery than doing well in the stock market. Convince them that the stock market is a worthy investment.
3. Although 34 percent of all Black women who are employed hold management, professional and related occupations, just 4 percent of us hold the top corporate jobs. Do you think Black female executives need a white male mentor to excel in the workplace?
4. I've been with my company for four years with no increase in pay. My boss says it's due to the poor economy. Now that the housing market is starting to pick up, do you think the economy will follow suit?
5. My daughter is going to college in 2014 and I haven't saved a dime. Is it too late?
6. I recently received a windfall. I could pay off my $600 monthly car note or put the money toward a down payment on a home. What would you do?
7. My husband and I would have the perfect marriage if money weren’t an issue. I’m a saver and he’s a spender. We've never accomplished one financial goal together. How can we stop fighting over money and get on the same page?
8. I earn a six-figure salary, but I'm still living paycheck to paycheck. What are your money-management secrets?
9. You're known for investing in staple companies with good long-term prospects. What are three indicators that a company will do well? Is it as simple as investing in what you know?
10. If given the opportunity, what investment would you make today? What investment would you leave on the table?
Got a question for Warren Buffett? Send them via Twitter using the hashtag #FortuneBuffett. Then watch a live conversation with Buffett on Thursday, May 2, 2013, at 12 p.m. EST.
And follow me tomorrow on Twitter @tanishastips to hear my commentary on the live chat.