Angela E. Matthews (270417)

When it comes to making smart financial investments, there’s one very important resource that you must have at your disposal – money! 

All the business savvy in the world won’t help an aspiring investor if he doesn’t have the capital to get started. 

Lack of disposable income – and fear of watching an investment go up in flames – are the main reasons why people choose to tuck their hard-earned money away in a protected savings account rather than invest extra cash into a public company or project. 

The least common demographic to experiment with investing are working-class people, and statistics indicate that African Americans and other minority groups often run into challenges stemming from poor money management and financial illiteracy. 

These habits aren’t conducive to building a profitable investment portfolio, but the goal of achieving lasting prosperity is reachable for anyone willing to make certain budgetary sacrifices, explains spending guru Angela Matthews. 

“I teach people how to invest in the stock market similar to how the Rosetta Stone teaches different languages,” she explained. “I do this because there’s so much wealth going around and I’m really passionate about the everyday person and maximizing and capitalizing on that.”

Matthews believes that one of the reasons why people don’t invest in the stock market–or they’re not on top of their financial plan–is because “sometimes they associate it with negative feelings.”

“The financial crisis that happened back in 2008 left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth,” she recalls. “But investing is a sincere path to financial freedom. It’s a way to help your money last for tomorrow and future generations. My goal is to change the demographic of what a millionaire looks like. Fifty years from now I want that millionaire to reflect every race, gender and age group. That’s why I do what I do.”  

Many people shun the idea of investing because they’ve been led to believe getting started requires a sizable amount of personal finance, explains Matthews. 

“It’s the biggest misconception ever! Most people get rich by investing. It’s actually a bit of a catch 22 because you’re thinking ‘Hey I can’t invest until I’m rich.’ But if you speak to a rich person and you ask them how they got rich, most times they’ll tell you by investing.” 

Matthews understands that money doesn’t grow on trees, and most low- and middle-class families lack the financial flexibility to freely invest their savings. But there’s still a way to “get your feet wet,” assures Matthews.

“Cut down on your spending. Instead of buying new shoes or going out to fancy dinners,  you can actually start reallocating that money to buy stock in companies.” Matthews referred to Bank of America as an investment example.

“Currently their stock price is $31.14. Imagine if you stopped going out to eat everyday and bought four shares in B of A each month. By the end of the year you’d have at least 40 shares. That would earn you a hefty return on your investment,” she explained.

To help others learn the ins and outs of strategic investing, Matthews launched her own internet platform–“The Happy Investor Method”–where she teaches courses about forming wealth in perpetually gyrating economy. 

“I started investing over 10 years ago,” she remembers. “I was working a job that paid $40,000 a year and I hated it. I would wake up every morning and say to myself ‘oh my god not again today.’ So I decided to start a side business and to invest. Every week I took a little out of my paycheck and I invested in companies. Slowly but surely, 10 years later, my portfolio has tripled. And so those shares that I bought for 50 or 60 bucks are now worth upward of $400.”

She continued, “If you’re in it for the long term, then I really don’t see a true downside. Just don’t put your eggs in one basket by investing in one company.” 

Financial analysts report that U.S. economic growth will continue to accelerate this year before slowing in 2019 to well below the Trump Administration’s 3 percent target as a fiscal stimulus fades, congressional researchers projected in August.

In an updated economic outlook, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that inflation adjusted or real gross domestic product (GDP) would grow 3.1 percent this year, exceeding 2.2-percent growth in 2017 due to lower income taxes, increased government spending and private investment.

The government slashed corporate and personal income taxes in January in a $1.5 trillion package and the U.S. Congress passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill in March. The April-June growth rate was the highest in nearly four years.

With these statistics in mind, Matthews says the time to invest is “now” for anyone holding a little extra cash, especially future retirees.  

“About 25 percent of my students happen to be 55 and older. Because they’re so close to retirement, they’re doubling their investments.” 

She added, “These days if you only have 40 or 50 thousand saved post-retirement, it may only last a year or two. People in this age bracket need to think of different ways to leverage their money.” 

With a degree in philosophy and a minor in business, marketing and international studies, Matthews has transformed many institutions and industries by merging her experience and strategic thinking.

“A lot of my clients have had really great success in only three short years. Not only were they able to learn something new and see their money grow, but they were also able to teach their children and grandchildren how to invest.”