“I’m Gettin’ Money”: How Hip-Hop influences Wall Street

A True Art Form: Making It Rain

I’m so confused with the state of Hip-Hop/Rap music and the financial messages they are sending. I know it’s not their responsibility to send any kind of message! But I can’t help to think that they are. A while back I was on the train and group of high school kids jumped on. It was a pretty packed train and they spread themselves out in any unoccupied seat but they insisted on speaking-no make that yelling-to each other throughout the rail car. “You ain’t getting money!”, shouted one to another (and I’ll spare you the expletives). But when kids are consumed with “getting money”, then these “artists” are¬† sending something to our kids who are obviously listening.

Nontraditional Financial Advisors: Rappers???

On one hand, it’s all about how much money you can “make”. I deliberately put the word make in quotations because all we really have to go on is the fact that these musicians throw around money in their videos as if it were….raining (“I make it rain!”) and as if it was real (“AS IF!”). “I Get Money”, blasts from the stereos of some; all said in an effort to attract more women.

On the other hand, they seemed impressed and almost turned on by “Miss Independent”, a woman who can “pay her bills on time” and has her own “toaster”, because she’s a “bread maker” (yea, I didn’t get that one either).

Traditional Financial Advisors, Now Rappers???

Marshall Sylver: The Millionaire Maker

I’ve attended a number of workshops where a “down to earth” financial guru explains how they made it to the top and for only $699 they will tell you too! Throughout the speech they carefully drop in how they “get money” and the items that it afforded them. One actually threw money on the floor and by gosh he made it rain! Grown adults were scrambling on the floor to catch it. And this was way before the recession!

Another, showed us pictures of him and his Aston Martin. And to quote this individual, “most people say you don’t need a $250,000 car until you have driven one”. I can’t make this stuff up. My last experience, the guy spoke of his watch and the $132,000 Benz he paid for in cash.

They too have been afflicted with the shine. I look to them to send a profound message, maybe an epiphany or too. I look for inspiration. But what I have been finding lately, is that they seem to be inspired by the rap game; Throwing money into the faces of those who wish to support them to show that have been successful. I’m sorry but I find it very difficult to listen to someone who i think is trying to hustle me.

Race has zip to do with this conversation. True, most rappers are black and most financial advisors are white, but i think there is something deeper here. It isn’t enough to just have financial stability. There is something fulfilling when you can throw a stack of cash up into the air; when you can walk into a dealership AND cop something; when flashy materials things are your unique selling proposition.

Wall Street

Just look at all of the already wealthy CEO’s who have stolen from their own company for whatever selfish reason. Bernie Madoff self-selected theme song had to be OJ Da Juiceman’s “I’m Gettin’ Money“.

Just like rappers who show off their money to get girls and street credibility, financial advisors and ‘experts’ are starting to do the very same thing. (But not Miss Suze, she wears the same pair of gold earrings everyday)

Things to remember: the messages created and sent through music and even CNBC are just entertainment. The money is used to get you to buy records and books. Who would have though that the same techniques work across such different industries?

Spring Forward

sarah-jessica-parker-harpers-bazaar-march-2009grace_jones_v_magazine_spring_2009_covern2s8d8p_largefreida-pinto-vogue-india-march-2009

Check out these new spring covers with SJP, Michelle Obama, Grace Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow and Freida Pinto styling on Vogue India. These ladies are fierce and the covers represent great art.

I love Spring. It represents the natural evolution from darkness to light. How refreshing! And  as a woman whose lived on the East Coast her whole life, it is so nice to move away from the frigid cold! This Spring is going to be big for me. I will finally  graduate from Drexel University (96 days and counting), I hopefully will be starting a new job, I get to work with a new round of rambunctious teenagers, and I will be launching an official Miss New Money promotional campaign!

With the turning of a new season I look forward to shedding the old and welcoming in the new. I’ll paint a wall in my cozy flat in Philly to breathe in new life and reflect the glowing sun. Rearranging the furniture always resuscitates my living quarters and how I feel about them. I get bored with arrangments quickly and by simply moving the couch and lighting lamps, I feel like I’m in a whole new place.

Digging the Color Scheme

Digging the Color Scheme - I think I'll try to recreate this for my place

I also like to give my whole house a good, thorough, scrub down. I wash from base board to ceiling fan, vacuum and sweep every crevice.

What I save for the last is the closet. I like to look for things were it’s apparent that I no longer need to to hold on to them. Maybe when I packed them up last year, I was a little nostalgic about all the good times had over the season, but will the love still be the same for the season coming up?

If the answer is no, it can go into one of three piles:

$ Salvation Army

$ Buffalo Exchange

$ Ebay

Now the first one, I am simply donating to a long standing org that benefits many people. I also must not forget to ask for a receipt. Donations are tax deductible and that’s money I get to keep in my purse. SO MONEY!

At Buffalo Exchange I can sell my items to the store. They in turn give you cash or store credit for future purchases. Once again, that’s money in my purse. SO MONEY!

And the ultimate barter exchange, Ebay, where, need I say it ?

While it’s not hard packing away winter sweaters and, dare I say it, long janes, the tough decisions come when you have to decide what to do with all of last year’s Spring and Summer items.¬† You will be surprised what you find, what you don’t need, and how much you can make off of it from Ebay. Sites such as Amazon are great for selling old books.

To sell her old designer clothes this finanshionista in hiding made her Manhattan studio apartment feel like a plush boutique
To sell her old designer clothes this finanshionista in hiding made her Manhattan studio apartment feel like a plush boutique

Some savvy ladies around the countries have actually been turning their closets into mini boutiques. An article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted females who once relished in their designer duds and now scrambled to sell them for cash. “$5 Ann Taylor pants to $30 Miu Miu sweaters and $100 studded 7 For All Mankind jeans” are just a taste of what one women was offering. Another made it an experience worth paying for by proving wine and champagne and tasty treats.

If you find that you can’t part with some of your favorite items how about breathing new life into them for less. Revamping old shoes and old clothes is easier than one may think. Need a new night slip? Take a pair of scissors to a stained shirt or re-use your fitted work shirts as a sexy alternative. New pair of shoes? If you wanted to be funky, you could re-sole your shoes in a flashy, bright color. Louie V ain’t the only one with that privilege!

Ask your local shoe maker to make your shoes new again

Ask your local shoe maker to make your shoes new again

Try a new style. Vintage will always be in. The best way to tailor your closet is to look for inspiration from current runways or past Even art books detailing the looks of the past can be great tools and will help you decide what to keep and what to dump.

Cleaning out your closet can be a spiritual cleansing. In 2009 the goal is to remove any excess and to get back to our core values of your life.

Buyer Beware: Fictitious Funds

Duck Tale

Every Bit Counts!

Ever look at your bank statement and scoff at the minimal interest payment you just received? In some cases it’s less than a dollar,¬† but hey, it’s money earned. I want to make a clear distinction between money earned and money invested, AKA Fictitious Funds.

Most finance advocates, including my fav Suze Orman, will tell you to pay down debt and build up an emergency cash reserve first, before you even consider investing in the stock market. As a young, budding finanshionista I completely agree but I would add that if you are just starting out, you should only invest money that you are not going to miss nor need.

“Uh, Miss New Money, who doesn’t need their money!? Can I have some!?”

I know. But hear me out. If that’s your situation then you are not ready to invest.You should not be thinking about it. Focus on paying down your bad debt and putting money aside.

For me, I have built, scratch that, am building my cash cushion. As you already now, I have successfully eliminated all bad debt (stickin’ it to the man!) and I invest on a regular basis in both a Roth IRA (mutual funds) and a brokerage account (individual stocks). The money that I put into my brokerage account every month is my play money.

“Now you’ve gone to far! PLAY MONEY??”

I use it to learn more about how investing works. As it goes up, of course I get excited and when it goes down, I’m bummed as anyone else would be. The thing that remains unchanged is the fact that regardless of what happens to that money, I will be ok. My lights stay on, my tummy is fed and my body is clothed and accessorized.

Investing for retirement is slightly different because if you are relying on money to carry you into old age, you care whether or not it goes up or down! It affects you on a greater scale due to the nature of the money you are putting away. Trust me I understand. But you must not lose sight off is the fact that the money you have invested is not money earned until you sell, collect and turn it into cold, hard cash.

Cash is King Baby! And if you look at the stock market as an active ocean, it becomes dangerous when you start making bets on tidal waves. And what I mean by that, is that I see that by investing I have earned a return (difference what I originally invested and what I have now) of say 20%. I then live and spend thinking that I have earned 20% more money. This is what caused a lot of people to lose all that they have because they invested more than they saved and now their investments are down.

Fall Back on Cash!

Fall Back on Cash!

I personally believe that if I save more than I invest, I am building a stable foundation to move forward and make investments, which inherently carry risk. In the case that they payoff (which they should if you do your research…more on that later), great! I sell, and collect the cash. If they don’t, then I have money to fall back on.

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