Financial educators Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings are the hosts of “Earn Your Leisure.” On their podcast launched in 2019, the dynamic duo break down the roots of investing, real estate, stocks and more catered toward low, middle and upper class listeners. Guests like Steve Harvey, Pinky Cole, former Bad Boy executive Derek Ferguson, rapper Styles P and many other inspiring entrepreneurs also have joined to share their financial secrets for success.
Finurah caught up with Millings and Bilal to talk about investing, cryptocurrency and equipping tomorrow’s youth with financial literacy. One of the best missions of the “EYL” platform is the chance to dispel people’s biggest myths about investing, especially within the Black community.
Investing isn’t as difficult as you think
Many people shy away from investing because they think the process is complicated.
“I think one of the biggest myths is that it’s a difficult process. And that’s kind of because for so long it’s been delivered with a message that just felt like it was overwhelming or was over our heads,” said Millings. “And that’s kind of, I think why we’ve become so successful is that we’ve been able to translate it and simplify in a way that it makes it digestible. So when we talk about stocks, we’re able to explain it to people in a way that they can understand it and not just understand it, but execute it and actually teach others.”
Matthew Garland, known as MG The Mortgage Guy, is a regular on the podcast, where he often shares real estate advice. As one of the top mortgage brokers in the country, he believes one of the biggest misconceptions people have is that “you don’t need more money to invest in real estate.
“If you look at people, especially our community, most folks, they follow these people online and they get a lot of bad information and a lot of people talking about their money,” said Garland.
“You should never buy any property if you don’t have any money. You can’t buy a house rich and cash poor,” he continued. “So you know with my platform or Earn Your Leisure, especially when it comes to investing, we really try to educate and go into the details of how much money that you actually need to buy and that it’s not just about your mortgage payment, it’s also about utilities, your upkeep of the property.”
Don’t fall for the crypto FOMO
Two years ago, some young Black investors jumped at the chance of buying cryptocurrency. According to an April survey from Ariel Investments and Charles Schwab Corp., nearly 40 percent intentionally invested in digital assets, as an alternative to building wealth outside of financial institutions and stocks. But many could feel differently after the most recent crypto plunge, which has wiped away $2 trillion in cryptocurrency value since last fall.
Millings explained, “If you’ve been in the crypto space, we’ve seen things like this before. Cryptos are volatile assets. And so it has ebbs and flows. We saw that in 2017, when it went up to $20,000 and it dropped down to $3,000. And so now people who have been a part of that experience, they’re looking at this like, ‘Oh, this is pretty familiar.’ ”
He added, “That’s why we always stress to people like if it’s an asset class, yes. But we don’t trade….we look at it as an investment.”
It’s part of the reason why Millings and Bilal share valuable lessons through “Earn Your Leisure,” such as the difference between long-term and short-term investments.
“We’ve seen people who watch coins like Dogecoin, you know, they didn’t want to miss out on the hype. And, in this space, things are very volatile. So it can go up to $0.60, but it also pulled back to $0.12. So we want to teach people about having financial discipline and not just…having FOMO when it comes to investing, whether it be in crypto, whether it be in the stock market.”
Spreading financial literacy
The two influential dads are also doing their best to also offer financial literacy resources to children in schools. “We’re working on developing a financial literacy curriculum that can be implemented in schools…high school, junior high school, middle school, things of that nature,” Bilal revealed. “So that’s going to be something that is going to be very, very big. And hopefully we can start getting that into classrooms as early as next school year.”
The duo recognized that most people make financial mistakes when they don’t have access to certain information and resources. But more importantly, they noticed how beneficial it would be for kids to receive that information early. States like New Jersey, Georgia and Florida have already begun implementing financial literacy into students’ coursework.
“That’s how you scale it,” added Millings. “We started in a classroom. So, I knew eventually that getting back to the classroom would be one of our priorities. And so rather than trying to be physically in there, we can create something that can last forever and be everywhere.”
Bilal, Millings, and Garland will discuss these subjects and more at the 2022 Invest Fest on Aug, 5 to 7 in Atlanta.