Mabel Z. Mollison was the first Black woman to work as a bank cashier. Maggie Lena Walker was the first Black woman to own a bank in the United States. Alonzo Herndon (once enslaved) founded The Atlanta Family Life Insurance Company, one of the most successful Black-owned insurance businesses in the nation. Clifton Wharton Jr. was one of the very first Black CEOs of a Fortune 500 company.
These are merely a few of the pioneers who created space for Black voices in the financial sphere. Their impact is twofold: breaking racial and historical barriers within their own lives and, in so doing, forging a path forward for their contemporary counterparts.
In honoring Black history throughout February and year-round, our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness are spotlighting financial gamechangers whose voices are shaping the way we think and talk about money.
For many of us, financial planning is a topic where there is plenty of opportunity for improvement. What are some best practices when it comes to budgeting your money? What financial forecasts should we heed in trying to avoid potential pitfalls? How can we be mindful in sorting through the Goliathan amount of information that’s available on everything from frugal living to saving for college?
Thankfully, there are money mentors whose passion and prowess is filtering through the financial noise meaningfully. From how to budget for your household to retirement planning best practices, these standout voices can help steer you to success when it comes to reaching your financial goalposts.
Tiffany Aliche is a former teacher and the author of the New York Times Bestseller Get Good with Money. Combining her passion for both finance and education, Tiffany Aliche partnered with lawmakers in integrating financial education into New Jersey’s middle schools (The Budgetnista Law.) Through her Live Richer Movement, she has empowered women to save more than $350 million dollars and pay down more than $200 million in debt. Back in May 2021, GreenPath hosted an event in which Tiffany discussed the importance of building a money mindset and having an accountability partner when it comes to personal financial planning.
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Chris Browning wants to teach you something about finance in the amount of time it takes you to make popcorn. His award-winning podcast tackles stocks, making your career recession-proof, asking your boss for a raise, and more. Formerly an art major, Chris realized he had a talent and passion for money management and went on to work in the finance industry, as an analyst, bookkeeper, content creator, and producer. His refreshingly down to earth money tips have been applauded across major media outlets including Forbes and NerdWallet, and he’s interviewed more than 100 financial experts.
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Husband and wife duo Talaat and Tai McNeely were not always the financial powerhouse pair they are today. As first-generation millionaires, they pride themselves as being a wealth building machine, having overcome “financial infidelity,” consumer debt, and paying off a $330,000 mortgage as a one-income household. Their content ranges across topics from whether you should invest in cryptocurrency to helping your kids attend college debt free. In their eBook Money Talks, Talaat and Tai address the importance of couples finding alignment when it comes to financial planning.
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Bola Sokunbi, a four-times bestselling author, and recipient of the 2021 Financial Education Instructor of the Year from the National Council of Educators is another notable name where women and money intersect. Her goal is to help women transcend the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, build wealth, and find empowerment in managing their finances. She cites her mother (a “hustle queen”) as a role model and credits her own success to keeping expenses low, investing, and navigating finance through trial and error.
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Named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Financial Advisors by Investopedia, Kevin L. Matthews II is on a mission to help individuals plan their retirement. A husband, father, and author of Starting Point: How to Build Wealth that Lasts, Kevin wants others to leave a financial legacy so wealth can be passed across generations. He leads classes and corporate events about investment planning, distilling concepts into plain English so finance feels approachable to people of all ages.
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