What Is The Racial Wealth Gap and Why Does It Matter?

The racial wealth gap is one of many systemic challenges that the Black community and people of color face when working to secure their financial futures. But there are many resources available to help you along your way and groups of people who have similar goals, including at Wealth Noir.

In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on July 23, Wealth Noir founder Damien Peters tells Fool.com editor Desiree Jones about the racial wealth gap and why many people struggle to reach financial freedom.

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Desiree Jones: Hi there Fools and welcome to Fool Live. I’m Dez Jones, a Fool on the editorial team and I’m so excited to welcome Damien Peters, the founder of Wealth Noir. Damien, how are you doing today?

Damien Peters: I’m doing pretty good. A little small cold from my son, but surviving.

Jones: That’s good to hear. Welcome, and we’re going to go ahead and get started. Tell us more about yourself and the mission of Wealth Noir.

Peters: My name is Damien Peters, I founded Wealth Noir back in 2018. Our mission really is we focus on high-income millennials, in particular African-American millennials. We’re really focused on building wealth, so increasing net worth. The reason I started Wealth Noir and story behind it was I was a product manager at Facebook, I was working there, enjoying my job. I found out that I was having a child and I decided I wanted to take a little bit of time off, I wanted to take a year off to be with my son. Everyone at work they were like, “How can you afford this?” When I talked to people outside of work, they were also shocked. My personal thought was I was very well compensated, I had been investing in real estate at the time, so at this time I had two rental properties, I had six figures in stocks, taxable on my own, in addition to the same in my retirement account. I just felt that there were more people who are in this income bracket, they had solved one problem, but they weren’t building wealth and net worth and they still felt trapped financially. At Wealth Noir, we really focus on bringing content, services, programming that really focuses on helping people transform salary into net worth. We have a heavy emphasis on real estate investing and also for accredited investors.

Jones: That’s awesome. That is amazing to know that there’s something like Wealth Noir to help uplift the black community. Of course, we’re going to talk more about the impacts of the black community and financial literacy. For starters, what is the racial wealth gap and why does it matter?

Peters: The racial wealth gap. I think everyone, or there’s many different ways to define it or think about it, and the way I think about it really is, when you tease out salary and other impacts, when you look at net worth between African-American and the majority races or medium net worth, you see a gap. Given that you’re earning the same amount of money we’re not accumulating or building net worth at the same rate. For example, there was a study by the Institute of Policy Studies that showed at above $93,000, so given that you’re earning more than $93,000, a white family had about 2.2 times more net worth, $320,000 versus $142,000 of Black families. We see this pronounced in many different aspects where it impacts the ability for African-American families to participate in the economy and in wealth building compared to our counterparts.

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