Hamilton, Taxes, and the Holidays

It’s the start of December, and I hope you feel encouraged as you look to close out this year. If you’re like me, you are also thinking about all the things you still want to accomplish (or will have to relinquish accomplishing) before the year is over. Well, I will share advice I have received – do what you can, and keep it moving! And, celebrate the positive, including one smart financial move you made this year. One smart money move I made this year is that I invested in a joy-filled experience – I went to see the musical Hamilton: An American Musical last weekend. It does live up to the hype, and now after seeing it for myself, it’s my favorite musical of ALL time. [FINANCIAL TIP: I went to the box office the morning of the performance and scooped up tickets at 75% off the face value. If you’re in Chicago, you can do this too and enjoy the savings]. Guess who was cheesin’?

It was also a smart spending move because I received so much in return – an unforgettable experience with my family, cultural capital, a chance to witness the brilliance of Lin Manuel Miranda, and the opportunity to be inspired to keep being…

young, scrappy, and hungry

And, if you have no interest in Hamilton or still waiting for your turn, I still encourage you to listen to “My Shot,” my favorite song and hopefully a source of encouragement for you too.

What is a smart financial move you’ve made this year? Think on it and share it with someone to encourage them.

Now, here’s what you need to know for the week:

  1. Taxes. As we all know by now, the tax bill passed the Senate. The market foreshadowed this outcome due to its gain on Friday. Here’s the best analysis (by CNN Money) that I’ve seen on the differences between the Senate and House bills, which will now need to be reconciled. I am not happy with the bill’s lopsided benefit to the rich and corporations, so I will be following closely on how this plays out, and its effect on our money.
  2. Holiday Gifts. There’s no need to struggle to find the right holiday gifts that fit in your budget. Here are some good ideas from the New York TimesHoliday Gift Guide.  And, yes I said “budget.” All too often, we go out with no holiday budget in mind and then we are left mourning those credit card bills post the holiday. Be smart and know that your family and friends will appreciate the thoughtfulness of your efforts. If not, cut ‘em loose! J
  3. Bitcoin. Yes, this currency is now over $11,750 (as of earlier this morning).  Pay attention here because we are witnessing something very, very rare and we will all be affected by how this digital currency trades. See my previous article to understand how bitcoin works.
  4. The Market’s On Fire. The market has been climbing all year, and I hope that you’ve benefited through your employer retirement (e.g. 401k plans) or personal brokerage account. Look at the Dow Jones Index chart since the beginning of the year.


Wall Street Journal

What’s your investment strategy for your money? Are you selling anything to take profits or rebalancing your portfolios?

  1. Young Black Men Care About Finances. I felt blessed to be the featured speaker for I Am Gentleman’s “My Finance, My Future” seminar in Chicago yesterday. These talented young Black men were engaged in learning more about their money. Let’s continue to promote and encourage our youth to develop strong financial skills as these habits start early. As you can see below, I was surrounded by our next generation of leaders.

Have a wonderful week! Stay hopeful and peaceful.