Why Should Rappers Have All the Fun?

So, you guys already know that I work as a financial advisor to professional athletes and entertainers.  I really enjoy what I do, but sometimes, it has unintended consequences.

I speak to lots of kids, and when they find out what I do, all of their concern and attention shifts to “Wow, how much money does [that celebrity] make?” or “What kind of car do they drive?” or “I bet [that celebrity] has a HUGE crib, right?” Now, all of those things are valid questions, especially given that TV has conditioned us to be enamored with the “lifestyles of the rich and famous.” But, focusing on the lives of prominent athletes and entertainers can give our kids an incomplete perception of what success really looks like.  Even worse, it may lead them to believe that if they can’t rap, act, sing, dance, or shoot a basketball, then they may not be able to live the type of life that they desperately want to live.

I mean, these kids can’t really think that “Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta”, “UnReal Housewives of Blah Blah Blah” or “Kim and Kourtney Take Acting Lessons” really tells the entire story…do they???

That’s when I had my epiphany.  I realized that as a financial advisor, I have also come into contact with, and have as clients, a plethora of doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, business people and entrepreneurs that are living fabulous lives.  In fact, many of these individuals live lives that are far more enriching than a number of these celebrities, because of the fact that, due to their inability to manage their money, the average celebrity’s “high life” is short lived.  However, the stories of these wildly successful “non-celebrities” has largely gone untold…until now.

Enter “The Best Kept Secret.”  I’ve developed this online show to expose viewers to individuals that have become very successful in fields other than sports and entertainment.  And I mean REAL success.  Not the sort of “I’m on a reality show, so I will make it look like I’m rich, but my home is getting foreclosed on next week” type of (fake) success.  In the coming months, I’ll introduce you to and tell the stories of people that look like you, sound like you, came from where you came from and found a way to make it big.  I’ll also give you the blueprint so that you can do it to.

Check out the video above which sets the stage for why I decided to put this project together.  When you see the looks on the student’s faces, you’ll know why.  I’m also certain that you too, will enjoy learning how to get closer to living the life of your wildest dreams.

Because after all, why should rappers have all the fun?

Enjoyed this video? Let’s Connect!
WEBSITE: http://www.robwilson.tv
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/robwilsontv
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/robwilsontv

P.S.

Do you know someone that should be featured on “The Best Kept Secret?” Email me at rob@robwilson.tv!

Special shoutout to @Emmai_Alaquiva, PNC Bank, the Heinz Endowments and Urban Pathways Charter School for getting this project off the ground!!!

The Kentucky Wildcats Should Refuse to Play in the NCAA Tournament. Here’s Why.

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The Kentucky Wildcats have the opportunity to become the first team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers to win the NCAA basketball championship as an undefeated team, and I believe they should squander it. On purpose. Here’s why.

The NCAA, which could very easily stand for Never Cared About Athletes, stands to make an estimated $700 million from the TV rights for broadcasting “March Madness” this year. NCAA President Mark Emmert will earn roughly $1.7 million in 2015.

Uber drivers will earn “surge pricing” fees by shuttling tons of spectators between tournament games and their hotels.

The guys selling beer in the arenas the games are played in will make a few bucks.

The players? Well, they’ll get a few pats on the back and a chance to say ‘Hi Mom’ with millions of people watching, but as far as cash goes, they won’t be receiving any of that.

The NCAA has stated over and over again that so-called “student-athletes” are amateurs and it would be “utterly unacceptable” to compensate them for their efforts.

This lack of compensation is precisely why the University of Kentucky basketball players should refuse to play in this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. They’re being exploited.

I felt the same way last year after UConn star Shabazz Napier admitted that there were “nights he went to bed starving,” even though his coach makes $2.8 million per year.

If that’s the case, why not do something about it?

Mr. Napier could have leveraged the amazing platform he had of playing in the national championship by refusing to play in the game on the league’s biggest night in an effort to bring awareness to the shameful financial practices of the NCAA.

Alas, he played the game, earned Tournament MVP honors, and we had to settle for his comments in the locker room and the ensuing blogs and articles that came about from those comments.

But what if he had refused to play? What if his teammates, in solidarity with him, also refused to play on college basketball’s biggest stage?

If there was no game played because the players decided to take a stand, together, it certainly would have gotten the attention of the people that matter most: the people who pay money to the NCAA.

Sponsors who paid to advertise during the game would have been irate. Fans would have demanded refunds for their tickets, and their travel expenses. The facility would have sued the NCAA for loss of revenue, after people left without buying enough $12 hot-dogs.

These brave players would have finally forced the NCAA to act by hitting it in the only place that matters, the bank account.

The young men would have finally proven to every other Division I basketball and football player where the power truly lies.

See, without the players the NCAA has no product. Without the product, there is no advertising. Without advertising there is no money. And without money the huge salaries for coaches, athletic directors and administrators, all of whom never make one basket or score one touchdown, vanish into thin air.

Extremely absurd situations require extreme measures. It would have been a wonderful sight to see.

But it didn’t happen.

Now, the Kentucky Wildcats, who also played in last year’s championship game against UConn, are the number 1 overall seed and prohibitive favorite the reach the title game again and win it all.

They are currently undefeated and it would be a giant feat for them to run the table and win the championship.

But what’s more important?

Should they look the other way while the machine keeps running on the backs of the players who are forced by the NCAA to sign away the right to any financial benefit from the skills they have worked most of their lives to develop?

Should they allow the NCAA to make millions of dollars from restaurant sponsors only to be told that they will become ineligible to play if someone treats them to a meal at said sponsor’s restaurant?

Should they continue to accept the fact that their coach has a $52 million contract with their school while some of their fellow players around the NCAA have been suspended for signing $25 autographs?

Without a doubt, the Kentucky players have squarely in front of them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make history.

They can choose the play the game, or they can choose to change the game.

Either way, the ball is now firmly in their court.

March Money Madness is Back!

Are you sick of hearing about everyone else making money in the market?

Are you tired of earning .00000001 in your checking, savings or money market account?

It’s time you learned how to invest!

Just in time to help you, my March Money Madness Bracket Challenge is Back, the web’s most entertaining way to learn about the market!

It works just like the bracket for the college basketball tournament, but using stocks instead of basketball teams.

Why waste time filling out a college basketball bracket when you could play March Money Madness, learn something, and potentially win prizes?

Watch the video for more info and sign up today!

http://www.marchmoneymadness.com

Rob Wilson and Shawntae Spencer Discuss Athletes and Money

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In part one of our interview at the NBC Pittsburgh studio with my client, former Pitt Panthers, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders cornerback Shawntae Spencer, we discuss professional athletes and the challenges they have with their money.

Here are some of his thoughts:

Going pro isn’t the end all be all

While its true that a few fortunate players will never even have to consider working again (Think Peyton Manning, LeBron James, etc.) most players aren’t going to make “good-for-the-rest-of-your-life-money.”

As Shawntae put it, for many players the money you make in the league just gives you a great head start on life.

Begin with the end in mind

Even though Shawntae was blessed to play 9 years in the NFL, he began thinking, almost immediately, about what he wanted to do once he was done playing the game.

He is one of the few players that take advantage of the programs that the NFL provides in the offseason to help educate active and retired players on various career paths.  He participated at excellent programs at Stanford and Notre Dame, and the expense were picked up by the NFL.

Rob Wilson & Former 49ers/Raiders CB Shawntae Spencer Discuss His New Wingstop Venture

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I recently had the amazing opportunity to stop by the NBC Pittsburgh studio with my client, former Pitt Panthers, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders cornerback Shawntae Spencer to discuss his new Wingstop restaurant franchise venture and how he plans on being successful during his post-NFL career.

Here are some of his thoughts:

 

Do your research on any business opportunity

From the moment Shawntae became interested in Wingstop, we worked together to research the idea thoroughly before he decided to take the leap.  This included hiring a franchise consultant to help analyze the opportunity and to create a solid business plan.

 

Build a solid team with experience in the business

Shanwtae recognized he isn’t (yet) a restaurant expert. Nor is he an expert in construction.  He brought in knowledgable employees and consultants to help get the business off the ground.  Simply throwing money at a business, without the knowledge and expertise on how to effectively spend that money is foolish.

Find a great, growing brand to work with

The fact that Wingstop is a rapidly growing fast casual brand, made the opportunity attractive to Shawntae.  He appreciated the fact that Troy Aikman is the brand ambassador and rapper Rick Ross is a notable franchisee, which obviously helps the national recognition of the brand.

Beyond that, however, Shawntae felt comfortable with management, the simple menu and operational requirements, and ultimately decided to pursue the opportunity to build out the entire Pittsburgh market…and beyond!

 

Will President Obama Tax Your Education Savings? | CNN Newsroom

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Many of you were quite taken aback when you heard about President Obama’s plan to tax the gain in 529 education savings account, and understandably so.

If you’re like a number of my clients, you’ve been saving for your children’s education with the understanding that your withdrawals would be tax free as long as the proceeds were used for qualified education expenses.

So, to hear that the benefit may no longer apply, is a like getting punched in the gut.

But, before we get too upset, let me shed some light on his proposal.

The proposal is unlikely to pass

To get straight to the punchline, the proposal doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in an oven of passing.

With a Republican controlled House and Senate there’s very, very little chance of this proposal passing, particularly since the move is aimed at the rich.  Which brings me to the next point:

 

The proposal isn’t about education, it’s about wealth inequality

The White House says that 70% of the balances in 529 plans are owned by families that make more than 200k, so most of the benefits of the tax break are going to wealthy families that do not need the break to send their kids to college.

Well, wealthy people like tax breaks, so sure, they have taken advantage of it too.  Ironically, the POTUS and FLOTUS contributed a total of $240,000 into 529 plans for their daughters in 2008. Clearly they understand the benefit of the plans for themselves and middle class families.

Seems like a little cutting off your nose to spite your face going on here.

In my opinion, what the president wants the conversation during his last two years in office to be focused on the success, or lack thereof, of middle class families.  And he seems to be succeeding.

When he can get conservatives like Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and Mitt “I found a way to stash $100 inside of a tax-deferred IRA account” Romney to acknowledge and discuss wealth inequality, I’d say he’s making good political moves by making them play on his home field.

Ultimately, benefit may be left for some

If the goal truly is for this proposal to go anywhere, there may be a compromise by putting an income limit on the tax break, similar to the limit put on the deduction of student loan interest.

Taxpayers can only deduct interest on their student loans if they earn less than $80,000 or $160,000 if married filing jointly.

It seems logical that if the President truly wants the middle class to get out from underneath the $1 Trillion in student debt they are carrying, he won’t take away the incentive to save your own money to pay for college.

 

Two key questions remain

The debate over this issue is surely not over, and I’ll be sure to update you as it progresses.  But, in my mind, the discussion really raises two important questions:

1) How can we address wealth inequality in a way that doesn’t simultaneously penalize the middle class and,

2) Why is there a seemingly sole focus on college as the means to a successful life? Should we expand our horizons give all of the new tools and technology available for learning in demand skills?

Two important questions indeed.  We’ll tackle those soon.

 

 

Whoa, I was on the Tom Joyner Morning Show!

Yes, I 6:30am might be a bit early for you, especially when you might have been on your holiday break, but I was extremely honored to be a featured guest on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Radio Show!

I had the opportunity to fill in (twice!) for the amazing Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Capital Management, as she normally provides the show with the content for its popular Money Monday segment. (Of course that was right up my alley!)

Rob Wilson on the Tom Joyner Morning Show

 

 

Here’s my segment on Smart Year End Financial Moves

Here’s my segment on How to Achieve Your Financial Goals in 2015

Enjoy!

Smart Year End Financial Moves

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Don’t be one of those people that shuts down during the holiday season and says, “I’ll get back on it in the new year.”

Keep the momentum going by making these smart financial moves before the ball drops so you can start the new year with a full head of financial steam.

Check out my tips on this segment from NBC10 in Philadelphia.

Step 1 – Minimize Your Taxes

Defer Income & Accelerate Deductions – If you’re fortunate enough to be able to push some of your income into the next year, you’ll lower next’s year’s tax bill.

Obtain Health Insurance – The ACA requires most Americans to be covered by a health insurance policy, or pay a penalty.

Use Your Flex Spending Account – Know your company’s policy, it might be “use it or lose it.”

Donate to Charity – The organization gets much needed resources, and you get a tax deduction.

Step 2 – Review Your Investments

Analyze Your Portfolio – Are you positioned they way you want to be?

Sell Losing Investments – Use your losses to offset other gains, or apply up to $3,000 in losses against your income.

Contribute to your Current 401k – This will reduce your taxable income dollar for dollar.

Roll Over Old 401k Into an IRA – There’s no need to leave it at your old job. Roll it into and IRA and manage it more closely.
Retired or Inherited an Account? Don’t Forget to Take Your Required Minimum Distribution

Step 3 – Maximize Your Income

Review Your Goals – Did you hit your goals this year? What can you do better next year?

Talk to Your Boss – Find out if your boss is happy with your performance. Discuss opportunities for you to earn more next year.

Start Setting January Appointments – Get ahead on your goals for next year by setting appointments with those hard-to-get customers now.

Consider Additional Streams of Revenue – Brainstorm ideas on how you can add at least one additional stream to your income sources. You should never be dependent on one source for all of your income.

My Favorite Financial Things for 2014

2014 brought more great financial things into our lives. Here are a few of my favorites:

Earn More Money:

Turn your car into a taxi with Uber and Lyft
http://www.uber.com
http://www.lyft.com

Turn your house into a hotel with Airbnb
http://www.airbnb.com

Babysit someone’s dog
http://www.dogvacay.com

Save More Money

Borrow money at lower interest rates using peer-to-peer lending
http://www.lendingclub.com

Pay less for healthcare by staying active with the Nike Fuelband

http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/nikeplus-fuelband

Make More Money:

Get access to Wall Street IPOs with Loyal3.com
http://www.loyal3.com

Invest your spare change using Acorns.com
http://ww.acorns.com

Smart Financial Gifts for the Holidays

Gift giving during the holiday season doesn’t have to be all about consumerism.

Here’s my smart list of financial holiday gifts that can be used to help teach your kids about money, help out friends and family, and even give yourself a treat.

How to Win the Game in the 4th Quarter

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Remember how awesome that first quarter drive was in your favorite football team’s 6th game of the season last year?

No? Me either.

But what I do remember is the amazing feeling I had watching my Steelers defeat the Arizona Cardinals in the Superbowl with an amazing pass and catch in the corner of the endzone with :35 remaining in the 4th quarter.

Now THAT’s something to remember.

See, whether it’s in sports or in life, quite often legends are made and championships are won in the 4th quarter.

It’s easy to play hard at the beginning of the game, or work hard at the beginning of the year when you feel like you have a fresh start.

Champions of sport play hard until the final whistle. Champions in life work tirelessly to make their dreams come true while others shut down and say “I’ll get started the first of the year.”

Check out this episode of #MoneyMonday for advice on how to get focused during the final quarter of the year so you can achieve your goals win your game.