Black finance expert Ryan Mack brings us advice from a place of real heart to help hard-working Americans deal with the mortgage mess. With his warm brand of personal finance advice, Mack’s strongest words to the community are: “If you are having problems paying your mortgage DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM YOUR HOME!” In part one of our two-part interview, learn more about how we got into this housing crisis, how it has affected the general economy and what you should do now to protect your home.
How did you become a finance expert? What inspired you to pursue this goal?
When I was on Wall Street making great money I felt empty, because I was not an effective contributor to my community. I knew that finance was my passion, but I also knew that sitting in a cubicle making money only for the sake of self-empowerment was not my purpose.
Like too many families in America, many people in my family were not financially literate. My passion was to change that. In addition, I was always getting asked personal finance questions from peers who knew I was a stock trader. But trading is different from personal finance. To address these questions, I began to study personal finance and started a Yahoo group called MakingMoneyWork, which provided tips and strategies to over 200 members through weekly newsletters.
I loved this so much, I decided to pursue a full-time career in personal financial planning. I got an offer from a financial planning firm, but I turned it down at the last minute because after expressing my desire to educate my entire community I was told, “unless you work with ONLY high net worth individuals, you are wasting your time.”
I was not going to quit a job that did not allow me to help my community, only to take a job where I could not help everybody, rich to poor. This inspired me to start my own firm that placed a high value on educating the average person. This new idea for a democratic financial planning firm required that I take a year off to develop my plan, create a personal financial literacy course (that I taught at local colleges), and read extensively on personal finance. I then walked the community, reaching out and teaching any group I could find.