Wealth Matters: Kevin Matthews, II
by Da'Quan M. Love
As we continue our Wealth Matters series, Da'Quan M. Love, NAACPConnect Digital Collective, sat down with the founder and CEO of BuildingBread, LLC, Kevin L Matthews, II. In their conversation Matthews offers advice to chart your life's financial stability.
DML: Tell us about yourself. (University, major, hometown, etc.)
KLM: Kevin L. Matthews, II, Economics major, Hampton University. Hometown: Tulsa, OK. Founder and CEO of BuildingBread, LLC and author of Brick Theory.
DML: What sparked your interest in personal finance?
KLM: Growing up, my father was my first personal finance teacher. At the age of 8 with an allowance of $2 a week he taught my brother and I that we should always put the first dollar we made and put it in the bank (at that time the bank for us was a red Folger’s Coffee can with a slit in the top). During my freshman year at Hampton I found myself reading The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. From that moment my passion for personal finance took off.
DML: Tell us about your recently-released book. Can you give us a sneak peek of what will be in your next book?
KLM: Brick Theory is a book geared mostly to college students but has lessons for people of all ages. It teaches the five basic keys that it takes to build true wealth. My second book will discuss the reasons why so many people fail to plan financially, why we spend the way we do and how we can overcome these obstacles. I really plan to bridge the gap between psychology and finance.
DML: If you could give one piece of financial advice to a young person [between 8-25], what would it be and why?
KLM: I would say that to build true wealth, it is not about how much you make but how much you manage. And I say that because there is a serious misconception that a large paycheck will solve bad spending habits when its the habits that create the problem and that problem won’t go away because you get paid more; in fact they may increase. We have to learn to manage our money and not let our money manage us.
DML: How do you think African Americans view personal finance compared to other races? Is there a different financial mindset of younger African Americans compared to their elders?
KLM: There is certainly a different view among African Americans when compared to other ethnicities. In general personal finance isn’t something that is taught and passed down as it is in other cultures nor is it stressed enough in schools. Right now its not something we think about and it isn’t something that comes up in family conversations, and it should. We need to have a much longer outlook when it comes to money. Instead of thinking about tomorrow and next month we need to plan for the next decade and the next generation when it comes to finance. That alone with dramatically change our collective situation. As far as the mindset between the younger generations and older there is no real difference; both are suffering equally.