Acacia ULTD powers Romance & Finance

Together Apart presents The Live Convo #14

Romance & Finance: Credit Scores, Child Support & Spending Habits:
A Convo Exploring How Money Affects Relationships

Find out how to discuss debt, long-term & short-term goals, investment opportunities, and budgeting with your significant other. This conversation will also empower single men and women, offering advice on how to get your financial challenges solved and tools to communicate your financial past, present, and future before entering your next relationship.

March 19th, 2011
7:00 – 10:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

The Open Center
22 East 30th Street
(between 5th & Madison)

Hosted by Chris Kazi Rolle

Powered by PlanIt Brooklyn & Acacia ULTD

Advanced Tickets $20

Are you in relationship with a starving artist, shopaholic, penny pincher, wannabe “baller,” or someone who has to put their phone in your name? Join financial advisers, tax consultants, and wealth managers to discuss how matters of the heart and the bottom line can work together.

Lyshaan Hall, Acacia Ultd (Tax Consultant)
Ryan Mack, Optimum Capital (Financial Planner & Author of Living in the Village: Build Your Financial Future and Strengthen Your Community)
Jacquette M. Timmons, Sterling Investment Management (Investment Expert & Author of Financial Intimacy)
Tiffany Aliche, CLD Financial Life (Author of The One Week Budget)
Frank Mesa, Strategies for Wealth (Wealth Manager)


Brewster’s Millions

Imagine if you will, a knock upon your chamber door. As you ponder what’s in store, and you moonwalk across your hardwood floor, you think to yourself, “Delivery guy has probably got the wrong floor.” Alas, quote the mailman, “Never poor! You’ve just won thirty million dollars!” You can’t believe it, but it’s true. Your future flashes before your eyes. You envision going back to work adorned in nothing but a pair of argyle socks and a fur hat, hoping your soon to be ex-boss calls you into his office so you can fire him when he tries to fire you! So after you quit your job, give half your winnings to the IRS, buy your family and a few of your close friends their dream houses, shopping sprees, and give to charities, etc…what are you going to do with the remaining nine million?

A good percentage of individuals who have very little money management skills tend to lose lump sums of their money just as easily as they acquired it (especially lotto winners). There is an almost automatic impulse to acquire ALL you couldn’t afford before the acquisition of new monies (but somehow you managed to survive prior). No one ever considers the electricity and gas expenditures that come with a seventeen-bedroom estate and how one may need to generate a certain amount of income annually just to sustain that newfound lifestyle (and the distant relatives and new friends). All of a sudden, maybe telling your boss where he can file his month end reports wasn’t such a great idea.

Maybe it’s time to think past the mansion and the yacht. Even in fantasy. You don’t need to be rich to plan ahead but if you don’t plan ahead, you’ll probably never get rich – or stay there. Quote the Mailman, “Never Poor!”

To read more from contributor, Alfred Obiesie, visit his blog at


Slumdog Millionaire – for love or money?

Have you ever been good at a something? So good, in fact, that you were constantly encouraged to pursue a career in that particular arena? Of course, who doesn’t relish a career in a field in which they are adept and passionate?  Before you communicate to your loved ones that you will soon be attending culinary school due to mass accolades for your renowned bean pie recipe however, there are a few factors to consider.

There is a huge difference between a job and a passion. Being motivated by passion inspires an end product predicated on emotions and often, with self-inflicted deadlines. A career however necessitates that you generate output because you are paid to do so. Your employer cares little if your creative juices are flowing or what your motivations are. The prime focus is that you conjure up a product in a timely fashion, a product that is of course as good if not better than when your creative juices were overflowing.

As always, you have options. You can either A) create a magic world where time or money is not necessary (death I believe it’s called), B) choose a career that doesn’t even allow for creative expression (slow death I believe it’s called), or C) condition yourself to compromise your passions with the world’s needs.

All in all, be grateful that anyone thinks highly enough of your work to pay you for it. If you show the world enough love in the form of sacrifice, you may never need a million dollars, and perhaps get it anyway.

(Answer: C)

(For more information on how to align your passion/purpose and your work, visit Jullien Gordon’s Career Change Challenge.)

To read more from contributor, Alfred Obiesie, visit his blog at

Photo: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

When Harry Met Sallie Mae

Can a man and a woman retain a plutonic friendship without romantic complications? That particular quagmire ruled moviegoers’ hearts and minds throughout the 80’s and early 90’s. These days, the more pressing inquiry seems to be: Can a (wo)man be friends with their student loans without bankruptcy complications? That, also, remains unanswered.

More and more college graduates struggle with dwindling job markets and increasing tuition costs amidst a post-apocalyptic financial crisis. Looming loans and lack of employment have been no picnic for a generation who swore an oath to financial empowerment through intellectual enhancement. Aside from the acquisition of triple word score vocabularies, the big payback seems to be incrementally chugging along and has proven more daunting than anticipated. So what gives?

Nothing gives. The cost of living has continually gone up and job markets have always been waxing and waning (just ask your local blacksmith). It is merely a different economic time and place for the current generation. I can’t imagine how dealing with tuition costs can be any more exhaustive than adjusting to a revolution of industrial proportions.  I also can’t imagine the solutions being any simpler.

The wealthy and inventive will always find a means around tuition expenses. The Thomas Edisons and Steve Jobs of the world will be ok. For the rest of society however, the saga continues.

(Read more about the college loan bubble in Mike Karnjanaprakorn’s College, Inc.)

To read more from contributor, Alfred Obiesie, visit his blog at

The Social Net Worth

Anyone remember when money really mattered? Whoever had the gold made the rules. All one had to do was yield enough Bobby Dinero to make things happen and things happened. Seems the raging bull may have lost some heat. So what happened? Connections happened. Internet status is gradually replacing socioeconomic status and before we realize, the amount of friends amassed in an online book of faces may eventually surpass actual net worth. Especially if one owns a business requiring customers, or engages in any activity involving human interaction. Go ahead. I’ll wait for you to think of something that doesn’t.

Remaining linked in to multiple trends has always proven fruitful to fashionistas primarily but as we rapidly download our lives online, trending topics can also prove lucrative to the rest of us. The quality of the connection is always a factor in ROI (return on investment) however. Tumbling into the new boys network can certainly pay dividends. A well-placed digital friend can connect you to your dream job, dream gig or even dream girl (And I am telling you!).

As we witness foreign regimes topple via social network led revolutions and governments print currency to augment diminishing dollar values, who can question the appreciating relevance of connections a.k.a social networks? Tweeting on the open market will certainly pay dividends in the near future if you follow sound investment principles; invest in what you believe in but most importantly, keep your ear to the tweets (sorry, couldn’t resist hackneyed twitter humor).

To read more from contributor, Alfred Obiesie, visit his blog at

Trading Places with Yourself

In the 1983 comedy, Trading Places, Eddie Murphy portrays a petty thief who is transformed into a wealthy broker while Dan Aykroyd unwillingly takes Murphy’s place as a hapless beggar. All these events occur at the whim and prompting of two overindulgently pompous brothers (The Dukes), who place a single dollar bet claiming they could achieve this life swap through their influence and connections. The Dukes are successful. But of course, as in most Hollywood tales, all is right at movie’s end as both Murphy and Aykroyd end up wealthy while the villainous Duke’s end up destitute, thanks to felonious Orange futures forecasts.

Although just a movie, has anyone ever considered just how thin the line is between poverty and affluence? Of course most realist would call to my attention how thickly padded the line is, specifically with assets and trust funds. In truth, socioeconomic status is more a state of mind than most choose to acknowledge. Once you have thoroughly convinced yourself that a particular lifestyle is either off limits or destined to occur, you are likely to do everything possible to achieve or avoid it.

When we decide to, nothing detracts us from fulfilling on our plans. Not weather, finances, personalities or otherwise. How is it possible that we can control our destiny on certain days but not others? Insurmountable circumstances not withstanding, can one surmise then that our current economic status may also be by choice? Bet yourself a dollar and see what happens.

To read more from contributor, Alfred Obiesie, visit his blog at

Weekend at Bernie’s

A few years ago, I visited a friend in the Hamptons the weekend after the Fourth of July. On the jitney ride there, I overheard people speaking of a party being thrown at 216 Montauk highway where all the high rollers would be in attendance. Naturally, I decided to also make my way there. My friend was no stranger to the upper echelon so getting an invite was about as cumbersome as a 2 minute phone call. A few hours later, we were knee deep in models, bottles, celebs in linens and things and slew of illicit unmentionables (that shall remain just that).

Seven glasses of Clicqot later, I staggered upon a conversation where the inebriated host spoke boisterously of his investment portfolio and how profitable his firm had been for their clients. To say he had the ear of his already affluent guests would be an understatement. This balding unassuming man had managed to make billions over the course of his career. As an up and coming finance analyst, I was equally intrigued and impressed. I managed to solicit a conversation with “Bernie”, as he was affectionately called by his guests and it went a little something like this:

Me: Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?
Bernie: Downstairs, make a right.
Me: Thanks.
Bernie: No problem.
Me: I couldn’t help but over hear you earlier. How were you able to make so much money so consistently?
Bernie: I made it all up. I just haven’t gotten caught yet.

Bernie laughed loudly as he walked away and I did too. I knew he was hammered also so I never gave it a second thought. A few year later, I turn on the news and wouldn’t you know it…

The moral of the story is stop believing everything you read.

To read more from contributor, Alfred Obiesie, visit his blog at