An Interview With Podcaster Joseph Nwosu
Joseph Nwosu is the Nigerian and British founder of Black Millennial Money. At 30 years old he offers an ambitious, sharp and honest weekly podcast which empowers Black Millennials with the tools to succeed financially, coupled with a dose of good humour. As a Black millennial himself, this entrepreneur hopes to inspire others, and impart the various tips he has learned from a colourful career delivering sales at a renowned luxury vehicle company, and understanding the inner workings of finance at a one of the most reputable credit reporting agencies in the nation. Black Millennial Money is steadily attracting a strong listener fanbase as it aims to help audiences prevent making costly mistakes. When the business savvy podcaster isn’t talking mortgages and debt with fiscal experts such as Emmanuel Asuquo, he’s preparing to move into his new home in the English countryside. We discuss the challenges that Black businesses face, the discomfort of talking about money in the Black community and how no one is coming to save Black millennials in a post-Covid world.
What is Black millennial money and what inspired you to start your podcast?
Black millennial money is a personal finance podcast that discusses how you can make money, keep more money, invest more and spend your money on the finer things in life. It’s all discussed from experience of Black millennial who is likely to be making more money than their parents and doesn’t have much guidance on how best to manage this income to build wealth. I was inspired because I saw a need. It was a need that I had and one that I saw in my friends. As a community the millennial generation has the largest earning potential for Black people in decades. How we use all that money to transform our communities and the prospects for our children. That’s the need and challenge I’m addressing.
What makes Black Millennial Money different to White Millennial Money?
White millennials can be equally as poor but they don’t have they stakes Black people do. Many white people are allowed to totally mess up with no real consequences. For example, many white senior leaders have run businesses badly and it hasn’t impacted their careers. They march on to senior roles with golden parachutes. Others have multiple failed businesses but still seem to find investors willing to back them. Black people are rarely afforded the benefit of the doubt. So white millennials may have their challenges, but they aren’t the same as ours. They aren’t from the same context. I honestly welcome everyone to listen to the podcast but you have to accept that the conversations will be had from an unapologetically Black perspective and rooted in our experience
What are your thoughts on the current state of financial literacy in the Black community?
Financial literacy in the black community is not high overall. We have individuals who are financially successful but no affluent black communities in the UK. It’s not entirely our fault because we have a short history as a large group in the UK. In addition to that we have been boxed out of most of the high earning positions in the UK for most of that history. That is changing so now it’s on us to make sure we are educated on how to build generational wealth
What role do you think Black owned businesses can and should play in strengthening the Black community and what challenges do you think they face?
Black owned business has a huge part to play in supporting the Black community but they have the same challenge that all Black people do such as lack of knowledge and support. We need to diversify and simplify our businesses. McDonald’s is a billion-dollar business selling burgers with sides. That’s 90% of their menu. We need to streamline our businesses to the primary profit drivers and do just that. I would love to see a Caribbean restaurant one day only sell Jerk chicken with sides and nothing else. We also need to focus on Black ownership not a Black only customer base. Money from other communities is just as good as money from our own
In terms of teaching and educational resources in schools, what do you think the basic financial fundamentals should include to empower Black students in future?
There are 3. Firstly, a monetisable skill that can be done independent of any employer such as event planning. Secondly, the ability to stay out of debt permanently through smart money management. Thirdly, the willingness to seek professional help and advice regardless of how wealthy you are
What financial lessons do you think Black parents should give their children and what financial lessons do you think Black parents should unlearn?
Black parents need to learn self-preservation. It makes no sense to be maintaining your family overseas when you are not making your pension contributions. None of the people you are helping will be there in your time of financial need. It makes no sense to not take care of your personal financial affairs to buy your children trainers and toys. That’s not love. Love is thinking about never being a financial burden and being able to support them to financial independence. Your children are not your retirement plan
What do you believe is the biggest challenge when managing money in Black families?
Honesty and transparency. There is a lot of shame associated with talking about money and we need to be open with each other. We need to share resources, plans and ideas because anything that happens, good or bad, affects the entire family.
Regarding social benefit allowances within the Black community, what do you think could be improved to eventually end dependency?
No one should be demonised for using state benefits if they fall on hard times, but ultimately Black people need to get to the point where they don’t rely on the state for support but rather on the community because hard time will always come. That’s life
Do you think the stigma of social benefits causes unhealthy financial behaviours and how do you think that can be combated?
I don’t think the stigmatisation of financial benefits causes unhealthy behaviour. I think it can be a symptom of a more insidious issue which comes with how Black people view ourselves. You find that with any group of Black people who are generally not wealthy. What I mean by that is that globally we are not a wealthy group of people on the face of the earth, as individuals there are wealthy Black people. In many places across the world you won’t find a wealthy Black community and if you do compare that to the wealth of any other race in the world and their wealthy communities, it is still a poor one. I think some of the behaviours we see exhibited by people buying lavish things is to find a level of self-pride, but the issue is that you are externalising something which should be internal. You’re finding your identity and your source of strength and your focus on things that ultimately will not give you the feeling of security, safety and self-sustainability and reliance that you would actually need to be confident in who you are as just a Black human being. I think it comes from an insecurity on a global stage that we have all internalised on various levels. All of us compete without even realising it so one person gets a car, the other person feels like they have to get a car, or someone gets a new girlfriend the other person wants to get a girlfriend. It’s all identity based and not being contented sort of competitive behaviour, which is counterproductive. I think it’s deeper than the benefits. The benefits are symptomatic of something internal.
What do you think the financial future for Black millennials post-Covid 19 will be and what financial steps should they take to prepare?
Post- Covid I think nothing will have changed. Covid has highlighted the gaps and dependencies we all have. If you are struggling in Covid you were either struggling before or had a false sense of security. This can take many forms such the business owner you work for passing away without a succession plan and now the business has to close. You were always vulnerable because that could have happened at any time. You lost your job and had no savings. Covid has shown us a community that we need financial independence faster or we will continue to suffer.
What are your hopes in the fight against racial inequality and how much of a role do you think financial independence plays in the movement?
My role is to be an example and help those that listen to me become financial astute and independent. I will continue to call out injustice as we all should but no one person can save us all. James Baldwin said we must each work out our salvation and that has never been more true than today. No one is coming to save us, so we must each save ourselves.