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CONFIDENCE… an essential ingredient for turning thought into action, wishes into reality. The absence of confidence inhibits the sorts of behaviors – risk taking, failure, and perseverance needed to build and maintain confidence. This is troubling because of the long-term implications in our lives.

For newborns, the world is limitless, there are no boundaries. However, the word “NO” begins to show up early. No, don’t touch. No, you can’t. No, you shouldn’t. As children age, we begin to respond.

Girls respond - Sorry… Okay… Sorry. Excuse me…Okay Boys respond - Why not?... Hold on a minute… Only take a minute… Why not?

Volumes of research document that a confidence gap exists between men and women and it begins to show up strongly in middle school. Girls begin to shrink despite better performances academically. We shrink back from the experiences we need to have in order to grow and maintain confidence.

This lack of confidence carries into adulthood and spills over into various aspects of our lives. Men are more confident in applying for jobs, even when they are not qualified. Men are more confident negotiating for more, even when it is not justified. And, men are more financially confident than women. A survey published by CNBC reported that 90% of men feel confident to manage their money. Women are far less sure.

When it comes to Black people in general; even at the most educated levels, we are less financially confident than the general population, men included. That is because we traditionally lack the history, the access and the experience with money, that is needed to grow financial confidence.

It is imperative that the Black professional community; male and female, learn the skills and grow the confidence to manage personal finances; learn to ask the right questions; and seek the professional help that is available to help build, maintain and grow wealth. Otherwise, we will not be able to lead the way, and the wealth gap will continue to grow.


Since confidence is grown and maintained by having experiences, taking risks, winning and failing; it is important to be proactive and create the experiences you need to become savvy, and thus more confident. Most financial experts agree that these seven principles will help you to become financially confident.

1. Track Your Spending Daily. ... via journal, ledger, notebook. Do this for a month.

2. Adopt the 72-Hour Rule. ... no impulsive spending.

3. Automate Your Savings. ... it’s easy. Designate an amount to be automatically deducted bi-weekly or monthly.

4. Learn One New Thing Each Week. or read the financial section of a paper.

5. Boost Your Credit Score. ...there is no reason for less than 700 with discipline. Need help?;

6. Pay Down Debt. ...Start with the smallest. You will feel great! Confident!

7. Build an Emergency Fund. There is nothing like knowing you got your own back.

Call me, the Confidence Queen

Karen A Clark, SVP City National Bank

213 673 9124

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