The Citizen Recommends: WealthCon – The Philadelphia Citizen

The racial wealth gap in the United States — the lingering result of centuries of social, economic, and financial barriers to wealth-building — is extreme. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, “Black and Hispanic or Latino households earn about half as much as the average White household and own only about 15 to 20 percent as much net wealth.”

On Wednesday, October 5, the first annual Wealth Conference (WealthCon) at Temple University brings together investment thought leaders and Black and Brown Philadelphians in an effort to close this gap and build enduring financial stability. The event’s organizers, State Senator Sharif Street and NYCE, a minority-owned real estate development platform, have planned a day of education, discussion, and networking around wealth-building tools such as stocks, real estate, and resources for starting and supporting a business.

Who will be there

Ownership, the theme of WealthCon 2022, is supported by what NYCE calls the “three main pillars” that the conference programming is built around: real estate, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. The conference is expected to draw more than 1,000 attendees (both in-person and virtual), as well as representatives from state, local, and federal governments, real estate and housing professionals, lenders, educators, and community development leaders. Panels, keynote speakers, and workshops will cover real estate investment opportunities, entrepreneurship, financial planning, financial literacy, and investing in both traditional and newer, technology-based instruments like cryptocurrency and NFTs.

Speakers include Rashaad Lambert of Forbes, fintech platform Republic’s Maria Hope, comedian and Twitch host Vince Chang, Matt Shapson and Michael Hallett of PB+DC, NYCE founder and CEO Philip Michael, and FC Barcelona star Martin Braithwaite, co-founder.

New York-based NYCE is a fintech company whose mission is to create 100,000 millionaires by 2030, primarily through access to its real estate portfolio. Through a partnership with Temple, the company invested in one completed student apartment building, with another in development. It was at the groundbreaking event for new housing last year that Senator Street saw the potential of NYCE’s work in helping to close the wealth gap, and the idea of holding a conference to educate the community about wealth building took off from there.

Street sees WealthCon as an opportunity to empower Philadelphians and create a pipeline to entrepreneurship. “Ultimately, our goal is to demystify financial literacy, fiscal independence, and wealth building to empower individuals and families to create any future they can imagine,” says Street, who has made access to generational wealth-building opportunities a core legislative focus.

The wealth gap refers to the difference in generational wealth and access to wealth-building tools between White Americans and Americans of color, particularly Black and Brown Americans. According to U.S. Census data, the homeownership rate, a primary driver of wealth, is about 76 percent among …….