Jay Morrison Aspires to Rebuild Black Wall Street with the Tulsa Real Estate Investment Fund

(DISLCAIMER: THIS IS NOT AN OFFER, RECOMMENDATION, OR SOLITICIATION TO INVEST IN THE TULSA REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT FUND, OR ANY OTHER FINANCIAL PRODUCT OR SECURITY. THIS BLOG IS INTENDED TO GIVE GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE FUND AND OUR OPINION)

jay morrison.jpg

Millionaire real estate investor and businessman Jay Morrison started the Tulsa Real Estate Investment Fund to revitalize urban communities, reverse gentrification, and give the everyday (not wealthy) person an opportunity to invest in real estate, without the hassle of physically buying and maintaining properties themselves. Jay Morrison is the founder of the Jay Morrison Academy, a company that “gives people from underserved communities the financial education they’ve historically missed out on.”

The academy is based in Atlanta and teaches the power of wealth building, homeownership, and financial literacy. The goal is to empower people from all backgrounds to create generational wealth and enjoy the freedom that comes with it. Before founding the Academy, Morrison was a successful real estate investor, a three-time felon, and high school dropout. Now Jay uses his life experiences and personal story of triumph over incredible odds to inspire other people – from at risk-youth to ex-offenders to real estate professionals – to achieve their own personal American Dream.

TRF.JPG

The TREF is his latest and largest endeavor. The fund launched its initial public offering on June 1, 2018, providing the everyday person with a unique investment opportunity that was not previously available to them. The fund is a $50 million dollar Regulation A+ Tier 2 real estate crowdfund that finances urban redevelopment around the world, but primarily in the United States. So far, the fund has raised about $6 million, or 12% of its goal.  

 “This 21st century crowdfunding vehicle, allows members of the community, institutions, and advocacy groups to own an equity stake in redevelopment projects funded by Tulsa Real Estate Fund. We call this "Participation Pass Donation." Every investor (Both Accredited and Non Accredited) will have an equity interest in every project that they invest in, which enables us to take control of our community, circulate our dollars within, take pride in our neighborhoods and unite around our common goals.”

The name of the fund is a reference to the Black Wall Street of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the early 1900’s. During the oil boom of the 1910s, the area of northeast Oklahoma around Tulsa flourished, including the Greenwood neighborhood, which came to be known as "the Negro Wall Street" (now commonly referred to as "the Black Wall Street"). The term "Negro Wall Street" was coined by none other than famed African-American author and educator, Booker T. Washington.

At the time, the Greenwood District was home to dozens of prominent African-American businessmen. Greenwood boasted a variety of thriving businesses that were very successful up until the events known as the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. In fact, the district was so successful that a dollar would stay within the district an estimated nineteen months before being spend elsewhere. Not only did black Americans want to contribute to the success of their own shops, but there were also racial segregation laws that prevented them from shopping anywhere other than Greenwood. Following the events known as the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, the area was rebuilt and thrived (with more than 100 MORE African-American businesses in place than there were before the riot itself) until the 1960s when desegregation allowed blacks to shop in areas from which they were previously restricted.

So what does all of this mean to you, today? This is the first time that an investment opportunity of this kind is being offered to the public for investing in urban areas that traditional real estate funds would neglect. However, like all investments, there are some key risks to consider before making the decision to invest. Here is a general overview of fund’s structure, risk factors, and it’s return goals.

Investment Policy

Per the investment prospectus filed with the SEC, the fund will purchase single, multi-family, commercial, industrial, and office properties that are cash flow positive (monthly rent income exceeds monthly expenses such as mortgages, operating expenses, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.). Depending on how positive the cash flow is will determine if management purchases the property or not. The company has not disclosed a hurdle rate or a target minimum cash flow number.

The fund manager has full-range to invest in any properties that he thinks will be profitable, and is not obligated to get voter approval from investors.

The fund is offering a 1,000,000 Class A shares for $50 per share to raise a goal of $50 million. The minimum investment in the fund is 10 shares, or $500. This investment will remain in the Company’s segregated account for up to 180 days from the first date of deposit, meaning investors won’t be able to liquidate their positions for at least 180 days after deposit.

Returns

The fund will pay investors a preferred annualized 8% return (not compounded), as well as 50% of profits that the fund makes. The fund manager will take a 5% management fee monthly, and split the other 50% of the profits.

Investors will receive their 8% preferred return before management fees and profit splits. Note that these returns are not guaranteed, and will be made available according to the profitability and performance of the fund’s investment.         

min inv.jpg

The fund will not pay investors their 8% preferred return or 50% profit share until after 12-18 months of investment. Afterwards it will be paid monthly.

The 8% annual return is comparable to the return an investor might achieve from traditional buy-and-hold real estate investing (although some investors earn much higher than 8%). 

Risks

Like all investments, there are risks that investors should consider before investing money. The company outlined the following risk factors in their public filings (it is necessary reading the entire prospectus before investing):

  • We are significantly dependent on Jay Morrison. The loss or unavailability of his services would have an adverse effect on our business, operations and prospects in that we may not be able to obtain new management under the same financial arrangements, which could result in a loss of your investment.
    • Our business plan is significantly dependent upon the abilities and continued participation of Jay Morrison. It would be difficult to replace Jay Morrison at such an early stage of development of the Company. The loss by or unavailability of his services would have an adverse effect on our business, operations and prospects, in that our inability to replace Jay Morrison could result in the loss of one's investment. There can be no assurance that we would be able to locate or employ personnel to replace Mr. Morrison should his services be discontinued. In the event that we are unable to locate or employ personnel to replace Mr. Morrison we would be required to cease pursuing our business opportunity, which could result in a loss of your investment

 

  • We are an emerging growth company with a limited operating history
    • We were organized in July 2016 and have not yet started operations. As a result of our start-up operations we have; (i) generated no revenues, (ii) will accumulate deficits due to organizational and start-up activities, business plan development, and professional fees since we organized. There is nothing at this time on which to base an assumption that our business operations will prove to be successful or that we will ever be able to operate profitably. Our future operating results will depend on many factors, including our ability to raise adequate working capital, availability of properties for purchase, the level of our competition and our ability to attract and maintain key management and employees.

 

  • The profitability of attempted acquisitions is uncertainy
    • We intend to acquire properties selectively. Acquisition of properties entails risks that investments will fail to perform in accordance with expectations. In undertaking these acquisitions, we will incur certain risks, including the expenditure of funds on, and the devotion of management's time to, transactions that may not come to fruition. Additional risks inherent in acquisitions include risks that the properties will not achieve anticipated sales price or occupancy levels and that estimates of the costs of improvements to bring an acquired property up to standards established for the market position intended for that property may prove inaccurate. Expenses may be greater than anticipated.

 

  • An investment in the Interests is highly illiquid. You may never be able to sell or otherwise dispose of your Interests.
    • Since there is no public trading market for our Interests, you may never be able to liquidate your investment or otherwise dispose of your Interests. The Company does currently have a redemption program, but there is no guarantee that the Company will ever redeem or "buy back" your Interests. Further, no one is allowed to redeem their Interests until twelve (12) months after the Interests were purchased. The Company will only redeem Interests up to 5.0% of the value of the assets as calculated on December 31 of the prior year.

 

  • Investors will not receive the benefit of the regulations provided to real estate investment trusts or investment companies.
    • We are not a real estate investment trust and enjoy a broader range of permissible activities. Under the Investment Company Act of 1940, an “investment company” is defined as an issuer which is or holds itself out as being engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting, or trading in securities; is engaged or proposes to engage in the business of issuing face-amount certificates of the installment type, or has been engaged in such business and has any such certificate outstanding; or is engaged or proposes to engage in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding, or trading in securities, and owns or proposes to acquire investment securities having a value exceeding 40 per centum of the value of such issuer’s total assets (exclusive of Government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis.
    • We intend to operate in such manner as not to be classified as an "investment company" within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940 as we intend on primarily holding real estate. The management and the investment practices and policies of ours are not supervised or regulated by any federal or state authority. As a result, investors will be exposed to certain risks that would not be present if we were subjected to a more restrictive regulatory situation.
  • Subscribers will have limited control in our company with limited voting rights. The Managing Members will manage the day to day operations of the Company.
  • We may require additional financing, such as bank loans, outside of this offering in order for our operations to be successful.
  • We have not conducted any revenue-generating activities and as such have not generated any revenue since inception.
  • Our offering price is arbitrary and does not reflect the book value of our Class A Interests.
  • Investments in real estate and real estate related assets are speculative and we will be highly dependent on the performance of the real estate market.
  • Our independent auditors have expressed substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern in the independent auditors’ report to the financial statements included in the Offering.
  • The Company does not currently own any assets
  • Our Manager will have complete control over the Company and will therefore make all decisions of which Members will have no control.

It is important to know that you should not be investing any money that you cannot afford to lose. In the case of the TREF, you should only be investing if you feel comfortable with the risk-to-reward offering, management's investment policy, and are able to have [at minimum] $500 tied up into an account for 12-18 months with no return. The risk of losing all your money is always present.

I will personally be investing in the fund because of what it represents for African-American wealth and my confidence in Jay Morrison’s ability to manage a real estate investment company, which he has proven with his personal track record. My decision to invest is based upon my own analysis, and financial ability to invest. This is not a recommendation or promotion to investment in this fund, so please do your own research and decide if this investment is right for you.

- Alex James, Founder

Art + Financial Literacy = Colour Money

Education budget cuts have caused schools to cut non-core programs from their curriculums. Art programs are the first to get cut when state educational budgets are tight. It is disappointing that not all students are able to have art courses because of how important they are in the development of children's creativity, motor skills, confidence, and visual learning. 

Financial literacy is a subject that was never mandated in public schools, so the majority of students do not learn about how to manage money wisely. The fact that money is such an important part of our lives, you would think that the Department of Education would mandate fiscal responsibility courses in schools. However, that is not the case. 

So what can be done about this disparity in education when it comes to art and financial literacy? One answer is Colour Money. Colour Money is a concept created by DeQuentin Glenn, founder of tutoring company Click Four Help. Click Four Help joined forces with Finessenomics to bring art and financial literacy exposure to students in the classroom.

Glenn describes Colour Money as "a program designed to bring 2 crucial components of life that are often neglected [together]: the respect/creation and financial literacy."

"On Thursday, May 3, the first Colour Money was brought to A.H. Wilson Charter School in New Orleans. This was the first installment of Colour Money and it was a huge success! Bringing in local artist from New Orleans created a friendly atmosphere that allowed the students to create original pieces of art while feeling comfortable to be engaged and ask/answer questions".   

"Alex Jams developed multiple interactive activities for the students to develop an understanding of budgeting while keeping the students' attention"

We had the students start off by doing a unique painting of their day, which was followed by a budgeting personal activity where students had to decide how much money they would spend on categories such as food, clothing, video games, movies, candy, and entertainment.

Students were also placed in hypothetical scenarios to learn how to handle conflicts that money can cause in an honest, ethical, and responsible fashion. For instance, what would you do if you found a wallet full of cash and and ID on the ground? The right thing to do would be to return the wallet to its rightful owner because that is what you would want someone to do for you if the shoe was on the footer foot. This was the first of many Colour Money programs to come to Louisiana schools. 

CM1.jpg
pic.jpg
CM2.jpg
CM3.jpg

Building Your Money House

Building a house is a process. The builders must first come up with a vision and plan for the house, construct the foundation, layout the framing, do the roofing, and a host of other steps before a new home is eventually erected from the ground. Building your "Money House" is a similar process.

The Money House is a symbol that represents financial well-being. It's not about having the biggest Money House, it's about having a very well constructed Money House. Finessenomics identifies 5 elements to a strong Money House: the foundation, 3 pillars, the roof, and the generator. 

The Foundation

The foundation of your Money House is your mindset about money. A proper mindset towards money is the foundation on which the rest of your house will be built. Likewise, a weak foundation will result in a house that will eventually fall and crumble. 

The mindset that is needed to build a strong Money House is one that is focused on making money work for you, not being emotional when it comes to money, and a determination to achieving financial freedom. This means that while you may have 9-5 job that you work to earn money, you are actively looking for ways to make your money start to work for you instead of you working for it.

It also means that you have the willpower to resist emotional spending habits. For example, some people simply can't resist retail therapy when they are upset about life. And while they may temporary feel better with some new shoes or clothes, this psyche is detrimental to building long-term wealth. Understanding that money is simply an energy and that we can use to help accomplish our goals and dreams in life is key to having the proper mindset towards money. Everyone's goal should be financial freedom. Financial freedom is being able to rely on your assets and investments to make money for you, and not being forced to work a job that you hate for the rest of your life. Financial freedom is waking up in the morning knowing that you are in control of your destiny and are prepared for what life may throw at you.

Some great books to read on developing a strong mindset for money are Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. 

The 3 Pillars to the Money House

A pillar is a tall vertical structure used to support a building. When it comes to your Money House, there are 3 pillars to build: budgeting, savings, and credit. All 3 pillars are equally important, and weakness in just one will cause the rest of the Money House to suffer. Each pillar is also interdependent one another, which means changes in one can affect the others. 

1) Budgeting - We all have heard at some point in our lives that it is good to keep a budget. But what does this really mean? Aren't budgets for poor and struggling people who need to keep track of every dollar? This truth is quite the contrary. Some of the wealthiest people keep active budgets and can tell you exactly how much money they make and spend each year. Part of the reason of why they are wealthy is because they were savvy budgeters BEFORE they even became wealthy. 

A budget is simply a plan for how you are going to spend your money. It starts with knowing how much money you have coming in (income) and how much is going out (expenses). If you have a full-time job, knowing your income is easy because you get paid about the same amount of money each month. However, if you are a student working part-time, or an entrepreneur with inconsistent income, it can be a bit harder calculating your monthly income. In these cases it may be better to start with your necessary expenses in a given month so that you know how much money is needed to break even. Regardless of how you make your money, it is 100% necessary to keep a budget. 

Here are some tips for creating and keep tracking of your budget:

  • Record your expenses - Write down everything that you spend money on. Try to be as accurate as possible and include even the smallest of expenses.
  • Include savings into your budget - Savings should be treated just like any other bill. Many people spend their money down and try to save what is left over. The right way is to save first and spend what is left over. This is the concept of "paying yourself first". It doesn't make sense to pay everybody else with your hard owned money without paying yourself as well. 
  • Revise your budget - Life changes, and with it, so should your budget. Prices go up and down over time, you may get a raise at work, or you may find yourself having to take on more bills. Whatever happens, it is important to re-evaluate your budget and make the necessary changes. 
  • Reward yourself - Human psychology is the reason many people cannot successfully follow a budget. It is important to treat yourself for following through on your budget. This will encourage you to continue your budget in the future.

Some people, like myself, keep track of their budget with an excel spreadsheet. But that is just because I am an excel junky from my career in finance. If you are looking for an app to help you with budgeting, check out Mint. 

2) Savings - Saving money is the second pillar to the Money House. Having money saved up allows you to take greater risks like starting a business or taking time off to travel. The sad reality is that less than 60% of Americans have $1,000 in savings. This means that 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck without any real safety net to fall back on if something drastically changed their lives. 

How much should you save? Some experts say at least 10% of your income, while some say 25%. In reality, you should be saving as much as you can realistically afford to. This number will be different from person to person because people have different situations. What's important is not how much you are saving, but instead that you are saving consistently and not spending your savings. So whether you are saving 5%, 10%, or 50%, just save something and stick to it!

Some tips for saving: 

  • 3 months rule - Strive for saving no less than 3 months of living. If you lost your job, you would have at least 3 months to survive while you figure out your next move
  • Make it automatic - Some people find it easier to save money that they do not see. You can have your savings come directly out of your paycheck with direct deposit from your bank. 
  • Make it harder to touch savings - Realistically, your savings should not be in the same account as your spending money (checking account). I personally keep a savings account with one bank where I only deposit money, and keep a checking account with another bank where I spend money according to my budget. Find whatever works for you. 
  • Have a savings goal - Understand why you are saving money. It could be to reach your 3 month security net, you could be saving for a new home or car, a vacation, an investment, etc. Just have your reasons for savings and it will make it easier to save money as you know you are working towards something

3)  Credit - A 700+ credit score opens up doors for financing options that are typically not available for people with lower credit scores. Without credit, it will be more difficult to get approved for things like home and auto loans, or even moving into a nice apartment. Having good credit also allows you to secure business loans. Poor credit can hinder you from doing a lot of things life.

Tips for Building Credit

  • SelfLender - Think of saving money and building credit at the same time. Well that's exactly what SelfLender allows you to do. The program requires you to pay into an account monthly for 12 months. The account shows up on your credit report as a loan. As you pay into the account, your credit will benefit as it will show up on your credit report that you are paying down a loan when you are actually just saving money. It's a win-win. However, the only caviets are that you cannot withdraw the money at any time before all payments are made. This is not a savings account that you can access. Also, you cannot miss a payment, as it will show up negatively on your credit report. SelfLender is for people that have consistent income and can commit to the payments each months. Visit SelfLender.com for more details. 
  • Secured Credit Card - Getting a secured credit card can help build or rebuild credit. A secured card requires a cash collateral deposit that becomes the credit line for that account. For example, if you put $500 in the account, you can charge up to $500. You may be able to add to the deposit to extend your credit, or sometimes a bank will reward you for good payment and add to your credit line without requesting additional deposits.
  • Authorized User - Becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card can be a simple and effective tactic if you’re still working to establish your credit. While it’s certainly not a substitute for building up your own credit history, it may be a good way to give your credit a nice boost as you’re getting started. The flip side? Your credit can also be hurt if the primary account holder doesn’t stay on top of their payments. So be careful with who you ask to be an authorized user.
  • Disputing negative items - Derogatory items such as collections, liens, and judgements can cause destruction to your credit. Getting these items removed will raise your score. Disputing negative items sometimes gets them taken off, but it does not always work. Basically, a creditor has 30 days to "prove" that you owe a debt after you disputed it. Many times the creditor does not respond, in which case the account has to be removed from your account. There are so-called "credit repair" companies who you can pay to dispute items, but be careful as this is not a guarantee and can be expensive. Check out 100 Percent Financed.

  • Debt Paydown - Paying down balances on credit cards and loans will cause your credit score to rise over time as your credit utilization decreases. The credit bureaus like to see that you are only using a small portion of the credit that you have access to. A good credit utilization percentage to have is below 30% (if you have a $1,000 credit limit, don't keep more than $300 outstanding on it).

  • Increasing credit limits - Increasing the limit on your credit card can have a positive impact on your score as it will improve your credit utilization. Sometimes credit card companies will increase the limit automatically after a few months of on time payments. You can also request to have your limit increased as well.

The Roof - Investments

The roof is what secures a home from the elements and gives value to the home. Without it, the house is not complete. Investments are the roof to your money house. 

An investment is an asset that will either generate cash flow or increase in value. The best investments do both (such as real estate properties and dividend paying stocks). 

The type of investing you do will be determined on a few things:

  • Knowledge - The type of investments you make is a direct correlation on your knowledge of different investments. Take a look at the Finessenomics Reading List. 
  • Savings - Before you can invest, you have to have the funds to do so. This is why saving is so important. If your investment fails, you will still need savings to fall back on.
  • Risk tolerance - How comfortable are you with taking risks? Do you have enough money to take risks given your age and financial situation? How my education do you have in managing risk? The answers to these questions will determine your risk tolerance.
  • Time horizon - How long are you able to hold an investment? When will you need to liquidate your asset? Typically your age determines your time horizon. If you are in your 20s, you have a longer time to reach retirement than somebody in their 50s, therefore your time horizon is longer. A younger person is typically able to take more risks than an older person who can't afford to make mistakes with their money.
  • Investment goals - What are your goals? What type of return is required to reach your goals? If the return required is high, then you will have to engage in higher risk investments due to the relationship between risk and reward.

Some investments to consider adding to your portfolio:

  • Mutual funds with stocks and bonds
  • Real estate properties or investments in REITs (real estate investment trusts, a company that investments in real estate on behalf of investors)
  • Money market accounts 
  • Annuities 
  • Tax liens

The Generator - Insurance

Last but not least, we get to the generator. A home is not protected from the possibility of disaster. When a storm hits and knocks out the power, a home without a generator will be very uncomfortable to live in. Likewise, your Money House needs a generator. This generator is called insurance. Insurance protects you from the possibility of what you hope never happens.

The main types of insurance to be aware of include are life insurance and disability insurance.

  • Life insurance - Protects your family from financial hardship if you pass away prematurely or unexpectedly. It allows you to leave a lump sum worth hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Life insurance can also be used as a vehicle to pass down generational wealth.
  • Disability insurance - Provides income replacement if you are injured and cannot return to work at your job. For example, if you are a hairstylist and something happens to your hands, you cannot do your job to make money. This is where disability insurance comes in. Most policies replace up to 70% of your income if you cannot work due to an injury.  

Call to Action

Thanks for visiting Finessenomics. We encourage everyone to work on building their own strong Money House. It is a basic analogy to help understand financial planning.

CARDI B

Aside from her rise to fame from being known as a former-stripper turned rapper, and her entertaining social media presence, the Bronx native @iamcardib seems to know what to do with all the new bags she is securing! In her recent feature in Rolling Stone magazine, Cardi opens up about how her father’s street life influenced her attitude on saving and investing money. •

For Cardi, his experience doing "different things in the streets" was a cautionary tale. "That's why I be so careful with my money and always try to invest. I see people who have it all and then lose it." We are interested to see what investments the 25-year old star is considering and the money moves she is making. Keep at it Cardi!  

4 Rappers Investing In Cryptocurrency

4 Rappers Investing In Cryptocurrency

Besides being some of the dopest artists to pick up a mic, what do Nas, Nipsey Hussle, The Game, & Ghostface Killah all have in common? They are all investing in cryptocurrency! 

Let’s face it, most rappers today are known for flaunting their expensive cars and their latest jewelry pieces, and these guys are certainly no exception. However, unlike majority of rappers in the game, these four have been wisely investing their money in numerous ventures outside of music. Most recently, they have been spotted backing cryptocurrency ventures.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have been hot topics in the tech and investment communities with the explosive 700%+ growth of Bitcoin this year alone. Many people are optimistic of the future of crypto and its applications, while others believe that it will ruin the global economy. Nevertheless, people are excited for its potential returns and are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into ICOs (initial coin offerings) and mining technology.

Nas has invested in more than 40 startup companies including digital wallet company Coinbase, where people can buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang Clan co-founded a cryptocurrency venture and aims to raise $30 million. The Game partnered with Paragon Coin to ICO a new coin to facilitate transactions in the cannabis industry. Nipsey Hussle is invested in an Amsterdam-based cryptocurrency company called Follow Coin.But these four aren’t the only ones to get in the crypto game. Jamie Foxx, Floyd Maywhether, and Paris Hilton have all been promoting various ICOs.

To learn more about cryptocurrency, visit www.cryptonomicswealth.com to download "Crypto 101: A Fast Guide to Cryptocurrency Investing" for free.