Are you financially literate? Can you confidently assert that you are? In the last part of this series, we dove into a few practical ideas for bridging the financial gap between races in the United States. One of these suggestions is to become financially literate. According to a survey by the Global Finance Literacy Excellence Center, 63% of Americans are financially illiterate. This figure is for all Americans. But African-Americans in particular rank on the lowest rung of financial literacy. Today we’ll shine a light on Industrial Bank, one of the black-owned financial institutions we’re featuring in the Success Spotlight Series and share a few ideas for improving financial literacy.
A quick disclaimer: Here at Jones Lane, we are not financial experts, and none of what we share is intended to replace or supersede professional financial advice. We are simply sharing a few basics for informational purposes that you can use to get going on your financial literacy journey.
First, what does financial literacy mean?
In broad terms, to be financially literate means you can understand and appropriately apply the principles of financial management skills. Financial literacy is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and for the community. It is a strong foundation from which to make decisions and structure many of your life choices.
Here are a few ideas for improving financial literacy
- Study and understand basic financial concepts (budgeting, saving, investments, debt, interest rates, and loans).
- Learn about loans, amortization, risks, and possible rewards.
- Self-study and take classes/workshops, where you can. For the aforementioned topics, you can search for classes (online and/or in-person). A good idea is to supplement the education with self-study.
- Create a habit of financial self-education. You can create learning habits that last a lifetime. Because financial markets and your personal needs change, it’s good to create long-term self-education habits that support your financial health.
Now, let’s move on to Industrial Bank, a black-owned bank committed to financial literacy.
Vision and Mission of Industrial Bank
“On August 20, 1934, Founder Jesse H. Mitchell opened the doors of Industrial Bank for the first time. Since 1934, the bank has delivered essential banking and financial services which have contributed greatly to the growth and development of the Washington, DC community. We were strong during a time when the banking system failed. We understood then that the relationship with our community would be the source of our legacy of strength.”
Industrial Bank is to be commended for the services they provide and their impressive growth. They opened their doors in 1934 with $192,000 and six employees. They now report assets of $432 million and over 150 employees.
Georgia Avenue, DC
U Street, DC
F Street, DC
Anacostia Gateway, DC
Oxon Hill, MD
Halsey Street, NJ
Bergen Street, NJ
For more information on locations, click HERE.
Industrial Bank and Financial Literacy
“At Industrial Bank, we tend to do everything we can to help make your financial dreams comes true. A priority of ours is to help our customers to become knowledgeable about their finances. We understand that managing your finances can be an overwhelming task and we want to help you make sense of it all. To help you become more financially savvy, this free, fun and education program that will provide you with information on a number of financial topics. This service is FREE and can be assessed by both customers and non-customers. Most of our interactive modules last between 5 -10 minutes, perfect time to learn, and improve your overall financial well-being.”
For us to grow and become empowered, we need to equip ourselves with the tools and knowledge to make sound financial decisions and manage money effectively. This is what it means to be financially literate. The more we aim to improve our literacy and help others improve theirs, the healthier black communities will be financially.