Obioha Okereke knew growing up that there was no wealth within his family and that it is something he had to acquire on his own. Knowing he has no wealth to inherit motivated him to start growing his own wealth.
At the age of 18, Okereke invested his first $150. Now 24, the Seattle consultant has a net worth of more than $150,000 and an investment portfolio worth more than $120,000, he tells CNBC + Acorns.
“Growing up, my dad talked a lot about generational wealth,” says Okereke. “He was always emphasizing that because we are African American and there was no wealth within the family, that it was something we would have to acquire on our own.”
The investment consultant’s path towards building generational wealth was not without mishaps. Okereke admits he has made some bad investment decisions and he is now helping others avoid his earlier mistakes with his company College Money Habits.
Okereke shares his top tips on how he successfully built a generational wealth based on savings, investing, and spending.
Okereke says he automates his savings. He automatically transfers $1,250 to a savings account which he says should take priority before investing.
He says, “Make sure you have savings, specifically emergency savings, because when you invest you are putting money at risk.”
“Make sure that if you were to lose money in the market it’s not going to change the way you live or compromise your lifestyle.”
On investment, Okereke says the best option is to do long-term investment. He notes that he previously bought into so many investment “noise” but an internship at Merrill Lynch made him see the significance of investing in the long term.
“Some people think, ‘I don’t have enough money to start investing.’ But for myself I started with $150,” he says.
Aside from doing long-term investment, Okereke says staying consistent and according to plan is also important to help build wealth.
Learning “delayed gratification” is another tool Okereke deployed to build up his wealth. He notes that delayed gratification puts one in a position where in the future, you will have money to do more.
“With social media, I feel there is this constant pressure to portray a certain lifestyle. But it is important to live within your means,” he says. “By delaying gratification, you put yourself in a position where in the future, your money will be able to do more.”