ORLANDO, Fla. – How young were you when your first savings account was opened? Our guest today likely has you beat.
This week on “Black Men Sundays,” host Corie Murray interviews Richard “Rich” Miller, MBA, a storied entrepreneur who opened his first bank account when he was 10 years old. Since then, Miller has owned a car dealership, authored two books and currently enjoys the benefits of having multiple revenue streams, including an insurance company which he owns and operates in St. Louis, Missouri, and a real-estate company that oversees rental properties.
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Believe it or not, Miller’s head start at the bank began not at age 10, but when he was six, witnessing as a young child growing up in Barbados how often his mother would put things on layaway because she often couldn’t afford them.
“I remember, every Saturday morning, me and my mom used to go shopping. First thing we did, we stopped at the bank, and my mom whipped out her bank book, gave it to the teller, the teller gave her some cash and then we went shopping,” Miller said. “One day I said ‘Hey mom, can I have a bank book?’ She said ‘You gotta have money to have a bank book.’ I said ‘Well can I have some money? Can I get some money? She said ‘You gotta have a job to get money.’”
He kept that in mind as they made their next stop, a department store where his mother’s layaway book was carried off and brought back by a cash boy.
“So I said ‘Hey mom, he’s got a job, how come I can’t get a job?’ Miller said. “The sales lady said ‘Little boy, how old are you?’ I said ‘I’m six.’ She said ‘he’s 10. You gotta be 10 in order to work here, OK?’”
Miller said he kept going to the store for the next four years until he was old enough to be a cash boy himself, paid $25 a week plus tips. Now with his first revenue stream, Miller pitched again for a savings account.
“I said ‘Mom, I got a job, and I got money, can I get a bank book?’ She said ‘Yes you will;’ she didn’t say yes you may, ‘Yes you will,’” Miller said.
The years that followed saw Miller find employment in New York as he went to high school in the Bronx, then to City College in New York for an undergraduate degree in economics and later to Long Island University for his MBA. The entire time, Miller said, he spent learning how to seek a bigger ROI. His books Building Black Wealth and Dealing came from a desire to share that knowledge with others, he said, but Miller was able to sharpen his tomes of advice to a point, a singular key to be more than mindful of:
“Corie, the key to building wealth — and I know I’m a little long-winded — the key to building wealth is having several revenue streams. Don’t just have one, have several,” Miller said.
Black Men Sundays talks about building generational wealth. Check out every episode in the media player below: