Lecture: Financial Literacy


Ryan Mack, Author of Living in the Village (, Entrepreneur, Financial Guru

Friday, April 01, 2011




Times may be hard for many, but hard times don’t negate your responsibility to contribute…hard times are the REASON that you should work twice as hard to make sure that you are doing all you can to fulfill your share. Without your efforts, this country will never recover. The most patriotic act that you can do is to strengthen yourself for the benefit of helping others to become strong. Here are four steps you can take starting right now!

Find Your Passion

“But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:18

Each one of you has God-given talents that will create a pathway towards wealth for you, your family, and community. I challenge you to search deep inside yourselves to locate the talents and skills that lie within. What subjects are you always discussing with your friends and family? What hobbies do you find that you cannot break away from? Is there something that you find yourself always thinking about? These are some questions that you can ask yourself to discover your talents and passions of life. Financial literacy will not create your future wealth. It is within your purpose and passions of life that you will find your future’s greatest treasures. Financial literacy will assist you to retain the abundant wealth that I am certain you all will acquire over your lifetime.

Create and Follow Your Vision

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18

One, five, 10 and 20 years from today, where will you be and what you will be doing? I challenge you all to have a vision of tomorrow that is far greater than the vision that I have for you. Do not let any one person’s vision for you exceed the visions that you have for yourself. The only person that can put a limit on your growth is you. All in America have come from greatness. If we are a country whose intellectual capital and economic prowess continues to enhance within each successive generation then your future has greater promise than your ancestry. Strive to be greater than kings, stronger than queens… Dare to be great.

Execute a Perpetual Lifetime Pursuit of Knowledge

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7

I challenge you to continue to develop your mind and seek knowledge. It has been said that one extra hour of study per day in your field will make you an expert in five years. However, do not limit your study to your field. Seek knowledge and awareness of financial literacy, physical wellness, politics, legal issues, self, family, community, and God. Read at least one book per month, enroll in a local community college to further your education and diversify your skill set, volunteer to teach your expertise at the local high school because the best way to learn something is to teach it, or find multiple mentors who will allow you to tap into their intellectual capital regularly. Challenge yourself to be well-rounded as there are many aspects of your life that will have an impact on your economic well-being.

Take Tangible Action

“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

How much do you love your community, your family, and yourself? I challenge you to take the necessary action to do the things that will support and uplift your community, your family, and yourself. I challenge you to not succumb to the temptation of being attractive instead of effective. I challenge you to defeat the temptation of being concerned with image as opposed to substance. I challenge you to write out a five-step tangible plan of action that will guide you to achieve the greatness that you see in your vision. Expound and elaborate upon this plan as you grow and mature within your walk of life (age does not equal maturity for I know many who have gotten older but have not matured). Tangible action carries far more impact than words.

There will be many times people may deem you to be too inadequate to handle certain responsibilities and will underestimate the potential that you know you possess. Do not let this discourage you. The ONLY person that can put a limit on your growth and development is you. Regardless of what people feel towards you, I challenge you to be diligent enough to make each day a day to improve and expand your mind while growing as a person. Ask God each morning to make this day the day that you become a better, stronger contributor to your community. Thank God each night as you reflect upon how He has blessed you and granted your morning request. I believe that you all are destined for greatness. However, what I believe is not as important as what you believe. You must believe that you will fulfill your tremendous potential that our country desperately needs to be great again.


Ryan Mack, Author of Living in the Village (

Please submit all questions and comments to Ryan Mack at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)




President of Optimum Capital Management, Ryan Mack: Mr. Mack has a life mission to build and develop a durable financial empire geared towards educating his community and beyond. Ryan Mack graduated from the University of Michigan Business School (ranked number one in the country) with a concentration in Finance.  His career in equity markets began in Detroit, Michigan as a stock trader and later as a trader for the largest NASDAQ trading firm in the nation, Knight Securities.  Having a passion for teaching he established his own financial awareness group in 2003 where he began to publish regular newsletters about various financial related issues that were of interest to people from all income levels. In addition to being a financial advisor working with many prominent clients across the U.S., he charitably lends his support to inner-city communities by coordinating workshops and creating economic empowerment initiatives that teach the principles of understanding the power of financial literacy. Unions, churches, government-subsidized housing communities, municipal programs, nonprofits, inner-city organizations, international communities and especially colleges and universities have benefited from the financial workshops/programs that he has developed and instructed through Optimum Capital Management.

As a renowned public speaker he has provided keynote presentations to organizations across the country such as Harvard University, Columbia University, Princeton University, NAACP, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Housing Preservation and Development, National Urban League, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Black MBA Association and many others, Microsoft Corporation, HSBC, KPMG, Johnson and Johnson, Six Flags, and Deutsche Bank.  With a strong sense of philanthropy he flew to South Africa to teach economic empowerment principles to those in need and has partnered with the local District Attorney’s office to teach financial literacy to previously incarcerated community residents with the aim of lowering recidivism rates.  He can be regularly viewed on television networks such as GMTV, CNBC, CNN, Thomson Reuters, and BET discussing economic/social issues that impact American citizens.  Ryan has also authored his book “Living in the Village”; has been profiled in Tavis Smiley’s Covenant and Action (a New York Times Bestseller); co-authored a book with Kevin Powell entitled “The Black Male Handbook”; featured in Black Enterprise, African American Family, The Source & NV Magazine; contributes regularly to, The Network Journal, Fortune, and Black Enterprise; received the Top 40 Ander 40 Achievement Award from The Network Journal; was inducted by Medgar Evers College (where he currently serves as a board member) into its national honor society PI ETA KAPPA as a honorary member;  and received Tom Joyner’s “Hardest Working Financial Advisor Award” because of his efforts to empower the community with the crucial life skills of financial literacy.  Whether he is counseling a group of doctors at a convention or in Rikers Island providing a free course Ryan Mack’s comprehensive, exciting approach to teaching economic empowerment to all income levels has generated a level of much needed interest in a volatile economy.