Indiana woman aims to boost her money management skills | Indiana


SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Deshaun Stewart says his mother’s money lessons started as soon as he was old enough to crave the latest pair of Air Jordan sneakers.

“We started having these conversations in my pre-teen years, because you look at all the nice things — the fancy cars, and the Jordans, and the flashy clothes — and I wanted some of that stuff,” Stewart said, 24, about his mother, Kay Farlow.

“She insisted on me only owning what you can afford to lose.”

These Jordans can cost upwards of $250, and Farlow asked his young son if he could buy a pair of shoes that would get scuffed the day he wore them outside.

“She emphasized to me the importance of assets versus asset depreciation,” recalls Stewart. “Very young, she put stuff like that in me.”

These lessons stuck. Stewart is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance while working with Farlow’s husband, Kenric Farlow, in Charles Schwab’s Indianapolis office. He bought his first house when he was 20 years old. He thinks it wouldn’t have happened without the financial education he received from Farlow.

Now, Farlow hopes to teach investing, money management, real estate and a host of other financial skills to townspeople through the IMPower center. The center is located at 22500 US 20.

Farlow rents space in the center to minority and women-owned entrepreneurs who own a variety of financial services and real estate businesses. These entrepreneurs are working with Farlow to run financial literacy workshops aimed at helping people on the West Side who need these services. The building also has a room that can be rented for community events.

Stewart is confident that Farlow’s initiative will be successful.

“My mother is a very strong willed woman and she will get what she wants no matter the cost,” he said. “And because of that, she’s going to be successful in her mission to spread financial literacy to these underdeveloped regions.”

Farlow said her passion stemmed from the struggles she saw her mother endure, as well as the challenges in her life that resulted from growing up too quickly.

“I grew up watching my mom wrestle,” Farlow recalled. “We grew up extremely poor, but not as poor as most people around us because we didn’t have to worry about public services shutting down.”

Farlow said her mother worked hard to make sure the lights stayed on, there was food in the fridge and the rent was paid. However, something had to give with her mother working to support her children, and Farlow said she started hanging out with the wrong crowd.

“I was a fan for a big period of time growing up, so when people started doing drugs and having sex and drinking, I was right there with them,” she recalls.

She saw things teenagers shouldn’t see, as Farlow often associated with much older people. She saw friends and acquaintances being shot. Farlow said she has always been a curious person. This curiosity serves her well as an adult who reads books to learn the answers to questions she had about topics such as car and home financing.

This teenage curiosity led Farlow to make a series of bad decisions.

“When my friends started smoking weed, I wanted to give it a try,” she recalls. “When they started drinking, I wanted to do that too.”

She followed the same pattern when it came to having sex.

“I didn’t want to be the only one not indulging and not trying,” Farlow said. “They looked like they were having a good time, so I let myself go and joined in.”

Farlow learned she was pregnant with Deshaun in 1997. She graduated from Clay High School in 1999.

“When I had my son, I remember thinking that I didn’t want his life to be like mine,” she recalls. “I didn’t want him to know about wrestling.”

Fortunately, Farlow began to follow the example of an older sister who decided to live a different lifestyle. Her sister got a job at a fast food restaurant, got married, and went to college to become a medical assistant.

“Watching her create this lifestyle and quality of life that we didn’t have in our house made me say I wanted it,” Farlow said. “I turned to that.”

Farlow said she had always been a good student, so she got good grades even though she made bad decisions. Farlow enrolled at Indiana University at South Bend after graduating from high school. She majored in accounting, but changed her major to marketing, while working at a telemarketing company, raising her son. Farlow eventually earned an associate’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

She took a job with Jordan Ford after graduating, and it was there that Farlow decided she wanted to learn more about car financing and real estate financing. She and her first husband, whom she married in college, bought a house.

“Then I started seeing how people were coming in and their cars costing as much as my house and wondering how is it possible that their loan is five or six years and my home loan is 30?” she remembers.

Farlow quickly started learning everything she could about real estate, investing, and finance. She started buying properties in town and renting them out to people and owned four rental properties.

In 2017, Farlow was learning more about the racial wealth gap in South Bend, and she felt like doing something to give black people the kind of financial education her mother didn’t have. However, she remarried in 2016 and was living in Indianapolis. Her husband is also from South Bend, but he wanted to stay in Indianapolis.

Still, Kenric Farlow encouraged his wife to pursue her dream. The information Farlow learned about the racial wealth gap was a call to action. She learned, for example, that 35% of black people own their homes compared to 69% of white people.

“I see these numbers and these alarms going off in me because I have the skills to help people escape these numbers, and in that moment the IMPower center was born,” she said. declared.

Farlow soon realized that she couldn’t change those numbers on her own. She decided to recruit entrepreneurs to be present at the center and to be able to offer workshops on real estate, investments and other topics related to finance.

Thomas Capers, owner of Capers Realty, is one of the contractors leasing space at the IMPower Center. Capers said he has been in the real estate business for about 20 years and has owned his own business since 2008.

Capers said he does most of his business online and doesn’t feel the need to have a physical presence.

“But when she decided to come to town to invest in South Bend, she reached out to me and told me her vision, and I was on board,” Capers said. “What she was doing, I wanted to be a part of it.”


Source: South Bend Tribune


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