The U.S. Senate Has a Diversity Problem in Its Staff


As policy decisions affecting all Americans are debated in the halls of Congress, you will be hard pressed to find people of color in top‐level staff positions. A report released by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the most influential Senate staffers are disproportionately white. Among senior-level Senate staff—chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and other folks, who ultimately shape the laws we all live by—a mere 7.1% are people of color, researchers found, although people of color make up 36% of the U.S. population.

When it comes to numbers for African Americans, the findings are even more alarming; there is only one African American Chief of Staff out of 100. There is only one African American legislative director out of 100. There is only one African American communications director out of 100. Most troubling is the fact that out of the three African American senior staffers just mentioned, only one works for a Democratic senator.


Halls of Congress Lack Color


The lack of diversity is especially pronounced at the senior level. There are 100 Senators, each has three senior positions in their personal offices: Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, and Communications Director. Those three positions, unlike any others, assist in the management of the Senator’s office and Senate legislative agenda, shape the $3.8 trillion U.S. federal budget, provide oversight of federal agencies and hire, manage, mentor and promote junior Senate staff. These influential top aides advise the senators on all issues and their recommendations are usually carried out.

“On issues like education, the economy, healthcare, and decisions of war and peace, members of Congress are legislating without the perspectives of black and brown staff,” wrote Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League (NUL). “Members of Congress have exempted themselves from most labor laws like the Equal Employment Act of 1972 and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As a result, there is no legal requirement for Senators to provide answers to anyone when it comes to the employees they hire for their personal staffs and/or committee assignments,” he states.


Holding Congress Accountable In Hiring


Morial also points out that the Senate doesn’t have to follow the federal Freedom of Information Act, which gives citizens access to information about their government. So, citizens and groups like NUL can’t get access to Congressional employment figures, even though we can get such numbers from companies that receive federal contracts.

Among NUL’s proposed solutions is that Congress must enact legislation or rules subjecting it to employment laws, which require reporting of employment demographics and once vacancies are announced, fair interview processes must be established employing the National Football League’s “Rooney Rule.”The Rooney Rule is the NFL’s policy that requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.

BE The Code: From NFL Player to Tech Entrepreneur

NFL Player

Mike Brown, a former NFL player and Duke alum, recently launched his startup Win-Win, and as smooth as the opening sentence to this paragraph sounds, this was no easy feat. After being confronted by a streamline of trials and tribulations: moving out to Silicon Valley, attempting to start a company, failing, taking a tech job and getting laid off, all in the midst of personal family trauma, Brown has finally hit what seems to be a win.

His new company, a sports gaming platform, allows fans to connect with their favorite athletes and influencers while simultaneously donating to charitable initiatives. The breakdown goes a little something like this: pro athletes host game tournaments such as fantasy sports and fans pay an entry free to join the tournament. That entry fee is then used as a donation to a charitable cause chosen by the host athlete or influencer. Not to worry. In the event you don’t play fantasy, Win-Win tournaments have various game modes for all sports fans.

Some past wins have included flying fans down on a private jet to sit on the sidelines of the Alabama and LSU game with pro baller Patrick Peterson. When all was said and done, the money was donated to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to support flood victims, an initiative very dear to Peterson’s heart considering his strong connection to LSU.


Mike Brown (Image: BE The Code/Mike Brown and Sequoia Blodgett)



In addition, Tyrone Crawford of the Dallas Cowboy’s tournament gave back to children living in single-partner, low-income households, gifting them with presents during the holidays, which is something that he didn’t get a chance to experience due to personal family circumstances. From that, the fans received VIP access and sideline seats to the Cowboys vs. Lions game.

And there are more tournaments. Can we say NBA, anyone?

This all seems amazing, but we wanted to know how Brown got here. We set down with him on BE The Code, to discuss his story, in addition to giving you some tips and pointers if you are looking into transitioning from one career path to the next. Peep the video below or listen to the podcast on iTunes. Don’t forget to subscribe.




Sequoia BlodgettSequoia Blodgett is the Silicon Valley, tech editor for Black Enterprise. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed pop culture.

NFL Players Tackle Opportunities in Franchising

NFL players

Scores of athletes have found success in franchising from tennis star Venus Williams (Jamba Juice) to former NBA baller Jamal Mashburn (Papa Johns/Outback). Washington Redskins veteran defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois also maintains an eye toward investing and diversifying his portfolio through franchise ownership. He has already purchased over a dozen Dunkin Donuts franchises along the Georgia coast, with plans on expanding into other states and possibly other ventures within the food industry.

Dunkin Donuts has been expanding its brand with NFL players. Last year, the company announced plans by U Donuts L.L.C. to develop 11 restaurants in Savannah, Georgia, by 2020. U Donuts is owned by franchisees Charles Cutler and Michael Ferreira in conjunction with NFL players including Jean Francois. The group purchased a territory of 14 units with three existing Dunkin Donuts outlets. “We are looking at another site—South Carolina—to expand even more,” says Francois.

The Greatest Return on Investment


Francois credits his financial adviser with guiding him towards the realm of franchising as a means to help shore up his retirement after a pro-ball career. “He talked to me about longevity. NFL also stands for ‘not for long,’” he says.

After reviewing nearly 100 franchise opportunities, he chose Dunkin Donuts because of its track record, in terms of security and profitability. “They were looking for franchise brands that would offer the greatest return on his investment,” he explains.

Once he retires from football, Francois plans to devote his full attention to operations. “I want to become more involved and go to each business to see what is going on daily.”

Francois shared with BLACK ENTERPRISE how NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson is the businessman and Magic Johnson Enterprises is the business model that he seeks to emulate. As someone who admires stories about people that start from the bottom and rise to the top and become CEOs, he wants to make it in this fashion, too. “At the end of the day, I want to take care of my community,” he says, elaborating that he wants to embark on initiatives such as providing youth scholarship programs.

It’s Not About the Bling


A self-proclaimed “sneaker god,” Francois has amassed upwards of 300 pairs of shoes, some of which are extremely rare. Yet, the one thing that he would tell his younger self would be to not to be materialistic. “You don’t have to show off that you have money,” he says, noting there are people who are billionaires, but you could never tell by their khaki pants, t-shirt, thong slides, moderate homes, and compact car.

Francois has had his share of shining moments throughout a lifetime of football, and he has seen the highest level of competitive play; from a trip to Super Bowl XLVII, to wining an NCAA National Championship. The youngest of four children and one of the nation’s highest rated defensive linemen to come out of Miami Carol City Senior High School, Francois played college football for the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers from 2005-2008.

After his first pro stint with the San Francisco 49ers, and then onto the Indianapolis Colts, he departed the Midwest and inked a three-year deal to join the Washington Redskins, in February 2015. He helped the team return to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. A leader in the locker room and on the gridiron, he hopes he can help the Redskins build on last year’s success and return to the playoffs for another run at the Vince Lombardi trophy.

It Takes Grind to Be Successful


One skill that Francois has as a football player that is applicable to being a businessman is personal grind. Referencing a comment from Hollywood actor-producer Will Smith, he advises, “Don’t even have a plan B, because it is only going to distract you from plan A. When we set a game plan, it is written down on paper. We must get it done, we must execute. Some of the biggest empires in business today were built off of grind.”

NFL Player Mike Adams Shares How Yoga Improved His Life

Mike Adams

When we think of NFL players, yoga doesn’t necessarily come to mind. With incorporating yoga into their exercise regime, players can reap a plethora of benefits for the mind, body, and soul. Yoga is a practice that everyone can benefit from to improve his or her overall health and life.

Mike Adams, a safety for the Indianapolis Colts, practices yoga on a regular basis. According to the NFL Players Association, the average NFL career length is a little over three years. Adams has enjoyed a successful career for more than a decade. He contributes much of this success to a series of daily yoga exercises and a strategic eating habit. Adams took time out of his busy schedule to give us an inside look into his practice and share some insight on entrepreneurship.

1. What initially piqued your interest in yoga?

I was introduced to yoga by my friend and NFL coach. I have been practicing yoga for about four years now. With yoga, there are breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures for flexibility and these practices have improved my overall well-being. What converted me to becoming a yoga believer is how it made me feel after each session. I think the mental healing of yoga impressed me the most. The benefits for me are increased muscle tone as well as the energy boost it provides.

2. Why is yoga important to you as an athlete and how often do you practice?

As an athlete, yoga physically allows me to remain flexible as I reach the peak of my career. I would say that I practice the art of yoga at least once a week during the season and two to three times during the off-season.

3. How can yoga improve the performance of athletes?

I always say that yoga is a true asset when you are an athlete because athletes deal with different injuries while playing. Yoga can’t prevent injuries, but I believe it can minimize soft tissue injuries. In my experience, your performance on the field is only enhanced both mentally and physically.

4. Have you encouraged your teammates to try yoga and what were their responses?

Absolutely. Especially if one of my teammates is battling some kind of injury or if I’m asked about my workout routines. They sometimes have jokes about the poses and positions but my teammates usually end up trying it or doing a session with me.

5. What are some misconceptions about yoga that you want to get rid of?

I believe that everyone has their own misconceptions about yoga, especially when they do not practice the art. There are no absolutes in this practice and what works for one person might not work for someone else. What I think is important is that people should find what works for them and what makes them comfortable when beginning their journey into yoga.

6. What is your favorite yoga pose and why?

I enjoy janu sirsasana (head to knee forward bend). I use that pose on an everyday basis before I start my performance. It is a pose for the hamstring that players use on every level. The most interesting part is that athletes are probably unaware of it being a yoga pose. In this pose, you can find relief from general hamstring tightness.

7. As someone who is into health and an entrepreneur with your fiancé, what encouragement do you have for young families that want to build a healthy and financial legacy?

Stay encouraged and be willing to learn from others as well as each other. I am a huge advocate of encouraging people whenever I can. For many young families, it can be intimidating to start your own business. As long as you stay focused, determined and work together, you can make your business grow and be financially stable for the future.

8. Any extra words of encouragement?

I encourage anyone who is on the fence about beginning their journey into yoga to try it. Aside from the physical benefits, one of the best benefits for me is how it helps mentally. I feel like I’m in a great place when I practice regularly.

Follow Mike Adams on Instagram: mdotadams Twitter: @mdotadams20


Yvelette Stines is an award-winning writer whose work has been published in Essence, Uptown, Heart and Soul, Jones, The Source, Hispanic Executive Quarterly, and Green Build + Design, just to name a few. Her book Vernon the Vegetable Man encourages children to choose healthy lifestyle habits. Stines’ blog Calming Corners motivates readers to live a calm life and write from their soul.  You can find her calmly playing on social media @yvelettestines and @calmingcorners.

Chris “Kid” Reid Talks About the NFL Network’s “Undrafted”

NFL Network


Sometimes you have to dream like you’ve never seen obstacles, and the men of the NFL Network’s Undrafted television series are doing just that. Every year, thousands of NFL hopefuls leave their schools for a once in a lifetime chance to play in the big leagues with major football superstars.

Undrafted follows the lives of six NFL hopefuls as they experience loss, tackle parenting, illness, and a variety of life’s other challenges while being on the field. A college Pro Day is the most important—and potentially final—showcase the players will have to impress scouts and preserve their football lives. Jakeem Grant, still stung by his exclusion from the Indy Combines, seizes his opportunity at Texas Tech’s Pro Day, while Mike Bercovici battles jitters before his workout at Arizona State. Meanwhile, punter Swayze Waters prepares for big news about his wife’s pregnancy.

Chris “Kid” Reid, an actor and comedian from the dynamic group Kid -N- Play, lends his voice to tell the highs and lows of the featured athletes for the season. Reid states his love for not only football but relates Undrafted‘s themes to his entire career.

“I’m a big football fan regardless, and the show highlights the struggles of young men who are trying to achieve their dreams against naysayers. I feel like in terms of personal experience, I can even identify that in terms of my own career,” says Reid.

“If you look at the way the show is crafted, not just hardcore football fans will love it; even women can get into it. In particular, in terms of black athletes, a lot of times this is the ticket out in terms of the whole family. No disrespect, if some of these other cats don’t make it they have other options.” Reid explains.

Reid states that the overall theme of the entire show is hope and that you have to endure no matter the outcome. Hope is the one ingredient that each of the players on the show has and it keeps them going. One major success story of the show is Akeem Davis. Davis managed to be the only player during his season of the show to join an NFL 53-man roster.

Click here to take a look at a prior clip from episode 4 of season 3: UNDRAFTED (Episode 4) Clip and Synopsis.

The finale for season 3 is set to air Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. ET.

Tech Innovator of the Week: Phillip Buchanon, New Money Bash

phillip buchanon

Since hanging up his cleats after retiring from the NFL, former cornerback Phillip Buchanon has kept busy. He’s become an author—writing the book New Money: Staying Rich—created a comic book, and developed board games. Now the innovative Buchanon has donned another hat: tech entrepreneur.

His app, Vite Exclusive Events for iOS, connects event organizers with event seekers. The app allows users to check out all the happenings in their area and also create exclusive events.

tcs-logoBuchanon is also working on a second app, New Money Bash. The app is a financial literacy game based off of finance lessons he has learned and outlined in his book.

“The original idea was the book [New Money; Staying Rich]. The book came out first, and the board game was second, but I didn’t get the response I wanted. I didn’t think it was worth spending $30-$40,000 on the board game,” says Buchanon. Instead, he “thought it was very important to have an app.” He based the app off of the financial literacy board game he considered creating.

Buchanon considers his New Money Bash app to be both “education and entertainment.” He sees the app as a teaching tool in schools, a tool for teaching athletes financial literacy, or for “anyone trying to manage their debt.”

How did Buchanon’s interest in board games and apps come about? “Really, I just kind of fell into it,” he explains. “I’ve been playing sports my whole life. My aunt and my close friends always encouraged me to write a book,” he says, especially after landing lucrative NFL contracts.

New Money Bash is a game that takes players through a financial journey. Players can accumulate bags of money, have pay days, own properties, and even go bankrupt, based on decisions made throughout the game. Buchanon financed the app himself and even took courses to learn how to code, although he hired a team of coders to build the app.

“I am definitely in tune with technology,” he says. “Everything you do right now is on your phone. People glance at their phone every two seconds.”

Former NFL Player Invests in Kids’ Social-Emotional Development

Former NFL Player

The Israel Idonije Foundation comprises five core programs, all of which aim at addressing the social and emotional development of children in need. Based in Chicago, but also serving young people in Winnipeg, Canada, and West Africa, IIF is organized around five core principles:

  • self-awareness
  • social awareness
  • self-management
  • responsible decision making
  • effective communication

“We’re just trying to help advance the young men and women we work with,” Idonije says.

From Lagos to Manitoba

The 6’6,” 268 pound (121.56 kilo) Idonije is a retired defensive player with the NFL, in which he played for 11 years.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, to Christian missionaries, Idonije moved at the age of 4 with his family to a small town in Manitoba, Canada, where he grew up. His parents set an example of charity and service by starting a ministry for the hungry in their area.

“We were just committed to doing what we could with the resources we had.”

The family made soups and sandwiches and gave them to homeless people.
“I wanted to figure out what I could do with my platform being in the NFL to serve,” Idonije says. He had always worked with kids. Soon IIF was born. He and his team have been doing this work for 10 years.

“I Hate Cops.”

One of the five components of IIF is Shop With A Cop, which developed after Idonije was walking in a school with several police officers. He overheard a student say, “I hate cops.”

Idonije drew him aside and asked him why, but the youngster couldn’t articulate his reasons.

“There is so much learned behavior,” Idonije says.

Shortly afterwards, Idonije started Shop With A Cop, to forge ties between police officers and the children in communities they serve, to essentially create a social-emotional bond between the two by fostering relationships and facilitating communication.

In light of recent police shootings, Shop With A Cop is desperately needed.

“There are a lot of great police officers out there, but some have become jaded, so this program works for both sides.”

The children spend a day with police officers bowling and shopping. Each child gets a $100 gift card.

“Everyone starts off guarded, but by the end of the day these guys are friends,” Idonije says. “It reminds the police that the young people in these neighborhoods are no different from their own nieces and nephews. For the kids to experience a police officer laughing with them, helping them with their budget—they won’t develop a hatred of cops because of what they see on TV or because of what their uncle told them.”

To find out more, visit the IIF website.

A Day In The Life of a Football Wife

Football Wife

Sproles-family 1

This story was originally published on

In fear of saying the wrong things or not being politically correct, many public figures will, for the most part, keep to themselves—but not Michel Sproles.

The outspoken wife of NFL running back Darren Sproles of the Philadelphia Eagles has taken heat from football fans before, but all the hate hasn’t stopped her from speaking her mind.

A True Eagles Fan


“Are you a Chargers fan or an Eagles fan?” I asked directly during our Monday evening call.

“I’m an Eagles fan,” Michel replied, confidently. “I want them to win. I love football. But I have to roll with whatever team my husband rolls with. More than anything, I’m a Darren Sproles fan.”

The mother of six-year-old Devin and three-year-old Ryan admitted that she worries about her running back husband Darren Sproles when he’s on the field.

“A few years ago, when Darren was playing for the Chargers, he suffered a bad concussion,” explained Michel. “Since that day, I have never watched the game the same again. That was the first time I saw him get hit hard. Now, I stay at the edge of my seat and tense up till the game is over.”

“Darren has an amazing relationship with our daughters. He’s so normal. He comes home and gets into daddy and husband mode. We don’t talk about football. On Sunday’s we might recap the game, but that’s all. He makes sure my gas tank is full. He takes out the trash. He’s a normal, awesome dad.

Meeting Frogs Before Her Prince


However, the 31-year-old admitted she hasn’t always been so lucky when it comes to men.

“I went through a bad break up after being with my ex for six years,” said Michel. “My best friend, a professional track athlete, was trying to get me to talk to anyone (Michel also ran track for 14 years). She wanted me to get out of my funk and introduced us. That’s how I met Darren.”

“We talked on the phone for almost two months before seeing each other in person. I was living in Vegas at the time, and when he flew in for All Star Weekend, I picked him up from the airport… 20 minutes late. It was early in the morning so we went to IHOP, and we ended up having a great conversation. I’m very high-strung and have a huge personality, but he has a calm spirit and that was refreshing. Most professional athletes that I’d come across were jerks, but Darren was laid back and cool. We’re totally opposite, and that’s what keeps us going.”

“When we started living together and he was training in Los Angeles,” she continued, “I packed lunches for him for the week. He said, from that point on, he knew I was the one.”

How To Be Every Woman


On top of being a loving wife and doting mother, Michel is a certified image consultant, girls track coach, entrepreneur, cancer survivor, and philanthropist.

“I can’t do hair at all,” admitted Michel, “but I always wanted to open a shop.” Michel owns 7 Image Hair Salon in San Diego, California.

Several years ago, Michel was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery. “It’s incredibly important to me to give back to women who have experienced breast cancer,” said Michel.

A few years, ago she launched a wig line called The Pink Line. The line creates premium wigs and hair units for cancer patients and breast cancer survivors.

“Cancer doesn’t happen to people, it happens for people; so that they can be a blessing to others. Sometimes, we get caught up in ‘why me,’ but when you’re in it, it’s more about God making you a blessing to someone else. Cancer was my story to share on how I came out the other side.”

All In A Day’s Work


What’s it really like for an NFL wife to juggle it all? Here’s a snapshot of a day in the life of NFL wife, Michel Sproles:

6:00 AM | I get out of bed and read a devotional. It sets the tone for my day. Then I go get the kids up and ready for school.

8:15 AM | Drop off the kids at school and go straight to the gym. I do an hour and a half workout every single day.

11:00 AM | Head to 7 Image Hair Salon and attend meetings, answer emails, and take phone calls.

3:00 PM | The nanny picks up the kids.

5:00 PM| I attend a charity event with my husband, Darren. Most NFL couples attend events on a Monday or Tuesday because those are our off days. So, that’s when we have time to attend events and do date nights. Our foundation, Sproles Empowered Youth, is a camp for underserved young people that empowers them through sports. In order for it to continue, we need the support of others. That’s one of the reasons why we always support other people trying to do good as well.

7:00 PM | The kids wind down, and it’s my time with Darren. I make dinner and after the kids eat, I send them off to bed. I’m a really good cook, by the way—I make a mean jambalaya.

NFL Pro, Martellus Bennett, Launches Adorable Children’s App

Martellus Bennett

You may know that New England Patriots’ Martellus Bennett holds the 2015 record for most catches.

You may not know that, in addition to playing professional football, Bennett is an artist, animator, author, producer, composer, and CEO of Imagination Agency. He is set to soon launch a children’s app and book series.

The Hey A.J. app is an interactive children’s picture book app. Kids help the main character A.J. along as she tries to make breakfast for herself on a Saturday morning. The kitchen is filled with whimsical other characters, including bacon-frying pandas, monkeys, and horses also trying to cook breakfast.

The app has an accompanying book that is part of Bennett’s Hey A.J. book series. The book, Hey A.J. It’s Saturday, is set to soon release. The book series goes on sale this Father’s Day weekend.

“I wrote the ‘Hey A.J.’ children’s book series to always be there for my daughter even after I’m gone,” explains Bennett.

“As a father, I never want her to not have advice or food for thought from her father. Stories live on forever. This is a big part of my daddy legacy. The character A.J. is based on my daughter Jett and the adventures my family has. I want my daughter [and] other kids of color to grow up with a character of color that focuses on imagination and adventures; not just their skin color or hair.”

During a recent trip to Los Angles, Bennett received several project deals and job offers from notable studios, including Pixar, DreamWorks, and the Cartoon Network.

The creative Bennett also released a buzzed-about rap mixtape, Year of the Orange Dinosaur. The athlete spends much of the offseason in his home studio.

He gave a TED talk earlier this year where he discussed improving the public perception of NFL players by allowing himself to be seen and accepted as more than just a super athlete, but also as a creative professional dabbling in children’s books and animated films.

NFL’s Justin and Lauren Tuck Share 3 Most Important Money Lessons

Justin Tuck

I was recently at an event at the Teacher’s College at Columbia University to celebrate the national expansion of its Cowin Financial Literacy Program. Former NFL defensive end, Justin Tuck, and his wife Lauren were being honored for their efforts to make young people financially literate through their  R.U.S.H. For Literacy Foundation, which the couple says aims to “bring the same opportunities that made them successful to low-income youth in New York, New Jersey, and Alabama.”

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting the Tucks you’ll understand why they are considered one of the most elegant couples in the NFL family. They are a study in solidarity, values, and elegance.

The couple shared with, the ways in which some of life’s lessons have impacted their personal financial lives, and influenced their philanthropic goals for our 3 Most Important Lessons About Money series. What would you consider the 3 most important lessons you’ve learned about money?

  1. Don’t try to keep up with the ‘Jones’s.’
  2. Always have a budget.
  3. Think long-term: build wealth for your retirement, but also for your great-grandchildren.

 How did you learn these lessons?

Justin: I learned the ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ lesson in NFL locker rooms, although it certainly applies beyond it. NFL contracts vary significantly in size and none are fully guaranteed. Additionally, some guys, myself included, have car endorsements, clothing endorsements etc. so trying to buy cars and jewelry to keep up with guys that are borrowing them makes no sense, especially items that depreciate in value.

Lauren: I learned about budgeting from my parents. Whenever I made money, by doing chores, babysitting etc., my parents would sit me down and take some of my money away for ‘taxes’ and some for ‘charity’ and some for ‘savings,’ and then I was able to keep what was left. With what was left, I created a budget with short-term and long- term goals. At a young age I began to really learn what it means to be responsible with money and I am forever grateful to my parents for those lessons.

What impact have these lessons had on your life today?

Lauren: We adhere to a monthly budget and have since Justin was drafted in 2005. That was important because Justin was able to make the decision to retire/transition from professional football without financial pressures.

If you had one lesson you could convey to people about money, what would it be?

Both: Through our charitable organization, Tuck’s RUSH for Literacy, we help to fund college savings accounts for students in New York and we hope that they begin to learn about banking, budgeting, and asset building. We also believe that it’s important that people make informed decisions based on what money means to them. Some people have the ‘you can’t take it with you’ attitude, and others are very conservative and never splurge on themselves or others; it is important to recognize where you fall in that spectrum and what the consequences of that attitude will be.

Being financially literate is about more than understanding compound interest and different investment vehicles.