I asked my son the other day where he was getting his news on the upcoming election from— he doesn’t watch TV. He doesn’t do TikTok. He’s not active on SnapChat. He doesn’t have a Facebook account & he only follows his baseball team on Twitter.
While all the talk this week has surrounded Twitter and Facebook when it comes to election season, there’s been one stealth social media platform affecting change, but not making as many headlines:
Once known for a place to post your selfies or vacations, it’s now become a player in the election process.
And, it’s high time local news started paying attention to it. It’s not a new platform, recently celebrating its tenth anniversary. 500 million people watch Stories daily. Compare that to Twitter’s 166 million daily active users and it’s not even close, and it’s where more than half of Gen Z’ers get their news.
But, it’s not just Gen Z, more in my generation, Gen X, have gravitated away from Facebook and into Instagram.
The problem is: Most newsrooms don’t know how to use Instagram, so they don’t use it at all or the only thing they’re consistent about on Instagram is being inconsistent. Or, even worse, they don’t even have an Instagram account.
In the words of Julia Roberts, “Big Mistake. Big. Huge.”
GETTING HELP FROM GEN Z
But, nearly two dozen local newsrooms weren’t going to make that mistake this past summer. 22 college graduates participated in the Instagram Local News Fellowship, a partnership between the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Facebook Journalism Project. As a group, they generated:
- More than 111,000 new followers
- More than doubled their publishers’ posting frequency
- Increased interactions by 120%
- Increased Video view by 360%
HOW THEY DID IT
TEXT FEED ASSETS: It’s a trend you’re seeing across the news industry. The format is simple, yet encourages shares because it’s easy for followers to hit the paper plane underneath the post and share it in their own Stories and provide their own viewpoint, increasing the reach of the post and ultimately, your news organization.
INCORPORATED STICKERS: From quizzes to polls to questions, stickers aim to increase engagement. These kinds of “stickers” are much more than what you grew up with and are where you can get immediate feedback and discover what topics resonate with your community and which ones don’t.
INSTAGRAM LIVE: Nine of the participating newsrooms went live on Instagram this past summer, many for the first time. Only NINE. Some for the FIRST TIME. They are NEWS outlets. It’s incredible that this feature isn’t used more in newsrooms to deliver on the promise they don’t just make daily, but invented: live, local and late-breaking news.
By doing these core three items, the fellows were able to:
- Generate subscriptions
- Generate referral traffic
- Reach younger audiences
- Increase engagement
I spent more than 20 years in a newsroom as a TV producer and now own a social media content creation business, so I’ve seen this from both sides. We spent more time on making content than we do promoting it. In TV, it was always the very last thing we did when it should have been our first. I’ll admit I used to hate it when the promotional team would come to me while we were still on the air with that morning’s news to ask me what we were doing tomorrow for a :10 spot that would air on some courtroom show I didn’t even know we aired to a demographic we weren’t after…
I was living in a bubble.
At the end of the day, as journalists, we want to make an impact on people, on peoples’ lives—but, our one-dimensional approach that everything has to be on TV or on our website is, quite frankly, elitist and short-sighted when one piece of content could be sliced into a variety of different formats and distributed across multiple channels to reach a maximum number of people.
Angel James is a former Supervising Producer of St. Louis’ #1 morning show, KTVI’s Fox 2 News in the Morning. In her 22 years at Fox 2, she helped grow the local television brand from a very distant third place to the city’s top brand. She’s originally from Virginia Beach, which is where her television producing career began at WTKR-TV News Channel 3 in Norfolk. She also spent time as a newspaper reporter for The Daily Press & The Denbigh Gazette. Angel now operates her own social media company helping small businesses. To learn more visit her website, https://www.angelmjames.com/.
ABC’s “The Light We Carry” Special Draws 3.5 Million Total Viewers
Bestselling author and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama was the focus of ABC’s Nov. 13 special “The Light We Carry.”
With the 2022 midterm elections almost entirely in the rearview mirror (save for extended vote counts in selected areas and the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff), a few notable figures from elections of years past took the spotlight on November 13-15.
Bestselling author and former First Lady Michelle Obama was the focus of ABC’s Nov. 13 special “The Light We Carry”. Sharing the same title of her newest book release, Obama offered new life stories as well as coping strategies for surviving stress and uncertainty, especially since the early days of the COVID pandemic. “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts interviewed Obama in Chicago and hosted a lunch with Michelle’s mother and their close circle of friends.
For its original telecast, it drew 2.8 million total viewers on Nov. 13 from 10-11 p.m., according to Nielsen Media Research. The special ranked fourth in the hour, behind NBC’s “Sunday Night Football: Chargers at 49ers”, Paramount’s “Yellowstone” season premiere and CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Within the following seven days, it picked up an additional 710,000 viewers bringing the tally for ABC’s “Michael Obama: The Light We Carry” to 3.5 million.
On the next night (Nov. 14), ABC televised “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir’s exclusive interview with former Vice President Mike Pence. It was Pence’s first sit-down interview since the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol and the subsequent committee hearings that investigated the day. It delivered 3.93 million viewers, which nearly doubled its “Bachelor in Paradise” lead-in (2.27 million) and ranked third in the 10-11 p.m. hour (behind ESPN “Monday Night Football: Commanders-Eagles” and CBS’ “NCIS: Hawai’i”). In Live plus seven-day viewers, the Pence interview added another 1.3 million to its audience figures, totaling 5.23 million overall.
Then, on Nov. 15, as expected, Donald Trump announced his run for the 2024 U.S. presidency. The three major cable news outlets plus two newer news channels all saw an uptick for that announcement within the 9 p.m. ET hour, although CNN and MSNBC only checked in on the event periodically.
Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” drew the biggest crowd with 5.16 million viewers — the program’s top mark since Trump spoke with Hannity on Aug. 26, 2021. CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” was a distant runner-up at 2.43 million. “Alex Wagner Tonight” on MSNBC (1.83 million) was a decent third; its lead-out “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (1.99 million) built upon Wagner’s show that evening.
Newsmax devoted two hours to Trump’s announcement, from 9-11 p.m. ET, drawing 1.13 million total viewers — normally, the outlet averages about 1/8th that amount in prime time.
Upstart NewsNation posted 234,000 viewers. It was preceded by “Cuomo” (193,000) at 8 p.m. and succeeded by a post-analysis hosted by Chris Cuomo at 10 p.m. (122,000). The night helped propel NewsNation to another 100,000+ weekly viewer average in prime time, a mark that was in far distant reach for almost all of its two years in existence.
Cable news averages for November 14-20, 2022:
Total Day (Nov. 14-20 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)
- Fox News Channel: 1.567 million viewers; 216,000 adults 25-54
- MSNBC: 0.818 million viewers; 94,000 adults 25-54
- CNN: 0.625 million viewers; 131,000 adults 25-54
- HLN: 0.156 million viewers; 40,000 adults 25-54
- Newsmax: 0.135 million viewers; 16,000 adults 25-54
- Fox Business Network: 0.123 million viewers; 14,000 adults 25-54
- CNBC: 0.122 million viewers; 29,000 adults 25-54
- The Weather Channel: 0.108 million viewers; 21,000 adults 25-54
Prime Time (Nov. 14-19 @ 8-11 p.m.; Nov. 20 @ 7-11 p.m.)
- Fox News Channel: 2.399 million viewers; 319,000 adults 25-54
- MSNBC: 1.312 million viewers; 144,000 adults 25-54
- CNN: 0.877 million viewers; 205,000 adults 25-54
- Newsmax: 0.277 million viewers; 43,000 adults 25-54
- CNBC: 0.170 million viewers; 51,000 adults 25-54
- HLN: 0.162 million viewers; 37,000 adults 25-54
- The Weather Channel: 0.110 million viewers; 20,000 adults 25-54
- NewsNation: 0.103 million viewers; 14,000 adults 25-54
- Fox Business Network: 0.069 million viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54
Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:
1. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.157 million viewers
2. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.869 million viewers
3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.662 million viewers
4. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/17/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.629 million viewers
5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 11/17/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.629 million viewers
6. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/14/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.560 million viewers
7. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/16/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.546 million viewers
8. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.531 million viewers
9. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 11/18/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.318 million viewers
10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/16/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.299 million viewers
23. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/14/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.650 million viewers
28. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.430 million viewers
221. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 620” (HBO, Fri. 11/18/2022 10:00 PM, 57 min.) 0.834 million viewers
348. The Daily Show (CMDY, Thu. 11/17/2022 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.501 million viewers
395. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 11/20/2022 11:06 PM, 40 min.) 0.387 million viewers
399. Varney & Company (FBN, Wed. 11/16/2022 10:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.382 million viewers
444. Fast Money Halftime Report (CNBC, Tue. 11/15/2022 12:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.296 million viewers
453. Forensic Files “To The Viktor” (HLN, Thu. 11/17/2022 12:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.288 million viewers
500. Weekend Recharge (TWC, Sat. 11/19/2022 10:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.247 million viewers
526. Newsnation Special Report “Trump Potus 2024 Speech” (NWSN, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 69 min.) 0.234 million viewers
Top 10 cable news programs (and the top programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:
1. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.929 million adults 25-54
2. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.656 million adults 25-54
3. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.637 million adults 25-54
4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.573 million adults 25-54
5. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.546 million adults 25-54
6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/16/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.506 million adults 25-54
7. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/17/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.501 million adults 25-54
8. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Tue. 11/15/2022 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.481 million adults 25-54
9. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/16/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.479 million adults 25-54
10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 11/17/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.465 million adults 25-54
35. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/14/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.298 million adults 25-54
147. The Daily Show (CMDY, Thu. 11/17/2022 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.172 million adults 25-54
158. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 620” (HBO, Fri. 11/18/2022 10:00 PM, 57 min.) 0.167 million adults 25-54
221. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 11/20/2022 11:06 PM, 40 min.) 0.128 million adults 25-54
261. Forensic Files “Kidnapping” (HLN, late Fri. 11/18/2022 4:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.113 million adults 25-54
386. Shark Tank “Shark Tank 1005” (CNBC, Tue. 11/15/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.075 million adults 25-54
450. Weekend Recharge (TWC, Sat. 11/19/2022 11:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.063 million adults 25-54
570. American Built (FBN, Mon. 11/14/2022 11:30 PM, 30 min.) 0.048 million adults 25-54
644. Cuomo (NWSN, Wed. 11/16/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.038 million adults 25-54
Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research
Douglas Pucci is a Bronx native and NYU graduate analyzing news television ratings for Barrett News Media. He did an internship at VH1’s “Pop Up Video” in 1997. After college, Pucci went on to design, build and maintain websites for various non-profit organizations in his hometown of New York City. He has worked alongside media industry observer Marc Berman for over a decade reporting on all things television, first at Cross MediaWorks from 2011-15 then at Programming Insider since 2016. Pucci also contributed to the sports website Awful Announcing. Read more: https://programminginsider.com/author/douglas/
WGTK’s Joey Hudson Strives to Connect With His Audience
WGTK’s Joey Hudson said he strives to connect with his audience and also realizes he’s been extremely fortunate in his career.
Joey Hudson would have made a great Realtor. He made Upstate South Carolina sound so pleasant, historic, and homey. I’m calling Century 21 (If they’re still a thing.)
Hudson lives in Greenville, about an hour and a half from Columbia, South Carolina, and has for his entire life. On the phone, he has that ‘southern gentleman’ thing working, although he admits he’s not certain if that is still a thing.
“I’m not sure the days of ‘southern gentlemen’ are as prevalent as they once were,” Hudson said. “But there certainly was at one point. There are a lot of what I would call ‘Old South Families.’”
He and a friend would journey to Fripp Island where they’d occasionally run into legendary southern author Pat Conroy. “I think Pat captured the flavor of southern life very well,” Hudson explained.
You can listen to this southern gent on 94-5 WGTK The Answer, 6 am-9 am Monday through Friday.
The Greenville area seems to be growing quickly. The North American BMW headquarters in Spartanburg, Michelin North America is in Greenville, and folks are migrating to the area.
“A lot of people from around the world have moved here in the last couple of decades, essentially changing the entire place,” Hudson said. “It’s still sort of like a small town that has an international flavor.”
Hudson is fine with the influx of people as he’s seen what it has done for the area.
“We used to be an exclusively textile area and that eventually died,” Hudson said. “My elementary school was associated with a textile mill. Seeing people we knew lose their jobs as the textiles were leaving was difficult. Fifteen or 20 years ago, there was no reason to visit downtown Greenville. There was nothing there. It’s all changed now.”
Hudson attended Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a smaller school where he studied political science. “I always loved history and politics,” he said.
While in graduate school at the University of South Carolina, and working part-time for a state senator conducting research, Hudson still had one eye on becoming a lawyer. That’s when he met a lobbyist for Nationwide Insurance who suggested he look into the trade.
“I ended up working with Nationwide for 35 years,” Hudson said. “It was the right choice for me. It gave me a lot of freedom. I worked extremely hard for a lot of years, but I was able to dedicate time to other interests as my career progressed.”
His office was in Travelers Rest, at the foot of the mountains. Hudson said the town got its name as it was a regular resting spot for folks going to and from Charleston.
A self-confessed political junky, Hudson said his first paying political job was working for Senator Strom Thurmond.
“I worked with Lee Atwater, who was the Senator’s campaign manager and strategist for the Republican Party,” Hudson said. Atwater was an adviser to US presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and chairman of the Republican National Committee. He worked for Atwater during Thurmond’s last contested campaign.
“He was already pretty old by that point,” Hudson said. “I think there was a concerted effort to appeal to younger people. The whole idea was to get young people involved in the campaign. It solidified my conservatism and strengthened my interest in politics. From there forward, I served on local Republican campaigns.”
Hudson said he got to know Senator Thurmond pretty well. “As well as any 18-year-old could, I imagine,” Hudson said. Thurmond was running in 1978 against Charles D. Ravenel. This was the first threat Senator Thurmond had in years. Ravenel was trying to make Thurmond’s age an issue, and he was in his late 70s. But he also had a young wife and three young children.
“My job was to drive the Strom RV around the state to family-type events,” Hudson said. “It was a great gig and that’s where I got to know Lee Atwater pretty well.”
It was a wild ride.
Through the 70s, Hudson listened to some talk radio, but Rush was just getting started, and it too wasn’t really a thing. Hudson was involved in student government at school. But radio had much more to offer Hudson. He met Peg, his wife, while she was a sales rep at WFBC.
“I had never done radio before. They knew I was interested in politics. The station also hired Mike Gallagher,” Hudson said. “We all became good friends. Then Mike moved on to New York and became nationally syndicated. He hired Peg to sell his show nationally.”
Hudson helped start and is executive director of Gallagher’s Heroes Fallen Officer and First Responder Fund, based in New York. The foundation was founded by Mike Gallagher and inspired by the giving spirit of his late wife, Denise Gallagher, to meet the immediate needs of U.S. police officer families when an officer has been killed in the line of duty.
The fund provides financial assistance to officer families when they need it most, as soon as a tragedy happens, without having to wait for weeks or months for other more formal assistance to become available, and without the interference of bureaucracy and red tape that often exists.
“Mike is a good guy, a talented broadcaster,” Hudson said. “He brings a lot of life to radio, and I learned a great deal from him. I’ve been on remote broadcasts with Mike around the world. Helped him with thousands of broadcasts before I did my own solo show.”
Hudson said he strives to connect with his audience. He also realizes he’s been extremely fortunate.
“As someone who didn’t start out in broadcasting, I think I’m living a dream at a 100,000-watt station in my hometown. Our signal is huge. You can hear us in about half of South Carolina down to Columbia. Then across state lines to Asheville, North Carolina. It feels great to have that kind of reach. I’m lucky to know I can touch so many lives. It feels like an extended family.”
Hudson said he gets up every morning and is never quite sure where everything will lead.
“I’m prepping for my show all the time. I get alerts on my phone. I think I have a general idea as to what I’ll talk about. Then a caller can change that direction in an instant. A certain response can take the show somewhere else. I know some talk show hosts like to believe the audience is there to listen to them, that they just want to hear the host. I think listeners like to hear other viewpoints. When my phone lines light up, when my text line gets busy, that’s what I love to see.”
Hudson receives a lot of texts every day from people he said wouldn’t consider calling in. He thinks he gets a different perspective on a topic from emails and texts than he does on calls.
“A lot of people want to think talk radio is just an older audience,” he said. “I’m getting a good bit of feedback from younger listeners, particularly on the text lines.”
His spirituality is as much a part of who he is as anything else. According to Hudson, he’s exactly where God has always wanted him to be. From the first moment he met the insurance lobbyist, it was God putting him in the right place.
“If I’d gone on to law school, I think I would have been miserable,” Hudson said. “ As it turned out I was a small business owner and able to be a part of a charitable organization. If I was a lawyer I think I’d just be busy billing hours.
I’d like to be remembered as someone who cared about the community and the people who live here.”
He will fill in for Mike Gallagher when needed, either from home or the station.
“I learned a lot of the mechanics from Mike. He’s been a great mentor. Phil Boyce with Salem has been a great mentor as well. I end my show every day saying, ‘God is in control,’” Hudson said. “At the end of every third hour. God prepares us and gives us the skills to help one another. That’s what I love about my work with Mike’s foundation. We publish and distribute Bibles to first responders.”
In the back of the Bibles are a series of Bible studies compiled by chaplains from around the country who speak to the emotions and rigors first responders face.
“People may not understand the stress they’re constantly under,” Hudson said. “Police officers never know if this will be their last day on earth. They could pull someone over for running a red light and be shot and killed.”
With South Carolina in the thick of political discussions this week, Hudson said he’s had some nice dealings with Herschel Walker.
“He’s a nice man, and wants to serve the people of Georgia,” Hudson said. “I’ve had him on a few times. I think he’s been thrust into a position and maybe politics is a bit harder than he thought it would be. When he decided to run I didn’t know a lot about him except he was a good football player. At South Carolina, we faced Georgia a lot of times.”
Next week Hudson is traveling to Toccoa, Georgia to help get out the vote.
“I’m not sure which way the election is going to go. I know we’ll be going to Toccoa, Georgia reminding people to vote.”
Another South Carolina politician, Lindsay Graham, is someone Hudson sees the best in the man’s numerous sides.
“He can be unpredictable at times, but I think he really does what he thinks is in the best interest of South Carolina,” Hudson said. He told me Graham is from a small place called Central, South Carolina.
“Graham had an unlikely path to the senate,” Hudson said. “He grew up in the back of his parents’ pool hall. His mom and dad owned a small bar and grill, the Sanitary Cafe, in Central. It isn’t all that much today, even less so then.”
When he gets a few spare minutes, he likes to read James Patterson.
“It allows me to slow down my mind,” Hudson said. “In this business I’m always talking, constantly watching news, reading news, listening to news. I have to do that to be able to talk intelligently. I’m constantly researching.”
Jim Cryns writes features for Barrett News Media. He has spent time in radio as a reporter for WTMJ, and has also served as an author and former writer for the Milwaukee Brewers. To touch base or pick up a copy of his book: On Story Parkway: Remembering Milwaukee County Stadium, available on Amazon, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Millionaire Maker Brian Buffini Offers His Best Advice
The goal of Brian Buffini is to share some simple, yet profoundly impactful, advice to help listeners rise above the negativity in financial news.
Regardless of how negative the current financial news cycle has become, one influential entrepreneur is offering his best advice to help others steer clear and aim for future prosperity. Forget recessions, market collapses and higher debt, and keep your focus on building better days to come.
This was the approach of podcast host Brian Buffini, on the most recent episode of his popular program, It’s a Good Life.
The goal of Buffini’s program was to share some simple, yet profoundly impactful, advice to help listeners rise above the negativity in the financial news. And also to become a millionaire.
“This is not just something I’ve studied. This is not just something I’ve read about, which I have. This is something I’ve lived in my own life. I’ve been a millionaire since I was 26 years of age,” Buffini began. “And I don’t really ever talk about that. I don’t know if I’ve ever even said that before. But a lot of you on the podcast, being new to me and what I do, and so I wanted to share with you. There’s some great principles here that I want to help you.”
Buffini came to America from Ireland with only a few bucks in his pocket, before suffering a major motorcycle accident that left him thousands of dollars in medical debt. He earned his real estate agent license, and eventually built a company dedicated to coaching and teaching other agents to attain higher levels of success. Over time, he repaid his loans and began to grow a substantial net worth.
“We have to understand that the culture’s view toward money, the typical person’s view toward money, what’s promoted on TV, what’s marketed, is not a formula for success financially. The culture’s view is success, economic success, is the ability to buy more stuff, and then typically people have to go work much harder to go and afford the things that they bought,” Buffini said. “And typically people are paying for that which they can’t afford just yet. So they’re paying with future earnings. They’re paying with future interest expenses. And they’re on the wrong side of it.”
One can rely on Fox Business or CNBC for the day’s macro-economic news or latest stock quotes, but Buffini believes the key to success is much more personal and habit-driven. And once you have an individual plan, your personal financial transformation will begin to happen.
“The first thing, before we get into investing and how to go build a fortune, is that you have to first go to work, you build your business, you do the things you need to do. You have to have a working budget. You have to spend less money than you make,” Buffini, author of the hit book, The Emigrant Edge: How to Make it Big in America, said. “You have to control what goes out. It’s the one thing you’re in total control of. You have to control what goes out. And then if you will do that, then you can earn more than you are currently spending. Then you can create what’s called a surplus.”
Buffini says the American culture needs to look past the divisive labels some attach to millionaires. He says the goal should be to be able to invest whatever surplus we have, in order to grow it and be able to do amazing good for our families, friends and those in need.
“I know full well that the majority of people listening to this today may have some financial difficulties or challenges, but I want to paint a picture of where you can get there,” Buffini said. “If the son of a house painter from the southside of Dublin can build himself a fortune 30 years ago, and build it up and create it that it becomes generational. Without being the smartest guy in his school. Without all the different advantages. I came to America, I got run over by a car. In and out of hospitals and lots of bills and had kind of a tough start. And I built a fortune, well by golly anyone listening to this can.”
Buffini reviewed the economic “state of the union,” and it’s not pretty.
He said the average retirement age in America is 63.
The median retirement savings in the country is only $17,000.
One in three people has saved zero dollars for retirement.
The average savings for an American is only $4400.
73% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings.
The average household has $132,000 in debt.
Yet, to put it in perspective, Buffini says the poorest Americans still rank in the top 20% of earners worldwide.
So how can Americans gain control, build a fortune and become able to help others in need? Buffini lays out these tips, along with the biggest decision that he says can lead one to become a millionaire.
Invest in what you know.
He quotes Warren Buffet, who said, “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”
“We are not long-term culture anymore,” Buffini said. “Even financially, it used to be companies would analyze by the quarter. Then it became the mid-quarter, and now it’s by the day. The dynamic is, if you plant three seeds in the ground and you pull them up two or three days later to see if they’ve grown, good luck with that.”
Stay the course.
“You gotta be consistent is what that means. If compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world, the one thing you’ve gotta have for compounding to take place is consistency,” he said.
“Peter Lynch, who was really the leader of Fidelity fund management, said know what you own and know why you own it. You’re re-evaluating annually, and you’re saying ok, here’s how it did and here’s how it didn’t do. Here’s what I was hoping for, and here’s what we got,” Buffini said on the program.
“Now if you’re willing to hold down your expenses and what you spend money on, you’ll create more income than you have expense and you’ll create the surplus,” Buffini said, getting to the biggest decision that he says can make someone a millionaire. “And with that surplus I want you to then make this decision. And if you’ll make this decision, you can become a millionaire, you can build a fortune. You can change your family’s fortune for generations to come.”
Decide what you want most – appreciation or cash flow.
“The vast majority of people shoot for both things at the same time, unintentionally, and miss both targets,” Buffini said, calling on his 30-years of real estate and coaching experience. “Well of course we want both. I want to be able to eat ice cream and lose weight. I want to be able to not work out and get fitter. I want both! The truth of the matter is that when you try to have both things happen, usually neither one does.”
Buffini says if we’ll focus on one, oftentimes we’ll naturally see some of the other. But without focus, most people can guarantee neither.
Profound advice from someone who started with nothing, fought through adversity to accomplish a great deal and has helped others walk the path toward earning that same success for themselves.
Rick Schultz is a former Sports Director for WFUV Radio at Fordham University. He has coached and mentored hundreds of Sports Broadcasting students at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Marist College and privately. His media career experiences include working for the Hudson Valley Renegades, Army Sports at West Point, The Norwich Navigators, 1340/1390 ESPN Radio in Poughkeepsie, NY, Time Warner Cable TV, Scorephone NY, Metro Networks, NBC Sports, ABC Sports, Cumulus Media, Pamal Broadcasting and WATR. He has also authored a number of books including “A Renegade Championship Summer” and “Untold Tales From The Bush Leagues”. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @RickSchultzNY.