Meet Michael Charles Pridgeon, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) that is the visionary of Break the Cycle, a program that will provide a resource for elementary and teenage children to learn and practice financial literacy. His vision for Break the Cycle is to demolish the generational curses of poverty, and as a result, create ways to close the wealth gap created by racial and social discrimination.
Michael, who hails from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, created his current business Eminent Financial Services, Inc. in 2008. What started out as a part-time opportunity to provide income tax preparation services to family, friends, and associates, has now grown into a full-time one-stop shop for small-business owners and the financially underserved. Since its initial opening, Michael Pridgeon through Eminent Financial Services, Inc. has saved clients hundreds of thousands in taxes and has assisted in getting clients closed in over a million dollars in business loans.
Financial tips and other financial educational information provided by general media platforms, usually try to capture the financially affluent audiences that own businesses and/or watch and play tennis or golf. With movements like Support Local, Buy Black, and Black Lives Matter, Michael has observed a dire need for financial literacy and economic empowerment in his community in recent years. As more people are creating businesses or various streams of income, financial literacy is a starting point that should be foundational in everyone’s home, regardless of bank account status or balance. Michael believes that all people should have the means to create wealth for their families. Break the Cycle will be one of the vehicles to achieve this task. As the children develop their knowledge in financial literacy, they will, in due course, create opportunities to put the knowledge to practice in their daily lives. Instead of purchasing candy, students will be able to make the wise decision to save money earned from other sources and invest in owning a candy store.
Parents can also join their children in Break the Cycle. With parental involvement, Break the Cycle hopes to shift the mindsets of the children’s parents by teaching principles of financial literacy that can be transferred to future generations. This program is designed for the entire family. the young, and the not so young. Since a large portion of what children learn comes from parental teachings and influence, Break the Cycle will use that same foundational learning as a conduit to instill financial education into the household.
When asked what he sees as some of the biggest issues that limit wealth accumulation in some households, Michael without question believes that it is the lack of financial literacy and the lack of understanding income taxes. Not having a knowledge of financial literacy handicaps families with high interest and sub-prime lending, insufficient life insurance policies, and refraining from investment opportunities other than a low-interest bank savings account. Additionally, not understanding income taxes, families will fail to use disposable resources properly for wealth creation. Instead, these resources are primarily used to overpay income taxes with the hope to receive a refund annually. In many households, income tax refunds are used to purchase items of consumption that were not otherwise purchased during the year with those disposable funds.
Break the Cycle is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2021. Classes will be taught virtually for 5 weeks due to the ongoing pandemic. Some topics that will be covered during this class are learning about bank accounts, balancing budgets, investing, insurance, and taxes.
To get your children signed up early, please go to the website at www.thesumofitall.net