Investing to Maintain a Lifestyle: Jerone Buchanan Hopes to Buy a Home, Secure Her Retirement, and Travel the Globe

By Brown, Carmen | Black Enterprise, August 2004 | Go to article overview

Investing to Maintain a Lifestyle: Jerone Buchanan Hopes to Buy a Home, Secure Her Retirement, and Travel the Globe


Brown, Carmen, Black Enterprise


When she immigrated to the United States from the Caribbean island of Anguilla in the 1980s, Jerone Buchanan was determined to gain financial independence. She pursued a career as a nurse and eventually elevated herself to assistant director of nursing at HHC Health & Home Care in New York City, where she earns slightly less than $100,000 a year. With that type of income, financial independence was attainable for the Harlem resident, but she needed a plan. Buchanan's first portfolio was with Merrill Lynch, but when its performance didn't match her expectations, she looked elsewhere. A fellow member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women referred her to Patricia Kerr, a Mount Vernon, New York-based adviser with American Express who helped Buchanan chart a different course.

"Initially my main goals were to establish a six-month cash reserve, plan for retirement, save for a house, and keep debt to a minimum," Buchanan recalls. After a complete financial review, she says Kerr "advised me to be conservative al first and then change my strategy as the market improved."

Kerr's approach with Buchanan was simple: "When we first met, she had experienced some portfolio erosion, so my goal was to build her portfolio gradually and use an asset allocation model to suit her moderately aggressive style." Buchanan's portfolio was divided into 40% large-caps, 15% mid-caps and small-caps, 15% international, 10% real estate, 10% cash, and 10% bonds. …

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