A Smile is WorthwhileMay 16, 2019
A smile is a beautiful representation of the intent to be happy, portray and share happiness. It cost us...
2020 was a year of reflection and transformation for many. Many were let go from jobs that they had for years, some had their hours drastically cut, and others had to adjust to working remotely either temporary or now permanently. This has caused many to re-evaluate what their purpose in life is and it even tested to see how prepared they are financially in emergencies. This is where building generational wealth comes in.
I recently interviewed Tonio McKinely and this young man is amazing. Not only does he have a successful 9 to 5, he is making it work for him. He has an investment firm and he also has a passion in fashion where he assists others on what to where on different occasions. He is showing others how to create generational wealth by finding their niche in the marketplace.
Watch above or read the interview below:
Lior: Can you please tell the viewers and myself who you are, and what it is that you do?
Tonio: Yes, my name is Tonio McKinley, I am the Chairman and Founder of Incisive Investments LLC. Community Resource and Investment Group, as well as a Global Product Assistant for Macy’s Inc.
Lior: Wow, that is a lot (Tonio laughs). That is amazing, obviously you are a very ambitious young man. So, what or who influenced you to become that way?
Tonio: I would say that I would have to give that credit to my parents just because that is the nature in which they groomed us as young men, and that is still how they are today even though, it is about that time for them to retire from their careers.
Lior: Absolutely, understood. Do you wish to continue this level of intensity in terms of your work?
Tonio: Yes, I do. My overall goal is for me to establish a company to the point where my younger brothers never have to work for any other corporation, and that they could either be business partners with myself, or employees of mine, so that way going forward, they will basically have the financial freedom to be able to do whatever they would like to do, in regards to building generational wealth for their families.
Lior: Absolutely, I love it! So, how old are you?
Tonio: I am 23 years old.
Lior: That is awesome, especially to be so young. I guess that it makes sense for us to be younger and to really grind it out while we are young, but also because we have so much technology at our hands you really do not see the drive, and the passion like you used to.
So, for those who are younger, what advice would you give them if they have not found that ambition or drive that they are waiting on?
Tonio: The advice that I would give is to find what makes you happy and do something in the realm of the things that you categorize as making you happy. For instance, if you like designing clothes, if you like making candles…if you like the scent of candles, why don’t you start you own candle business?
If you go into a store, and something easily catches your attention, what is stopping you from doing that same specific thing, and either making it a Black owned business, or making a business in which someone of extreme youth can do the same thing as someone who was older, more experienced.
Lior: Absolutely, I completely agree. I think that sometimes and maybe in the past we have had this belief that we are too young to do this, and that wisdom comes with time and age and things like that, but I do understand where you are coming from where age should not matter, especially now, understanding how important generational wealth is, so it is best to start while we are young.
So, I would like to get into the business realm of things now. Please tell me more about what you do as a Global Product Assistant at Macy’s?
Tonio: So, my overall position entails for me to create contractual agreements with our vendors overseas, so there are some days that I have to stay until 8-9:00 p.m., communicating with them because when it is nighttime here, it is daytime there, so we operate on different schedules. I completely oversee the product lifecycle from when it is just a small piece of fabric to the point where it becomes a full sweater, or a full jean, and I dictate which stores get how ever many SKUs, which means however many of the specific product goes to which specific store.
Lior: Got you, wow that is a lot of work (they both laugh).
Tonio: Yes, it is.
Lior: So, one thing that I did notice on your Instagram is that you have impeccable fashion sense, is that what really inspired you to get involved in this process?
Tonio: I would not necessarily say that I’d say that my dad used to own his own clothing store when I was a child, so I got to see how he operated from a business standpoint, and also from a fashion standpoint. So, when I was growing up, I did find a hobby within the fashion realm, however, once I got to college the business acumen really started to kick in.
So originally, I got into this realm just from the business side, so that I could learn the logistics and everything, but then I just paired 2 and 2 together, and it just became a dream come true.
Lior: Yes (she says enthusiastically), I like that.
So, you are also from what I can see a contributor to For(bes) The Culture. Can you tell me about that?
Tonio: Yes, so it is a program that recruits people, elite people of color, people that are making an impact in whatever avenue of business, or whatever industry that they are in, and we all come together to figure out specific ways to improve the community, and how we as sole individuals and business entities can be impactful to each other, basically as a broader network.
We utilize whatever services that we currently partake in, so in my case, it would be me working for Macy’s, utilizing what I know from Macy’s to help For(bes) The Culture to expand.
Lior: I like that a lot. What type of opportunities and connections have you made since having that door open for you?
Tonio: Well, since having that door open, I have connected with a lot of people within The New York Fashion Week realm, so that helps with me working with Macy’s to open up a lot of doors for me in regards to the furtherance of my career.
In regards to my sole businesses, I met a lot of paternities, a lot of accountants, a lot of people that own marketing agencies. So, with that being said, the affiliation allows us to connect with one another, and utilize each other’s services to build each other’s businesses.
Lior: Nice, that is very nice. I know this too, you have a lot of pictures on your Instagram, a lot of professional pictures, and I was just thinking, do you style yourself, I mean I know that is a random thought, but I was wondering about that.
Tonio: Yes, I do style myself. A lot of my close friends, or people that I tend to surround myself with are creatives, whether they are photographers, create their own clothing, and we basically just collaborate. There is something else that I would like to speak about, this is a sole proprietorship, and I do not really speak on it much, but I do screen print for businesses. So, t-shirts, jean fabric, tablecloths, anything of that nature I can print whatever company’s logo or design that they see fit to put onto those specific garments.
So, some of the clothing that you see on my Instagram page, I printed myself.
Lior: Oh my goodness, that is amazing! I know that this is so off, but have you ever thought about becoming a stylist as one of your services or something that you do?
Tonio: I have been asked that quite frequently, however, it is a service that I would like to provide without having to be compensated for it. I am the type of person that I love fashion so much that if someone asked me to style them or asked for my specific opinion on an outfit, or a specific piece of clothing, I would give them my honest opinion in regards to that, and figure out how we can create an entire wardrobe based off that one outfit.
Lior: Understood. I would like to ask, because obviously in men’s fashion you are awesome, now do you feel that you are confident enough to style a woman?
Tonio: Yes, I do. A large portion of my friends are actually women, and in regards to my position at Macy’s, I am on the Style and Co. team, which is their female oriented brand. So, I work specifically with the women’s Denim & Jackets, and I get to work with the buyers in choosing what certain fabric or jacket looks like before it is developed.
Lior: Wow, that is dope…I like that!
How do you feel one could utilize the opportunity that you have at For(bes) to really make a way for themselves?
Tonio: I would say to utilize your connections to the best of your ability, because if you deter one person, that person could have been the one to propel your career, so never burn a bridge…especially if you have to cross it again, that is something that my parents always told me.
So, my biggest thing would be to utilize your connections, and make sure that once you use those connections, you maintain that friendship/relationship moving forward, because it can lead to long term partnerships and development in regards to your own personal brand.
Lior: Absolutely, and I know that with all of these business connections that you have, have you ever found it difficult to network, or is that something that comes natural to you?
Tonio: I do not find it difficult to network at all, to be honest with you I find it very difficult to work from home right now, because I am a people person, and I like to have face to face human interaction. So, when I get around people, I can typically relate to the energy that they are giving off and figure out a way to bring us to mutual ground or come to collective agreement in regards to what we want to do.
Lior: That makes sense, I can see that being difficult during this time, and hopefully soon we will be able to back into our actual business realms and have those face-to-face interactions.
Another one of your accomplishments, which you mentioned, is being the Chairman & Founder of Incisive Investments. Now, tell me what made you want to open up and create your own investment platform?
Tonio: When I was in college, there was a young man in one of my classes, and we were studying together in the library, and I was talking to him about building generational wealth and being able to dabble into something that people of color strayed away from for a very long time.
He initiated the conversation and explained to me that he made $2000 in a day from investing in stocks. That really piqued my curiosity being a businessman thinking about what you could do with that $2000 once you made it. So, he gave me one of his books to read, and he never asked for it back and then the class ended, so when I tried to give it to him…I could never give him the book back.
I started dabbling into buying and selling common stock, which was probably around a year or two regarding the timeframe. Once I graduated from school, I wanted to start dabbling into the trading aspect, because buying and selling, and trading stock is totally different. So, what I currently do right now is stock options which comes with an insane amount of risk if you do not strategically pick your trades.
With that being said, since a lot of our people cannot necessarily utilize these platforms to the best of their ability because they were never informed on how to do it, I thought that I would utilize the knowledge that I obtained up to this point, and then teach other people to do the same thing.
Legally, I am not allowed to give financial advice, but I am allowed to provide you with the resources that taught me, so the overall platform is a platform that gives people the resources to learn how to buy, sell and trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In totality, up until this point the collective group made $10,000 for people who just began to trade.
Lior: Nice, I like it. I know that a lot of people desire to get involved in stocks and trading and things like that, but they might feel that it’s a lot of reading, there is too much work, or that it is just too complicated, what would you tell those people?
Tonio: In order to reap the rewards that come from it, the first step that I always inform people that they need to do the research first, risk second, and the reward and return is last. The risk being second primarily because, once you do the research, you have to be willing to come out of your shell in order to take the risk of making your first trade, in order to be able to understand exactly what you did right, and what you did wrong.
So, I would just research because if you do not want to read…if you want to hide something from someone the first place that you would hide it is in a book. I feel like with us having electronics and phones right now, it causes us to stray away from that avenue. But if we knew how much power came from reading books then we will be a lot more successful in our individual endeavors.
Lior: Absolutely! I definitely agree with that. Also, for those people because I know even for me personally, I have not been in the position where I would want to invest, but I think about it and I feel like I do not have enough money or maybe I should have a large lump sum to immediately invest and to be able to see the profit.
What does that process look like, and is there a way for you to just invest a little bit, and then see a benefit from there?
Tonio: I will give you background on how much I started with, and how much I was taught to start with. My first initial investment was $130, and I would say that my first trade I made anywhere between $58-$61 somewhere in that range. I was happy about that because small returns matter just as well as big returns. A large amount of firms that currently speak on them create trade platforms, teaching people how to trade, they only post the good things, so you also have to initiate the thought that you can lose money as well.
I would say that you should begin with anywhere between $150-$250, $250 was what I was recommended to start with from my mentor, and the reason being you only trade with 10% of your account the first time so that way when you lose money you still will have a large sum of your account left over for you to still recuperate your losses.
Lior: I like that, that is very smart. First of all, thank you for all of that information, that is a lot, and I appreciate that, and I think that it can be useful for people in our age bracket to really begin to understand…even younger people that if they do not have the resources or the understanding, so I appreciate you for wanting to create a platform like that.
It looks to me that with the all the contributors to your career, it seems to be a part of a bigger picture. Was your plan always to move strategically, or did things just kind of fall in line for you this way?
Tonio: I have always been taught to think 4 steps ahead, just because if you think 2 steps ahead, you could take 3 steps back. So, thinking those extra 2 steps back to help you refrain from taking those 2 steps back. In regards to the current endeavors that I am partaking in outside of my full-time career and me screen printing, I never thought that they would happen in the time that they did. However, success comes when opportunity meets preparation, that is the code that I live by.
So, as long as you prepare for anything and make sure that you are always keeping hindsight of your actions, it will lead you to what you are promised to have.
Lior: I like that. So, what is the ultimate, the bigger picture for you?
Tonio: I would like to utilize the platforms that I have traveled down, traveled through, to teach the younger community about financial literacy. That is something that they do not teach in school, they do not teach you about money in school, they do not teach you how to budget your finances and more than anything, they do not teach you about taxes, and taxes rule here in the United States, and that is something that we can all see especially with what is going on in the news currently.
So, being able to teach the younger generation how to balance a checkbook, how to utilize their credit score to purchase land, or to buy the things that they need that would help them to significantly grow regarding generational wealth, those are the types of things that I would like to teach.
I ultimately would like to create a non-profit where I can partner with teachers from local school systems or inner-city schools and give them the opportunity to learn these things.
Lior: That is beautiful. I can definitely see and understand that and thank you for sharing that with us. Do you have any upcoming events that we should be aware of?
Tonio: I will be attending the For(bes) The Culture, Culturally Accountable Summit. I will get to interact with people from the For(bes) The Culture platform that live in different geographical regions, some are overseas, and I have never had the opportunity to interact with, as well as some of the founders of the platform.
Sidenote regarding my Incisive Investment business, for the more seasoned individuals that are of age that do not want to take as much risk, we all just signed a contract with a financial advisement corporation, and they will be able to give the more experienced generation direction and advisement on what index funds they can put their money into, they will be able to invest that for them so that they can have a substantial return to be able to provide and pass down to their children.
That was the biggest thing that I wanted to accomplish in 2021, and I was able to do it within the first month.
Lior: I am so proud of you because to be that young, ambitious, and intuitive, full of drive, and on top of that to actually have a purpose behind what you are doing is absolutely amazing, especially to do it not just for yourself, but to have the collective in mind, I think that is so amazing. So, I really do thank you for everything that you are doing, all of your services are absolutely brilliant.
Can you please tell the viewers where we can find you?
Tonio: Yes, so you can find me on Instagram @toniomckinleyincisiveinvestments @blackgatsbyprinting and you can also visit my personal website www.iamvalentino-t.com and it will provide you with links to all of my projects with Incisive Investments, my story behind Macy’s Inc., how I got into that, and my overall vision for my future when it comes to fashion and investing.
Lior: Amazing! Thank you so much for allowing us the opportunity to be able to interview you, I am super honored, and I wish you the best of luck and I know that you really do not need it because you are going places without that, so thank you so much.
Tonio: It was both my pleasure, and I would like to thank you for taking the time to interview me because your spirit, your energy, all exuberant and God is taking you places as well, I really do thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.
Lior: Absolutely, and you have a wonderful night.
Lior Nechama Israel Judah 🦁 |Educator 📚 |D.O.S 💕
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