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NAHREP_conceptThe “NAHREP 10,” a set of disciplines created as part of the Hispanic Wealth Project, made their debut in January and have been making the rounds at multiple NAHREP events across the nation. Here’s what they’re all about.

Ernie Reyes and I founded NAHREP over 16 years ago with the mission of helping Latinos achieve homeownership, and that mission defines the work and the core of NAHREP. Years later, when the Great Recession took place, Latino families were one of the hardest hit groups in the U.S. The housing meltdown created an even greater wealth gap, particularly for Latinos, as two-thirds of their net worth was in home equity at the time, and because they owned homes in states leading the housing collapse, according to the Pew Research Center.

After witnessing the widening wealth gap and becoming more aware of the need to financially empower the Latino community, the NAHREP Foundation set the goal to triple Hispanic household wealth in 10 years through the Hispanic Wealth Project.

With a $1.7 trillion purchasing power, roughly equal to that of Canada, Latinos are a big force in the U.S. economy, revealing that this community is no longer a niche market. There has been a change of tide and Hispanics are now lowering their poverty rate, increasing their annual household income, lowering their high school dropout rates and increasing college enrollment. The Hispanic Wealth Project has begun a dialogue around not only creating wealth, but also retaining it. While NAHREP is the No. 1 advocate for Latino homeownership, it’s time for further wealth building through mentoring the success of new small businesses, diversifying our community’s financial assets and achieving a 50 percent or greater rate of homeownership.

That said, the intent of the “NAHREP 10” is to help Latinos and anyone else who wants to take their household and business to the next level. Applying these healthy practices day to day can create long-term change. Here are the NAHREP 10:

1. Have a mature understanding of wealth and prosperity, because the one with the most toys usually loses.

2. Be in the top 10 percent of your profession, because being good isn’t good enough.

3. Live below your means and be ready for the next recession, because downturns are a regular part of our economic cycles.

4. Minimize debt, because it’s the biggest enemy to wealth.

5. Invest at least 20 percent of your income in real estate and stocks, because they’re the best and safest ways to build wealth (investing in other businesses doesn’t count).

6. Know your net worth, including the value of your business, because you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

7. Be politically savvy, because public policy matters.

8. Be physically fit, because wealth without health is meaningless.

9. Be generous with people who are less fortunate, because philanthropy feeds your heart and spirit and gives more purpose to your work.

10. Be active in the lives of your family and children, because family is central to who we are, and nothing will motivate you more.

For more information on the “NAHREP 10,” articles related to applying these disciplines, and to see our video series, visit www.nahrep.org/nahrep-10-disciplines.

Gary Acosta is the CEO and co-founder of NAHREP.

For more information, visit www.nahrep.org.