Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pru Surveys the African American Market

Our last post looked at the unmet need for consumers who are looking to work with female financial professionals.  Prudential is out with a study this month uncovering another unserved market: the African American market.

According to the study:
Those blacks polled report an overall sense of detachment from the financial services industry, as blacks are 13 percent less likely than the general population to have been contacted by a financial adviser. Though half of African-Americans surveyed say they believe working with a financial adviser would help them make better financial decisions, only 19 percent actually have one.
Surveys like this are one reason CFS works to knock down barriers to entry into the financial services profession encountered by those most likely to work on America's Main Streets.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Need for Diversity in the Financial Industry

There's a great article in InvestmentNews this week about how consumer demand for women financial advisors has not been met by the industry's recruiting and retainment.

Key point:
Cerulli Associates Inc. estimates that only 7.9% of advisers who work directly with clients are women. Estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 36% of advisers were female in 2010, but that included all professional women who worked for advisers, as well. That amount is actually an increase from 31% in 2009. The government measure has been around the 30% level for about a decade.
“There's a disconnect with market demand,” said Kim Dellarocca, head of practice management for Pershing LLC. Investor surveys show time and again that a large number of women prefer to work with other women.
In a study last year, Pershing found that 70% of women would like to work with a female adviser, though only about 20% of women do.
One component of the work by the Coalition for Financial Security is to help shine a light on the need for more diversity in the financial profession.  Whether it is shining a light on barriers to entry like unfair licensing practices or highlight articles like this that show the need for better recruitment, CFS is hoping to keep this subject on the front burner.  Every American and every community deserves access to the advice and tools necessary to live the American Dream.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Another Take on Financial Literacy

The WSJ's Personal-Finance blog is out with an alternative take on financial literacy efforts.

Interesting point:
You could easily argue that technological literacy and medical literacy are at least as important to people’s well-being as financial literacy is. Even so, most of us just call the help desk when our computers don’t work, and nearly all of us call a doctor when we’re sick. That’s partly because we’re lazy (I don’t feel like learning how to reformat my hard drive), partly because we’re busy (I don’t have time to read every article on acid reflux in the New England Journal of Medicine) and partly because we’re rational. In a capitalist system built on specialization and the division of labor, it makes sense to trust the folks at the Genius Bar to fix your MacBook better than you can and to assume the orthopedist knows more about repairing your anterior cruciate ligament than you ever will.
This organization would obviously not agree with everything in the Blog, but it is an interesting discussion.