Capital Flows To Urban Development Over The Last Few Decades 3 Sad Truths of Why Minorities Struggle Financially – Reversing the Trend

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3 Sad Truths of Why Minorities Struggle Financially – Reversing the Trend

When I finally got my first full-time job at age 17, I wondered why a few years later I found myself in my early twenties, broke and struggling to make ends meet. After all, making more money while moving up the “food chain” would solve my problems, right?

Why I soon found myself living paycheck to paycheck. It’s likely… that it had something to do with my upbringing and ethnic culture.

Does it really matter if you are a minority in the US as it relates to your level of financial literacy and ability to make money smartly? Does education on the “other side of the tracks” actually matter?

According to several reports, absolutely true.

1) Lack of financial education and awareness

In the late 1990s, I was in the midst of my second call to active duty in the United States Marine Corps. After returning from a drug bust in the Bahamas, I walked into my home, located in military housing at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, to a stack of credit card bills. Oh joy.

My wife at the time had over $15,000 in charges between 3 credit cards. As a corporal, that was close to a year’s salary. Needless to say, this was a major area of ​​contention between us that ultimately led to our divorce and a two year custody battle. (An inside military joke, but not really, is that you can’t leave active duty without getting married, having a baby… and then getting divorced. Ask around, it’s sadly true.)

How was my attempt to get financial aid? I would ask fellow Marines, senior leaders who happen to be black and Hispanic, to discover that they too have faced the same financial problems, just at different levels. In the end, they had no answer. It was the blind leading the blind.

I learned my first rule of personal finance… stop asking your broke friends (and even family) for financial help.

If it weren’t for retired Master Sergeant Carleton Enloe, who I happened to meet in the bathroom of a Best Buy in Laguna Hills (don’t laugh), I never would have gotten around to learning how to win at the money game. He worked in a financial company that opened my eyes and took me under his wing.

My previous solution to getting myself out of the financial hole was just to find ways to make more money around town, outside of work, as a Jiffy Lube hood technician and a bartender at the Officer’s Club on base.

When I share this story at financial conferences and even our weekly financial workshops, I find that this scenario affects most everyone in the room…even white minorities who also grew up on the same side of the tracks as me.

2) Underserved, abandoned and biased by the financial services industry

The reality is that if you are black and Hispanic, you are severely underserved in the financial services industry. Most financial firms will not even extend the conversation to help a prospect unless you have at least $250,000 in liquid investable assets or a one-time planning fee of $500 (some as high as $5,000) to pay a CFP/Investment to the consultant just to tell you that you are… “you’re out of money!”

I spoke at a women’s diversity conference and befriended a financial planner who was the ONLY black financial professional in the ENTIRE state of Illinois for their national firm. And yet her office was in the suburbs… nowhere near the city.

Think you can find a minority financial professional who can relate to and understand your cultural struggle and desire to break free from the financial rat? They are not very common. American Council of Insurance Reveals Significant Performance Gap Only for Minorities Taking Simple Life Insurance Exam as Entry Point to Financial Services Industry

3) Education and cultural financial ignorance

Is the handling of your personal finances related to cultural trends and parenting? Comedian Kevin Hart made credit-related jokes about black women that he later apologized for, referring to the commonality of bad credit.

Sure, it’s a comedy, but could it be true? When was the last memory of your parents teaching you about the value of credit and how to build your credit score around the kitchen table?

You know the answer.

Like me, you’ve had past experiences of holding your breath while eating with friends, hoping the server doesn’t come back and demand another form of payment.

Over the past two years, I’ve been proud to help build a financial movement where we’ve recruited and trained a new breed of financial professionals entering the money business.

The level of connection with our audience regarding their financial struggles and finding solutions to transform their financial lives was nothing short of transformative.

We’re helping close the significant gap among minorities earning $100,000 a year, where today less than 5.9% of six-figure earners are Asian, 5.6% are Hispanic, and 5.5% are black. (Source: Wikipedia.com)

Of the 43 financial professionals I have mentored as a marketing consultant and coach, 35 are black, Hispanic, or Asian. 8 are biracial couples raising biracial children. We already have a six figure earner who is a Spanish woman and a retired Filipina nurse who made more than $13k in cash last month.

My advice? Keep loving your friends and family, but unfortunately, the facts show that they won’t help you on your path to financial freedom.

From what you learn about money, bring it back to your community and be that agent of change in your family…regardless of their negative opinion of you. Stay strong, stay strong, stay focused, stay disciplined.

Reach out, find and to earn mentoring and companionship of people who want to have more, be more and are ready to DO more. Look past the color of their skin. After all, money is monochromatic and wants to associate with those who know how to take care of it.

Your children, grandchildren, even great-grandchildren will be happy for you.

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