For an organization like the Association of African-American Financial Advisors (also known as Quad-A), promoting diversity in the financial advisory profession begins with fostering the importance of financial planning as a career.
This doesn’t just mean talking to students about financial planning, says Sharif Small, president of S.J.S. Financial Firm, who serves on Quad-A’s board, but also educating them on the importance of financial planning at the individual level.
“In the minority communities that we come from, people are not really brought up with the notion of financial planning, so it’s our obligation to make sure people understand the importance of financial planning, and the younger the better,” Small says.
Quad-A reaches out to student organizations at historically black colleges in the states surrounding Washington, D.C., to talk about the importance of a financial plan along with financial planning as a career option. This kind of educational outreach is very important, Small says, and he’s keen to replicate efforts in colleges across the country. In fact, Quad-A would like to start education efforts at the high school and college level, Small says, because “it’s never too early to find about financial planning.”