“The demand for financial security is colorblind,” said Laura Sonderup at the outset of her lunchtime presentation on Saturday, titled “Keys to Communicating with the New American Marketplace,” at the FPA’s Chapter Leaders Conference in Denver.
Sonderup, managing director of Hispanidad, which describes itself a full-service Hispanic advertising agency, also said her goal was to give attendees an “aha” moment about the importance of multicultural marketing and communication to their clients and practice.
“America is moving from ‘e pluribus unum’ to an authentically hybrid nation,” she added.
As to what constitutes diversity, she noted that in addition to racial and ethnic categories, there are also those less thought about, such as religious beliefs, military experience, marital status, parental status and geographic location. While the federal government recognizes six official racial categories (white, black, American Indian/Native Alaskan, Asian, Native Hawaiian and Some Other Race) one important category is noticeably absent—Hispanic.
“While it might seem odd, Hispanic is considered an ethnicity, not a race, and there is a difference,” Sonderup said.
She then listed a number of interesting statistics for each category that represent significant opportunities for advisors, including:
- From 1974 to 2004, median income for black women rose 75%, and 72% of black women are the primary household decision makers.
- Native Americans are experiencing enormous emerging wealth opportunities due to oil and casino revenue.
- There are six different subsets of Asian-Americans, which can be confusing when attempting to engage them, but they also have the highest educational attainment levels and the highest median household income of any of the groups.
- The median age of Hispanic Americans is 28. As consumers, they are just now starting to think about investing and asset protection, which also offers enormous opportunity for what advisors are trying to achieve.
She noted, however, that “Latino” is the preferred term. Latino refers to an association with the Romance languages, while Hispanic is Spanish-affiliated, which connotes subjugation and conquest.