Why does the financial planning profession have so few black and Latino planners, far less than their representation in the general U.S. population, when it should have more minority planners to serve an increasingly diverse consumer population? Of the 80,000 CFP-licensed professionals, just 3.5% are black or Latino.
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ Center for Financial Planning, whose mandate includes increasing diversity in the industry, conducted a research study to address the question, surveying almost 2,300 people — all but 94 in a quantitative survey study. The survey group included CFP professionals who were black, Latino and white; black and Latino prospective CFPs; and consumers and hiring professionals who were primarily white.
Although 70% of survey respondents agreed that minorities were underrepresented in the profession and a similar percentage of all CFP professionals saw no difference between the skill sets of white or minority planners, they often differed about the reasons for the paucity of minority planners, breaking down in part along racial lines.
Nearly 60% of planners who were neither black nor Latino attributed the underrepresentation of minorities to a reluctance of minorities to pursue the profession, compared with just 23% of black CFP professionals.
Eighteen percent of non-minority CFP professionals attributed the underrepresentation to the reluctance of firms to hire or promote blacks or Latinos versus almost 30% of black CFPs and black and Latino CFP prospects.