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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

Black, Latina Women Confident About Financial Goals

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Most affluent women this year experienced difficulties with their investments, but Black and Latina investors were likelier to proactively seize opportunities presented by market volatility and to feel confident about their goals, according to survey results released Thursday by J.P. Morgan Wealth Management.

Related: Black, Latino Investors More Bearish Than Whites: FINRA

Even though they are more confident than their white counterparts about their financial future, more than half of affluent Black and Latina women in the survey said they faced more challenges to investing, including finding financial advice that fits their needs.

They were also more likely to financially support friends and family in 2020.

“Women are already the majority in controlling wealth and that number will only grow,” Kristin Lemkau, chief executive of J.P. Morgan Wealth Management in the U.S., said in a statement. “We see a huge opportunity to help women build their wealth for the long term — however they choose to do it. And that starts by actually listening to them.”

The online survey was conducted in October among 779 white/Caucasian women and 596 women of color. Respondents were identified as having primary or shared responsibility for their households’ financial and investment decisions, and all participants confirmed investable asset levels ranging from $150,000 to $5 million or more.

Finding Their Own Path 

The survey found that 19% of affluent Black and Latina women started investing this year to capitalize on market volatility, compared with 5% of affluent white women.

Three in four said they were confident about their financial goals looking ahead to the next 12 months, versus half of their white counterparts.

When they started to invest, 78% of affluent Black and Latina women used self-directed educational resources, including online educational resources, apps or TV shows, compared with 47% of affluent white women who did this.

Fifty-five percent of affluent Black and Latina women agreed that investing is more challenging for people like themselves. At the same time, 62% said they felt confident about achieving their financial goals when they started investing.

Asked what challenges or barriers affluent Black and Latina women faced that made it difficult to start investing, 30% cited too much debt, compared with 22% of affluent white women. Twenty-one percent said services did not fit their needs or they had a bad experience when they first became investors, versus 7% of their white counterparts.

In addition, one in three affluent Black and Latina women said they financially supported friends and family in 2020, compared with one in 10 affluent white women.

Related: U.S. Latinos Remain Resilient in Face of Pandemic

“We have to appreciate how experience, education, wealth level and family dynamics impact a person’s view on investing,” Kelli Keough, head of digital and client solutions at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management, said in the statement.

“It’s clear affluent Black and Latina women are working harder to sustain their wealth, but they’re also confident about their financial futures.”

How Financial Education Helps 

J.P. Morgan’s study found a correlation between education and inherited wealth and current financial decisions.

Eighty-four percent of affluent Black and Latina women reported that they had savings or investment accounts established for them as a child.

Sixty-one percent said their parents or caregivers had discussed the importance of investing when they were growing up, and 68% said that as adults, they make monthly contributions to their investments.

“Closing the racial and gender wealth gaps demands work across communities,” said Byna Elliott, head of advancing Black pathways for JPMorgan Chase, said in the statement.

Related: She Saw Few Black Advisors at Big Firms, so She Started Her Own

“What’s interesting to me about this study is that Black girls get a clear head start on building wealth when their parents talk to them about money and set up a savings or investing account.”

Among all affluent women surveyed, regardless of race, 60% had parents or caregivers who invested their own money, and 55% recalled hearing or being a part of family discussions about investing as children. Among the latter, 61% said those conversations were positive.

Of all affluent women in the survey, 45% said they felt confident in their ability to achieve their investment goals when they first started to invest, with 12% noting that their confidence stemmed from what they had learned about investing and advice received from parents or other family members.

Beyond Affluent Communities

J.P. Morgan’s study examined affluent women, but the firm said that making progress in the racial and gender wealth gap still demands a lot more work across communities.

Citing past research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute, it said economic challenges for people of color stretch far beyond investing. Black and Latino families have between 32 cents and 47 cents in liquid assets for every dollar held by white families.

In addition, homeownership rates are 25% lower for Black and Latino families and, as rents continue to rise, their households are more likely to be burdened by costs than white households.

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