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Financial Advisor Use by Blacks, Hispanics Rebounds: Allianz Life

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Thirty-six percent of Black Americans report that they have a financial advisor, according to Allianz Life’s 2023 consumer survey of Americans’ views on retirement planning. 

This represents a rebound from 2022, when engagement fell by 14 percentage points to 24% year over year. Hispanic investors report similar shifts in working with a professional financial advisor, rising from 35% in 2022 to 42% this year, after falling from 44% in 2021. 

At the same time, both groups lag white Americans, 47% of whom work with an advisor.

The increased engagement with advisors by Black and Hispanic Americans tracks with a corresponding increase in confidence, the survey found. 

Asked how confident they feel about being able to financially support all the things they want to do, Black, Hispanic and white Americans all reported an 80% confidence level, up nine points year over year for Black Americans and up five points for Hispanic Americans. 

“It’s great to see an increase in diverse populations working with financial professionals and gaining confidence,” Travis Walker, business solutions and diversity consultant at Allianz Life, said in a statement. “But clearly the industry has more work to do. We have to really listen to what our clients and potential clients are telling us about what they want, and don’t want, in a financial professional.” 

Allianz Life conducted the online study in February and March with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 individuals age 25 and older with an annual household income of $50,000 or more for single individuals and $75,000 or more for married or partnered ones, or $150,000 of investable assets. 

Different Financial Priorities

Allianz Life sought to understand why diverse investor groups do not discuss certain important issues with a financial advisor. Thirty-eight percent of Black Americans and about a third each of Hispanic and Asian Americans said they use other resources to find solutions to these issues. 

Part of the reason, Allianz Life found, is that some Americans of color have different financial concerns from others. For example, 38% of Black and Hispanic Americans list paying off credit card debt as one of their top three financial goals, compared with 30% of the total population. 

Forty-five percent of the overall sample, but only 36% of Black respondents, said saving enough and making plans to live a comfortable retirement is one of their top three financial goals. And 31% of Black Americans said leaving a legacy for their family was one of their top three goals, compared with 23% of the total population.

“The data are telling us that one size does not fit all when it comes to what people are looking for in financial advice,” Walker said. “Now more than ever, it’s critical for financial professionals to approach their clients with an open mind and really listen to their concerns.” 

When asked about topics they have not discussed with a financial advisor but would like to, 78% of Black, 77% of Hispanic and 69% of Asian Americans said they would like to discuss the possibility of unexpected, large expenses, compared with 56% of the total population. 

Seventy-seven percent of Black, 73% of Hispanic and 70% of Asian Americans reported that they would like to discuss how the rising cost of living will prevent them from enjoying retirement, as opposed to 59% of the total population. 

Similarly, 77% of Black, 79% of Hispanic and 62% of Asian Americans would like to find out more about navigating Medicare and health insurance and making the right health care choices, compared with 54% of the total population. 

“These results show the need for a more holistic approach to providing financial planning strategies,” Walker said. “By definition, that means getting to know your clients better, and using a planning process that takes into account life needs that might fall outside the realm of traditional retirement strategies.” 

Allianz Life said diverse populations of Americans can benefit from professional financial advice. In response to a survey question about what might make them more likely to work with a particular financial professional, 23% of Black Americans said they would like to work with an advisor who has “similar characteristics to me such as similar age, gender or race.” 


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