3 sad truths why minorities struggle financially: reverse the trend

When I finally got my first full-time job at 17, I wondered why I later found myself a few years later in my twenties, broke and struggling to make ends meet. After all, making more money while moving up the “food chain” would solve my problems, right?

Why did I soon find myself living paycheck to paycheck? Most likely … it has to do with my upbringing and my ethnic culture.

Does it really matter if you are a minority in the US when it comes to your level of financial education and your ability to make smart financial decisions? Does being raised on the “other side of the tracks” actually matter?

According to various reports, it absolutely does.

1) Lack of education and financial awareness

In the late 1990s, I was in the middle of my second active duty enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. Upon returning from an anti-drug deployment in the Bahamas, I entered my home located in a military dwelling at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and found a pile of credit card bills. Oh Joy.

My wife at that time had collected over $ 15,000 between 3 credit cards. As a corporal, this was close to a year’s worth of annual salary. Needless to say, this was a major area of ​​discussions between us that eventually led to our divorce and two years of child custody battles. (An insider military joke, but not really, is that you can’t leave active duty without getting married, having a child … and then getting divorced. Ask, it’s sadly true).

What was my attempt to get financial aid? He would ask his fellow Marine Corps, high-level leaders who turned out to be black and Hispanic, only to find that they, too, faced the same financial difficulties only at different levels. In short, they had no answer. It was the blind leading the blind.

I learned my first rule of thumb in personal finance … stop asking your bankrupt friends (and even your family) for financial help.

If it hadn’t been for retired Sergeant Major Carleton Enloe, whom I met in the bathroom of a Best Buy in Laguna Hills (don’t laugh), I would never have started a journey to learn how to make money. I was working in a finance company that opened my eyes and took me under their wing.

My solution beforehand to get out of a financial pot was to simply find ways to make more money in town, off duty, as a bell tech for Jiffy Lube and a bartender at the Officers Club on base.

When I share this story at financial conferences and even our weekly financial workshops, I find that this scenario hits almost everyone in the room … even non-minority Caucasians who also grew up on the same side of the slopes as me.

2) neglected, neglected and biased by the financial services industry

The fact is, if you are black and Hispanic, you were deeply neglected by the financial services industry. Most financial firms won’t even extend a conversation to help a potential client unless you have at least $ 250,000 in liquid assets to invest or don’t have the one-time $ 500 planning fee (some as high as $ 5,000) for pay a certified financial planner. / Investment advisor just to tell you … “he’s broke!”

I spoke at a Women’s Diversity Conference and became friends with a financial planner who was the ONLY black financial professional in the WHOLE state of Illinois for her national firm. And yet his office was in the suburbs … not near the city.

Do you think you can find a minority financial professional that you can relate to and understand your cultural struggle and your desire to get out of the financial rat race? They are not very common. The American Council of Insurers exposes a significant gap in pass rates only for minorities who pass a simple life insurance exam as an entry point into the financial services industry.

3) Education and financial cultural ignorance

Does it have to do with cultural trends and parental education to manage their personal finances? Comedian Kevin Hart made credit score jokes toward dark-skinned women, for which he later apologized, in connection with a common aspect of poor credit.

Sure, it’s comedy, but could it be true? When was the last memory of your parents teaching you the value of credit and how to build your credit score on the kitchen table?

You know the answer.

Like me, he has had past experiences holding his breath while eating out with friends in the hope that the server won’t come back asking for another form of payment.

For the past two years, I have been proud to help build a financial movement in which we have recruited and trained a new generation of financial professionals entering the money business.

The level of connection with our audience, regarding their financial struggles and finding solutions to transform their financial lives has been nothing short of transformative.

We are helping close the sizable gap of minorities earning $ 100,000 per year, where today, less than 5.9% of six-figure incomes are Asian, 5.6% are Hispanic, and 5.5% are black. (Source: Wikipedia.com)

Of the 43 financial professionals that I have mentored as a marketing advisor and trainer, 35 are Black, Hispanic, or Asian. 8 are biracial couples raising biracial children. We already have a six figure earner that is a Hispanic woman and a retired Filipino nurse who flowed in over $ 13k last month.

My advice? Continue to love your friends and family, but unfortunately, the facts are that they are not the ones who will help you lead the way to financial freedom.

From what you learn about money, bring it back to your community and be that agent of change within your family … regardless of their negative views of you. Stand firm, stand firm, stay focused, stay disciplined.

Reach out, reach out and to win the mentoring and association of people who want to have more, be more and be willing to DO more. Look beyond the color of your skin. After all, money has a color and you want to hang out with those who know how to care for it.

Your children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren will be glad you did.

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