Insurance Quotes For A Seventeen Year Old Boy In Illinois 3 Sad Truths of Why Minorities Struggle Financially – Reversing the Trend

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3 Sad Truths of Why Minorities Struggle Financially – Reversing the Trend

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

Why I soon found myself living paycheck to paycheck. Chances are… it has something to do with my upbringing and ethnic culture.

Does it really matter if you’re a minority in the US as it relates to your level of financial literacy and ability to make smart money decisions? Is upbringing on the “other side of the tracks” factually important?

According to several reports, it absolutely is.

1) Lack of financial education and awareness

Back in the late 90’s, I was in the midst of my second active duty deployment in the United States Marine Corps. Returning from a drug bust in the Bahamas, I walked into my home in military housing at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro to a stack of credit card bills. Oh joy.

My wife at that time had over $15,000 in charges between 3 credit cards. As a corporal, that was close to a year’s annual salary. Needless to say, this was a major area of ​​contention between us that eventually led to our divorce and a two-year custody battle. (It’s an inside military joke, but not really, that you can’t leave active duty without getting married, having a kid… then getting divorced. Ask around, it’s true unfortunately.)

What was my attempt to get financial aid? I would ask fellow Marines, senior leaders who happened to be Black and Hispanic, only to find that they too face the same financial hardships just at different levels. Bottom line, they didn’t have an answer. It was a blind man leading a blind man.

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

If it hadn’t been for retired Master Sergeant Carleton Enloe, who I happened to meet in the bathroom of a Best Buy in Laguna Hills (don’t laugh), I never would have started the journey of learning how to win at the money game. He worked in a financial firm that opened my eyes and took me under his wing.

My solution before getting out of the financial hole was just to find ways to make more money around town, off duty, as a Jiffy Lube hood technician and bartender at the Officer’s Club on base.

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

2) Underserved, abandoned and biased by the financial services industry

The fact is, if you are black and Hispanic, you are deeply unsupported by the financial services industry. Most financial firms won’t even extend the conversation to help a prospect unless you have at least $250,000 in liquid assets to invest or a one-time planning fee of $500 (some as high as $5,000) to pay a certified financial planner/investment advisor just so you i say you’re… “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 ENTIRE state of Illinois for their national firm. And yet her office was in the suburbs… nowhere near the city.

Think you can find a minority financial professional to relate to and understand your cultural struggle and desire to break out of the financial race? They are not common. American Council of Underwriters Finds Significant Pass Gap Only for Minorities Taking Simple Life Insurance Exam as Entry Point to Financial Services Industry

3) Education and cultural financial ignorance

Does it have to do with cultural trends and parenting for managing your personal finances? Comedian Kevin Hart made credit score jokes about dark-skinned women, for which he later apologized, in reference to common bad credit.

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

You know the answer.

Just like me, you’ve had the experience of holding your breath while eating out with friends in the hope that the server won’t come back asking for another form of payment.

Over the past two years, I’ve been proud to help build a financial movement where we’ve recruited and trained a new breed of financial professionals entering the business of money.

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

We’re helping to close the significant gap for minorities earning $100,000 a year, with less than 5.9% of six-figure earners today being Asian, 5.6% Hispanic, and 5.5% Black. (Source: Wikipedia.com)

Of the 43 financial professionals I have mentored as a marketing consultant and coach, 35 are black, Hispanic, or Asian. 8 are bi-racial couples raising bi-racial children. We already have a six figure earner who is a Hispanic woman and a retired Filipina nurse whose cash flow went over $13K last month.

My advice? Continue to love your friends and family, but unfortunately, the facts are that they are not the ones to help guide you on the path to financial freedom.

From what you learn about money, give it back to your community and be that agent of change in your family… regardless of their negative opinions of you. Stay strong, stay tough, stay focused, stay disciplined.

Reach out, seek and earn mentoring and bringing together people who want to have more, be more and ready to do more. Look beyond the color of their skin. After all, money has one color and wants to associate with those who know how to take care of it.

Your children, grandchildren, even great-grandchildren will love it.

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