Critical Black Women’s Market for Financial Services

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, November 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – According to the original Black Women, Trust, and the Financial Services Industry Study, three in five black women expressed difficulty finding financial professionals or advisors in who they trust. Research has found that black community engagement in the financial services industry is largely transactional – not advisory – and that black women are less aware of the different types of relationships they can have with advisors. institutions, which is of particular concern given that black women play a leading role in financial and financial decision-making in black households and communities.

The Trust study, made up of 3,500 middle-income black women, found that they faced discrimination and had difficulty accessing wealth-building tools, with ‘lack of confidence’ being the second most cited reason for which this group does not have access to financial services.

These findings are part of the inaugural iteration of the American College Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality (CEEE) Study on Black Women, Confidence, and the Financial Services Industry. The research aimed to understand the unique financial, social, and emotional insights of black women regarding their journey to wealth, its related impact on their families and communities, and what black women want and need from the financial services industry to. be financially successful.

“Black women aspire to financial stability for themselves, but at the same time, they want to use their economic power to build a better future for their families and communities,” said Karim Hill, executive director of the Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality. . “The financial services industry has the opportunity to raise awareness of what is possible for black women and their wealth through advisory services, products, professionals and trusted investments in diverse advisers and institutions. financial assets owned by black people. The industry needs to start providing trusted advice tailored specifically to black women who want to better navigate the world we live in. ”

Need for more culturally relevant research and analysis essential to uncover opportunities for change

This trust study offers a reintroduction to black women through their own words, in a narrative exploration with statistical significance, and explores new thinking around better serving black women, their households and their communities regarding their wants and needs in matters. of wealth. According to this research, providing information on questions to ask about saving, investing, and transferring wealth is an easy way to build trust and better relationships with black women.

The research highlighted three cultural norms essential to black women’s financial decision-making and their relationship with the financial services industry. Among the emerging themes:

Importance of trust in decision-making

60% of respondents expressed difficulty finding professionals or financial advisers they trust

· “Lack of confidence” was the second most cited reason after “too expensive” to explain why this group does not have access to financial services

Priority to community / family rather than emphasis on “brutal individualism”

62.5% of respondents in high income households said it was important to build wealth for the community

58% believe black institutions can provide the tools to meet their needs

Value of interpersonal community and relationships

Black women trust financial services professionals more (around 10% more) than financial services organizations, which is a reminder of the importance of trust and personal relationships

Black women (58%) are more likely to report that racial identity affects the way they are treated by financial services professionals than gender

“This research validates how our Four Steps Forward approach charts a collective path for impact that goes beyond the transaction, beyond savings and debt products, to deliver culturally relevant messages embedded in relationships. deep and personal counseling throughout a black woman’s wealth journey, ”said George Nichols III, president and CEO of the American College of Financial Services. “Black women are the caregivers of their families and their communities, and many of them are the primary breadwinners and financial decision-makers in their households. The College is committed to using evidence-based indicators – like this inaugural Confidence Study – that serve as a survey of what black women need to be financially successful and an invitation to be part of a solution to industry wide.

The Trust study highlights why a cultural lens should be used when investing in ways to accelerate the economic strength of black women, a key customer segment that needs increased awareness and support from of the financial services sector.

Among the other key points of the research:

Emergency savings, retirement funds and credit scores are top priorities for black women – as well as top concerns

Racial identity is important to black women both in their financial decision-making and in their financial service institutions

Black women trust financial services, but trust black-owned institutions more

“The research highlights that the industry’s engagement with the black community is largely transactional and not consultative. What really works are the long-term advisor relationships that lead to wealth creation across generations, ”said Dr. Pamela Jolly, Senior Strategist, The American College of Financial Services.

“We need to identify ways to better connect black women with counseling relationships,” Jolly continued. “It starts with understanding who black women are before selling to them, connecting products and services to black women’s values, highlighting the role of black professionals in the industry as trusted brokers, and building a diverse network. of formal and informal channels to connect Black women to their desired wealth outcomes.

The financial services industry has the opportunity to move beyond a transactional relationship with black women to one that provides planning with product support – not product as an island solution. By creating better access to applied financial knowledge and community solutions, the College strives to close the wealth gap and benefit society through generational financial literacy that empowers and educates. The financial services industry can complement these efforts with products and services specifically designed to help black families create and maintain wealth-building practices.

Learn more about the Trust Study, the Four steps forward and Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality.



Information for this study was collected between July and September 2021. The quantitative study of 3,500 black women explored the main reasons and locations for black women’s trust and distrust in the financial services. These findings fed into a qualitative study in which the College interviewed respondents to better understand the needs, wants and aspirations of black women. The median income of survey respondents was $ 60,000. The study goes beyond basic financial characteristics to examine the role of cultural beliefs, racial identities, and related fate in financial decision-making. By combining quantitative and qualitative methods, the study creates a holistic picture of black women as financial consumers and decision makers.

The American College of Financial Services was founded in 1927 and is the nation’s largest nonprofit educational institution dedicated to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, the College has trained one in five financial advisors in the United States and offers two masters in financial management and services, as well as prestigious designations in financial planning such as Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP ®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®), Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC®), Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) , and training leading to Certified Financial Planner â„¢ (CFP®) certification. The College’s faculty represent some of the greatest thought leaders in the financial services profession. Visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

  • Black women, confidence and the financial services industry

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