Three tips to help BIPOC Americans find their first financial professional

More Americans who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color are open to working with a financial professional for the first time

Even though fewer Americans who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) said they are receiving professional assistance with their finances, more are interested in working with a financial professional for the first time.


BIPOC respondents receiving help from a financial professional in 2022

  • 24% Black/African American (down from 38%)
  • 35% Hispanic (down from 44%)
  • 32% Asian/Asian American (down from 36%)

BIPOC respondents open to working with a financial professional in 2022

  • 37% Black/African American (up from 32% in 2021)
  • 34% Hispanic (up from 30% in 2021)
  • 39% Asian/Asian American (up from 34% in 2021)

If you’re among the BIPOC Americans who are thinking about working with a financial professional for the first time, here are three tips for finding one that can meet your needs.


Learn about the different types of financial professionals

Financial professionals can have varying training, certifications, and responsibilities.

How financial professionals get paid is one differing factor. Some professionals are paid by third parties and earn sales commission for selling certain products. Others, categorized as fee-only professionals, make money from fees clients pay for their services.

Another way financial professionals vary is by duties and standards. Financial professionals who are designated as fiduciaries are bound by fiduciary duty. That means that they are legally required to work in their clients’ best financial interest. Others operate by a suitability standard, which means they need to make recommendations that are appropriate for you based on your personal preferences, such as your risk tolerance. All financial advisers are subjected to scrutiny from a number of regulatory bodies and have supervision over the advice and investments they offer.


Think about what kind of help you need

You might want assistance in something specific, like budgeting, taxes, investing, debt repayment, or retirement planning. Some financial professionals specialize in one area whereas others can offer more holistic guidance including multiple aspects of financial planning.

The Retirement Risk Readiness Study found that the different BIPOC communities identified in the study all had varying priorities for their finances. Black/African American respondents were more interested in short-term planning issues like balancing a budget. Hispanic respondents were more likely to seek assistance with leaving a legacy to family. While Asian/Asian American respondents were the most likely to be concerned that the rising cost of living would prevent them from enjoying retirement.

By determining the top priorities for your financial professional, you will have a better chance of finding someone with the right strengths for your needs.


Interview multiple financial professionals to find the right fit

It’s wise to meet with several financial professionals before choosing one. You will want to ask questions to learn if this person will be a good fit for both your financial situation and your personality. You will need to share personal financial information with this person, so it is important to find someone you can trust.

Here are some good questions to ask:

  • What is your typical client like?
  • How would you describe your approach to helping clients?
  • What technology do you have to help clients?
  • Do you develop written financial plans?
  • How do you earn money?

*Allianz Life conducted an online survey, the 2022 Retirement Risk Readiness Study, in February 2022 with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 individuals age 25+ in the contiguous U.S. with an annual household income of $50k+ (single) / $75k+ (married/partnered) OR investable assets of $150k.

The study included an oversample of respondents who identified as Black/African American (388 responses); Hispanic (355 responses); Asian/Asian American (373 responses).

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz) does not provide financial planning services.