Our misunderstood priorities

Earlier this week, I sent an anonymous Google survey to gauge where my Hispanic millennial peers were at as far as financial goals, demographics, and behavior. In 15 minutes, there were over 20 responses. In 4 hours, I had over 50, and below I have 72. Props to you all for making my research just a little bit easier. There’s plenty to derive from these 12 questions, but in this post, I’ll focus particularly on investment potential.

I asked the following questions:

  1. Do you identify as Hispanic?
  2. Select your age range: 18-24, 25-31, 32-38, 39-45, 45+
  3. Select your gender: Female, Male, Transgender
  4. Are you a first-generation college graduate?
  5. Do you have a bank account?
  6. Do you trust banking services?
  7. Do you invest your money in anything?
  8. If you answered yes to the previous question, what financial institution do you use? If you answered, no, are you interested in investing?
  9. Do your parents use banking services?
  10. Select your total savings amount: $0-500, $600-2000, $2000-10,000, $10,000+
  11. What do you actively save for? Long-term items i.e paying off loans or retirement, Short term item i.e. name brand handbag or concert tickets, N/A
  12. What do you think is your biggest barrier to your financial goals?

I put together a word bubble based on the common words used in my question on the barriers to achieving financial goals. As I expected, words relating to family, student life, loans, literacy, and job cut through responses. In order for investment to be on the table for Hispanic Millennials, security for ourselves and our families has to be on the table. Security comes with financial literacy and good money management habits, which is tricky because, as first-generation graduates, our families worked in immigrant occupations. We didn’t grow up hearing the words invest, IRA, 401k, and retirement. We grew up watching our parents work 12 hour days to put food on the table and to give us a chance at a better future. Savings were a blessing and investing was something almost foreign.

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Most of the responders were first generation college graduates. There’s a piercing theme that Hispanic millennials want to invest, but lack the know-how and resources to make informed decisions. Without the know-how, we do not feel secure enough to take the next step to invest.

Just like our parents, we want more for our future families and ourselves. The difference is that this new generation is more educated, and we’re ready to make greater financial decisions made clear by the overwhelming majority of inactive investors that are interested in investing. In a digital world, we need financial literacy initiatives that focus on our responsibility to our family while combining today’s readily available technology.

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