The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning has created a new Diversity Advisory Group to tackle the issue of the lack of diversity in the financial advice industry. According to the CFP Board’s self-reported data, there are about 1,200 African American and 1,500 Latino or Hispanic CFPs, less than 3.5 percent of all advisors holding the designation. The Center for Financial Planning plans to launch research-based initiatives and form partnerships to boost diversity among financial advisors. The advisory group will provide input, as well as help to identify the barriers to racial and ethnic diversity in the financial planner workforce. Members of the advisory group include TD Ameritrade’s Kate Healy, the National Urban League’s Cy Richardson, Prudential’s Catalina Camoscio and Blue Ocean Global Wealth CEO Marguerita Cheng.
Providing women with better access to financial products and services could boost financial services firms and the global economy, unlocking $330 billion in global revenue, according to a new report released by BNY Mellon and the United Nations Foundation. While women control about a quarter of global wealth, they only have 77 percent of the access to financial services that men do. It’s in financial services firms’ best interests to appeal to women; in fact, firms could grow their share of $100 billion to $120 billion in annual revenue that women currently contribute to the retail market, the report says. “Our hope is that financial services providers will design and market more products and services that fuel women’s economic participation, giving investors more options to invest with a gender-lens,” said Heidi DuBois, global head of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility at BNY Mellon.
Financial advisors are seen as more trustworthy than accountants when it comes to taxes, according to a new survey by TD Ameritrade. The survey, of 1,000 investors with $10,000 or more in assets, found that 25 percent say they trust financial advisors the most when it comes to tax information, followed by TV news at 17 percent and just 14 percent who say they trust accountants the most. In addition, only 25 percent of investors say they fully understand the ramifications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on their paychecks. Thirty-five percent said they expect to see more money in their paychecks as a result of the new tax bill, while 22 percent think they will take home less. “There are plenty of experts offering their views on the new tax code and how investors should respond, yet we find, once again, that investors want advice and guidance from someone they trust, especially in times of uncertainty and change,” said Tom Nally, president at TD Ameritrade Institutional. “People want to know that someone has their back. More often than not, that trusted individual is their personal financial advisor.”