Three Tips to Help Black Investors Feel More Confident in Their Financial Future


Relationship building and creating a sense of belonging for people from all backgrounds has always been at the forefront of my values. To me, belonging means feeling valued, respected and included. It means having a voice and a seat at the table, being able to bring your whole self to both personal and professional interactions without having to compromise your identity.

As someone who has been in the retirement sector for over 20 years and participated in various groups focused on cultural belonging, inclusion, mentorship and sponsorship, I know how important fostering this sense of belonging is—especially for advisors and financial professionals working with diverse clients. It’s one of the many reasons I’m proud to work for Nationwide, the founder of the Financial Alliance for Racial Equity, whose mission is to increase racial diversity, drive greater equity and foster inclusion within the financial services industry and the communities we serve.

When advisors and financial professionals can empathize with their clients, they can work with them more effectively, tailoring advice for their unique circumstances and background. In fact, that’s what drove me to work with my own advisor. According to Nationwide’s 2024 Advisor Authority study, when Black investors were asked what would make them more likely to work with an advisor, 20% said they sought out financial professionals who offered personalized investing techniques.

At all times of the year—and as we celebrate Black History Month—it’s important for advisors to think about how they can connect with their Black clients to help them build tailored plans to fulfill their retirement dreams, especially with 32% of Black investors saying the main reason they have an advisor is to feel more confident in their financial future, according to Nationwide’s study.

Better serving the Black community is not only the right thing to do—it’s also a great opportunity for advisors to grow their practices. Here are a few tips to help advisors and financial professionals foster a sense of belonging with their Black clients so they can create a solid retirement plan together.

1. Personalized Financial Planning for Retirement Is Key
Start by tailoring the financial advice you offer to your Black clients by making sure it aligns with their unique goals and challenges, such as their income level, family obligations and philanthropic interests. This includes addressing factors such as the racial wealth gap, historical disparities and specific financial aspirations within the community—factors that can affect Black investors’ risk tolerance, investment preferences and retirement planning.

Consider strategies to bridge potential wealth gaps, which may involve building emergency funds, focusing on debt reduction and increasing retirement contributions. You can also help your clients maximize Social Security benefits by considering factors like life expectancy, spousal benefits and the timing of claiming benefits. Work with your clients to develop withdrawal strategies that minimize tax implications during retirement and create income they won’t outlive.

2. Leverage Educational Resources
Empower your Black clients by educating yourself on the unique historical and cultural context and impact that shapes their financial experiences. One way to do this is to seek out educational resources that highlight special considerations for diverse clients. For example, the Nationwide Retirement Institute offers continuing education offerings designed to help you deepen your client relationships, and our Diverse Markets Program provides great resources to help you learn about best practices for engaging diverse clients.

3. Offer Mentoring and Networking Opportunities
Being an ally is a choice that goes beyond passive support; it’s a long-term commitment to advocate for others. I’m proud to be part of a company that makes the conscious choice to be an ally. In fact, as the president of Nationwide’s African American Women Active and Ready to Exceed associate resource group, we’re offering special programming this month about how important allyship is and how it can inspire and empower others.

For financial advisors, allyship can look like using their unique connections to offer mentoring and networking opportunities for their diverse clients. Help your clients connect with successful individuals who have navigated similar journeys to enhance their confidence and provide valuable insights.

Representation also matters. Encourage more Black financial professionals to enter the industry and serve as a mentor to them. Having advisors who understand the unique challenges faced by Black clients can enhance trust and communication.

Lastly, but maybe most importantly, listen to Black voices. Ask them about their needs, concerns and aspirations. Invite them to share their thoughts and insights on various issues. At Nationwide, we’ve learned that including diverse perspectives is a great way to avoid groupthink and help a team think outside the box when addressing challenges and opportunities.

Black History Month is a great time to commit to becoming more actively engaged with new and existing Black clients by understanding their specific needs and providing personalized guidance. By doing so, advisors can grow their practice while empowering their clients to achieve a more secure financial future.

Paula Cole is Vice President of Nationwide Pension Risk Transfer

Article Source: Wealth Management

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