Lazetta spoke with Chris Davis at NerdWallet on why finding a Black financial advisor matters
In 2020, the number of Black and Latino certified financial planners in the U.S. grew 12.6% from the previous year — certainly good news. The more sobering statistic from the CFP Board is that there are still only 1,493 Black CFPs today, and they make up less than 2% of all CFP professionals.
“That’s just too few CFPs,” says Lazetta Rainey Braxton, a certified financial planner and co-founder and co-CEO of 2050 Wealth Partners.
Braxton is among that group of Black CFPs, and she’s enthusiastic about raising awareness of and solving a twofold problem: We need more Black CFPs, and we must improve access to financial planning services. And to Braxton, this isn’t an “either/or” situation. The solution is undoubtedly a “both/and” approach.
Why finding a Black financial advisor matters
Braxton says some of her Black clients have expressed that a Black advisor may better understand small cultural nuances that could have big economic impacts.
“That adds a degree of trust, that they understand where you’re coming from, will listen to you and then make suggestions according to that deep understanding,” Braxton says. “Often clients may wonder, ‘Who can help me? There’s not a lot of Black advisors, and there aren’t white advisors who understand what’s going on with me.’”
For such a client, the embedded trust and familiarity of having a Black advisor could mean the difference between seeking out financial advice and forgoing it. However, Braxton makes clear that this can’t be a blanket statement.
“I also know that there are Black clients who may not prefer a Black advisor,” she says. “They just want to be served well like any other client would be served.”
So the argument, she says, isn’t necessarily that we need more Black CFPs because that’s what Black clients are looking for. We need more Black CFPs so clients have options for any preference they may have when they start looking for an advisor, she says.