New Merrill Research Explores Financial Attitudes and Priorities Across Black/African American, Hispanic-Latino and LGBTQ+ Communities

NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Merrill Wealth Management published three studies examining the financial challenges, concerns and successes of the affluent Black/African American, LGBTQ+ and Hispanic-Latino communities in the United States. "Diverse Viewpoints: Trends Reports" builds on past research and uncovers how these groups navigated a tumultuous economic environment created by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation.

(PRNewsfoto/Bank of America Corporation)

"Merrill has a strong appreciation for the varied financial paths and experiences of our diverse client base," said Kenneth Correa, head of business and client development at Merrill. "This research series has enhanced our understanding of these communities' financial needs and how to best support them."

Conducted by Ipsos, the research found giving back to ones' community and setting up future generations for success as key themes.

  • The Black/African American community is highly motivated to help others (48% vs. 18% of the affluent general population), strive to set an example for others (48% vs. 41%) and teach others by sharing their knowledge (46% vs. 32%).
  • The Hispanic-Latino community feel a strong sense of responsibility to help community members succeed (46% vs. 19% of the general affluent population).
  • The LGBTQ+ community places great importance on community (22% vs. 9% of the general affluent population) and are more motivated to give back (18% vs. 14%).

The research broke down key motivators and challenges that impact financial decisions for these communities:

Motivators

  • Black/African American: The community is considerably more likely to say starting a business is an important goal (13% vs. 4% of the general population). Compared to the general affluent population, they are more motivated by ambition or desire for personal achievement, pursuing work they love and proving themselves to those who said they wouldn't succeed.
  • Hispanic-Latino: Consistent with 2019, family remains a top motivation for the community. They are more than twice as likely as the affluent general population to prioritize supporting parents and significantly more interested in learning how to financially prepare to care for aging parents (13% vs. 8%).
  • LGBTQ+: Top financial motivators for the community include living life how they want (39%), achieving financial independence (29%) and a thirst for new experiences (26%). Compared to 2019, starting a family has also increased in importance (4% in 2019 vs. 14% in 2023).

Challenges

  • Black/African American: In 2023, more members of the community experienced financial barriers (76%, up from 65% in 2019) and financial stress (85%, up from 81% in 2019). When compared to the general affluent population, the community reports more debt-related stress (18% vs. 12%), as well as the need to care for family members (15% vs. 6%).
  • Hispanic-Latino: The community is more likely than the affluent general population to experience financial barriers (83% vs. 50%) and financial stress (92% vs. 76%). Over the last four years, saving for retirement remained the top financial stressor (26% in 2023 and 2019). However, compared to 2019, more affluent Hispanic-Latinos say paying for day-to-day expenses (24% vs. 17%) and carrying debt (18% vs. 9%) are financial stressors.
  • LGBTQ+: Compared to 2019, more members of the community also experienced financial barriers (48% vs. 86%) and financial stress (79% vs. 94%).

"As with the first iteration of research, we hope these insights continue to spark meaningful conversations and further our ability to meet the needs of the diverse communities we serve," said Jen Auerbach Rodriguez, Merrill Strategic Growth and Client Development Executive.

Methodology

In partnership with Merrill, Ipsos conducted multiple waves of research starting in 2019 with the latest wave conducted in 2023, employing a variety of research methodologies. Ipsos synthesized and reviewed an array of publications and academic research on the topics of diversity, wealth and inclusion in financial services and beyond. A quantitative survey was also conducted among more than 1,000 members of each of the communities, with individuals with more than $100,000 in investable assets. Each community was compared to a representative sample of 1,000 affluent Americans, a group referred to in the reports as the affluent general population. Statistical analysis was conducted on all four groups to ensure representation, accuracy, and completeness.

Bank of America

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Reporters may contact:

Julia Ehrenfeld, Bank of America     
Phone: 1.646.855.3267
julia.ehrenfeld@bofa.com

 

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