Ethnic background is not a significant factor in how Affluent investors feel about investing.
Does ethnic background influence financial attitudes and behaviors? In addition to factors such as age, gender, or occupation, are there differences in how one makes financial decisions based upon ethnicity? Or are financial affairs and investing similar, regardless of one’s ethnic background?
A new Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner study explores the attitudes and behaviors of Affluent Blacks, Hispanics, and Asian investors with a net worth of at least $100,000 (not including primary residence). It finds common ground and some subtle differences in attitudes toward investing and engagement with a financial advisor.
All American investors surveyed, no matter their ethnic background, attribute their success to hard work and education. Hispanics, the Millionaire Corner study found, place an especial premium on these factors. Ninety six percent (vs. 94 percent of overall Affluent investors surveyed) attribute their success to hard work, while 88 percent (vs. 84 percent overall) credit their education.
Ethnic background is not a significant factor in how Affluent investors feel about investing. A majority (59 percent) report they do not enjoy it. Blacks were most likely to share this aversion (74 percent) compared with Hispanics (62 percent) and Asians (53 percent).
Nor does a majority like to be actively involved in the day-to-day management of their investments. Just 44 percent of Asian investors said they like to be so engaged with their portfolios. 43 percent of Hispanics and 37 percent of Blacks.
Perhaps this aversion can be related to a self-reported lack of confidence in their investment knowledge. The majority of Blacks (62 percent), Hispanics (54 percent) and Asians (56 percent) consider themselves “fairly knowledgeable” about financial products and investments, but still with a great deal to learn. Each group was more likely than surveyed Affluent investors overall to say they are not very knowledgeable, and less likely to say they were very knowledgeable.
And yet, Black and Asian investors are significantly more likely to identify themselves as self-directed investors, meaning they make all of their own investment decisions. Forty-six percent of Asians and 42 percent of Blacks identify themselves as such. The highest percentage of Hispanics (35 percent) identify themselves as event-driven investors, meaning they consult with a financial advisor for specific purposes such as asset allocation and retirement planning.
There is little difference in investment risk based on ethnicity. The highest majority of Affluent investors define their investment risk tolerance as “moderate," with Blacks being more likely to consider themselves “conservative” investors. Most investors, regardless of ethnicity, focus first on the level of risk when selecting an investment. Secondly, they consider the reputation of the companies where the investment is made and the diversity of their investments, followed by the investment’s track record.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.