As a generation of Latino professionals enters the workforce, the need for sound financial advice is at a premium. Thanks to Mass Mutual, that responsibility is being met.
David Hufnagel, Latino Markets director at Mass Mutual, knows all too well that the journey to financial literacy is not always easy or immediate. Moreover, investing in education has been a pursuit decades in the making.
"I'm third generation from Argentina and like many Hispanics, I came here to further my education. Like many of us, I worked full time to get an undergraduate degree and I was the first in my family to do so. I wanted to grow, so I moved on to my master's degree," said Hufnagel.
Planning for the future was far more than a business venture for the newest addition to the Mass Mutual team. It was personal when he became cognizant of the lack of financial foresight common among a large section of Latinos.
In many ways, that was the impetus to embark on an educational and diversifying journey.
"For the past 12 years, I worked in the financial industry. I've seen it with my own eyes that my family has not had the financial education to make the right decisions and protect themselves and their loved ones for their [investment] future," Hufnagel continued.
Among the challenges Hufnagel and many other Latinos in the business world faced was to adapt to a very different corporate culture rooted in individual achievement. So much of what characterizes the Hispanic tradition is a strong sense of communal gain.
Yet it was the efforts of the financial giant that swayed the native Argentine to take a closer look at a new opportunity.
"When I started seeing what Mass Mutual was doing in giving back to the community, that was very important to showing they were [dedicated] to expansion and educating the Latino [population]," Hufnagel said. "What really sold me was a program they have called 'Life Bridge,' which offers free life insurance to certain individuals."
The initiative provides a life insurance policy for parents in a certain segment of the population, and in the event that policy must pay out, the children receive $50,000 to be earmarked for education.
Although he's only been in his post for a year, the decade of experience that preceded his move to Mass Mutual was the perfect primer for Hufnagel to reach out to an underserved public in the investment market. Mass Mutual's full slate of products was more than a selling point for Hufnagel; it became the...