For the estimated 56.6 million Latinos in the United States, attaining the American dream extends beyond family roots. It means planning for the financial future of the largest minority block in the country.
Financial planning, including the insurance market, is evolving to a much more culturally inclusive sales approach. As Hispanic buying power totaled $1.7 trillion in 2017, firms not investing in cultural competency are turning their back on lucrative profit margins.
Lizzie Dipp Metzger, a financial advisor for Eagle Strategies LLC, an insurance agent for New York Life Insurance Company and a registered representative of NYLIFE Securities LLC, is at the forefront of this emerging market sector.
Broaching the subject of responsible and adequate financial planning with the Hispanic community is equal parts sales pitch and family meeting. El Paso, her home base, offers no shortage of practice with either. It also does not hurt that the Sun City is also her hometown.
"I work with business owners, physicians, and executives to help them crystallize their personal and business goals and create a long-term plan to achieve those goals," Metzger said.
"I meet a lot of clients who are uncomfortable speaking about their finances. It seems that more and more people don't discuss their finances at home, making it even more uncomfortable of a subject."
A fascination with solving problems that started with basic jigsaw puzzles as a kid soon grew too complex math problems in school. Real world applications came by way of learning personal finance, taxes and real estate behind her family's businesses. If her childhood was not the perfect primer for a life in commerce, her Bachelor's Degree in International Relations from Pomona College and Master's Degree in Financial Services from American College was.
Once back in El Paso, starting the conversation about financial literacy was not always easy. Confronting the fear and sometimes embarrassment on behalf of clients when discussing their personal finances began with getting honest about debt.
In a culture often reluctant to talk about money, Metzger started with asking a simple question. What do you want to achieve with your income?
"Financial illiteracy is not only a serious issue with Latinos, it is an epidemic among all communities," Metzger explained. "Parents need to start talking with their kids, who are the future leaders of our communities, about bills, debt, income, and how to save for the...