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The financial services industry is overlooking or underserving a potentially huge and growing market according to a new study from the Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality, part of The American College of Financial Services.

The study, “Black Women, Trust, and Financial Services,” surveyed 3,500 middle-income Black women and found three in five expressed difficulty finding financial professionals or advisors they trust. The research concluded that engagement of the Black community within the financial services industry is largely transactional – not advisory. In addition, the study found that Black women are less aware of the different types of relationships they can have with financial advisors and institutions. This is an especially concerning finding, it said, given Black women play prominent earning and financial decision-making roles in Black households.

The study’s authors said the existence of the issues are well known, but they hoped to probe deeper.

“Knowing it is one thing, but understanding the root causes is another,” said Pamela Jolly, senior strategist at The American College of Financial Services. “And so, we sought to understand the financial behaviors, experiences and actual causes of it so that we could help the financial services industry navigate a way beyond that. So, while on the surface, it may seem like ‘tell me something I don't know.’ But underneath that are some real opportunities for the financial services industry.”

The study concludes that the industry must start providing trusted advice that is tailored to Black women who desire to better to navigate the current economic climate.

If you liked this article, check out NAIFA's eBook featuring "Why the Industry Needs More African-American Female Advisors."

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