Your Thriving Practice

Greater Diversity, New Opportunities for Financial Professionals

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Speaker 1 (00:08): Welcome back to Your Thriving Practice, a podcast from Global Atlantic. I'm your host, Dan Corcoran Global Atlantic is a leading retirement and life insurance company that creates innovative products to help meet your client's financial goals. In this series of episodes, we'll explore the financial landscape of two rapidly growing demographic groups, Latinos and Asian Americans. Many individuals in these groups have not actively sought out guidance from financial professionals. Only 18% of Latinos and 12% of Asian Americans currently have financial representation compared to 38% of the general population. But the potential for growth is great. Financial professionals across the country have an opportunity to expand their client base by targeting these growing populations and helping them to better understand the financial instruments at their disposal that could help them achieve greater gains with their financial goals, whether it's for savings, education, home ownership, or business formation. To take a closer look at these two groups, break down cultural barriers, and inform financial professionals how to better serve Latino and Asian-American communities, we've got a team of experts ready to lend their expertise. Joining us today is Bill Crane, senior vice president of market development at Global Atlantic. Bill, welcome.

Speaker 2 (01:31): Thank you, Dan. It's great to be here to discuss this interesting topic with you today.

Speaker 1 (01:35): Also with us is Javier Pena, Multicultural manager at Global Atlantic with a focus on the Hispanic, Latino US market. Thanks for being here, Javier. Thanks for having meeting Dan. And finally, Joey, senior advanced markets analyst at Global Atlantic with a focus on the Asian American market. Joey, welcome to you.

Speaker 3 (01:54): Thanks, Ben. Great to be here.

Speaker 1 (01:55): So let's kick things off with some opening thoughts. Joey, we're gonna start with you. When you think about the Asian American market and what financial professionals need to know, what's the first thing that comes to your mind?

Speaker 3 (02:07): When we look at Asian American, the first thing we need to look into is how compelling the Asian American market is to the us, including the financial services industry. So data is showing us that this market is expanding. The Asian American population is experiencing the highest growth rate of any multicultural segment based on a census report that making up one of the potential big markets in the United States. And this segments also provide a business growth opportunity with affluent and highly educated customer base making Asian American a key market for financial instruments.

Speaker 1 (02:47): There's just so much opportunity to talk about today. Javier, what's top of your mind when it comes to financial professionals and what they should understand about the Latino market? Thank you, Dan. Yes, it's a really good

Speaker 4 (02:58): Question. Question. So one thing I wanna keep in mind is that the Latino Hispanic market is not an opportunity. It is a necessity. There are over 62 million Latinos in the US representing nearly 19% of the total US population according to the pure research center. So when we think about this, let's think about the population in Canada. There are 32 millions right now. So think about that. In addition to that, in 2020, the Hispanic buying power was 1.7 trillion. Another thing to keep in mind is that Latinos or Hispanics start more business per capita than any other racial or ethnic group in the us. That's huge. Latinos are not a monolithic group and should not be treated as such. We need to understand, incorporate the cultural nuances into the message that will resonate with them. We heard throughout the years that the spotlight on Hispanic consumer has been mostly focused on the youth and the increased share of the US population. More specific, the US millennials, but it's actually Hispanic 50 years and older who are right now responsible for much of the Hispanic populations influence empowered today in America.

Speaker 1 (04:17): And Bill, you just heard what Javier and Joey have been saying. Can you share with us why it's been so important for Global Atlantic to focus on the Latino and Asian American markets and what global Atlantic can bring to these markets?

Speaker 2 (04:31): Yeah, thanks Dan. This is an incredible opportunity. I think not only is it huge market, but there is a critical need. The statistics have shown, surveys have shown that the needs of these communities from a financial perspective have not been addressed. And I loved how Javier used the word necessity. I know there's been a lot of statistics. I'm gonna throw one more out there, which I thought was compelling. In the 2020 census a couple years ago, 82 million Americans identified as either Hispanic or Asian Americans. And to put that in perspective, that is the combined populations of California, New York and Florida. So three of our largest states. And so there was this incredible financial need for the populations of California, New York, and Florida. What would financial professionals, firms, insurance carriers do? They would find a way to access that market, of course. And so this opportunity with Latinos and with Asian Americans is right there in front of us.

Speaker 2 (05:25): And I think the time is right now, I think 10, 20 years from now, financial professionals who don't take advantage of this are gonna look back and say, I wish I had done that. And one final thought, it's one of those things where we can all really give back to our community and make our society stronger. Any survey shows, if you go out there and Google it, that there is a financial literacy gap for these two communities in particular. And we have such great expertise and knowledge here at Global Atlantic and other carriers, our financial professionals can do so much to go out there and close that financial literacy gap. And so not only is it a great business opportunity, but a great opportunity for all of us to have a better country, a better society.

Speaker 1 (06:04): And Bill, as you say, these are huge segments of the population. So what do you see as a barrier of entry for financial professionals trying to engage these multicultural demographics?

Speaker 2 (06:15): There's a reason that some of these groups have been overlooked that the needs have not been addressed of Latinos and Asian Americans. Let me divide these groups into two. One is the in culture group. And so what I mean by that is a Hispanic financial professional working with Hispanic clients, they of course understand the culture well, the customs, the traditions, they don't need any training in that area. But what they do need is a partner. They need resources and carriers like Global Atlanta can provide that. And more specifically, they might need translated materials. Many of their clients may be immigrants who prefer to speak in in Spanish or Chinese or Korean. And so having translated materials is helpful. Training. Some of our financial professionals prefer to train in different languages, especially when some of the terms for our products can be very technical. So providing training in language and maybe more important than translation is creating content, whether it's marketing pieces, product pieces that are what we call culturally relevant.

Speaker 2 (07:20): They're tailored and customized to connect with these populations. And so that's a place where global Atlantic and other carriers can help. I'll switch over to the, what I'll call not and culture financial professionals. So someone for example, who's working with Hispanic clients but is not Hispanic, they may need some cultural training. Now, you know, I think this is not a hurdle that people cannot overcome. I think maybe there is a lot of fear by financial professionals to do this, but this is something that financial professionals can learn. They don't have to speak Spanish to work with Hispanic clients. They don't have to be Chinese. To work with Chinese American clients. And just learning some of the customs, some of the traditions, recognizing holidays, sending out a mailer to recognize holidays that aren't typically celebrated in the United States can go a really long way and can provide financial professionals with access to these communities and a great opportunity to grow their business.

Speaker 1 (08:14): So Joey, where are some of the key growth opportunities or necessities as Javier accurately puts it for financial professionals, especially when it comes to approaching these populations about specific financial instruments

Speaker 3 (08:27): Based on the data, like what we we talked about earlier, Asian American are generally good favors and they value legacy planning. Many of the older generations, they have long-term vision investment in planning for the next generation. Often they are the group of investors who can be highly conservative and risk averse than other racial group. And most of the time they stick investment products with accumulation and guarantee features. Whenever you talk to the customers, they heard the word of guarantees, they're very excited about that. And the other group of the investor who will show interest life insurance products and annuities with guarantee riders. But I think the most part, to help the financial professional to advance the of business opportunities in this market, education has to take part. Think about the different generation of Asian-American. If you look at the first generation or new immigrants, they often lack of the understandings of the financial instrument that offer in the US as compare to their country of origin. And then the second generation, this is a very unique group that fully exposed to the American value. But at the same time, they still have a very strong connection to their first generation parents. They are fluent in English and highly educated, making them have high expectations of financial, professional and financial instruments that they can use in the investment portfolio. So that makes education important. And this should come from the financial partners and us to show the clients how the financial instruments work and the value of working with the financial professional in the

Speaker 1 (10:04): Market. And Javier, Joey's right, this is not a one size fits all approach. So what's unique about the financial planning needs of each of these groups here,

Speaker 4 (10:12): When we, for example, the Hispanic community, there is one thing that is really unique. It's how cultural influence can impact Latino Hispanic financial planning. And what I mean with that is that it's critical to understand their experience, what motivat them and the goals when engaging with the community. So let me give you just an example for the Hispanic side. Family is really important if we think about this for people of all cultural background, family is often a primary influence when it comes to financial decisions. But this is particularly true in the Hispanic cultural, especially for those early aul levels of Hispanics that are just arrived to this country where the attitude toward retirement and money are formed with the family. The other thing is like Joy pointed out, or with the Asian market, they are very risk averse, very conservative. So when I was saying about we need to understand the experience, what motivates them, it's what's their journey since they arrive here in the us, are they understanding the financial system? What stage of education are they in on the financial system in the us? So that's really important. Understanding the experience is important as far as when we talk about financial planning.

Speaker 2 (11:32): To Javier's point there, he mentioned family. And we see this in surveys of both of these groups, Hispanic and Asian Americans, that family and community are critical. Now these are things that are important for everybody, but especially these groups, when you look at surveys, these are really important values. And so when we talk to financial professionals will highlight these values and that they're important. And where I think this really ties in is our products. So we've talked a lot about how large these groups are, the buying power of these groups, that there's a financial need and then you need to tie in The last part of that is our products can help solve their problems and address those needs that they have. Because when you're talking about family in these communities, our products work. Well, let me give you an example. You probably heard of the sandwich generation.

Speaker 2 (12:25): This is something that was talked a lot about in the media here at Global Atlantic. We've had articles on the sandwich generation. This is people who are taking care of their young children and also taking care of their parents as they age. I probably like millions of people have had experience with this. But if you look at surveys, this especially impacts Hispanic and Asian-American communities who are very family-oriented and feel a very strong obligation to care or their parents as they age. So what are things that parents can do to help their children with this obligation understanding, you know, this is where the path is gonna go. They can buy an annuity, and annuity provides that lifetime stream of income that can't be outlived. So that longevity risk where kids might have to pay for their parents as a age and don't have income can be addressed with an annuity.

Speaker 2 (13:12): Long term care, many life insurance and annuity products have long term care benefits or living benefits that can address medical care later in life. And so to have a long term care policy available where children can use money to bring in nursing care into the home to take care of their parents can be really important. Now, life insurance, there's probably not much more you can do for your family if you're providing financially or in some other way to make sure that your family is protected in the event of your death. All of these products really go to the heart of family and community. And so that's another reason why there's a great opportunity in financial professionals selling life insurance and annuities should take notice of these markets.

Speaker 1 (13:55): So Bill, let's talk about some numbers here. Why is there such a small percentage of Latinos and Asian Americans actually represented by financial professionals? Is part of that circumstance a lack of representation in the financial sector itself?

Speaker 2 (14:09): Absolutely. There is a big issue with a lack of representation in the financial sector. So the board of standards last year released statistics of certified financial professionals and 83% of certified financial professionals were white. 3.9% were Asian and only 2.7% were Hispanic. So those percentages for Asian and Hispanic are below their percentage of the overall population. So this is an issue that the industry is aware of and the industry is working to solve it, but it's, it's going to take a lot of time. And so that's why there is a need and necessity for those not in culture financial professionals to try to fill the gap. There's a lot of reasons why Asian Americans and Hispanics are seeking financial advice at lower numbers. Many people in these groups are immigrants or they're first generation immigrants may come from countries that have much different financial systems. So it can be challenging to learn the financial system in the US even first generation can struggle because many people learn and obtain their financial education from their parents. And if your parents are immigrants who are not familiar with the US financial system, it can be a challenge. So this is something that's going to take time. But again, the expertise, the resources of carriers and financial professionals consult this issue a lot faster if they engage with these communities.

Speaker 4 (15:28): If I can add something here to what Bill is saying about financial professionals in the general population, there is a misconception of financial, professional or financial advice that it's too expensive that an average person won't be able to afford. So add to that another barrier beside some of the Hispanics going to seek financial professional, they have the barrier for the language. Second concept understanding and then thinking that it's going to be too expensive to hire a financial professional.

Speaker 1 (15:56): And Javier part of that process is actually learning the US financial system. So how should financial professionals approach populations that have been here for generations compared to those who have just arrived or for clients of different ages, especially those younger clients?

Speaker 4 (16:12): Trust is important when you are engaging this community, provide the educational financial concepts and address financial literacy that is understandable. There is a lack of financial literacy, not financial discipline. I go back to my comment before saying we need to understand their journey as immigrants, how they came to this country and how they're being exposed to the financial industry. When we think about financial discipline on the Hispanic side, they're helping two families, they're helping their family here in the US and they're helping their family in their country of origin. That is financial discipline, but they don't have the knowledge or the vehicles where they can direct that money in a different path. Also offer options that appeal to conservative investment mindset. Especially when they come to a foreign country, they don't know the financial system, they don't know much of the product. And of course work with a carrier that goes beyond simply translating to provide meaningful cultural materials or pieces that are relevant to the Hispanic market.

Speaker 1 (17:14): And Joey Global Atlantic, as we know is an annuity provider. What place does the annuity product have in a multicultural market and why does it fit there?

Speaker 3 (17:25): I think an annuity is one of the investment vehicles that complements the investment portfolio, especially when it comes to retirement planning. There's still a lot that the financial professional can do to bring conversation with their client to help them to understand how an annuity works. For example, some Asian Americans, they have higher than average incomes during the working years and many continue to work after retirement and may have income from another type of investment. In this case, tax defer can be one of the important features that they can utilize through anonymity and tie back the views point, this segment is largely family oriented. So based on the peer research report, near about a quarter of Asian Americans live in the multi-generational households. So when mix of the generations live in one home, the whole different financial pleasures and goals. So a set of financial planning that can assist them in setting three pools of money for themself.

Speaker 3 (18:26): The parents children is always a priority. But no one is telling you that you need to plan for retirement. So there's a gap that the financial professional can fill in. So annuity, it's a great investment product that can open up a window for the financial professional to start a conversation with the client. And another fun fact that I would like to share is the Asian American populations have the highest life expectancy, which is 85.6 years old, which is seven years over the general populations based on the United States life table. So the risk of leav too long refers to the potential that the person might out their failing and Asians, Americans ran retirement as apriority in the fund, the financial planning, but many still uncertain about the length of their retirement, which they have no idea how much they need to spend during their retirement life. Plus Asian Americans are caring for multi-generation as we mentioned earlier. So this process, extra challenge for them in retirement planning. And here's why the financial professionals and us to the few and the get

Speaker 1 (19:30): The risk of living too long. That's a phrase that will stick with me and with our listeners I'm sure. So Bill, let's talk about what Global Atlantic's multicultural plan is moving forward.

Speaker 2 (19:42): But a high level, this is all about commitment. So Global Atlantic intends to engage and companies and financial professionals who want to engage multicultural markets need to commit. We also want to partner with our financial professionals who are either in culture or interested in this market and that that's how we've learned. We have great experts in Joey and Javier as you've heard through this podcast. But we love to engage with our financial professionals and they have, you know, so many good ideas. We're gonna continue to look for opportunities to build marketing content, whether it's, it's translated or Javier talked about trans creation where we'll modify her materials in order to connect with these audiences. We'll continue to train. Joey has had a lot of success training financial professionals in Mandarin Chinese, which is, you know, very unusual in this market. But she has been able to use her knowledge and her fluency in Mandarin to train financial professionals on products and on value added content in Mandarin.

Speaker 2 (20:38): So that's something that we'll continue to do and and look to expand into Spanish with Javier. We're going to look at products, this is a little ways down the road, but looking at potential products that work in these markets and how we can tailor them for the needs of these communities. We'll continue to support organizations, embed ourselves in communities and show that commitment that I mentioned of really wanting to work and be a part of these communities. So a lot of work to do, but it's, it's fun, it's exciting and it's going to be successful. I'm confident.

Speaker 1 (21:08): And before we go, I just wanna ask each of you for some final thoughts. Such an important conversation. Why are you so excited to talk about this topic and what do you want others to know about it going forward? And Joey will start with you.

Speaker 3 (21:21): Multicultural is a very hot topic, especially this few years and I feel so fared being part of those initiatives. So when we work on this, we really need to think about the customer experience. This will be a great message that we want to pass out to the financial professionals and the customers on market that we adhere to seek first to understand what our client needs and and wants, especially in this industry and how we can help them to really achieve their financial grow. At the same time we can create trust and build credibly with them, something which I think is, is very valuable to this

Speaker 1 (21:56): Industry. And Javier, big picture, final thoughts from you?

Speaker 4 (21:59): Yeah, so to me it's a little bit, it's personal, the topic of multicultural and especially the Hispanic, cuz I, I'm an immigrant and I seen during the years that I've been here in the US how much opportunity you could have to save for retirement that in our countries do not exist. So that's what is so personal to me. So much information that we don't know because we miss the mark as far as different barriers that we have when we come to this country. And I would just wanna pass my knowledge and my experience to the Hispanic community

Speaker 1 (22:32): And Bill.

Speaker 2 (22:32): Yeah, thanks Dan. I think this is one of those opportunities that doesn't come around very often. It, it's one of those opportunities that has a clear business need and companies can work to address it. We know as financial professionals and people in the financial industry how much we can help people. There is a financial literacy gap, not only in multicultural communities but across the country. And we know how much we can give back. And so I think now is the time for carriers or financial professionals to get engaged. There are tools or our resources come to our team we can help. And I think all financial professionals to do this will be better off for

Speaker 1 (23:08): It. People are probably listening to this and wondering where they can get some more information. So where can they,

Speaker 4 (23:14): Yeah, Dan, So we developed your thriving I encourage everybody to go and look on the website where you find a lot of value add information. We are also putting together some other articles that are related to the multicultural from the Asian and Hispanic standpoint and a few podcasts that are coming up down the road. So encourage everybody to look at that great information and if they have any other topics that they want us to touch on, let us know. We will be happy to also touch on that.

Speaker 1 (23:42): It's a great conversation and an important conversation. Bill. Javier, Joey, thank you all for your time today. Thank you Dan. And thank you to our listeners too. This is episode one for three part series. In episode two, we'll dig deeper into the US Latino population with help of Javier as well as special guest, Louis Barajas, President of NGO Private Wealth. In episode three, we'll shift the focus to the US Asian American population with Joey and Fred Wong, a managing director of Forest Hills Financial Group in New York. Until then, I'm Dent Cran. Thanks so much for listening. Global Atlantic, You Are Thriving Practice Podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts as well as by visiting global

Speaker 5 (24:41): The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the guests on this podcast do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of Global Atlantic Financial Group. Global Atlantic Financial Group, Global Atlantic is the marketing name for the Global Atlantic Financial Group LLC and its subsidiaries including Forethought Life Insurance Company and Accordia Life and Annuity Company. Each subsidiary is responsible for its own financial and contractual obligations. These subsidiaries are not authorized to do business in New York.

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