Trying to woo Hispanic clients? Talk to them about simple, risk-free investment products.
According to a recent Wells Fargo survey, Hispanic Americans are notably more risk-averse than other groups. Almost half (47%) of the Hispanic investors surveyed said they prefer to put money for the future into savings with no risk of losing it, compared with 35% of U.S. investors overall who said the same.
More than half (56%) viewed bank accounts or real estate as the best place to park their savings. In contrast, fewer than half (45%) of all U.S. investors felt the same way about the two savings and investment options.
Hispanic investor's adversity to financial risk is "rooted in their experiences," said Emilio Vazquez, a senior vice president of Wealth Management and Infinex advisor at Continental National Bank in Miami. Vazquez likened their experience to that of Americans who lived through the Great Depression and were afraid to put their money in banks. Many Hispanic Americans, he said, come from countries whose governments and financial institutions were very unstable, citing Cuba where people's businesses, bank accounts and investments were "all taken away and lost overnight."
"It's hard for them to invest in something they don't understand with the experience they've gone through in their nation," Vazquez, whose clients are primarily Hispanic, said.
As a result, advisors should plan to spend more time with Hispanic Americans explaining the investment products available to them, Vazquez noted. Most have not been exposed to education related to mutual funds, stocks, bonds and insurance, he said.
Another factor that sets Hispanic investors apart from other groups is their deep connection to their families, the Wells Fargo survey found. Hispanic Americans are far more likely to lend and borrow money within their families, with almost 60% providing financial support to others, according to the survey. Of those providing financial support, 81% provide direct support by giving money or paying bills.
"For Hispanic American clients, the no. 1, no. 2 and no. 3 on their list of important things is family," Vazquez said, adding that they tend to give rather than lend family members money.
Their generosity, however, can sometimes hurt them. "Some of that money can come at the expense of a better retirement," Vazquez said. While he doesn't discourage clients from helping family members with down payments on homes or grandchildren's education funds, he does remind them of the impact it will have on their retirement savings.
The online survey polled 528 Hispanic investors nationwide between June 12 and June 24, 2014. Survey respondents were non-students, age 25 75, who were the primary or joint financial decision-maker in households with at least $10,000 in investable assets.