Look who’s investing now

Led by GenXers, African Americans are getting savvier about their finances

The vast majority of African Americans (88%) are saving and investing money outside of their retirement funds in stocks, bonds, mutual and money market funds and/or real estate, according to the 1999 black bnterprise Financial Survey.

Comprised of over 1,000 respondents, the survey indicates the average black stock owner has been in the market for approximately five years and started investing at age 28, mainly through work, e.g., in company savings plans. Of those who don’t invest, slightly more than half say they don’t have enough money, while about a third feel they lack adequate information.

So where do African Americans go to get financial information? The two primary sources are about evenly split between the Internet and financial publications. While only a small percentage (14%) of black investors learned about investing from their parents, half of them now talk to their kids about money matters.

About half of those surveyed by be say they would prefer to work with a financial planner of the same race, although less than a third use the services of an investment advisor. And while most say they haven’t personally been mistreated by a financial firm, 87% believe that lending institutions still discriminate against black borrowers. Nonetheless, 82% say they’re better off today than they were five years ago.

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