A financial advisor is a professional who helps their clients accomplish their financial goals, which can involve more than just performing trades. Historically, there have been very few Black financial advisors in the United States. Especially in the context of the financial literacy gap, matching with advisors that you believe have an understanding of the pressures on your life is important.
According to a comprehensive review of financial planners in the U.S. using 2017 data, less than 3.5% of the 80,000 certified financial planners in the United States were Black or Hispanic. That number has grown since and is now at about 4,196 Black and Hispanic professionals, an increase of 13.8% over 2020, which was a bigger growth rate than other categories of CFPs.
- Historically, there have been relatively few Black financial advisors in the United States, although the amount has grown since a study published in 2018 caused a stir by revealing that less than 3.5% of the 80,000 certified financial planners in the country were Black or Hispanic.
- "Financial advisor" is a broad term, encompassing a lot of different types of professionals, including many non-certified professionals who aren't licensed to sell financial products.
- Considering the racial gap in financial literacy, using financial professionals who understand the pressures on the individual seeking advice may be important.
"Financial advisor" is a broad term, encompassing a lot of different types of professionals, including many non-certified professionals who aren't licensed to sell financial products. Those included on this list professionally offer advice related to finances, including informal advisors, and they may not necessarily be certified, a process that requires more rigorous training. There are numerous other notable Black financial advisors, and this list is not meant to be exhaustive.
Known as "The Budgetnista," Tiffany Aliche runs the "Brown Ambition" podcast with the former journalist Mandi Woodruff. One of Aliche's books, Get Good with Money, was a New York Times Best-seller. She was also an NAACP Image Award Nominee and the first Black woman to appear unaccompanied on the cover of Money Magazine, according to information from her podcast's site.
At the height of the Great Recession, Kretchmer daycare, where Aliche had worked as a teacher for seven years, lost its financing. Around the same time, Aliche fell prey to a credit card scam that left her $35,000 in debt. "I lost everything," she says. "I ended up moving back home with my parents because I could no longer afford my mortgage and the bank took my home." After a period of "deep sadness," Aliche rebuilt and began a financial education services firm, focusing on "places that nobody else wanted to go." She got her first big financial education contract with United Way and would then expand her business, collecting the accolades mentioned above.
Financial Education in New Jersey
In 2019, Aliche drafted a bill (Law A1414) with New Jersey Assemblyperson Angela McKnight that mandated financial literacy teaching in sixth through eighth grade in schools in the state.
Choncé Maddox Rhea
A writer, financial coach, and certified financial educator known for her work with millennials and Gen Z, Choncé Maddox Rhea runs the "My Debt Epiphany" blog.
Before she was an advisor, Rhea was a single mother on government assistance. Rhea says that her lowest moment came in 2013 when she had to scour a parking lot for quarters in order to wash her clothes. After that, she built up a career and life over the next few years while paying off debt. A side hustle freelancing about money eventually turned into a full-time career and calling.
Marsha Horton Barnes
CEO and founder of The Finance Bar Marsha Horton Barnes is a certified financial educator and financial social worker who has been featured in numerous publications. In 2018, Barnes was selected as GoBankingRates best money expert in the "Building Net Worth" category.
Barnes is known for offering financial advice out of a mobile office in a green 1988 bus, which she has told interviewers she did in order to seek out people who need financial advice but can't come to find a traditional office, like those living in homeless shelters. Her operation is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Prior to founding The Finance Bar, Barnes worked at Wells Fargo & Company (WFC).
Known as "The Financial Motivator," Ash "Cash" Exantus is an author and the founder and CEO of MindRight Money Management. The company is known for blending personal finance with music.
Born and raised in the St. Nicholas public housing development in Harlem, Exantus said that he was involved in his "share of mischief" at a time when Harlem was high-crime, but that he "managed to escape unscathed" because of the people in his life. At 19 years old, he began to work as a teller, eventually becoming a vice president and branch manager at Chase Bank. He retired from banking at 30, but suffered from financial hardship and re-entered banking to manage a new credit union in the Queensbridge public housing development. Exantus eventually moved into financial advising.
Known as "America's Money Maven" and noted for her television appearances on The Steve Harvey Show, Dr. Oz, and Fox & Friends, Patrice Washington specializes in advising Black women about their finances. She is also the founder and CEO of Seek Wisdom, Find Wealth. Washington emphasizes that women ought to chase after purpose rather than money in order to have wealth in all aspects of their lives. She's written several books and she also runs the "Redefining Wealth With Patrice Washington" podcast.
The CEO and founder of Clever Girl Finance, Bola Sokunbi is also a certified financial education expert. In 2021, Sokunbi won the 2021 "Financial Education Instructor of the Year" award from the National Financial Educators Council, with press materials noting that Sokunbi had won because she empowers women by offering financial education in a "safe, nonjudgmental online community."
Sokunbi highlights her mother, whom she calls a "hustle queen," for teaching her about finance. After Sokunbi's father was forced to retire early due to health concerns, it was her mother who paid for her education, using money she'd put away over many years. "Seeing my mother make this sacrifice for me changed my life. It laid the foundation of me wanting to become financially successful, independent of anyone else," Sokunbi says.
Known for his quick advice, dispensed in "the time it takes to make a bag of popcorn," Browning runs the "Popcorn Finance" podcast, where he gives advice about finances and investing. The podcast has won several awards, including the Best New Personal Finance award in 2018 and the Consumer Excellence Award in Media in 2021. Browning has been featured in numerous news and financial publications, and he also works as a financial analyst.
Malik S. Lee
A certified financial planner, accredited portfolio management advisor, and chartered advisor in philanthropy, Malik S. Lee occasionally writes for financial publications and is the founder of Felton & Peel Wealth Management. Lee specializes in creating financial plans for people between 20 and 30 years of age, as well as retirement-aged people.
How Many Financial Advisors Are Black?
There are 4,196 Black and Hispanic certified financial advisors in the U.S., according to the latest available self-reported data from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
What Percentage of Financial Advisors Are Black?
Roughly 23.4% of the certified financial planners in the United States are Black or Hispanic, according to the latest available self-reported data.
Do Black Financial Advisors Networks Exist?
Yes, there are networks, including the Association of African American Financial Advisors.
The Bottom Line
The number of Black certified financial planners has grown significantly since 2018. Considering the racial gap in financial literacy, using financial professionals who understand the pressures on the individual seeking advice may be important.