Team Modernist on Equity in Financial Services, New Teammates, and the Guerrilla Girls

This month we’re sharing thoughts on equity in our industry, hiring plans and protest art. We hope you enjoy.

Nerds of note on equity in financial services

Modernist Financial runs on a set of core values that underlie our every action:

INVITE & INCLUDE
INVEST IN PEOPLE
INNOVATE & ITERATE
DO GOOD WORK & DO IT WELL


Lately, we’ve been focused on the first two, largely in reaction to the statistically white, male, 50+ year-old face of the financial planning industry.

Of all advisors, 17% are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™, which is arguably the most rigorous designation in our business. According to the CFP Board's professional demographics report, there are more CFPs over 60 than there are 20 & 30-somethings combined. Only 23% of CFPs are women.

The CFP Board doesn’t track racial representation but Investment News, an industry publication, has conducted surveys of professionals who fall under the broader “financial advisor” descriptor. They found that of the 434,000 U.S. financial advisors more than 79% are white, even though white people only make up 63% of the U.S. population. African-American, Asian and Latinx advisors together make up 20% of advisors, even though they constitute 36% of the population.

And we couldn’t find statistics about LGBTQ representation at all!

In our opinion, this is a damn shame. Our industry generally allows for flexible hours, continual learning and a higher-than-living-wage. The failure to actively recruit from the entire population precludes many capable people from enjoying the benefits of this profession. In addition, since this is a relationship-driven business, advisors tend to serve people from their own community, which leaves the underrepresented without access to the services they need.

We need your help!

Now that we’ve outlined the problem, we should probably offer some solutions! We are working to open the door for people who don’t usually get an invitation. So, as we grow our team this fall, we want applicants who don’t think the financial services industry is an option for them.

This means we are looking far and wide for potential candidates, and would love it if you helped us spread the word!

Modernist’s new Office Coordinator will manage the flow of the firm’s time and physical space as we continue to grow at warp-speed. This position won’t require any industry experience—the skills we need can spring from many backgrounds: creativity, humanist values, and a love of people and tasks! Modernist will provide training and education to support our new teammate as they build expertise over time.

More detail about the position is available at modernistfinancial.com/careers.

Art that's really about equity

Sometimes, all of this inequality can get you down. Thankfully, the Guerrilla Girls are there to inject some humor into the struggle. If you are not familiar, the Guerrilla Girls are anonymous Feminist artists who have been shaking up the art world since 1985 with protest and postering campaigns. Their “Advantages of Being a Woman Artist” poster is one of our favorites (as you may know if you have visited our office or seen our Manifesto):

Guerilla Girls.jpg

Copyright © Guerrilla Girls, courtesy of guerrillagirls.com

Visit their store to get your own copy of this and other eye-opening posters.

Portfolio perspectives

Last month we discussed residential real estate’s impact on personal financial planning. This month, our investment committee fills in more of the picture with a discussion of real estate as an investment asset.

Read on for their take on REITs here.