Exploring Wealth in the
Managing Director and Market Executive, Merrill
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Diverse Viewpoints Exploring Wealth in the Hispanic / Latino Community
Please see important information at the end of this program. Recorded on September 18, 2020.
KENNETH CORREA: Saludos a todos. Hello, everyone. I’m Kenneth Correa, managing director and market executive at Merrill.
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He / Him / His
Managing Director & Market Executive at Merrill
Chair of Merrill’s Hispanic/Latino Advisory Council
KENNETH CORREA: I am also the chair of Merrill’s Hispanic/Latino Advisory Council, so today’s conversation is near and dear to my heart. As part of our commitment to clearly understanding the needs of all of our clients,
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To better understand the financial needs of all of our clients, Merrill commissioned:
Exploring Wealth in the Hispanic / Latino Community
Download the report at ml.com/diversity
KENNETH CORREA: Merrill recently conducted a major study looking at the experiences and financial concerns of the affluent Hispanic/Latino community. I am delighted to be talking about some of the key findings of that study today.
Joining me for that discussion are Daisy Zuccardi.
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She / Her / Hers
Full-time mother of three
KENNETH CORREA: She’s an industrial engineer currently at home raising her three sons. Also, with us is Miguel Barbosa.
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He / Him / His
Over eight year of experience working in the financial sector and economic research
Pursuing an MBA at Baruch College
KENNETH CORREA: He has over eight years of experience working in the financial sector and economic research, and is currently working on an MBA at Baruch College with an emphasis in management and analytics. Also, with us is Mauricio Vivero.
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Over 20 years of executive experience in the philanthropic sector
Founder of Give 2 Cuba
KENNETH CORREA: He has over 20 years of executive experience in the philanthropic sector. He is the founder of Give 2 Cuba, a national platform to increase donor collaboration and philanthropy for Cuba. And last but not least is Tiffany DiCarlo.
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She / Her / Hers
Part-time registered pediatric nurse
Full-time mother of four
KENNETH CORREA: She is a part-time registered pediatric nurse and a full-time mother of four little boys. Bienvenidos a todos. Welcome, everyone. You’ve all had a chance to look at our new study. The research highlighted the incredible diversity in terms of heritage, race, nationality, and immigrant status within the Latino community. So, I think it would be appropriate for all of us to give a little biographical background on our heritage. And with that, Mauricio, perhaps you could start.
MAURICIO VIVERO: Sure. Thank you. So, I was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. as a refugee when I was five years old. I was raised in Manhattan and through the, you know, hard work and support of my parents, I was able to get a good education and eventually became a lawyer and have worked in the field of philanthropy for many years.
KENNETH CORREA: That's terrific. Thank you. How about you, Daisy?
DAISY ZUCCARDI: So, hello. Thank you. I was born and raised in Colombia and came to the United States in my early 20s without any knowledge of the language or anyone. And through hard work, I learned the language and was able to finish my degrees. I worked as an engineer for many years before I was married and decided to have my kids and stay home with the kids.
KENNETH CORREA: That's awesome. What about you, Tiffany?
TIFFANY DICARLO: So, I was born in Brooklyn, New York. My father immigrated to this country from Ecuador when he was just 18 years old, not knowing a word of English. He actually was washing dishes at Bell Atlantic when he met my mother, whose mother was from Puerto Rico. So, I’ve got a little bit of the Caribbean side and the South American side, which makes my culture just as rich. He proceeded to get a post-graduate degree in computer programming. He had a successful career with Philips Magnavox and now he’s in mortgage lending and with his true passion of real estate.
Education was always so important to my parents. So, I worked really hard for that. I went to school actually for accounting, landed in nursing, and I'm so happy and my parents have been really proud of that.
KENNETH CORREA: That's terrific. Great story. And Miguel?
MIGUEL BARBOSA: Yes, thank you, Kenneth. I'm originally from Colombia. I was born and raised in Bogota, the capital city. I’ve been living in the United States for the past 13 years or so. My parents came a little bit earlier than that just to set up everything for me and my sister. So, my whole family is living here in the U.S. And the main reason I came here was just to finish my college studies. I got a BA in economics in Queens College and I'm currently doing an MBA from Baruch College. And, yeah, I'm fully committed to the Latino community. And I really enjoy to engage and to participate in all that’s related to Latino community.
KENNETH CORREA: That's wonderful. By the way, fun fact, I also went to Queens College. So, we’re both Colombian and we went to Queens College. So, that’s awesome. So, thank you, thank you for sharing that.
KENNETH CORREA: It’s great that we have such a diverse representation here. I'd love to hear some initial thoughts about the findings. Daisy, overall, how did the study resonate with you?
DAISY ZUCCARDI: Thank you, Kenneth. I think that the study is very interesting, showing how the Hispanic community has grown so much in an economic way.
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[IMG ALT TEXT: Animated graphic starts at 4:53. Text on the screen reads: 52%: Latinos accounted for more than half of U.S. population growth from 2010 to 2019. The text at the bottom of the slide reads: Source: Pew Research Center, based on U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.]
DAISY ZUCCARDI: We come to this country with aspirations of improving our lives, and the research proves that we have been able to create enough opportunities to do so and to help others, regardless of the political environment that surrounds them.
KENNETH CORREA: Yeah. That's spot on. So, the core findings of the study can be summed up in one word, familia or family.
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[IMG ALT TEXT: Animated graphic starts at 5:22. Text on the left reads: Hispanics/Latinos who say family is the most important aspect of life for them. The animation shows a hollow pie chart filling in nearly two-thirds of the way: the number at the center is 68%. The text at the bottom of the slide reads: Source: “Diverse Viewpoints: Exploring Wealth in the Hispanic/Latino Community,” Merrill and Ipsos, 2020]
KENNETH CORREA: For starters, the survey found that affluent Latinos were more likely than the general population to recognize that their parents have had a positive influence on their financial choices. So, Miguel, you spoke about your mother and how her savings habits influenced your behaviors. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
MIGUEL BARBOSA: Yes. Thank you, Kenneth. And, yeah, my mother is a great person. I love my mother. She’s a hardworking person, entrepreneurial person. And out of that, she got idea that savings is something really important for business and for, you know, life in general. So, since I was a little boy, she kept telling me, “Hey, you need to save, hey, you need to, you know, not only save for the things you want to buy, but for the future, for rainy days, for maybe great opportunities in the future, maybe investment opportunities that may come up.” And she still — even though I'm an adult right now — she keeps telling me to keep saving and that’s what I do. That sticks in my mind every day and that’s something I really try to do to, yeah, to have some financial stability.
KENNETH CORREA: Yeah. Our mamas always know. They always know best. So, yeah, so just staying on the topic of family, so family can present financial challenges too, of course. Affluent Latinos were four times more likely to say that they’re supporting aging parents compared to the general population and four times more likely to list planning to financially assist or support aging parents as the most important financial goal. Is that a goal for all of you? And, Tiffany, you mentioned that you expect to support your parents someday. Why don’t you go first?
TIFFANY DICARLO: Yeah. So, I think that, you know, because my parents were divorced, my father, he was super-hardworking. You know, he went to college. He got a career right away. And my mother was at home taking care of the children, and I feel like she put so much emphasis into making a happy home. She was just dealing week-to-week, you know, paycheck-to-paycheck. She didn’t have the resources to save. She didn’t have the opportunities, you know, to be advised to plan for her future. You know, she was a great mother. She gave us a beautiful life. And my mother is the heart of my home now. She helps me. She’s helping me raise all of my children. So, how could I not include her in my future planning? Like it’s the least that I could do for all the hard work and dedication, you know, to our family. So, I absolutely want to plan for her. I'm proud that I'm able to do that for her.
KENNETH CORREA: That's well said. Well said. Anyone else?
MAURICIO VIVERO: Sure. I'd like to add that I think all of us share I think a deep respect and appreciation for the sacrifices of our parents
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[IMG ALT TEXT: Text on screen at 8:05. Text on the screen reads: 4x: Affluent Hispanics/Latinos are more likely to say that planning to assist aging parents is their most important financial priority. Source: “Diverse Viewpoints: Exploring Wealth in the Hispanic/Latino Community,” Merrill and Ipsos, 2020]
MAURICIO VIVERO: and what they were able to invest to help us get ahead financially, education-wise. So, of course, that’s going to be a factor as they get older and may need our support, as well. And like the study said, because of that strong family link, we’re worrying about our kids and we’re worrying about our aging parents. So, we are dealing with that challenge.
KENNETH CORREA: I mean I'm in that category, as well, with my mother, who is a widow and who I am the person she depends on and that’s, you know, that’s the way I guess we’re raised, too.
DAISY ZUCCARDI: One last thing. I think that in Colombia and in the rest of Latin America, nursing homes are not very popular. So, that’s another idea is just they don’t want to go to nursing homes. They want to be with you. They want to — like help you raise the grandchildren. They want to show all their love. And to me, it’s important that my kids get the love that my mother has to give.
KENNETH CORREA: Yeah. And that they witness that too, that they witness that you're taking care of your mother, right? So, it’s just part of our culture. Yeah. It’s great. Well, so let’s move on to goals. Affluent Latinos in the survey ranked giving back to the community and their family as more important than their individual success.
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[IMG ALT TEXT: Animated graphic starts at 9:27. Text at the top reads: Respondents who consider giving back to their community a priority. The animation shows a long dark blue bar scrolling over the screen, with text on the bar reading: Hispanics/Latinos: 15%. A short light blue bar scrolls over the screen beneath, with text on the bar reading General Population: 12%. The text at the bottom of the slide reads: Source: “Diverse Viewpoints: Exploring Wealth in the Hispanic/Latino Community,” Merrill and Ipsos, 2020]
KENNETH CORREA: Why is that so important? So, Daisy, I want to go to you. I know you have some thoughts about the role of community and how that’s played — how that played a role in your financial life. Maybe you can expand on that.
DAISY ZUCCARDI: Yes. Thank you, Kenneth. I think that a chain is as strong as your weakest link and, when we Hispanic/Latino don’t help each other, at some point the chain can break. So, in my experience when I was — when I came from Colombia, I came not knowing the language and not knowing anybody and I had $100 in my pocket. And I found somebody that believed me, that helped me out, that taught me the ways to get to a community college in the beginning and then eventually to a university. I'm very grateful for that person that helped me. Therefore, I have to give back to the community. And I know that there’s a lot of people just like me coming behind me that don’t know anybody, don't know the language, don’t know what to do when they arrive to a country where — and it’s important for me to show them the way. And I did that with my sister, with my brothers, and everybody that I know I always help out, give them the opportunity for them to improve themselves as well.
KENNETH CORREA: Yeah. It, look, it’s about paying it forward and you're a beautiful story of resilience. So, you know, kudos to you. So, another key theme of the survey was around the value of hard work.
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[IMG ALT TEXT: Animated graphic starts at 11:19. Text at the top reads: Respondents who say they have had to work harder to succeed. The animation shows a long dark blue bar scrolling over the screen, with text on the bar reading: Hispanics/Latinos: 46%. A short light blue bar scrolls over the screen beneath, with text on the bar reading General Population: 29%. The text at the bottom of the slide reads: Source: “Diverse Viewpoints: Exploring Wealth in the Hispanic/Latino Community,” Merrill and Ipsos, 2020]
KENNETH CORREA: The majority of study participants, agreed that it’s important to take responsibility by working hard and for the next generation to understand the value of hard work. Forty-six percent also said they felt they had to work harder than others to succeed. So, I'm going to go to Mauricio on this one. Mauricio, you spoke about having a strong drive to succeed. How are you passing that core value onto your children, and do you feel that you’ve had to work harder to succeed?
MAURICIO VIVERO: The starting point for me is that we have to respect and not squander the investment and sacrifice our parents made. So, in my case, that’s a driver to obviously take full advantage, get as well educated as you can, and then hopefully transfer that value onto your children. Now, it’s tougher when your children are raised in a middle-class home, and they didn’t witness the direct sacrifices that you did. So, I think it’s a challenge for more affluent Hispanics, but hopefully they will, you know, be able to pass that value on.
KENNETH CORREA: Yeah. And so, on that note, speaking of the next generation, in the survey nearly half of affluent Hispanic/Latinos said that providing an inheritance to their children and passing down wealth were financial priorities. And that’s compared to only a third of the general population.
KENNETH CORREA: So, Daisy, Tiffany, Mauricio, you do have kids. Would you like to share your thoughts?
TIFFANY DICARLO: I know the way that I feel about my children is I absolutely want them to be more successful than I am and, you know, I want their children to be even more successful than that. So, it’s very important for me to instill that hard work and ethic and I always want to tell them the story of their grandfather and how he came here and achieved so much. I definitely want them to know that. And it is very important for me to give my children opportunities that I didn’t have financially. You know, when every one of my children were born, we started college funds for them. So, I feel very fortunate to give them that stepping stone, you know, something that I didn’t have, and I expect them to be more successful than I am.
KENNETH CORREA: That's great.
DAISY ZUCCARDI: I feel in a similar way as Tiffany. It is important for me that the kids get a hopeful education. They need to understand that where we come from and I always tell them my story, my own story, how I didn’t have toys when I was little, how I didn’t have — I didn’t grow up in a place where they grow up, because for them it’s just stories. It’s like reading a book. How is it possible that there are kids that don’t have enough shoes to go to school or – ? So, I want them to make sure to understand that things like that happen, and that I never want them to be in that situation. So, for me, it’s important that they have an education and that they also know that there is people out there that need their help.
KENNETH CORREA: Yeah. Mauricio, care to add something?
MAURICIO VIVERO: I think also in many ways education is even more important nowadays when you look at our economy and what it takes to succeed. You know, it used to be that you could be a Latino immigrant and work at a GM plant and have a middle-class lifestyle. Now, it’s the economy’s so different we have to really instill in them the value of education that’s still going to be, you know, the best path forward.
KENNETH CORREA: So, looking into the future in the survey affluent Latinos expressed a great deal of optimism about their finances and achieving their financial goals. Now, the study was conducted pre-coronavirus, that’s created an enormous financial challenge for our community. But, let me go over to you, Tiffany. You have four children under the age of five. How do you feel? Do you feel optimistic about their financial futures?
TIFFANY DICARLO: Honestly, I do feel optimistic. Like I said, we’ve started funds for them and we, our jobs have not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. I'm fortunate to have a degree, a Bachelor of Science in nursing, which, you know, can never be taken away from me. My husband is an attorney, so he’s been able to work from home. So, I do feel optimistic and I feel really lucky during this pandemic that I can say that.
KENNETH CORREA: Daisy, you also have children. What about you?
DAISY ZUCCARDI: I do feel optimistic about it, as well. It’s just going to be something that we’re going to look back at 2020 and say like remember those times? That was hard times. But we all, as a community, are strong enough and are stronger than coronavirus.
KENNETH CORREA: I love that. I love that. We’re resilient. Miguel or Mauricio, care to add?
MIGUEL BARBOSA: Yes. In my case as a student, I'm currently doing the MBA, I think it’s been terrible, the pandemic, because the, you know, internships, new opportunities have, you know, have gone down. Some companies are not hiring because they don’t know what to do yet. People are working from home. They don’t know when they’re going to come back to the offices. So, things are getting a little weird this time, But, I'm still very optimistic. Yeah. I believe this is a great economy, the U.S. economy.
KENNETH CORREA: Yeah. Mauricio?
MAURICIO VIVERO: I'm also very optimistic. I, you know, I think immigrants and refugees, you got to be optimistic to leave it all behind and, you know, find a new life. So, that’s kind of our common DNA. But I do believe that it – the crisis currently has obviously exacerbated, you know, the inequalities in the country and laid that bare and so reminds, I think, us to try to advise our kids on how to navigate this complicated economy and how to save and how to build wealth and how emergencies like this if you’re not prepared it can really be shattering in terms of the family’s financial future.
KENNETH CORREA: Yeah. And I, but I think you hit it spot on, too. As immigrants to this country, resilience is in our DNA. I mean a lot of us, a lot of our families left everything behind to come chase a dream and many of us are here today because of it. So, I love that. The survey also found that Latinos often say that they have many financial role models from business executives and friends within the community to more traditional ones, such as financial advisors. Who do you consider to be your top financial role models and where do you go for resources to help make your financial decisions?
MAURICIO VIVERO: I think the idea of your own financial literacy is really important. You got to start there. And then, I’ve been fortunate that I, I’ve worked with great advisors.
And I think what makes the relationship work is that they’re trying to advise you based on where you are and your view of the world and your financial plans. And whether that means aging parents or college funds that, you know, that they’re responsive to that and also are sensitive to, you know, where you are in life.
KENNETH CORREA: So, with financial services in general, what are your thoughts on what the industry could do better to serve the Latino community?
MIGUEL BARBOSA: I think that it’s important that the financial industry services understands the Latino community. Latinos are very entrepreneurial, and they like to open new businesses. So, they need new credit lines. They need access to loans. So, I will say that the financial industry needs to be more approachable to these Latinos and to understand their needs.
KENNETH CORREA: Okay.
TIFFANY DICARLO: Yeah. Piggybacking on what he said, I would rather see more Latino representation at these institutions. I would feel more comfortable talking to people who look like me, who, you know, share the same goals as me financially. The whole financial sector intimidates me. So, I would — I think Latino representation is really important, people who understand our population.
KENNETH CORREA: That's great. Anyone else?
MAURICIO VIVERO: Well, I think there’s two things they can do, the sector can do. One is, obviously, have good Latino representation, as was mentioned. We, you know, we want to see ourselves in institutions and feel that connection. But also, I think the financial world is so complicated now that being able to simplify things and provide products that make sense, you know, will go a long way, because the complexity that we all deal with every day just increases.
KENNETH CORREA: Okay. Well, first let’s thank you for the engagement up to this point. And so, now let’s close on this question. What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d give to the next generation of Latino youth? So, think about how do we pay this forward? Let’s start with Mauricio.
MAURICIO VIVERO: Well, you’re making it tough. I have to pick one piece of advice. But I would say the one piece of advice would be invest in yourself, which means get yourself educated. When you get that big salary put, you know, put a percent of it into savings. Invest in yourself and think long-term.
KENNETH CORREA: Great. Daisy?
DAISY ZUCCARDI: I agree with Mauricio. I think that without an education you are lagging behind people, that the competition is too high. You need to educate yourself to be able to compete. And never feel that you're less than anyone. If you have the tools and if you have the drive, you can do it.
KENNETH CORREA: Right. Tiffany?
TIFFANY DICARLO: What I want to tell the youth of our community is that you are worthy of everything that the American dream has to offer. Don't ever sell yourself short. There are people that have come before you that have tried to pave the way for you. Reach out to mentors in your community. Always ask questions. But I think most importantly is know your worth. This American dream is for you just as much as it is for anybody else.
KENNETH CORREA: Yeah. Miguel?
MIGUEL BARBOSA: Well, I think I agree with everyone, so I have to summarize everything. And I if have to use three words, I will use work hard, study harder, and be financially smart. That's what I would say to the future.
KENNETH CORREA: That's great. Very inspirational from all of you. Thank you for that. And so thank you to all of you for your engagement in this candid and courageous conversation. This research is just one of three studies Merrill recently commissioned to better understand the needs and priorities of diverse communities. You’ll also want to take a look at our studies exploring the financial needs and experiences of the Black/African American community and the LGBT+ community, and you can find that on ML.com. I encourage you to share them with friends and with family. And, please, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions that you have about your own financial needs, goals, and challenges, whatever they are.
Gracias por su parte en este programa. Thank you for watching and thank you for being a part of our program.
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Ipsos is the third largest market research company in the world, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Merrill or any of its affiliates are not affiliated with Ipsos. In partnership with Merrill, Ipsos conducted multiple waves of research throughout 2019, employing a variety of research methodologies, starting out by interviewing Merrill stakeholders who serve and represent the diverse communities. In parallel, they synthesized and reviewed an array of publications and academic research on the topics of diversity, wealth and inclusion in financial services and beyond.
· The Online Community and the In-Home Qualitative research was conducted from July to September 2019. We spoke with n=6 respondents from each of the three affluent communities in their homes and hosted an Online Community of n=20 respondents from each of the three communities.
· The Quantitative research was conducted from September to November 2019. We spoke with n=450+ members of each of the three communities and compared them to a representative sample of the n=1000 respondents from the affluent general population. We surveyed: n=455 members of the affluent Black/African American Community, n=512 members of the affluent Hispanic/Latino Community, n=509 members of the affluent LGBT+ Community.
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