Louis Barajas is on a mission to break down cultural and socioeconomic barriers to ensure the CFP industry reflects – and serves – the entire population. It’s a journey he started 30 years ago.

As one of the country’s first Latino Certified Financial Planners, he chose to start his firm, Business Management LAB, in the East L.A. neighborhood where he grew up. He wanted to help families like his who did not have access to generational wealth and didn’t believe they would ever be in a position to create it.

While those original clients – and now their children – continue to work with Louis, his practice has grown to include hugely successful and high-profile performers and executives in the entertainment and professional sports industries. He is also a CFP Board director, the author of five books and provides financial literacy workshops to under-represented groups across the U.S.

In this week’s episode, Ana speaks to Louis about growing up poor and being in charge of his parents’ finances, why diversity is important and still a work in progress within the world of financial advisory services, and how financial advisors can play an important role in moving people out of poverty.

“My goal was always to give my parents the same access to financial planning that the super wealthy have,” he says.

Key Takeaways

  • Fewer than 3.5% of the 80,000 CFP® professionals in the U.S. are Black or Latino. This is significantly less than the percentage of Black and Latino people across the U.S. population — 13.3% and 17.8%, respectively.
  • Technology has led to the democratization of financial planning, but with so much information, people don’t know who to trust, leading to cynicism.
  • The financial planning industry is not set up to help everyone – it is set up to help the wealthy.

Quote

“I want to know I helped hardworking families eradicate financial injustice and economic disparity. That’s what inspires me. ” – Louis Barajas

Links

Carson Group is dedicated to helping advance equity, diversity and inclusion across financial services. Schedule a consultation to learn how we can help your team thrive.

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