AAt Nasdaq, we’re on a mission to make financial education more accessible to drive inclusive growth and prosperity. For Financial Literacy Month, we are learning from members of our various employee resource groups about the effect financial literacy has had on their personal and professional success, the challenges they have had to overcome and the resources they recommend for a more inclusive future. . Daniel Cantu, Senior Associate General Counsel and Co-Chairman of Adelante at Nasdaq, talks about the empowerment that financial literacy can bring to the Hispanic community.
Tell us about your role at Nasdaq.
I provide legal advice to the Investment Intelligence group and represent the Nasdaq in discussions with the SEC.
How would you describe Adelante to a new employee?
Adelante is a great opportunity to promote diversity at Nasdaq and give back to our communities.
Your best memory from being part of the ERG?
My favorite memory is taking my daughter to the 2019 closing bell of Hispanic Heritage Month to meet with Latinx leaders.
How to be a good ally of the Latinx community?
There are two steps that I would advise anyone wishing to become an ally of our community:
Be Visible: It’s important for our communities to know that Latinx employees can have a successful career with a company that plays a pivotal role at the intersection of finance and technology.
Be an educator: share our experience and knowledge with our communities.
What are some of the biggest issues you think are important to address in the Latinx community?
The most overlooked issues in the Latinx community are financial literacy and access to capital. There’s a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit in our culture, but we’re limited by a lack of knowledge about how financial markets work, and partly because of that lack of knowledge, a lack of access to capital. These certainly aren’t the only issues facing the Latinx community, but they haven’t gotten enough attention.
What challenges have you seen the Hispanic community face when it comes to financial literacy?
The first and main challenge is generational wealth: Latino families, as a group, have fewer financial assets than non-Latino and non-minority groups, and therefore “fall behind” in investments and savings. -retirement. The lack of generational wealth leads to other problems, such as high student debt (because Latino students cannot pay student loans from family savings). All of this is exacerbated by a lack of financial literacy. FINRA Foundation’s Financial Capability Study shows Hispanics lag non-Hispanic whites in financial literacy, with only 28% falling into the “high financial literacy” category, compared to 43% and 38% for White and Asian Americans, respectively.
Why is financial literacy and financial well-being important to you as a member of the Hispanic community?
Financial well-being is the foundation for better health care, better education, and ultimately the creation of the generational wealth needed to break cycles of poverty. Financial wellness begins with financial literacy, which teaches both how to create wealth and how to maintain it, once acquired.
What resources do you think can help break down barriers to financial literacy education for the Hispanic community?
Financial literacy training must be accessible to the Latin American community at all levels: high school, college and adult. High school students need the basics – budgeting and saving. College students need to plan their student loans. Adults need to plan for retirement and, since the Latin American community has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship among ethnicities, start businesses.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.