Miranda Reiter Describes Race, Gender Implications of Financial Planning in AgeLab's Final Aging and Equity Presentation

by Adam Felts

In the final installment of the MIT AgeLab’s Aging and Equity virtual presentation series, Dr. Miranda Reiter, Assistant Professor of Financial Planning at Texas Tech University, described the relationship between the financial planning industry and the racial wealth gap, as well as steps the industry could take to help lessen economic racial disparities.

Nonwhite, and especially Black, populations, she explained, are underrepresented both among financial professionals in the US as well as their clients. Much of the reason why has to do with centuries of exclusion from opportunities to build intergenerational wealth: the cumulative result of slavery, redlining, unfair mortgage lending practices, excessive incarceration, and other unjust and exclusionary factors. “At current rates, Dr. Reiter said, “it would take 223 years for Black families, and 83 years for Latinx families to catch up to White families’ levels of wealth, according to research from Prosperity Now and the Institute for Policy Studies (2016).

Making matters worse is the unequal utilization of financial services by historically marginalized groups. Dr. Reiter suggested five steps financial planning professionals can take to provide more clients of color with the benefits associated with sound financial planning. These include:

1: Being aware and acting intentionally about inequities in financial planning

2: Attracting diversity into one’s practice or firm

3: Developing the competency and flexibility to speak to economic and cultural differences across communities

4: Adopting a more inclusive fee structure, including by finding alternatives to the standard Asset Under Management (AUM) structure, such as monthly fees or Laddered AUM

5: Giving back and educating. Groups excluded from financial wealth building can benefit greatly from pro-bono education and advice.

By adopting such practices, Dr. Reiter explained, the financial advisory industry can add to the strides has made toward equity and inclusion in the past several years.

  • Share
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Get Involved

Interested in this area of study? See how you can participate in AgeLab research or become a volunteer.


About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

More From the Blog

2020 OMEGA Summit Brings Together Students, Aging Professionals, Past Scholarship Winners

October 30, 2020

2020 Summer Interns Work on OMEGA, Lifestyle Leaders, C3 Project

August 26, 2020

2021 Spring Speaker Series Begins with Presentation from Dr. Catherine García on Social Determinants of Health

March 23, 2021