When Anna N’Jie-Konte was looking to become a financial advisor at RBC Wealth Management, she discovered a problem within the broker-dealer industry.
“I wanted to help people who were not rich yet,” she said. “And that’s not compatible with the broker-dealer wire house area.”
So, she left to start her own company to help people seek financial advice before attaining wealth.
N’Jie-Konte is the founder of Dare to Dream Financial Planning, a virtual financial planning firm that primarily works with women of color in their 30s and 40s, tech employees with stock options, and service-based entrepreneurs. She also hosts the “First-Gen Realness” podcast, where she talks with her fellow first-generation Americans to reinforce their value and contributions to America.
Speaking with ETF Trends, N’Jie-Konte explained that the financial planning industry has done people of color “a disservice telling them to seek financial advice after they’ve already attained wealth. I think that’s putting the cart before the horse.”
For N’Jie-Konte, who “grew up middle class, raised by people who grew up in poverty,” she understands her clients’ trepidation with seeking financial guidance.
“For many people of color, there’s just a lack of familiarity or comfort with long-range financial planning and especially with seeking financial advice,” she said.
And it’s crucial that Black entrepreneurs seek financial guidance, because according to N’Jie-Konte, “they’re taking a real financial risk leaving their job to start a new business. Most people of color don’t have large nest eggs to fall back on when it doesn’t work.”
N’Jie-Konte points out that the reason why most entrepreneurs fail is “because they don’t have a sound financial strategy.” And when you combine that with a mindset that’s used to thinking “only in weeks and months,” and not decades, “that can really be a recipe for disaster for someone who otherwise would be a successful business owner.”
For N’Jie-Konte, getting into financial planning was by pure happenstance. Financial planning was not a field she was aware of while growing up. So, when she graduated in the recession, she looked for a job from anyone who would hire her.
“So, I fell into it,” she said, adding that after nearly 11 years in the business, she finds it to be “a great fit. I love helping people, and I love problem-solving.”
N’Jie-Konte reveals that one of the biggest joys that comes with helping women of color achieve their financial goals is when she can help “a client realize that she can quit her job or help someone in a brutal industry retire from that industry in seven years.”
“Helping my clients see the light at the end of the tunnel and letting them know they have someone working with them is so exciting,” she added.
In terms of ETFs N’Jie-Konte likes to use, since most of her focus is on ensuring that her clients’ investment portfolios are aligned with their values, her frequently used funds include the iShares ESG Aware USD Corporate Bond ETF (SUSC), the iShares MSCI Global Sustainable Development Goals ETF (SDG), and the Impact Shares NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF (NACP).
N’Jie-Konte fundamentally believes that putting wealth in the hands of systemically marginalized people is going to change the world for the better. So, she wants “to help more people of color and women of color have abundant financial lives and live life on their own terms.” And it’s not just about finance.
“If people are willing to take a leap and leave a job and bet on themselves because they want to have a certain life, I want to help support that,” she said. “The more people I can help makes me very happy.”
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