"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others." – Marcus Tullius Cicero
The LGBT community has made a lot of progress since The Stonewall Riots of 1969. It’s important that we express gratitude for those who have helped us get to where we are today.
We have many people and organizations to thank, starting with the LGBT individuals and allies who took the courageous first steps towards equality during the last three decades of the 20th century. We also owe many thanks to the American businesses that risked boycotts and sales for our equal treatment. The Debt Free Guys believe the next stages of progress towards full equality will be more efficiently achieved not on the House floor of Congress or Main Street, but in the boardroom of American businesses.
It’s with that belief that we bring to you this preemptive gratitude towards the financial institutions best supporting the LGBT community.
Few companies have put themselves out there as supporters of the LGBT community and taken such interest in our financial security as MassMutual. MassMutual offers life insurance, retirement, and investment services. It consistently advocates for the equal treatment of its LGBT clients and employees.
For example, MassMutual was an original signatory on the 2013 amicus brief to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Shortly after the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, MassMutual produced its Vow to Protect Campaign that featured same-sex couples who shared what marriage equality means to them. Vow to Protect was a fascinating internal, grassroots effort simply to show MassMutual’s support of marriage equality.
Most recently, MassMutual has taken another brave stand for LGBT equality by becoming the only financial services firm to feature a same-sex couple on the upper fold of its homepage, as well as an LGBT person further down. While many financial services companies struggle to feature LGBT people in marketing or collateral at all, MassMutual has us on their homepage.
Through various subsidiaries, Prudential provides insurance, investment management, and other financial products, and services to both retail and institutional customers around the world. As an LGBT personal finance writer, the research of LGBT money Prudential did in 2012 and 2016 with its LGBT Financial Experience Surveys is invaluable. These studies provide snapshots in time as to where LGBT individuals stand with their finances and trends that suggest where the LGBT community is going with its finances.
To build a stronger LGBT community, we need financially stronger individuals and allies who can afford the money and time to continue to push our community. We can only improve our financial future by knowing where we currently stand. Prudential’s LGBT Financial Experience Surveys and its subsequent LGBT Financial Experience Symposiums are helping us do both.
Capital One is a bank holding company that specializes in providing loans, banking and saving accounts. Capital One lives up to the adage of putting their money where their mouth is. In 2016, Capital One donated $10.3 million to help provide much-needed renovations to San Francisco’s LGBT Center. The San Francisco LGBT Center provides services like small business assistance, a trans employment program, youth services, and general financial services. These are critical services, especially around money, for an underserved population.
To help spread employment equality, Capital One is a Champion Sponsor of Out & Equal’s 2017 Workplace Summit scheduled for October 9 – 12, 2017 in Philadelphia. Employment equality is critical for the LGBT community’s financial security. Out & Equal is a leading nonprofit that advocates for that workplace equality. With Capital One and its other sponsors, Out & Equal can spread that equality to more companies around the world.
Lastly, spokespeople cost money, and many businesses are hesitant to use an LGBT spokesperson for fear of corporate backlash. Despite the risks, Capital One proudly uses funnyman and television personality Ross Matthews, as a spokesperson. With Matthews, Capital One has created a series of entertaining YouTube videos about money for all people. It sends a powerful message that Capital One is willing to use an out-LGBT person to spread the money message.
Wells Fargo is a bank and financial services firm. Long before same-sex marriage was legal, Wells Fargo was helping same-sex couples get their finances in order by creating and sponsoring the Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor (ADPA) designation through the College of Financial Planning, best known for its Certified Financial Planning (CFP) designation that financial advisors use. The ADPA gave valuable weight to providing same-sex couples the individual financial advice we needed, especially before marriage equality.
The ADPA educates advisors on wealth transfers, federal taxation, retirement planning, and planning for financial and medical end-of-life needs. Much of this has normalized with marriage equality, but nuances still exist. The ADPA designation is a good designation for any LGBT person to look for when seeking a financial advisor.
Wells Fargo has been an advocate for the LGBT community for nearly as long as our march towards equality. In 2015, Wells Fargo took the brave step and the public heat by producing a commercial featuring a lesbian couple adopting a little girl. This commercial is in addition to Wells Fargo being ever-present at LGBT Pride Parades around the country.
JPMorgan Chase is a banking and financial services holding firm. It’s also showing support of the LGBT community by sponsoring Out & Equal’s 2017 Workplace Summit.
Taking further steps to support and serving the LGBT community, JPMorgan Chase featured yours truly in a well-received article on its website to celebrate Pride Month 2017. With 44 million hits on its homepage a day, JPMorgan Chase knew it was taking a vocal and visible stand of support for LGBT people.
There’s a good chance you know this already, given you’re on its blog, but PolicyGenius is a online insurance broker that helps you compare policies and find the right coverage. (It’ll also give you an idea of how much insurance you actually need here.)
As a regular contributor to PolicyGenius’ blog, I’m proud to say that PolicyGenius lets me frequently write about LGBT finance. After marriage equality had been legalized in June of 2015, many financial services firms and publications stopped talking about the financial nuances of the LGBT community. Because we have marriage equality doesn’t mean we don’t still have different financial risks and concerns. Companies such as PolicyGenius are helping our community address those unique risks and concerns.
XY Planning Network
XY Planning Network is a network of fee-only financial advisors who specialize in financial advice for Generation X and Generation Y. XY Planning makes it a point to highlight whether their advisors are a member of the LGBT community. As Wells Fargo’s ADPA designation shows, understanding the LGBT community is critical in helping us address its unique financial needs.
By the way, if you don’t have a financial planner, get one. Prudential’s 2016-2017 study showed fewer queer people use a financial planner (29%) than the general population (39%). However, an HSBC study showed that individuals with a financial planner have nearly 29% more in retirement income wealth than those without and advisor. Therefore, it’s important to connect LGBT people with professionals who are or understand LGBT people.
Likewise, GuideVine, which acts as a search engine to connect prospective clients with financial advisors, allows its customers to search for advisors who are a member of or understand the LGBT community. GuideVine lets its clients get detailed profiles, including videos of its advisors so that customers get familiar and comfortable with a prospective advisor before a meeting face-to-face. Services like this go a long way to bridge the gap between LGBT people and the general population who have financial advisors.
One of the concerns highlighted in Prudential’s LGBT Financial Experience Surveys is that many LGBT people say they don’t know where to turn to for financial advice. The above financial services companies are helping our community address that concern in numerous ways. They’re supporting our community. Consider supporting them.
Disclosure: PolicyGenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.