Over the years, New York wealth advisor Barjes Angulo has built a thriving practice serving Hispanic clients. Angulo is a NAIFA member, past winner of NAIFA’s Four Under Forty award, and a frequent Million Dollar Round Table qualifier. He shares some of the steps he took on his way to the top.
NAIFA: Describe your practice and the markets you serve.
Angulo: Angulo Strategies develops and implements financial plans and places life insurance on a single-needs basis. In doing so, we look for clients who meet the following criteria: Are they capable of implementing the solutions we have identified? Do they have character? Can we offer a process that helps them gain clarity? Can we spend time with them in a social setting? Our market consists of professional clients with families who we foresee will be going through life changes. Also, 15 percent of our clients are family-owned businesses with no more than 10-12 employees.
NAIFA: Why did you choose to focus on the Hispanic market?
Angulo: I fell into working in the Hispanic market initially by affinity. For me, speaking two languages — English and Spanish — was a plus in providing information to families who, for the most part, spoke only Spanish. I discovered that my focus in this market was to bring expertise and guidance to a community that lacks representation in this area.
NAIFA: What specific steps did you take to penetrate this market?
Angulo: At first, I used referrals. Then I came to the conclusion that using our professional clients who are of Hispanic heritage to gain access to their parents was the ticket to success. The engagement is half done when I first sit with their parents. Because we have proven ourselves to their children, the trust and the reassurance are already there.
I work through my existing clients by asking them questions like, “Do your parents have a will?” “Who will care for your parents when they need assistance?” “If they are going to depend on you financially, have you considered the negative effect this might have on your financial planning?”
NAIFA: What prospecting and marketing techniques have been the most effective?
Angulo: As I mentioned earlier, we have found success by prospecting into the family through our young professional, second-generation Hispanic clients. They are already enjoying the fruits of their labor. They are typically the first to go to college, to buy a home in the suburbs, and to use English as their first language. They will open the door to their parents and other first-generation family members.
NAIFA: What are some of the pitfalls to avoid when working in the Hispanic market?
Angulo: A major pitfall is not taking the time to explain to clients what they have in place and how it works. The more they understand them, the better their relationship will be with you. If English is their second language, the chances of their reading a contract or a prospectus are pretty slim.
Also, when conducting the first meeting, ask them if they prefer to have the business conversation in Spanish or English. Some potential clients take pride in the fact that they have learned English and are comfortable in doing business that way. Others might prefer to have the conversation in Spanish.
NAIFA: How has NAIFA helped you succeed in serving this market?
Angulo: NAIFA has helped me succeed by providing client solutions that prevent me from reinventing the wheel. These solutions have no cultural barriers. Hispanic clients have the same financial fears and concerns as clients in white, African-American and Asian communities.
NAIFA: What are your plans for the future as you continue to serve this important market?
Angulo: As I move forward, I envision having first-, second- and third-generation families come together in my conference room to plan their long-term wealth and learn how to transition their assets into the future. Let’s make the Fernandez name stand out like the Rockefeller name does!
Barjes Angulo, LUTCF, RICP, is a wealth advisor with Angulo Strategies, with offices in Manhattan and Queens. Barjes may be contacted at [email protected]
Ayo Mseka is editor-in-chief of Advisor Today, the official publication of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Ayo may be contacted at [email protected]