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Study: African-Americans’ Financial Optimism Rising

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With Black History Month celebrations wrapping up, a new study released today shows that African-Americans are optimistic about their financial futures.

According to the study, 41 percent say they are very good at managing money and 30 percent are confident selecting investment options.

Meanwhile most still believe in the American dream, with only 28 percent indicating their belief it is disappearing compared to 40 percent of the general U.S. public, according to the findings of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company’s (MassMutual) third biennial 2013 State of the American Family Study.

The study shows that along with increased optimism, African-Americans express a greater desire to be actively involved in all financial decisions (80 percent versus 69 percent in the general population), want their children to be educated about finances and to avoid burdening their children when age prevents them from caring for themselves.

Half say they are actively involved in educating their children about finances.

Meanwhile, most wish their parents had taught them more about finances and four-in-ten are actively seeking ways to educate themselves. About 70 percent believe it is important their children aren’t burdened with taking care of them.

Other highlights from the study:

  • Nearly half have less than three months’ worth of expenses set aside for an emergency.
  • Almost three-quarters have credit card debt, compared to slightly more than half of the general population.
  • Student loans are held by 28 percent.
  • Three quarters have mortgages, with 30 percent owing more than their homes are currently worth.
  • Only 14 percent are satisfied with their current financial situations..

The biennial survey was done for MassMutual in 2009, 2011 and 2013 by Forbes Consulting Group, LLC. The 2013 study was done Feb. 4 to 25 in 2013, with 1,337 households interviewed.

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