PRIDE Month Feature - Q&A with Daniel Martinez, a Personal Financial Planning Major from Texas Tech University
To celebrate PRIDE Month, we’re spotlighting LGBTQ+ students and professionals in the wealth management industry. Daniel Martinez, a member of the LGBTQ+ community and Personal Financial Planning major from Texas Tech University, shares his thoughts and answers questions regarding financial planning, his future in the industry and how he hopes to serve marginalized communities in the space.
What made you want to study financial planning?
When I first started studying financial planning, I had three strong reasons I wanted to major in it. First, I wanted to be educated in improving my finances, as well as my family’s. I was raised in a very poor household. My six siblings and I were raised by a single mother who, being born in Mexico, could only afford to get to third grade because of the cost of school. Growing up, I had no education on personal finances, insurance, or even something as simple as knowing what credit was. I chose to study financial planning because I wanted to make a difference in my life and also in the lives of my mother and siblings.
The second reason I chose to study financial planning is that I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others who have been in a similar situation as me. By educating them, they can be better prepared than I was.
The next big reason I would like to share is that I want to be part of the LGBTQ+ community and the Hispanic community’s representation in financial planning. I want to help the industry become more diverse. I want to help make a difference in the lives of other people who belong to the LGBTQ+ community, people of other non-white races, and other people of other minorities.
What personality traits do you think make you a good candidate to work in the field?
I genuinely do want to make a difference in the lives of others. I am determined to impact others in the best way possible. I feel that I have the passion and a strong work ethic to make this happen. I believe determination, passion, and a strong worth ethic are all traits one must have to make a change. I believe this profession is meant to serve people in any socioeconomic group, people of under-represented minorities, and really anyone who is interested in improving their financial situation regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. I would like to serve as many people as I can with the intention of helping them reach their goals.
What advice would you give to other LGBTQ+ students/young professionals thinking about joining the industry?
I would say that there is definitely a need for us. I encourage LGBTQ+ students to think about joining this industry because we can all help make a difference. This industry is filled by a majority of white heterosexual males and needs more people like myself: a gay Hispanic man who can help in ways they cannot. As a gay Hispanic man, I have many more diverse experiences in my life that I can use to better assist people – especially the LGBTQ+ community, which I look forward to.
What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the financial planning industry during your studies?
The most surprising thing I have learned about the financial planning industry is that there is so much room for improvement. As I mentioned before, this profession is made up of predominantly straight white men. That in itself is an area that can be improved. It needs more diversity. It needs more women, and more people of races other than white, and definitely needs more people from the LGBTQ+ community.
For me, this is something I am passionate about improving. Straight white men are not, and should not be, the standard. We can all make a difference. Research shows that the more diverse a team is, the better the outcomes are of that team in comparison to a team that consists of alike individuals.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?
The best thing I have been told in financial planning is that I should use the fact that I am a gay Hispanic man to my advantage and not let it hold me back. Since being told that, I have not been afraid of sharing that I am openly gay and I plan on reaching out to people of minorities and the LGBTQ+ community to serve them. At first, it was difficult for me because like I said, this is a predominantly straight, white male industry. I plan on serving the LGBTQ+ community and urge that more students in the LGBTQ+ community choose to study financial planning.
Daniel Martinez is a Personal Financial Planning major at Texas Tech University. Daniel plans to work in the financial planning industry and to someday take up teaching the subject.
Daniel, a Hispanic member of the LGBTQ+ community, hopes to use his diverse background and understanding of different cultures to serve minority groups in the financial industry.
He’s looking forward to diversifying the industry and making an impact in the lives of others.