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Volume 3, Issue 1, 2003   Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

En español, por favor
'Building Wealth' Now Available in Spanish

Casa, dinero—Spanish for house and money. These words are familiar to most of us. But there is a lesser known one: riqueza. Riqueza, Spanish for wealth, is what many U.S. Hispanic households are not building enough of.

To empower Spanish speakers with the information they need to save and create wealth, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has translated into Spanish its publication Building Wealth: A Beginner's Guide to Securing Your Financial Future. Cómo crear riqueza: Una guía para alcanzar sus metas financieras PDF document highlights four important steps to building wealth:

  1. setting goals
  2. budgeting to save
  3. saving and investing
  4. taking control of debt

Cómo crear riqueza provides an overview of personal wealth-building strategies that will help Spanish-speaking families achieve financial literacy and realize their financial goals.

According to the Federal Reserve's most recent Survey of Consumer Finances, the median net worth of nonwhite or Hispanic families in 1998 was $16,400, compared with $94,900 for whites. The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) reports that Hispanic household median income is significantly lower than that of white households. U.S. Census data validate this claim; 1999 median income for Hispanic households was $30,735, compared with $42,504 for white households. NCLR reports Hispanics are also less likely than other workers to have retirement savings, and they are the least likely of any other major U.S. racial or ethnic group to invest in stocks and bonds.

These statistics are especially significant when one considers Hispanics' impact on the economy. In 2001 Hispanics—the fastest growing ethnic population in the United States—had a combined purchasing power of $452.4 billion.

According to the Federal Reserve survey, over half (57.1 percent) of families who don't have checking accounts are nonwhite or Hispanic. This may cause Hispanics and others without checking accounts to resort to alternative financial services providers—such as payday lenders, check-cashing services and auto title lenders—who often charge high fees.

Being unbanked is also linked to a lack of savings. A report by the Fannie Mae Foundation points out that alternative service providers do not offer savings accounts, thus leaving their customers no incentive or option to save.

Cómo crear riqueza can help Spanish speakers take the first step toward financial literacy. You may order this publication online in quantities of 50 or call 800-333-4460, ext. 5254, to request copies by phone.

Other Financial Literacy Resources Available en español

Freddie Mac
CreditSmartsm Español Off-site page

Fannie Mae Foundation
Borrowing Basics: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You Off-site page

Knowing and Understanding Your Credit Off-site page

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
MoneySmart Curriculum Off-site page

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e-Perspectives, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2003

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Off-site page
Community Development Office Send an e-mail
P.O. Box 655906, Dallas, Texas 75265-5906
Gloria Vasquez Brown Send an e-mail
Vice President
    Nancy C. Vickrey
Assistant Vice President and
Community Development Officer
Jackie Hoyer Send an e-mail
Houston Branch
Senior Community Development Advisor
    Diana Mendoza
Community Development Specialist
Karen Riley
Community Development Specialist
    Jason Sweat
Community Development Specialist
The views expressed are the authors' and should not be attributed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas or the Federal Reserve System. Articles may be reprinted on the condition that the source is credited and a copy is provided to the Community Development Office.

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