“The Supreme Court decision means we can now plan for the future like anyone else,” says José, a 47–year–old designer who married his partner, Peter, in 2015, after Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. “When I’m investing, I’m not a gay investor. I’m just an investor, with my own questions and my own goals.”
José is just one of more than 13 million (ages 13+) accounting for 5.6% of the population1,2 who now exert a high degree of social, demographic, and economic influence. According to recent estimates, the annual purchasing power of the LGBTQ community is $1.1 trillion—slightly less than Hispanics ($1.5 trillion) and African Americans ($1.3 trillion), but greater than Asian Americans ($1 trillion).3 Globally, LGBTQ consumers are spending about $3.9 trillion, and their estimated household wealth worldwide is $23 trillion, with almost $6.9 trillion in the U.S. alone.4
Yet for all of the legal and social progress that has positively impacted the LGBTQ community, research has revealed that LGBTQ investors are generally less confident and less diversified than their non-LGBTQ counterparts.5 How this could impact their long-term financial goals—and what some high-net-worth (HNW) and ultra- high-net-worth (UHNW) LGBTQ investors are doing about it—is the focus of this paper.
Please see important disclosures at the end of the article.
1 The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law; https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/quick-facts/lgbt-faqs/
3 “The Multicultural Economy 2018,” Selig Center for Economic Growth, UGA’s Terry College of Business, March 5, 2019, https://news.terry.uga.edu/articles/Rising_tide_lifts_all_boats_Americas_economic_growth_benefits_minority_markets/
4 LGBT Capital: Untitled. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2021, from http://www.lgbt-capital.com/index.php?menu_id=2 and http://www.lgbt-capital.com/docs/Estimated_LGBT-Wealth_(table)_-_2020.pdf
5 Prudential Financial, “The LGBT Financial Experience, 2016–2017,” 2017, http://corporate.prudential.com/media/managed/PrudentialLGBT2016-2017.pdf