“What is that?” asks Dustin Tan, 22
“It’s something rich white people use when they have too much money”, his girlfriend Vivian explains.
The banking royal commission has so far unearthed some sobering discoveries about the Australian banking system. AMP has been found to have fraudulently delayed payments to ASIC. CommSec has had an unfavourable ordeal with medical insurance payouts. And many financial advisers have been found to have acted disingenuously and outside the interests of their clients.
But the most ground breaking revelation has been the finding that most Asian Australians do not know what a financial adviser is.
The concept that you have so much money that you use some of that money to pay someone else to make you more money is an enviable but far-away dream for most hard working Asian Australians. It is in the same fairy-tale land as other thoughts like no more Pauline Hanson, double eyelids, or not ending up in a group assignment with an international student at university.
The findings come as a surprise to most Asian Australians. Many have never received advice before and many adhere to a strict ‘don’t talk about your money with other people’ policy, unless its your Chinese aunt aggressively insisting she’ll pay for the restaurant check.
Bradley Park, from the Asian Naturalis Annex for Learnings (ANAL) says Asian Australians have somehow been caught in the middle.
“They see these wealthy Chinese investors and think, ‘oh, asians have money’. They look at their own position and think ‘I don’t even have two coins to rub together to buy a pork roll’. Then they hear about wealthy old white people who have financial advisers to manage their money. It creates stress.”
Its true for Asian Australians. They are in a sticky situation. The only solid financial advice they ever receive is at New Year’s when grandma hands them a red envelope full of money with the instructions, ‘use it well’.
While the situation looks bleak, Mr Park says there is an opportunity for change.
“Asian Australians spent $1.8 billion dollars on Chatime alone last year. If they were to turn this money to financial advisers, they too could see their wealth increase”.
This is hopeful news for young Asian Australians like Dustin and his girlfriend Vivian. With prior plans to buy Chatime, they now choose to stay home and lament on their poverty. Not so great news for Dustin and Vivian, but an optimistic future for Asian Australians everywhere.
More on this story as it unfolds.