Summit focuses on building family assets |

Summit focuses on building family assets

John Seelmeyer

The long process often a generations-long process of building a solid financial base for Nevada families will come into the spotlight during a conference in Reno this month.

The Nevada Assets and Opportunity Summit comes on the heels of study by the Las Vegas-based Financial Guidance Center that found the personal finances of Nevada residents are on shaky ground.

Nearly two-thirds have almost no savings to cover the future, more than two-thirds of Nevada households have subprime credit scores, and the per-capita bankruptcy rate in Nevada is nearly twice the national average, the study found.

Nancy Brown, an executive with Charles Schwab Bank in Reno and chair of the Financial Stability Partnership of Northern Nevada, says a more important finding of the study may be its recognition that the state is weak in the business infrastructure that helps build personal wealth.

Nevada ranks 50th in the nation, for instance, in small-business ownership, and it ranks 47th in private lending to small businesses. (On the other hand, while the number of small businesses is relatively small, Nevada ranks fifth in the proportion of small firms that are owned by women.)

Brown said about 150 people are expected to gather for the day-long workshop at John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

They’ll be hearing from a panel led by Mark Pingle, an economic professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, about behavioral issues that stymie families from building assets.

They’ll be talking about how programs such as Junior Achievement can get at-risk youth into asset-building habits.

They’ll be taking a look at the effects that predatory lending practices have families’ struggles to build assets.

And they’ll be talking about changes in state regulations those that limit the assets of families seeking public assistance, for instance that might build personal assets.

“These are not short-term solutions,” Brown said. “These are long-term, systemic solutions.”

(For conference registration, see


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