Saturday, August 11, 2012

CFP Board Conference 2012

I just finished attending the 2012 conference of the CFP Board for registered university CFP education programs in Washington, DC. CFP is the primary designation for financial planners. I was thinking to write up a report about my experiences there, though I realize that most of the topics are not too related to the subject matter of this blog.

I will just comment that I was really impressed by the passion and enthusiasm of everyone at the conference. This conference was primarily for universities with programs providing training for CFPs, both through certification programs or through degree programs. Financial planning is still a relatively new profession and field of study, and so there are still many opportunities and discussions about what is involved in the core education.

Presentations centered on how to best train students to be prepared to work as competent planners who are able to provide the best guidance to their clients and through further service to the public at large. Attendees tend to go far beyond the basic teaching requirements for academics, and they are really focused on how to improve the educational experience and to build the planning profession.

Just to give one example, perhaps the last presentation I attended was the most memorable. Three rather new Ph.D.s in financial planning from Texas Tech, two of whom are essentially leading the financial planning programs at their respective universities, described ways to get students more involved in a hands-on manner outside the classroom. Jacob Sybrowsky from Utah Valley University, Lukas Dean from William Paterson University, and Hyrum Smith from Virginia Tech University all shared ways to match students to mentors and internships in the local planning community, to get students to conferences, to bring in guest speakers, to provide volunteer services to local schools and institutions, and so on.

Over the summer I haven't been posting much, but this blog will be back on a more regular basis once the fall arrives. I'd say the future of financial planning looks quite bright and I'm excited to get more involved in the field through the retirement side. I hope this blog can contribute something useful to helping people get on track to meeting their financial goals and make smart financial decisions.