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ASU equips students to advise on personal finance issues

A grant funded by Schwab Advisor Services, in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation, supports a new financial planning program at the W. P. Carey School of Business


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January 12, 2021

A 2019 report by the Federal Reserve documents that 64% of nonretired adults say they are either not on track financially for retirement or are unsure. In that survey, 25% of survey respondents said they had no retirement savings, including 13% of nonretirees over the age of 60. The same study shows stark differences in preparedness by race/ethnicity, as well as large gaps in financial literacy by gender.

That’s why a new grant funded by Schwab Advisor Services, in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation, will support the development and delivery of a new financial planning concentration at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. This program will allow students to sit for the Certified Financial Planner certification exam, as well as offer additional curriculum designed to support completion of the Security Industry Essentials exam. 

“There was a demand for the financial planning program, and that demand came from both students and the community,” said Laura Lindsey, associate professor and chair of the Department of Finance at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Several organizations in the financial services industry are interested in hiring our graduates, but the traditional finance degree best prepares students to work in corporate finance, banking, or in a portfolio management function for large institutions. We were missing key components necessary to prepare students to advise holistically at the household or family level.”

Employment for personal financial advisers is forecasted to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than average for other occupations, according to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration.

The initial funding will support both expanded efforts to attract talent representing gender and racial/ethnic diversity and the development of targeted coursework for a career in financial planning.

“For young people, a career in the independent advisory profession offers so much opportunity for growth and success,” said Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Schwab Advisor Services. “It’s essential that we attract a new generation of advisers to help carry the industry forward and meet the needs of increasingly diverse investors. We at Schwab have long championed this goal, and we are excited to work with the W. P. Carey School to actively support the development of next-generation adviser talent.”

Along with giving students targeted coursework, the program will work with nearby firms to provide internship opportunities for students to better prepare them for a career in financial planning.

“We know that people are a firm’s most important asset, and building a talent pipeline is a critical component of a firm’s long-term success,” said Lisa Salvi, vice president, Business Consulting & Education, Schwab Advisor Services. “Working closely with the W. P. Carey School of Business allows us to not only raise awareness of the independent advisory profession as a compelling career choice but also to make connections among firm leaders and the students who could be their next hires.”

Get details about the financial planning business degree at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

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