News & Events

Faculty and Students Attend ACFEA Conference

Posted: Aug. 15, 2018

Personal Financial Planning faculty and students have been busy this summer spreading financial planning knowledge around the world. The Asian Consumer and Family Economics Association hosted its 12th Biennial Conference at Fuzhou University, Fuzhou Province, China, July 11-14, 2018. Despite Typhoon Maria, the conference produced outstanding discussions and opportunities for researchers to share their work on common problems facing consumers and families in Asia, as well as the typical economic issues of the host country. University of Missouri’s Personal Financial Planning Department was proudly represented by faculty and graduate students. Those traveling to China and presenting original research were Associate Professors Deanna Sharpe, PhD, CFP®, and Rui Yao, PhD, CFP®, doctoral student Xihao Huang, and doctoral candidate Zheying (Anthea) Yao.

2018 12th Biennial Conference in Fuzhou, China

Deanna SharpeDr. Deanna Sharpe

Rui YaoDr. Rui Yao

Deanna SharpeXihao Huang

Deanna SharpeZheying (Anthea) Yao

More about conference


Cynthia Crawford, PhD Quoted in WalletHub

Cynthia CrawfordPosted: Aug. 14, 2018

Cynthia Crawford, PhD was recently interviewed by WalletHub for its Ask the Experts column on 2018's Best & Worst Places to Retire.

Read full story


Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® Publishes in the Latest Issue of The Standard

Posted: Aug. 10, 2018

Andrew ZumwaltAFCPE Member and PFP Assistant Extension Professor Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® answers questions about the 2017 Tax Bill in the latest issue of The Standard: Review the 2017 Tax Bill.

The Standard logo

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Mizzou FPA Planning Begins for Fall Semester

Posted: Aug. 7, 2018

A productive Mizzou FPA planning meeting occurred on Monday, August 7, by way of Zoom video conferencing. Participating in the meeting were FPA officers (Brandon Easley, Clayton Foster, John Jackson, Ryan Micke, Wendy Severiche, and Sam Wheeland), Faculty Advisor (Dr. Rabanni), and Department Chair (Dr. Lawrence).

Sam Wheeland, President, said "Couldn’t be happier with the officers we have leading the way for FPA. With a packed schedule looking ahead, I’m certain we’ll have a phenomenal year for everyone involved." Stay tuned for information related to membership.

Sam Wheeland


Blue Goose of Mid-Missouri Holds Golf Tournament Supporting PFP’s Larry Fuller Memorial Scholarship

Posted: Jul. 31, 2018

An enjoyable time was had by all at the Larry Fuller Memorial Blue Goose Golf Tournament. Proceeds from the event benefit the Department’s Larry Fuller Memorial Scholarship. An immense thank you goes to the Fuller family. Pictured from left to right are PFP Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence, Christine Fuller, and Bryan Fuller.

Blue Goose banner


Student Spotlight on Elizaveta Korshunova

Posted: Jul. 27, 2018

Elizaveta Korshunova was selected as the Student Manager of the Office for Financial Success (OFS) for the 2018-2019 academic year. Originally from Russia, Liza moved to the United States in 2013 where she completed high school in the Kansas City, MO. She is a senior majoring in Personal Financial Planning and will also complete minors in Business and French. Liza is a high achieving student who is a member of the French honor society, Pi Delta Phi. She is studying abroad this summer through an internship program in Marseille, France. While in school, Liza works as a teller at Central Bank of Boone County and a volunteer at the Family Impact Center. Marco Pantoja, former OFS Assistant Director who selected Liza as this year’s OFS Student Manager, enjoyed the opportunity to work with her at the Family Impact Center. He says, "She is a hardworking, capable, and professional person who I believe will serve the OFS well as she progresses towards graduation."

Elizaveta Korshunova in ParisLiza Korshunova in Paris during her 2018 summer study abroad experience.


PFP Student Coaches Campers to Victory at Financial Planning Academy

Posted: Jul. 26, 2018

PFP students Mattie Myers and Gordon Edwards worked as counselors for the 3rd Annual Financial Planning Academy at Texas Tech University this summer. High school students arrived on campus ready to learn about personal finance and compete in challenges that were progressively more advanced throughout the week. Counselors worked with their group of 5-6 students to help them through the challenges and compete in a case study competition at the end of the week-long camp. The final competition was judged by a panel of local financial planners that the counselors were fortunate to get to know through the week on a personal and professional level. Mattie states, "I was blessed to lead my group to victory and can honestly say I think I learned even more than [the campers] did…I had more fun than I ever imagined possible."

Mattie Myers with her camp groupMattie Myers with her camp group

Gordon Edwards and Mattie MyersGordon Edwards and Mattie Myers


McCaulley and Zumwalt Offer Financial Planning Training for Methodist Clergy

Posted: Jul. 23, 2018

Dr. Graham McCaulley and Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, Extension faculty in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, recently completed a 2-day professional and personal development opportunity for Missouri United Methodist Conference clergy in the Mid-Missouri area. The training, hosted at Faithbridge United Methodist Church of Osage Beach, MO, covered diverse financial topics including credit, spending plans, insurance, record keeping, taxes, retirement, and investing. Funding for the training was provided by the Missouri United Methodist Foundation in cooperation with the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Graham McCaulley and Andrew Zumwalt


Alumni Spotlight on Shannon O'Toole

Posted: Jul. 16, 2018

Any human resources professional will tell you that choosing the right candidate for the right role is a critical component to the job, but Shannon O’Toole, chief talent officer for Buckingham Strategic Wealth and BAM Advisor Services, believes that how you develop that associate once they are on your team is equally as important. Shannon and her team consider the culture and people as Buckingham’s greatest asset. Under her direction, the talent and development team strives to recruit and select associates who align with the firm’s mission and values. Shannon is instrumental in the mergers and acquisition process for the firm, ensuring that the talent and value of a potential firm properly integrates into the Buckingham culture. Since 2010, she has vetted and integrated talent in the acquisition of 12 extension offices in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming. Shannon and her team ensure the firm’s associates who manage over $27 billion in assets under management, have the appropriate leadership, feedback, engagement and mentorship they need to succeed.

Shannon O'Toole

Shannon has been in the recruitment industry for over 20 years, the past 10 years with Buckingham She is a 1999 Mizzou graduate from the Personal Financial Planning Department (formerly consumer and family economics). She is 2016 recipient of the prestigious 40 Under 40 award from the St. Louis Business Journal. Shannon learned from her parents at an early age the importance of serving the local community. She is actively engaged in serving Our Little Haven, the American Youth Foundation, her children’s school, and her church community. A St. Louis native, she currently resides with her family in Kirkwood, Missouri.


Dr. Fran Lawrence Serves Second Term on Board of Directors for FPA of Greater Kansas City

Posted: Jul. 3, 2018

Frances LawrenceDr. Fran Lawrence, Professor and Chair, continues in a second consecutive term on the Board of Directors for the FPA of Greater Kansas City. She serves the board as the Co-Director of Student Mentoring and Career Development. View more information on all of the board members.


Faculty Spotlight on Brenda Procter, MS

Posted: Jul. 2, 2018

Brenda ProcterAfter serving 20 years as a state specialist and associate extension professor supporting financial programs to benefit Missourians living in poverty, Brenda Procter retired from that role and moved to a 70% position in 2013. In her new role, she serves as co-director of Extension’s statewide Health Insurance Education Initiative, funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health. Ms. Procter teaches professionals who make health insurance decisions. She also provides training, technical assistance, and administrative support to field faculty who offer local consumer workshops about the Affordable Care Act. She says of her job, "I love direct contact with people who need factual information about health insurance in a ‘fact-challenged’ world. Making a difference to someone who thought they were out of options is quite fulfilling.” Ms. Procter recently co-presented a workshop on the Affordable Care Act with Office for Financial Success Co-Director Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, with an audience of 20 financial planners and other professionals who received continuing education credit for their participation. She also recently published an article, "Beware scams as new Medicare cards arrive."

When not working for Missourians, Ms. Procter loves spending time with family, walking with her husband, visiting friends, reading news, and spoiling her cats. She is fascinated with politics and follows them closely.


PFP Hosts Missouri Council on Economic Education Quarterly Meeting

Posted: Jun. 25, 2018

The MU Department of Personal Financial Planning (PFP) hosted the quarterly meeting of the Board of Trustees for the Missouri Council on Economic Education (MCEE). Since 1969 MCEE has supported economic education for Missourians, chiefly through policy and programming targeting elementary and secondary schools. For years the PFP Department has helped MCEE fulfill its mission by providing personal finance teacher trainings across the state, as well as having faculty serve on the Board of Trustees. Pictured below are the MU Center for Economic Education’s Co-Directors Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® and Graham McCaulley, PhD, as well as PFP Department Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence and PFP Chair Emeritus Dr. Rob Weagley, CFP®.


PFP Students Receive Top ANC Foundation Awards, 2nd Consecutive Year

Posted: Jun. 12, 2018

The Arthur N. Caple (ANC) Foundation awards one $5,000 scholarship each year with the recipient also receiving complementary registration, travel, and hotel accommodations to attend the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) Annual Conference. The Department of Personal Financial Planning is proud to announce master’s student Christina Wang as the 2018 recipient of that award. Wang is the second PFP graduate student in as many years to receive the prestigious honor awarded to doctoral student Dalisha Herring, CFP® in 2017. Herring was the first MU student ever to receive the honor. The ANC Foundation also awards registration and travel grants to 6 additional students to attend the NAGDCA Annual Conference. Doctoral candidate Chen Xu received one of these 2018 awards (also the 2nd to do so in so many years), received in 2017 by Guopeng (Kevin) Cheng.

The 2018 NAGDCA Annual Conference will be September 23-26, in Philadelphia, PA. Also attending this year’s conference will be the PFP Department’s team of undergraduate students competing in the NAGDCA Retirement Knowledge Quiz Bowl.

PFP student award recipients


State Farms Presents Check to the Department’s Office for Financial Success

Posted: Jun. 1, 2018

State Farm presented a $141,000 check to the University of Missouri on May 30, 2018. The Personal Financial Planning Department’s Office for Financial Success will receive $15,000 to enhance financial literacy throughout the Mizzou community by providing financial counseling and resources. These resources include educational workshops, financial tips, tax preparation, and outreach programs across the state of Missouri. Services from the program include offering students counseling to help create student debt repayment plans, advising students so they stay in school and do not drop out due to financial reasons, and free tax preparation. The Personal Financial Planning Department is grateful for the grant and the long-standing partnership with State Farm. A special thank you goes to Andrew Zumwalt and Graham McCaulley who are the co-principal investigators of the grant. Their effort and dedication to the Office for Financial Success is second is highly valuable and appreciated. The announcement was broadcasted on the KOMU nightly news.

Pictured left to right are PFP alumnus Ryan Kenney, CLU®, CLF, LUTCF, Dean Sandy Rikoon, Department Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence, Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, and Dr. Graham McCaulley.

Dean Rikoon, Dr. Lawrence, Andrew Zumwalt, Graham McCaulley and State Farm reps


University of Missouri Ranks 2nd in Northwestern Mutual's College Team Competition

Posted: May 29, 2018

The University of Missouri ranked 2nd in the nation in Northwestern Mutual’s College Team Competition. The college team competition ranks each college’s team of interns participating in Northwestern Mutual’s financial representative internship program based on their collective productivity. MU’s Department of Financial Planning and Northwestern Mutual have a long and proud history of partnership together.

Northwestern Mutual Award Notification

CONGRATULATIONS
Awards Year Leaders!

Your success this year is proof of your commitment to be at the center of your clients’ financial lives. You've achieved a remarkable honor and we appreciate all your hard work!

Goal Post College Team Award
for the 2017-2018 Awards Year.

We look forward to recognizing you during the College Award Show.

  1. Iowa State
  2. Missouri-Columbia
  3. Ohio State
  4. Florida
  5. Central Florida
  1. East Tennessee State
  2. Wisconsin-Madison
  3. Minnesota-Duluth
  4. Michigan State
  5. North Dakota

Personal Financial Planning Faculty and Students Featured on the Cover of the CFP Board 2017 Annual Report

Posted: May 24, 2018

Annual Report cover pageMU Personal Financial Planning faculty and students were recently featured on the cover of the CFP Board 2017 Annual Report. In 2017, the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning continued to advance its mission of creating a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession, celebrating a number of groundbreaking achievements throughout the year. These accomplishments are highlighted in the 2017 Annual Report. The Annual Report provides an overview of the Center’s programs and progress in each of its three focus areas:

  • Workforce Development: Attracting and developing the next generation of financial planners.
  • Diversity: Fostering greater diversity in the profession.
  • Academic Home: Developing financial planning into a recognized academic discipline and building the profession’s body of knowledge.

Outstanding Personal Financial Planning Seniors Announced

Posted: May 21, 2018

The Personal Financial Planning Department is proud to announce three outstanding seniors for the Spring 2018 graduating class selected by its faculty. These outstanding seniors--Erin Bowman, Rachel Heggs, and Chloe Kinnison--are remarkable women who will be incredible assets to their future employers and to the financial planning industry. Bowman will begin in June working as a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial, Inc., St. Louis. Kinnison is currently studying for the Series 7 and 66 exams and will soon begin her role as a Financial Advisor for Renaissance Financial in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Heggs will be working as a Sales and Distribution Intern this summer with American Century Investments in Kansas City and hopes to continue full time employment with the following completion of the internship. She states, "I am excited to work for such an amazing company that shares my value of philanthropy."

Erin Bowman, Rachel Heggs, and Chloe Kinnison


Mizzou Financial Planning Association Elects New Officers

Posted: May 11, 2018

Sam WheelandThe Mizzou student chapter of Financial Planning Association (FPA) elected its new officers for the 2018-2019 academic year during their last meeting of this year. The new officers include Sam Wheeland (President), John Jackson (Vice President), Wendy Severiche (Treasurer), Brandon Easley (Secretary), Clayton Foster (Speaker Coordinator), and Ryan Micek (Social Media).

Sam Wheeland, the incoming FPA president, is a junior studying Finance and Banking in Trulaske College of Business while also pursuing the undergraduate certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the CFP Board-Registered Program in the Personal Financial Planning Department in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. This summer, Sam will be located in Denver, Colorado, working for Bank of America in the Advisor Development and Summer Analyst program. He has been a member of the Mizzou student chapter of FPA since Fall 2017. Sam credits the connections made through the PFP program with the opportunity to intern with Bank of America this summer. When asked about the opportunity to serve as FPA President for the 2018-19 academic year, he states, 'I owe my success to this program, now it’s my turn to give back to the organization.'


SkillUP Faculty Added to Personal Financial Planning Department

Posted: May 9, 2018

The Personal Financial Planning Department works closely with University of Missouri Extension and has recently added its SkillUP program faculty to its ranks. This program funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides SNAP recipients in Missouri with the opportunity to gain skills, training, or work experience as they seek to improve their wellbeing. The program is free for the participants and help promote employability and self-sufficiency.

Learn more about SkillUP

SkillUp logo


Faculty Spotlight on Dr. Deanna L. Sharpe, CFP®, AFC®, CRPC®, CRPS®

Posted: May 7, 2018

Dr. Deanna L. Sharpe, CFP®, AFC®, CRPC®, CRPS®, is an associate professor of Personal Financial Planning who excels in research, teaching, and service. Her research interest includes examination of factors affecting later life financial and economic well-being, as evidenced by her latest publication, a chapter in Client Psychology, edited by Dr. Charles Chaffin of the CFP Board. This chapter, "Client Psychology: The Older Client," outlines the changing demographics of the older population, age-related cognitive change as found in research literature, the difference between normal and concerning behavioral declines, best practice suggestions for working with older adults, and potential topics for further research.

Dr. Sharpe has been recognized numerous times for her quality research, teaching excellence, and service contributions by organizations such as the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., American Council on Consumer Interests, University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences, and University of Missouri Campus Writing Program.

In her spare time, Dr. Sharpe is a long-time volunteer for Boy Scouts of America…

Deanna Sharpe


Student Spotlight on Jimmy Merdian

Posted: May 7, 2018

Jimmy MerdianJimmy Merdian, a native of Kansas City, MO, is a senior in the Department of Personal Financial Planning. He has enjoyed many opportunities to become involved in the Department and to share his skills and passion as for helping others with developing financial security. His volunteerism with the Office for Financial Success and role as President of the Mizzou student chapter of Financial Planning Association have afforded Jimmy the opportunity to grow as a leader and to acquire knowledge and learn expectations for his future in the financial planning industry. As a member of FPA, Jimmy attended the 2017 FPA Annual Conference in Nashville, TN, an opportunity that has opened doors by expanding his professional network.

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Alumni Spotlight on Tahira K. Hira, PhD

Posted: May 7, 2018

Tahira K. HiraTahira K. Hira, Professor Emerita of Personal Finance and Consumer Economics, is an internationally known leader in the field of financial literacy. Her varied and prolific professional experience includes being a member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, Chair of the NYSE committee on financial literacy and member of Experian consumer Advisory council. She was the founding president of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) and president of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).

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Dalisha Herring, CFP® Receives GPC Annual Award

Posted: May 3, 2018

The Personal Financial Planning Department is pleased to congratulate Dalisha Herring, CFP® and doctoral student, who was selected as Outstanding General Assembly Member by the MU Graduate Professional Council (GPC) for the 2017-18 academic year. This recognition was conferred by the GPC Executive Board for outstanding service to the GPC General Assembly and to the graduate and professional student body. She has faithfully served the past three years on the GPC Finance Committee whose primary responsibility is to review hundreds of travel grant applications each year. Ms. Herring also serves on the MU Parking and Transportation Committee as the GPC liaison representing the graduate and professional student body. Previously, she served two years on the MU Student Conduct Committee in the same liaison capacity.

Dalisha Herring and fellow awardees

The award was presented at the end of year GPC General Assembly Appreciation Party at DogMaster Distillery. Ms. Herring is pictured here with fellow awardees and master’s students Erin Niederberger (Library & Information Science) and Matthew Burch (microbiology).


Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® and Brenda Procter Present ACA Training Workshop

Posted: May 2, 2018

Through MU Extension’s Health Insurance Education Initiative, Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® and Assistant Extension Professor, and Brenda Procter, Associate Extension Professor, presented the Affordable Care Act Training for Financial Professionals to 20 Missouri-based Certified Financial Planners™ and Accredited Financial Counselors® yesterday in Columbia, MO. "We know financial planners can play an important role in a client’s health insurance decisions, and we wanted to provide our participants with the most up-to-date information on the Affordable Care Act," Procter said.

Andrew Zumwalt and Brenda Procter

The training topics included Basics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), How to Help Individual and Family Consumers Navigate the Marketplace, How to Integrate Marketplace Insurance into a Financial Plan, and Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Under the ACA. According to Zumwalt, "The complexity and changing nature of the ACA can be a challenge for financial planners to keep up with and we were happy to share information and tricks for maximizing benefits under the ACA." Thanks to funding from the Missouri Foundation for Health, attendees each received 3 free continuing education units for credit toward requirements for the CFP® and AFC® governing bodies.


Wells Fargo Advisors Hosts PFP Professional Development Day

Posted: Apr. 30, 2018

PFP students and faculty at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA) recently welcomed 40 students and 3 faculty members from the Personal Financial Planning Department to its headquarters in St. Louis, MO. The Professional Development Day was an opportunity for students to see the operations of WFA and meet some of its top executives and producers. Breakout sessions included "Next Generation Within the Industry," "Evolution of an Advisor," "Comprehensive Financial Tools," and "Using Market Strategy to Develop Holistic Financial Plans for Clients." The students enjoyed a meet-and-greet lunch with Mizzou alumni, and the day concluded with a tour of the facilities including the trading floor.

Senior Matthew Tomlin, President of MU’s Office for Financial Success and Speaker Coordinator for Financial Planning Association-Mizzou Student Chapter, worked with other student leaders and Wells Fargo’s Devin DeStefano, CFP® and Managing Director-Next Gen Advisor Strategy. Tomlin states, "Planning the trip was an incredible experience for me to form connections with employees and Mizzou alumni at Wells Fargo. The opportunity gave participants a firsthand look at Wells Fargo’s culture and values and helped students prepare for a better future career in the industry."

DeStefano said of the event, "I found my interactions and the opportunity to connect with both your leaders and students to be extremely energizing."

"Participating in Professional Development Day at Wells Fargo Advisors was a way for MU personal financial planning students to obtain first-hand information about the industry," said Fran Lawrence, Professor and Department Chair of Personal Financial Planning. "I would like to thank Wells Fargo Advisors for providing such an outstanding educational opportunity for our students, and I look forward to a continued partnership."


2018 HES Awards

Posted: Apr. 24, 2018

Personal Financial Planning faculty and students celebrate with award recipients Dr. Tahira Hira (Citation of Merit), Dr. Rui Yao, CFP® (Distinguished Research/Creative Activity Award), and Mary Dorn (Graduate Teaching Award) at the HES Week Awards Reception.

PFP faculty and students at awards

Pictured left to right: Dalisha Herring, Allie Davis, Lu Fan, Tahira Hira, Robert Weagley, Deanna Sharpe, Cynthia Crawford, Dean Sandy Rikoon, Fran Lawrence, Mary Dorn, Abed Rabbani. (Not pictured: Rui Yao)


Dr. Lu Fan Earns CFP® Designation

Posted: Apr. 24, 2018

Lu FanWe are proud to announce that Dr. Lu Fan became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional this month. Earning the CFP® certification means Dr. Fan has joined a select group of competent and ethical personal financial planning practitioners.

The CFP® certification is conferred only on those who meet rigorous professional standards including completion of a comprehensive course of study in personal financial planning, passing the CFP Board certification examination, and fulfilling a multiyear work experience requirement. Congratulations Assistant Professor Lu Fan, PhD, CFP®!


Let's Talk Dough with Financial Wellness Expert, Jason Vitug

Posted: Apr. 23, 2018

Join Jason Vitug, financial wellness expert, who is the founder and CEO of Phroogal, as he discusses the social taboo of talking about money. The event is on Tuesday, April 24th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at Shakespeare's Pizza, downtown.

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Rabbani & Lawrence Receive Mangel Grant

Posted: Apr. 19, 2018

Assistant Professor Abed Rabbani, PhD, CFP®, and Professor and Chair Fran Lawrence, PhD, were awarded one of five $3,000 grants awarded by the Margaret W. Mangel Faculty Research Catalyst Fund for their project titled "Financial Knowledge Gap and Financial Risk Tolerance Among Young Adults." These grants are awarded annually to faculty of the College of Human Environmental Sciences as a way to assist with research scholarship/creative activity efforts. The primary goal is to "catalyze" new research initiatives that will grow into larger projects capable of being supported from sources external to the College. This grant is funded with support of former Dean Margaret Mangel, a visionary who was always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for people and was most generous in her support of ongoing activities of the college.

Dr. Rabbani and Dr. Lawrence


Yao & Lei Published Again!

Posted: Apr. 11, 2018

FCSRJ coverThe Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Department is proud to recognize another publication by its faculty and alumni. Recent research by Rui Yao and Shine Lei found that an investor’s gender and household income mediate the effect of information source on investor portfolio performance. This is the first study of its kind to illustrate positive empirical evidence of the relationship between the service provided by financial planners in the United States and the financial outcome of their clients. Read "Source of Information and Projected Household Investment Portfolio Performance" in the March 2018 issue of Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal.

Rui Yao, PhD, CFP®, is Associate Professor of Personal Financial Planning at University of Missouri-Columbia. Shine Lei, PhD, CFP®, earned her doctorate in Mizzou’s PFP program and is now Assistant Professor of Finance & Economics at West Texas A&M University.


Student Spotlight on Linsey Winkler

Posted: Apr. 5, 2018

Linsey WinklerLinsey Winkler, a junior Personal Financial Planning major, is an academic advising assistant for Dr. Starla Ivey and works part-time at a local bank. Linsey began Mizzou as a mechanical engineering major but working at the bank quickly made her realize that a career in financial services is where she wanted to be. She is the 2018 recipient of the Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council’s $1,000 scholarship. Linsey’s favorite part of the Personal Financial Planning program is the faculty and the passion they show for the field. She has taken time to get to know each of her professors and appreciates their willingness to take the time to make sure each student understands the material and succeeds inside and outside the classroom. In her spare time, Linsey enjoys playing softball and kickball and is a volunteer cheerleading coach at Benton Elementary School. Linsey will be spending the summer in Greensboro, NC, in an intern with Triad Financial Advisors working with PFP alumna, Lauren Bauer, CFP®.


Alumni Spotlight on Taylor Ahern, (BS 2012)

Taylor AhernTaylor Ahern graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Personal Financial Planning in December 2012. Following graduating she moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and began her career with American Century Investments, an Investment Management Company. She has since graduated with her Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University in 2016.

Ahern, a Financial Consultant working with over 420 clients with assets exceeding $500 million, is responsible for developing investment and retirement plans for clients. Her expertise spans a broad array of financial topics, including investment planning, financial planning, retirement planning and diversification strategies. Taylor has clients all over the country and enjoys traveling to work with them. Her industry licenses include Series 6, 7, 63, and 65.

Read more


Christina Wang Elected Treasurer of GPC

Posted: Apr. 4, 2018

Christina WangCongratulations to master’s student Christina Wang who was elected to serve as Treasurer of the Graduate Professional Council (GPC) for the 2018-19 academic year. Her role as treasurer will be to keep detailed records and provide a fiscal report to the Executive Board each month, coordinate scoring of travel grant applications and distribution of those approved grants, evaluate funding requests from student organizations with input of the Finance Committee (of which she is chair) and present those requests to the General Assembly for approval, serve as vice chair of the Student Fee Review Committee, and many other duties as outlined by GPC’s Bylaws. Christina began service to GPC as an elected at-large representative starting in August 2017 and recently volunteered her time to travel to and participate in the South Central Regional Conference of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. The Department of Personal Financial Planning is proud of Christina’s commitment to serve our campus in this capacity.


Dr. Rui Yao's Research Cited in St. Joseph News-Press

Posted: Apr. 2, 2018

Retirement research headed by Associate Professor Rui Yao, PhD, CFP®, was cited in the St. Joseph News-Press in its March 26, 2018, editorial, "Saving equals security."

Read full story


Marco Pantoja, AFC® Quoted in WalletHub

Posted: Apr. 2, 2018

Marco PantojaMarco Pantoja, AFC®, was recently interviewed by WalletHub for its Ask the Experts column on Climbing the Credit Score Range. He was asked to respond to three questions about credit score ranges and the importance of consumers to check their score.

Read full story


New Partnership with Wuhan University of Technology Announced for International Financial Planning Initiative

Wuhan University logoPosted: Mar. 22, 2018

The Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri-Columbia has successfully garnered another partnership with a Chinese university as part of its International Financial Planning Initiative. The new partnership is with Wuhan University of Technology in Wuhan, China. Two degree options are available for the accepted students with the purpose of the providing either an accelerated dual bachelors to master’s degree program that will lead to a bachelor’s degree from Wuhan University of Technology and a master’s degree in Personal Financial Planning from the University of Missouri or a bachelor’s degree from both institutions. Dr. Rui Yao, CFP®, serves as the liaison for the program on the MU campus. More information can be found in the online brochure.


Cheng, Xu, and Yao Receive Graduate Professional Council Travel Grants

Posted: Mar. 19, 2018

Guopeng (Kevin) Cheng, Chen Xu, and Zheying (Anthea) Yao, all part of the doctoral program in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, received travel grants from the Graduate Professional Council (GPC). These grants ($200 each for Xu and Yao, $400 for Cheng) helped to offset the expense of traveling to Arlington, VA, in February to present their original research studies at the CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium.

Learn more information about each of these outstanding students.

Cheng, Xu, and Yao


Mary Dorn, PhD Candidate, Gives Back to the Community

Mary Dorn at Black Honey Bee CosmeticsPosted: Mar. 15, 2018

Giving back to the community is important for financial advisors. Doctoral Candidate Mary E. Dorn, MBA, gave her time to complete the tax return for Black Honey Bee Cosmetics, a Mizzou student-owned business, owned by Tiana Glass. They are pictured together here in the retail store located inside the MU Student Center.


Dalisha Herring, MBA, CFP® Named Tribute to Women Graduate Student Honoree

Posted: Mar. 15, 2018

Dr. Sharpe, Dalisha Herring, &  Dr. LawrenceDalisha Herring, MBA, CFP®, was honored as the Tribute to Women Graduate Student Honoree by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women on March 12, 2018. A doctoral student in Personal Financial Planning, she is pictured here with her dissertation chair, Associate Professor Deanna L. Sharpe, PhD, and her nominators Amy Lannin, PhD, Director of MU’s Campus Writing Program, and Frances C. Lawrence, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Personal Financial Planning. The Tribute to Women honorees are those who have worked above and beyond the expectations of their job responsibilities to help create an environment of equity, fairness and justice for women on the MU campus, including students, faculty and staff; and demonstrated respect for the diversity of women's experiences; and helped promote the advancement of women through education, advocacy, support and activism. Dr. Lannin shared, "Promotion of the advancement of women in higher education has been part of Dalisha’s experiences as a doctoral student, an instructor, and in her countless interactions with potential and current college students."


Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® Offers Affordable Care Act Training

Posted: Mar. 9, 2018

Andrew ZumwaltAndrew Zumwalt, MS, CFP® is an Assistant Extension Professor with MU Extension. He will present an Affordable Care Act (ACA) training for financial planners and professionals in central Missouri. Financial professionals who complete the training will receive three (3) CEU credits at no charge. Workshop topics include:

  • Basics of the Affordable Care Act
  • How to Help Individual and Family
  • Consumers Navigate the Marketplace
  • How to Integrate Marketplace Insurance into a Financial Plan
  • Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Under the ACA

Training is free and open to the public. Lunch is included at no cost. To register, contact Kate King at kingkath@missouri.edu by noon on Wednesday, April 25.

Monday, April 30, 2018
10:30 am to 2:00 pm
Rock Bridge Shopping Center
Hy-Vee, 2nd Floor Club Room
405 E. Nifong Boulevard
Columbia, MO

Download flyer (PDF)


Dr. Abed Rabanni, CFP®, Dr. Rui Yao, CFP®, and Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, Experts for Tax Day

Posted: Mar. 7, 2017

Story by Austin Fitzgerald, MU News Bureau

COLUMBIA, Mo. – As Tax Day draws closer, people are eager to learn how to make better financial decisions. From students to retirees, every stage of life has its own financial challenges. The University of Missouri offers the following scholars with various areas of expertise available for stories about personal finance, taxes and investing in advance of April 17.

Andrew ZumaltPaying taxes: Andrew Zumwalt, a certified financial planner, is an active promoter of financial education and an expert in tax preparation. He can discuss how consumers can optimize their tax returns and maximize their refunds. Zumwalt is co-director of the Office for Financial Success in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Understanding credit: Amy Schmitz is a consumer advocate who can discuss the steps consumers can take to protect their credit, educate themselves about credit card pitfalls and prevent identify theft. Schmitz is a professor of law and founder of MyConsumertips.info.

Abed RabbaniManaging risk: Abed Rabbani is a certified financial planner™ and an expert in financial planning and risk management. He oversees the online Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment, which is available here. He can discuss investment risk tolerance, insurance and retirement among consumers. Rabbani is an assistant professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, which is located in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Investing wisely: Michael O’Doherty is an expert in asset pricing and investments. He can help consumers make optimal portfolio choices, with a specific emphasis on how investors should account for uncertainty over future tax rates when making retirement savings decisions. O’Doherty is an associate professor in the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business.

Financial planning: John Howe is a behavioral finance expert who is able to discuss the psychological factors involved in financial decisions. He is the author of "The Foolish Corner: Avoiding Mind Traps in Personal Financial Decisions." Howe is a professor of finance, the Missouri Bankers Chair and chair of the Department of Finance in the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business.

Rui YaoPlanning for retirement: Rui Yao is an expert in personal financial planning. She can discuss financial risk tolerance, saving and investment behavior, and retirement preparation. She can also discuss gender differences in these areas. Yao is an associate professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, which is located in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.


Dr. Rui Yao Quoted in Barron’s

Posted: Mar. 6, 2018

Dr. Rui Yao and doctoral student Keven Cheng's research study on millennials and their saving plans towards retirement was recently featured on Barron's.

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Rui Yao


Millennials Are Not Adequately Saving for Retirement

Posted: Mar. 6, 2018

Dr. Rui Yao and doctoral student Kevin Cheng's research study on millennials and their saving plans towards retirement was recently featured on MU News Bureau. They found that nearly two-thirds of working millennials do not have retirement accounts.

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Rui YaoDr. Rui Yao

Guopeng ChengKevin Cheng


Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment - In the News

Posted: Mar. 5, 2018

The Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment (IRTA) is in the news again! The Maneater has taken notice of this 13-question assessment quiz originally created by John Grable, PhD, CFP®, (University of Georgia) and Ruth Lytton, PhD, (Virginia Tech) that was recently acquired by the Department of Personal Financial Planning from Rutgers University. Abed Rabbani, PhD, CFP®, Associate Professor, now operates the IRTA for the Department and is thrilled with the use and response of the quiz since its transfer to MU.

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Alumni Spotlight on Lea Crawford Satterfield, CFP® (BS, 2009)

Lea SatterfieldLea Crawford Satterfield, CFP®, graduated with her BS in Personal Financial Planning (PFP) from the University of Missouri in 2009. In July 2012, she passed the CFP® examination, and in May 2016, she graduated with an MBA from Arizona State University. During her time at Mizzou, Lea was an HES Ambassador, President of Mizzou Financial Planning Association, a teacher’s aide within the PFP Department, and provided tax-preparation services through the Office for Financial Success.

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Mizzou Financial Planning Students Compete in Contest Sponsored by Edward Jones

Posted: Feb. 23, 2018

Story by Sheena Rice, Mizzou News

EJPC student attendees

Last fall, University of Missouri students from the Department of Personal Financial Planning had the opportunity to act like real-life financial advisors. Students in an investment management class were invited to compete in the Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge, a professional competition that allows students to step into the shoes of financial advisors and learn to create a diversified portfolio solution that fit clients’ long-term needs and desires.

With cash prizes on the line, students got to work putting together the best comprehensive plan to help their clients meet their financial goals.

Lu Fan, assistant professor of personal financial planning, is the instructor for investment management at Mizzou. She split her class up into teams and assigned them the case of the Gronkowskis, a fictitious married couple who recently received an inheritance.

"I enjoyed working with my students to provide them with hands-on financial planning experience,” Fan said. “The plans presented by the students were exemplary and reflect the exceptional quality of Mizzou’s personal financial planning students and faculty."

During the competition, students were tasked with devising a plan that would help the couple retire in ten years while paying for their son’s college education and leaving room for travel. The top three groups presented their plans before the class, faculty and representatives from Edwards Jones. Judges included Fan and working professional financial advisors Gina Mauller, Eric Willmeth and Nathan Brown.

According to Edward Jones, the benefits of the portfolio challenge include interaction with professionals in the investment field, developing analytical and presentation skills and an opportunity to learn real-world strategies based upon client needs.

"It was a great challenge and helped put everything we learn in the classroom into a real-world project," said Anthony Wight, a member of the winning team. "I hope we have the opportunity to do something like this for years to come."

Wright and his teammates—Rachel Heggs, Timothy Lux, Jimmy Merdian and Matthew Tomlin—received the top prize of $2,500. The second-place team, with students Brandon Fredman, Grant Fry, Cameron Harris and Christina Wang received a $1,500 cash prize. A third-place prize of $1,000 was awarded to Brandon Contreras, Victor Hoffman, Kelcey Nunley and Austin Wells.

"The Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge is just one of the ways MU personal financial planning students are able to get real-world, hands-on experience with partners in the financial industry," said Fran Lawrence, professor and department chair of personal financial planning. "I would like to thank Edward Jones for providing such a fantastic opportunity for our students."


Dr. Fran Lawrence 2018 Academic Research Colloquium Steering Committee Member

Posted: Feb. 23, 2018

Dr. Fran Lawrence served on the steering committee for the 2018 Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines. Sponsored by the CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning, the international Colloquium met from February 20 – 22 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA. Lawrence is pictured with Dr. Charles Chaffin, Director of Academic Initiatives - Center for Financial Planning, and other steering committee members, Dr. Mike Staten, University of Arizona, Dr. Lance Palmer, University of Georgia, Dr. Jonathan Fox, Iowa State University, and Dr. Mark Fedenia, University of Wisconsin.

Fran Lawrence and colleagues


Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® Interviewed by Primerates.com

Abed RabbaniAssistant Professor Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® was interviewed by Primerates.com about setting realistic financial goals.

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Faculty Attend Commerce Trust Company’s Annual Investment Summit

Posted: Feb. 21, 2018

The University of Missouri Department of Personal Financial Planning faculty, Drs. Lu Fan, Fran Lawrence, and Abed Rabbani, attended Commerce Trust Company’s annual Investment Summit on January 25, 2018 in Columbia, MO. A crowd of more than 180 was on hand at the Country Club of Missouri to hear insights from Commerce investment professionals on expectations for the global and domestic economy, the macro forces at play in the equity markets, and how individuals and organizations might plan and set strategies for their investment portfolios in 2018.

The annual Investment Summit featured four Commerce speakers: Financial Planning Manager Guy Hockerman, CPA, CFA; Chief Economist and Director of Fixed Income Management Scott Colbert, CFA; Senior Vice President and Director of Investment Strategies Joseph Williams, III, CFA; and Senior Vice President and Investment Analyst Don McArthur, CFA.

As in years’ past at this forum, the Commerce team engaged early with attendees and welcomed questions throughout the program. After introductions to start the session, Hockerman led off with the "Key Elements of a Financial Plan," addressing the main planning concerns investors face when trying to make retirement funds stretch comfortably over the anticipated years of retirement.

Colbert, Williams and McArthur then followed with the investment overview section of the program, making their assessments of the global and domestic economy. They covered the financial waterfront on topics that included Federal Reserve policy, leading economic indicators, interest rates, inflation, wages, unemployment, corporate earnings and manufacturing. They also included a frank discussion of a nearing stock market correction, which actually occurred the following week in early February after the Summit.

Williams focused on the equity markets during his segment, reminding investors that it was really a matter of time before a market correction occurred. Up until late January, stocks had been progressing in an upward direction for 85 weeks without incurring a 5% correction. This extended low rate of volatility was considered highly unusual when equity indexes on average generally experience a 5% drop every 10 weeks. Historically, you would have to go back to the run-up in the 1920s for a comparable scenario. But Williams was quick to remind investors that Commerce believed a near-term market set-back would not signal the beginning of a Bear Market, but would rather simply be a normal market pull-back.

Lu FanDr. Lu Fran

Fran LawrenceDr. Fran Lawrence

Abed RabbaniDr. Abed Rabbani

After the market correction occurred a week later, Williams said "Rebalancing back to your long-term allocation is always the prudent thing to do, especially in a bull market that has now lasted for eight years, driving S&P 500 Index returns up over 250% from its lows back in 2009," said Williams. "We also believe this is a great opportunity for investors to evaluate their overall asset allocation, especially after a long hike in the stock market."


Personal Financial Planning On-Line Masters Rated #2 in U.S.

Posted: Feb. 15, 2018

Top Accounting Degrees, which bills itself, as "The #1 Internet Guide" to degree programs, rated HES’ Personal Financial Planning Program as the #2 program nationally for online Financial Planning degrees. The write-up noted the program "is an innovative program focused on supporting individuals and families to achieve economic security. . . Coursework covers everything from household economics to retirement and tax planning. Graduates are prepared to sit for the CFP examination through a rigorous curriculum and in-depth course content." CONGRATS TO PFP!

Top Acccounting Degrees Best Online Programs


Dr. Rui Yao and Guopeng Cheng to be Recognized at Conference for Best Paper

Posted: Feb. 13, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Rui Yao and PhD candidate Guopeng Cheng will be recognized at the 109th Annual Conference and Expo of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences on June 25, 2018 for their award winning article "Retirement Savings Behavior: Account Ownership and Millennial Account Balance," which was published in the December issue of the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal (FCSRJ). The article was selected as the Best Paper in Personal Finance/Consumer Economics for 2017. The criteria for the Best Paper selection in each of the sub disciplines is: originality and importance of the topic, strength of the methodology and results, and implications for a lasting contribution to family and consumer sciences.

Rui YaoDr. Rui Yao

Guopeng ChengGuopeng Cheng


Research-Based Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment Overseen by Dr. Abed Rabbani

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018

Abed RabbaniDr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® recently discussed the Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment with MU News Bureau. Dr. Rabbani says the Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment, now housed in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, will help investors and financial advisors assess investment risk.

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Personal Financial Planning Student Scholarships and Awards Continue to Climb

Posted: Jan. 31, 2018

Students in the Department of Personal Financial Planning continue to be recognized for their outstanding academic achievement.

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Student Spotlight on Grant Fry

Posted: Jan. 29, 2018

Grant FryGrant Fry, a senior from Jerseyville, IL, is a Personal Financial Planning student graduating in December 2018. Grant is passionate about learning all he can about the financial planning field and how planning can help people succeed with their goals. He completed an internship last summer with Edward Jones in Columbia, MO and will intern with Bank of America in Seattle, WA, this summer. Grant enjoys watching and playing sports in his spare time, as well as traveling and viewing old movies.


Linsey Winkler Receives Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council Scholarship

Posted: Jan. 25, 2018

MU’s Department of Personal Financial Planning congratulates junior Linsey Winkler on receiving the Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council’s annual scholarship of $1,000. She accepted her award from the MMEPC Scholarship Chair, Dr. Robert O. Weagley, CFP®, the Department’s Chair Emeritus, today at the organization’s quarterly luncheon. Winkler is pictured here with Dr. Weagley, as well as other attendees from the Department—Professor and Chair Frances C. Lawrence, PhD, Assistant Professor Lu Fan, PhD, and doctoral student Dalisha Herring, CFP®.


CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium

Posted: Jan. 25, 2018

The Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri will be participating in the CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium in Arlington, VA, February 20-22, 2018. This is an international forum where researchers, practitioners, and graduate students gather to present and share research on the latest in the financial planning and related disciplines. The quality of the presentations is high with only a 33% acceptance rate for all presentation proposal submissions. Dr. Frances C. Lawrence, Professor and Chair, serves on the steering committee for the Colloquium, while 4 other faculty and 5 doctoral students will be presenting empirical research. These include Dr. Lu Fan, Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP®, Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, Dr. Rui Yao, CFP®, Guopeng (Kevin) Cheng, Chen Xu, and Zheying (Anthea) Yao.

colloquium attendees


9 in 10 CFP® Professionals are Highly Satisfied with their Career

Posted: Jan. 24, 2018

Not only do CFP® professionals enjoy what they are doing, they also strongly feel that CFP® certification has had a positive impact on their career satisfaction and advancement, and has given them a competitive edge.

A study by Aite Group seeks to identify and quantify differences between financial advisors who hold the CFP® certification and financial advisors who do not hold the CFP® certification. The study also compares advising practices that include CFP® professionals to those without CFP® professionals across a range of key metrics. According to the study:

  • 86% of CFP® professionals say that certification has had a positive impact on their career satisfaction
  • 84% of CFP® professionals say certification has had a positive impact on their career advancement
  • 81% of CFP® professionals believe they have a distinct advantage over financial planners who do not hold CFP® certification
  • CFP® certification provides opportunities for a meaningful and satisfying career and can make a real difference in your ability to earn higher income. There is also satisfaction from a personal standpoint. You will find special gratification in working one-on-one with clients and helping them attain their financial goals. The connections you make and the professional relationships you build can prove to be highly rewarding on many levels.

If you enjoy working with people ... if you take pride in your achievements ... if you get a good feeling knowing you are helping others, CFP® certification can fulfill your highest aspirations.

For additional resources and information about CFP® certification, please review our Personal Financial Planning undergraduate degree program and visit the CFP® Board.


Personal Financial Planning Students Assist in Tax Preparation at VITA Sites

Posted: Jan. 23, 2018

Andrew ZumwaltUnder the leadership of Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, The Department of Personal Financial Planning faculty and students assist Missourians with their tax return preparation at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. The VITA program not only helps Missourians file their taxes but also provides Personal Financial Planning students a great, hands-on learning experience, exemplifying the "Missouri Method" of real world exposure that will help them as they enter the professional community.

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Mary Dorn and Ben Beussink Attend FPA of Greater Kansas City Meeting

Posted: Jan. 22, 2018

FPA of Greater Kansas City logoMary Dorn, MBA and PhD candidate, and Ben Beussink, CPA and PhD student, represented the MU Department of Personal Financial Planning at the FPA of Greater Kansas City January Chapter Meeting at the Embassy Suites in Olathe, KS. They are pictured with guest speaker, Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL, whose topic was Tax Planning Developments & Opportunities Under TCJA. Dr. Fran Lawrence, Department Chair, also attended.

Mary Dorn, Ben Beussink

Michael Kitces speaking to group


Dr. Graham McCaulley Spoke at the Spring Faculty and Staff Meeting

Posted: Jan. 15, 2018

The Department of Personal Financial Planning's Office for Financial Success Co-Director Dr. Graham McCaulley spoke at the College of Human Environmental Sciences Spring Faculty and Staff meeting on personal finance updates. Two timely topics were covered - recommended action steps in light of the Equifax data breach and changes to the income tax code from recent legislation. Although roughly half of American’s personal data (including social security numbers) was breached several months ago, the majority of consumers have not taken action to protect themselves from potential identity theft. The Office of Financial Success recommends most consumers place a security freeze on their credit files as well as monitor their current accounts. For more information on steps to take, as well as other topics, visit www.ofsmizzou.org.


Firms Want People Skills More Than Analytical Prowess

Posted: Jan. 15, 2018

For entry-level employees at advisory firms, the human touch is much more important than number-crunching skills, according to this year's Schwab Independent Advisor Outlook Study, whose findings were released this week in tandem with the annual Schwab IMPACT Conference in Chicago.

The study found that 82% of advisers seek employees with "people skills" versus 18% who are looking for employees who are "skilled with numbers." The survey also found that the top three backgrounds advisory firms consider valuable in candidates are communications, sales and consulting.

More info


Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment Has a New Home

Posted: Jan. 10, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - After more than a decade being housed on a Rutgers Cooperative Extension personal finance web page, a 13-question survey to assess personal investment risk tolerance has moved to a website at the University of Missouri. The change is being made as a result of a website re-design involving the use of new programming language at Rutgers University.

Abed Rabbani

Fran Lawrence

The Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz was developed by Dr. John Grable at the University of Georgia and Dr. Ruth Lytton at Virginia Tech and was empirically tested and published in a seminal 1999 journal article about investment risk tolerance. "We never imagined how extensively the survey would be used. It has been used by financial planners to assess client risk tolerance and globally by researchers to advance the study of risk tolerance," noted Lytton.

The quiz has been featured widely in social media and in both personal financial planning textbooks and popular-press books for self-assessment of risk tolerance attitudes and the effect on personal investment decisions.” Even motivational speaker Tony Robbins featured it in a blog post. All of these efforts have increased awareness of the Rutgers survey and contributed to its popularity. When people search the words "Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz" on Google, the quiz is the first item that is listed.

More than 200,000 people have taken the quiz, which is believed to be the largest personal finance research data base ever created. Quiz data have been used for several dozen research papers and graduate student theses and dissertations. Rutgers Cooperative extension will continue to maintain a downloadable PDF print copy of the quiz on their website but active data collection and immediate online access to risk tolerance results will move to University of Missouri Personal Financial Planning Department. The site will be overseen by Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP®, an Assistant Professor in the University of Missouri Personal Financial Planning Department. Dr. Rabbani obtained his PhD at the University of Georgia and studied under Dr. Grable.

"The online Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz is in good hands and will continue to benefit online users and generate useful data about investment risk tolerance for a new generation of personal finance scholars," noted Dr. Barbara O’Neill, a Distinguished Professor and Extension Financial Management Specialist at Rutgers University. Dr. John Grable stated that, "Dr. Barbara O’Neill and her colleagues at Rutgers University provided a valuable service to consumers and researchers by hosting the risk quiz. I am so pleased to know that the quiz will be available at no cost to the public through the University of Missouri."

On the receiving end of the quiz, Dr. Rabbani noted, "It is a privilege to oversee this large data collection effort. I have added affinity to it as my doctoral dissertation was based on the dataset utilizing this quiz. I thank Dr. Barbara O’Neill and Rutgers University for overseeing this valuable resource for so many years. We will give our best to ensure quality while it is hosted at the University of Missouri."

These thoughts were echoed by Dr. Fran Lawrence, Professor and department chair of the University of Missouri Personal Financial Planning Department, who noted, "It is definitely an honor to be associated with such a credible research tool created by Dr. Grable and Dr. Lytton and particularly rewarding to step into the footsteps of hosting the site from an outstanding professional as Rutgers’ Dr. O’Neill."

Investment risk tolerance is the amount of variability in the value of an investment that an investor is able to tolerate. It is a key factor in investment decision-making and is affected by many personal factors such as an investor’s age and prior investment experience and how financial markets are performing. Ongoing research about investment risk tolerance will enable researchers to better understand investor decisions.


Alumni Spotlight on Jim Deutsch, CFP® (BS, 1994)

Posted: Dec. 18, 2017

Jim Deutsch was a business student when he discovered the Personal Financial Planning department at the University of Missouri. He stayed another year to graduate in 1994, and says he owes much of his success to the program. Now the President and CEO of Smith Moore, Jim is also a graduate of Webster University with a Master’s Degree in Finance, and the Securities Industry Institute at Wharton School of Business.

As a financial advisor with over two decades of experience helping clients, he views himself as a holistic financial planner who creates plans to help clients achieve their life goals. By leveraging his extensive financial services experience and a network of competent teammates--including attorneys, CPAs and insurance professionals--he helps his clients solve financial concerns and questions.

Jim Deutsch

Jim’s experience in the industry boasts a significant record of results in organizational development, process improvement, audit performance, portfolio management, and compliance and client service. He is described as a bold, decisive leader with an unblemished reputation, a strong work ethic and a passion to improve performance at all levels of the organization. Jim re-energized the organization and raised business standards in leadership, hiring new talent, and consolidating two St. Louis offices into one central, prestigious location. He drove technology utilization and improvements, and tightened financial controls while always ensuring regulatory compliance. Jim became a shareholder in 1999, a member of the Board of Directors in 2001 and President and CEO in 2003. Under his leadership, the firm has grown revenues each year and increased its assets under management from $400 million to over $2.5 billion. During Jim’s tenure the firm has expanded its footprint, with 10 branch offices in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. He also manages a book of business with over $125 million in assets.

Jim was a 2008 recipient of the St. Louis Business Journal’s prestigious "Forty under 40" award. He serves on the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Private Client Group, the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association Committee (RCGA), and serves as Board President of Covenant Place. Co-Chair of the 2016 St. Louis Delegation for Maccabi Games, Jim was also one of 20 participants from St. Louis in the Wexner Heritage program which promotes leadership and Jewish study. Beginning in 2018, Jim will be an adjunct faculty member at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

He is a strong advocate for the financial planning industry as a top career choice for college graduates. "There is a high need for motivated and educated professionals in this field," says Jim. "I encourage high school students to consider the University of Missouri’s Personal Financial Planning major and pursue the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification. It is a rewarding career."


How to Get an "A" in Retirement

Posted: Dec. 14, 2017

How to Get an "A" in Retirement enrollments launched this week. The first public course will begin early in January of 2018 and additional courses will start monthly. This is a premier course launched by Extension Nexus and led by PFP Extension faculty member Dr. Cynthia Crawford. "The non-credit course is all online and people appreciate the flexibility of being able to work on it when their schedules permit 24/7," says Dr. Crawford. "One module is released per week for eight weeks. An additional month is added beyond the 8 weeks to finish in case ‘life happens.’"

The course has an established track record of success with more than 250 people participating in the pilot. 100% recommend the course to you and report the time, energy and the registration fee spent on the course was well worth it.

deck chairs on beach

Please extend this VIP invitation to enroll to friends and family wanting to increase their financial and psychological well-being in retirement and the years leading to retirement. University Extension provides research-based, evidence-based education. There are no sales pitches or specific product recommendations – Extension focuses on unbiased education. We are currently enrolling people for courses starting monthly January through July of 2018.

Those interested in being in the group starting in January or February, can enroll at a 50% savings($25 rather than the usual $50.) The discount code is MIZZOU and please feel free to share the discount code and information that follows with friends and family that may also be interested. Only January and February have the opportunity for you to get a 50% fee reduction.


Outstanding Senior: Fall 2017 Graduation Class

Posted: Dec. 14, 2017

Jiali Wu was selected as the Personal Financial Planning Outstanding Senior for the Fall 2017 graduation class. Jiali has consistently engaged in a high level of academic achievement since entering the degree program as a freshman. She received a black and gold cord to wear during the graduation ceremony to honor her accomplishment. Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, AFC® CRPC®, CRPS® stated "Jiali is a thoughtful and engaged scholar; the type of student that helps energize class discussion and engage her classmates in the adventure of learning."

Jiali Wu


2017 AFCPE Mary O'Neill Award Recipients

Posted: Dec. 12, 2017

Award ceremony attendees

Personal Financial Planning faculty, Graham McCaulley, PhD and Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® were recognized at the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education Symposium as recipients of the 2017 Mary O'Neill Mini Grant for the development and implementation of an innovative, high-impact financial education project. McCaulley and Zumwalt worked with a collaborative of national Cooperative Extension faculty from Midwestern universities to create a texting intervention project for graduating college seniors facing federal student loan repayment.


Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® Offers End-of-the Year Tax Tips

Posted: Dec. 11, 2017

Andrew ZumwaltHoliday shopping is in full swing for consumers around the nation. Shoppers spend money. Money comes from income. And where there’s income, taxes follow. Congress is in the middle of reforming the federal income tax code, but whether a new code emerges, the earliest it would take effect is 2018. "Right now, taxpayers need to concentrate on the current tax year," says Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, assistant extension professor of personal financial planning with University of Missouri Extension.

With 2017 drawing to a close, Zumwalt recommends a few basic year-end tax moves for all income tax filers to consider, especially if they itemize deductions. "First, start building the folder," Zumwalt urges. "Have a readily accessible place where all the tax-related paperwork goes." This includes such things as receipts for charitable donations, medical expenses and work-related payments not covered by employers. The same file will also serve as a collection point for all reportable income forms (W-2s, 1099s, etc.) that make their appearance after Jan. 1.

"If you’re unsure whether an expense will be deductible, put it in the file anyway. You can sort them out during filing season." Second, be sure to take full advantage of any flexible spending accounts you may have established for medical and dependent care expenses. Generally, it’s a use-it-or-lose-it proposition, says Zumwalt. Third, if you have a dependent attending college, you can receive a tax credit for higher education payments you make in the calendar year, according to Zumwalt. "You may also want to accelerate payments for next year to the current tax year."

Finally, depending on the outcome of tax reform, taxpayers may want to accelerate other deductible expenses (such as charitable donations, and real estate and personal property taxes) from next year, by paying them before Jan. 1, 2018. The reason, says Zumwalt, is that if any of the current tax reform proposals become law, the standard deduction could double, making it harder to itemize. Another consideration is real estate and personal property taxes may no longer be deductible.

"Those possibilities could completely eliminate the value of deductible expenses for filers who won’t exceed the potentially new standard deduction in 2018." So, while you joyously anticipate the holiday season, don’t forget to keep an eye peeled for potential year-end tax-saving moves. They may help cover those post-holiday bills.


Personal Financial Planning Seniors, Erin Bowman and Matthew Tomlin, Selected to Participate in the 2018 TD Ameritrade National LINC Conference

Posted: Dec. 6, 2017

Congratulations to Personal Financial Planning seniors, Erin Bowman and Matthew Tomlin, who have been selected to participate in the 2018 TD Ameritrade LINC Conference being held January 30 – February 3 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando. The conference brings together industry professionals to learn, be inspired, network and collaborate. The LINC conference is one of the largest industry events for investment advisors; technology providers; asset manager, practice management experts; world leaders; and financial planning students.

Erin Bowman

Matthew Tomlin


Marco Pantoja Passed the Accredited Financial Counselor® Examination

Posted: Nov. 30, 2017

Marco PantojaMarco Pantoja, MS graduate student and Assistant Director of the Office for Financial Success, passed the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) examination. The AFC® certification is the industry standard for those guiding individuals and families in financial education through the life cycle.


Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® and PhD Student Zheying Yao Research Reported in The Kitces Report

Posted: Nov. 30, 2017

The research of Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® and PhD Student Zheying Yao was reported in The Kitces Report in its highlights from the 2017 Academy of Financial Services Annual Meeting held in Nashville, TN.

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Dr. Abed Rabbani

Zheying Yao


Dr. Graham McCaulley and Brenda Procter Direct Health Insurance Education Initiative

Posted: Nov. 17, 2017

Department of Personal Financial Planning Faculty, Dr. Graham McCaulley, Assistant Extension Professor, working with Brenda Procter, Associate Extension Director, lead MU Extension’s statewide Health Insurance Education Initiative. The Initiative, supported by the Missouri Foundation for Health, has organized and trained over 100 outstate faculty across a variety of program areas within Extension to offer education in all counties of Missouri. This is the fifth year of the Initiative.

Dr. Graham McCaulley

Brenda Procter

Recent news has many consumers confused about the status of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Because the ACA remains the law of the land, most Americans are required to have health insurance. Most consumers qualify for financial help to lower their costs on private plans available in Missouri’s health insurance marketplace. Missourians only have six weeks to sign up for a plan – from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2017 – for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2018. Special enrollment periods are available year round for those who experience certain life-changing events.

McCaulley and Procter provide curriculum and technical support statewide and overall leadership for the program. MU Extension, through this Initiative, delivers free workshops for both consumers and professionals who offer insurance assistance to consumers. Workshops present the facts in a politically neutral environment to help participants understand and comply with current law, learn how to explore all available options, gain skills to make the best decision for themselves and their families, and identify nearby sources of enrollment assistance. To date, the Health Insurance Education Initiative has reached over 4,000 consumers directly and has reached over one million Missourians through media outreach.


Dr. Cynthia Crawford and Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, AFC® CRPC®, CRPS® Collaborate on Retirement Initiative

Posted: Nov. 9, 2017

University of Missouri faculty and staff on all four campuses can be so focused on their contributions to their families, the University and communities that they don’t take important actions to make their financial futures more secure. Personal Financial Planning has strong research and evidence-based action solutions that work to strengthen well-being in the years leading to retirement and in retirement. "That's why I was pleased to learn about the collaboration between Department of Personal Financial Planning faculty Dr. Cynthia Crawford, Extension professor, and Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, AFC® CRPC®, CRPS®, assistant professor, when I arrived at Mizzou. Each semester they find a way to kick it up a notch and this semester has been no exception," explains Dr. Fran Lawrence, Department Chair.

Dr. Crawford speaking at workshopBoth Drs. Cynthia Crawford and Deanna Sharpe are pleased to work with University faculty and staff in workshops like the one sponsored earlier in November for employee recognition week.

The online course, How to get an "A" in retirement, was developed by Crawford for 30,000 UM faculty and staff as part of the Healthy for Life wellness incentive. "I was very appreciative when Dr. Sharpe volunteered to review the course after the first draft was in place. She spent hours of her time to express, not by words, but by her actions, selfless support for a colleague and for University of Missouri Extension," says Crawford.

A unique aspect of the course is that each topic in the retirement planning process is approached from a positive psychology perspective to emphasize why financial planning is critical to support well-being. Participants are encouraged to build later life plans around the aspects of their lives that matter most to them. The instruction is encouraging, supportive, and, as participants have described the course as "really, really eye-opening," "confidence building," and "wildly beneficial."

Crawford and Sharpe make sure University employees know they can turn to the Office for Financial Success for one-on-one financial counseling and coaching and they can be confident in referring students there, too.

Their collaborative work benefits the University. Financially distracted employees are less productive during working hours. Eighty-nine percent of participants have stated that their stress has decreased as their financial knowledge and informed financial decisions and actions have increased. Course evaluations have been extremely positive with 98% reporting taking action for a better retirement. One-third of those completing the course report they are less financially distracted at work. Participants learn to replace worry with positive action solutions.

Their work also benefits students. UM employees with stronger financial backgrounds are better able to reach out to students with financial issues. The number one reason students leave school before graduating is financial issues. The Office for Financial Success can help - but only if the UM community knows about this positive resource.

They continue to work together and reach out to meet the retirement planning education needs of faculty and staff, including workshops Dr. Crawford presents during employee recognition week each semester and an informative pre-retirement seminar Dr. Sharpe presents for Human Resources each semester.


Dr. Abed Rabbani Earns CFP® Designation

Posted: Nov. 6, 2017

Abed RabbaniThe Department of Personal Financial Planning is proud to announce that Abed Rabbani, PhD has earned the CFP® designation. Congratulations Dr. Rabbani, CFP®!

Dr. Rabbani joins MU Department of Personal Financial Planning faculty members (Dr. Deanna Sharpe, Dr. Rui Yao, and Andrew Zumwalt) who are CFP®s. Only a select group of planners have met the rigorous requirements necessary to call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.

To earn the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation, candidates must complete what the Board of Standards refers to as the "4 E’s":

  • Education
  • Examination
  • Experience
  • Ethics

Pantoja and Wight Visit Marquette High School, Chesterfield, MO

Posted: Nov. 3, 2017

Marco Pantoja, Assistant Director of the Office for Financial Success (OFS), and Personal Financial Planning Ambassador Anthony Wight visited Marquette High School in Chesterfield, MO, on Monday, October 30, 2017. The two discussed personal finance with the students, as well as educational opportunities with the MU Personal Financial Planning degree programs, other programs within the College of Human Environmental Sciences, and the University of Missouri. Students were receptive and happy to interact by asking questions and learning more about personal financial planning. Pantoja and Wight highlighted the benefits of attending Mizzou such as the OFS, lower than average student loan debt, and the excellent opportunities available at a land grant institution (e.g. Pell grants that can essentially pay for college). Read more about the CFP Board-Registered programs offered in the Personal Financial Planning Department at Mizzou.

Marco Pantoja Marco Pantoja

Anthony Wight Anthony Wight


Doctoral Candidate Mary Dorn and Co-Authors Publish Long-Term Care Insurance Study

Posted: Nov. 3, 2017

Doctoral candidate Mary E. Dorn published an empirical research study along with co-authors Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, AFC® CRPC®, CRPS®, MU Associate Professor Personal Financial Planning, Dr. Geri Dickey, Park University Assistant Professor of Social Work, and MU Doctoral student Dalisha D. Herring, CFP®. The article, Understanding the Determinants of a Long-Term Care Insurance Purchase, is forthcoming in the November 2017 Journal of Financial Planning (online edition available now).

Given rise in longevity and number of older adults, there is concern regarding adequacy of private and public funding for long-term care expenses and greater need to understand nuances of long-term care insurance (LTCI) funding. The study observed LTCI ownership of respondents at two points in time and classified them as LTCI purchasers, lapsers, owners, or non-owners. Authors found LTCI owners were typically older, married, and had fewer children while having higher wealth, income, and home equity values as compared with individuals in other categories. Those who allowed their LTCI to lapse over the study period (2006 to 2012) had the largest increase in assets but a 3.4% decrease in income. Assets of the purchasers decreased 17% while their income increased by 10%. Those who did not own LTCI most closely followed rational choice theory in that they had the lowest financial status and thus were more likely to be consumers of Medicaid benefits for long-term care should they need it.

Read more

Mary Dorn Mary E. Dorn

Deanna Sharpe Dr. Deanna L. Sharpe

Dalisha Herring Dalisha D. Herring


University of Missouri Listed as a Top University for Financial Planning

Posted: Nov. 2, 2017

Once again, the University of Missouri is listed as a top university for financial planning. The listing is drawn from a Financial Planning survey of universities that offer CFP Board-Registered Programs. Congratulations to the Mizzou personal financial planning students, staff, faculty and alumni who are dedicated to this quality program.

More info

MU campus


$1,000 Scholarship Available

Posted: Nov. 1, 2017

The Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council will award a $1,000 scholarship. The due date is November 8.

Download Application


Dr. Cynthia Crawford Receives the Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award

Posted: Oct. 27, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Cynthia Crawford, Extension Professor, Department of Personal Financial Planning, who received the Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award at the 2017 MU Extension Summit. The award recognizes a University of Missouri Extension faculty member for planning, conducting and evaluating one extension educational activity conducted in the past year. The activity recognized was the online course, How to get an "A" in retirement that combines research and best practices from personal financial planning with research from positive psychology. "Well-being in retirement starts with financial planning that includes goal setting, assessing one’s current financial situation, pension plan details, Social Security facts, taxation of various retirement income streams, saving and investing, estate planning, insurance changes and more. The course became more holistic and groundbreaking, though, with the addition of concepts from positive psychology that look at positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, forgiveness and gratitude in retirement as well as the years leading to retirement," said Crawford.

Cynthia Crawford accepting award

How to get an 'A' in retirement" was also recognized by the University of Missouri Extension Association as one of the top three outstanding programs in 2017.

Human Environmental Sciences Instructional Designer Briana Johnson was key in working with Crawford to move the course into an online format. Johnson and Crawford’s teamwork significantly helped in the transition from a face-to-face instruction to delivering the content effectively online.

Dr. Fran Lawrence, Personal Financial Planning Department Chair, congratulates Crawford for her ground breaking work. Lawrence states, "While leading this project, Dr. Crawford has mentioned many times how its success reflects the support that the resident and Extension faculty have for one another’s work. Whenever she asked her Personal Financial Planning Extension colleagues for help, especially Andrew Zumwalt and Graham McCaulley, the answer was always yes. In addition, resident faculty member Deanna Sharpe generously volunteered to vet the course before it was sent to external reviewers. Sharpe and Crawford have continued to work together on retirement planning programming as a result."


Over 40 Personal Financial Planning Students To Attend Professional Development Opportunity at Edward Jones Headquarters

Posted: Oct. 26, 2017

On Friday, November 3rd, over 40 University of Missouri personal financial planning students, along with 4 faculty members, will take part in a professional development opportunity at Edward Jones Headquarters located in St. Louis, MO. Edward Jones corporate leaders, along with advisors who are MU personal financial planning alumni, will present. What an incredible opportunity this event will be for all!

View agenda


Personal Financial Planning Students Receive Over $28,000 in Awards and Scholarships

Posted: Oct. 24, 2017

Personal Financial Planning students receive a record high number of awards and scholarships.

See complete listing


Doctoral Student Zheying Yao Receives AFCPE® Conference Scholarship

Posted: Oct. 19, 2017

Zheying YaoPersonal Financial Planning doctoral student Zheying Yao will be traveling to San Diego, CA, November 15-17, for the 2017 AFCPE® Symposium. As a student scholarship recipient, Yao receives complementary registration to the Symposium, a 1-night stay at the Symposium hotel, special mentoring opportunities, and 2017 AFCPE® membership. She will present her original research co-written with Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP®, "Factors Associated with Fragile Families’ Emergency Fund."

The Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE®) brings together research, education, and practice by supporting the financial planning and counseling profession through training, development, and other resources to improve the economic well-being of families and individuals.


Doctoral Students Receive Travel Grants

Congratulations Guopeng Cheng and Chen Xu, Personal Financial Planning doctoral students, on receiving travel grants of $400 each from the MU Office of Research and Graduate Studies to offset travel to the American Council on Consumer Interests Annual Conference to present original research.

Guopeng Cheng

Chen Xu


PhD Students Receive National Award

Posted: Oct. 16, 2017

Dalisha HerringDalisha Herring, CFP® and PhD student in Personal Financial Planning, received the highest award in the nation given by the Arthur N. Caple Foundation. As the 2017 ANC Scholar recipient, Herring will receive a $5,000 scholarship; travel and hotel accommodations for the NAGDCA Annual Meeting (valued at $1,800); and enrollment in the Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) certification program, materials and exams (valued at $900). Herring will be honored during the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) annual conference in Milwaukee in September.

Kevin ChengKevin (Guopeng) Cheng, PhD student in Personal Financial Planning, has been named a 2017 Arthur N. Caple Foundation Travel Stipend and Conference Registration Award recipient. Each year, the ANC Foundation provides 6 national scholarship awards to students who demonstrate academic excellence and understanding of the issues facing public sector retirement plans. Cheng will be honored during the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) annual conference in Milwaukee in September. He will receive full travel, lodging, and registration expenses for this year’s meeting.

Learn more


Meet Your 2017-2018 Student Financial Planning Association Officers

Posted: Oct. 5, 2017

2017-2018 Executive Board

Jimmy Merdian

Jimmy Merdian
President

Timothy Lux

Timothy Lux
Vice President

Anthony Wight

Anthony Wight
Secretary

Rachel Heggs

Rachel Heggs
Treasurer

Matthew Tomlin

Matthew Tomlin
Speaker Coordinator

Solomon Davis

Solomon Davis
Social Media Chairman


Students Attend Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City Career Day

Posted: Oct. 2, 2017

Members of the Mizzou Financial Planning Association, Rachel Heggs, Dhiman Sarker, Samuel Wheeland, and Anthony Wight, attended the 9th Annual Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City Career Day. The event, held at American Century Investments, provided excellent networking opportunities for students as they were able to sit down and ask one-on-one questions with financial planning professionals that enabled them to gain great insights into life in the industry. The day concluded with a Q & A panel session led by recent graduates from Personal Financial Planning programs. Participants discussed the challenges encountered with taking exams for CFP® certification and for Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. Anthony Wight, University of Missouri’s Personal Financial Planning Ambassador, said "The event offered a great learning experience for aspiring financial planners as the platform enabled attendees to gain knowledge from established professionals in the field."

students in attendance


Dr. Starla Ivey Partners with Chongqing University of Technology

Posted: Oct. 2, 2017

Dr. Starla Ivey, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, traveled to Chongqing, China in the Summer of 2017 to teach aspiring Mizzou Tigers personal finance. This was a collaborative effort between the Personal Financial Planning Department at the University of Missouri along with Chongqing University of Technology in Chongqing, China. Students learned the importance of becoming a Certified Financial Planner along with practical personal and family financial skills such as filing US personal taxes, making large purchases (buying a house/automobile), investing, and time value of money.

Dr. Starla Ivey teaching in China

The summer course ran for 3 weeks and was taught all in English. For most of these students it was their first experience in an all English speaking course. One of the great things about FINPLN 2183 (Personal and Family Finance) is that it is a highly mathematical course and math/numbers transcends many languages. Dr. Ivey stated that "this was a powerful experience for myself as the instructor with all of the students having English as their second language. I have a much greater appreciation for what our international students go through in order to get to the United States and then also to survive in a foreign country. Being in Chongqing, as opposed to a highly visited city like Beijing, I was immersed in the culture and the daily lives of the Chinese citizens that I lived around. It was an amazing adventure and I believe I am a better instructor because of this experience."

The Department of Personal Financial Planning offers the 3+1+1 program where prospective students complete 3 years of undergraduate study in partner universities in China. During the third year, they apply for the non-degree seeking program at MU for the first "1" year, which allows them to complete their undergraduate degree. If they qualify, they can add another "1" year where the student enrolls in the PFP Master's Program.

More about 3+1+1 program


New Report Shows Majority of Workers Not Ready for Retirement

Posted: Sep. 26, 2017

Dr. Alicia Munnell and colleagues at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research released a study just days ago, pointing out that more than half of American workers are in danger of retiring without enough money. The National Retirement Risk Index is the Center’s estimate of how many Americans are in serious danger of not being able to maintain their lifestyles after age 65. The latest NRRI—based on the Federal Reserve’s most recently released Survey of Consumer Finances from 2013—shows 52% of U.S. households at risk of falling short of their post-retirement financial needs by 10% or more.

"This report and many additional indicators tell us how important the work of personal financial planning is not only for individuals and families, but for our economy, as well. While the report is considered a wake-up call by many, Mizzou’s personal financial planning alumni, students, faculty and staff are already mobilized with action solutions that are critical for people to have financial security in later life," points out Dr. Fran Lawrence, Mizzou’s personal financial planning department chair.

Read more


Kiplinger Names Financial Advisor a Top 10 Best Job for the Future

Posted: Sep. 26, 2017

Kiplinger recently reviewed 785 jobs and designated 10 high-salary jobs poised for strong growth in the coming decade – including "Personal Financial Advisor" as "Top 10 Best Jobs for the Future." The report cited a 23.8% projected job growth rate for financial advisors from 2016-2026, and noted that "Certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards enhances an advisor's credibility."

Read more


MU News Bureau Reports Dr. Rui Yao's Risk Tolerance Research

Posted: Sep. 20, 2017

Rui YaoPrior research has long shown that women are, on average, less risk tolerant in their financial decisions than men. This is a concern as investors with low levels of risk tolerance might have greater difficulty reaching their financial goals and building adequate retirement wealth because they are unlikely to invest in stocks. Now, a researcher from the University of Missouri has found that men and women do not think about investment risks differently. Instead, income uncertainty affects men and women differently, which leads to differences in risk tolerance.

Read full article


Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® Publishes in the Journal of Financial Service Professionals

Posted: Sep. 12, 2017

Abed RabbaniIn the September 2017 issue of the Journal of Financial Service Professionals, Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® along with Dr. John Grable published the article, "Does Engagement in the Stock Market Shape Willingness to Take Financial Risk?"


Dr. Lu Fan Joins Faculty

Posted: Sep. 12, 2017

Lu FanDr. Lu Fan joins the Personal Financial Planning faculty. Check out her impressive curriculum vitae.


Dr. Rui Yao Recognized as 2017-2019 Loren Dilsaver Research Scholar

Posted: Sep. 11, 2017

The College of Human Environmental Sciences is pleased to name the first group of HES Faculty Scholars. For the next two years, these individuals will carry named titles and receive additional resources to support their research.

The first group of HES Faculty Scholars has been made possible by donors who have established endowments in support of faculty. "The HES Faculty Scholars program represents the perfect union between our amazing faculty and the generosity of our donors and supporters," said Sandy Rikoon, Dean of HES. "A key strength of our college is the excellence of our faculty, and it is contributions to the college from our alumni and friends that allow us to recruit and retain the best faculty in the country."

Selected by unit leaders and other advisors, HES Faculty Scholars are designated either Research Scholars or Teaching Scholars. Research Scholar awards recognize the demonstration of research excellence and plans for research production and productivity over the two years of the award. Teaching Scholar awards are for individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom and scholarly contributions to pedagogy or other dimensions of educational scholarship.

Dr. Rui YaoRui Yao
Loren Dilsaver HES Research Scholar


Data Breach for 143 Million Americans at Equifax

Posted: Sep. 8, 2017

Our PFP students know that credit histories are critical to working successfully with lenders, banks, utility companies, insurance companies, prospective employers and more. Credit reports contain sensitive financial information, too. The Federal Trade Commission announced September 8, 2017 that 143 million American consumers likely had sensitive personal information exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies. Our students, alumni and faculty will be working to help consumers protect themselves identify theft in this breach. They are urging people to visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. Click on the "potential Impact" tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number to learn if you are impacted by the breach.

Review the FTC's information release


Career Prospects Bright for Personal Financial Planning Grads

Posted. Sep. 8, 2014

College is often considered the surest path to a lucrative career. After all, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a worker with a bachelor's degree typically earns two-thirds more than someone with just a high school diploma. But not all college degrees are created equal. "Increasingly, students want to understand the career and income opportunities associated with their college education," says Lydia Frank, Pay Scale vice president, in a statement. "To determine which majors typically come with the best hiring prospects and pay, we analyzed data for 126 popular college majors." Kiplinger’s report was released in September 2017.

"It’s no surprise that Personal Finance is among the top ten lucrative majors identified by Kiplinger's," says Department Chair Fran Lawrence. "Money matters are growing more complex at all stages of the adult life cycle and people need top personal financial planning professions, like those we graduate at Mizzou." Kiplinger’s forecasts that the projected 10-year job growth is a brisk 13.1%. 1.4 million jobs are posted annually. Median starting salary for all majors is $43,250 however the entry-level salary for the finance field is $53,300. Kiplinger’s also points out mid-career salaries in this field are $93,200, exceeding the median mid-career salary for all majors of $74,700.

Review the report


Dr. Rui Yao Quoted in CNN Money

Posted: Sep. 6, 2017

Dr. Rui Yao, Associate Professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, was recently quoted in a CNN Money article on LinkedIn regarding the need to hire a financial adviser.

You're at crossroads with your finances and you're not sure where to go from here. Is it time to seek out expert advice? Maybe. But the first thing to note is that a "financial adviser" isn't necessarily what it sounds like. Dr. Rui Yao says most advisers want to work with wealthy clients. That's how they make money. Rearranging debt and budgeting is not their primary focus.

Read full CNN Money Article

Rui Yao


Dr. Frances Cogle Lawrence Appointed Department Chair

Posted: Aug. 10, 2017

Following a nationwide search, Dr. Frances Cogle Lawrence was appointed Chair and Professor of the Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri’s College of Human Environmental Sciences by Dean J. Sanford Rikoon. Dr. Lawrence joined the faculty on July 1, 2017.

"Dr. Lawrence stood out, not only for her outstanding leadership at Louisiana State University, but for her award-winning teaching, solid research activity, and passion for the profession" said Rikoon. "She brings extraordinary energy for the university, alumni and business community, and will deliver her bold leadership to a department specializing in financial planning research and curricula that enables outstanding career opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students."

Frances Cogle Lawrence

A native of Richmond, VA, she earned an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and her master’s and doctorate degrees from Florida State University. Before coming to MU, Dr. Lawrence served as the George Cire and Lena Grand Williams Endowed Alumni Professor at Louisiana State University, and also as the Ourso Professor of Communications in the Department of Finance and Associate Dean in the E. J. Ourso College of Business.

At LSU, Lawrence led CFP Board-Registered Programs and was a founder of the LSU Student Financial Management Center. Strategic partnerships with companies, such as Charles Schwab, Edward Jones, Exxon Mobil, LPL Financial, Merrill Lynch, MetLife, Northwestern Mutual, Raymond James, Regions Financial Corporation, TD Ameritrade and Wells Fargo, attracted funding and resulted in student internships, scholarships, and career opportunities.

"It is very apparent to me that Dr. Lawrence’s passion for student learning and her leadership skills will be a winning combination for the University’s Department of Personal Financial Planning," said David Keller, President of the Bank of Missouri.

With a mission of leading the University of Missouri’s financial planning department to further national and global recognition, Lawrence is committed to meaningful research, to students becoming leaders in the financial planning industry with a special emphasis on obtaining the CFP® and AFC® professional certifications, and to forging strong relationships with financial planning professionals. "I am pleased to join an outstanding group of faculty, staff and students at the University of Missouri. Their dedication to superior academic programs and research, along with a supportive and engaged network of alumni, industry and campus partners, makes this a unique and exciting opportunity," said Lawrence.

"As the Department of Personal Financial Management’s new chair, Frances Lawrence will bring a new vision, fresh talent and renewed energy to the department," said Provost Garnett Stokes. "She has received a multitude of honors and awards for teaching, research and service to the profession. Furthermore, Dr. Lawrence is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the University of Missouri campuses and the financial planning industry."

View Dr. Lawrence’s CV and profile


Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® Featured in Article on "Establishing Credit History"

Posted: Jul. 26, 2017

Abed RabbaniDr. Abed Rabbani, CFP®, Assistant Professor of Personal Financial Planning, recently spoke with the site WalletHub.com (one of the leading outlets covering the personal finance industry) on the subject of "Establishing Credit History."

Among the tips offered, Dr. Rabbani recommended checking one’s credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com for free.

Read article


Dr. Cynthia Crawford Earns Graduate Certificate in Positive Psychology

Posted: Jul. 25, 2017

Cynthia CrawfordDr. Cynthia Crawford, Extension Professor, has earned a graduate certificate in positive psychology from the University of Missouri. She combined subject matter from personal financial planning with positive psychology to craft a holistic retirement planning online course for 30,000 faculty and staff on all four campuses of the University of Missouri. The course is titled How to get an “A” in retirement. Dr. Crawford and University of Missouri Extension faculty will begin delivering the online course to residents of Missouri via the Extension Nexus efforts in coming months. Dr. Crawford is continuing her positive psychology studies with Dr. Martin Seligman, considered the founder of positive psychology, and colleagues at Penn State University. Crawford explains, “Positive psychology is a science and research based discipline looking at effective interventions for dialing up well-being. Personal Financial Planning is about increasing your financial well-being. As the development work of the course progressed, it was clear it was incomplete without the contributions of both disciplines.” The work at Mizzou is ground-breaking in combining the two in an interdisciplinary approach to financial education and retirement planning and is receiving national attention.


Office for Financial Success Cited Where Quality Research Is Conducted

Posted: Jul. 20, 2017

The Office for Financial Success was recently cited as one of four financial counseling labs where quality research is conducted. For more information see the article, How Financial Counseling Laboratories Will Change Financial Planning .


Zumwalt, McCauley, King, Pantoja, and Lawrence Attend Hot Salsa Night

Posted: Jul. 19, 2017

Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, Dr. Graham McCaulley, Kate King, and Marco Pantoja of the Department of Personal Financial Planning’s Office for Financial Success along with Department Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence and numerous advocates attended Hot Salsa Night, a charitable event supporting the Human Environmental Sciences Extension’s Family Impact Center Camp Salsa program. Camp Salsa helps local youth learn about money management, entrepreneurship, sustainable gardening, and many other valuable life skills.


Dr. Abed Rabbani Passes CFP® Certification Examination

Posted: Jul. 18, 2017

Abed RabbaniCongratulations to Dr. Abed Rabbani who passed the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination exam on July 17, 2017. Passing of the exam is one of the 4 requirements for becoming a CFP® professional. The CFP® Certification Examination assesses one’s ability to apply financial planning knowledge, in an integrated format, to financial planning situations.


Congratulations Personal Financial Planning Graduate Students

Posted: May 18, 2017

Guopeng Cheng and Chen Xu were selected to receive the Student Conference Scholarships for the 2017 American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) conference held April 21-23 in Albuquerque, NM. Their papers were accepted to be presented at the conference. The titles of their papers are: Guopeng Cheng – Are Millennials Saving for Retirement? and Chen Xu – Financial Literacy of Chinese College Students. Since 1953, ACCI has been a leading membership organization for academicians and other professionals involved in consumer and family economics. Both Cheng and Xu are from China and are second year PHD students in the Department of Personal Financial Planning. Congratulations!

PFP graduate students Gupeng Cheng, second from the left, and Chen Xu, eighth from the left (center).