A financial planner is much like the conductor of a symphony, artfully integrating the many instruments to reach her objective. The many instruments may include insurance, investments of all kinds, products that facilitate retirement, various income, gift and estate tax strategies, and estate planning strategies, to identify a few. To be successful, the financial planner must know the tools available, understand the client and the client’s specific goals, and be able to orchestrate all of the needed instruments to reach the client’s goals.
The Personal Financial Planning Program at The University of Akron provides the student with tools needed to be a successful financial planner. The program is aligned with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards so that completion of the program satisfies the education requirements needed to earn the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.(There are several steps necessary to earn the CFP® mark. Consult www.CFP.net for further information.) The program can be completed in one of three ways:
"I was drawn to the University of Akron as it’s one of the few universities in the country in which the Personal Financial Planning curriculum is built into the undergrad finance program. Along the way, through scholarships and employment opportunities, I was introduced to and found a great position with a local financial services firm. I graduated prepared to sit for and pass the CFP® exam. The knowledge, contacts, and experiences from the financial planning program are invaluable."
Lynn Goebel CFP® '06
Chief Compliance Officer
ValMark Securities, Inc. / ValMark Advisers, Inc.
(Data derived from ”Annual Certificant and Consumer Survey Results”, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. For more information see CFP Board.)
“It was my degree in finance from The University of Akron that laid a strong foundation in helping me earn my CFP® designation, oversee a multi-million dollar division of one of the nation's leading broker dealers, and become a published author and national speaker in the financial services industry all within a relatively short period of graduating from college. If students work hard and apply themselves, they can go anywhere they want in the world of finance with this degree from UA.”
Caleb J. Callahan, CFP® '05
Chief Marketing Officer
ValMark Securities, Inc.
Major: Finance & Minor: Economics
Suma Cum Laude
University of Akron ‘
The Department of Finance has aligned with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. to offer a curriculum that meets the educational requirements to become eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner Certification Examination. The Board of Standards identifies 85 “topics” which require competency, http://www.cfp.net/become-a-cfp-professional/cfp-certification-requirements. Upon meeting all of the requirements of the Board, an individual can earn the Certified Financial Planner mark (CFP®). (For a complete discussion of the requirements and other related materials see www.CFP.net.
The CFP® mark is the most readily recognized symbol of competent planning in the industry. The following courses meet the educational requirements established by the Board of Standards.
To meet the educational requirements for the mark, students take the following courses. (To be eligible to take these courses, students must complete Foundations of Personal Finance (6400:200) and Corporate Finance (6400:301), or have equivalent prior education.
|Course Number||Course Title||Credit Hours|
|6200:410||Taxation for Financial Planning||3|
|6200:430||Contemporary Federal Taxation||3|
|6400:415||Risk Management & Insurance||3|
|6400:432||Seminar in Financial Planning||3|
NOTE: 6400: 200: 301, and 343 are required courses in the finance major. To take 6200:430 (Contemporary Federal Taxation) students must have completed 6200:201, 6200:202, 6400:220, and 6400:301.
These courses are College of Business Administration courses offered to all students who meet the prerequisites.
Student participation in internships is strongly encouraged. The department offers a free credit internship opportunity. Internships are intended to provide the connection between the academic process and application of principles in the real world. Internships offer a unique opportunity to begin to blend academic and application skills. In addition, many organizations consider an internship program as an excellent opportunity to evaluate students for future career path positions. Likewise, students have an opportunity to evaluate career paths and potential employers. One student who interned with the organization for whom she now works had this to say:
“The University of Akron CFP program was the stepping stone that I needed to prepare me for my career in the financial services world as well as the foundation I needed to become a CFP®.”
Melissa S. Costello, CFP®
Financial Analyst • Capital Advisors, Ltd.
Shaker Heights, Ohio
The foregoing prescribed curriculum covers in specifically defined areas critical to successful financial planning. In addition, other courses and activities will provide opportunities to develop other skills that lead to career success. The Board of Standards in the Addendum to the Topics List for CFP® Certification Examination identifies additional qualities important for successful planning careers. These items in summary form are:
While a number of qualities are addressed in the Financial Planning curriculum, the following elective courses and extra-curricular activities will further enhance the student’s path to success.
Recommended elective courses include:
Working with and learning from practitioners during one’s education can add tremendous value. Opportunities for interaction include:
“As an undergraduate student, this [2009 FPA National Meeting] was a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain the experience and knowledge from the extraordinarily talented and successful planners that attend the conference every year”
Jennifer Blinkhorn, Junior
“I had the privilege to attend the 2009 Charles Schwab Impact Conference held in San Diego, CA, thanks to The University of Akron. The conference provided me with so many experiences that will continue to help me out in the financial industry.”
Paul Fulena, Senior