Education Evolution in Financial Planning

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In 1970, there was no recognized profession by any name similar to financial planning. Dr. Jerry Mason's profile in the Register - a publication from the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC), talks about his journey of curriculum development and the role of financial planning education for the future.

Many RFC members should be pursuing master degrees or even a doctorate. Education increases your status as well as your knowledge. - Jerry Mason

In their early stages, universities molded existing personal financial planning courses into a Major referred to as "Home Economics" but without the food and garment aspect. "True believers" led by Loren Dunton, supported the science of personal money management and moved the profession forward resulting in educational programs and designations recognized by industry professionals. Jerry Mason, Associate Professor of Finance and Education at Utah Valley University and International Association of Registered Financial Consultants member, has spent his entire career supporting this evolution.

Starting with an economic degree from Brigham Young University, Mason worked through marketing, banking and accounting positions with companies such as P&G, Wells Fargo Bank and Hewlett-Packard. With years of teaching and advisory experience, he currently teaches Personal Finance and supervises internships for Utah Valley University in Orem, UT. "I am a strong believer that students should produce high quality plans plus get a taste of the marketplace as interns," states Mason. "My goal is that graduates at UVU have interned with a financial service organization." With that in mind he has helped hundreds of student find paid internships and jobs.

For the more experienced and longtime IARFC members – Jerry advocates tapping into this pool of talented students for internships. Furthermore, on a community level, he encourages the support of personal financial education in public schools in the K through 12 grades.

"We are pleased that Jerry brings his experience to the IARFC membership and more specifically encourages his students to enter our Financial Plan Competition," says Chairman and CEO Ed Morrow. "In the classroom he teaches the fundamentals of our profession. Our members can support his efforts and those of other educators by volunteering as a mentor or offering internships."

As for the future of the profession, Jerry feels it will be a challenge as the industry faces competition from large financial service firms and multi-national banks, having an increasing number of ex-patriots as clients and addressing the issues of increasing complicated taxes. "To meet those challenges", says Mason, "I am helping to turn Utah Valley University's financial planning degree into the best undergraduate degree by 2016.”

For more information on Jerry Mason.

The IARFC, International Association of Registered Financial Consultants, is a non-profit professional association that serves, educates and trains financial practitioners who help people "spend, save, invest, insure and plan for the future."

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Wendy Kennedy
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