Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ideas for Engagement with WKU's Financial Planning Program

Ideas for Engagement with

Western Kentucky University's

Financial Planning Program

A. Ron's visits to firms, early August 2017.
B. Ideas for engaging with WKU's students.
C. Upcoming events Ron will be attending.
D. How to engage Ron for speaking/consulting.

A. Ron to Visit Firms/Practitioners in Kentucky, Tennessee, Southern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and St. Louis, During the Week of August 7-11, 2017. 

As part of my ongoing outreach to firms and practitioners, I visit practitioners and firms each summer in order to share ideas and information. This assists me in delivering great and up-to-date content to students, and I'm pleased to share whatever insights I possess with practitioners and firms.

While each visit is unique, possible discussion topics for these short (typically 1-1.5 hour) visits this year include:
  • How is your firm adapting to the DOL's fiduciary standard?
  • What are your thoughts about the CFP Board's proposed revisions to its Standards of Professional Conduct?
  • Do you have questions for me about compliance with the fiduciary standards, either under ERISA, DOL prohibited transaction exemptions, as they relate to IRA rollovers, under the CFP Board's proposed rules, under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and/or similar state statutes, and/or under state common law?
  • What is your personal (or your firm's) business strategy for growth in the coming years?
  • How does your firm conduct investment strategy and investment product due diligence?
  • What software is your firm utilizing?
  • How do you typically engage with new clients, and/or present financial plans?
  • What financial planning issues are becoming more prevalent today?
  • What skills would you like to see graduates of undergraduate programs possess, or enhance?
  • Will you be looking for either interns or graduates in the coming years?
  • Would you be interested in having an undergraduate student "shadow" you for a day, or for longer?
  • Would you be interested in serving as a mentor for a student? (Mentoring often involves monthly phone calls or Skype calls with your mentee, offering them advice on professionalism, career choices, and generally making good decisions.)
  • If Western Kentucky University were to host a one-day Personal Financial Planning Conference in the Spring of 2018:
    • Would you be interested in attending?
    • What dates would be best?
    • What speakers would you like to see?
    • Would you consider sponsoring or co-sponsoring a speaker?
B. Assist Students To Engage with the Financial Planning Community: Would you be interested in:

B.1. Tours of Financial Services Firms with Students. During the Fall 2017 semester, and again during the Spring 2018 semester, I'll be undertaking "day trips" (typically on Fridays) with my students to visit financial services firms in Kentucky and in/around Nashville, Tennessee. Up to 12 students join me on these visits, which typically involve a 1-2 hour visit to a firm. We typically visit 3-5 firms per day, and often one firm hosts lunch for the students. Firm members often provide a tour of the firm's offices, discuss their business model, provide an overview of a "day in the life of" various positions in the firm, and/or "tips" for students and/or first-year financial advisers. Visits to practitioners provide huge benefits to students.
  • Student become much more deeply committed to becoming future personal financial advisers.
  • They get a real sense of the environment they will likely work within. (Some students have only infrequently visited professional offices.)
  • Students get exposure to different business models, which assists them to further define their own career paths.
  • And, students become more serious about their studies when they return.
B.2. Assisting Students Financially. In these times where there is a significant "gap" between grants/scholarships and the actual costs of attending college, nearly all students need help. In order that students can better engage with the financial planning community, please consider a contribution to WKU's Financial Planning Program, directed at one of the following purposes:
  • The Oct. 2-3, 2017 FPA BE Conference is Our Key Priority for This Fall ... The Location of a National Conference One Hour From WKU Presents a Unique Opportunity. 
    • Can you sponsor one or more students to attend the Financial Planning Association's BE National Conference, Nashville, FL, Oct. 2-3, 2017, by paying registration fees ($199 per student).
    • We desire to take up to 60 students to this conference, given its location one hour south of our campus. This means many more of our students can attend, instead of the only 6-8 we can afford to take to conferences that are further away.
      • Can you assist one or more students to attend this conference?
      • Only $199 per student - can have a TREMENDOUS IMPACT upon the student.
        • Students report that attending a major conference is often the highlight of their college career.
        • And we, as professors, see students become more engaged in their classes and serious about their studies, after they attend a conference!
  • Please Consider Sponsoring the Student Chapter of the Western Kentucky University Financial Planning Association:
    • Provide scholarships for student members' dues ($35 each); or
    • Provide $250, $500, $750, $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 to reduce the annual dues for all students who desire to join the WKU Student Chapter;
  • Please Consider Sponsoring One or More Students to Attend the NAPFA South Region Symposium (Atlanta, GA) in the Spring of 2018 (typically $150 per student to handle travel via shared travel (via van) and shared hotel room fees, plus the pre-conference and conference registration fee of about $175)
B.3. Seeking a future hire - for either a permanent position or an internship?Speaking to the Financial Planning Association Student Chapter at Western Kentucky University (meetings are typically 5pm CT, on a weekday, in Grise Hall). Please suggest a topic - often centered around careers, career development, etc. Please note that the choice of speakers is determined by the students themselves. (Hint: Offering to sponsor pizza - available from Papa John's on-campus, and picked up by students - for the meeting is usually a good way to get to the top of the list!)

B.4. Become a guest speaker at one of Ron's classes: I usually have one guest speaker to each of my classes, each term. Speakers address the topic of the class.
  • Applied Investments (this introductory-level class teaches business students to better save and to better manage their 401k, and reviews asset classes, mutual fund selection, and multi-factor investment concepts) (Fall 2017 and Spring 2018);
  • Retirement Planning (a broad range of topics, from Social Security to Medicare to Medicaid to use of immediate annuities to use of MoneyGuidePro software, and employee benefits) (Fall 2017); 
  • Estate Planning (Spring 2018); or
  • Personal Financial Planning Practice Management (new course beginning Fall 2018, emphasizing counseling techniques, prospecting and networking, and the use of various types of software in financial planning firms). 
B.5. Sponsor and/or Assist WKU's Center for Financial Success. Our innovative Center for Financial Success hires students to provide presentations to, and one-on-one financial counseling to, WKU's students. This provides real counseling and presentation experience for our graduates.
  • In addition to cash contributions to assist us in hiring more students, we are in need of your expertise for training of the Center's staff on personal budgeting (from a university student's perspective), seeking out college scholarships and grants, and how to manage student loans - especially where multiple loans exist, of different types.
  • For more information about engaging with WKU's Center for Financial Success, please contact its Director, Prof. Andrew Head: Thank you!
B.6. Inviting/sponsoring one or more students to your FPA Chapter event (if within driving range of Bowling Green, KY) and/or NAPFA Study Group or other conference or event? Students receive as much a benefit from networking with practitioners, and hearing their insights and wisdom, as practitioners do themselves.

If you are interested in one of the foregoing sponsorships, please contact me at

C. Join students from Western Kentucky University and/or me at the following events:

CFP Board of Standards, Inc.'s July 24th Tampa, FL Public Forum on its Proposed Code of Ethics and Standard of Conduct, Monday, July 24, 8:00 - 10:00 a.m., Renaissance Tampa International Plaza. I will be in attendance at the Public Forum and will then be part of a panel discussion, hosted by FPA of the Suncoast, following the Forum from 10:15am-Noon. Hope to see you there! (Note: CFP Board is hosting 10 public forums, around the country, the week of July 24-28.)

FPA of Southwestern Ohio Annual Symposium, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, 8:00am – 5:00pm, at Miami University – West Chester, Voice of America Learning Center. I'll be presenting on "Due Diligence for IRA Rollovers Under the Leas of Regulators." (See description under FPA of Minnesota, below.) For more information about the Symposium, please visit

FPA BE National Conference, Nashville, TN, Oct. 2-4, 2017. Prof. Andrew Head and I will be bring many students from Western Kentucky University's B.S. Finance (Personal Financial Planning) Program to the national conference. Our campus, in Bowling Green, KY, is just an hour north of Nashville. We hope to see you at FPA BE! And - can you considering sponsoring one or more students to attend? (See above)

FPA of Minnesota 2017 Annual Symposium, Oct. 16-17, 2017. Visit for more details. My presentations include:
  • Exploring Fiduciary Issues: Fiduciary law is not uniform. Different legal standards may apply to fiduciary financial advisors as they engage in investment strategy selection, investment product selection, evaluating the benefits and costs of investment and insurance products, and in establishing their own fees. Integrating concepts from fiduciary common law, statutes and regulations, was well as from academic research into investment strategies and due diligence, Dr. Rhoades provides practical guidance on these issues for financial advisers.
  • Due Diligence for IRA Rollovers Under the Lens of Regulators: The SEC, state securities administrators, and other regulators have paid increased attention in the past few years at investment advisers’ determinations of whether a rollover of a client’s defined contribution plan account into an advised-upon IRA account is in the client’s best interests. Dr. Ron Rhoades provides practical considerations for advisors relating to data gathering, a checklist of financial planning and tax considerations that may be considered in connection with the rollover, and the methods to demonstrate the adviser’s value proposition.
D. Contact Ron for Future Speaking Engagements and/or Consulting Engagements.

I address topics on the application of fiduciary duties to investment advisers and financial planners.

   (A) I request payment for travel costs: (1) mileage to/from Bowling Green, KY to your location, and/or airfare from Nashville plus $69-$87 mileage to/from airport and airport parking; (2) hotel costs; and (3) conference registration fees.

   (B) I also request an honorarium as follows:
         (1) For-profit conferences, CE meetings, and consulting engagements at for-profit firms: $3,000 per presentation (or 6 hours consulting);
         (2) FPA Chapters, NAPFA Study Groups, and Webinars, and other Not-For-Profit Groups: $500 for one presentation; or $750 for two presentations at same conference.  [However, for FPA Chapters and groups within a four-hour drive of Bowling Green, KY, travel costs are requested but honorariums are waived, provided a "student rate" is available for undergraduate students to attend your event.]

Contact information:

Thank you!         

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