10 Strategies to Motivate Students via the Three S’s in Success:

S.M.A.R.T. Goals; Self Control; and Socialization

Asst. Prof. Ron A. Rhoades, JD, CFP® ◊  January 14, 2014

(The following materials are from a presentation I provided to my colleagues at Alfred State in January 2014. Professors and teachers - if you desire a MS Word version of the following, please e-mail me at RhoadeRA@AlfredState.edu, and I will send it to you. Thank you.)


"Our primary job— in whatever academic discipline we have received our training— is to teach the students we find in front of us … If we as professors do not establish a human connection with our students, many of them will get lost in the system and fail to reach their goals.

March 31st was the deadline for registered investment adviser firms, including dual registrants, to file their annual amendments to Form ADV, Part 2A. To my utter surprise, several Wall Street firms, apparently under pressure from the SEC’s Division of Investment Management and OCIE, substantially revised their SEC disclosure documents. These Wall Street behemoths now provide much more candid disclosures, written in plain English.

A. Introduction.

Over and over again at conferences I hear, and over and over again in various articles I read: "Avoid conflicts of interest if you are a fiduciary. But if you don't avoid the conflict, then properly manage the conflict by disclosing it."

Sounds fair. But is it? Is this all the fiduciary standard requires? Mere disclosure of conflicts of interest?

I think not.

With SEC Chair Mary Jo White informing the financial services industry that a decision on whether, and how, to move forward with the fiduciary standard is due by the end of this year, the outlook for the fiduciary standard remains cloudy, at best.

From my discussions with Washington insiders, in all likelihood there are two commissioners in favor with moving forward with the Dodd Frank Act's authorization under Sect.

Again and again I read articles, often written by older faculty members at distant universities, that the college students of today are under-motivated and ill-prepared for college. That "this generation" is not as good as generations before. To that I say ... "Baloney!"

Today I had the unique experience of visiting with a student, who took my Business Law I class a year and a half ago, during her second semester of college. I will call her "Jane," although that is not her real name.

I tend not to dwell upon the past. Still, I tend to regret a few things, such as the few times in life I have said words which caused another person unnecessary sorrow. Perhaps another regret – not learning to overcome my fear of rejection, and shyness, much earlier in my life than I did.

However, I don’t have all that many regrets in my life, at this point. Perhaps that is because I’ve viewed each failure as a learning experience and a core part of whom I am today, which I would not change.

While many commentators observe that portfolio management is becoming commoditized, there remains a need for due diligence and portfolio design and maintenance. There are far too many ways to mess up in the world of investing. And just one mistake can significantly affect an individual investor's retirement security or the achievement of their financial and life goals.

In the current debate as to whether to apply fiduciary standards to all those who provide advice to defined contribution accounts and IRAs, and upon brokers who provide personalized investment advice, SIFMA and FSI have called for a "new federal fiduciary standard." Yet, it is clear that what they tout is mere disclosure of conflicts, and casual disclosure at that.

Yet, the law usually dictates that the fiduciary duty of loyalty is a mandatory duty, not one which can be waived by a client.

In the summer of 1978 I became the Tin Man at “The Land of Oz,” a small theme park once atop Beech Mountain, North Carolina. I lip-synched and danced in shows, and after each show I thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures with all of the children who gathered around me, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, and Dorothy.

As the Tin Man I wore a silver fabric body suit, a tin cap, tin armor, a pasted-on nose, and silver dust liberally applied all over my face and hands.

Twice a semester I take a group of students in a 15-passenger van on visits to local financial services firms. My financial planning program (undergraduate) students benefit from exposure to different practice models, learn about "day-in-the-life" of a financial advisor, and some even make connections leading to future internships or jobs.