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New Course Spotlight: Certified Financial Planner™ Program

New Course Spotlight: Certified Financial Planner™ Program

Did you know the U.S. News & World Report ranked Financial Advisor as its #4 best business job? In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 30% from 2014 to 2024 and the median annual wage for those positions was $89,160 in May 2015.

Now’s your opportunity to receive relevant training to join this booming industry. Our new Certified Financial Planner™ Program is designed to prepare you for success. This unique, 15-month course, will be taught by several instructors who are experts in their respective fields.

One such expert, Tana Gildea, shared her thoughts on the industry and what you can expect out of the new program. Here’s what she had to say:

Share a little bit of your background and how it relates to teaching this class.
I started my career doing corporate audits for KPMG where I worked for nearly seven years, leaving as a manager. I moved to an operations management position with MCI and then was a stay-home mom of four young children for six years. After serving in a variety of volunteer roles, a friend’s husband was looking for some part-time help at his financial planning firm. That was over 11 years ago, and I am now his partner. Once I got to the profession, I found I loved it, I loved working with our clients, helping them achieve financial goals, and I enjoyed the people I worked with. Along the way, I became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a Certified College Funding Specialist.

Instructor Tana GildeaThrough all of the twists and turns in my career, I have been a teacher at heart. Even writing my book, The Graduate’s Guide to Money, was my way of teaching the next generation what I learned along the way about money and managing it wisely.

Give us an overview of the class. What can students expect to learn?
I am teaching Financial Planning Fundamentals during the first section of the course and it will be just as it sounds. This is the “big picture” of what financial planning is, what planners do, and how we impact our clients. The class also goes into professional standards, ethics, legal requirements and economic concepts. On the softer side, we will talk about client attitudes, values, biases and some of the emotional aspects that people deal with when talking about their money (the human being). We’ll also get into the nitty gritty of how to plan for retirement, college, cash flow, debt management and other specific client situations (the spreadsheets).

Who is the ideal student for this class?
This is the perfect class for anyone who wants to understand what financial planning is and what planners do all day. If you are interested in personal finance then this class is a key first step to understanding what is involved in advising people in finance versus working with companies in finance. Anyone wanting to become a financial planner should be looking at getting their CFP® and KSU’s program is the perfect approach to help you prepare for and pass that exam.

Why is this class important?
This is a foundational class so all of the other classes will dig deeper from here. This class gives students the whole A to Z on the financial planning profession and process and lays out how planners serve their clients from start to finish. Financial planning is a process and a series of interrelated activities. It is guiding and educating as well as calculating and strategizing.

The other class segment I will teach is Income Tax Planning. The Fundamentals class will talk about tax impacts of various financial planning decisions and then the Income Tax Planning course will do the deep dive into how those impacts translate into numbers on the tax return and dollars paid or saved in income taxes. No one is going to be ready to start a tax practice after that course, but they will thoroughly understand how financial planning recommendations impact taxes which is a critical consideration when looking at any strategy.

Share an overview of the financial climate? Why is it good to be in finance right now?
Financial planning as an industry is growing rapidly as busy professionals look for help in managing a fairly complex aspect of their lives. Financial and investment decisions have a big impact on people’s quality of life, their financial futures, and their peace of mind. While information has become more accessible, it has also become more plentiful, more deceptive, and it is hard for the average non-financial person to have the time (let alone the skills) to dedicate to researching and understanding all of the options available. Most people are fearful of financial decisions, nervous about investing, and need an impartial professional who can give unbiased advice and guidance. We simply don’t have enough good professionals entering the financial planning field to take over when the first wave of planners want to retire — so it is a great time to enter the profession.

What advice would you give somebody entering the field?
Learn all you can and become certified. Make learning and professional development a lifelong pursuit. This profession is perfect for someone who is passionate about helping people, is financially minded but also has the softer skills to handle what is often an emotional topic. Some days you need to be a strategist, others you need to have a broad shoulder to cry on, and other days you need to be a referee, a coach or a cheerleader! If that is you, come on! The profession needs you.

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