News & Events

Celebrating State Farm’s Donation

Posted: May 30, 2019

MU receives increased funding from State Farm Insurance to support outreach programs

Story by MU News Bureau - Cailin Riley

Representatives from MU and State Farm

Today, officials from the University of Missouri recognized State Farm Insurance Company for its most recent donation of $165,000. This gift brings State Farm’s overall investment in Mizzou to more than $1.6 million, making MU the largest single recipient of State Farm grant funding in Missouri.

"State Farm has been an invaluable corporate partner to Mizzou throughout our Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign, with their generosity benefiting not only students on campus, but Missourians across the state," said Tom Hiles, vice chancellor for advancement. "Of the many organizations that State Farm generously supports, they have chosen to award the most to MU year after year. We are very proud of this honor and thankful for their partnership."

Bill Roundtree, State Farm vice president of agency-sales for Missouri, said State Farm is proud to support MU with their largest single-year gift to date.

"The six programs we are supporting this year illustrate the many ways the university benefits the entire state of Missouri," Roundtree said. "These programs train rural firefighters across the state, educate parents and teens about safe driving, teach students about financial literacy, help older drivers and their families with driving safety and prepare the financial professionals of the future."

The funds will support six MU programs, including our own College of Human Environmental Sciences Personal Financial Planning Department:

The Department of Personal Financial Planning’s Office for Financial Success works to enhance financial literacy throughout the Mizzou community by providing financial counseling and resources. These resources include educational workshops, weekly financial tips, tax preparation and outreach programs across the state of Missouri. Services from the program include offering students counseling to help create student debt repayment plans, advising students so they stay in school and do not drop out due to financial reasons, and free tax preparation. This year, State Farm donated $15,000 to support this program.

These funds will help support the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead $1.3 billion campaign, which aims to secure the University of Missouri’s status among the nation’s elite public universities by focusing on four priorities:

  • Establishing an endowment to compete with other institutions to strengthen MU’s ability to attract and retain stellar students and faculty.
  • Enhancing MU’s AAU status through the creation of signature centers and institutes.
  • Propelling Mizzou to global leadership in education and research by spurring a campus renaissance with new and renovated facilities.
  • Developing student success initiatives that give Mizzou students access to world-class learning opportunities that ensure they thrive on campus and throughout their lives.

Read full story

Dr. Rui Yao, CFP® in the News

Posted: May 23, 2019

Rui YaoAssociate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Dr. Rui Yao, CFP® was interviewed by in their Ask the Experts column on "low interest" credit cards. She reminds us, "there are no ‘low interest’ credit cards."

Read more

Yao Delivered Keynote at 2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference

Posted: May 15, 2019

Rui YaoDr. Rui Yao, CFP®, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, delivered the keynote address at the 2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference in Branson, MO. This annual conference provides retirement plan fiduciaries and support staff with knowledge from industry experts on managing retirement plans for their employees. Yao spoke about evaluating retirement plan advisors' service by examining objective performance measures of the plans under their management.

PFP Faculty and Staff to Participate in 2019 ACCI Annual Conference

Posted: May 13, 2019

The American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) will hold its annual conference May 21-23, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia, and the MU Department of Personal Financial Planning will be well-represented. Three faculty members—Professor and Chair Fran Lawrence, PhD, Associate Professor Rui Yao, PhD, CFP® and Assistant Professor Lu Fan, PhD, CFP® will be in attendance, as well as six graduate students from the department—Guopeng Cheng, Dalisha Herring, CFP®, Xihao Huang, Christina Wang, Weipeng Wu, and Zheying Yao. Dr. Rui Yao currently serves as president of ACCI.

American Council on Consumer Interests
2019 Annual Conference Participants

head shot of each attendee

Top: Lawrence, R. Yao, Cheng
Middle: Cheng, Herring, Huang
Bottom: Wang, Wu, Z. Yao

Sharpe to Receive Award for Innovative Writing Intensive Teaching

Posted: May 13, 2019

Deanna SharpeDr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP,® CRPC,® CRPS was selected to receive the 2019 Win Horner Award for Innovative Writing Intensive Teaching. This award will be presented by the Campus Writing Program at the University of Missouri’s Celebration of Teaching on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. The Win Horner Award was named in honor of Dr. Horner, a nationally known and respected pioneer in "writing across the curriculum." She chaired the Composition Task Force that created MU’s Campus Writing Program in 1985. Award recipients demonstrate the same pioneering spirit in their teaching of Writing Intensive (WI) courses through development of a new and innovative WI course or implementation of new approaches in their teaching.

In her own teaching, Sharpe has become a leader in integrating teaching with writing in large enrollment courses. She designs assignments that provide opportunities for students to engage personally with the complex topics of her course. Examples include assignments in which students conduct interviews outside of class, write about various family structures, and look at single vs. dual earners’ experiences. Sharpe has many years of experience in successfully teaching these larger courses and mentoring her teaching assistants.

Sharpe has provided leadership to the Campus Writing Program through serving as Chair of the Campus Writing Board, helping develop a new funding model, collaborating with an interdisciplinary group of faculty on WI research and scholarship, and mentoring colleagues in WI teaching. All of the these examples demonstrate her pioneering spirit in the support of student learning with writing, much like Dr. Win Horner for whom this award is named.

McCaulley Honored with Campus-Based Specialist Award

Posted: May 13, 2019

The Youth & Families Extension Celebration of Excellence Awards recognize those individuals who have made a significant contribution to their discipline, the College of Human Environmental Sciences, MU Extension, and the citizens they serve. These awards are to promote high quality, research-based Extension/outreach scholarship through the state of Missouri. Dr. Graham McCaulley, Assistant Extension Professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, was honored as the 2019 Campus-Based Specialist Award winner for his long-time service as the liaison between resident and regional faculty. He demonstrates outstanding ability, performance, character, and commitment to the personal financial planning discipline and the land-grant mission.

Stewart, Procter, McCaulley, and RikoonStewart, Procter, McCaulley, and Rikoon

McCaulley is pictured with Dr. Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement, Brenda Procter, Associate Extension Professor, and Dr. Sandy Rikoon, Dean of the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Personal Financial Planning May Newsletter

Posted: May 8, 2019

There is never a dull moment in the PFP Department. Read the PFP May Newsletter.

Alumni Spotlight on Jared Reynolds, CFP®, CDFA, CPFA

Posted: May 3, 2019

"I knew it was Mizzou." This is the certainty with which Jared Reynolds, CFP®, CDFA, CPFA , alumnus of Personal Financial Planning (PFP), decided on his college career path. With the same clarity and determination, Jared has used his education from the University of Missouri to build a successful business in financial management, and he generously uses his experience to guide other Mizzou students into the field.

Jared grew up in rural Missouri, where his family owns a resort on Truman Lake, and he still maintains close ties to the countryside. When the time came to apply for college, however, he knew Mizzou was the place for him, and he only applied to one other school.

Jared initially studied Philosophy and Political Science in preparation for a pre-law track. He became intrigued by the study of finance when he heard his fraternity brothers discussing mutual funds and investments – something entirely new to him. When his campus advisor recommended the PFP program to him, he switched his major and immediately loved it. "I especially loved learning from the professionals in the field who came to talk to our classes," he said.

Jared Reynolds

Once settled with a new major, Jared fully invested his energy in excelling within the field. As part of his training, he obtained an internship with Waddell & Reed, an asset management company that sponsored him to get the initial licenses he needed to begin working as a professional investment advisor. By the spring of his senior year, Jared began working full-time and was fully licensed upon graduation. While it was nice to be able to begin working immediately, Jared admits that the heavy workload was intense. "I wouldn't recommend it!& he said, laughing.

After graduation, Caroll Wilkerson, Jared's current business partner, approached him about collaborating and mentored him as he got started in the field. After building their business for several years, in 2009 they founded Wilkerson & Reynolds Wealth Management, where they advise clients on portfolio management, wealth planning, divorce planning, and risk management.

Jared finds the freedom and flexibility that his job provides to be particularly gratifying, allowing him to stay involved in the busy lives of his three sons and his other family businesses. As a student who loved hearing from professionals in the classroom, Jared also contributes his time to Mizzou and provides opportunities for student internships at his firm. One piece of advice he has is that students should learn more about practice management before they graduate. Being a financial advisor is one thing, Jared says, but running a business is another – "the things I wish someone would have said to me when I was in that seat."

Graduate Students Present at Annual MU Research Forum

Posted: May 2, 2019

The 36th Annual Research and Creative Activities Forum, a program of the MU Graduate and Professional Students, was held April 3-5 in Mizzou’s Jesse Hall. Dalisha Herring, CFP® and Christina Wang were accepted to present their empirical research projects at the Forum. Herring, a doctoral candidate, presented "Effect of Military Service on Generation X Retirement Income Expectations in the Post-Great Recession Economy." This project is co-authored with her advisor Dr. Deanna L. Sharpe, CFP®. Herring was awarded third place in the Social Sciences (Qualitative) Category for the Forum. Wang, a master’s student, presented is “Does Personality Predict Financial Risk Tolerance of Pre-Retiree Baby Boomers?” This research is co-authored with Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® and doctoral candidate Zheying (Anthea) Yao. Both Herring and Wang will work with their co-authors to further refine these projects to present on an international stage at the upcoming American Council of Consumer Interests annual conference in Arlington, VA.

Chancellor Cartright and Dalisha Herring

Christina Wang and judges

PFP Doctoral Candidate Receives Excellence in Student Leadership Award

May 1, 2019

Doctoral Candidate Dalisha D. Herring, CFP® was recognized at the MU Graduate and Postdoctoral Awards Banquet with the Excellence in Student Leadership Award by the Graduate Professional Council (GPC). She has served the Department of Personal Financial Planning graduate students for the past four years as its delegate to GPC, serving their interests in graduate student governance. Herring served two years on the MU Student Conduct Committee and the past two years on the MU Parking & Transportation Committee, both roles as graduate student liaison for the graduate and professional student body. In addition to her roles on campus, Herring is a member the Estate Planning Council of Mid Missouri and the Financial Planning Association of Greater St. Louis for whom she also serves on the chapter’s Pro Bono Committee.

Herring with GPC President Alek WillseyHerring with GPC President Alek Willsey

Herring is involved with leadership roles in the Columbia community as well by serving as President of the Columbia/Mid-Missouri Alumnae Chapter of Delta Zeta Sorority and in various roles Memorial Baptist Church including Finance Committee Co-Chair, Women’s Ministry Co-Chair, and a member of the choir, orchestra, and praise team. She states, "I strive to be a servant leader wherever my time and talents can be utilized. I believe in engaging and giving back to my community, wherever that may be. Part of my sorority creed states ‘May I give graciously of what is mine,’ and I try to live that each day in the ways I serve others."

Spring Interns Succeeding on the Job

Posted: Apr. 29, 2019

Three students in the Department of Personal Financial Planning have worked toward degree requirements this semester with the completion of an internship to their schedules. Sean Burk and Riley Larkin worked with Northwestern Mutual in Columbia, MO, while Elizaveta (Liza) Korshunova continued her work as Student Manager of the Department’s Office for Financial Success (OFS). Burke and Larkin strived for success through meeting with clients and prospects, learning from their supervisors and peers, and gaining knowledge from the inside of an insurance agency environment. Should be supervisors and peers, and gaining knowledge from the inside of a financial planning and insurance environment. Korshunova continued her work in the OFS by training and supervising student volunteer peer counselors who meet regularly with members of the Mizzou community to increase their personal financial literacy. She also took part in providing financial information booths at various events across campus.

Sean BurkeSean Burke

Riley LarkinRiley Larkin

Elizaveta (Liza) KorshunovaLiza Korshunova
Dr. Jim Green, CFP®, AFC®
Director, Office for Financial Success

Missouri Personal Finance Challenge Hosted

Posted: Apr. 29, 2019

The Department of Personal Financial Planning, through its Center for Economic and Financial Education, recently hosted the Missouri Personal Finance Challenge.

A partnership with the Missouri Council on Economic Education, the challenge is a statewide, online competition for high school students to test their personal finance acumen. Students respond to real life economic situations using the knowledge and information gained as part of the Missouri personal finance course requirement.

Personal Financial Planning Extension faculty, led by Dr. Graham McCaulley and Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, worked to help revamp the competition for this year, which saw a record number of teams participate in the online portion of the challenge. Of the over 300 teams, the top 8 were then invited to campus to compete on a case study. Personal Financial Planning alumni, students, faculty and friends of the department served as judges of the students’ presentations. The College of Human Environmental Sciences ambassadors also lead the students on a campus tour, and PFP faculty talked with students and teachers on the benefits of a Personal Financial Planning degree and any ways the department may be a resource to them.

After several rounds of competition, the first place team was Hannibal Career & Technical Center, with Lutheran North from St. Louis taking second.

The Center for Economic and Financial Education looks forward to hosting this event next year and continuing to expand its impact.

Fran Lawrence and presenter

Fran Lawrence and attendees




Dr. Jim Green Offers Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Course in Fall

Posted: Apr. 8, 2019

Jim GreenThe Department of Personal Financial Planning is excited to announce FINPLN 4418/7001 Topics in Personal Financial Planning. Open to any Mizzou student, undergraduate or graduate, from any academic discipline, this 1-credit hour course will prepare you to pass the FINRA Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam, the 1st in the series of licensing exams in the financial services industry. The course also provides business management and marketing principles for a financial advising career. The new course will be offered in Fall 2019 on Mondays, 10:00 – 10:50 AM. Dr. Jim Green, CFP®, AFC®, a recent 9-year financial advisor, teaching professor of Personal Financial Planning, and Director of the Office for Financial Success will teach the course. For more information contact

Internship Spotlight on Ethan Wallace

Posted: Apr. 4, 2019

Ethan Wallace, a senior in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, fulfilled his internship requirement with Wilkerson & Reynolds Wealth Management in Columbia, MO. He engaged in hands-on learning opportunities enhancing his knowledge of investment management and retirement planning through working with a team to build unique wealth plans designed specifically for each individual client. Wallace utilized knowledge learned in the Personal Financial Planning curriculum, as well as the eMoney software, to assist in creating financial plans for clients. His favorite aspect of the internship is working for a local company that puts a personal touch on their business. Wilkerson & Reynolds is an excellent example of what many students hope to achieve as entrepreneurs and future CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals. While working with the firm, Wallace has also completed the next step in moving his career forward by passing the Securities Industry Essentials exam. He states, "Working as an intern at Wilkerson & Reynolds is a great opportunity for students who wish to fulfill their internship requirement during the semester because they are located in Columbia and very willing to work around student’s class schedules."

Ethan WallacePhoto L to R: Carroll Wilkerson, Ethan Wallace, Jared Reynolds

Alumna Spotlight on Lacey Mitchell

Posted: Apr. 4, 2019

Lacey Mitchell is a 2010 graduate of the University of Missouri where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Personal Financial Planning. While on the Mizzou campus, she served as Student Manager for the Office for Financial Success (OFS), a role in which she supervised student financial counselors providing no-cost financial counseling to the Mizzou and Columbia communities. Upon graduation, Mitchell served the Department of Personal Financial Planning as a member of its Board of Advisors.

Mitchell launched her career with State Farm by opening her growing practice in the Central West End area of St. Louis. She maintains her Series 6 and 63 securities licenses, state and federal mortgage licensing, as well as Missouri and Illinois licensing for Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life, Health and Annuities. Mitchell states, "The financial counseling experience with the OFS directly led to my becoming a State Farm agent, as did working for two up-and-coming agents in Columbia and Chesterfield, MO, and having two uncles who were successful State Farm agents."

Lacey Mitchell

The only daughter of four children of her parents with special needs, was born and raised in O'Fallon, MO. Both of Mitchell’s parents are blind, but that does not mean she was raised different from anyone else. She is quick to remind people that each of us has something that makes our upbringing special. People in the community tell stories about Mitchell being able to lead her mother around the grocery store by the age of two. Kids are resilient and adapt to their circumstances, and her ambition and success speak to this.

Top Showing at Colloquium for Department of Personal Financial Planning

Posted: Apr. 4, 2019

The Department of Personal Financial Planning (PFP) was the top program presenting research at the CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines (hereinafter, "the Colloquium") according to "Financial Planning Research Highlights from the 2019 CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium" by The Colloquium is held annually in Arlington, VA, and according to the Center for Financial Planning, it is "a premier meeting for the financial planning profession, showcasing cutting-edge research and its implications on the financial planning practice."

Dalisha Herring, Rui Yao, Weipeng Wu, Fran Lawrence, Lu Fan, Abed Rabbani, Xihao Huang (Not pictured: Christina Wang).

Papers presented at the Colloquium included those by master’s degree student Christina Wang and Assistant Professor Lu Fan, PhD, CFP®. Additionally, poster presentations were made by Associate Professor Rui Yao, PhD, CFP®, Assistant Professor Abed Rabbani, PhD, CFP®, doctoral student Weipeng Wu, and Christina Wang. Though not able to attend the conference, doctoral candidates Zheying (Anthea) Yao and Chen Xu were contributing authors on research presented. Doctoral Candidate Dalisha Herring, CFP® was one of only five doctoral candidates nationwide invited to participate in the Doctoral Seminar prior to the start of the Colloquium. She presented a job market paper and received constructive feedback from a panel of research faculty and participated in the panel session where advice for junior faculty was provided by experienced faculty and journal editors.

Following is a list the research presented by PFP faculty and students:

  • Fan, L. Relationships among financial ability, financial independence, and well-being of emerging adults: Does personality matter?
  • Herring, D., & Sharpe, D. Effect of military service on Generation X retirement income expectations.
  • Rabbani, A., Yao, Z., Wang, C., & Grable, J. Association between financial risk tolerance and locus of control, sensation seeking for pre-retiree Baby Boomers.
  • Sunder, A., Palmer, L., Goetz, J.W., Chatterjee, S., Huang, X, & Yao, R. Comprehensive advisors vs. modular advisors: A study of household financial assets during the Great Recession.
  • Wang, C. The effect of demographic characteristics and economic characteristics on an individual’s financial risk tolerance.
  • Wu, W. Are black and white different in stock ownership?
  • Yao, R., & Xu, C. Factors related to non-primary housing ownership: Evidence from China General Social Survey.


Junior Aaron Witherspoon Focuses on Helping Peers Manage Money

Aaron WitherspoonPosted: Apr. 3, 2019

Story by Marianna Moore, University of Missouri Student Affairs

While walking up and down Rollins Street at the annual Midnight BBQ, then-freshman Aaron Witherspoon noticed two classmates of his. He hadn’t made any friends yet, and he was determined to change that.

"I kind of stepped outside of my comfort zone and introduced myself to just take that first step," Witherspoon says. "We’ve been close ever since."

The willingness to leave his comfort zone didn’t end there.

Later that year, Witherspoon joined the Mizzou’s Black Men’s Initiative. Because of his passion for Mizzou, he also joined Alumni Association Student Board and United Ambassadors. Finally, he joined the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha.

Alpha Phi Alpha in particular gave Witherspoon the support he needed to excel on campus.

“They helped me really build my confidence and really show me that I can do anything on the university that I put my mind and heart into,” Witherspoon said. “The sky is the limit and I can do anything.”

Witherspoon is a personal financial planning major in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. At age 16, he bought his first share of stock and has been increasing his financial knowledge ever since. Witherspoon puts his own money at risk while investing. He believes in taking chances in order to improve himself.

Read more

Winners of the Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge Announced

Posted: Apr. 3, 2019

Story by Mizzou News

Every year American families meet with financial advisors to receive advice about their future finances, whether that is recommendations about saving for a child’s education or creating a retirement plan. Several University of Missouri students in an investment management class in the Department of Personal Financial Planning were given the chance to showcase their investment and portfolio management skills for a real-life corporate partner in a highly anticipated competition.

The Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge is a professional competition that enables students to act as financial advisors and develop solutions for a given client’s needs.

Assistant Professor Lu Fan is the instructor for the course and chose the top three teams in the class based on executive summaries and portfolio narratives they provided the client based on their work during the semester. Teams of four-to-five students competed in the portfolio challenge for a cash prize awarded by Edward Jones.

Read more

students posing with faculty at competitionThe Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge students pose for a picture with faculty supervisors and Edward Jones representatives after an exciting competition.

The Department’s Center for Economic and Financial Education Offers Student Loan Workshops

Posted: Apr. 3, 2019

Student Loans: From Start to Finish are free workshops open to the public (lunch provided). Please register online or e-mail 3.0 contact hours or .3 CEUs through MU School of Social Work (pending). 3.0 CEUs approved by CFP® Board and AFCPE

Download flyer

All Workshops: 10:30 am - 2:30 pm
Registration required

  • Central MO: April 11
    MU Family Impact Center
    105 E Ash St., Columbia 65203
  • Kansas City Area: May 21
    Jackson County Extension Office
    105 E. 5th St., Ste 200, KC MO 64106
  • Southwest: May 23
    Greene Co. Botanical Center
    2400 S. Scenic, Springfield 65807
  • Southeast: May 30
    Cape Girardeau Co. Extension Office
    684 W Jackson Trail, Jackson 63755

Help Clients Understand their
Student Loan Options

Workshop topics include:

  • Student loan types
  • Loan eligibility
  • Federal loan repayment plans
  • Crisis management
  • Default rehabilitation
  • Online resources

Andrew Zumwalt, MS, CFP®
Graham McCaulley, PhD
Marco Pantoja, AFC®

Dr. Lu Fan is Awarded Grant by Margaret W. Mangel Faculty Research Catalyst Fund

Posted: Mar. 29, 2019

Lu FanAssistant Professor Lu Fan, PhD, CFP®, was awarded one of five $3,000 grants awarded by the Margaret W. Mangel Faculty Research Catalyst Fund for her project titled "Antecedents of Financial Information Processing of Young Adults." These awards are granted annually to faculty of the College of Human Environmental Sciences as a way to assist with research scholarship/creative activity efforts. The primary goal is to "catalyze" new research initiatives that will grow into larger projects capable of being supported from sources external to the College. The awards are funded with support of former Dean Margaret Mangel, a visionary who was always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for people and was most generous in her support of ongoing activities of the college.

Linsey Winkler Awarded Annette Wells Memorial Scholarship

Posted: Mar. 26, 2019

Each year the Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City awards the Annette Wells Memorial Scholarship to a deserving financial planning student. The scholarship is in honor of Annette Wells, a former FPA-Greater Kansas President who passed away from cancer.

At the March 2019 chapter meeting, current President George Fernandez presented the 2018 Annette Wells Memorial Scholarship to Linsey Winkler, a senior at the University of Missouri. Linsey will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Personal Financial Planning in May 2019.

Congratulations Linsey!

Linsey Winkler and George Fernandez

OFS Awarded $10,200 Student Fee Capital Improvement Grant

Posted: Mar. 18, 2019

Jim GreenMizzou’s Student Fee Capital Improvement Committee (SFCIC) recently awarded a $10,200 grant to the Office for Financial Success (OFS). SFCIC is a Chancellor’s Standing Committee that advises the Vice Chancellor for Student affairs on the allocation of funds generated by the capital improvements portion of the student fee. SFCIC funds are for capital items defined as equipment or renovations that create future benefits to MU students.

Dr. Jim Green, director of OFS and Teaching Professor in the Personal Financial Planning department said, "SFCIC funds will be used for three projects in OFS. The first is adding a power assist door opener for room 162 Stanley Hall to help the accessibility to the office. The second project is purchasing computer hardware for a kiosk system to help students with the check-in process and improve data collection. Lastly, the office will get new customer chairs."

Green continued, "It was a department effort including Dr. Graham McCaulley and Mr. Andrew Zumwalt, both of MU Extension, who helped identify the capital needs of the office."

Find more information about the Office for Financial Success.

Learn more about SFCIC.

Personal Financial Planning Newsletter Hot off the Press

Posted: Mar. 14, 2019

There is never a dull moment in the PFP Department. Read the PFP March Newsletter.

Department has Long History with ACCI Leadership

Posted: Mar. 12, 2019

Department of Personal Financial Planning Professor and Chair Fran Lawrence, PhD was elected to serve on the Nominations and Election Committee for the American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI). Her term on the committee begins September 1, 2019, and continues through 2021. Associate Professor Rui Yao, PhD, CFP® currently serves as ACCI President, a term she will complete this year and then transition to the Past President role on September 1.

The Department has a long history of service and participation with ACCI. Associate Professor Deanna Sharpe, PhD, CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS previously served ACCI as its Treasurer, National Membership Chair, State Membership Chair for Alabama, Mid-Career Award Committee Chair, PhD Dissertation Award Committee member, and Master’s Thesis Award Committee member. She received the ACCI Mentor Award in 2016 and is past recipient of 2 best paper awards. Dr. Yao received the ACCI Mentor Award in 2018, the ACCI Mid-Career Award in 2016, and best paper and poster awards. Faculty members Lawrence, Sharpe, Yao, Assistant Professors Abed Rabbani, PhD, CFP® and Lu Fan, PhD, CFP®, and countless graduate students over the years have presented original research numerous times at the ACCI annual conferences.

ACCI is the leading consumer policy research and education organization consisting of a world-wide community of researchers, educators, and related professionals dedicated to enhancing consumer well-being. ACCI promotes the consumer interest by encouraging, producing, and communicating policy-relevant research.

Learn more about ACCI

ACCI affiliated faculty

MU Announces Partnership in Statewide Financial Planning Challenge

Financial Planning Challenge logoPosted: Mar. 8, 2019

Story by Sheena Rice, MU News Bureau

The Missouri Personal Finance Challenge for Missouri high schoolers is a collaboration between the Missouri Council on Economic Education and the University of Missouri

Today, the Missouri Council on Economic Education and the University of Missouri Center for Economic and Financial Education announced the launch of a newly revamped program for high school students focused on financial planning and economic vibrancy.

The Missouri Personal Finance Challenge is a statewide, online competition for high school students to test their personal finance acumen. Students respond to real life economic situations using the knowledge and information gained as part of the Missouri personal finance course requirement.

Graham McCaulleyDr. Graham McCaulley

Andrew ZumwaltAndrew Zumwalt, CFP®

"Hosting this event is a great opportunity for MU to engage with top high school students and their personal finance teachers on campus," said Graham McCaulley, assistant professor and co-director of the MU Center for Economic and Financial Education. "We look forward to connecting the students to Missouri financial professionals who will help serve as competition judges, providing feedback grounded in industry experiences."

Free for students, the finance challenge offers an opportunity to compete for scholarships and participate in the National Personal Finance Challenge as representatives of Missouri. In 2018, more than 1,100 students from 143 high schools across Missouri participated and the Missouri Council on Economic Education hopes this new partnership MU will expand the program and increase participation.

Missouri is one of six states nationwide that requires a stand-alone personal finance before high school graduation.

"We are extremely excited about the rejuvenated program and look forward to serving students and teachers across the state," said Garrett Webb, executive director of the Missouri Council on Economic Education.  "Programs like the financial challenge help us fulfill our mission to create an economically vibrant and financially literate workforce for Missouri, one student at a time."

For more information, or to register as a team, please visit the Missouri Council on Economic Education.

The MU Center for Economic and Financial Education is in the Department of Personal Financial Planning in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Collaboration with the City of Kansas City

Posted: Mar. 7, 2019

Cynthia CrawfordThe old adage, you can’t fight city hall, has a new twist in the University of Missouri’s Department of Personal Financial Planning and University of Missouri Extension. The goal is to collaborate with city hall. It started with a collaboration with the City of Columbia, Missouri late in 2018, as Columbia subsidized half the registration fees of city employees enrolling in How to get an "A" in retirement as part of the city’s wellness incentive program. "Now the City of Kansas City is offering to fully fund registrations for their employees this spring as a strong statement that financial wellness is an important part of well-being," announces Dr. Cynthia Crawford, course designer project leader, and Department of Personal Financial Planning Extension Professor.

city hall buildingCity Hall Building

The project has also enrolled 800 University of Missouri faculty and staff and the interest keeps growing on campuses and across the state. "Having a critical mass of faculty and staff well-educated about financial management is good for our students, too." We know a top reason students leave school before graduating is due to financial issues. Faculty and staff completing the course can provide higher quality financial information to students and they also know to refer students and also faculty and staff having financial issues to the Office for Financial Success, an important free financial counseling service provided by the Department of Personal Financial Planning and housed on the Mizzou campus," points out Crawford.

If you do not want an average or below average retirement, How to get an "A" in retirement is an online, non-credit course available to you, as well. Visit the Office for Financial Success website or email Dr. Cynthia Crawford at

Apply to Be a PFP Ambassador for the College

Posted: Mar. 5, 2019

Truman the TigerLooking for a part-time job on campus and leadership development? Join the College of HES Ambassador team!

The HES Student Services office is hiring HES Ambassadors for the 2019-2020 school year. HES Ambassadors are a resource for nearly 400 new HES students and hundreds of prospective Mizzou freshmen and transfers each year.

  • Meet with prospective HES students and families to provide information and tours of departments in the College of HES
  • Participate in recruitment events for incoming Mizzou students
  • Assist new students with their engagement with the College
  • Communicate regularly with new HES students about upcoming events, deadlines, success tips, etc.
  • Collaborate with department student organizations and department faculty to plan and promote department specific opportunities.
  • Coordinate workshops for HES students
  • Assist students with basic advising needs and referrals to appropriate campus resources


  • Positions are open for students in the HDFS, PFP, and TAM departments
  • Must be in good academic standing
  • Sophomore standing or above after spring 2019 semester
  • Commitment to 2-semester, 2019-2020, term
  • Availability for some evening and weekend hours
  • Starting at $9 per hour – 5-10 hours per week.

To apply:

  • Bring your résumé to the HES Student Services Office in 106 Gwynn and complete the online application questionnaire.
  • A reference form will be sent to up to two references identified in the online questionnaire.
  • Deadline to submit résumé and questionnaire is Wednesday, March 20. Email questions to

HES Ambassadors at events

Christina Wang Selected for Mizzou 18

Posted: Mar. 1, 2019

Mizzou 18In the spirit of service, first modeled by the University's founding families in 1839, the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board presents the Mizzou 18 Award. This award is dedicated to honoring 18 University of Missouri graduate and professional students in the last year of their degree eligibility.

Chosen for their world-class research, collaboration with faculty and staff, and their demonstrated leadership with undergraduate students, the honorees represent a variety of majors, activities and organizations from across campus. Each recipient also chooses a faculty or staff member to be recognized for the impact they have made in the lives of MU students.

Christina Wang

Christina Wang
Major: Personal Financial Planning
Hometown: Columbia, MO
Activities/Honors: Treasurer- Graduate Professional Council
Mentor: Dr. Rui Yao

Christina Wang is the daughter of Dr. Xinghe Henry Wang and Dr. Daqing Ann Chen.

Having a mentor is emphasized in our Department. Read what Christina says about her mentor, Dr. Yao:

"Even before I started my first week at Mizzou, Dr. Yao was the gracious host who welcomed and oriented me to life as a Mizzou graduate student. In the three semesters since then, she has consistently been my anchor—as my advisor, my Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), my professor, and my role model. As my advisor, Dr. Yao has guided me through my indecision about what career path to follow. The honest and valuable advice she has given me about academia and the personal finance industry has boosted my confidence in my academic and career pursuits. As DGS for our department, Dr. Yao hosts semesterly social gatherings for all of the graduate students at her home—these get-togethers were essential to helping me fit into our tight-knit community, and they certainly made sure everyone feels like they belong in the department. As a professor, Dr. Yao has an open-door policy that demonstrates her strong commitment to helping any students who seek her assistance or knowledge. Finally, and most importantly, this semester I have come to view Dr. Yao as my personal role model. We share a connection through our similar personalities and values, so I have come to see her as a possible representation of who I hope to become. It is so important to recognize Dr. Yao’s impact on my and my classmates’ Mizzou experience because she has been such an integral part of our graduate development. Much of my success and the success of our department can be credited to her. Dr. Yao, I wholeheartedly thank you for your profound impact on my time at Mizzou."

Student Spotlight on Cameron Harris

Cameron Harris is a senior Personal Financial Planning student from the south suburbs of Chicago. He interned with TRB & Associates, a local tax and bookkeeping firm in Fall 2018, and has been continuously employed by MU Campus Dining Services (CDS) since his freshmen year. Cameron received the 2018 Student Employee Scholarship from CDS, an honor based on his reliability, quality of work, initiative, teamwork, and contribution to his employer. Cameron’s interest in personal financial planning grew after realizing the corporate approach to finance was not the best fit for him. His interest deepened upon realizing the lack of financial knowledge in the black community. With this new passion for educating the underrepresented communities, Cameron is involved with MOCHA (Men of Color, Honor and Ambition) and the Mizzou Financial Planning Association. He has also served as a volunteer tax preparer through the Office for Financial Success VITA program. Cameron looks forward to taking the knowledge gained in his Personal Financial Planning degree to help underserved communities improve their financial well-being. He hopes to inspire those communities to improve financial knowledge and accumulate assets, as well as to teach the importance of planning, saving, investing, and creating a legacy for generations to come.

Cameron Harris

Dr. Cynthia Crawford Presents at 2019 FERMA Conference

Posted: Feb. 21, 2019

While many business travelers were stressed by treacherous travel conditions Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, conference participants in the national Family Economics and Resource Management Association (FERMA) conference relaxed in the comfort of their homes while blizzards raged in many parts of the United States. Instead, the 50+ participants from coast to coast, experienced a successful cutting-edge conference meeting face to face, via video, for professional development that ranged from research reports to Extension programming applying research and best practices. University of Missouri Extension Professor Cynthia Crawford was a featured presenter during the conference, teaming up with Rutger's Cooperative Extension Specialist Dr. Barb O'Neill to discuss retirement planning strategies and approaches in personal financial planning education. Crawford commented, "We experienced the future of professional conferences - saving substantial time and costs.  We can link with colleagues from many locations and never leave our office. In addition, the weather did not detract from the success of the professional meeting."

Cynthia Crawford

Dr. Crawford's popular online non-credit Extension course combines research and best practices from personal financial planning and positive psychology to enhance participant's well-being in retirement, as well as the years leading to retirement. For more details about How to get an "A" in retirement, please contact Crawford at

PFP Faculty Publish New Research

Posted: Feb. 4, 2019

Personal Financial Planning faculty are consistently publishing in journals that reach a wide variety of audiences. Three faculty published works in late 2018. Assistant Professor Abed Rabbani, PhD, CFP®, and Professor and Chair Frances C. Lawrence, PhD published "The Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment: A Resource for Extension Educators" with co-authors Dr. Barbara O’Neill and Dr. John Grable in The Journal of Extension. O’Neill of Rutgers University and Grable of the University of Georgia originally created the Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment now housed in the University of Missouri’s Department of Personal Financial Planning. Associate Professor Rui Yao, PhD, CFP® published her work, "Credit Card Usage Among College Students in China," in the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning with co-author Xiangyi Meng, PhD and Associate Professor at Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China.

Abed RabbaniDr. Abed Rabbani

Abed RabbaniDr. Fran Lawrence

Abed RabbaniDr. Rui Yao

Free Tax Preparation Help Available at Mizzou

Posted: Jan. 30, 2019

Story by Sheena Rice

Changes to federal and state taxes could cause confusion for students and Missouri families. The University of Missouri will open Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to assist Missourians with their tax return preparation today through April 15. "Taxes can be complicated for many families, and given the number of changes now facing taxpayers, this year is no exception," said Andrew Zumwalt, an assistant extension professor of Personal Financial Planning. "Our student tax preparers and staff have been through IRS training and certification and are prepared to help eligible families navigate their tax preparation for free." VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that provides free tax preparation assistance for low- to moderate- income-level homes. Trained community volunteers may help with special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disable.

The campus VITA site is located in the Office for Financial Success Room 162, Stanley Hall. It will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 – 7 pm. It will be open on Saturdays from 9 am – 12:30 pm.

A location in downtown Columbia also will be open 9 am - 12:30 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and from 4:15 – 7:45 pm on Mondays at the Family Impact Center at 105 E. Ash St.

Search for VITA sites around Missouri.

"Those who qualify can walk into any of our VITA sites and have their tax returns prepared," Zumwalt said. "Not only do they get the help they need, but our students gain experience communicating with clients about money in a hands-on, applied way."

Zumwalt encourages Missourians to stop by any of the MU Extension VITA sites around the state if they need help or have any questions about whether they qualify for an Affordable Care Act exemption or other tax credits. Most Missourians also can file their taxes for free online. In addition to tax return preparation assistance, most sites also offer free electronic filing. Last year, MU VITA sites served more than 10,000 Missouri families; approximately 2,000 filed on the MU campus.

Michelle Gregory-Rives Selected as "Face" of Internship Program

Posted: Jan. 28, 2019

PFP student, Michelle Gregory-Rives, was selected as the "face" of the Shelter Insurance Company Diversity Internship Program. Michelle states, "My time at Shelter has been very beneficial. I have learned a lot of professional skills through the various workshops, created many meaningful relationships and gained a lot of experience."

Read more

Michelle Gregory-Rives

Alumni Spotlight on Jim Gerlock

Posted: Jan. 23, 2019

Jim Gerlock graduated from Mizzou in December 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Personal Financial Planning (PFP) from the College of Human Environmental Sciences. Upon graduation from MU he moved to Houston, Texas, to begin his career with Earthstaff as a consultant in the energy industry for mergers & acquisitions, as well as with staffing. Thereafter, he joined Addison Group, a firm with which he has been for 3 years, where he serves as a Senior Consultant opening offices in both Houston and Chicago.

Addison Group is a 1200+ employee staffing and consulting company headquartered in Chicago with more than 25 offices nationwide. Jim’s specialty is assisting his growing company in establishing start up offices to help further the engineering recruitment market share managed by Addison Group’s engineering division. His senior position has placed him alongside the executives in organizations from small family businesses to Fortune 100 firms. The primary goal of his role is to assist in the corporate strategy of a company to scale a business from an internal standpoint to meet the expectations of external clients.

Read more

Jim Gerlock

OFS Director Adds Accredited Financial Counselor® Certification to His Title

Posted: Jan. 17, 2019

We announced in November that Dr. Jim Green passed the Accredited Financial Counselor® examination while attending the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education® annual conference. He has now completed all requirements for use of the AFC® marks. Green also holds the prestigious Certified Financial Planner certification.

Jim Green

MU Ranks 3rd in NWM National College Competition

Gerard HempsteadPosted: Jan. 7, 2019

Gerard Hempstead, CFP®, CPA, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL® and Managing Partner with Northwestern Mutual, informed us that the University of Missouri currently ranks number 3 of 389 universities in the Northwestern Mutual’s National College Competition.

Brandon Easley and Linsey Winkler Selected to Participate in the 2019 TD Ameritrade National LINC Conference

Posted: Jan. 4, 2019

Congratulations to Personal Financial Planning students, Brandon Easley and Linsey Winkler, who have been selected to participate in the 2019 TD Ameritrade LINC Conference being held February 6 – February 8 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, CA. The conference brings together industry professionals to learn, be inspired, network and collaborate. The LINC conference is one of the largest industry events for investment advisors; technology providers; asset manager, practice management experts; world leaders; and financial planning students.

Brandon Easley

Linsey Winkler

Dr. Fran Lawrence Featured in the Academy of Financial Services Newsletter

Posted: Jan. 3, 2019

Frances Cogle LawrenceDr. Fran Lawrence was featured in the Academy of Financial Services (AFS) most recent newsletter. The spotlight reads: "Dr. Fran Lawrence, Professor and Chair of the Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri, has been a member of AFS for over a decade and is currently a member of its Board of Directors. She thinks that service to AFS is important for advancing the financial planning field and brings immense opportunities for networking with top thought leaders and passionate colleagues in the industry. Dr. Lawrence says that her involvement in AFS brings unparalleled opportunities to develop professional relationships with academicians across several disciplines, many with whom she has had the pleasure of working on research and other service-related opportunities. Of upmost value to her has been the opportunity to be part of a community of excellence where your voice is heard and respected."

Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, Provides IRS VITA Tax Training

Posted: Dec. 18, 2018

Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, provided IRS VITA Tax Training to soldiers and dedicated volunteers at Fort Leonard Wood located in south central Missouri Ozarks. This is the sixth year of the Justice Advocate General’s Corp (JAG) office and MU Extension’s collaboration. At the site, several thousand soldiers, military retirees, and gold star families will receive tax preparation assistance beginning in January 2019.

Andrew Zumwalt presenting

Cameron Harris Received 2018 Student Employee Scholarship

Posted: Dec. 13, 2018

Cameron HarrisCameron Harris, PFP senior received a 2018 Student Employee Scholarship from Campus Dining Services (CDS). Cameron was 1 of only 10 MU students being honored, based on his reliability, quality of work, initiative, teamwork and contribution to his employer. Beyond working with CDS, Cameron is a member of MOCHA (Men of Color, Honor and Ambition) and the Mizzou Financial Planning Association. He has volunteered at the Office of Financial Success, serving as an IRS Certified VITA Tax Preparer assisting students, employees and the community to prepare their taxes free of charge.

Internship Spotlight on Yushan Jin

Posted: Dec. 13, 2018

Yushan Jin, a senior in the Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri, spent her fall semester working as a licensed customer representative intern at Shelter Insurance Company’s Nancy Allison Agency. She helped review policies with clients, reviewed monthly company reports on growth, loss ratio, and impact of activities, and experienced many opportunities to learn about all lines of insurance clients and prospects. Ms. Allison mentored Yushan on how to build her own agency.

Yushan is grateful for the opportunity to learn so much in such a short time. She states, "As a policy writer, the most challenging part is to help clients maximum their benefits when choosing a policy package. When clients are satisfied with the service provided, they are more likely to refer future clients." She found it fascinating to meet different people with a variety of backgrounds. Yushan states, "I have been able to utilize many of my courses in this internship experience, such as risk management, investment, and estate planning. By working more with actual clients, I will be better prepared for the CFP® exam and to be a financial planner."

Yushan Jin

PFP Faculty Meet with Dr. Zhang Qiao

Posted: Dec. 10, 2018

Dr. Rui Yao and Dr. Fran Lawrence meet with Dr. Zhang Qiao, Director of the China-Foreign Cooperative Projects at Soochow University, as part of the Department’s Financial Planning International Initiative.

Drs. Lawrence, Fan and Qiao

PFP Faculty Attend FPA of Greater St. Louis Chapter Meeting

Posted: Dec. 10, 2018

Faculty members, Dr. Fran Lawrence, Dr. Graham McCaulley, and Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® attended the FPA of Greater St. Louis chapter meeting where the topic, "Ethics Program – New Standards for a Fiduciary World: Understanding CFP Board’s Revisions," was presented by Dan Candura, CFP®.

faculty members at presentation

Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge Winners Announced

Posted: Dec. 7, 2018

Students in the Department of Personal Financial Planning’s Investment Management class taught by Assistant Professor Lu Fan, PhD, CFP® competed in the Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge this fall. The class formed groups of 4-5 students each and were given information about a family they used to analyze and make recommendations to accomplish the family’s goals. Dr. Fan narrowed the field to the top three teams who competed for one of three top prizes awarded by Edward Jones. The finalists presented their recommendations to a team of three judges, all Edward Jones financial advisors—Nathan Brown, Gina Mauller, and Eric Willmeth, CFP®—who scored the presentations with a focus on the portfolio objective, asset allocation and security selection, ability to answer questions from the judges and audience, and overall presentation skill. The first place team received Portfolio Challenge Champion plaques and $2,500 to split among its members—Yaqi Fang, Yun Guo, Elizaveta Korshunova, and Ethan Wallace. Second place team members will share $1,500 and includes Brandon Easley, Clayton Foster, Christian Schoonover, Nick Stork, and Noah Wooters. The third place team members will share $1,000 includes Kolby Lang, Santiago Padruno, Jake Radmer, and Angelina Steck.

Also in attendance to support the student presenters were Scott Van Genderen, principle and leader of the Edward Jones Financial Advisor Talent Acquisition Career Development University Program, Dean of the College of Human Environmental Sciences Sandy Rikoon, PhD, Professor and Chair Fran Lawrence, PhD, Associate Professor Deanna Sharpe, PhD, CFP®, Assistant Professor Abed Rabbani, PhD, CFP®, and other students from the Department of Personal Financial Planning. Congratulations to all teamS for their excellent presentations!

EJPC 2018 First Place
Winning Team with Dr. Fan and Edward Jones Representatives

Left to right: Dr. Lu Fan, Eric Willmeth, Elizaveta Korshunova, Scott Van Genderen, Yun Guo, Yaqi Fan, Ethan Wallace, Gina Mauller, Nathan Brown

EJPC 2018 Second Place
Second Place Team

Left to right: Nick Stork, Brandon Easley, Christian Schoonover, Noah Wooters, Clayton Foster

EJPC 2018 Third Place
Third Place Team

Left to right: Kolby Lang, Santiago Padruno, Angelina Steck, Jake Radmer

Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® to Serve on Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council Board of Directors

Posted: Dec. 7, 2018

Andrew ZumwaltThe Department of Personal Financial Planning is pleased to congratulate Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® on his acceptance to serve on the Board of Directors for the Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council. He will utilize expertise from his role in our department as Assistant Extension Professor, Associate State Specialist, and Co-Director of the Center for Economic Education as he serves the Board over the next year. Zumwalt states, "I am eager to coordinate the efforts of the Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council with the University of Missouri in serving financial and legal professionals in central Missouri."

Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge Finalists Announced

Posted: Dec. 3, 2018

The Second Annual Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge at the University of Missouri is under way and after careful review of all the case summaries and portfolio narratives, the three team finalists have been announced. In random order, they are as follows:

  • Group 1: Yaqi Fang, Yun Guo, Elizaveta Korshunova, and Ethan Wallace
  • Group 2: Kolby Lang, Santi Padruno, Jake Radmer, and Angelina Steck
  • Group 3: Brandon Easley, Clayton Foster, Christian Schoonover, Nick Stork, and Noah Wooters

These three teams have demonstrated their understanding of investment and portfolio management using the concepts learned in the Department of Personal Financial Planning’s Investment Management class taught by Dr. Lu Fan, CFP®. They have applied their knowledge to the overall case analysis and provided thorough investment recommendations for a real client scenario. Each group will present their recommendations on Thursday, December 6, to be judged by a team of Edward Jones financial advisors.

Dr. Jim Green, CFP® in the News

Posted: Nov. 29, 2018

Jim GreenDr. Jim Green, CFP®, Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of the Office for Financial Success, was interviewed by for its continuing piece on Best Credit Cards for College Students. Green says, "Students should use credit cards as a method of payment, not a source of funds."

Read full interview

Faculty and Students Participate in 2018 AFCPE® Symposium

Posted: Nov. 26, 2018

Faculty and graduate students from the Department of Personal Financial Planning participated in the 2018 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® Symposium in Norfolk, VA. Dr. Jim Green, CFP®, Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of the Office for Financial Success, started out the week sitting for and passing the Accredited Financial Counselor® certification examination and will soon add the AFC® marks to his name. Other participants included Professor and Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence, Assistant Professors Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® and Dr. Lu Fan, CFP®, Extension Professor Dr. Cynthia Crawford, doctoral candidate Zheying (Anthea) Yao, and master’s students Marco Pantoja and Christina Wang. The following research was presented by our faculty and students.

  • "The Big Five Personality Traits and Financial Risk Tolerance of Pre-Retiree Baby Boomers" by Rabbani, Yao, and Wang
  • "Association Among Financial Risk Tolerance and Locus of Control, Sensation-Seeking for Pre-Retiree Baby Boomers" by Rabbani, Yao, and Wang
  • "Who Needs a Financial Advisor? The Roles of Investment Confidence and Knowledge in Investors’ Financial Decision-Making" by Fan with co-authors Lini Zhang (The Ohio State University) and Haidong Zhahao (Alliance Data Systems)
  • "Exceeding Expectations: The Synergy of Personal Finance and Positive Psychology to Boost Well-Being in Retirement Planning" by Crawford and Lawrence

AFCPE attendees

Drs. Rabbani and Lawrence and Christina Wang

Dr. Rabbani, Christina Wang, Anthea Yao

Dr. Jim Green, CFP® Passes AFC® Exam

Posted: Nov. 15, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Green, CFP®! He is in Norfolk, VA, this week for the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® annual symposium. He made his way to the conference a couple of days early to prepare and sit for the Accredited Financial Counselor® examination. All of his hard work paid off with passing the AFC® exam. AFCPE® is a leading professional organization in financial counseling, coaching and education. The AFC® certification is the standard for the financial counseling field in which licensees guide clients through education and counseling throughout their lifecycle to recognize and achieve goals while reaching their highest well-being.

Dr. Jim Green

Alumna Spotlight on Lauren Bauer, CFP®

Posted: Nov. 14, 2018

Lauren Bauer, CFP®, is a stellar example of a Personal Financial Planning alumna on the rise in her career. Upon graduation from MU she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, to begin her career with Triad Financial Advisors (TFA) and quickly passed the Certified Financial Planner™ certification examination. TFA is a nationally recognized, award-winning leader in the financial planning industry, but what drew Laruen to the firm was its holistic approach to planning. This fee-only firm serves as full-time fiduciaries for its clients and understands that investments are but a small portion of the clients’ larger picture.

Read more

Lauren Bauer

Dr. Graham McCaulley Presents at NCFR Symposium

Posted: Nov. 14, 2018

Dr. Graham McCaulley, Assistant Extension Professor, presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual symposium last week in San Diego. Dr. McCaulley presented a paper on post-divorce processes coauthored with Dr. Marilyn Coleman, Curator's Distinguished Professor Emerita for the MU Department of Human Development and Family Studies, as well as served on a panel on diverse family structures.

Dr. McCaulley presenting

Jim Deutsch Speaks to Dr. Ivey's Career Class

Posted: Nov. 8, 2018

Long-time benefactor of the Department of Personal Financial Planning, Jim Deutsch, CFP®, recently spoke with Dr. Starla Ivey’s Personal Financial Planning Careers class. He facilitated discussion about leadership and how it can and should drive success in the students’ future careers. He also presented information about his firm’s opportunities for internships and employment opportunities. Deutsch is President and CEO of Smith Moore headquartered Clayton, MO, and mentor to PFP student Kayla Charlton (pictured here). Under his leadership, Smith Moore has grown more than five-fold to over $2.5 billion in assets under management and expanded its footprint in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas. Deutsch is a leader in the community as well, serving on various non-profit boards in the St. Louis area.

Kayla Charlton and Jim DeutschJim Deutsch with mentee Kayla Charlton

PFP Student Scholarships & Awards Top $41,000

Posted: Nov. 5, 2018

The Department of Personal Financial Planning is proud of its students who have been awarded more than $41,000 in scholarships and awards for the 2018-2019 academic year. This number continues to climb as students receive travel grants and awards for attending prestigious academic conferences at which they present original research.

View recipients

PFP Students to Participate in IARFC National Financial Plan Competition

Posted: Oct. 25, 2018

Two undergraduate student teams are representing the MU Department of Personal Financial Planning in the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC) 2019 National Financial Plan Competition. The two teams are (1) Yaqi Fang and Liza Korshunova and (2) John Jackson and Sam Wheeland. Students from 13 universities are competing in this 4 phase competition that commenced in September and will name a winner in March 2019 at the IARFC Annual Conference in Nashville, TN. The teams complete a financial plan for a fictitious couple given a case narrative and using financial planning software available to them. After submitting their written case plan, they will present their case recommendations via GoToMeeting. In the final phase, the top 6 teams will be selected to present their case at the IARFC Annual Conference to a real couple on stage (as if in a client’s office) with professional judges present in the audience. Dr. Jim Green, CFP®, Director of the Office for Financial Success, is the mentor and coach for the MU teams.

IARFC Conference attendees

PFP Students and Faculty to Attend AFCPE® Annual Conference

Posted: Oct. 25, 2018

Five faculty and 2 students will attend the upcoming Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education® Annual Conference in Norfolk, VA. Faculty attending and presenting research are Dr. Cynthia Crawford, Dr. Lu Fan, CFP®, Dr. Jim Green, CFP®, Dr. Fran Lawrence, and Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP®. Doctoral candidate Zheying (Anthea) Yao and master’s student Christina Wang are also attending to present research with Dr. Rabbani.

AFCPE Conference attendees

Faculty Spotlight on Lu Fan, PhD, CFP®

Financial Education Key to Reducing Student Loan Stress: MU researcher finds that only one-third of borrowers receive education about student loan repayment

Story by MU News Bureau

COLUMBIA, Mo. – It is estimated that a quarter of American adults currently have student loans to pay off, and most do not have the financial literacy to manage debt successfully. The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt. Graduates from the University of Missouri have an average debt of $21,884.

In a new study, Lu Fan, assistant professor of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri, found that borrowers are not receiving adequate education to manage their student debt. She suggests that more needs to be done to educate borrowers about managing debt as well as the various repayment options that might be available to them.

Lu Fan

"A majority of borrowers, 55 percent, reported being worried about their student loans; however, only 30 percent of borrowers said that they had received financial education about paying off their student loans,” Fan said. “Moreover, only 40 percent of borrowers reported having financial influence from their parents. Given the number of people who need student loans to attend college, we need to do better at educating borrowers."

Using the 2015 National Financial Capability Study dataset, Fan and Swarn Chatterjee, professor at the University of Georgia, found that having student loan debt caused mental stress for borrowers. The researchers looked at more than 2,600 responses from the dataset, focusing on respondents who had a student loan, were between the ages of 24 and 65, were no longer a student, were employed, and were the primary decision makers in their household.

The researchers found that women were less likely to be late on student loan payments but were more likely to feel worried about their student loans. Men were less anxious about their debt and more likely to submit payments late. They also found that people with loans who did not complete college were more likely to be worried about paying off loans than those with degrees.

Fan believes that borrowers are not receiving the information they need to make the best financial decisions, and that policymakers and loan providers should do more to educate borrowers.

"My hope is that policymakers use this information when developing financial educational programs," she said. " Better educational resources created for specific audiences — parents, young adults, women and households that have experienced a drop in income — will lead to more educated borrowers."

“Financial socialization, financial education and student loan debt,” recently was published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

The Department of Personal Financial Planning is in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Check Out the PFP October Newsletter

Posted: Oct. 23, 2018

There is never a dull moment in the PFP Department. Read the PFP October Newsletter.

Spotlight on Travis Knight, CFP®

Posted: Oct. 22, 2018

Travis Knight, CFP®, graduated from Mizzou in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in consumer and family economics (now known as Personal Financial Planning) and started his career in financial planning as an associate at a small, boutique firm in Kansas City.

Travis joined the Kansas City office of BKD Wealth Advisors, LLC (BKDWA) in 2003, the wealth management subsidiary of Springfield, Missouri, based account firm, BKD, LLP. BKDWA is a registered investment advisor firm, and as of May 31, 2018, manages and advises on more than $3.5 billion in assets for affluent and high net worth individuals and families. Travis is a founding member of BKDWA’s Financial Planning Committee, the firm’s committee that develops and oversees firm-wide financial planning best practices, and served a 12-year tenure on the committee.

Travis Knight

He worked his way up through the ranks through mentorship under a senior partner of the firm early in his career. Travis currently holds the position of Director and manages approximately $160 million for about 70 families.

While at Mizzou, Travis joined Beta Sigma Psi Fraternity. "Majoring in financial planning at Mizzou is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Travis said. “The nurture and encouragement of the faculty and my department academic advisor was pivotal in helping me launch my career in the profession after graduation."

What Travis enjoys most about his career in the financial planning profession is helping families and individuals make sense of their financial life and creating a path to help them realize their financial and life goals. Travis is an Eagle Scout and enjoys all manner of outdoor activities from mountain biking, rock climbing, and backpacking to fly-fishing and wing shooting. He has even been a fly-fishing guide in Wyoming during summer vacations. When not working with clients to help them achieve their dreams, he loves spending time at home with his wife and 3 children.

Affordable Care Act: Training for Financial and Helping Professionals

Posted: Oct. 16, 2018

Help clients understand the Affordable Care Act with workshop topics that include:

  • Basics of the Affordable Care Act
  • How to Help Individual and Family Consumers Navigate the Marketplace
  • How to Integrate Marketplace Insurance into a Financial Plan
  • Tools to Help Uninsured Clients
  • Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Under the ACA

Presenters: Andrew Zumwalt, MS, CFP®, Graham McCaulley, PhD and Brenda Procter, MS

All workshops 10:30 am - 2:30 pm

  • KC Area: Oct. 30, Olathe
  • Central MO: Nov. 5, Lake of the Ozarks
  • St. Louis: Nov. 13, Kirkwood
  • Southwest: Nov. 27, Springfield
  • Southeast: Dec. 5, Cape Girardeau

Training is free and open to the public. Lunch is included at no cost. FREE CEUs - 3.0 CEUs approved for Certified Financial Planners, Accredited Financial Counselors and Social Workers.

Register Online   Download flyer

Syble Solomon Speaks About the Money Habitudes Counseling Instrument

Posted: Oct. 15, 2018

The Department of Personal Financial Planning and University of Missouri Extension through the Center for Financial and Economic Education hosted Syble Solomon, creator of the Money Habitudes counseling instrument, at an all day workshop. Over the lunch hour, Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP® presented the current research on neurofinance. Free CEUs and lunch were offered to all participants. This event is the first in a series of events put on by the Center for Financial and Economic Education.

Dr. Sharpe speaking to crowd

Syble Solomon speaking to crowd

Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge Under Way

Posted: Oct. 11, 2018

Nathan Brown, Gina Mauller, Eric WillmethAssociate Professor Lu Fan, PhD, CFP®, welcomed Nathan Brown, Gina Mauller, and Eric Willmeth, CFP® from their local offices of Edward Jones to open the competition of the 2nd Annual Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge with the Department of Personal Financial Planning’s Investment Planning class. The three Edward Jones financial advisors introduced this year’s case study to the students along with their company’s investment planning and management philosophy. The students will compete in groups for one of three top prizes--$2,500, $1,500, and $1,000. The groups will first present their case solutions to the class with Dr. Fan grading their work. The top three groups will then present their cases to the panel of Edward Jones leaders who will make the final decision on the winners of the Challenge.

Competition attendees

Competition attendees

Competition attendees

Competition attendees

PFP Junior, Noah Brickman, Accepted to Leadership Development Program at Northwestern Mutual

Posted: Oct. 8, 2018

Noah Brinkman, a junior in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, was accepted into the Leadership Development Program at Northwestern Mutual. Noah leads by example and constantly strives to learn more so he can best serve his clients. During his time in the program he qualified for the 2018 Summer Camp as well as Power of 10. Achieving Power of 10 puts Noah in the Top 20% of all Interns across the country. Summer Camp is an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC, that honors the top 100 interns and focuses on business development, vision planning, and connecting with other top producing interns from across the country. Noah will have the opportunity as he begins his second year to serve as a Team Captain, a role in which he will help select, coach, and mentor first year College Financial Advisors.

Noah BrinkmanPictured (L to R): Carly Frala, Director of Campus Selection-St. Louis; Mike Mouser, Managing Director-Columbia, MO; Noah Brinkman; and Shannon Wiley, Chief Recruiting Officer-St. Louis

Noah started with Northwestern Mutual in the Spring 2018 semester in the Columbia, MO, office but also spent a good portion of his summer working in his hometown office in Quincy, IN.

Dr. Rabbani, CFP® Publishes Research in Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance

Posted: Oct. 8, 2018

Abed RabbaniCongratulations to Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® and Assistant Professor, for his latest empirical research publication. His work with fellow risk tolerance researchers Dr. Wookjai Heo1 and Dr. John E. Grable2 introduced the Profit-to-Willingness ratio and showed that investments in the stock market exhibit strong association with risk attitudes and investor preferences. Read more about this research, “A test of the relevant association between utility theory and subjective risk tolerance: Introducing the Profit-to-Willingness ratio,” in the September 2018 issue of Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance.

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1Dr. Wookjai Heo is Assistant professor of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Consumer Sciences at South Dakota State University.

2Dr. John E. Grable, CFP® is Athletic Association Endowed Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences at University of Georgia.

PFP Students to Participate in T.E.A.M. Challenge

Posted: Oct. 8, 2018

Five students from Dr. Rui Yao's Financial Planning Capstone class in MU's Department of Personal Financial Planning have entered the E-Valuator Asset Management (T.E.A.M.) University Challenge competition. MU is one of only 9 universities represented in the competition in which students compete to see who can create the best client portfolio based on performance and risk management across multiple time frames, as well as expense management. Students on the MU team are Stephen Coy, Cameron Harris, Jake Krestinger, Christina Wang, and Linsey Winkler.

Students & Faculty Attend AFS and FPA Conferences

Posted: Oct. 8, 2018

The Department of Personal Financial Planning was strong in its representation last week at the Academy for Financial Services (AFS) Annual Conference and the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. Dr. Lu Fan, CFP®, presented original research, "Do Sources of Financial Education Affect Financial Knowledge and Financial Confidence?" at the AFS Featured Research (poster) Session. Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® and doctoral candidate Zheying Yao also discussed their research "Risk Tolerance Profile of Cash-Value Life Insurance Owners" (co-authored with doctoral candidate Dalisha Herring, CFP®) at the AFS Featured Research Session. Dr. Rabbani also presented his research, co-authored by Zheying Yao and master’s student Christina Wang, "Association Among Financial Risk Tolerance and the Personality Traits of Sensation-Seeking Locus of Control for Pre-Retiree Baby Boomers” in one of the AFS breakout sessions. Dr. Fran Lawrence, Professor and Chair, was also in attendance at the AFS conference as she is a member of the Board of Directors.

The Department of Personal Financial Planning’s Larry Fuller Memorial Scholarship Fund helped in funding FPA Annual Conference travel for 5 students—Yaqi Fang, Clayton Foster, Christina Wang, Sam Wheeland, and Joy Zhuang. These students, along with Dalisha Herring, Zheying Yao, and Weipeng Wu, attended the FPA conference with faculty members Dr. Lu Fan, Dr. Fran Lawrence, and Dr. Abed Rabbani. The week of conferences was filled with opportunities for continuing education, learning from top researchers, and networking with other students, faculty, and financial planning practitioners.

Christina Wang and Chen Xu Receive Awards

Posted: Oct. 1, 2018

This year marks the second consecutive year a student from the MU Department of Personal Financial Planning was awarded the top prize by the Arthur N. Caple Foundation. Master's student Christina Wang received the 2018 ANC Foundation Scholar Award which includes a $5,000 scholarship plus a travel stipend and conference registration for the 2018 National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Doctoral Student Chen Xu received a travel stipend and conference registration to attend the conference as well. This is also the second year for a Personal Financial Planning student to receive 1 of these 6 coveted awards.

Pictured L to R: Dr. Fran Lawrence, Dept. Chair, Christina Wang, and Chen Xu.

PFP Students Compete at Retirement Knowledge Quiz Bowl

Posted: Oct. 1, 2018

Four students from the Department of Personal Financial Planning competed as 1 of only 6 teams accepted to the Retirement Knowledge Quiz Bowl at the 2018 National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. The team of undergraduate students (pictured below) included Cameron Harris, Linsey Winkler, Stephen Coy, and Adam Bogar. While at the conference, students engaged with industry professionals and government officials who manage and/or oversee defined contribution plans for city, county, and state governments.

Pictured L to R: (as listed above)

Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® Quoted in WalletHub

Posted: Oct. 1, 2018

Andrew ZumwaltAndrew Zumwalt, CFP® and Assistant Extension Professor, was interviewed by WalletHub for its recent Ask the Experts column on 2018’s Best Cash Back Credit Cards. He responded to questions about "Cashing in on Credit Card Rewards."

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PFP Career Fair: Oct. 10, 2018

Posted: Sep. 28, 2018

The MU Department of Personal Financial Planning will host its annual Career Fair on Oct. 10, 2018 from 12:00 - 3:00 pm in Stotler Lounge, Memorial Union. The PFP Career Fair brings students in contact with industry leaders in financial planning, banking, insurance, and retirement. Companies will be looking for full-time, internship, and part-time employees so this is a great opportunity for students to network and learn more about personal finance.


  • American Century Investments
  • AXA Advisors
  • BKD, LLP
  • Commerce Bank
  • Country Financial
  • Edward Jones
  • Kriology
  • MU Graduate Programs, College of Business, Robert J. Trulaske, Sr.
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • New York Life
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Peterson Wealth Advisors
  • Plancorp
  • Renaissance Financial
  • Senior Benefit Services
  • Shelter Insurance
  • Stepp & Rothwell
  • Synergy Wealth Solutions
  • The America Group
  • Thrivent Financial
  • Veterans United Home Loans

Carlo Sanfilippo, CFP® Speaks to Students

Posted: Sep. 26, 2018

Carlo Sanfilippo, CFP®, President and Founder of Integral Wealth, spoke to Dr. Starla Ivey's Personal Financial Planning Careers class recently about his goal to help people create and implement solutions in line with their unique financial and life goals. Sanfilippo discussed resumes and opportunities with his firm.

Dr. Starla Ivey Speaks with Sorority About Financial Legacy

Posted: Sep. 24, 2018

Dr. Starla Ivey, Associate Teaching Professor, spoke to the women of Delta Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. about creating a financial legacy. Her conversation with about 50 collegiate women focused on the importance of starting on a good financial path now in order to be financially successful in the future.

Starla Ivey speaking to Sorority

First Issue of Financial Planning Review is Now Live

Financial Planning Review coverPosted: Sep. 19, 2018

The first issue of Financial Planning Review can be found here. Dr. Fran Lawrence, Chair and Professor, serves on the FPR Editorial Board.

Student Spotlight on Brandon Easley

Posted: Sep. 13, 2018

Brandon Easley, a senior PFP student from St. Louis, earned his Associate’s degree from St. Charles Community College before continuing his education at Mizzou. He looks forward to a career of building relationships with clients for whom he can help make a difference in their family wellbeing. An Eagle Scout, Brandon is committed to helping others, evidenced by his Eagle Scout project in which he led a team to build a series of picnic tables and improve landscaping features for his high school. Brandon spent the past four summers as a camp counselor for Philmont Scout Ranch, a Boy Scouts of America camp in northern New Mexico. He was responsible for guiding crews through hikes and teaching campers the skills necessary to be successful. He is SCUBA and Wilderness First Responder certified. Brandon continues to serve others as Secretary of Mizzou Financial Planning Association and Ambassador to the College of Human Environmental Sciences for the Department of Personal Financial Planning.

Brandon Easley

Dr. Lu Fan, CFP® Publishes Latest Research Findings

Posted: Sep. 13, 2018

Lu FanCongratulations to Assistant Professor Lu Fan, PhD, CFP® for her latest research publication in Journal of Family and Economic Issues. The article, "Financial Socialization, Financial Education, and Student Loan Debt," co-authored by Dr. Swarn Chatterjee, Professor at University of Georgia, discusses their research examining the role of financial socialization, financial knowledge, and receiving financial education on student loan repayment behaviors and related financial stress. Fan and Chatterjee found that those who were educated in an academic or professional setting, as well as those who received financial education at home, were less likely to be late on student loan payments.

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Bank of America Recruiter Speaks to Financial Planning Careers Class

Posted: Sep. 10, 2018

Dr. Starla Ivey and her Financial Planning Careers class welcomed Bank of America Campus Recruiter and Advisor Development Program Manager Nisha Jinkens, MBA on Wednesday, September 5. Ms. Jinkens discussed tips for interviewing and introduced students to the Bank of America Advisor Development Summer Analyst Program. Students learned about opportunities within Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and U.S. Trust. Those interested in this internship should apply by September 13 at

Nisha Jinkens

Office for Financial Success Represented at Mizzou Volunteer Fair

Posted: Sep. 10, 2018

The Office for Financial Success (OFS) was well-represented at the Mizzou Volunteer Fair on Thursday, September 6. OFS director Dr. Jim Green and student manager Liza Korsunova greeted students and discussed opportunities for service learning through volunteering as a peer counselor in this Money Management Center directed by the Department of Personal Financial Planning housed in 162 Stanley Hall. The OFS seeks to improve the financial well-being of the campus community through the use of one-one-one consultations and group workshops. Services are offered at no cost for the MU community and include such financial topics as student loans, budgeting and goal setting, savings plans, credit reports and scores, credit building, investing, debt management, tax planning, employee benefits, insurance planning, and retirement planning. For more information, visit

OFS students at Volunteer Fair

Dr. Rui Yao, CFP® Featured by CBS News

Rui YaoPosted: Aug. 28, 2018

Dr. Rui Yao, CFP® was recently featured on CBS MoneyWatch.

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Michelle Gregory-Rives Awarded Intern of the Year

Posted: Aug. 23, 2018

Congratulations Michelle Gregory-Rives for being named the Allen/Nevins Intern of the Year for Shelter Insurance Company! According to Brian Jones, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion for Shelter Insurance, some of the factors considered for selecting the recipient of this award include performance and attendance in internship training, the Pitch Contest completed by the interns, completing assigned tasks in a timely manner, and feedback from supervisors. Jones said of Michelle that she "excelled in all aspects of this summer including being the winner of the Pitch Contest!"

Michelle Gregory-Rives

Impact Report: How to Get an "A" in Retirement

Posted: Aug. 23, 2018

Combining research and evidence-based solutions from both personal financial planning and positive psychology is a groundbreaking way of teaching individuals to move forward in implementing a plan to immediately get an "A" in retirement. University of Missouri Extension Professor Cynthia Crawford, PhD, has worked diligently in developing and implementing a plan that does just this. During the first two years (2017 and 2018), the program "How to get an ‘A’ in Retirement," has served 610 participants to help them understand change, solve problems, and make informed decisions. This program reaches faculty and staff participants from all four campuses of the University of Missouri as part of the Healthy for Life wellness incentive program. Courses for faculty and staff resume in November, and details can be found at The program expanded in 2018 to reach adults all across Missouri. Courses for the public begin monthly, and details can be found at

deck chairs

The program addresses a wide range of needs that fall into three grand challenges for Missourians: economic opportunity, educational excellence, and healthy futures. Other impacts to participants completing the program included the following:

  • 96% are more intentional about saving, spending, and giving
  • 52% increased monthly saving and investing
  • 62% learned they are on track to reach their retirement goals
  • 38% received a wake-up-call to improve their retirement savings
  • 26% report they are less distracted by their finances while at work, potentially increasing their work focus, productivity, and safety while on the job
  • 75% give more time and energy to their financial management
  • 85% have written goals
  • 86% have established an emergency fund
  • 93% consider how decisions today will impact retirement wellbeing
  • 100% are better informed about their finances

Dr. Cynthia Crawford is grateful for the collaboration of College of Human Environmental Sciences Instructional Designer Briana Johnson in the development and ongoing management of the online course, as well as Personal Financial Planning Department Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence for collaborating in reviewing the data and creating evaluation statements.

Dalisha Herring, CFP® Quoted in WalletHub

Posted: Aug. 22, 2018

Doctoral student Dalisha Herring, CFP® was recently interviewed by WalletHub for its Ask the Experts column on Best First Credit Cards.

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Dr. Jim Green, CFP® Appointed as Director of the Office for Financial Success

Posted: Aug. 20, 2018

Jim GreenAfter a nationwide search, Dr. Jim Green, CFP® was appointed Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of the Office for Financial Success in the Department of Personal Financial Planning in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. Green joined the faculty on August 13, 2018.

Dr. Fran Lawrence, Personal Financial Planning department chair said, "We are extremely pleased that Dr. Green is joining us. His university teaching proficiency, financial planning industry expertise, leadership ability and vision for the Office for Financial Success are ideal for this position. I am confident that he will be a great fit. His passion for financial planning and financial literacy will serve the campus well."

Green is a native of Florida but comes to the University of Missouri from San Antonio, TX where he spent the last nine years as a financial planning and portfolio manager. Additionally, for the past three years, he was an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the H-E-B School of Business Administration, University of the Incarnate Word.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as an officer for twenty-four years in various flying positions including combat duty in Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He earned a Masters of Business Administration – Finance from Louisiana Tech University and a certificate in Financial Planning from Florida State University. Green holds a Doctorate of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX.

"I searched for a faculty position that could benefit from my financial planning education and my nine years as a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. The fact that I grew up in the southeast as a fan of the SEC, also made being the Director of Office for Financial Success at MU a great win for me," said Green.

Green’s professional credentials include Certified Financial Planner™ and Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist. He is formerly FINRA licensed Series 7, 31, 66 and Texas insurance licensing.

"I am thrilled that we were able to attract someone with Jim Green’s credential to Mizzou," said HES Dean Sandy Rikoon, "He has the academic training and real-world experience that make him the perfect person to teach our students. Equally important, he also brings a desire to spread financial literacy and to provide students across the campus with the kind of financial planning that will enable them to complete their college education with the least amount of financial stress."

Alumni and Faculty Active in FPA of Greater Kansas City

Posted: Aug. 20, 2018

Personal Financial Planning was well represented at the FPA of Greater Kansas City August Board meeting with PFP 2009 Alumnus Tyler Landes, CFP®, AIF of Tandem Financial Guidance and Department Chair Fran Lawrence. Plans are being finalized for the September 14 Career Day where PFP 2014 Alumna Jorie Neech of Stepp and Rothwell, will serve as a panelist.

group attending event

Faculty and Doctoral Students Attend ACFEA Conference in Fuzhou Province, China

Posted: Aug. 15, 2018

Personal Financial Planning faculty and students have been busy this summer spreading financial planning knowledge around the world. The Asian Consumer and Family Economics Association hosted its 12th Biennial Conference at Fuzhou University, Fuzhou Province, China, July 11-14, 2018. Despite Typhoon Maria, the conference produced outstanding discussions and opportunities for researchers to share their work on common problems facing consumers and families in Asia, as well as the typical economic issues of the host country. University of Missouri’s Personal Financial Planning Department was proudly represented by faculty and graduate students. Those traveling to China and presenting original research were Associate Professors Deanna Sharpe, PhD, CFP®, and Rui Yao, PhD, CFP®, doctoral student Xihao Huang, and doctoral candidate Zheying (Anthea) Yao.

2018 12th Biennial Conference in Fuzhou, China

Deanna SharpeDr. Deanna Sharpe

Rui YaoDr. Rui Yao

Deanna SharpeXihao Huang

Deanna SharpeZheying (Anthea) Yao

More about conference

Cynthia Crawford, PhD Quoted in WalletHub

Cynthia CrawfordPosted: Aug. 14, 2018

Cynthia Crawford, PhD was recently interviewed by WalletHub for its Ask the Experts column on 2018's Best & Worst Places to Retire.

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Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® Publishes in the Latest Issue of The Standard

Posted: Aug. 10, 2018

Andrew ZumwaltAFCPE Member and PFP Assistant Extension Professor Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® answers questions about the 2017 Tax Bill in the latest issue of The Standard: Review the 2017 Tax Bill.

The Standard logo

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Mizzou FPA Planning Begins for Fall Semester

Posted: Aug. 7, 2018

A productive Mizzou FPA planning meeting occurred on Monday, August 7, by way of Zoom video conferencing. Participating in the meeting were FPA officers (Brandon Easley, Clayton Foster, John Jackson, Ryan Micke, Wendy Severiche, and Sam Wheeland), Faculty Advisor (Dr. Rabanni), and Department Chair (Dr. Lawrence).

Sam Wheeland, President, said "Couldn’t be happier with the officers we have leading the way for FPA. With a packed schedule looking ahead, I’m certain we’ll have a phenomenal year for everyone involved." Stay tuned for information related to membership.

Sam Wheeland

Blue Goose of Mid-Missouri Holds Golf Tournament Supporting PFP’s Larry Fuller Memorial Scholarship

Posted: Jul. 31, 2018

An enjoyable time was had by all at the Larry Fuller Memorial Blue Goose Golf Tournament. Proceeds from the event benefit the Department’s Larry Fuller Memorial Scholarship. An immense thank you goes to the Fuller family. Pictured from left to right are PFP Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence, Christine Fuller, and Bryan Fuller.

Blue Goose banner

Student Spotlight on Elizaveta Korshunova

Posted: Jul. 27, 2018

Elizaveta Korshunova was selected as the Student Manager of the Office for Financial Success (OFS) for the 2018-2019 academic year. Originally from Russia, Liza moved to the United States in 2013 where she completed high school in the Kansas City, MO. She is a senior majoring in Personal Financial Planning and will also complete minors in Business and French. Liza is a high achieving student who is a member of the French honor society, Pi Delta Phi. She studied abroad through an internship program in Marseille, France during summer 2018. While in school, Liza works as a teller at Central Bank of Boone County and a volunteer at the Family Impact Center. Marco Pantoja, former OFS Assistant Director who selected Liza as this year’s OFS Student Manager, enjoyed the opportunity to work with her at the Family Impact Center. He says, "She is a hardworking, capable, and professional person who I believe will serve the OFS well as she progresses towards graduation."

Elizaveta Korshunova in ParisLiza Korshunova in Paris during her 2018 summer study abroad experience.

PFP Student Coaches Campers to Victory at Financial Planning Academy

Posted: Jul. 26, 2018

PFP students Mattie Myers and Gordon Edwards worked as counselors for the 3rd Annual Financial Planning Academy at Texas Tech University this summer. High school students arrived on campus ready to learn about personal finance and compete in challenges that were progressively more advanced throughout the week. Counselors worked with their group of 5-6 students to help them through the challenges and compete in a case study competition at the end of the week-long camp. The final competition was judged by a panel of local financial planners that the counselors were fortunate to get to know through the week on a personal and professional level. Mattie states, "I was blessed to lead my group to victory and can honestly say I think I learned even more than [the campers] did…I had more fun than I ever imagined possible."

Mattie Myers with her camp groupMattie Myers with her camp group

Gordon Edwards and Mattie MyersGordon Edwards and Mattie Myers

McCaulley and Zumwalt Offer Financial Planning Training for Methodist Clergy

Posted: Jul. 23, 2018

Dr. Graham McCaulley and Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, Extension faculty in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, recently completed a 2-day professional and personal development opportunity for Missouri United Methodist Conference clergy in the Mid-Missouri area. The training, hosted at Faithbridge United Methodist Church of Osage Beach, MO, covered diverse financial topics including credit, spending plans, insurance, record keeping, taxes, retirement, and investing. Funding for the training was provided by the Missouri United Methodist Foundation in cooperation with the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Graham McCaulley and Andrew Zumwalt

Alumni Spotlight on Shannon O'Toole

Posted: Jul. 16, 2018

Any human resources professional will tell you that choosing the right candidate for the right role is a critical component to the job, but Shannon O’Toole, chief talent officer for Buckingham Strategic Wealth and BAM Advisor Services, believes that how you develop that associate once they are on your team is equally as important. Shannon and her team consider the culture and people as Buckingham’s greatest asset. Under her direction, the talent and development team strives to recruit and select associates who align with the firm’s mission and values. Shannon is instrumental in the mergers and acquisition process for the firm, ensuring that the talent and value of a potential firm properly integrates into the Buckingham culture. Since 2010, she has vetted and integrated talent in the acquisition of 12 extension offices in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming. Shannon and her team ensure the firm’s associates who manage over $27 billion in assets under management, have the appropriate leadership, feedback, engagement and mentorship they need to succeed.

Shannon O'Toole

Shannon has been in the recruitment industry for over 20 years, the past 10 years with Buckingham She is a 1999 Mizzou graduate from the Personal Financial Planning Department (formerly consumer and family economics). She is 2016 recipient of the prestigious 40 Under 40 award from the St. Louis Business Journal. Shannon learned from her parents at an early age the importance of serving the local community. She is actively engaged in serving Our Little Haven, the American Youth Foundation, her children’s school, and her church community. A St. Louis native, she currently resides with her family in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Dr. Fran Lawrence Serves Second Term on Board of Directors for FPA of Greater Kansas City

Posted: Jul. 3, 2018

Frances LawrenceDr. Fran Lawrence, Professor and Chair, continues in a second consecutive term on the Board of Directors for the FPA of Greater Kansas City. She serves the board as the Co-Director of Student Mentoring and Career Development. View more information on all of the board members.

Faculty Spotlight on Brenda Procter, MS

Posted: Jul. 2, 2018

Brenda ProcterAfter serving 20 years as a state specialist and associate extension professor supporting financial programs to benefit Missourians living in poverty, Brenda Procter retired from that role and moved to a 70% position in 2013. In her new role, she serves as co-director of Extension’s statewide Health Insurance Education Initiative, funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health. Ms. Procter teaches professionals who make health insurance decisions. She also provides training, technical assistance, and administrative support to field faculty who offer local consumer workshops about the Affordable Care Act. She says of her job, "I love direct contact with people who need factual information about health insurance in a ‘fact-challenged’ world. Making a difference to someone who thought they were out of options is quite fulfilling.” Ms. Procter recently co-presented a workshop on the Affordable Care Act with Office for Financial Success Co-Director Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, with an audience of 20 financial planners and other professionals who received continuing education credit for their participation. She also recently published an article, "Beware scams as new Medicare cards arrive."

When not working for Missourians, Ms. Procter loves spending time with family, walking with her husband, visiting friends, reading news, and spoiling her cats. She is fascinated with politics and follows them closely.

PFP Hosts Missouri Council on Economic Education Quarterly Meeting

Posted: Jun. 25, 2018

The MU Department of Personal Financial Planning (PFP) hosted the quarterly meeting of the Board of Trustees for the Missouri Council on Economic Education (MCEE). Since 1969 MCEE has supported economic education for Missourians, chiefly through policy and programming targeting elementary and secondary schools. For years the PFP Department has helped MCEE fulfill its mission by providing personal finance teacher trainings across the state, as well as having faculty serve on the Board of Trustees. Pictured below are the MU Center for Economic Education’s Co-Directors Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® and Graham McCaulley, PhD, as well as PFP Department Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence and PFP Chair Emeritus Dr. Rob Weagley, CFP®.

PFP Students Receive Top ANC Foundation Awards, 2nd Consecutive Year

Posted: Jun. 12, 2018

The Arthur N. Caple (ANC) Foundation awards one $5,000 scholarship each year with the recipient also receiving complementary registration, travel, and hotel accommodations to attend the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) Annual Conference. The Department of Personal Financial Planning is proud to announce master’s student Christina Wang as the 2018 recipient of that award. Wang is the second PFP graduate student in as many years to receive the prestigious honor awarded to doctoral student Dalisha Herring, CFP® in 2017. Herring was the first MU student ever to receive the honor. The ANC Foundation also awards registration and travel grants to 6 additional students to attend the NAGDCA Annual Conference. Doctoral candidate Chen Xu received one of these 2018 awards (also the 2nd to do so in so many years), received in 2017 by Guopeng (Kevin) Cheng.

The 2018 NAGDCA Annual Conference will be September 23-26, in Philadelphia, PA. Also attending this year’s conference will be the PFP Department’s team of undergraduate students competing in the NAGDCA Retirement Knowledge Quiz Bowl.

PFP student award recipients

Dr. Rui Yao, CFP® Elected President of ACCI

Posted: Jun. 11, 2018

Rui YaoCongratulations to Dr. Rui Yao, CFP® on her election as President of the American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) at the annual conference on May 17-19, 2018. Dr. Yao also brought home 2 of the 6 awards received by our outstanding PFP faculty and students. PFP students and faculty received 2 best paper awards, 3 conference scholarships, and an honored mentor award, all listed below.

  • Consumer Movement Archives Applied Consumer Economics Award – Student Paper, "How is Student Loan Debt Associated with Home Ownership and Home Equity?" Guopeng (Kevin) Cheng, PhD Candidate and Rui Yao, PhD, CFP®, Associate Professor
  • CFP Board’s Financial Planning Paper Award, "Framing Longevity Income," Michael A. Guillemette, PhD, Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University, Jesse Jurgenson, PhD Student, Iowa State University, Deanna Sharpe, PhD, CFP®, Associate Professor, Xianwu (Sean) Zhang, PhD Candidate, Texas Tech University
  • Student Conference Scholarships
    Xihao Huang, Weipeng Wu, and Zheying (Anthea) Yao, CFP®
  • Honor a Mentor Award
    Rui Yao, PhD, CFP®, nominated by Hua Zan, PhD, University of Hawaii

State Farms Presents Check to the Department’s Office for Financial Success

Posted: Jun. 1, 2018

State Farm presented a $141,000 check to the University of Missouri on May 30, 2018. The Personal Financial Planning Department’s Office for Financial Success will receive $15,000 to enhance financial literacy throughout the Mizzou community by providing financial counseling and resources. These resources include educational workshops, financial tips, tax preparation, and outreach programs across the state of Missouri. Services from the program include offering students counseling to help create student debt repayment plans, advising students so they stay in school and do not drop out due to financial reasons, and free tax preparation. The Personal Financial Planning Department is grateful for the grant and the long-standing partnership with State Farm. A special thank you goes to Andrew Zumwalt and Graham McCaulley who are the co-principal investigators of the grant. Their effort and dedication to the Office for Financial Success is second is highly valuable and appreciated. The announcement was broadcasted on the KOMU nightly news.

Pictured left to right are PFP alumnus Ryan Kenney, CLU®, CLF, LUTCF, Dean Sandy Rikoon, Department Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence, Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, and Dr. Graham McCaulley.

Dean Rikoon, Dr. Lawrence, Andrew Zumwalt, Graham McCaulley and State Farm reps

University of Missouri Ranks 2nd in Northwestern Mutual's College Team Competition

Posted: May 29, 2018

The University of Missouri ranked 2nd in the nation in Northwestern Mutual’s College Team Competition. The college team competition ranks each college’s team of interns participating in Northwestern Mutual’s financial representative internship program based on their collective productivity. MU’s Department of Financial Planning and Northwestern Mutual have a long and proud history of partnership together.

Northwestern Mutual Award Notification

Awards Year Leaders!

Your success this year is proof of your commitment to be at the center of your clients’ financial lives. You've achieved a remarkable honor and we appreciate all your hard work!

Goal Post College Team Award
for the 2017-2018 Awards Year.

We look forward to recognizing you during the College Award Show.

  1. Iowa State
  2. Missouri-Columbia
  3. Ohio State
  4. Florida
  5. Central Florida
  1. East Tennessee State
  2. Wisconsin-Madison
  3. Minnesota-Duluth
  4. Michigan State
  5. North Dakota

Personal Financial Planning Faculty and Students Featured on the Cover of the CFP Board 2017 Annual Report

Posted: May 24, 2018

Annual Report cover pageMU Personal Financial Planning faculty and students were recently featured on the cover of the CFP Board 2017 Annual Report. In 2017, the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning continued to advance its mission of creating a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession, celebrating a number of groundbreaking achievements throughout the year. These accomplishments are highlighted in the 2017 Annual Report. The Annual Report provides an overview of the Center’s programs and progress in each of its three focus areas:

  • Workforce Development: Attracting and developing the next generation of financial planners.
  • Diversity: Fostering greater diversity in the profession.
  • Academic Home: Developing financial planning into a recognized academic discipline and building the profession’s body of knowledge.

Outstanding Personal Financial Planning Seniors Announced

Posted: May 21, 2018

The Personal Financial Planning Department is proud to announce three outstanding seniors for the Spring 2018 graduating class selected by its faculty. These outstanding seniors--Chloe Kinnison, Rachel Heggs, and Erin Bowman--are remarkable women who will be incredible assets to their future employers and to the financial planning industry. Bowman will begin in June working as a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial, Inc., St. Louis. Kinnison is currently studying for the Series 7 and 66 exams and will soon begin her role as a Financial Advisor for Renaissance Financial in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Heggs will be working as a Sales and Distribution Intern this summer with American Century Investments in Kansas City and hopes to continue full time employment with the following completion of the internship. She states, "I am excited to work for such an amazing company that shares my value of philanthropy."

Chloe Kinnison, Rachel Heggs, and Erin Bowman

Mizzou Financial Planning Association Elects New Officers

Posted: May 11, 2018

Sam WheelandThe Mizzou student chapter of Financial Planning Association (FPA) elected its new officers for the 2018-2019 academic year during their last meeting of this year. The new officers include Sam Wheeland (President), John Jackson (Vice President), Wendy Severiche (Treasurer), Brandon Easley (Secretary), Clayton Foster (Speaker Coordinator), and Ryan Micek (Social Media).

Sam Wheeland, the incoming FPA president, is a junior studying Finance and Banking in Trulaske College of Business while also pursuing the undergraduate certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the CFP Board-Registered Program in the Personal Financial Planning Department in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. This summer, Sam will be located in Denver, Colorado, working for Bank of America in the Advisor Development and Summer Analyst program. He has been a member of the Mizzou student chapter of FPA since Fall 2017. Sam credits the connections made through the PFP program with the opportunity to intern with Bank of America this summer. When asked about the opportunity to serve as FPA President for the 2018-19 academic year, he states, 'I owe my success to this program, now it’s my turn to give back to the organization.'

SkillUP Faculty Added to Personal Financial Planning Department

Posted: May 9, 2018

The Personal Financial Planning Department works closely with University of Missouri Extension and has recently added its SkillUP program faculty to its ranks. This program funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides SNAP recipients in Missouri with the opportunity to gain skills, training, or work experience as they seek to improve their wellbeing. The program is free for the participants and help promote employability and self-sufficiency.

Learn more about SkillUP

SkillUp logo

Faculty Spotlight on Dr. Deanna L. Sharpe, CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS

Posted: May 7, 2018

Dr. Deanna L. Sharpe, CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS is an associate professor of Personal Financial Planning who excels in research, teaching, and service. Her research interest includes examination of factors affecting later life financial and economic well-being, as evidenced by her latest publication, a chapter in Client Psychology, edited by Dr. Charles Chaffin of the CFP Board. This chapter, "Client Psychology: The Older Client," outlines the changing demographics of the older population, age-related cognitive change as found in research literature, the difference between normal and concerning behavioral declines, best practice suggestions for working with older adults, and potential topics for further research.

Dr. Sharpe has been recognized numerous times for her quality research, teaching excellence, and service contributions by organizations such as the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., American Council on Consumer Interests, University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences, and University of Missouri Campus Writing Program.

In her spare time, Dr. Sharpe is a long-time volunteer for Boy Scouts of America…

Deanna Sharpe

Student Spotlight on Jimmy Merdian

Posted: May 7, 2018

Jimmy MerdianJimmy Merdian, a native of Kansas City, MO, is a senior in the Department of Personal Financial Planning. He has enjoyed many opportunities to become involved in the Department and to share his skills and passion as for helping others with developing financial security. His volunteerism with the Office for Financial Success and role as President of the Mizzou student chapter of Financial Planning Association have afforded Jimmy the opportunity to grow as a leader and to acquire knowledge and learn expectations for his future in the financial planning industry. As a member of FPA, Jimmy attended the 2017 FPA Annual Conference in Nashville, TN, an opportunity that has opened doors by expanding his professional network.

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Alumni Spotlight on Tahira K. Hira, PhD

Posted: May 7, 2018

Tahira K. HiraTahira K. Hira, Professor Emerita of Personal Finance and Consumer Economics, is an internationally known leader in the field of financial literacy. Her varied and prolific professional experience includes being a member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, Chair of the NYSE committee on financial literacy and member of Experian consumer Advisory council. She was the founding president of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) and president of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).

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Dalisha Herring, CFP® Receives GPC Annual Award

Posted: May 3, 2018

The Personal Financial Planning Department is pleased to congratulate Dalisha Herring, CFP® and doctoral student, who was selected as Outstanding General Assembly Member by the MU Graduate Professional Council (GPC) for the 2017-18 academic year. This recognition was conferred by the GPC Executive Board for outstanding service to the GPC General Assembly and to the graduate and professional student body. She has faithfully served the past three years on the GPC Finance Committee whose primary responsibility is to review hundreds of travel grant applications each year. Ms. Herring also serves on the MU Parking and Transportation Committee as the GPC liaison representing the graduate and professional student body. Previously, she served two years on the MU Student Conduct Committee in the same liaison capacity.

Dalisha Herring and fellow awardees

The award was presented at the end of year GPC General Assembly Appreciation Party at DogMaster Distillery. Ms. Herring is pictured here with fellow awardees and master’s students Erin Niederberger (Library & Information Science) and Matthew Burch (microbiology).

Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® and Brenda Procter Present ACA Training Workshop

Posted: May 2, 2018

Through MU Extension’s Health Insurance Education Initiative, Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® and Assistant Extension Professor, and Brenda Procter, Associate Extension Professor, presented the Affordable Care Act Training for Financial Professionals to 20 Missouri-based Certified Financial Planners™ and Accredited Financial Counselors® yesterday in Columbia, MO. "We know financial planners can play an important role in a client’s health insurance decisions, and we wanted to provide our participants with the most up-to-date information on the Affordable Care Act," Procter said.

Andrew Zumwalt and Brenda Procter

The training topics included Basics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), How to Help Individual and Family Consumers Navigate the Marketplace, How to Integrate Marketplace Insurance into a Financial Plan, and Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Under the ACA. According to Zumwalt, "The complexity and changing nature of the ACA can be a challenge for financial planners to keep up with and we were happy to share information and tricks for maximizing benefits under the ACA." Thanks to funding from the Missouri Foundation for Health, attendees each received 3 free continuing education units for credit toward requirements for the CFP® and AFC® governing bodies.

Wells Fargo Advisors Hosts PFP Professional Development Day

Posted: Apr. 30, 2018

PFP students and faculty at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA) recently welcomed 40 students and 3 faculty members from the Personal Financial Planning Department to its headquarters in St. Louis, MO. The Professional Development Day was an opportunity for students to see the operations of WFA and meet some of its top executives and producers. Breakout sessions included "Next Generation Within the Industry," "Evolution of an Advisor," "Comprehensive Financial Tools," and "Using Market Strategy to Develop Holistic Financial Plans for Clients." The students enjoyed a meet-and-greet lunch with Mizzou alumni, and the day concluded with a tour of the facilities including the trading floor.

Senior Matthew Tomlin, President of MU’s Office for Financial Success and Speaker Coordinator for Financial Planning Association-Mizzou Student Chapter, worked with other student leaders and Wells Fargo’s Devin DeStefano, CFP® and Managing Director-Next Gen Advisor Strategy. Tomlin states, "Planning the trip was an incredible experience for me to form connections with employees and Mizzou alumni at Wells Fargo. The opportunity gave participants a firsthand look at Wells Fargo’s culture and values and helped students prepare for a better future career in the industry."

DeStefano said of the event, "I found my interactions and the opportunity to connect with both your leaders and students to be extremely energizing."

"Participating in Professional Development Day at Wells Fargo Advisors was a way for MU personal financial planning students to obtain first-hand information about the industry," said Fran Lawrence, Professor and Department Chair of Personal Financial Planning. "I would like to thank Wells Fargo Advisors for providing such an outstanding educational opportunity for our students, and I look forward to a continued partnership."

2018 HES Awards

Posted: Apr. 24, 2018

Personal Financial Planning faculty and students celebrate with award recipients Dr. Tahira Hira (Citation of Merit), Dr. Rui Yao, CFP® (Distinguished Research/Creative Activity Award), and Mary Dorn (Graduate Teaching Award) at the HES Week Awards Reception.

PFP faculty and students at awards

Pictured left to right: Dalisha Herring, Allie Davis, Lu Fan, Tahira Hira, Robert Weagley, Deanna Sharpe, Cynthia Crawford, Dean Sandy Rikoon, Fran Lawrence, Mary Dorn, Abed Rabbani. (Not pictured: Rui Yao)

Dr. Lu Fan Earns CFP® Designation

Posted: Apr. 24, 2018

Lu FanWe are proud to announce that Dr. Lu Fan became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional this month. Earning the CFP® certification means Dr. Fan has joined a select group of competent and ethical personal financial planning practitioners.

The CFP® certification is conferred only on those who meet rigorous professional standards including completion of a comprehensive course of study in personal financial planning, passing the CFP Board certification examination, and fulfilling a multiyear work experience requirement. Congratulations Assistant Professor Lu Fan, PhD, CFP®!

Let's Talk Dough with Financial Wellness Expert, Jason Vitug

Posted: Apr. 23, 2018

Join Jason Vitug, financial wellness expert, who is the founder and CEO of Phroogal, as he discusses the social taboo of talking about money. The event is on Tuesday, April 24th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at Shakespeare's Pizza, downtown.

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Rabbani & Lawrence Receive Mangel Grant

Posted: Apr. 19, 2018

Assistant Professor Abed Rabbani, PhD, CFP®, and Professor and Chair Fran Lawrence, PhD, were awarded one of five $3,000 grants awarded by the Margaret W. Mangel Faculty Research Catalyst Fund for their project titled "Financial Knowledge Gap and Financial Risk Tolerance Among Young Adults." These grants are awarded annually to faculty of the College of Human Environmental Sciences as a way to assist with research scholarship/creative activity efforts. The primary goal is to "catalyze" new research initiatives that will grow into larger projects capable of being supported from sources external to the College. This grant is funded with support of former Dean Margaret Mangel, a visionary who was always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for people and was most generous in her support of ongoing activities of the college.

Dr. Rabbani and Dr. Lawrence

Yao & Lei Published Again!

Posted: Apr. 11, 2018

FCSRJ coverThe Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Department is proud to recognize another publication by its faculty and alumni. Recent research by Rui Yao and Shine Lei found that an investor’s gender and household income mediate the effect of information source on investor portfolio performance. This is the first study of its kind to illustrate positive empirical evidence of the relationship between the service provided by financial planners in the United States and the financial outcome of their clients. Read "Source of Information and Projected Household Investment Portfolio Performance" in the March 2018 issue of Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal.

Rui Yao, PhD, CFP®, is Associate Professor of Personal Financial Planning at University of Missouri-Columbia. Shine Lei, PhD, CFP®, earned her doctorate in Mizzou’s PFP program and is now Assistant Professor of Finance & Economics at West Texas A&M University.

Student Spotlight on Linsey Winkler

Posted: Apr. 5, 2018

Linsey WinklerLinsey Winkler, a junior Personal Financial Planning major, is an academic advising assistant for Dr. Starla Ivey and works part-time at a local bank. Linsey began Mizzou as a mechanical engineering major but working at the bank quickly made her realize that a career in financial services is where she wanted to be. She is the 2018 recipient of the Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council’s $1,000 scholarship. Linsey’s favorite part of the Personal Financial Planning program is the faculty and the passion they show for the field. She has taken time to get to know each of her professors and appreciates their willingness to take the time to make sure each student understands the material and succeeds inside and outside the classroom. In her spare time, Linsey enjoys playing softball and kickball and is a volunteer cheerleading coach at Benton Elementary School. Linsey will be spending the summer in Greensboro, NC, in an intern with Triad Financial Advisors working with PFP alumna, Lauren Bauer, CFP®.

Alumni Spotlight on Taylor Ahern, (BS 2012)

Taylor AhernTaylor Ahern graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Personal Financial Planning in December 2012. Following graduating she moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and began her career with American Century Investments, an Investment Management Company. She has since graduated with her Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University in 2016.

Ahern, a Financial Consultant working with over 420 clients with assets exceeding $500 million, is responsible for developing investment and retirement plans for clients. Her expertise spans a broad array of financial topics, including investment planning, financial planning, retirement planning and diversification strategies. Taylor has clients all over the country and enjoys traveling to work with them. Her industry licenses include Series 6, 7, 63, and 65.

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Christina Wang Elected Treasurer of GPC

Posted: Apr. 4, 2018

Christina WangCongratulations to master’s student Christina Wang who was elected to serve as Treasurer of the Graduate Professional Council (GPC) for the 2018-19 academic year. Her role as treasurer will be to keep detailed records and provide a fiscal report to the Executive Board each month, coordinate scoring of travel grant applications and distribution of those approved grants, evaluate funding requests from student organizations with input of the Finance Committee (of which she is chair) and present those requests to the General Assembly for approval, serve as vice chair of the Student Fee Review Committee, and many other duties as outlined by GPC’s Bylaws. Christina began service to GPC as an elected at-large representative starting in August 2017 and recently volunteered her time to travel to and participate in the South Central Regional Conference of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. The Department of Personal Financial Planning is proud of Christina’s commitment to serve our campus in this capacity.

Dr. Rui Yao's Research Cited in St. Joseph News-Press

Posted: Apr. 2, 2018

Retirement research headed by Associate Professor Rui Yao, PhD, CFP®, was cited in the St. Joseph News-Press in its March 26, 2018, editorial, "Saving equals security."

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Marco Pantoja, AFC® Quoted in WalletHub

Posted: Apr. 2, 2018

Marco PantojaMarco Pantoja, AFC®, was recently interviewed by WalletHub for its Ask the Experts column on Climbing the Credit Score Range. He was asked to respond to three questions about credit score ranges and the importance of consumers to check their score.

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New Partnership with Wuhan University of Technology Announced for International Financial Planning Initiative

Wuhan University logoPosted: Mar. 22, 2018

The Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri-Columbia has successfully garnered another partnership with a Chinese university as part of its International Financial Planning Initiative. The new partnership is with Wuhan University of Technology in Wuhan, China. Two degree options are available for the accepted students with the purpose of the providing either an accelerated dual bachelors to master’s degree program that will lead to a bachelor’s degree from Wuhan University of Technology and a master’s degree in Personal Financial Planning from the University of Missouri or a bachelor’s degree from both institutions. Dr. Rui Yao, CFP®, serves as the liaison for the program on the MU campus. More information can be found in the online brochure.

Cheng, Xu, and Yao Receive Graduate Professional Council Travel Grants

Posted: Mar. 19, 2018

Guopeng (Kevin) Cheng, Chen Xu, and Zheying (Anthea) Yao, all part of the doctoral program in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, received travel grants from the Graduate Professional Council (GPC). These grants ($200 each for Xu and Yao, $400 for Cheng) helped to offset the expense of traveling to Arlington, VA, in February to present their original research studies at the CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium.

Learn more information about each of these outstanding students.

Cheng, Xu, and Yao

Mary Dorn, PhD Candidate, Gives Back to the Community

Mary Dorn at Black Honey Bee CosmeticsPosted: Mar. 15, 2018

Giving back to the community is important for financial advisors. Doctoral Candidate Mary E. Dorn, MBA, gave her time to complete the tax return for Black Honey Bee Cosmetics, a Mizzou student-owned business, owned by Tiana Glass. They are pictured together here in the retail store located inside the MU Student Center.

Dalisha Herring, MBA, CFP® Named Tribute to Women Graduate Student Honoree

Posted: Mar. 15, 2018

Dr. Sharpe, Dalisha Herring, &  Dr. LawrenceDalisha Herring, MBA, CFP®, was honored as the Tribute to Women Graduate Student Honoree by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women on March 12, 2018. A doctoral student in Personal Financial Planning, she is pictured here with her dissertation chair, Associate Professor Deanna L. Sharpe, PhD, and her nominators Amy Lannin, PhD, Director of MU’s Campus Writing Program, and Frances C. Lawrence, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Personal Financial Planning. The Tribute to Women honorees are those who have worked above and beyond the expectations of their job responsibilities to help create an environment of equity, fairness and justice for women on the MU campus, including students, faculty and staff; and demonstrated respect for the diversity of women's experiences; and helped promote the advancement of women through education, advocacy, support and activism. Dr. Lannin shared, "Promotion of the advancement of women in higher education has been part of Dalisha’s experiences as a doctoral student, an instructor, and in her countless interactions with potential and current college students."

Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® Offers Affordable Care Act Training

Posted: Mar. 9, 2018

Andrew ZumwaltAndrew Zumwalt, MS, CFP® is an Assistant Extension Professor with MU Extension. He will present an Affordable Care Act (ACA) training for financial planners and professionals in central Missouri. Financial professionals who complete the training will receive three (3) CEU credits at no charge. Workshop topics include:

  • Basics of the Affordable Care Act
  • How to Help Individual and Family
  • Consumers Navigate the Marketplace
  • How to Integrate Marketplace Insurance into a Financial Plan
  • Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Under the ACA

Training is free and open to the public. Lunch is included at no cost. To register, contact Kate King at by noon on Wednesday, April 25.

Monday, April 30, 2018
10:30 am to 2:00 pm
Rock Bridge Shopping Center
Hy-Vee, 2nd Floor Club Room
405 E. Nifong Boulevard
Columbia, MO

Download flyer (PDF)

Dr. Abed Rabanni, CFP®, Dr. Rui Yao, CFP®, and Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, Experts for Tax Day

Posted: Mar. 7, 2017

Story by Austin Fitzgerald, MU News Bureau

COLUMBIA, Mo. – As Tax Day draws closer, people are eager to learn how to make better financial decisions. From students to retirees, every stage of life has its own financial challenges. The University of Missouri offers the following scholars with various areas of expertise available for stories about personal finance, taxes and investing in advance of April 17.

Andrew ZumaltPaying taxes: Andrew Zumwalt, a certified financial planner, is an active promoter of financial education and an expert in tax preparation. He can discuss how consumers can optimize their tax returns and maximize their refunds. Zumwalt is co-director of the Office for Financial Success in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Understanding credit: Amy Schmitz is a consumer advocate who can discuss the steps consumers can take to protect their credit, educate themselves about credit card pitfalls and prevent identify theft. Schmitz is a professor of law and founder of

Abed RabbaniManaging risk: Abed Rabbani is a certified financial planner™ and an expert in financial planning and risk management. He oversees the online Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment, which is available here. He can discuss investment risk tolerance, insurance and retirement among consumers. Rabbani is an assistant professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, which is located in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Investing wisely: Michael O’Doherty is an expert in asset pricing and investments. He can help consumers make optimal portfolio choices, with a specific emphasis on how investors should account for uncertainty over future tax rates when making retirement savings decisions. O’Doherty is an associate professor in the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business.

Financial planning: John Howe is a behavioral finance expert who is able to discuss the psychological factors involved in financial decisions. He is the author of "The Foolish Corner: Avoiding Mind Traps in Personal Financial Decisions." Howe is a professor of finance, the Missouri Bankers Chair and chair of the Department of Finance in the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business.

Rui YaoPlanning for retirement: Rui Yao is an expert in personal financial planning. She can discuss financial risk tolerance, saving and investment behavior, and retirement preparation. She can also discuss gender differences in these areas. Yao is an associate professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, which is located in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Rui Yao Quoted in Barron’s

Posted: Mar. 6, 2018

Dr. Rui Yao and doctoral student Keven Cheng's research study on millennials and their saving plans towards retirement was recently featured on Barron's.

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Rui Yao

Millennials Are Not Adequately Saving for Retirement

Posted: Mar. 6, 2018

Dr. Rui Yao and doctoral student Kevin Cheng's research study on millennials and their saving plans towards retirement was recently featured on MU News Bureau. They found that nearly two-thirds of working millennials do not have retirement accounts.

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Rui YaoDr. Rui Yao

Guopeng ChengKevin Cheng

Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment - In the News

Posted: Mar. 5, 2018

The Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment (IRTA) is in the news again! The Maneater has taken notice of this 13-question assessment quiz originally created by John Grable, PhD, CFP®, (University of Georgia) and Ruth Lytton, PhD, (Virginia Tech) that was recently acquired by the Department of Personal Financial Planning from Rutgers University. Abed Rabbani, PhD, CFP®, Associate Professor, now operates the IRTA for the Department and is thrilled with the use and response of the quiz since its transfer to MU.

Alumni Spotlight on Lea Crawford Satterfield, CFP® (BS, 2009)

Lea SatterfieldLea Crawford Satterfield, CFP®, graduated with her BS in Personal Financial Planning (PFP) from the University of Missouri in 2009. In July 2012, she passed the CFP® examination, and in May 2016, she graduated with an MBA from Arizona State University. During her time at Mizzou, Lea was an HES Ambassador, President of Mizzou Financial Planning Association, a teacher’s aide within the PFP Department, and provided tax-preparation services through the Office for Financial Success.

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Mizzou Financial Planning Students Compete in Contest Sponsored by Edward Jones

Posted: Feb. 23, 2018

Story by Sheena Rice, Mizzou News

EJPC student attendees

Last fall, University of Missouri students from the Department of Personal Financial Planning had the opportunity to act like real-life financial advisors. Students in an investment management class were invited to compete in the Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge, a professional competition that allows students to step into the shoes of financial advisors and learn to create a diversified portfolio solution that fit clients’ long-term needs and desires.

With cash prizes on the line, students got to work putting together the best comprehensive plan to help their clients meet their financial goals.

Lu Fan, assistant professor of personal financial planning, is the instructor for investment management at Mizzou. She split her class up into teams and assigned them the case of the Gronkowskis, a fictitious married couple who recently received an inheritance.

"I enjoyed working with my students to provide them with hands-on financial planning experience,” Fan said. “The plans presented by the students were exemplary and reflect the exceptional quality of Mizzou’s personal financial planning students and faculty."

During the competition, students were tasked with devising a plan that would help the couple retire in ten years while paying for their son’s college education and leaving room for travel. The top three groups presented their plans before the class, faculty and representatives from Edwards Jones. Judges included Fan and working professional financial advisors Gina Mauller, Eric Willmeth and Nathan Brown.

According to Edward Jones, the benefits of the portfolio challenge include interaction with professionals in the investment field, developing analytical and presentation skills and an opportunity to learn real-world strategies based upon client needs.

"It was a great challenge and helped put everything we learn in the classroom into a real-world project," said Anthony Wight, a member of the winning team. "I hope we have the opportunity to do something like this for years to come."

Wright and his teammates—Rachel Heggs, Timothy Lux, Jimmy Merdian and Matthew Tomlin—received the top prize of $2,500. The second-place team, with students Brandon Fredman, Grant Fry, Cameron Harris and Christina Wang received a $1,500 cash prize. A third-place prize of $1,000 was awarded to Brandon Contreras, Victor Hoffman, Kelcey Nunley and Austin Wells.

"The Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge is just one of the ways MU personal financial planning students are able to get real-world, hands-on experience with partners in the financial industry," said Fran Lawrence, professor and department chair of personal financial planning. "I would like to thank Edward Jones for providing such a fantastic opportunity for our students."

Dr. Fran Lawrence 2018 Academic Research Colloquium Steering Committee Member

Posted: Feb. 23, 2018

Dr. Fran Lawrence served on the steering committee for the 2018 Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines. Sponsored by the CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning, the international Colloquium met from February 20 – 22 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA. Lawrence is pictured with Dr. Charles Chaffin, Director of Academic Initiatives - Center for Financial Planning, and other steering committee members, Dr. Mike Staten, University of Arizona, Dr. Lance Palmer, University of Georgia, Dr. Jonathan Fox, Iowa State University, and Dr. Mark Fedenia, University of Wisconsin.

Fran Lawrence and colleagues

Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® Interviewed by

Abed RabbaniAssistant Professor Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® was interviewed by about setting realistic financial goals.

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Faculty Attend Commerce Trust Company’s Annual Investment Summit

Posted: Feb. 21, 2018

The University of Missouri Department of Personal Financial Planning faculty, Drs. Lu Fan, Fran Lawrence, and Abed Rabbani, attended Commerce Trust Company’s annual Investment Summit on January 25, 2018 in Columbia, MO. A crowd of more than 180 was on hand at the Country Club of Missouri to hear insights from Commerce investment professionals on expectations for the global and domestic economy, the macro forces at play in the equity markets, and how individuals and organizations might plan and set strategies for their investment portfolios in 2018.

The annual Investment Summit featured four Commerce speakers: Financial Planning Manager Guy Hockerman, CPA, CFA; Chief Economist and Director of Fixed Income Management Scott Colbert, CFA; Senior Vice President and Director of Investment Strategies Joseph Williams, III, CFA; and Senior Vice President and Investment Analyst Don McArthur, CFA.

As in years’ past at this forum, the Commerce team engaged early with attendees and welcomed questions throughout the program. After introductions to start the session, Hockerman led off with the "Key Elements of a Financial Plan," addressing the main planning concerns investors face when trying to make retirement funds stretch comfortably over the anticipated years of retirement.

Colbert, Williams and McArthur then followed with the investment overview section of the program, making their assessments of the global and domestic economy. They covered the financial waterfront on topics that included Federal Reserve policy, leading economic indicators, interest rates, inflation, wages, unemployment, corporate earnings and manufacturing. They also included a frank discussion of a nearing stock market correction, which actually occurred the following week in early February after the Summit.

Williams focused on the equity markets during his segment, reminding investors that it was really a matter of time before a market correction occurred. Up until late January, stocks had been progressing in an upward direction for 85 weeks without incurring a 5% correction. This extended low rate of volatility was considered highly unusual when equity indexes on average generally experience a 5% drop every 10 weeks. Historically, you would have to go back to the run-up in the 1920s for a comparable scenario. But Williams was quick to remind investors that Commerce believed a near-term market set-back would not signal the beginning of a Bear Market, but would rather simply be a normal market pull-back.

Lu FanDr. Lu Fran

Fran LawrenceDr. Fran Lawrence

Abed RabbaniDr. Abed Rabbani

After the market correction occurred a week later, Williams said "Rebalancing back to your long-term allocation is always the prudent thing to do, especially in a bull market that has now lasted for eight years, driving S&P 500 Index returns up over 250% from its lows back in 2009," said Williams. "We also believe this is a great opportunity for investors to evaluate their overall asset allocation, especially after a long hike in the stock market."

Personal Financial Planning On-Line Masters Rated #2 in U.S.

Posted: Feb. 15, 2018

Top Accounting Degrees, which bills itself, as "The #1 Internet Guide" to degree programs, rated HES’ Personal Financial Planning Program as the #2 program nationally for online Financial Planning degrees. The write-up noted the program "is an innovative program focused on supporting individuals and families to achieve economic security. . . Coursework covers everything from household economics to retirement and tax planning. Graduates are prepared to sit for the CFP examination through a rigorous curriculum and in-depth course content." CONGRATS TO PFP!

Top Acccounting Degrees Best Online Programs

Dr. Rui Yao and Guopeng Cheng to be Recognized at Conference for Best Paper

Posted: Feb. 13, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Rui Yao and PhD candidate Guopeng Cheng will be recognized at the 109th Annual Conference and Expo of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences on June 25, 2018 for their award winning article "Retirement Savings Behavior: Account Ownership and Millennial Account Balance," which was published in the December issue of the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal (FCSRJ). The article was selected as the Best Paper in Personal Finance/Consumer Economics for 2017. The criteria for the Best Paper selection in each of the sub disciplines is: originality and importance of the topic, strength of the methodology and results, and implications for a lasting contribution to family and consumer sciences.

Rui YaoDr. Rui Yao

Guopeng ChengGuopeng Cheng

Research-Based Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment Overseen by Dr. Abed Rabbani

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018

Abed RabbaniDr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® recently discussed the Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment with MU News Bureau. Dr. Rabbani says the Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment, now housed in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, will help investors and financial advisors assess investment risk.

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Personal Financial Planning Student Scholarships and Awards Continue to Climb

Posted: Jan. 31, 2018

Students in the Department of Personal Financial Planning continue to be recognized for their outstanding academic achievement.

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Student Spotlight on Grant Fry

Posted: Jan. 29, 2018

Grant FryGrant Fry, a senior from Jerseyville, IL, is a Personal Financial Planning student graduating in December 2018. Grant is passionate about learning all he can about the financial planning field and how planning can help people succeed with their goals. He completed an internship last summer with Edward Jones in Columbia, MO and will intern with Bank of America in Seattle, WA, this summer. Grant enjoys watching and playing sports in his spare time, as well as traveling and viewing old movies.

Linsey Winkler Receives Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council Scholarship

Posted: Jan. 25, 2018

MU’s Department of Personal Financial Planning congratulates junior Linsey Winkler on receiving the Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council’s annual scholarship of $1,000. She accepted her award from the MMEPC Scholarship Chair, Dr. Robert O. Weagley, CFP®, the Department’s Chair Emeritus, today at the organization’s quarterly luncheon. Winkler is pictured here with Dr. Weagley, as well as other attendees from the Department—Professor and Chair Frances C. Lawrence, PhD, Assistant Professor Lu Fan, PhD, and doctoral student Dalisha Herring, CFP®.

CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium

Posted: Jan. 25, 2018

The Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri will be participating in the CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium in Arlington, VA, February 20-22, 2018. This is an international forum where researchers, practitioners, and graduate students gather to present and share research on the latest in the financial planning and related disciplines. The quality of the presentations is high with only a 33% acceptance rate for all presentation proposal submissions. Dr. Frances C. Lawrence, Professor and Chair, serves on the steering committee for the Colloquium, while 4 other faculty and 5 doctoral students will be presenting empirical research. These include Dr. Lu Fan, Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP®, Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, Dr. Rui Yao, CFP®, Guopeng (Kevin) Cheng, Chen Xu, and Zheying (Anthea) Yao.

colloquium attendees

9 in 10 CFP® Professionals are Highly Satisfied with their Career

Posted: Jan. 24, 2018

Not only do CFP® professionals enjoy what they are doing, they also strongly feel that CFP® certification has had a positive impact on their career satisfaction and advancement, and has given them a competitive edge.

A study by Aite Group seeks to identify and quantify differences between financial advisors who hold the CFP® certification and financial advisors who do not hold the CFP® certification. The study also compares advising practices that include CFP® professionals to those without CFP® professionals across a range of key metrics. According to the study:

  • 86% of CFP® professionals say that certification has had a positive impact on their career satisfaction
  • 84% of CFP® professionals say certification has had a positive impact on their career advancement
  • 81% of CFP® professionals believe they have a distinct advantage over financial planners who do not hold CFP® certification
  • CFP® certification provides opportunities for a meaningful and satisfying career and can make a real difference in your ability to earn higher income. There is also satisfaction from a personal standpoint. You will find special gratification in working one-on-one with clients and helping them attain their financial goals. The connections you make and the professional relationships you build can prove to be highly rewarding on many levels.

If you enjoy working with people ... if you take pride in your achievements ... if you get a good feeling knowing you are helping others, CFP® certification can fulfill your highest aspirations.

For additional resources and information about CFP® certification, please review our Personal Financial Planning undergraduate degree program and visit the CFP® Board.

Personal Financial Planning Students Assist in Tax Preparation at VITA Sites

Posted: Jan. 23, 2018

Andrew ZumwaltUnder the leadership of Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, The Department of Personal Financial Planning faculty and students assist Missourians with their tax return preparation at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. The VITA program not only helps Missourians file their taxes but also provides Personal Financial Planning students a great, hands-on learning experience, exemplifying the "Missouri Method" of real world exposure that will help them as they enter the professional community.

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Mary Dorn and Ben Beussink Attend FPA of Greater Kansas City Meeting

Posted: Jan. 22, 2018

FPA of Greater Kansas City logoMary Dorn, MBA and PhD candidate, and Ben Beussink, CPA and PhD student, represented the MU Department of Personal Financial Planning at the FPA of Greater Kansas City January Chapter Meeting at the Embassy Suites in Olathe, KS. They are pictured with guest speaker, Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL, whose topic was Tax Planning Developments & Opportunities Under TCJA. Dr. Fran Lawrence, Department Chair, also attended.

Mary Dorn, Ben Beussink

Michael Kitces speaking to group

Dr. Graham McCaulley Spoke at the Spring Faculty and Staff Meeting

Posted: Jan. 15, 2018

The Department of Personal Financial Planning's Office for Financial Success Co-Director Dr. Graham McCaulley spoke at the College of Human Environmental Sciences Spring Faculty and Staff meeting on personal finance updates. Two timely topics were covered - recommended action steps in light of the Equifax data breach and changes to the income tax code from recent legislation. Although roughly half of American’s personal data (including social security numbers) was breached several months ago, the majority of consumers have not taken action to protect themselves from potential identity theft. The Office of Financial Success recommends most consumers place a security freeze on their credit files as well as monitor their current accounts. For more information on steps to take, as well as other topics, visit

Firms Want People Skills More Than Analytical Prowess

Posted: Jan. 15, 2018

For entry-level employees at advisory firms, the human touch is much more important than number-crunching skills, according to this year's Schwab Independent Advisor Outlook Study, whose findings were released this week in tandem with the annual Schwab IMPACT Conference in Chicago.

The study found that 82% of advisers seek employees with "people skills" versus 18% who are looking for employees who are "skilled with numbers." The survey also found that the top three backgrounds advisory firms consider valuable in candidates are communications, sales and consulting.

More info

Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment Has a New Home

Posted: Jan. 10, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - After more than a decade being housed on a Rutgers Cooperative Extension personal finance web page, a 13-question survey to assess personal investment risk tolerance has moved to a website at the University of Missouri. The change is being made as a result of a website re-design involving the use of new programming language at Rutgers University.

Abed Rabbani

Fran Lawrence

The Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz was developed by Dr. John Grable at the University of Georgia and Dr. Ruth Lytton at Virginia Tech and was empirically tested and published in a seminal 1999 journal article about investment risk tolerance. "We never imagined how extensively the survey would be used. It has been used by financial planners to assess client risk tolerance and globally by researchers to advance the study of risk tolerance," noted Lytton.

The quiz has been featured widely in social media and in both personal financial planning textbooks and popular-press books for self-assessment of risk tolerance attitudes and the effect on personal investment decisions.” Even motivational speaker Tony Robbins featured it in a blog post. All of these efforts have increased awareness of the Rutgers survey and contributed to its popularity. When people search the words "Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz" on Google, the quiz is the first item that is listed.

More than 200,000 people have taken the quiz, which is believed to be the largest personal finance research data base ever created. Quiz data have been used for several dozen research papers and graduate student theses and dissertations. Rutgers Cooperative extension will continue to maintain a downloadable PDF print copy of the quiz on their website but active data collection and immediate online access to risk tolerance results will move to University of Missouri Personal Financial Planning Department. The site will be overseen by Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP®, an Assistant Professor in the University of Missouri Personal Financial Planning Department. Dr. Rabbani obtained his PhD at the University of Georgia and studied under Dr. Grable.

"The online Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz is in good hands and will continue to benefit online users and generate useful data about investment risk tolerance for a new generation of personal finance scholars," noted Dr. Barbara O’Neill, a Distinguished Professor and Extension Financial Management Specialist at Rutgers University. Dr. John Grable stated that, "Dr. Barbara O’Neill and her colleagues at Rutgers University provided a valuable service to consumers and researchers by hosting the risk quiz. I am so pleased to know that the quiz will be available at no cost to the public through the University of Missouri."

On the receiving end of the quiz, Dr. Rabbani noted, "It is a privilege to oversee this large data collection effort. I have added affinity to it as my doctoral dissertation was based on the dataset utilizing this quiz. I thank Dr. Barbara O’Neill and Rutgers University for overseeing this valuable resource for so many years. We will give our best to ensure quality while it is hosted at the University of Missouri."

These thoughts were echoed by Dr. Fran Lawrence, Professor and department chair of the University of Missouri Personal Financial Planning Department, who noted, "It is definitely an honor to be associated with such a credible research tool created by Dr. Grable and Dr. Lytton and particularly rewarding to step into the footsteps of hosting the site from an outstanding professional as Rutgers’ Dr. O’Neill."

Investment risk tolerance is the amount of variability in the value of an investment that an investor is able to tolerate. It is a key factor in investment decision-making and is affected by many personal factors such as an investor’s age and prior investment experience and how financial markets are performing. Ongoing research about investment risk tolerance will enable researchers to better understand investor decisions.

Alumni Spotlight on Jim Deutsch, CFP® (BS, 1994)

Posted: Dec. 18, 2017

Jim Deutsch was a business student when he discovered the Personal Financial Planning department at the University of Missouri. He stayed another year to graduate in 1994, and says he owes much of his success to the program. Now the President and CEO of Smith Moore, Jim is also a graduate of Webster University with a Master’s Degree in Finance, and the Securities Industry Institute at Wharton School of Business.

As a financial advisor with over two decades of experience helping clients, he views himself as a holistic financial planner who creates plans to help clients achieve their life goals. By leveraging his extensive financial services experience and a network of competent teammates--including attorneys, CPAs and insurance professionals--he helps his clients solve financial concerns and questions.

Jim Deutsch

Jim’s experience in the industry boasts a significant record of results in organizational development, process improvement, audit performance, portfolio management, and compliance and client service. He is described as a bold, decisive leader with an unblemished reputation, a strong work ethic and a passion to improve performance at all levels of the organization. Jim re-energized the organization and raised business standards in leadership, hiring new talent, and consolidating two St. Louis offices into one central, prestigious location. He drove technology utilization and improvements, and tightened financial controls while always ensuring regulatory compliance. Jim became a shareholder in 1999, a member of the Board of Directors in 2001 and President and CEO in 2003. Under his leadership, the firm has grown revenues each year and increased its assets under management from $400 million to over $2.5 billion. During Jim’s tenure the firm has expanded its footprint, with 10 branch offices in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. He also manages a book of business with over $125 million in assets.

Jim was a 2008 recipient of the St. Louis Business Journal’s prestigious "Forty under 40" award. He serves on the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Private Client Group, the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association Committee (RCGA), and serves as Board President of Covenant Place. Co-Chair of the 2016 St. Louis Delegation for Maccabi Games, Jim was also one of 20 participants from St. Louis in the Wexner Heritage program which promotes leadership and Jewish study. Beginning in 2018, Jim will be an adjunct faculty member at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

He is a strong advocate for the financial planning industry as a top career choice for college graduates. "There is a high need for motivated and educated professionals in this field," says Jim. "I encourage high school students to consider the University of Missouri’s Personal Financial Planning major and pursue the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification. It is a rewarding career."

How to Get an "A" in Retirement

Posted: Dec. 14, 2017

How to Get an "A" in Retirement enrollments launched this week. The first public course will begin early in January of 2018 and additional courses will start monthly. This is a premier course launched by Extension Nexus and led by PFP Extension faculty member Dr. Cynthia Crawford. "The non-credit course is all online and people appreciate the flexibility of being able to work on it when their schedules permit 24/7," says Dr. Crawford. "One module is released per week for eight weeks. An additional month is added beyond the 8 weeks to finish in case ‘life happens.’"

The course has an established track record of success with more than 250 people participating in the pilot. 100% recommend the course to you and report the time, energy and the registration fee spent on the course was well worth it.

deck chairs on beach

Please extend this VIP invitation to enroll to friends and family wanting to increase their financial and psychological well-being in retirement and the years leading to retirement. University Extension provides research-based, evidence-based education. There are no sales pitches or specific product recommendations – Extension focuses on unbiased education. We are currently enrolling people for courses starting monthly January through July of 2018.

Those interested in being in the group starting in January or February, can enroll at a 50% savings($25 rather than the usual $50.) The discount code is MIZZOU and please feel free to share the discount code and information that follows with friends and family that may also be interested. Only January and February have the opportunity for you to get a 50% fee reduction.

Outstanding Senior: Fall 2017 Graduation Class

Posted: Dec. 14, 2017

Jiali Wu was selected as the Personal Financial Planning Outstanding Senior for the Fall 2017 graduation class. Jiali has consistently engaged in a high level of academic achievement since entering the degree program as a freshman. She received a black and gold cord to wear during the graduation ceremony to honor her accomplishment. Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS® stated "Jiali is a thoughtful and engaged scholar; the type of student that helps energize class discussion and engage her classmates in the adventure of learning."

Jiali Wu

2017 AFCPE Mary O'Neill Award Recipients

Posted: Dec. 12, 2017

Award ceremony attendees

Personal Financial Planning faculty, Graham McCaulley, PhD and Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® were recognized at the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education Symposium as recipients of the 2017 Mary O'Neill Mini Grant for the development and implementation of an innovative, high-impact financial education project. McCaulley and Zumwalt worked with a collaborative of national Cooperative Extension faculty from Midwestern universities to create a texting intervention project for graduating college seniors facing federal student loan repayment.

Andrew Zumwalt, CFP® Offers End-of-the Year Tax Tips

Posted: Dec. 11, 2017

Andrew ZumwaltHoliday shopping is in full swing for consumers around the nation. Shoppers spend money. Money comes from income. And where there’s income, taxes follow. Congress is in the middle of reforming the federal income tax code, but whether a new code emerges, the earliest it would take effect is 2018. "Right now, taxpayers need to concentrate on the current tax year," says Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, assistant extension professor of personal financial planning with University of Missouri Extension.

With 2017 drawing to a close, Zumwalt recommends a few basic year-end tax moves for all income tax filers to consider, especially if they itemize deductions. "First, start building the folder," Zumwalt urges. "Have a readily accessible place where all the tax-related paperwork goes." This includes such things as receipts for charitable donations, medical expenses and work-related payments not covered by employers. The same file will also serve as a collection point for all reportable income forms (W-2s, 1099s, etc.) that make their appearance after Jan. 1.

"If you’re unsure whether an expense will be deductible, put it in the file anyway. You can sort them out during filing season." Second, be sure to take full advantage of any flexible spending accounts you may have established for medical and dependent care expenses. Generally, it’s a use-it-or-lose-it proposition, says Zumwalt. Third, if you have a dependent attending college, you can receive a tax credit for higher education payments you make in the calendar year, according to Zumwalt. "You may also want to accelerate payments for next year to the current tax year."

Finally, depending on the outcome of tax reform, taxpayers may want to accelerate other deductible expenses (such as charitable donations, and real estate and personal property taxes) from next year, by paying them before Jan. 1, 2018. The reason, says Zumwalt, is that if any of the current tax reform proposals become law, the standard deduction could double, making it harder to itemize. Another consideration is real estate and personal property taxes may no longer be deductible.

"Those possibilities could completely eliminate the value of deductible expenses for filers who won’t exceed the potentially new standard deduction in 2018." So, while you joyously anticipate the holiday season, don’t forget to keep an eye peeled for potential year-end tax-saving moves. They may help cover those post-holiday bills.

Personal Financial Planning Seniors, Erin Bowman and Matthew Tomlin, Selected to Participate in the 2018 TD Ameritrade National LINC Conference

Posted: Dec. 6, 2017

Congratulations to Personal Financial Planning seniors, Erin Bowman and Matthew Tomlin, who have been selected to participate in the 2018 TD Ameritrade LINC Conference being held January 30 – February 3 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando. The conference brings together industry professionals to learn, be inspired, network and collaborate. The LINC conference is one of the largest industry events for investment advisors; technology providers; asset manager, practice management experts; world leaders; and financial planning students.

Erin Bowman

Matthew Tomlin

Marco Pantoja Passed the Accredited Financial Counselor® Examination

Posted: Nov. 30, 2017

Marco PantojaMarco Pantoja, MS graduate student and Assistant Director of the Office for Financial Success, passed the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) examination. The AFC® certification is the industry standard for those guiding individuals and families in financial education through the life cycle.

Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® and PhD Student Zheying Yao Research Reported in The Kitces Report

Posted: Nov. 30, 2017

The research of Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® and PhD Student Zheying Yao was reported in The Kitces Report in its highlights from the 2017 Academy of Financial Services Annual Meeting held in Nashville, TN.

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Dr. Abed Rabbani

Zheying Yao

Dr. Graham McCaulley and Brenda Procter Direct Health Insurance Education Initiative

Posted: Nov. 17, 2017

Department of Personal Financial Planning Faculty, Dr. Graham McCaulley, Assistant Extension Professor, working with Brenda Procter, Associate Extension Director, lead MU Extension’s statewide Health Insurance Education Initiative. The Initiative, supported by the Missouri Foundation for Health, has organized and trained over 100 outstate faculty across a variety of program areas within Extension to offer education in all counties of Missouri. This is the fifth year of the Initiative.

Dr. Graham McCaulley

Brenda Procter

Recent news has many consumers confused about the status of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Because the ACA remains the law of the land, most Americans are required to have health insurance. Most consumers qualify for financial help to lower their costs on private plans available in Missouri’s health insurance marketplace. Missourians only have six weeks to sign up for a plan – from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2017 – for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2018. Special enrollment periods are available year round for those who experience certain life-changing events.

McCaulley and Procter provide curriculum and technical support statewide and overall leadership for the program. MU Extension, through this Initiative, delivers free workshops for both consumers and professionals who offer insurance assistance to consumers. Workshops present the facts in a politically neutral environment to help participants understand and comply with current law, learn how to explore all available options, gain skills to make the best decision for themselves and their families, and identify nearby sources of enrollment assistance. To date, the Health Insurance Education Initiative has reached over 4,000 consumers directly and has reached over one million Missourians through media outreach.

Dr. Cynthia Crawford and Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS Collaborate on Retirement Initiative

Posted: Nov. 9, 2017

University of Missouri faculty and staff on all four campuses can be so focused on their contributions to their families, the University and communities that they don’t take important actions to make their financial futures more secure. Personal Financial Planning has strong research and evidence-based action solutions that work to strengthen well-being in the years leading to retirement and in retirement. "That's why I was pleased to learn about the collaboration between Department of Personal Financial Planning faculty Dr. Cynthia Crawford, Extension professor, and Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS®, assistant professor, when I arrived at Mizzou. Each semester they find a way to kick it up a notch and this semester has been no exception," explains Dr. Fran Lawrence, Department Chair.

Dr. Crawford speaking at workshopBoth Drs. Cynthia Crawford and Deanna Sharpe are pleased to work with University faculty and staff in workshops like the one sponsored earlier in November for employee recognition week.

The online course, How to get an "A" in retirement, was developed by Crawford for 30,000 UM faculty and staff as part of the Healthy for Life wellness incentive. "I was very appreciative when Dr. Sharpe volunteered to review the course after the first draft was in place. She spent hours of her time to express, not by words, but by her actions, selfless support for a colleague and for University of Missouri Extension," says Crawford.

A unique aspect of the course is that each topic in the retirement planning process is approached from a positive psychology perspective to emphasize why financial planning is critical to support well-being. Participants are encouraged to build later life plans around the aspects of their lives that matter most to them. The instruction is encouraging, supportive, and, as participants have described the course as "really, really eye-opening," "confidence building," and "wildly beneficial."

Crawford and Sharpe make sure University employees know they can turn to the Office for Financial Success for one-on-one financial counseling and coaching and they can be confident in referring students there, too.

Their collaborative work benefits the University. Financially distracted employees are less productive during working hours. Eighty-nine percent of participants have stated that their stress has decreased as their financial knowledge and informed financial decisions and actions have increased. Course evaluations have been extremely positive with 98% reporting taking action for a better retirement. One-third of those completing the course report they are less financially distracted at work. Participants learn to replace worry with positive action solutions.

Their work also benefits students. UM employees with stronger financial backgrounds are better able to reach out to students with financial issues. The number one reason students leave school before graduating is financial issues. The Office for Financial Success can help - but only if the UM community knows about this positive resource.

They continue to work together and reach out to meet the retirement planning education needs of faculty and staff, including workshops Dr. Crawford presents during employee recognition week each semester and an informative pre-retirement seminar Dr. Sharpe presents for Human Resources each semester.

Dr. Abed Rabbani Earns CFP® Designation

Posted: Nov. 6, 2017

Abed RabbaniThe Department of Personal Financial Planning is proud to announce that Abed Rabbani, PhD has earned the CFP® designation. Congratulations Dr. Rabbani, CFP®!

Dr. Rabbani joins MU Department of Personal Financial Planning faculty members (Dr. Deanna Sharpe, Dr. Rui Yao, and Andrew Zumwalt) who are CFP®s. Only a select group of planners have met the rigorous requirements necessary to call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.

To earn the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation, candidates must complete what the Board of Standards refers to as the "4 E’s":

  • Education
  • Examination
  • Experience
  • Ethics

Pantoja and Wight Visit Marquette High School, Chesterfield, MO

Posted: Nov. 3, 2017

Marco Pantoja, Assistant Director of the Office for Financial Success (OFS), and Personal Financial Planning Ambassador Anthony Wight visited Marquette High School in Chesterfield, MO, on Monday, October 30, 2017. The two discussed personal finance with the students, as well as educational opportunities with the MU Personal Financial Planning degree programs, other programs within the College of Human Environmental Sciences, and the University of Missouri. Students were receptive and happy to interact by asking questions and learning more about personal financial planning. Pantoja and Wight highlighted the benefits of attending Mizzou such as the OFS, lower than average student loan debt, and the excellent opportunities available at a land grant institution (e.g. Pell grants that can essentially pay for college). Read more about the CFP Board-Registered programs offered in the Personal Financial Planning Department at Mizzou.

Marco Pantoja Marco Pantoja

Anthony Wight Anthony Wight

Doctoral Candidate Mary Dorn and Co-Authors Publish Long-Term Care Insurance Study

Posted: Nov. 3, 2017

Doctoral candidate Mary E. Dorn published an empirical research study along with co-authors Dr. Deanna Sharpe, CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS MU Associate Professor Personal Financial Planning, Dr. Geri Dickey, Park University Assistant Professor of Social Work, and MU Doctoral student Dalisha D. Herring, CFP®. The article, Understanding the Determinants of a Long-Term Care Insurance Purchase, is forthcoming in the November 2017 Journal of Financial Planning (online edition available now).

Given rise in longevity and number of older adults, there is concern regarding adequacy of private and public funding for long-term care expenses and greater need to understand nuances of long-term care insurance (LTCI) funding. The study observed LTCI ownership of respondents at two points in time and classified them as LTCI purchasers, lapsers, owners, or non-owners. Authors found LTCI owners were typically older, married, and had fewer children while having higher wealth, income, and home equity values as compared with individuals in other categories. Those who allowed their LTCI to lapse over the study period (2006 to 2012) had the largest increase in assets but a 3.4% decrease in income. Assets of the purchasers decreased 17% while their income increased by 10%. Those who did not own LTCI most closely followed rational choice theory in that they had the lowest financial status and thus were more likely to be consumers of Medicaid benefits for long-term care should they need it.

Read more

Mary Dorn Mary E. Dorn

Deanna Sharpe Dr. Deanna L. Sharpe

Dalisha Herring Dalisha D. Herring

University of Missouri Listed as a Top University for Financial Planning

Posted: Nov. 2, 2017

Once again, the University of Missouri is listed as a top university for financial planning. The listing is drawn from a Financial Planning survey of universities that offer CFP Board-Registered Programs. Congratulations to the Mizzou personal financial planning students, staff, faculty and alumni who are dedicated to this quality program.

MU campus

$1,000 Scholarship Available

Posted: Nov. 1, 2017

The Mid Missouri Estate Planning Council will award a $1,000 scholarship. The due date is November 8.

Download Application

Dr. Cynthia Crawford Receives the Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award

Posted: Oct. 27, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Cynthia Crawford, Extension Professor, Department of Personal Financial Planning, who received the Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award at the 2017 MU Extension Summit. The award recognizes a University of Missouri Extension faculty member for planning, conducting and evaluating one extension educational activity conducted in the past year. The activity recognized was the online course, How to get an "A" in retirement that combines research and best practices from personal financial planning with research from positive psychology. "Well-being in retirement starts with financial planning that includes goal setting, assessing one’s current financial situation, pension plan details, Social Security facts, taxation of various retirement income streams, saving and investing, estate planning, insurance changes and more. The course became more holistic and groundbreaking, though, with the addition of concepts from positive psychology that look at positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, forgiveness and gratitude in retirement as well as the years leading to retirement," said Crawford.

Cynthia Crawford accepting award

How to get an 'A' in retirement" was also recognized by the University of Missouri Extension Association as one of the top three outstanding programs in 2017.

Human Environmental Sciences Instructional Designer Briana Johnson was key in working with Crawford to move the course into an online format. Johnson and Crawford’s teamwork significantly helped in the transition from a face-to-face instruction to delivering the content effectively online.

Dr. Fran Lawrence, Personal Financial Planning Department Chair, congratulates Crawford for her ground breaking work. Lawrence states, "While leading this project, Dr. Crawford has mentioned many times how its success reflects the support that the resident and Extension faculty have for one another’s work. Whenever she asked her Personal Financial Planning Extension colleagues for help, especially Andrew Zumwalt and Graham McCaulley, the answer was always yes. In addition, resident faculty member Deanna Sharpe generously volunteered to vet the course before it was sent to external reviewers. Sharpe and Crawford have continued to work together on retirement planning programming as a result."

Over 40 Personal Financial Planning Students To Attend Professional Development Opportunity at Edward Jones Headquarters

Posted: Oct. 26, 2017

On Friday, November 3rd, over 40 University of Missouri personal financial planning students, along with 4 faculty members, will take part in a professional development opportunity at Edward Jones Headquarters located in St. Louis, MO. Edward Jones corporate leaders, along with advisors who are MU personal financial planning alumni, will present. What an incredible opportunity this event will be for all!

View agenda

Personal Financial Planning Students Receive Over $28,000 in Awards and Scholarships

Posted: Oct. 24, 2017

Personal Financial Planning students receive a record high number of awards and scholarships.

See complete listing

Doctoral Student Zheying Yao Receives AFCPE® Conference Scholarship

Posted: Oct. 19, 2017

Zheying YaoPersonal Financial Planning doctoral student Zheying Yao will be traveling to San Diego, CA, November 15-17, for the 2017 AFCPE® Symposium. As a student scholarship recipient, Yao receives complementary registration to the Symposium, a 1-night stay at the Symposium hotel, special mentoring opportunities, and 2017 AFCPE® membership. She will present her original research co-written with Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP®, "Factors Associated with Fragile Families’ Emergency Fund."

The Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE®) brings together research, education, and practice by supporting the financial planning and counseling profession through training, development, and other resources to improve the economic well-being of families and individuals.

Doctoral Students Receive Travel Grants

Congratulations Guopeng Cheng and Chen Xu, Personal Financial Planning doctoral students, on receiving travel grants of $400 each from the MU Office of Research and Graduate Studies to offset travel to the American Council on Consumer Interests Annual Conference to present original research.

Guopeng Cheng

Chen Xu

PhD Students Receive National Award

Posted: Oct. 16, 2017

Dalisha HerringDalisha Herring, CFP® and PhD student in Personal Financial Planning, received the highest award in the nation given by the Arthur N. Caple Foundation. As the 2017 ANC Scholar recipient, Herring will receive a $5,000 scholarship; travel and hotel accommodations for the NAGDCA Annual Meeting (valued at $1,800); and enrollment in the Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) certification program, materials and exams (valued at $900). Herring will be honored during the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) annual conference in Milwaukee in September.

Kevin ChengKevin (Guopeng) Cheng, PhD student in Personal Financial Planning, has been named a 2017 Arthur N. Caple Foundation Travel Stipend and Conference Registration Award recipient. Each year, the ANC Foundation provides 6 national scholarship awards to students who demonstrate academic excellence and understanding of the issues facing public sector retirement plans. Cheng will be honored during the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) annual conference in Milwaukee in September. He will receive full travel, lodging, and registration expenses for this year’s meeting.

Learn more

Meet Your 2017-2018 Student Financial Planning Association Officers

Posted: Oct. 5, 2017

2017-2018 Executive Board

Jimmy Merdian

Jimmy Merdian

Timothy Lux

Timothy Lux
Vice President

Anthony Wight

Anthony Wight

Rachel Heggs

Rachel Heggs

Matthew Tomlin

Matthew Tomlin
Speaker Coordinator

Solomon Davis

Solomon Davis
Social Media Chairman

Students Attend Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City Career Day

Posted: Oct. 2, 2017

Members of the Mizzou Financial Planning Association, Rachel Heggs, Dhiman Sarker, Samuel Wheeland, and Anthony Wight, attended the 9th Annual Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City Career Day. The event, held at American Century Investments, provided excellent networking opportunities for students as they were able to sit down and ask one-on-one questions with financial planning professionals that enabled them to gain great insights into life in the industry. The day concluded with a Q & A panel session led by recent graduates from Personal Financial Planning programs. Participants discussed the challenges encountered with taking exams for CFP® certification and for Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. Anthony Wight, University of Missouri’s Personal Financial Planning Ambassador, said "The event offered a great learning experience for aspiring financial planners as the platform enabled attendees to gain knowledge from established professionals in the field."

students in attendance

Dr. Starla Ivey Partners with Chongqing University of Technology

Posted: Oct. 2, 2017

Dr. Starla Ivey, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, traveled to Chongqing, China in the Summer of 2017 to teach aspiring Mizzou Tigers personal finance. This was a collaborative effort between the Personal Financial Planning Department at the University of Missouri along with Chongqing University of Technology in Chongqing, China. Students learned the importance of becoming a Certified Financial Planner along with practical personal and family financial skills such as filing US personal taxes, making large purchases (buying a house/automobile), investing, and time value of money.

Dr. Starla Ivey teaching in China

The summer course ran for 3 weeks and was taught all in English. For most of these students it was their first experience in an all English speaking course. One of the great things about FINPLN 2183 (Personal and Family Finance) is that it is a highly mathematical course and math/numbers transcends many languages. Dr. Ivey stated that "this was a powerful experience for myself as the instructor with all of the students having English as their second language. I have a much greater appreciation for what our international students go through in order to get to the United States and then also to survive in a foreign country. Being in Chongqing, as opposed to a highly visited city like Beijing, I was immersed in the culture and the daily lives of the Chinese citizens that I lived around. It was an amazing adventure and I believe I am a better instructor because of this experience."

The Department of Personal Financial Planning offers the 3+1+1 program where prospective students complete 3 years of undergraduate study in partner universities in China. During the third year, they apply for the non-degree seeking program at MU for the first "1" year, which allows them to complete their undergraduate degree. If they qualify, they can add another "1" year where the student enrolls in the PFP Master's Program.

More about 3+1+1 program

New Report Shows Majority of Workers Not Ready for Retirement

Posted: Sep. 26, 2017

Dr. Alicia Munnell and colleagues at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research released a study just days ago, pointing out that more than half of American workers are in danger of retiring without enough money. The National Retirement Risk Index is the Center’s estimate of how many Americans are in serious danger of not being able to maintain their lifestyles after age 65. The latest NRRI—based on the Federal Reserve’s most recently released Survey of Consumer Finances from 2013—shows 52% of U.S. households at risk of falling short of their post-retirement financial needs by 10% or more.

"This report and many additional indicators tell us how important the work of personal financial planning is not only for individuals and families, but for our economy, as well. While the report is considered a wake-up call by many, Mizzou’s personal financial planning alumni, students, faculty and staff are already mobilized with action solutions that are critical for people to have financial security in later life," points out Dr. Fran Lawrence, Mizzou’s personal financial planning department chair.

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Kiplinger Names Financial Advisor a Top 10 Best Job for the Future

Posted: Sep. 26, 2017

Kiplinger recently reviewed 785 jobs and designated 10 high-salary jobs poised for strong growth in the coming decade – including "Personal Financial Advisor" as "Top 10 Best Jobs for the Future." The report cited a 23.8% projected job growth rate for financial advisors from 2016-2026, and noted that "Certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards enhances an advisor's credibility."

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MU News Bureau Reports Dr. Rui Yao's Risk Tolerance Research

Posted: Sep. 20, 2017

Rui YaoPrior research has long shown that women are, on average, less risk tolerant in their financial decisions than men. This is a concern as investors with low levels of risk tolerance might have greater difficulty reaching their financial goals and building adequate retirement wealth because they are unlikely to invest in stocks. Now, a researcher from the University of Missouri has found that men and women do not think about investment risks differently. Instead, income uncertainty affects men and women differently, which leads to differences in risk tolerance.

Read full article

Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® Publishes in the Journal of Financial Service Professionals

Posted: Sep. 12, 2017

Abed RabbaniIn the September 2017 issue of the Journal of Financial Service Professionals, Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® along with Dr. John Grable published the article, "Does Engagement in the Stock Market Shape Willingness to Take Financial Risk?"

Dr. Lu Fan Joins Faculty

Posted: Sep. 12, 2017

Lu FanDr. Lu Fan joins the Personal Financial Planning faculty. Check out her impressive curriculum vitae.

Dr. Rui Yao Recognized as 2017-2019 Loren Dilsaver Research Scholar

Posted: Sep. 11, 2017

The College of Human Environmental Sciences is pleased to name the first group of HES Faculty Scholars. For the next two years, these individuals will carry named titles and receive additional resources to support their research.

The first group of HES Faculty Scholars has been made possible by donors who have established endowments in support of faculty. "The HES Faculty Scholars program represents the perfect union between our amazing faculty and the generosity of our donors and supporters," said Sandy Rikoon, Dean of HES. "A key strength of our college is the excellence of our faculty, and it is contributions to the college from our alumni and friends that allow us to recruit and retain the best faculty in the country."

Selected by unit leaders and other advisors, HES Faculty Scholars are designated either Research Scholars or Teaching Scholars. Research Scholar awards recognize the demonstration of research excellence and plans for research production and productivity over the two years of the award. Teaching Scholar awards are for individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom and scholarly contributions to pedagogy or other dimensions of educational scholarship.

Dr. Rui YaoRui Yao
Loren Dilsaver HES Research Scholar

Data Breach for 143 Million Americans at Equifax

Posted: Sep. 8, 2017

Our PFP students know that credit histories are critical to working successfully with lenders, banks, utility companies, insurance companies, prospective employers and more. Credit reports contain sensitive financial information, too. The Federal Trade Commission announced September 8, 2017 that 143 million American consumers likely had sensitive personal information exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies. Our students, alumni and faculty will be working to help consumers protect themselves identify theft in this breach. They are urging people to visit Equifax’s website, Click on the "potential Impact" tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number to learn if you are impacted by the breach.

Review the FTC's information release

Career Prospects Bright for Personal Financial Planning Grads

Posted. Sep. 8, 2014

College is often considered the surest path to a lucrative career. After all, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a worker with a bachelor's degree typically earns two-thirds more than someone with just a high school diploma. But not all college degrees are created equal. "Increasingly, students want to understand the career and income opportunities associated with their college education," says Lydia Frank, Pay Scale vice president, in a statement. "To determine which majors typically come with the best hiring prospects and pay, we analyzed data for 126 popular college majors." Kiplinger’s report was released in September 2017.

"It’s no surprise that Personal Finance is among the top ten lucrative majors identified by Kiplinger's," says Department Chair Fran Lawrence. "Money matters are growing more complex at all stages of the adult life cycle and people need top personal financial planning professions, like those we graduate at Mizzou." Kiplinger’s forecasts that the projected 10-year job growth is a brisk 13.1%. 1.4 million jobs are posted annually. Median starting salary for all majors is $43,250 however the entry-level salary for the finance field is $53,300. Kiplinger’s also points out mid-career salaries in this field are $93,200, exceeding the median mid-career salary for all majors of $74,700.

Review the report

Dr. Rui Yao Quoted in CNN Money

Posted: Sep. 6, 2017

Dr. Rui Yao, Associate Professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, was recently quoted in a CNN Money article on LinkedIn regarding the need to hire a financial adviser.

You're at crossroads with your finances and you're not sure where to go from here. Is it time to seek out expert advice? Maybe. But the first thing to note is that a "financial adviser" isn't necessarily what it sounds like. Dr. Rui Yao says most advisers want to work with wealthy clients. That's how they make money. Rearranging debt and budgeting is not their primary focus.

Read full CNN Money Article

Rui Yao

Dr. Frances Cogle Lawrence Appointed Department Chair

Posted: Aug. 10, 2017

Following a nationwide search, Dr. Frances Cogle Lawrence was appointed Chair and Professor of the Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri’s College of Human Environmental Sciences by Dean J. Sanford Rikoon. Dr. Lawrence joined the faculty on July 1, 2017.

"Dr. Lawrence stood out, not only for her outstanding leadership at Louisiana State University, but for her award-winning teaching, solid research activity, and passion for the profession" said Rikoon. "She brings extraordinary energy for the university, alumni and business community, and will deliver her bold leadership to a department specializing in financial planning research and curricula that enables outstanding career opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students."

Frances Cogle Lawrence

A native of Richmond, VA, she earned an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and her master’s and doctorate degrees from Florida State University. Before coming to MU, Dr. Lawrence served as the George Cire and Lena Grand Williams Endowed Alumni Professor at Louisiana State University, and also as the Ourso Professor of Communications in the Department of Finance and Associate Dean in the E. J. Ourso College of Business.

At LSU, Lawrence led CFP Board-Registered Programs and was a founder of the LSU Student Financial Management Center. Strategic partnerships with companies, such as Charles Schwab, Edward Jones, Exxon Mobil, LPL Financial, Merrill Lynch, MetLife, Northwestern Mutual, Raymond James, Regions Financial Corporation, TD Ameritrade and Wells Fargo, attracted funding and resulted in student internships, scholarships, and career opportunities.

"It is very apparent to me that Dr. Lawrence’s passion for student learning and her leadership skills will be a winning combination for the University’s Department of Personal Financial Planning," said David Keller, President of the Bank of Missouri.

With a mission of leading the University of Missouri’s financial planning department to further national and global recognition, Lawrence is committed to meaningful research, to students becoming leaders in the financial planning industry with a special emphasis on obtaining the CFP® and AFC® professional certifications, and to forging strong relationships with financial planning professionals. "I am pleased to join an outstanding group of faculty, staff and students at the University of Missouri. Their dedication to superior academic programs and research, along with a supportive and engaged network of alumni, industry and campus partners, makes this a unique and exciting opportunity," said Lawrence.

"As the Department of Personal Financial Management’s new chair, Frances Lawrence will bring a new vision, fresh talent and renewed energy to the department," said Provost Garnett Stokes. "She has received a multitude of honors and awards for teaching, research and service to the profession. Furthermore, Dr. Lawrence is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the University of Missouri campuses and the financial planning industry."

View Dr. Lawrence’s CV and profile

Dr. Abed Rabbani, CFP® Featured in Article on "Establishing Credit History"

Posted: Jul. 26, 2017

Abed RabbaniDr. Abed Rabbani, CFP®, Assistant Professor of Personal Financial Planning, recently spoke with the site (one of the leading outlets covering the personal finance industry) on the subject of "Establishing Credit History."

Among the tips offered, Dr. Rabbani recommended checking one’s credit report from for free.

Read article

Dr. Cynthia Crawford Earns Graduate Certificate in Positive Psychology

Posted: Jul. 25, 2017

Cynthia CrawfordDr. Cynthia Crawford, Extension Professor, has earned a graduate certificate in positive psychology from the University of Missouri. She combined subject matter from personal financial planning with positive psychology to craft a holistic retirement planning online course for 30,000 faculty and staff on all four campuses of the University of Missouri. The course is titled How to get an “A” in retirement. Dr. Crawford and University of Missouri Extension faculty will begin delivering the online course to residents of Missouri via the Extension Nexus efforts in coming months. Dr. Crawford is continuing her positive psychology studies with Dr. Martin Seligman, considered the founder of positive psychology, and colleagues at Penn State University. Crawford explains, “Positive psychology is a science and research based discipline looking at effective interventions for dialing up well-being. Personal Financial Planning is about increasing your financial well-being. As the development work of the course progressed, it was clear it was incomplete without the contributions of both disciplines.” The work at Mizzou is ground-breaking in combining the two in an interdisciplinary approach to financial education and retirement planning and is receiving national attention.

Office for Financial Success Cited Where Quality Research Is Conducted

Posted: Jul. 20, 2017

The Office for Financial Success was recently cited as one of four financial counseling labs where quality research is conducted. For more information see the article, How Financial Counseling Laboratories Will Change Financial Planning .

Zumwalt, McCauley, King, Pantoja, and Lawrence Attend Hot Salsa Night

Posted: Jul. 19, 2017

Andrew Zumwalt, CFP®, Dr. Graham McCaulley, Kate King, and Marco Pantoja of the Department of Personal Financial Planning’s Office for Financial Success along with Department Chair Dr. Fran Lawrence and numerous advocates attended Hot Salsa Night, a charitable event supporting the Human Environmental Sciences Extension’s Family Impact Center Camp Salsa program. Camp Salsa helps local youth learn about money management, entrepreneurship, sustainable gardening, and many other valuable life skills.

Dr. Abed Rabbani Passes CFP® Certification Examination

Posted: Jul. 18, 2017

Abed RabbaniCongratulations to Dr. Abed Rabbani who passed the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination exam on July 17, 2017. Passing of the exam is one of the 4 requirements for becoming a CFP® professional. The CFP® Certification Examination assesses one’s ability to apply financial planning knowledge, in an integrated format, to financial planning situations.

Congratulations Personal Financial Planning Graduate Students

Posted: May 18, 2017

Guopeng Cheng and Chen Xu were selected to receive the Student Conference Scholarships for the 2017 American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) conference held April 21-23 in Albuquerque, NM. Their papers were accepted to be presented at the conference. The titles of their papers are: Guopeng Cheng – Are Millennials Saving for Retirement? and Chen Xu – Financial Literacy of Chinese College Students. Since 1953, ACCI has been a leading membership organization for academicians and other professionals involved in consumer and family economics. Both Cheng and Xu are from China and are second year PHD students in the Department of Personal Financial Planning. Congratulations!

PFP graduate students Gupeng Cheng, second from the left, and Chen Xu, eighth from the left (center).